Return Receipt

What Does Return Receipt Mean?

Return Receipt is a proof of delivery provided by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), in the form of a document or electronic email. Return receipt also may refer to Microsoft Outlook’s Delivery and Read Receipt functions.


In English-speaking territories, the return receipt term is also known as acknowledgment of receipt or advice of receipt. Internationally, return receipt is also known as avis de réception (AR).

Techopedia Explains Return Receipt

Physical delivery mediums, such as the USPS Return Receipt service, ensure secure delivery because recipient verification is required prior to delivery.

However, email return receipts are potentially confusing, such as when messages are emailed via a computer network managed by the recipient. In Microsoft Outlook, for example, selecting the reead receipt option is not failsafe, as this action does not guarantee redirection of the read receipt email message, leading to miscommunication.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…