Postcard-sized mailers with the words "Notice of Parcel On Hold" and "Final Notice" have been circulating in mailboxes since at least the early 2000s. Several of the pieces of mail we reviewed for this story led to a company named Nuvia Water. The origins of a few of the other mailed cards were unclear.
We first reported on these kinds of notices in 2006 in regard to a scam about "Notice of Parcel Claim" mailers in the U.K.
Our summary is this: If these kinds of mailers don't specify a specific package delivery service such as the U.S. Postal Service, UPS, or FedEx, it's likely from a company that wants to sell you something. In some cases, these mailings might be scams.
In March 2022, we looked at a recent email from a reader who had details to add to our 2006 story. The email read as follows:
I just purchased a home and received a notice just like this (two, in fact) in the mail. I initially assumed it was from the US Postal Service, but became suspicious when realizing that the notices had actually been mailed with paid postage on them. Looking up the phone number on the card (702-586-0535) revealed a number of websites pointing out the scam, including yours.
On the notices I received, there is no reference to what's in whatever package that's being held. The notices were mailed from 92586, for what it's worth (Menifee, CA).
Full language from the notices follows below: NOTICE OF PARCEL ON HOLD -> Request for addressee only FINAL NOTICE For Delivery Options Please Call: (702) 586-0535 Headquarters Of All Parcels PRIORITY: Final Notice Call within 3 days of receiving this Notice [bar code labeled "For Office Use Only] PARCEL TYPE: Other Form DELOPWS 2020 Se Habla Espanol [in very small print at the bottom: "*some restrictions may apply"]
Links to Nuvia Water
Searches for some of the "Notice of Parcel On Hold" mailers led us to the California water company Nuvia Water. The Yelp page for the company showed several reviews that included pictures of similar mailers.
According to the photographs that were posted with Yelp reviews, the phone numbers 619-642-2204, 858-815-0186, 832-371-6265, and 619-363-3850 may have been associated with Nuvia Water at some point in the past:
We reached out to Nuvia Water by email to learn more about the mailers. In our correspondence, we asked if the company holds parcels at its facilities before sending these mailings, and if those packages are labeled with specific names that correspond with the mailings before they're mailed out.
We also inquired about what happens to the parcels if a customer waits longer than the three days specified on the mailers. Additionally, we requested information about what's in the parcels and asked if the company designed the cards to lead customers to believe they were sent by an official mail carrier.
Nuvia Water Responds
"Nuvia does indeed offer a Nuvia Welcome Home Package to homeowners," a company spokesperson told us.
These packages include a water test, pamphlets/brochures on what water collection, treatment, and distribution typically look like, and a cash savings card. Availing of the Nuvia Welcome Home Package comes free of charge, with no strings attached or purchase required.
We prefer to test the water in front of adults in the home for full transparency so that they can witness the test. This is due to the fact that there are other companies that invite people to send in vials of their water that the companies claim they test. However, it's highly doubtful that the water gets tested. Homeowners also have the option to avail themselves of getting information about water and the freebie of the month if they'd like.
As far as the "Notice of Parcel On Hold" mailers go, the company claimed they weren't designed to mislead:
The postcards that are sent out are designed to be cost-efficient and eco-friendly, not misleading. If you look at the postcard you will see that there is no statement or representation that the card comes from an official postal carrier and the postcard contains our company name. It would be a waste to send large amounts of paper in the form of brochures if it were to be immediately thrown out. We are reducing costs and our carbon footprint by sending out the postcard first.
If we don't receive a response, we remove the recipient from the database and reallocate the package for a homeowner that's interested in it.
They also said that they are "not the only company that sends postcards like this." According to Nuvia Water: "There are multiple cases of people receiving similar postcards, and after googling, they immediately blame us for sending the postcard by posting a review online. However, different companies were responsible for sending those particular postcards that those individuals received."
We were unable to trace the origins of 702-586-0535, the phone number sent in by a reader. Also unclear was if 800-935-7710 was associated with the company. However, both numbers appeared on similar mailers about a "welcome gift" or "Notice of Parcel On Hold" and were not official pieces of mail from a mail carrier.
In the past, the mklibrary.com blog reported on the matter as well, calling the Nuvia Water mailers a scam. It published that the following phone numbers appeared on similar mailers, whether for Nuvia Water or another company: 559-271-6901, 916-245-1807, 626-365-0532, 737-931-1544, 619-824-3633, 619-363-4237, 714-786-8743, 702-586-0535, 714-486-3605, 714-786-8743, and 800-603-3102.
If readers want to send in details about pieces of mail that promise a parcel is on hold, please contact us and include details.