With some concentrated effort, you can eliminate or drastically cut down on the amount of unsolicited useless information that shows up in your mailbox.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Stop Junk Mail Kits
- Internet Access
- Postage Stamps
- Postal Forms
- Unlisted Phone Numbers
Contact the Direct Marketing Association (<a href="http://www.dmaconsumers.org/offmailinglist.html" target="_blank">www.DMAConsumers.org</a>), and register for the Mail Preference Service. Your name will be placed in a delete file, and you should notice a decrease in junk mail about three months after you register.
Call the customer service department of individual companies that send you junk mail. Ask to be removed from the company's mailing list. Have the mailing label with you when you call so you can relay exact names and codes from the label.
Tell mail-order companies from which you regularly order products not to give or sell your name to other companies. Do the same for any religious, political, professional and charitable organizations that you may contribute to, as well as for credit card companies, banks, schools and utility companies.
Avoid sending in warranty registration cards. You'll still be covered by the warranty, but the company won't use it as an invitation to send you more information on its products.
Buy a 'stop junk mail' kit. For a price, you'll receive the materials you need to notify a limited number of the largest mailing list companies that are responsible for junk mail. Although this may be just the tip of the iceberg, it can protect you from future junk mail.
Get an unlisted phone number, or at least decline to list your address. Some mailing lists are formulated from names and addresses as they appear in telephone books.
Avoid filling out change-of-address forms when you move. The U.S. Postal Service sells these names and addresses to direct marketers. Instead, individually notify friends, family, creditors and so on.
Contact your nearest post office, as a last resort, for forms you can fill out to stop companies from sending you mail you don't want. If the mail continues, the companies may be subject to prosecution.
Tips and warnings
- Although stuffing business reply envelopes with nasty notes and sending them back at the company's expense might make you feel better, it won't help stop future mailings.
- The Direct Marketing Association's Mail Preference Service won't eliminate all junk mail. You should contact individual companies doing the mailing if unsolicited mail doesn't stop.
- It will generally take up to six months after your initial contact for you to stop receiving mail from a particular company.