Sunday, April 23, 2006

Detailed Steps to Stop Junk Mail

More about stopping junk mail:

The local store ads MUST be accompanied by a heavier paper, about 1/3 of a regular-sized paper, that lists your address and who sent it.

It will probably have ADVO on it, and in my case, another from PennySaver. I Googled junk mail, and lots of sites popped up. DO NOT PAY anyone to do this! It's easy enough to do yourself. I called the marketers and was told it takes several weeks for them to take your name off their list. Some marketers even have a dept to opt-out, so they know the law. If not, get heavy with them and tell them you will report them. No need to be rude, just firmly tell them they are violating consumer laws.

I called the Post Office, who explained they can't stop the delivery until we take that first step.

Then calendar it, and collect all the cards that have your neighbor's address on it (if you get those). Put a notice on your mailbox so the delivery person knows you contacted the marketers and if they are being delivered, it violates your consumer rights.

If two months go by and you are still getting the local ads, grocery/drug stores, auto places, carpet cleaning, etc or you are getting a card that does not correspond with your address, contact the post office again.

At that point, it might be another hurdle and have to contact the marketers again as well as file a complaint with the USPS consumer affairs department. The Post Office is NOT allowed to deliver local mailers without that address card.

However, I'd first put a note on the mailbox and call your local Delivery Supervisor, tell them what date you received the mail, so they can notify the delivery person.

When you get credit card or other offers, take the return postage paid envelopes and mail it back to them. Write on the "offer" you don't want to be contacted. If nothing else, you will cost them postage money! You can also contact all the credit card companies and stores wherein you have a charge account, and "opt-out."

The drag is the law allows them to send mail you don't want, and you have to take the steps to stop them.

The net is an invaluable source for finding the simple steps to deal with this crap, as well as contacting the offending companies. Write letters to the companies and whenever possible, cancel the charge account and let them know why you are cancelling the account, both by sending back their own postage-paid envelopes and via email.

Sometimes you just have to recycle the crap. I got several free subscriptions when I used an online service to book a flight to Vegas for the Magic fashion show last August. One is Elle, which is a trip, but not something I've ever pay for (and one month it never arrived), the other a food mag, Saveur or something like that. I contacted the company who offered the subscription, who said I had to contact the mag itself, which I did. But I am still receiving it and immediately dump it. I'm a raw foods vegan and the recipes, restaurants, etc they cover are so fattening, so disgusting that I can barely stand to touch the mag.

All you can do is try the best you can, and cause as much legal trouble and expense for them, but using their postage paid envelopes, writing them, and recycling. Thanks to Jason (and others) for writing me and recycling.

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