Junk Mail

Archived Q&A and Reviews

August 2002

I receive almost everyday tons of junk mail from grocery stores, home improvement stores, drugstores, discount coupons, etc... and I am very upset about having to go through it to find mail that matters and to take it straight to the recycling bin or trash. Is there anyway to stop those big companies from cluttering my mailbox and life? Not to mention the waste of paper and human resources. Thanks.

I've got junk mail and telemarketing down to just a trickle by doing the following: 1- when I get junk mail, I respond and request they take me off their list (if there is a postage paid postcard or a 1-800 number I use that). 2- I *never* give out my address/phone number to any business without asking if it is going to be released and/or marking on the form ''CONFIDENTIAL - DO NOT RELEASE''. 3- Magazine subscriptions are kept to a minimum. In my experience, magazines are the worst offenders for selling your data. 4- In the case of catalog companies which I DO actually do business with, I ask to receive the catalog less frequently, or to not receive a catalog at all if it is on the web. I usually have to repeat this request with every order, as an order adds you back in to their database. This method takes some work and time, but the results are great! - junk mail free! (almost)
I got a stamp that says ''REFUSED! No junk mail - save a tree.'' on it. All you do is completely cover your address on the envelope/catalogue, stamp the front with the refused stamp and drop it in a mailbox to be returned to the sender. They will have to pay a return shipping and will more than likely remove you from their mailing list. I did this for quite a long time and managed to get my junkmail down to a pretty bare minimum. And, then I moved and it kicked right back in. You have to keep it up in order for it to work. Good luck. Hope this works for you. (PS If you can't find one of the stamps, you can either have one made or write ''Refused - remove from mailing list'' on each item. Remember to completely black out your address or the mail will just come right back to you!) Junk Mail Hater
The website www.opt-out.cdt.org has forms you can fill out and send to bulk junk mail distributers to get your address off their lists. I believe they also have solutions to spam. Nicole
The Direct Marketing Association has a ''Telephone Preference Service'' (see http://www.the-dma.org/consumers/consumerfaqs.html#few). If you sign up for that, they will take your phone number off the marketing lists and you will be much happier. You will also see a lot less junk mail in your mailbox if you sign up for their ''Mail Preference Service'' (same website). bab