Peak & Prairie
June / July 1999
by Mary Romano,
Lifestyles Education Committee
How to Reduce Junk Mail and Telephone Solicitations
We are all concerned about the flow of junk mail to our homes. The following practices have reduced telephone solicitations to almost zero and cut junk mail by about 90 percent.
The idea is to notify organizations, businesses, credit card, mortgage and insurance companies, magazine vendors, utilities, doctors and government agencies not to give your name to anyone and not to solicit you further. Include a note in bill payments, organization renewals and the like once a year. The note says:
ďDo not sell or give our names and address to anyone. Send us only bills for the products and services we receive from your company. Do not solicit us by mail, phone, or email for anything else from your company. Do not send us catalogs or any form of advertisement.Ē
Steps for Reducing Mail and Phone Solicitations
1) When you move, do not to fill out a Post Office change of address card; notify people and companies individually instead. If you do fill out the form, check the temporary box (indicate the move is for 364 days, not 365). Your mail will be forwarded but your name will not go into the national change of address system. Lists of names from permanent address changes are not sold, but they are given to anyone who sends in your old address and wants a correction. If you received unwanted mail at your old address, a permanent change of address card will ensure that you get unwanted mail at the new address.
2) Call 888-567-8688 to request the four main credit bureaus to remove your name from the mailing lists they sell. It will have no affect on your credit status. Your request is good for two years.
3) Write the Mail Preference Service, Direct Marketing Association, P.O. Box 9008, Farmingdale, New York, 11735-9008, to have your name removed from mass market lists. You will notice a considerable reduction in junk mail. Be sure to include the names (and common misspellings) of all household members. Your request must be renewed every five years.
4) Write the Telephone Preference Service, Direct Marketing Association, P.O. Box 9014, Farmingdale, New York, 11735-9014, and request that your name be removed from all telephone lists.
5) Do not fill out warranty cards. Most warranty cards are used to sell other products or they are sold to other companies. If you do fill out the card, be sure to include your note telling them not to give out your name.
6) Do not register on line with your name, address, or email address, unless the registration form has a place for you to indicate that your name is not to be given to anyone and that you are not to be solicited. Do not register your email address with any kind of on-line listing service.
7) Donít just hang up on telephone solicitors and donít just throw away junk mail. Tell the telephone solicitor to remove your name from all lists. Many junk mail pieces contain a return postage paid envelope. Put a big X through your name, tell the company to remove your name from their mailing list and mail all of the junk that they sent you back to them. Ask them how they got your name.
8) Whenever you contribute money or pay your membership or renewal dues to an organization, tell them not to sell or give out your name. You can save more waste by telling them not to send you a thank you note or membership card.
9) Request businesses and organizations to correspond with you, bill you, and notify you of renewals via email.
10) Individual companies and mass marketers also get your name when friends buy you gifts. As soon as you receive a gift directly from a company, notify the company that they should not solicit you or give out your name.
11) Tell all state and federal agencies you deal with not to give out your name. Tell your motor vehicle bureau not to give out your name. In Colorado fill out the Request for Confidentiality of Records form at the motor vehicle bureau.
12) Write your state and federal representatives urging legislation to curb junk mail and telephone solicitations.
Sources of On-line Information
June 1999 Online Newsletter - Peak & Prairie Home Page - Rocky Mountain Chapter Home Page