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Junk Mail Reduction
Why you receive unwanted mail
Each time you order something by mail or telephone, subscribe to a publication, enter a sweepstakes or donate to a charity, chances are your name will be added to a mailing list.
In order to cut down on the amount of junk mail you receive, you will need to prevent your name form being traded, rented or sold. This page will help you do just that.
Be patient. It may take three to six months to see the results of your actions. However, your time and effort are well worth a reduction in the amount of unwanted mail you receive.
You can also visit www.stopjunkmail.org for simple instructions.
Stop unwanted mail before it starts
This year Americans will receive almost two million tons of unwanted mail. This unsolicited material, such as advertisements and catalogs, will waste 62 million trees and 25 billion gallons of water.
Recycling unwanted mail helps, but it is only a short-term solution. You can, however, reduce your unwanted mail before it starts. This page is designed to help you reduce your daily dose of unwanted mail, whether you want to stop all of it, or just a few items.
Remember, you can recycle your unwanted mail in your gray recycling cart at your house or apartment.
Steps to Stop Unwanted Mail
1. Call or write companies that send you unwanted mail
You may enjoy some direct mail, but still want to cut down. Selectively remove your name from mailing lists. Call or write those companies directly which send you catalogs or mail you don't want to receive. Many have toll-free numbers. Whenever you order a product by mail, simply inform the company that you don't want them to sell or rent your name and address to any other organization.
2. Return to Sender- Take advantage of Return Postage Paid
Some junk mail may be stamped with "Return Postage Guaranteed." In this case you can simply return it unopened by writing on the envelope "refused - return to sender." Be sure to include that message or the Post Office will not return the mail.
If your unwanted mail comes with a return postage paid envelope or postcard, use it to send a note requesting that your name be deleted from their mailing list. Be sure to include their mailing label.
If your unwanted mail is not stamped "Return Postage Guaranteed" and does not have first-class postage, don't write "refused - return to sender." The Post Office will not return the mail.
3. Ask your credit card company not to sell or trade your name
If you're tired of credit card or other financial offers, you should call or write to the customer service office for each credit card you own. Ask them not to sell, trade or lend your name and address to any organizations for mailing purposes.
Credit bureaus may also sell your name, address and credit history to potential lenders, banks and credit card companies. You can write to the following credit bureaus and ask to be removed from their direct marketing lists.
Equifax Marketing Decisions Systems Inc
PO Box 740123
Atlanta GA 30374-0123
Corporate Name Removal Option
555 West Adams St
Chicago IL 60661
|Experion (formerly TRW)|
Attn: Mail Preference Service
701 TRW Pkwy
Allen TX 75002
You can also use the web site www.optoutprescreen.com to opt out from receiving firm offers from the credit reporting agencies for five years.
4. Stop unwanted packets of ads, coupons and product samples
You can write to the following companies and request that your address be removed from their mailing lists. You will often find a postcard accompanying these mailings that will tell you the name of the company. Note: Your address is usually the only information that appears on these mailings. They are often addressed to "occupant" or "resident."
|Carol Wright Gifts|
PO Box 8502
Lincoln NE 68544
Circulation c/o Pennysaver
2830 Orbiter St.
Brea, CA 92821
List Order Dept
8605 Largo Lakes Dr
Largo, FL 33773
5. Too many catalogs? Call the company and have your name taken off their list
If you're getting unwanted or duplicate catalogs, the quickest and easiest way to stop delivery is to call each catalog's 800 number and request your name be taken off the mailing list. If you prefer, you may also write the catalog company. Be sure to include the mailing label from the catalog, or copy your address information and any customer codes from the label exactly as it appears. This will ensure the speediest response to your request.
6. Get your name off national lists
List brokers make it their business to sell mailing lists to organizations and businesses. Contact the Mail Preference Service at the Direct Marketing Association at www.dmaconsumers.org or write to them at the address below, and ask that your name be placed in a "delete file." This will remove your name from many mailing lists. Once in the delete file, your name will remain for five years.
You may also write to the other four national list brokers listed below. Please make sure you include your name and address in all the ways they appear on your unwanted mail. And be patient, it may take months for your request to take effect.
|Direct Marketing Association|
Mail Preference Service
P.O. Box 282
Carmel, NY 10512
|First Data Solutions|
1235 N Ave
Nevada IA 50201-1419
100 Paragon Dr
Montvale NJ 07645-0419
|The Polk Company|
26955 Northwestern Hwy
Southfield MI 48034
901 West Bond
Lincoln NE 68521
7. Know the truth about warranty cards
To be covered by a warranty, it's not necessary to complete and return a warranty card. Their main purpose is to keep the consumer informed about product recalls. You can return the card for that reason, but you need only include your name, address and product serial number. Also, you should write on the card, "Do not sell or trade my name." Write to The Polk Company to be removed from mailing lists created by warranty card information
The Polk Company
List Order Dept
1621 18th St
Denver CO 80202
8. Post Office change of address cards
The U.S. Postal Service makes money by selling the information from change of address cards to private businesses. This is how national list brokers, credit bureaus and others may get your name in the first place. As an alternative solution, you may send out your own postcards announcing your new address to those whose mail you wish to receive. You can also ask the post office to hold your mail for pick up until everyone knows your address.