How to Stop Junk Mail
Tired of having your mailbox filled with unsolicited ads, preapproved credit card applications, magazine offers, or charitable requests? The average American spends 8 months of their lives opening junk mail. The good news is there are ways to cut down on how much unsolicited mail you get.
- View the company website. Find its mailing/contact us section to follow the procedures to unsubscribe. Contact the service department if an unsubscribe web link or mailing address is unavailable.
- Respond to inserts in your billing statement regarding the Privacy Act. Companies periodically include these to inform consumers of their rights.
- Reply directly to the company or organization. If the unsolicited mail has a pre-paid return envelope, write a note politely asking the company or organization to stop sending correspondence.
- Save time by eliminating your name from as many mailing lists as possible at once. To decide what types of mail you do and do not want from marketers, register at the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) consumer website DMAchoice.org, and choose mail you want to get. DMAchoice will stop most, but not all, promotional mail. You will have to pay a $4 administrative processing fee, and your registration will last for 10 years.
If you do not have online access, register by sending your name and address (with signature), along with a $5 processing fee payable to the Association of National Advertisers to:DMAchoiceConsumer PreferencesP.O. Box 900Cos Cob, CT 06807
The site also offers the no-cost option to stop mail from being sent to someone who’s deceased. There are not fees required for this service. Death verification information is not required.
- In addition, the three major credit-reporting services (Equifax, Experian, & TransUnion) also offer a name removal option for prescreened offers. OptOutPrescreen.com (1-888-567-8688) is the official website to accept and process requests from consumers to opt-out of firm offers of credit or insurance. Opting out prevents the Consumer Credit Reporting Companies from providing your credit file information for Firm Offers.
- Other ways to cut back on physical mail is to sign up for electronic communication, bills, and statements from businesses such as financial institutions, banks, utility companies, credit cards, health insurance, Medicare, or company catalogs and special offers.
Be patient, it will take time for the volume to decrease and remember, not all junk mail can be stopped.