Keep Our Families Safe
‘Do Not Call’? Here Comes ‘Do Not Mail’
Unwanted credit card offers. Solicitations from groups and organizations you have never heard of. Magazines and samples of products mysteriously come through your mail slot.
In the hands of children, and even some adults, all of this can spell trouble. And it is all because of junk mail.
Thankfully, there are a number of ways that we can stem the flow of junk mail into our homes.
The consumer group, Private Citizen, suggested bundling all of your junk mail together and taking it back to your local post office labeled “refused.” The post office would then be required take it back and discard it or return it to the sender.
For those who do not want to penalize the postal service for the bad actions of these direct mail companies, the Business Reply Envelope provides other options. Stuffing your received mail into the reply envelope and sending it back, or an angrily worded message placed in the envelope are just two alternatives.
However, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), which represents 4,700 direct marketers around the world, maintains a ‘do not mail’ list. Registering with the list will drastically reduce the amount of junk mail that you receive because member companies take advantage of it to save costs by trimming uninterested consumers from their mailing lists.
According to the DMA, however, it may take as long as three months for such a request to take effect. In addition, the list is not permanent. You need to re-register every five years.
An organization called Junkbusters also provides a number of tips on how to cut down on junk mail:
- Tell the Direct Marketing Association you don't want unsolicited mail from their member companies.
- When dealing with a company or charity that knows your address, tell them specifically to not rent or share you name, address, or any other personal information.
- Tell companies that sell mailing lists not to include your name.
- If you are really annoyed with solicitations mailed to you by any company, you can issue a ‘prohibitory order’ (available from your local post office) against them. If they continue to send you their junk, they risk being prosecuted.
To get on the ‘do not mail’ list, write to: Mail Preference Service, Direct Marketing Association, P.O. Box 643, Carmel, NY 10512-0643. You should include your name, address, and telephone number and clearly state that you do not want to receive direct mail or unsolicited telephone calls.