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Junk Mail: How to Remove Yourself From the Lists

List: Posted: 11/02/11

Unfortunately, unlike telemarketing, there is no central list that you can sign up for that will remove you from all junk mail solicitation lists.  If you want to get rid of junk mail, a lot of the work is manual and you'll probably be a little bit annoyed to learn that your request will be completely ignored, in almost all cases. 

 

Junk mail is more than a nuisance.  It consumes millions of trees, millions of gallons of water and eats up tax money by forcing municipalities to dispose of it and the post office to deliver it.  For all of this effort, around two percent of the people who receive these mailings actually bother to buy something from any of them. 

 

If you want to remove yourself from junk mail lists, there are a few companies you can contact that represent the biggest nuisances.

The Biggest Junk Mail Lists

Getting off of the biggest lists is the first step in getting rid of junk mail.  You can contact the National Do Not Mail List at DirectMail.com and ask to be removed.  The Direct Marketing Association is the other big organization you'll want to contact.  To add financial insult to injury, they'll charge you a dollar to be removed from junk mail lists and the request only stays in effect for five years. 

 

Unfortunately, be aware that there is no penalty for junk mail marketers that contact you after your name has been removed.

Abacus

Abacus works with magazine and catalog publishing companies.  If you order from a catalog, this organization adds your name to junk mail lists.  Contact them at abacusoptout@epsilon.com to let them know you want nothing to do with their lists.

Sweepstakes

Tired of junk mail that tells you that you may have already won something that you didn’t win?  Publisher's Clearinghouse can be contacted at privacychoices@pchmail.com.  Reader's Digest sticks to doing things by mail.  Get rid of their junk mail sweepstakes solicitations by mailing them at Reader's Digest, PO Box 50005, Prescott AZ, 86301-5005.

Banks

Banks and other financial companies frequently share your information with businesses that use junk mail to market.  They usually have an opt-out option.  Make sure you take advantage of it and let them know that they don't have your approval to share your information.

The Post Office

Have you ever noticed all the advertisements that are inserted into the change of address packages given out by the Post Office?  If not, maybe you'll notice all the junk mail you'll get from those same companies when you move.  Change your address manually and never fill out a permanent change of address with the Post Office.  Do a temporary change and then do the rest of the changes manually with your bank and so forth to avoid being added to any junk mail lists.

Political pamphlets, phone books and other junk mail that is delivered directly to your door or box by unofficial canvassers can be eliminated by putting a "no solicitations" sticker on it.

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