Reduce Junk Mail for the Holidays

Reduce Your Junk Mail in Time for the Holidays

If you are frustrated by all the junk mail that you receive and just throw away, here is a two step remedy which will help reduce your unwanted mail and spare a few trees. The two biggest sources of junk mail are from catalogs and credit card pre-approvals.

Credit Card Opt-Out
Run by the credit card industry, this service will reduce the pre-approvals you receive by about 80% after a few months. It’s mandatory for the large issuers to purchase this list.

DMA’s Mail Preference Service
All large catalog mailers must update their records against this opt-out list every few months and add you to their do not mail list if your name is included. Remember to do this for each person living at your address. Registration lasts five years.

You can see more tips like this at the Bobby’s Best Tips and Tricks Page

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4 Responses to Reduce Junk Mail for the Holidays

  1. Jack Nelson says:

    There is a little-advertised means of stopping unwanted postal advertisements from reaching your mailbox. It is a law, and it is under the authority of the United States Postal Service (USPS).

    Use of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) preference services to opt out of mailings is somewhat successful but not all advertisers belong to the DMA. Many of these nonmembers are the ignoble companies that you want to eliminate the most. Too, the DMA preference list is a blanket application. The mail customer may not want to stop all advertisements, just certain, select pieces of commercial advertising. The DMA also charges $1.00 for this service whereas critics say this service should be free.

    Nearly all advertisements are third class/Standard Mail – also called “bulk mail.” By law, the Postal Service “disposes of” (translation: trashes) all unwanted third class mail – now called “Standard Mail (A)” – that you mark “refused” or “return to sender.” So, if you want to be eco-friendly, this method is not an option.

    Here’s a method of stopping unwanted direct mail advertisements from entering your mailbox – and it’s environmentally correct. All the information can be found on the internet but it is hard to find in one place. Don’t look in any postal regulation as you won’t find it there – as it applies to normal direct mail.

    The procedure is the only method I can find for stopping unwanted mail at its source where you are not required to pay money other than postage, you don’t have to join a club, it is selective in nature, and it is 99.999 percent effective.

    Federal law (Title 39 USC § 3008), states that if a postal addressee who receives an unsolicited advertisement offering for sale matter that, in the addressee’s sole discretion, is “erotically arousing or sexually provocative,” may, by completing PS Form 1500, obtain a prohibitory order from the Postal Service (USPS) directing the mailer of the advertisement to refrain from mailing further material to that addressee.

    The key phrase is “…in the addressee’s sole discretion…” For example, if a pizza advertisement or a pre-approved credit card offer strikes you as sexually provocative, you can use the Prohibitory Order process to stop the mailings.

    Should the mailer continue sending mail after receiving the USPS Prohibitory Order, the USPS turns the matter over to the United States Department of Justice for prosecution.

    While the law was originally intended for sexually explicit, the U.S. Supreme Court, in its decision – Rowan vs. U.S. Post Office Department, 397 U.S. 728 (1970) – ruled that the law under Title 39 USC § 4009 (now 39 USC § 3008) includes ALL unwanted commercial mail. Thus, Form 1500 is no longer used just for sexually explicit or provocative mail – although it still reads as such.

    Unfortunately, because the law and Prohibitory Order process are still difficult to grasp by many citizens, there is need for more detailed guidance.

    Nevertheless, do not be intimidated by the instructions, the form or the law.

    If you receive unwanted advertisements and you no longer want to receive them, simply click below, print out the form and instructions, fill in the form, and mail it to the U. S. Postal Service at the address shown below – along with the advertisement.

    Do not be confused by the letter’s wording – it all relates to sexual mail that you decided you did not want. Just think of your unwanted advertisements as sexually explicit mail.

    Obtain PS Form 1500 and the instructions for completion here:

    Action Steps:

    1. Open the advertising envelope or wrapper (if there is one), take out all the contents and attach everything to the form. The USPS WILL NOT accept unopened envelopes or wrappers. Put all this into another envelope.

    2. Make sure you put an “X” in Block 1. and write your initials next to Block 1. In the middle of the form put the mailer’s name and address on the three lines indicated.

    3. Send your completed PS Form 1500 and material directly to:

    Pricing and Classification Service Center
    US Postal Service
    PO Box 1500
    New York NY 10008-1500
    Tel. 212-330-5300 FAX: 212-330-5330

    Don’t give the form to your postmaster as that office will only send it to the above address.

    4. Mark your calendar about 15 days out from the date you mail your form. If you do not receive a response by the date you expect to receive it, start squawking. Call/FAX the above number.

    5. If you don’t get prompt service from these folks, report this directly to the Postmaster General at:

    Postmaster General
    U.S. Postal Service
    475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW
    Washington, DC 20260-1000
    Tel. 202-268-2020 FAX: 202-268-5211

    6. The Postal Service gives the company a grace period of 30 days to stop sending you mail. If you receive mail after that (experience confirms you won’t), open it and write on the envelope and its contents a statement that you received it and the date of receipt. For example, “I received this mailpiece on December 14, 2007.” Apply your signature below your statement. Include a photocopy of your prohibitory order, if possible, or a notation of the order number and send the mailpiece to the address noted in paragraph 2., above.

  2. Tommy L. says:

    I was wondering if you allow advertising on this site – because I’d be interested in talking to you!

  3. James Calfee says:

    Thanks for the info … I have to go to the next step. AT&T refuses to stop mailing me. I have turned them in over 10 times. I even have a letter from the classification center that says they turned it over to the judge. Months went by and this weekend: another mail piece.

    This piece of mail came from a different department and was addressed a bit differently. I think it still qualifies because it is from the same corporation. I’m about to file that with the classification center AGAIN and this time write the Postmaster General. Do you recommend anything different?

    I would urge everyone to do this with AT&T. The flat out refuse mail removal requests.

  4. Mary says:

    First, I was receiving AT&T postal mail solicitations addressed to a woman that used to live at my address, but has not lived there for over 3 years. I assume this woman had or has an account with AT&T because I do not have an AT&T account. I called the toll free number on the mailing and asked for the mailings to stop and was told it was taken care of. Instead, I am now receiving mailings to Current Resident at my address. I called the toll free number again and asked for the mailings to stop, but was told I had to provide my phone number. I do not have a land line, and my cell phone is with a different provider, not AT&T. I refused to disclose my cell phone number, so I was asked for my name. I did not provide my name, explaining that the solicitations were addressed to Current Resident. I was told by the AT&T representative that they could not stop the mailings without either a phone number or a name. I asked to speak to supervisor and was told that they were all in a meeting (sounded like a lie to me) and that if I gave my phone number they would call me back. Again, I am not comfortable disclosing my cell phone number, so I ended the call.

    I did several hours of digging on the internet looking for answers and advice. I searched through the privacy policy at AT& and ended up calling this number: 1-800-331-0500. The woman I spoke to gave me two options. I could either submit my information online or write to an Opt Out address. So here’s the info:

    AT&T Opt Out Request
    5565 Glen Ridge Connector
    Suite 1230C
    Atlanta, GA 30342-4756

    I chose to use the online form. You have the option of leaving boxes blank, such as your phone number and email address. I also was able to enter “Current Resident” for the name instead of my name.

    It took me 3 phone calls and over an hour of digging on the internet to get this information. Spread the word!

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