Monday, November 12, 2007

Stop Junk Mail by going online

I used to spend an extra five to ten minutes a day sorting through junk mail. That doesn't sound like much, but it adds up and as regular readers of my blog know, I have a lot on my plate without filling it with junk mail.

The standard advice is to pay $1 to get the Direct Marketing Association to remove your address online.

But then all the rest of the advice I read involves writing. Not so! You can do a lot of online.

To remove your name from random offers of credit and insurance for five years or permanently. If you want it to be permanent, you have to sign and mail something in, but that's one time.

A company or charity that you have already done business with is free to send you mail at any time and also to sell your name unless you tell them otherwise. But do you need to write? No! Go to the organization's web site and scroll down to the bottom of their site. Usually in tiny letters at the bottom, you'll see a Privacy link. That link will reveal pages of legalese and usually an email address where you can email to be taken off their mail list.

For organizations I like, I say email only. For organizations that I don't like, take me off your lists. For all organizations, put me on your do not call list and do not share my information with any other organization even affiliates of your organization.

This takes about five minutes to ten minutes per organization depending on how hard their web site is to navigate and how fast you type. However IME each organization sends a piece of email once a month. So it's time saved in the end. Also you're saving trees in that the company is not printing paper to send to you and the US mail is not transporting that mail to you.

2 comments:

Sam's mom said...

I've got my catalogs down to almost zero by calling each one's 800 customer service number and asking to not receive catalogs. It only takes a few minutes for each one, and I've done them piecemeal as they arrived.

The service reps are *very* happy to take you off the distribution list. I had no flack at all.

The only advice I could offer is to keep a list of companies you've called, because it takes a cycle for them to get you out of the system, and typically one more catalog comes before they stop. But, if you've got a list, you'll know who you've already called.

But, even if you call some of them twice, they're still nice. It's their job! ;-)

Anonymous said...

I been using www.MyJunkTree.com to help stop unwanted paper junk mail from my mailbox. It provides me with one central location at which I can stop the junk mail and solicitations from more than 1300 catalogs and over 5000 charity/nonprofit organizations, credit card companies, major banks, and data brokers, as well as stopping phone directories. This green site also will plant trees with each new membership. A great site!