Updated: 6/28/2003

Recent News:
Have you heard about the Federal Trade Commission's recent progress? It seems it will offer at least some relief from those annoying telemarketing calls. Finally, the government has recognized it as a pestilence. To register your number to be included in the "Do Not Call" list, go to www.donotcall.gov. But, remember the non-profit organizations may still call. Not only that, but I wonder how many claims to "non-profit" organization will be made, in an attempt to bypass the FTC's ruling and imposed penalties. Also, when you register, realize that you will have to re-register after 5 years have passed. That's something I don't understand. Why not have them eliminate the nuisance once and for all? But, if that's the best the Government can do, so be it.

OK, the above covers how to get some of your privacy back into your life, where it belongs. It was a total surprise to me, that it was handled on the Federal level. Thanks FTC !
Now, the following addresses the junk mail you get at home, and the steps to take, in trying to eliminate most, or hopefully all of it:

Stopping That Unwanted Junk Mail
or at least slowing it down

Doesn't it seem to you that you've been receiving more and more junk mail, letters, advertisements, promotional CDs, etc., each day at your home's mail box?

How did they find out about your address anyway?
You likely don't spend much time worrying about that, as you figure they could "get it from anywhere", right ?

Well, definitely worry the next time you are at the mall, and you see that they are raffling off some new car, parked right inside the mall, with an entry form stand, with a sign saying to the effect of:


Before you rush over to fill out 10 entry forms and dumping them into the box, just stop and think about this whole thing. No one is out to give away a free car, especially with how the economy is now. Why would any company feel obligated to do such a kind thing ? The answer is they don't, so they won't.

For one, the car manufacturer doesn't make the car for free, plus they spend millions advertising it on TV, having to pay trucking company contracts untold numbers to deliver the car across the country to the various dealers, who get a further cut. And now, they expect you to believe that you have a chance to get the car entirely free (except for taxes) ?

But the offer sounds so good. It sounds good, because it is meant to feed upon something we all have in common: the wish that something valuable will come our way, for free. No doubt many have the same false hope whenever they go to play the state lottery. It's all geared to get your mailing info: home address, telephone number, etc. If you think about it, it's the greatest collection source for mass mail marketers, telemarketing companies, and the like. Everyone would like a brand-new, free car.

They use you to get your address
So don't fall for it. Even if someone does win the car, is it ever you, or even someone you know? If I had a dollar to bet, I'd bet that if I asked 100 people at random, that not one of them would personally know of someone that won the car at the mall, by having filled out the entry slip. Think about it.

That's just one way of getting you to fork over your mailing information. When you do, you're forking over the privilege of having your mailbox stuffed with all kinds of unwanted junk, because you were unfairly enticed.

How to begin putting a stop to it all:
There are a couple of companies to whom you can write, and ask to have your name removed from the database where most 'legal' telemarketing and mass mailing companies are registered. There are other companies that may have received your address from other sources (like from the car raffle above). That will explain why it may not stop all the unwanted mail you receive at home. Some companies don't care until you contact the company and complain enough, which also helps. But to save you the aggravation, follow these steps:

Write to these two companies, providing your mailing address. Explain that you want your information removed from all their databases. Then wait. You should start seeing a drastic decrease in the amount of junk mail you've received. It's OK, it works, somewhat. As much as I hate unwanted mail, I went ahead and submitted my address to both of the two following addresses, and believe it or not - I have noticed a decrease in the amount of unwanted mail sent.

Mail Preference Service
Direct Marketing Association
P.O. Box 9008
Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008
Director of List Maintenance
Advo Inc.
One Univac Lane
Windsor, CT 06095-0755

Both of those addresses are included in the Excel spreadsheet, downloadable right from this page, so you can track your progress, on the simple spreadsheet file. Use it to your advantage. If you are a saavy Excel user, modify it to your heart's content. In short, whatever you download from this page is yours.

The spreadsheet is only to serve as a tracking device for your own interest, and nothing on this page is meant to slam or slander any entity, including the United States Postal Service.

But let's face it, If someone offers the Post Office 37 44 to send a letter (or whatever discount businesses get these days), do you think the USPS is going to come to the aid of the home resident who complains of too much junk mail? OR, do you think the USPS will continue to send the junk mail, because of some company that can waste 44 ?

In my opinion, the answer to that would be "in favor of the business". And I never expect the Postal Service to come to the aid of private residents, other than providing the Farmingdale, or Windsor addresses.

But then again, you have to ask for it. It's not like they post it out in the open, next to the mug-shots. If writing to the addresses works for you as well as it did for me, that's great. But keep in mind that you may begin to receive it again, after a year or two (so I'm told), so you may need to write them again. But still, isn't it great to know you can finally control it ? I'm sure the postman would appreciate knowing that he's not carrying around mostly junk mail. And if everyone wrote to have their names removed, the important mail would likely get through faster. (Theoretically then, the phone systems would experience the same benefit, if junk email and telemarketing calls were eliminated).

But this is all in regards to your residential address mail delivery.

This message is not meant to slam any company that produces a relevant product or service, and is not targeted against any company whatsoever. The intent is to provide simple instructions in support of those who can't stand to get so much unsolicited mail, and to let them know there is some way out of that.

1st Step - Save your junk mail !

Don't throw away anymore junk mail. That's right. Keep it all for a month or two. Make sure you've accumulated all the unwanted mail. After all, it's how you're going to make sure it stops. Ads, brochures and whatever often come with 1-800 numbers or addresses. But, don't trust the addresses. They may just be P.O. Boxes and who knows what they do with that mail. That P.O. box may just be emptied and trashed, as the company expects requests to stop mail, at that P.O. box. So, look for a 1-800 number on the unwanted mail, and save your 37 postage (it's a rip-off, anyway, I think). So, call the 1-800 #, and request to be taken off the mailing list. Make a notation on the unwanted mail that you called the company. Wait for another month to see if you get it again.

2nd Step - Write to the two addresses above

Now ! Write to those 2 addresses above and see. Different people may get different results. But if you don't do it now, the world may never know by how much it's landfills could have been reduced.

Writing to them may sometimes not be enough Though writing to those 2 addresses to request removal may result in freeing your mailbox space considerably, there may be times where nothing will work except direct contact with the company.

Do not be discouraged! That's why it's most efficient to write the two addresses above and see how much junk mail is actually eliminated, before you try the next steps.

3rd Step - Direct Contact with the offending company

If you saved your junk mail from the first month, as suggested from above, and it's now let's say 2 or 3 months later, compare the amount you now get with what you saved from that first month. By this time, you should have tried calling the 1-800 #s, if supplied on any of the advertisements. Remember, try to get corporate information, which will list the headquarters, if you need to mail your stop requests. Their P.O. Box addresses are not worth your 37 44. Doing a web search on corporate headquarters may help, but I wouldn't submit such a request via email.

Credit Card Advertisements
It seems just as many companies are soliciting you to sign up for this or that credit card. When it comes to those companies, the rules above apply, but you may need to contact a few other addresses. At least one of which will mail you a form to fill out for address removal requests, and then to mail it back.

For those companies, download the following Word Document, which as far as I know is free of viruses. NEVER TRUST such a document from ANYONE, if you don't have an up-to-date virus checker on the computer which you intend to open the document.

To open the list, click this link: Stopmail.doc

Junk Mail Tracker (right-click on me and select 'Save Target As' from the menu, if you want to save the Excel spreadsheet file onto your hard drive. This file should open with NO macros enabled. If you open the file, and it prompts you with some message regarding macros, STOP and DELETE the file Immediately. Otherwise, you're OK :)

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