How to Get Off Junk Mail Lists

How to Get Off Junk Mail Lists. It's one of the biggest pet peeves of nearly everyone with a mailing address: junk mail! Not only does it irritate the recipient, junk mail also wastes valuable resources and becomes a beast that takes on a life of its own. There is a way to end the torment of junk mail.

Register for a list. It may sound counterintuitive, but by contacting the Direct Marketing Association's Mail Preference Service, you are putting yourself on a "Do Not Mail" list for their members. It does cost $1, but that will be a buck well spent.

Make some calls and send out letters. For those advertisements that usually come as flyers, or in bulk mailings packaged together, look for the contact information from the sender. This type of junk mail is normally sent to "Resident" or "Occupant." Most catalogs have websites or toll-free numbers. Request to be taken off their mailing lists.

Stop credit offers. These offers come when you are lumped into a category that the credit company likes and are often preapproved. Contact the three major credit bureaus and request to be taken off their mailing lists.

Become unlisted in the phone book. If you do not wish to incur a monthly fee, ask that the phone company list only your name and phone number, leaving out your address.

Opt out when you can. All of your credit cards or any other companies or organizations you are associated with should have an option on their bill or website that will keep your information private. If not, enclose a note with your correspondence asking to be taken off any mailing lists they are associated with.

Beware of entries, registrations, contests and surveys. Each time you enter one of these, it's likely that they will hand over your information to their affiliates.

Pay someone to get your name off those junk mail lists. If time is a concern for you, there are organizations that promise to reduce unwanted mailings for a fee. Green Dimes (see Resources below), whose focus is on how junk mail affects our environment, will plant a tree every month for every member they have. Green or not, there are several companies out there to choose from to help get your name off those lists.


  • You must reregister with Direct Marketing Association and the Mail Preference Service every 5 years: Mail Preference Service, Direct Marketing Association, P.O. Box 643, Carmel, New York, 10512. It may take several weeks to be taken off mailing lists, so be patient and keep track of who you have contacted. Report any noncompliant companies. For sexually explicit mailings, the post office has a form that will stop these. Visit your local post office and ask for form 1500, or you can download instructions and the form online (see Resources below). Many consumers confuse new product registrations with warranty registration. Most often a card is not required to make a warranty effective; it is implied with the purchase.


  • Although these steps are designed to get you off those lists, there is no sure-fire way to eliminate all advertisements from arriving at your door.


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