How to Deal with Junk Mail and Junk Calls
- Offers of credit: Write "Please
remove my name and address from your mailing list" on
the credit application near your name and address or attach
a sticker stating your wishes. Then put the application
in the prepaid return envelope and mail it. It costs
the credit company 71 cents to receive it. Another
useful tool is the opt-out telephone number: (888) 5-OPT
OUT or (888) 567-8688.
- Junk mail: Write to the Mail Preference
Service, Direct Marketing Association (DMA), P.O. Box
9008, Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008. Ask DMA to remove
your name from all mailing lists maintained by its members. There
is no charge to contact DMA by mail. Be sure to include
the most common misspellings of your first and last names you
have seen on things addressed to your place. Do include "resident" as
well. DMA will get rid of about 80 percent of your
junk advertising and will do so for five years. It will
cost you about $5.00 to use the Web site for this purpose - www.the-dma.org/consumers.offmailinglist.html.
- Catalogs: You can call catalog companies
on their 800 numbers to remove your name from their lists. You
might receive a few more catalogs before they quit mailing
to you because the addressing is done months in advance. Keep
a catalog cover for each company in a file folder with the
date you contacted the company to get off the list so that
you don't call the same company twice.
- Warranty Registration and Contests: When
you enter a contest or mail a warranty card you get on multiple
mailing lists. It is not necessary to send in warranty
cards except for possible product recalls.
- Charities: Avoid giving to charities
that solicit you. When you give to any charity attach
a note stating that you give only once a year and that you
do not want to be solicited for donations more often. Also
state that you do not want your name and address shared with
any other group. Tell the charity that if it cannot honor
your wishes, it should immediately return your check.
- Established charge accounts: Anytime
you buy anything by mail or open a charge account, attach a
note--or at least a Post-It note--to your bill stating that
you do not want to receive advertising mail from this company
or any other it is affiliated with. You can also do the
same with accounts you have already established. You
can even get Macy's to stop mailing their advertising
flyers if you just ask.
- Junk telephone calls: Write the Direct
Marketing Association (DMA), P.O. Box 9014, Farmingdale, NY 11735-9014. There
is no charge to contact DMA by mail. The Web site is
it will cost you about $5.00 to use it. California residents
can register their home telephone numbers on a "Do not
call" list for free. The Web site is http://nocall.doj.state.ca.us/.
- Junk e-mail: Use the Internet to get
off commercial e-mail lists at– www.e-mps.org/en. Choose "Consumer." Never
respond to spam. If you try to get off an e-mail list
by responding to a message you don't want, you let the
advertiser know that your address is good. Block
and delete or at least delete messages without opening them
since they could carry a computer virus. Install anti-spam
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