Who Hijacked Our Country

Sunday, November 29, 2009

How to Stop Receiving Junk Mail

I haven’t tried it yet, but this article shows you how to do it.

With all the political polarization and mutual hatred engulfing the nation, here’s something we can all agree on. At least I can’t imagine anybody thinking “Oh shit, this is just a personal letter from a friend. I was hoping it would be a credit card solicitation.”

This isn’t a one stop shop, but there are several phone numbers and online forms which, together, should eliminate most of the 41 pounds of junk mail you’ve been receiving every year. And you’ll save a few trees in the bargain.

Here is the website for getting rid of most discount club ads and trial samples. Or you can call 1-888-241-6760.

To get rid of most insurance and automotive come-ons, go to this site or call 1-877-774-2094.

To get rid of those ubiquitous credit card offers, call 1-888-5 OPTOUT. This is supposed to instruct the three main credit bureaus to stop releasing your information, which will presumably stop the avalanche of pre-approved credit cards. The article also lists the individual websites of the three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

The Direct Marketing Association allows you to opt out of some or all of the catalogues and magazines they offer.

Here is another website for getting rid of the catalogue tsunami.

The article has a few other websites in addition.

The amount of junk mail received in America every year has the same carbon footprint as nine million cars. So do yourself — and the planet — a favor.

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Blogger Lew Scannon said...

Thanks a lot. This will really help me out.

Now can you do something about the bills I get in the mail as well?

November 29, 2009 at 6:59 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

You can do all that, and maybe you should. But don't expect to keep your mailbox empty for long.

You go to your favorite supermarket and notice they discount a whole bunch of stuff, but only if you get one of their "membership" cards. OK, you sign up for the card. You're probably in a hurry to check out and don't notice the fine print, down at the bottom, where it says something like, "By becoming a member and qualifying for discounts, you agree to receive notices of special offers from our corporate cousins and hangers on."

Then, you go on one of your favorite online shopping sites. They offer a chance to win an all-expenses paid trip to the Aleutian Islands, or something. You enter the contest, and down in the fine print there's the same thing.

And it goes on like that. Want to subscribe to Guns & Stuns magazine at 75 percent off the newstand price? Great, just fill out the form, which of course also signs you up for all manner of not only junk mail but probably telemarketing calls as well.

On and on it goes. Sometimes, though, if you're alert and careful there's an opt-out checkbox that is supposed to keep you from getting all the advertising. Which is great, if it works. I've had it go both ways.

Don't mean to be negative about what should be a very helpful suggestion. It's just that advertising and cross-linked promotion are so widespread that you would just about have to sneak off to the Alaskan wilderness, 60 miles off the last paved road, leaving no forwarding address, having no phone and living like a 19th-century mountain man, if you really want to escape the junk mail and telemarketing calls.

As Milton Berle used to say, quoting a line from a corny old movie, "There's no use fighting it; it's bigger than both of us!"

November 29, 2009 at 11:44 PM  
Blogger Holte Ender said...

If everyone stopped the junk mail deliveries, the USPO would be on its knees within days. Another bailout.

November 30, 2009 at 10:15 AM  
Anonymous Bee said...

I fear Holte is right - I'll stick with my junkmail. Besides, occasionally it's fun. Like when before the republican primary, we got a letter from George Bush, complete with an 8x10 photo of him. I drew on the devil horns, Lil'Bee drew spots on his face, I poked a few holes in it, and sent it back with a note saying "Thanks for the lovely photo, we had a wonderful time showing you just what we think of this idiot and all your other idiots." I sent it back in their postage paid envelope, sans the donation card.
Come to think of it, I never got another solicitation from the GOP. Hmm.
I do get emails from John McCain. On his birthday, I sent him email snark-mail. That was fun.
Since we don't use the credit cards anymore, but occasionally and pay them off at the end of the month, we don't get many pre-approval letters anymore.
I also sent back the DNC donation solicitation with a note that once they get themselves under control and grow a set, then I'll consider sending them ten bucks. Junk mail can be a lot of fun.

November 30, 2009 at 10:41 AM  
Anonymous Thomas said...

But I have a wood-fired stove and I need the junk mail to light it. If I didn't have that I might be compelled to by my news in printed-paper form.

November 30, 2009 at 12:37 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SW: True, this won't take effect right away, especially with mailing lists that already have your name. And people would probably have to do a purge like this periodically, or else the flood of catalogs will resume.

Another gimmick is those warranty forms whenever you buy any sort of electronic gizmo. From what I understand, those are purely for personal information and mailing lists.

Lew: If only...

Holte: The Post Office doesn't have enough clout to get a bailout. Bailouts are only for billionaires who don't need the money but since they own Congress, they can order a taxpayer handout whenever they feel like it.

Bee: LOL. I used to do stuff like that with credit card offers. I'd stuff an entire newspaper section into the postage-paid return envelope and send it back to them. Probably didn't accomplish anything but it felt good.

Good response to the DNC. That's what they need to hear.

Thomas: That's one good use for junk mail.

November 30, 2009 at 3:40 PM  
Anonymous Bee said...


I move books in bookstores too. I found a "moon landing hoax conspiracy" book in the science section. I couldn't find the woo-woo UFO section, so I put it in the "Christian Fiction" Section. You should hear what Jess did with the Palin book.

November 30, 2009 at 3:52 PM  
Anonymous Jess said...

Tom thanks for these, I will pass them along in case anyone wants them.

Bee, you gotta sign up for their stuff. I just signed up to the batshit crazy one's to have some juvenile fun when I receive anything. I have Mccain because of our snarky birthday wishes to him, Vitter, Oompa Loompa man and like I said, Bachmann will be next. Hers, I will be getting very creative with.

Kent has a friend that makes art with junk mail so we all get ours and give it to him on a regular basis for recycling.

November 30, 2009 at 3:54 PM  
Blogger jadedj said...

This is great information Tom. But I also am with Bee, to totally eliminate el junko, would deprive me of oh so many rebuttal pleasures. BTW Bee, I too got that insipid Bush portrait. I clipped out the head, photoshopped a voodoo body on it, complete with pins, and sent it back.

November 30, 2009 at 3:58 PM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

Couldn't you simply kill your mail carrier? One well-placed shell takes a lot less time that a series of 1-800 numbers stringing you along through menu after menu.

December 1, 2009 at 7:24 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

jadedj, Jess, Bee: OK, you guys have me convinced. There's too much fun to be had with junk mail. I won't go to those opt-out sites just yet. And maybe I'll save our local mail carrier's job at the same time.

Randal: Good point. Who wants to waste hours sitting through those phone trees because both operators are busy. One bullet please.

December 1, 2009 at 10:29 AM  
Blogger lisa said...

I once got a picture of Obama in the mail and I cut off his head and pasted it on this guys head and mailed it back:


December 1, 2009 at 11:29 AM  
Anonymous Jess said...

Tom, when you send it back they must pay the postage, so load those things up in creative ways that cost. That way they have less to spend getting elected. Vitter, diaper coupons as an example. Boehner just got a shit load of coupons for fake n bake, tan in the can from me. Have to keep that tan up in winter time. Bachmann I will seriously have to thing about hers. I don't know if I can do batshit crazy things, but I am giving it one hell of a try. Moving the books is another one Bee, I do that too. People look at me like I am crazy some days, moving things then ask me where is this that or the other. They probably think I am a stock person.

December 1, 2009 at 12:16 PM  
Blogger lisa said...



December 1, 2009 at 2:01 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Jess: I think I cost those banks a little extra in postage by putting in sections of a newspaper. I'd cram in as much as I could without ripping the envelope. But I could have done more by putting heavy or gross things into the envelope. Next time...

Lisa: Tee hee hee.

December 1, 2009 at 2:39 PM  
Anonymous Jess said...

Lisa said:

A video about zombies then a snarky little, what you mean like democrats. Lisa, if you guys could dig up St Ronnie and stuff him for show, you all would do it in a second so I don't think I would be getting things twisted about dems being zombies. Your biggest one gets trotted out by all on the right on a regular basis.

December 1, 2009 at 5:56 PM  
Anonymous Guss said...

This one was easy. I just got rid of my credit cards. That did away with 98% of the junk mail I received. I still get about 1% from AAA, and 1% other stuff.

December 2, 2009 at 8:08 AM  
Blogger lisa said...

Jess maybe you would like this one better:


December 2, 2009 at 11:27 AM  

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