Monday, August 11, 2008

Junk Mail

I spend about 10 minutes daily going through junk mail.   I made a New Year's resolution long ago to go through our mail every day. A resolution that actually stuck.  

That means every year I waste about 6 hours of my life, per year, going through the mail.  

I'd like those 6 hours back.  And the paper waste makes me cringe.  Even in our bills there are loads of unread flyers and newsletters.  Who cares about the "T-Mobile Scoop" anyway?  Yet the mail keeps coming.

Here's a headline:

I'm looking into the following junk mail reduction services (I'll always choose the free version):

Has anyone tried a junk mail reduction service?  What are your thoughts on your junk mail situation?


Peter Edstrom said...

Back in 2000, I sent a generic letter to 6 organizations (not sure if they are still valid, but see below for addresses) requesting that they put me on their do not mail, do not call, and do not email lists. I also followed up aggressively with every single advertiser afterwords.

It took a year, and multiple "i'll contact the BBB if you don't listen" letters, but we don't get hardly any junk mail now. Days will actually go by where the mailbox stays entirely empty.

Worst offender: Our mail carrier, who gives us the val-pack ads even though they don't have a delivery card saying they are to give them to us. I've complained twice, but have all but given up on them. USPS is not a reliable entity in this neighborhood.

Worst lists to get off of: Orlando Tourism Office and some whirlpool company in the Twin Cities. I think we were on those lists from the previous home owner. I had to actually send the Better Business Bureau letters on both accounts.


Direct Marketing Association
Telephone Preference Service
ps box 9014
Farmingdale, ny 11735-9014

Mail Preference Service
c/o Direct Marketing Association
po box 9008
Farmingdale, ny 11735-9008

Acxiom corporation
1 Information Way
Little Rock, AR 72203

Consumer Services Dept
901 W. Bond
Lincoln, NE 68521

378 Vintage Park Dr
Foster City, CA 94404

Polk Co.
Opt-Out Program List Order Services
1621 18th St
Denver, CO 80202

Anonymous said...

I recall a few years back I was bombarded almost daily with catalogs from a (shall remain nameless because I don't remember which one it was) company. Despite my repeated requests to remove me from their mailing list, the catalogs continued to appear in my mailbox. In a desperate act I returned the back cover containing my name and address, crossed out my info and wrote in big letters: 'DECEASED'--and that was the end of that company's catalogs! Alas, they've been replaced by others--all unsolicited. But as we know, it seems once you order something from one company you're fair game for many others.

Dan Estabrook said...

I write the blog at GreenDimes (, and I've used both our service and that of ProQuo. (Of course I am bias towards GreenDimes). Both the free services will work if you take time to do all the required steps for each mailer. A critical part of the process is catlaog elimination. We actually have thousands in our database and removal is mostly automatic with the GD free service (haven't used catalog service at ProQuo yet).

Let me know if you have questions!

Margotb said...

I am the co-owner of and we have been using our own service for over 7 years. We first started, like Peter, trying to do it our selves and it is tedious trying to remember the companies you already sent stops to so we decided that doing it online would be much simpler. We do not get very much junk mail anymore, only the catalogs we like, plus we have had a lot of success in stopping marketing materials from our own accounts at banks, etc... You can opt out of those without affecting the status of your account and a lot of consumers don't know this. The ones I hate the most are the checks the banks send you to encourage you to spend more money you don't have! Services are effective if used consistantly, make sure you opt out of the unwanted catalogs for each person in the household who receives them and take a close look at the account and codes on the address label, these may be different and need to both be stopped.

Anonymous said...

Interestingly enough, I have gotten my junk mail down to zero without using any service at all. (I did sign up for the Do Not Call list, but not sure that did mail or not) O.k., well maybe a piece here or there comes in, but it is not an exaggeration to say that I only get about 4-5 single pieces of mail a MONTH...and one of those is the only bill that doesn't yet have online billing. I spend 6 seconds a month looking at what comes in! As for bills & financial things, I am all electronic with all statements & bill paying being online. I had any catalogs stopped by asking and never got a store credit card which starts that racket. Any piece that arrived that I didn't know where it came from, I looked them up and called to be taken off. In my case, this took less than 6 months to establish all on my own. It is possible I am some rare case, but I found it simple to do on my own.

Striving Green said...

Great comments all! Thanks for the advice. I'm excited to begin my quest to reduce our junk mail.