As often in this world, it will take you some energy to fight the system, but if we all do it, we might get results. As to this day, I am practically free of junk mail myself - the one that keeps inundating the house is my husband's (hi, honey!). Let's make it at least useful by using it as an example of how to fight it.
STEP 0: NEVER EVER GIVE YOUR CONTACT INFO TO COMPANIES IF IT IS NOT ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY
Whenever someone or some form asks you for your address and email, SSN, birthdate, etc., take the 1 minute it takes to question it. Why do they need your private info? In most cases you have the right to refuse, and only give what is necessary.
Also, always be on the lookout to uncheck the box "I accept to receive promotional offers, etc". online.
STEP 1: OPT-OUT OF CREDIT CARD OFFERS (valid for the USA)
This took care of most financial junk mail for me.
Go this website:
or do it by phone:
Important thing to know: Complaint Desk checked out www.optoutprescreen.com and "found, buried in the fine print, that Social Security numbers and birth dates are not required.
- Online, simply leave the number and dates off the opt-out form
- By phone, ignore prompts for the number or date and eventually the computer operator continues without it."
for more info:
STEP 2: ACCUMULATE & SEE WHO YOU ARE DEALING WITH
- Get a box
- Put in there all the junk mail you receive for a few weeks
- Take an hour one morning and set aside all the senders to whom you willingly gave your contact info - for example your alma mater, clothing brands you naively gave all your information to at the cashier, a local theater or a journal you subscribed to, a charity you're donating to, etc.
STEP3: CALL & ASK TO BE PLACED ON THE NO MAIL LIST
This works for known senders mentionned above.
Here is a downloadable template (lettersize) to make things easier for you:
Companies who work by purchasing people's private information lists from big data brokers are more tricky - if you call the pizza company to complain, you're likely to just speak to a powerless employee whose boss doesn't even know who the parent company purchased the direct mailing list from. One thing you can try is call the highest up possible (headquarters).
Apparently some websites also offer to find these larger sources for you and protect your address. I tested these out today, we'll see how efficient they are:
DMA Choice (supposedly takes care of 80% of marketing mail in the US)
If any of you guys have tried them, your feedback would be greatly appreciated.
WORD OF THE DAY
This is tedious but is worth the extra-time (few hours vs. 8 months, remember ;)
While waiting for the stuff to stop pouring in, you can always collect the perfectly new and usable business reply enveloppes contained in the junk mail.