Follow Up on Boston Globe Article

- wadE

Since being mentioned in today's Boston Globe, we've gotten several email inquires about the article I wrote a couple years ago about junk mail.

The response has been quite positive, so thank you for taking the time to write and to come to our website.

Some additional information on what you can do to limit the amount of junk in your mailbox can be found here.

Stop What You Are Currently Getting:
STEP 1: Call or write each company directly and tell them to remove your name from their mailing list. This is the quickest method to stop mail you are already receiving. Include a sample of the mailing label so the sender can identify how you are listed in their files. Sign and date letter. Most catalogs provide an 800 telephone number for placing an order, call this number and ask to be taken off of their mailing list.

STEP 2: First class mail or mail that says "Address Correction Requested" or "Return Postage Guaranteed" can be returned unopened by writing "Refused- Return to Sender." Other junkmail returned by this method will only be thrown away by the post office so the sender will never get the message.

Ok, I'm sure all of us have plenty of time to call these companies up, wait on hold, talk to someone who will take the next 20 minutes trying to talk you out of not getting their mail or try to talk you into buying something, then finally get transferred to the department that actually handles this sort of thing, to only be put on hold/berated over the phone by another person.

But if you do have the time and patience, this is the best thing to do. It may take a few months for the information to go through the proper channels, but eventually you'll see a reduction in your junk mail.

If you're like most people and don't have the time, but you are the type of person that would feel guilty for opening the mail and using their return envelopes with no intention of actually purchasing anything, then I would recommend Step 2.

However, quite a bit of the junk mail that comes is not first class, and does not specify "Address Correction Requested" or "Return Postage Guaranteed"; and what about catalogs, and other mail that can't be returned? What do you do then?

It's awfully tempting to still go ahead and put "Return To Sender" on the mail and toss it right back. "Grumble...grumble... Let the do-nothings down at the Post Office deal with it!" But not all Post Offices recycle, so before you do that, think about recycling. Yeah, it's a hassle, but better than tossing them in the trash.

It's a battle, but if we stick together and hit 'em where it hurts (i.e. the pocketbook) we can prevail!

- 12/20/2004

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