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Stop Junk Mail

After much research and too much junk mail being thrown into the recycle bin, I decided to put together this website hoping to sort of meld all the information I got from researching the web, making calls, and asking questions. I hope these things will help you and guarantee that if you follow some simple steps, you can also reduce the amount of junk mail you receive establishing yourself as close as possible to becoming junk mail free.

Direct Marketing Companies

In order to cut to the chase I will list some junk mail (direct marketing) companies that may include you in their databases and give their contact information so you can let them know you want no more junk mail! Really, contacting these people is the best thing you can do to reduce getting junk mail. There are companies that charge a small fee to do this for you, but its fairly easy to do and stops you from having to yet again, give out your infomation and put your trust in someone else not to sell it to other junk mail hounds.

These junk mail companies get your information anytime you sign up for a sweepstakes, donate money, fill out product warranty cards, etc. Anytime you do anything that requires you give out your name and address, rest assured it is being sold to some junk mail company. Bummer, but true. So when filling out this information be sure to:

  1. Assert that it is necessary to give out your name
  2. Clearly let them know you are not interested in receiving any junk mail from anyone. Period.

Just a note: Forget about contacting the USPS. They promote direct marketing and will not help you unless you are getting unwanted sexually oriented garbage see the tips at the end of this page. The USPS is effectively bankrupt so it's really only direct mail offerings that keep them as solvent as they are; which is why they're not terribly inclined to get you off any list.

If you are already on many lists--like I was--here is a guide to getting off of them and who these junk mail companies are.

First contact DMA by sending a postcard requesting that they stop sending junk mail from companies you have never ordered anything from. Include your name, address and request to "activate the preference service". This will stop junk mail from those companies with whom you've never done business. This will stop the junk mail and solicitations from these companies for up to five years.

Your name will be put on a "delete" file that is updated four times a year--January, April, July, and October--and made available to direct-mail and telephone marketers. Two to three months after your name is entered into file, solicitations you receive should decrease. However, your registration will not stop mailings or calls from organizations not registered with the DMA's Mail and Telephone Preference Services.

The Worst Offenders

Work from this list and you'll see the amount of junk mail drop by about 80%.

DMA Mail Preference Service
PO Box 9008
Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008

They also have the same service for telemarketers. Write them at this address:

Telephone Preference Service
PO Box 1559
Carmel, NY 10512

If you still like getting coupons and offers but don't want your mailbox stuffed you, several coupon sites offer promotioncodes by mail. Sites like Promotion Code and Keycode offer codes by email programs. There's a full list of coupon sites here. Some places like Red Plum and Valpak actually can just switch your print coupon offers over to online versions if you provide your email address.

America Online: what a total waste; fortunately they've nearly gone out of business but there was a time when you couldn't open your mailbox without one of their installation CDs in there. If you're still getting them call 1-800-827-6364 (6am-2am EST) and demand to be taken off of the list.

Magazines - look up the 800 number and ask them to take you off of their list.

Credit card offers: You can call all of these companies directly or call an opt-out number that generally takes care of most of them.

*1-888-567-8688 or 1-888-5OPTOUT

This will remove you from Trans Union, Equifax, Innovis, and Experian. The individual contact information is:

Attn: Name Removal
PO Box 97328
Jackson, MS 39288-7328

Attn: Opt Out
PO Box 105873
Atlanta, GA 30348

Attn: Consumer Assistance
P.O. Box 1358
Columbus, OH 43216-1358

Attn: Opt Out
701 Experian Parkway
Allen, TX 75013

Other companies that are members of trade associations that send junk mail, and qualify as direct marketing companies are:

Acxiom CORP.
Attn: Opt Out
PO Box 2000
Conway, AR 72033-2000
American Business information inc.
Attn: Product Quality
PO Box 27347
Omaha, NE 68127
Publishing Clearinghouse Sweepstakes
101 Channel Dr
Port Washington, NY 11050
1-800-453-0272 (fax)
Donnelly Marketing, inc
Attn: Data Base Operations
PO Box 3502
Ames, iA 50010-3502
American Family Sweetpstakes
American Family Publishers
PO Box 62000
Tampa, FL 33662
Readers Digest Sweepstakes
Readers Digest Rd.
Pleasantville NY 10570
The Polk Company
Attn: Opt Out
26955 Northwestern Hwy
Southfield, MI 48034-8455
PO Box 1478
Broomfield, CO 80038
Haines and Company, inc.
Criss-Cross Directory
Attn: Director of Data Processing
8050 Freedom Ave
NW Canton, OH 44720

Attn: Consumer Assistance
PO Box 249
Windsor, CT 06095

VAL-PAK Coupons
1661 Worchester Rd
Framingham, MA 01701

Dealing with the USPS

Now that you're battle-tested there is ONE thing you can do to stop junk mail by contacting the USPS. There is a form called 1500 which can be obtained from SOME Post Offices. If yours does not have it available, request that you receive one and they should oblige. You can also download it here OR you can check it out from our downloads page. This form allows you to request that a certain company not send any more mail to your address. The catch is that it should only be used to stop explicit or pornographic material, however YOU are the deciding factor when labeling something as such. So theoretically, you can request that whatever company you want to obey your request as stated in this form and after it has been processed, you should not receive mail from them again. On form 1500 it is the option to issue "prohibitory order against sender of pandering advertisement in the mails." So, look for that, send it in, and you're one step closer to being junk mail free!

General Junk Mail Tips

When giving your information always request these companies do not give away or "rent" your name to other companies. Almost always, companies will give your information to other companies of the same interest for a small fee. Phone books are a sure way for people to find you. If you are not interested in having an unlisted number ask that your address not be published. this should take care of some of the junk mail. Remember that any time you give out your name, for charity or warranty cards or whatever- you are almost always putting yourself on some list that will get sold over and over to companies that send junk mail. Always politely ask that your information stay private and not sold to junk mail lists.