Yesterday we told you that one way to get back at junk mailers is to tape their business reply envelopes (BRE) to heavy boxes and send them back, but it turns out this doesn’t work. It used to, up until the mid-90′s you could apparently tape a BRE to a coffin and the Post Office would mail it. Now, BRE’s can only be used the way junk mailers want them to be used, for the conduct of junk-mail related transactions.
The rule is covered under the official Post Office Domestic Mail Manual code 8.4.6, “BRM may not be used for any purpose other than that intended by the permit holder, even when postage is affixed. In cases where a BRM card or letter is used improperly as a label, the USPS treats the item as waste.”
Basically, assuming the Post Office is paying attention and cares, the only thing you’re going to be hurting by taping a BRE to a box of bricks is your Postman’s back and the environment. While you’re sitting at home cackling and stroking your mustache, they’re throwing your crap away.
Instead, sign up to opt out of most junk mail at optoutprescreen.com, write or call places who send you junk mail and ask to get off, and never give out your real address unless necessary. You can still, of course, fill the BRE back up with junk mail and send it back. Or thin metal files.