For some years now, we’ve suggested a nuclear option when a company simply will not sending you unwanted mail. It’s called a prohibitory order, and officially intended for when someone sends you smutty material that you didn’t ask for. Junk mail is pretty offensive, though, right? Yet one company was offended when a reader used this option to end a torrent of junk mail.
When an elderly relative broke her hip and was diagnosed with dementia, Jennifer was part of the family crew who arrived to help her out. In her home, they found stacks of junk mail all over the house, posing a threat to the relative’s finances and a fire hazard. All of this mail was redirected to Jennifer, and she decided to fight back and end the torrent of crap.
Her fight against a company sending an advance fee scam started simply enough: she wanted them to stop offering to send back millions of dollars if she sent them five bucks.
The letter that the company received begins like this:
The mailpiece offers to sell matter the addressee has determined to be erotically arousing or sexually provocative. Under 39 USC 3008, the addressee has requested that a Prohibitory Order be issued against you, and your agents or assigns, to protect the addressee (and his or her minor children residing with the addressee, who have not attained their 19th birthday.) A copy of 39 USC 3008 is attached.
Sure, it’s not literally free porn in the mail, but how does the company know that Jennifer or the relative doesn’t have an advance fee fraud fetish? People are into all kinds of things.
“Now, I did get a tingling in my lady parts while I read this mail piece, but I think it was a yeast infection,” Jennifer posted on her blog. “Definitely a byproduct of reading too much junk mail.” Sure. The company responded to her prohibitory order with a letter insisting that her relative was totally not on their mailing lists, but they would remove her anyway. Oh, and they insisted that they don’t send out porn.
Dear Mr. [name],
Our company is in receipt of your complaint filed with the USPS in regard to receiving “erotically arousing or sexually provocative” mail. Please be advised that KHH does not mail material of that kind.
After a thorough investigation of our records it has been determined that your name and address had not been on our mailing data base. However, your name and address has been added to our “do not mail” data base at this time.
If you would like to have your name and address permanently removed from the national data files that serve the direct mailing industry, a letter must be written by you and sent to:
Mail Preference Service
Direct Mailing Association
PO Box 643
Carmel, NY 10512
We, sincerely, hope that this will remedy the situation.
“They seemed to be more upset that I considered them porn than the fact that they are running an advanced fee fraud scam,” Jennifer muses. Well, of course not.
For Jennifer’s detailed guide to slaying junk mail for yourself or a relative, check out her fab blog. It has lots of horrifying photos.