Princess Cruise Lines Requires Death Certificate To Get Off Junk Mail List

From The Portland Mercury:

“My step-grandfather died four years ago. …one of those cruise lines (Princess Cruises to be exact), still likes to send him mail, which I get for some reason. So after four years of constant junkmail for a deceased member of my family, I thought it was about time to contact Princess and let them know that their intended customer will not be taking a cruise anytime soon.

I did that this morning and they said they’d be happy to remove him from their mailing list, if I faxed over a copy of his death certificate.”

What a disgusting and indifferent policy. If they’re sending stuff in envelopes, may we suggest carefully opening the side of one, slipping some heavy metal ingots inside, sealing it, and then writing RETURN TO SENDER on it. Do that a couple of times, possibly increasing the weight of the package each time and maybe they’ll get the picture. Otherwise, Princess is owned by Carnvial and you could try kicking this up to them.

I Hate You Princess Cruise Lines [Portland Mercury] (Thanks to Gabriel!)
(Photo: Spidra Webster)


Edit Your Comment

  1. vildechaia says:

    Holy shit! Do you realize what someone can DO with a Death Certificate? Hello, identity theft! What morons.

  2. DashTheHand says:

    I’m curious, are they sending them in giant manila envelopes or are bricks much thinner, because I don’t know how you’d fit a brick in an envelope.

  3. SoCalGNX says:

    Since getting off the junk mail lists does not always cure the problem, I like to put lots of advertising material (without any reference to me of course) inside the prepaid envelopes and mail it back. Makes me happy especially when dealing with crappy banks and credit card companies.

  4. magus_melchior says:

    @DashTheHand: I hear duct tape fixes many things, including this.

  5. Jaysyn was banned for: says:


    Ha! I wonder if you just taped a return envelope around a brick if it’d make it back to them?

  6. mcjake says:

    I love the picture. “Free Pre-Paid Cremation!” Looks like I’ve got a new desktop.

  7. That70sHeidi says:

    Pay the 41cents for a stamp, obtain two pinches of fireplace ashes, and send them a very sad letter stating that while you’re not willing to send something as confidential as a death certificate to get off something as silly as a cruise spam mailing list, they’re welcome to take up the matter with what’s left of your step-grandfather. Don’t forget to add “Enclosure” at the end of your letter. :)

  8. Darren666 says:

    @Jaysyn: No. The post office will discard it as obvious abuse of postage-paid envelopes.

    I’d rather stick lots of useless junk into their envelopes… if they use an automated mail reading device that opens the envelopes and scans the contents, stick some crap in there to gunk up their machine.

  9. edrebber says:

    Submit a change of address form for the deceased person at the post office and change the address to the address of Princess Cruise Lines.

  10. Myron says:

    The internet says using the prepaid envelope to mail a brick doesn’t work, but it’s a nice idea.

    Why not just call up and say you are the step-grandfather and ask to be taken off the list?

  11. stanfrombrooklyn says:

    The problem with all these ideas is that you just end up screwing up the day of some person making $10 an hour who works in the mailroom or some other low-level job. And they’re certainly not going to talk to the VP of Marketing or whoever actually has some pull. So you’ve done nothing to stop the problem and just ruined the day of someone that is probably on your side anyway. What’s better is to post to blogs like these and get it picked up by media. Then it will catch someone’s attention.

  12. TheBigLewinski says:

    @SoCalGNX: I do the same thing, I love sending the companies a bunch of other advertising crap, stufing the envelope until it is so full, I have to tape to close the flap. Someone told me that the prepaid mailers are very expensive and adding the additional weight must really run up the cost. F’em, if they can send me their junk they can have my junk in return.

  13. Takkun says:

    @That70sHeidi: @edrebber:

    Those are deliciously evil suggestions.


  14. drkkgt says:

    @That70sHeidi: How funny, wrong, but funny.

    I get mail from WAMU all the time and called once to get off their list (I am not a customer.) They told me I had to send a notarized letter requesting to be removed to which I laughed and told them they could continue to waste their money sending me crap, after all it makes a good kindling for my fireplace.

  15. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    I say put everything in a mainla envelope and send it COD (collectable upon delivery) to the CEO.

  16. chiefbrody2 says:

    File a complaint w/the FTC


  17. Florentine_Pogen says:

    “If they’re sending stuff in envelopes, may we suggest carefully opening the side of one, slipping some heavy metal ingots inside, sealing it, and then writing RETURN TO SENDER on it.”

    This sounds like a excellent way to dispose of some of that lead we’re getting from the Chinese. How many Playskool “My First Lead Smelters” will I need to scrape into the envelope?

  18. Jasmo says:

    The simplest solution to any unwanted mail is to mark it “refused” and leave it for the postperson to pick up the next day.

    From the USPS domestic Mail Manual:

    1.1.3 Refusal After Delivery

    After delivery, an addressee may mark a mailpiece “Refused” and return it within a reasonable time, if the piece or any attachment is not opened. Mail that may not be refused and returned unopened under this provision may be returned to the sender only if it is enclosed in a new envelope or wrapper with a correct address and new postage…

    There’s no need to get all huffy over unwanted mail and “send bricks” or whatever, just keep a pen near (or in) your mailbox and refuse any and all mail that comes in. The companies that send shit out will get the message.

  19. phillipe says:

    If junk mail from a particular sender annoys you there is an official way to get it stopped cold. File a prohibitory order against sender with the USPS [] Note that like to do not call registry it does take 30 days to take effect, and must be renewed every 5 years. But it is supposed to follow you if you move within those 5 years.

    This was originally designed to to halt mailings of sexually oriented advertisements or similar solicitations that they consider “obscene, lascivious, indecent, filthy or vile” however the US Supreme court ruled that “The statue allows the addressee unreviewable discretion to decide whether he wishes to receive any further material from a particular sender” and that “A vendor does not have a constitutional right to send unwanted material into someone’s home, and a mailer’s right to communicate must stop at the mailbox of an unreceptive addressee.” So you can use it stop any junk mailer you wish. []

    Other tips: []

  20. sgtyukon says:

    I recommend forwarding all this mail to the cemetery where the addressee is burried. That’s what I used to do to mail addressed to my parents by the college I attended when I was in my thirties.

  21. jmschn says:

    @Florentine_Pogen: Blame game on the lead is getting old! []

  22. jmschn says:
  23. Bay State Darren says:

    Am I the only one who thought of Ed Rooney demanding to see the dead grandmother’s body in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off when they saw this?

  24. TheSeeker says:

    from World Privacy Forum’s Top Ten Opt Outs

    Deceased Do Not Contact List. By signing up for this list, you will remove the names of deceased individuals from marketing lists.


    Requires a $1.00 fee payable by credit card.

    DMA Do Not Contact Service for Caregivers: For those seeking to remove the names of individuals in their care from commercial marketing lists. []

    Also, I just read today, but can’t find the place, that writing “return to sender” on junk mail does no good.
    The Postal servce does not return third class mail, which is what most junk mail is, they just throw it away.

  25. jtrouch says:

    They are wrong. You may complain to the USPS. That doesn’t usually work however. I like to mail back the entire package in their pre-paid return mailer; it’s fun and cathartic! They are asking for info that may be used to establish a new ID for a stranger. Never do that again, my friend.

  26. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    @Bay State Darren: LOL!!

    “Just roll her old bones on in here, and we’ll produce your daughter for you”

  27. North of 49 says:

    Damn. we just got another Capital One Mastercard mail spam. We can’t even get a credit card and aren’t willing to spend 60$ annually for the priviledge of being charged 29%APR on a secured card.

    Then again, we don’t want a credit card. Makes identity theft that much easier.

  28. SeattleGuy says:

    No, using a pre-paid envelope will not work to mail a brick. But it will work to mail 1.5 ounces of paper waste. I have had incredible luck with junk-mail by using the following process:

    1. Carefully open original envelope.
    2. With RED sharpie write No Thank You across the top of the tear off portion.
    3. I’ve started writing “Please remove me from this mailing list and all supplemental lists!’ as well.
    4. Insert EVERYTHING that they sent you (Including the original outer envelope) into the return envelope.
    5. Add a few sheets of something else. I like to add a sheet or two of the ValuPac coupons. The object here is to get an envelope that is more than 1 ounce. (And how can they bitch about my attempting to interest them in a local oil change or lube job?)
    6. Mail envelope the next day.

    The reason for all of this is that I’ve been told that the ‘pre-paid’ return envelopes are not pre-paid at all. What happens is that company pays against their USPS account when the envelope arrives at the destination post office. And they pay a premium for overweight articles.

    Hitting them in the wallet has certainly worked for me. My junk-mail count is single digits each week. Although that is a recent increase due to a new magazine subscription. I’ll get that back down to manageable levels within a month or so.

  29. WNW says:


    Like a waffle?

  30. royal72 says:

    congratulations princess/carnvial/holland america cruise lines for being complete cunt pumps and insuring i will not be cruising anywhere with you… ironically, my fiance and i have been talking about a nice week long cruise to mexico around january. would you care to wager if we’ll be cruising with you?

  31. Bay State Darren says:

    @pinkbunnyslippers: Thanx for the LOL. It absolutely made my day.

  32. EvilConsumer says:

    I make a habit of sending used sanitary pads to any company that sends me a prepaid envelope.

  33. marsneedsrabbits says:

    I can only imagine how agonizingly painful this is. I’m so sorry.
    To have to prove to some jerk-ass at Carnival that my beloved relative is dead is simply beyond the pale.
    Don’t write “Return to sender”. Write “Refused”. It seemed to work when I had to do it for an ex-roommate who refused to do it himself because he didn’t want the bills. They stopped within a few months.
    And Carnival/Princess? You suck. I would never vacation with such a horrible company.

  34. wildfire991 says:

    I guess I’m the only one who kind of understands the merchant’s point of view on this. After all, would you want a company to allow just anyone to call up and halt your mail just by claiming that you died? (Though honestly, only corporate HQ would presume receiving useless ads are a “right” that nobody would want interfered with.)

  35. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    @Bay State Darren: hahaha well it was totally awesome. And I completely thought the same thing and you beat me to it. Thanks for making MY day!

  36. JAYEONE says:

    Thanks to you people on this post I am now looking forward to my junk mail on Monday! (rubbing hands together, laughing evil laugh)

  37. Joules says:

    I hate the way companies are about this kind of stuff. When I was young I had a bank call and ask for my mother. She was dead, and all the calls were really making it hard for me. So I told them she was in the cemetary. The lady yelled at me! Told me that no one had informed them and that we should have done so immediately… Personal loss doesn’t seem to matter.