How Can I Make The Newspaper Stop When I Don't Subscribe?

We know that the newspaper industry is suffering. Subscribers are fleeing, ad revenue is down, and things are generally dark and terrible. However, this does not mean that it is a good idea to throw sacks of junk mail on the lawns of people who won’t subscribe to your paper. It will not endear you to them. We’re looking at you, Baltimore Sun.

Jonathan is one such non-subscriber. He writes that he continues to do battle with the Sun’s circulation department…all for nothing.

I’m not sure how it works in other cities or with other newspapers, but the Baltimore Sun has a nasty habit of delivering what they call “Sun Plus” to anyone who doesn’t subscribe to the newspaper. Sun Plus comes in a standard newspaper bag and is essentially a single sheet of newsprint wrapped around a stack of ads and flyers. They deliver it on a seemingly random basis and not on any set schedule.

The sheet of newsprint does contain instructions for unsubscribing. We’ve lived in our house for six years and I’ve probably unsubscribed 15-20 times. I’ve tried both options listed – phone and email – to no avail. Last time I emailed, I got a very nice note back from Sun employee B. saying, “Thank you for your email. We apologize for the delay. I will add you address to our do not deliver list. The carrier will be notified of your request.”

One week later, it was delivered again. I can’t seem to get The Sun to stop throwing their trash on my yard. If I drove up and threw a bunch of papers onto my neighbor’s yard it would be called littering. What makes this any different and how do I get it to stop? While it is annoying, I fear that when we go out of town they will pile up and make it obvious that we’re not home. It’s not like I can just call and suspend my service like a normal subscriber. Any thoughts?

Since a newspaper is, at its core, just a device to deliver ads to readers’ eyeballs, it makes sense to cut out the actual content and just throw ads at people’s doors in newspaper bags.

My thought is that a lazy paper carrier may be to blame–instead of looking at the list, they may simply be giving a Sun Plus to every house that doesn’t get a paper.

Any ideas? Have you successfully made your local fishwrap stop delivering unwanted ads? Share your secrets in the comments.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.