junk mail

It's Illegal To Stick Unstamped Flyers In Mailboxes, But The Post Office Doesn't Care

It's Illegal To Stick Unstamped Flyers In Mailboxes, But The Post Office Doesn't Care

Section 1725 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code prohibits placing mailable materials like circulars and sales bills with unpaid postage in mailboxes with intent to avoid payment of postage. That means that the Chinese menus and offers for cheap lube jobs that end up in your mailbox might have been placed there illegally. One reader whose mailbox was clogged with this junk contacted the USPS to report the businesses. Her story, and the post office’s ambivalence, inside.

BBB Complaint Gets Dell To Pledge To Stop Sending Catalogs

BBB Complaint Gets Dell To Pledge To Stop Sending Catalogs

Can Dell Stop Itself From Sending Me Catalogs?

Can Dell Stop Itself From Sending Me Catalogs?

Dell, for the love of God, stop sending me catalogs! They are annoying and unwanted, not to mention, useless. If I want to buy something from you, I’ll go online. I’ve filled out your online forms asking you to stop. I’ve asked over the phone. Three different Dell executives have been in email contact with me pledging that they would investigate the mystery of why Dell is addicted to sending me catalogs. I’ve burnt them. I’ve recycled them. They continue to arrive. In my previous post on this, someone mentioned they got Dell to stop after filing a BBB complaint. Here’s where you go to make one online. I just filed one, my first ever BBB complaint (Dell, see what you made me do?). It took less than 5 minutes.

If You Love Junk Mail, Visit The Direct Marketing Association's Advocacy Website "MailMovesAmerica.org"

If You Love Junk Mail, Visit The Direct Marketing Association's Advocacy Website "MailMovesAmerica.org"

Did you know that “advertising mail is under threat?” It’s true! But what can you, the consumer who loves junk mail, do to stop the 15 states that, in 2007, “proposed the creation of state Do Not Mail registries, similar to the national do not call registry”? The Direct Marketing Association has set up a website just for you!

Dell Celebrates Earth Day By Sending Me Junk Mail After I Said Stop

Dell Celebrates Earth Day By Sending Me Junk Mail After I Said Stop

Despite my repeated requests via online form and phone, and even a few posts about it, including one where I made a photo spread of burning the offending items, Dell keeps sending me catalogs. So here is another post for the online pillory, but, in celebration of Earth Day, instead of burning these catalogs, I have recycled them (see above). Their inability/indifference is all the more stupid because two different Dell execs contacted me to say they would look into the issue. They even had me email them the cryptograms on my address label to help remove me from their mailing system. Dell, please, help me save the planet and take me off your stupid catalog lists. Otherwise I guess I’ll just have to deem your material “pornographic” (hey, I know it when I see it, right?) and use USPS form 1500 to get you stop. When you decided to get people to lust after your XPS line, that probably isn’t what you had in mind.

Citibank Uses Sneaky Way To Keep Sending You Junk Mail Even After You "Opt Out"

Citibank Uses Sneaky Way To Keep Sending You Junk Mail Even After You "Opt Out"

After he continued to receive mailings for months from his bank after he thought he opted out of their mailings, reader Perre asked Citibank if they had honored his request. They said, “yes you’re opted out of Balance Transfer offers and Cash Convenience Checks.” Then he cleverly thought to ask which mailing lists he was still opted in. Citibank told him he was still on “Sales and Marketing” and “Third Party Sharing.” They explained this by saying when you call to opt-out, they only take you off “in-statement offers.” We’re not sure what that means, it sounds like they’re just agreeing to not put additional marketing offers in your billing statement envelope, which is definitely not what any normal person would have in mind when they call to opt-out. Sneaky. When you call a company to opt-out of their mailings, be sure to also ask which lists you’re opted in, and then ask to get off those as well.

8 Ways To Opt Out Of Junk Mail Lists

8 Ways To Opt Out Of Junk Mail Lists

Direct mailers don’t believe in the concept of opting in, so if you want to cut down on the amount of straight-to-the-trash mail you receive, you’ll need to contact them directly and request that your name is removed. ForestEthics—the group behind the Do Not Mail Registry petition we blogged about earlier, has gathered several ways to contact the offending parties.

Dell Won't Stop Sending Me Catalogs So I'm Burning Them

Dell Won't Stop Sending Me Catalogs So I'm Burning Them

Even though I have asked them several times and waited several months, Dell won’t stop sending me catalogs, so I’m burning them. Every other company that sends me catalogs that I’ve requested to be removed from their mailing list has done it. I have called customer service on two different occasions and requested to be removed. I have gone to the special website on the back of the catalogs and requested to be removed. I have done this for both the sets of names and addresses they have on file for me. They don’t care. I tried to be nice but obviously that doesn’t work. So burn, baby, burn. It may not stop the mailings, but I felt better afterwards. Another image of Dell catalog immolation, inside…

"Do Not Mail" Junk Mail Registry Called For By Green Group

"Do Not Mail" Junk Mail Registry Called For By Green Group

ForestEthics has started a petition to enact a Do Not Mail registry, similar to the one that’s sort of in effect (when marketers choose to abide by it) for telemarketing. Their reasoning: junk mail is enormously wasteful and damaging to the environment. We agree, but we’re in favor of the registry for the simple reason that less junk mail means fewer uninvited distractions, ID theft risks, and trash we’d have to deal with every day.

Comcast Apologizes For $2 Charge, Says It Will Make Sure CSRs Don't Do That Anymore

Comcast Apologizes For $2 Charge, Says It Will Make Sure CSRs Don't Do That Anymore

After we posted yesterday about Ian’s surprise $1.99 fee for asking Comcast to stop mailing him junk mail, a Comcast rep contacted Ian and apologized for the confusion, explaining that the fee is real but “it is not for changing marketing preferences.” Read his full email after the jump.

Comcast Will Charge You $2 To Stop Sending You Junk Mail

Comcast Will Charge You $2 To Stop Sending You Junk Mail

We don’t mean to influence the “Worst Company In America” voting, but check this out: if you call Comcast and ask them to stop sending you anything other than your bill, they’ll agree but quietly slap you with a $1.99 “change of service” fee. Like most made-up, totally indefensible fees from cable and cell phone companies, Ian found that a chat with a customer service agent can get the fee removed. Update: Comcast has responded to this and apologized for the fee.

WaMu Doesn't Know How To Deal With Potentially Fraudulent Account?

WaMu Doesn't Know How To Deal With Potentially Fraudulent Account?

A reader writes in to tell us about “the world of suck I encountered at WaMu” over some wrong personal data. A year and a half ago, she started receiving Washington Mutual account mail—including overdraft and collection notices—for someone named Ly Ly V____ at her address. “I’ve lived at my home for 11 years, and have no neighbors with that name.”

Opting Out Of Junk Mail Now Free

Opting Out Of Junk Mail Now Free

Opting out from the junk mailings will no longer have the onerous cost of $1; the Direct Marketing Association is now offering to not bother you, free of charge! It will, however, require entering a credit card number for identity verification purposes. How nice, we’re no longer being assessed a fee to regain the privacy that was taken away from us. DMA has also added a way to opt-out of the mailings of just certain stores, in case there’s places you like getting promotional material in the mail from.

AT&T Will Not Leave You Alone At Your Non-Existent Address

AT&T Will Not Leave You Alone At Your Non-Existent Address

Poor Dustin. AT&T won’t stop sending him junk mail at the wrong address. Sounds impossible, but one should never be too quick to judge with AT&T.

Get Off Catalog Lists For Free

Get Off Catalog Lists For Free

It’s annoying to have a bunch of useless catalogs cramming up your inbox, and they waste a lot of paper too. Now there’s a new, free, site that will get you off all the catalog mailing lists. It’s called Catalog Choice, an initiative endorsed by the the National Wildlife Federation and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Just sign up, fill in your address, and the customer number printed on the catalogs’ address label. The site’s staff then take care of contacting the catalog senders and getting off their mailing lists. Pretty much the easiest, fastest, and cheapest way to get rid of unwanted catalogs that we’ve ever heard of.

Update: Getting Off Mailing Lists Is Fun

Update: Getting Off Mailing Lists Is Fun

I’m happy to report that four months after requesting to get off the mailing lists for DELL (update: just got another catalog from Dell. Bastards!), Movies Unlimited, Tempurpedic, Guitar Center, New School, and my dentist’s office, they’ve all complied. Yesterday I requested to get off Macy’s and LL Bean. Still need to get off Harry & David, Banana Republic, and Old Navy. Out of the blue, I’ve also been getting these mailing address labels sent to me by various charities and other random unexpected pieces of junk mail where before I got none. I’m sure my creditors appreciate my checks arriving with the return address splayed on a picturesque snowman scene. I think when I signed up for a free cologne sample is how I got on the lists. Pretty stupid and I should’ve known better, but I thought it was going to be a whole bottle. It ended up being just a piece of scented paper. I resubmitted my name to the Direct Marketing Association’s Do Not Mail list (it costs $1), which stops thousands of companies from junk mailing you.

UPDATE: Taping Pre-Paid Business Reply Envelopes To Packages Does Not Work

UPDATE: Taping Pre-Paid Business Reply Envelopes To Packages Does Not Work

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.

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Circular Delivery Guys Are An Unstoppable Force

Circular Delivery Guys Are An Unstoppable Force

Every two weeks everyone on my block gets a bag full of coupons. It’s a bit annoying and certainly a waste of trees. I kick them right to the curb for recycling. One time I even tracked down the company and asked for them to stop delivering to building. They said, oh yeah sure, it may take a few weeks, but we’ll take you off the list. The coupons have never stopped.