Saturday, June 05, 2004

Getting Rid of Junk Mail

How To Get Off Those Junk Mail, Email, Telemarketing, And Prescreened Credit Card Marketing Lists!

Here's how to put a dent in the endless flow of unwanted material from direct marketers, telemarketers, unsolicited commercial e-mailers and credit grantors.

The Direct Mail Association operates the Mail Preference Service which maintains a file of individuals who "do not want mail." Send your first and last name, complete street address, city, state and zip code on a postcard or in a letter - a separate card or letter for each person who receives mail at your address, including every version of that person's name as it appears on the junk mail to:

Mail Preference Service
PO Box 643
Carmel NY 10502

Your name will stay on the "do not mail" list for five years. If you move, you must register your new address with the Mail Preference Service.

The Direct Mail Association also maintains a Telephone Preference Service which allows you to opt out of national telemarketing lists. Send your first and last name, complete street address, city, state, zip code and telephone number including area code to:

Telephone Preference Service
PO Box 643
Carmel NY 10502

In about three months you should begin to notice fewer calls from national telemarketers. This applies to national lists only and is not likely to stop local telemarketers.

The Direct Mail Association also maintains an E-Mail Preference Service which collects email addresses of consumers who want to opt out of national email lists owned and operated by DMA member firms. You can submit three email addresses at a time online at:

To prevent your name from showing up on most prescreened credit marketing lists, call toll free: 800-353-0809 or 888-567-8688. This is a four-minute automated call. You must give your Social Security number, name and address. In a week or two you will receive a follow-up letter. You may also opt out for your minor children.

Registration will help to reduce the volume of junk you're getting from national marketing organizations. You will, however, continue to receive mail from non-DMA marketers, local merchants, professional and alumni associations, political candidates and mail addressed to "occupant." You must contact these senders directly.

The following companies also provide services that help you to stop unwanted mail. Send a note that says, "Please take my name off all marketing lists." Include your name, address, social security number, date of birth and a signature. You should see a reduction in unrequested mail in 60 -90 days.

Experian Consumer Opt Out
701 Experian Parkway
Allen TC 75013

Equifax Options
PO Box 740123
Atlanta GA 30374-0123

Trans Union LLC's Removal Option
PO Box 97328
Jackson MS 39288-7328

You can also register up to three phone numbers at a time with the Federal Do Not Call Registry or call or call toll-free, 1-888-382-1222 (TTY 1-866-290-4236), from the number you wish to register. Registration is free.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Do Not Call Program can be reached Call toll-free (866) 231-CALL (2255). This automated system is also available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Or you may print out a registration form and mail it to the following address:

Massachusetts Do Not Call Program
c/o GovConnect
50 Federal Street
Boston, MA 02110

When writing, you must include your name, address, and phone number.

Note that when you fill out a new application, enter a sweepstakes or order something from a mail order catalog, you automatically "opt back in" and your junk mail will start up again in earnest!

It is unlikely you will ever stop all junk completely, but hopefully these measures will help you to at least keep most of it under control.



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