Waste Prevention World
You Can Reduce Unwanted Mail
How do I get off of mailing lists?
To reduce the amount of junk mail coming to your home, do these three things:
Register with the Direct Marketing Association's mail
Direct Marketing Association (DMA) Mail Preference Service (MPS) can be used to remove your name from some junk mailing lists. There are two ways to register for the MPS:
- Submit information online.
- Fill in, print, and mail a form to DMA, along with a check or money order for $1.00.
Register with Valassis every five years, and whenever you move.
Valassis’ website states they are a national top 10 direct mail printer, delivering 10 billion US media impressions annually, and 15,000 advertiser relationships worldwide. There are two ways to remove your name and address from the Valassis list for five years, or whenever you move:
- Fill out the Valassis web form.
- Call Valassis’ Consumer Assistance Line toll-free at 1-800-437-0479.
Register with Catalog Choice to reduce unwanted catalog mailings.
Catalog Choice provides a free service that reduces duplicate and unsolicited catalog mailings. Consumers list undesired catalogs, and businesses receive the list. Use the online form to remove your name from the catalog mailing lists.
Other Things You Can Do
- Return junk mail stamped "address correction requested" or "return postage
Return junk mail unopened to the sender by writing "Refused. Return to sender." on the envelope. Without this special notation; the post office will not return the mail to the sender.
- Call mail order catalog companies.
Most catalogs provide an 800 telephone number for placing an order; call this number and ask to be taken off their mailing list.
- Contact specific organizations or businesses.
If you receive unwanted flyers or mail, call the customer service department of the organization or business responsible and request that your name be removed from their mailing list. Alternatively, send in a written request that is signed and dated. Include a sample of he mailing label so the sender can identify how you are listed in their files.
- Contact credit bureaus.
Credit bureaus may sell names and addresses to banks and credit card companies. You can now contact Equifax, Trans Union, and Experian by calling a single toll-free number: (888) 5-OPT-OUT or (888) 567-8688. There is also a fourth credit reporting agency, Innovis, which receives this information.
- Don't forget to recycle the junk mail you do receive.
- Stopping Unsolicited Mail, Phone Calls, and Email--Federal Trade Commission
- Reduce Junk Mail--Kings County Solid Waste Division (Washington)
- Junk Mail Reduction--City of Palo Alto
- Business Junk Mail Reduction Project--National Waste Prevention Coalition
- Do-it-yourself: Stop junk mail, email and phone calls--A free guide to reducing unwanted or intrusive advertising.
- Reduce Junk Mail--Utility Consumers' Action Network
- Privacy Rights Clearinghouse--Take action to control your personal information.