Junk Mail is a common problem for everyone. Every time you see your full mailbox you think about the junk mails or unwanted catalogs and products advertising which are useless for you. Every week you find pounds of junk mails in your mailbox and you find yourself helpless. You think that you can’t do anything in it. I remember that some time ago I went for a vacation for a week and when I came back I found a pile of catalogs, product advertising and credit card offers. They were completely useless for me. You too must receive a pile of these type of useless papers everyday. About a couple of months ago US Postal Service has changed their rule for marketers by easing restrictions. Now it is easy for the marketers to advertise their products and services through mail. You are going to suffer because now you will find more garbage in your mailbox. It is said that this is for the benefits of smaller businesses. It will reduce the cost for smaller businesses.
It is reported that an average American receives 41 Pounds of Spam Mail or Junk Mail per year. About 45% of this junk mail is useless for people. These useless mails are not good for our environment also because it ends up in a landfill. A huge amount of paper is wasted and about 100 million trees are used to create pulpwood for paper products. Not only this, about $320 Million is used to dispose the junk mails. You can imagine now how bad this is for us and for the environment. Because of these junk mails my mailbox overflows and whenever I am not at home for some days, it affects very badly because I find my important mails get soaked in rain. I was frustrated but I came to know about the methods to get rid of these junk mails. I will tell you so many methods to do this step-by-step. But firstly understand what Junk Mail is and how it works. So let’s directly jump to it.
What Junk Mail is and How it Works :-
What is Junk Mail :-
Everyday you find so many mails in your mailbox and many of them are useless for you. These useless mails may be catalogs, advertising of any product or credit card offers. These mails are of no use for most of the people. These are called Junk Mails. Owners and marketers of small businesses send these mails for the promotion of their products and services. But it is another thing that how we look towards it. Most of the people want to stop junk mail service because they know that it is completely useless thing for them and it may be possible because it is the time of online service and banking. In today’s world if you want to buy anything then you can purchase it with only few clicks. So for these type of people this is completely useless thing. Now you understand what is junk mail and this is the time to tell you about how it works.
How it Works :-
United States Postal Service (USPS) is not anyone’s friend when it comes to Junk Mail. It makes significant revenue by promoting it. It made so many changes in last few months and now it is easier to send any Junk mail to you because of these changes. These changes are good for smaller businesses. The owner or marketer of these businesses send you the promotional mails to you. Now the question is how they get your mail address? It is a very simple process. You are on someone else’s database and so many companies purchase this database for their promotions. On the other side Post Office helps these bulk mailers for a small fee. Bulk mailers make a list to send mails to every address in a area and post office helps them to complete their list but they give only the addresses not the name or anything else.
This way junk mails work. I hope I made it clear for you. If you too want that no junk mail would be there in your mailbox whenever you open it then you can follow some methods given below. So follow the methods listed below.
Read More :- How to Hold Mail on USPS
How to Stop Junk Mail :-
You can pick up any method or way, it’s totally up to you. Some of the methods helped me a lot and you can try them. So have a look on the ways to get rid of junk mails.
1. Stop Unwanted Mailers :-
By stopping Unwanted mailers you can get rid of this problem. Just follow some steps given below –
(i). By writing to the mail preference service (US) or the Mailing preference service (UK) :- You can write to the Mail preference service (US) or to the mailing preference service (UK) to opt out your name from the major mailing list. It is called do-not-mail list. These do-not-mail list are maintained by major marketing associates and these marketing associates distribute the major mailing list. It is a very good working method. The United States (US) mail preference service will cost you $1 for this but you can do it for free by using their online form but it is absolutely free to write Mailing Preference service (UK).
(ii). By avoiding placing your address on surveys, raffles, and product warranty cards :- By avoiding placing your address on surveys, product warranty cards and raffles you can opt out junk mail. It’s not necessary to send in warranty cards or register a warranty for the warranty to be valid, regardless of what the card may imply. You can also write something like this “Please do not sell or distribute my information, nor add to mailing lists” alongside with the address or phone number if it is necessary to write. It will surely help you because if you write this type of indication to the surveys or product warranty cards, they won’t add you to the mailing list or pass your information to the mailing companies.
(iii). By asking individual junk mail senders to remove you from the list :- You can ask individual senders to remove you from the junk mail list. In other words by removing your name from this type of database you can get rid of junk mails and for this you have to contact every sender individually. Some of the items are sent in such bulk that they go to every resident on a postal route. So to stop that you have to contact each sender to remove yourself from their database. Check the addresses or phone numbers of each sender to contact them. Here are some quick links and information about the common ones.
- For blobs of sales circulars and little cards with missing children ADVO is responsible. You can contact it for removing you from their database.
- You can contact sweepstakes mailers like Publisher’s Clearinghouse for removing you from the list. You can call them using the phone number 1-800-645-9242 or you can also write an email on the following address mailto:email@example.com providing them the full address and instructions. American Family Sweepstakes is also a common solicitor of this type of mails. You can contact them also with the phone number 1-800-237-2400.
- Potpourri, Pennysaver and Redplum. For the online form it requires a valid email address. If you are worrying about your privacy you can use Mailinator service. To be removed you can also mail the entire back label to 2830 Orbiter Street, Brea CA 92821-6224. One more thing is that they do not honor or consider this type of mail removal requests from third parties.
(iv). By reminding companies that you do business with of your mailing :- If you are a person who do business with companies via mail services then you can get rid of these kind of junk mails in the starting stage. When you do your first transaction or place your first order tell the company that don’t rent or sale your personal information to someone else. If you do so the company will automatically add your name to “do not promote” list and you won’t receive such mails from other companies.
(v). By making information confidential in the county tax database :- You can also request to make your personal information confidential in the county and state database. By doing this you can opt out of junk mail quite a bit. So many companies target specific areas and this target is based on neighborhood subdivisions or you can say home values.
(vi). By placing a no junk mail sign :- You can add a no junk mail sign on your mailbox or you can just write “No Free Papers” on your mailbox because not all the junk mails or unsolicited mails are sent by letter carrier. Most of the catalogs, handbills and free papers are left by any person who is not actually a letter carrier. These free papers causes mailbox full of unnecessary mails and papers. Sometimes we find our lawn full of free papers and handbills. As these are not letter carries so they can stop doing this just by reading this sign or line and the main thing is it’s illegal in USA if anyone except letter carrier put anything in your mailbox in other words we can say that only letter carrier can put things in your mailbox. Try this once.
(vii). By signing up to receive statements and bills electronically :- It is now a trending way to stop junk mail USPS. Now a days most of the companies and businesses are offering electronic bills and statements which can definitely reduce the amount of junk mails you receive everyday. If you like to receive bills electronically then you can mail them that you want to receive bills and statements electronically from now.
2. Cancel Unwanted Catalogs :-
Canceling all the unwanted catalogs can reduce the pile of junk mails. You can do this step-by-step and for this have a look on the ways given below.
(i). Call individual companies or universities soliciting potential students to stop mailing :- You can directly call individual companies or universities soliciting potential students. These are catalog companies which sends unnecessary catalogs and there are so many recruitment universities and boards also which send this type of spam. So it doesn’t matter whether you are a prospective student or you have completed your graduation, it’s really painful for everyone. So you can call them to stop doing this. The phone number can be like a regular number or it can be like a customer service number. So start calling university recruitment offices and ask them to stop these advertising and if you are a high school student then you can ask your counselor to help you out from this situation.
(ii). Opt out on the website :- For junk mail opt out you can go on the websites of these catalogs companies because most of the catalogs companies offer opt-outs on their own website. So for this you have to just discover the website of these catalogs and you can find it on the paper itself. After finding the site you have to fill out a form and it’s done. It’s an easy way to get rid of these type of mails.
(iii). Prepare a Response :- If you are not interested in attending any university then you can cancel the catalogs by call but firstly prepare a response. If you call them asking about canceling the catalogs, they can ask you the reason and in that case you have to be prepared. Prepare a response before calling them and tell them that you are not planning on attending their university. If you have some other good reason then it will be better also. Take that catalog in your hands when calling because sometimes they ask about the tracking number or code printed on it. In this way you can stop catalogs from recruitment universities.
3. Stop Mail Addressed to Someone Else :-
(i). Keep your address current :- In any case you have changed your address or shifted to new address it will take some time to catch up with you and don’t forget to call USPS to keep your address current. You can also do it online by just filling out the online form. If you change your address then it can cause you because by changing it, your name or address will reenlist. It means whatever you did to get rid of junk mails, all will go in vain and you have to re-do everything you did if you get spam mails again.
(ii). Return back to mail sender :- You can also do one thing and that is you can also return that mail back to sender. For this write Return to sender/Not at this address on the envelope without opening it and put it back in the mailbox. You can also read about this method below (Point no. 6) with full detail that how to stop getting junk mail by sending it back.
(iii). Report deaths to the credit reporting agencies :- You can report to the credit reporting agencies about the deaths to avoid possible identity theft. For reporting just mail a copy of the death certificate to the following addresses.
- TransUnion P.O. Box 6790 Fullerton, CA 92634
- Equifax P.O. Box 105069 Atlanta, GA 30348
- Experian P.O. Box 9530 Allen, TX 75013
(iv). Report about the deaths to the Direct Marketing Association :- You can also report about the deaths to the Direct Marketing Association in the U.S. For this you have to fill a Deceased Do Not Contact Form. It will surely give you a relief. You have to follow the instructions through the process. After completing all the process you will receive an email so don’t forget to verify the registration.
4. Get rid of Credit Card Solicitations :-
By opting out of credit card solicitations you can get rid of junk mails and for this you can do the following things –
(i). Determine the reason of receiving Solicitations :- Firstly you have to determine why you are receiving credit card offers or solicitations. The process is quite simple. Credit card companies collect data from the credit reporting companies. These companies give them a complete list of people who pre-approved for a credit card and this approval is based on a particular criteria which was determined by the credit card company. The other important thing is that make sure that you are not agreeing any mailing list while receiving credit reports from the credit card companies.
(ii). To opt-out call 1-888-5 OPT OUT (or 1-888-567-8688) :- You can call on this number for junk mail opt out. If you call on this number and follow the instructions carefully you can stop credit card offers. This one phone call can stop four big companies to send you credit card offers. In the list of these four big companies Innovis, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion are included. You can easily opt out for 5 years by following the instructions. You can also request them to remove you permanently from the mailing list. You can also do it online by filling the form.
(iii). Call your credit card companies asking them to stop sending cash advance checks :- By calling your personal credit card companies and asking them to stop sending you cash advance checks you can opt out some junk mails.
5. Reduce Phone Books :-
(i). Pick only one :- If any person lives in a big city then he/she can get many phone books by mail carriers in a year. But the problem is that you want only a single book of your personal choice and all the other books are useless for you. Now to stop them from sending more books to your address you can follow them to their source. Many of them now have opt out service online.
(ii). Pick None :- Pick none is the best thing for you because now most of the yellow pages phone numbers are available online. So you need not to have any phone book. You should opt out from all the books. Go to Yellow Pages Opt Out to opt out of unnecessary phone books. Create an account and after creating it you can see the selection of books. You can select which one you wish not to receive.
6. Send it Back :-
Sending the mail back to the sender can help you to get rid of unsolicited mail. Here is a complete detail to do so, give it a read.
(i). Use Return to Sender :- For this you have to do as it is what is mentioned below.
- Don’t open the Envelope – If you receive such mails, don’t open them. Leave them as they are because it’s frustrating to receive them and if you open any of them it will make the sending process tedious.
- Write “Return to Sender” on the Envelope – Write this on the front side of envelope. It must be clear and visible. If you do so the post office will send it back from where it came and that sender will also understand that you don’t want to receive these type of mails any more. It will be better if you use a marker because it will help you to write your message in Bold and clear.
- Drop it in the mail – After writing the message on the envelope drop your that mail in the mailbox but it will be better to hand over this mail to mail carrier so that it won’t come back to you in any case if nobody sees the message.
(ii). Write a Note :- You can write a serious note if return to sender with the message method won’t work. Do the following things.
- Open the envelopes – If you did the first return method and it didn’t work so you need to do something more. You need a more direct approach. Open the each envelope so that you can sort through the items in each envelope. You can do this on weekly basis to save your time by doing this every day.
- Gather all the pre-paid return envelopes – With credit card offers and charity donation requests there comes a return envelope with pre-paid postage. So after opening the envelope gather all the pre-paid return envelopes.
- Write a note – If Return to Sender request din’t work then you can write a note to the senders. If you don’t know what to write on it just simply ask them to stop mailing you. Don’t use abusive language in the note, be polite but firm and don’t forget to write your address and name on the note.
- Mail it – Now everything is done and it’s time to mail it back. There is no need to add and postage because it is pre-paid envelope.
If this method also doesn’t work for you then you can read more below about how to stop receiving junk mail.
7. Donate to a Few Select Charities Instead of Many :-
Charity is really a great thing. By donating the money you can help so many helpless people. If you love to donate, it’s wonderful but don’t donate to so many charities. Most of the charities sell your information to make money. So don’t donate to many charities, select some of them and donate. It’s really easy to do so and reduce such mails.
8. Other Important steps you can take :-
If any of the above method don’t work for you then you can try these methods also.
- Write a note regarding your problem to the local postmaster at local post office. You can tell him/her about your problems and what you have done to fix this. You can also ask him/her to pass your comment or view to his/her superior.
- You can also call on 800.275.8777 /7.
- Write your dissatisfaction to USPS Consumer Affairs department at the following address :
Consumer Affairs Policy & Program Development
USPS – HQ
475 Lenfant Plaze SW
WA DC 20260-0004
- You can also write Senators and Representatives about your concerns. Find out your Senators and Representatives.
- The Government Reform Committee oversees USPS. Call them or write them your problems.
Government Reform Committee
Rayburn House Office Bldg.
Washington DC 20525
These are some methods by which you can get rid of junk mails. If you were searching how to get rid of junk mail then I hope now you know so many methods or ways to do so. But there are so many supporters of junk mails who support these kinds of mails. Have a look on their views on junk mails or spam mails.
Illogic – Junk mail supporters views :-
As you already know that most of the people supports junk mail system. They gave so many illogical views on it. Some are given below.
“The Postal Service would go bankrupt if not for junk mail”.
“Without junk mail, a first-class mailing would cost more than a dollar”.
“Consumers want to receive junk mail. Those who don’t can opt out from receiving it.”
These are the lines said by supports of junk mails. I don’t say this is right or wrong. I am just showing you the views of those supporters. US Postal Service gave response on these views. You can search and read it online. I don’t want to go in deep in this. But whatever the truth is, you can find yourself.
Additional Tips on Junk Mail :-
Here are some additional tips on junk mail. Let’s have a look –
- Don’t be rude when speaking on phone or don’t use abusive language because they are not responsible for this. They are just paid to talk to you. Just tell them your problem politely.
- Keep a trash can near you whenever you sort mail so that you can easily recycle any junk mail you receive.
- You can use these junk mails in your daily life like kindling in your fireplace, making collage or decoupage.
- Sending mail back to the sender may be a good idea but it is not an effective way to get rid of junk mail so you can ask them to remove you from the list, it’s better way.
- There are many other online services like ProQuo by which you can remove yourself from the most common junk mail list.
- Before doing anything try to put a “no junk mail sticker” on your mailbox because most of the junk mails will stop itself by this sticker.
- You can use pay subscription services such as Green Dimes or 41pounds.org which will contact direct marketing companies to stop the flow of unwanted credit card offers, coupons, magazine offers, catalogs and other items into your mailbox. These will contact them on your behalf.
These are the additional tips on junk mails. But there are some warnings or advises also. So read them below.
Warnings on Junk Mail :-
- Don’t waste money on junk mails. You can see most of the junk mail removal kits, these are completely useless. So don’t waste your time and money on it.
- If you searched for how to stop unwanted mail and you found so many methods then don’t stick with one method only. Use different kinds of methods to solve your problem.
- Sort you mails carefully, don’t put any important mail into the useless or junk mails. By doing this you can lose an important mail. Do it carefully.
All these methods, tips and warnings are related to junk mail. Many people asked me that how to block junk mail and for them I have written this article. I wrote every possible way to avoid junk mails. I have also added some tips and warnings for your convenience. You can’t easily get rid of all the junk mails but using these methods you can surely reduce so much amount of junk mail. If you use any method and it won’t work for you then don’t try it again and again, just jump to the next method. As you know that not every method work for everyone. So don’t stuck with one method, use different ways to avoid it. I tried to write every possible way to avoid junk mail but if you know some other good method then share it with others by commenting below and if you want to ask anything related to USPS then feel free to ask. You can leave your questions and suggestions in the comment box below and keep checking www.uspstrackinginfo.com for your queries.