Junk Mail is a common problem for everyone. Every time you see your full mailbox, you think about the junk mail or unwanted catalogs and products advertising which are useless for you. Every week you find pounds of junk mail in your mailbox, and you find yourself helpless. You think that you can’t do anything in it. I still remember that some time ago, I went for a vacation for a week and when 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 stack of these type of useless papers every day. About a couple of months ago, the US Postal Service changed their rule for marketers by easing restrictions. Now it is easy for the marketers to advertise their products and services through the 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 firms.
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 mail are also not good for our environment because it ends up in a landfill. An enormous 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 of the junk mail. You can imagine now how bad this is for us and the environment. Because of these junk mail, my mailbox overflows, and whenever I was not at home for some days, it affected me very badly because I found my important mail get soaked in the rain. I was frustrated, but I came to know about the methods to get rid of these junk mail. I will tell you various 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:
Every day you find so many mail in your mailbox, and many of them are useless for you. These useless mail may be catalogs, advertising of any product, or credit card offers. These mail are of no use for most of the people. These are called Junk Mail. Owners and marketers of small businesses send these mail 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 the 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 a completely useless thing. Now you understand what junk mail is and it 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 various 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 owners or marketers of these businesses send you the promotional mail. Now the question is how they get your mail address? It is a straightforward process. You are on someone else’s database, and so many companies purchase this data for their promotions. On the other side, Post Offices help these bulk mailers for a small fee. Bulk mailers make a list to send mail to every address in an area and post offices help them to complete their list, but they give only the addresses not the name or anything else.
This way junk mail works. I hope I made it clear to 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
How to Stop 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 at the ways to get rid of junk mail.
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 mailing list. It is called do-not-mail list. These do-not-mail lists are maintained by major marketing associates, and these marketing associates distribute the mailing list. It is an excellent working method. The United States (US) mail preference service will cost you $1 for this but you can do this for free by using their online form, but it is free to write Mailing Preference service (UK).
(ii). By avoiding placing your address on surveys, raffles, and product warranty cards: By a putting your address on surveys, product warranty cards and raffles you can opt out junk mail. It’s not necessary to register a warranty for the warranty to be valid, regardless of what the card may imply. You can also write something like this “Neither 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 different 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 mail, 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 carrier 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 communicate with 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 may call them using the phone number 1-800-645-9242, or you may also write an email at the following address mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org providing them the full address and instructions. American Family Sweepstakes is also a general solicitor of this type of mail. 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 worried 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 your mailing: If you are a person who does business with companies via mail services, then you can get rid of this kind of junk mail in the starting stage. When you do your first transaction or place your first order, tell the company that doesn’t rent or sell 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 mail from other businesses.
(v). By making information confidential in the county tax database: You can also request to make your personal data 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 goal 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 mail or unsolicited mail are sent by the 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 cause mailbox full of unnecessary mail and papers. Sometimes we find our lawn full of free papers and handbills. As these are not letter carriers so they can stop doing this just by reading this sign or line and the main thing is it’s illegal in the 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. Nowadays most of the companies and businesses are offering electronic bills and statements which can definitely reduce the number of junk mail you receive every day. 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 mail. You can do this step-by-step and for this, have a look at 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 businesses that send unnecessary catalogs, and there are various recruitment universities and boards also which send this type of spam. So it doesn’t matter whether you are a prospective student or have completed your graduation, it’s excruciating for everyone. So you can call them to stop doing this. The phone number can be like a regular number, or it can be 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 to the websites of these catalogs companies because most of the catalogs companies offer opt-outs on their website. So for this, you just have to discover the site 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 mail.
(iii). Prepare a Response: If you are not interested in attending any university, then you can cancel the catalogs by the 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. 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 a 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 mail, all will go in vain and you have to re-do everything you did if you don’t want to get spam mail again.
(ii). Return to mail sender: You can also do one thing, and that is you can also return that mail back to the 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 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 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 mail, and for this, you can do the following things –
(i). Determine the reason for 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 criterion which was determined by the credit card company. The other important thing is that make sure that you do not agree on 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 five 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 mail.
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 have opted-out service online now.
(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 don’t need 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 mail, don’t open them (mail). 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 the 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 mail anymore. 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 nobody sees the message.
(ii). Write a Note: You can write a serious note if the 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 could sort through the items in each envelope. You can do this on a weekly basis to save your time by avoiding it on a daily basis.
- 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, collect all the pre-paid return envelopes.
- Write a note – If Return to Sender request doesn’t work, then you can write a note to the senders. If you don’t know what to write on it then 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 a 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 giving the money, you can help numerous 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 effortless to do so and reduce such mail.
8. Other Important steps you can take:
If any of the above methods 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 L’Enfant Plaza 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 mail. 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 mail who support these kinds of mail. Have a look at their views on junk mail or spam mail.
Illogical – Junk Mail Supporters Views:
As you already know that most of the people support junk mail system. They gave various 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 mail. I don’t say this is right or wrong. I am just showing you the views of those supporters. The US Postal Service gave a 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 other tips on junk mail. Let’s have a look –
- Don’t be rude when speaking on the 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 near you whenever you sort mail. So that you could easily recycle any junk mail you receive.
- You can use these junk mail 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 the 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 mail 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 mail. But there are some warnings or advises also. So read them below.
Warnings on Junk Mail:
- Don’t waste money on junk mail. 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 ways to solve your problem.
- Sort your mail carefully, don’t put any important mail into the useless or junk mail. 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 mail. I have also added some tips and warnings for your convenience. You can’t easily get rid of all the junk mail 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 works for everyone. So don’t stick 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.