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Stop Junk Mail

Stop Junk MailYears ago I received a mailing from Habitat for Humanity. I admired their charitable work and so sent a small donation.

Bad idea.

For the next decade or so, I received about 100 times the cost in mailings as I donated. In other words, they lost money on me.

My dad is a different story. I just took him to the accountant to do his taxes. The dear man, literally, gives a few dollars to every single charity that requests it, unless he morally opposes their positions. (Planned Parenthood, Code Pink, don’t bother.) The more he gives, the more mailing lists he gets on. He gets rafts of donation requests every week.

Giving is good. Selling lists of those who give to you, not so much.

Also not good, spending hours every month wading through unsolicited mailings, not to mention all the wasted resources for the printing, packaging, and shipping.

If you’ve been tagged as a good Samaritan, but need some room in your mailbox for great stuff like bills, there a are a number of things you can try:

  • Call the companies and ask them to remove your name
  • Go to the company website and look for an opt out link or a contact form
  • When you order from a new company, make sure you opt out of any lists or address sharing promoted
  • Contact a company that specializes in reducing catalogs and other mailing
  • Return the donation form in the postage-paid envelope with the words “remove from mailing list” written across the front

What methods have you used to get off junk mail lists?

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Dana February 17, 2011, 1:19 am

    How generous we are, it must be very annoying if they “sell” our data to spammers.
    Dana recently posted…Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY- The first PlayStation Powered Cell PhoneMy Profile

  • Ileane February 17, 2011, 2:57 am

    Hey Alison, I really need these tips right now because the junk mail I’m getting from (places my Mom donated to before she passed) is totally out of hand. I never tried going to their websites and opting out – thanks for the ideas. 🙂
    Ileane recently posted…10 Best Print Books for BloggersMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith February 17, 2011, 10:24 am

    Hope it helps, Ileane. Now that Dad’s mail is forwarded here, the mail is starting to flow.

  • Anna February 20, 2011, 7:54 am

    When I’m asked to fill in the form and leave my e-mail address I’m always afraid of getting tons of unwanted e-mails. Even if they say that they won’t use my e-mail for sending ads, they normally do. It’s very annoying.

  • Alison Moore Smith February 21, 2011, 12:34 pm

    So true, because it happens all the time. I have a particular email address that I use for ALL my online comments, purchases, etc. In short order it’s filled with spam, so I change to a new one. Sigh. Spammers should have a special place in purgatory for all the wasted resources they cause.

  • BIL April 8, 2011, 12:28 pm

    I’ve been wondering the same: How do all these organizations cover the cost of advertisement they bombard me with through the small amounts they received from me? In most cases I ignore them. Next to my mailbox is a huge bin. That’s how I get rid of them…
    BIL recently posted…How to avoid Fever BlistersMy Profile

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