Getting rid of junk mail?

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z91
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Getting rid of junk mail?

Post by z91 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:39 pm

I live in an multi-unit building and get tons of mail..I was expecting a rebate card one day and it was stuck in between a bunch of junk mail and almost trashed it. I have a couple of issues and wondering how to best resolve them. For the record I signed up for the DMA (Direct Marketing Association opt-out) already.

1) I have a common last name and I get a lot of mail for previous tenants, who also have the same last name as me. According to the post office they can't easily get rid of this mail since they have the same last name.

2) Someone (no idea who) signed me up for a bunch of catalogs. The last name is the same, and all the first names are variations of mine (e.g., Sam, Ram, Cam etc..). The primary company involved, happens to own several other companies, all of which send me junk mail. This all started shortly after I called in a few months ago to the parent company and spoke to someone who had a huge attitude on the phone. I am pretty sure the rep created multiple records of my address with name variations instead of simply removing me.

I do have USPS Informed Delivery (thanks BH), which does let me look out for mail I care about, but I must admit it annoys the heck out of me when I see 10+ pieces one day and have to figure out which ones to really care about. I do sign up for paperless statements when I can, but I get mail from folks I need to keep track of.

Any ideas fellow Bogleheads?

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Nicolas
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Re: Getting rid of junk mail?

Post by Nicolas » Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:43 pm

I think you must resign yourself to your fate as unfortunately there is no escape. I will say this: Between my mailbox and my house there's a receptacle called a recycling bin. This type of mail never makes it past my front door.

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F150HD
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Re: Getting rid of junk mail?

Post by F150HD » Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:55 pm

t60 wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:39 pm
Any ideas fellow Bogleheads?
I recall reading about someone w/ the same issue years ago....they stated they take the pre-paid envelopes you get w/ a credit card offer or whatnot, they jam it full of meaningless junk mail and then drop it in the mail. It offered them some form of relief.

Image

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heartwood
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Re: Getting rid of junk mail?

Post by heartwood » Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:08 pm

try Catalog Choice https://www.catalogchoice.org/

It's some work but it eventually stems the flood.

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flamesabers
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Re: Getting rid of junk mail?

Post by flamesabers » Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:10 pm

1. Are you getting actual letters for previous tenants or just advertisements/magazines? If it's the former, I suggest writing "return to sender" on the envelope and putting it back in your mailbox.

2. Have you tried emailing the companies to be removed from their mailing list? (You should use a disposable email address if you're concerned about getting a bunch of spam from them). I've done this and it's been successful for me for the most part.

Have you opt-out of pre-offers from credit card companies? If not, that might help to reduce all the junk mail you're getting.

squirm
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Re: Getting rid of junk mail?

Post by squirm » Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:11 pm

I'm assuming junk mail works, otherwise it wouldn't be delivered.

DetroitRick
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Re: Getting rid of junk mail?

Post by DetroitRick » Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:21 pm

I often do what F150HD mentions - keep a spare inbox full of junk mail in my home office. When I'm stuck on hold or doing a mindless task, I'll just cross-mail junk mail in those return envelopes (usually stuffed to the gills). Takes no extra time really. As a single gesture it may be meaningless, but if enough people do it - it can collectively serve to raise the cost of sending junk mail. Which might someday serve to clean up that pool of marketers. As we've gone paperless, junk mail is probably 80% of all that arrives in our mailbox.

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Watty
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Re: Getting rid of junk mail?

Post by Watty » Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:33 pm

I have gotten catalogs from companies that I have bought from and I have zero interest in their catalog since I do all that shopping online. I hate to see the waste of resources as much as anything.

I have called the 800 number on the catalog to have my name removed and it works within month or so. Since you are calling a sales number they usually pick up on the first or second ring and it only takes a short time to read them codes on the mailing label.

JBTX
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Re: Getting rid of junk mail?

Post by JBTX » Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:10 pm


Invisi8
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Re: Getting rid of junk mail?

Post by Invisi8 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:35 pm

heartwood wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:08 pm
try Catalog Choice https://www.catalogchoice.org/

It's some work but it eventually stems the flood.
+1

smitcat
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Re: Getting rid of junk mail?

Post by smitcat » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:24 pm

Watty wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:33 pm
I have gotten catalogs from companies that I have bought from and I have zero interest in their catalog since I do all that shopping online. I hate to see the waste of resources as much as anything.

I have called the 800 number on the catalog to have my name removed and it works within month or so. Since you are calling a sales number they usually pick up on the first or second ring and it only takes a short time to read them codes on the mailing label.
Absolutely this works well.

smitcat
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Re: Getting rid of junk mail?

Post by smitcat » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:25 pm

DetroitRick wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:21 pm
I often do what F150HD mentions - keep a spare inbox full of junk mail in my home office. When I'm stuck on hold or doing a mindless task, I'll just cross-mail junk mail in those return envelopes (usually stuffed to the gills). Takes no extra time really. As a single gesture it may be meaningless, but if enough people do it - it can collectively serve to raise the cost of sending junk mail. Which might someday serve to clean up that pool of marketers. As we've gone paperless, junk mail is probably 80% of all that arrives in our mailbox.
This will not solve the issue but if it makes you feel better than why not.

scrabbler1
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Re: Getting rid of junk mail?

Post by scrabbler1 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:59 pm

I have made a few phone calls to get some commonly received junk mail removed. I got on that DMA do-not-mail list years ago, not sure how much that helped. I don't get nearly as much JM as I did 5 years ago.

Katietsu
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Re: Getting rid of junk mail?

Post by Katietsu » Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:00 pm

All those catalogs have instructions on how to cancel. Many offer a way to do it online. Some require a phone call. Only a select few require written notification. When I followed these instructions a few years ago along with opting out with DMA, the national junk mail really did stop within a few months. We just get a spattering of junk mail from local businesses now.

I would not explain that your first name is not Ram. I would just go with it.

I was also successful at stopping mail meant for the previous residence by calling and stating that they do not live here anymore.

I would recommend beingvas pleasant as possible on the phone. They are more likely to help you instead of questioning whether they should be helping you.

The only place that will not leave me alone is my alma mater! I even offered to make a donation if they would stop the mailings!

likegarden
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Re: Getting rid of junk mail?

Post by likegarden » Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:51 am

Thanks for mentioning filling return envelopes with junk mail, will do that with that scammer trying to make us renew subscriptions we do not have.

boglegirl
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Re: Getting rid of junk mail?

Post by boglegirl » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:16 am

Katietsu wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:00 pm
...
I would not explain that your first name is not Ram. I would just go with it.

I was also successful at stopping mail meant for the previous residence by calling and stating that they do not live here anymore.

I would recommend being as pleasant as possible on the phone. They are more likely to help you instead of questioning whether they should be helping you....
I agree with this advice, except that I wouldn't bother to explain about the previous residents. We moved into a house a few years ago and were getting several catalogs PER DAY. Every day I called the number on the back of each new catalog and said I wanted to be removed from the mailing list. Usually they asked for a customer code, but sometimes they'd ask for the name..."Uh, Jane Smith." I figured if Mrs. Smith wanted to get the catalogs at her new house she could easily do so.

It only took about a month before the mail stopped.

mptfan
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Re: Getting rid of junk mail?

Post by mptfan » Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:05 am

boglegirl wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:16 am
Every day I called the number on the back of each new catalog and said I wanted to be removed from the mailing list. Usually they asked for a customer code, but sometimes they'd ask for the name..."Uh, Jane Smith." I figured if Mrs. Smith wanted to get the catalogs at her new house she could easily do so.
I agree with this, but what if you are a man and you say "Uh, Jane Smith."?

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lthenderson
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Re: Getting rid of junk mail?

Post by lthenderson » Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:18 am

t60 wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:39 pm
I live in an multi-unit building and get tons of mail.

2) Someone (no idea who) signed me up for a bunch of catalogs.
Reminds me of living in an apartment a long long time ago and having a downstairs neighbor who had no concept of being quiet at 2 am in the morning when he got off of his work shift. After trying several times to reason with him man to man, I opted to get revenge by filling his mailbox up with junk mail. When I finally moved out of the apartment six months later, he was getting a large cardboard box of mail left for him every single day.

Katietsu
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Re: Getting rid of junk mail?

Post by Katietsu » Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:09 pm

mptfan wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:05 am
boglegirl wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:16 am
Every day I called the number on the back of each new catalog and said I wanted to be removed from the mailing list. Usually they asked for a customer code, but sometimes they'd ask for the name..."Uh, Jane Smith." I figured if Mrs. Smith wanted to get the catalogs at her new house she could easily do so.
I agree with this, but what if you are a man and you say "Uh, Jane Smith."?
Just say “the name on the catalog is Jane Smith.”

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sperry8
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Re: Getting rid of junk mail?

Post by sperry8 » Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:15 pm

I use Catalog Choice and DMAs opt out. I call every company who slips through and email them too. I've been doing this for over 10 years and although I've reduced it I still get tons of crap. It is stunning that one cannot get off their lists. :annoyed
Humbling BH contest results: 2017: #516 of 647 | 2016: #121 of 610 | 2015: #18 of 552 | 2014: #225 of 503 | 2013: #383 of 433 | 2012: #366 of 410 | 2011: #113 of 369 | 2010: #53 of 282

scrabbler1
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Re: Getting rid of junk mail?

Post by scrabbler1 » Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:37 pm

What fills up my junk mail lately are all the inserts and ads included with legit bills. Yes, I could switch to paperless billing but I actually do like having those paper bills in front of me, especially if I have to call them about a billing question, which happens more often than I want it to.

boglegirl
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Re: Getting rid of junk mail?

Post by boglegirl » Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:46 pm

Katietsu wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:09 pm
mptfan wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:05 am
boglegirl wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:16 am
Every day I called the number on the back of each new catalog and said I wanted to be removed from the mailing list. Usually they asked for a customer code, but sometimes they'd ask for the name..."Uh, Jane Smith." I figured if Mrs. Smith wanted to get the catalogs at her new house she could easily do so.
I agree with this, but what if you are a man and you say "Uh, Jane Smith."?
Just say “the name on the catalog is Jane Smith.”
Haha, I didn't think about that because I can pass for Jane Smith. But Katie has a good response.

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