Do It Yourself: Stop Junk Mail

A guide to stopping the endless amount of mailers, flyers and trash that you get in your mailbox. Tips for reducing this wasteful practice.

Do you get piles of junk mail in your mail box everyday? Do you wonder how you get all of that junk mail? You have never heard of most of those places that send you advertisements, so how did they find you?

You don't even have to order anything through the mail to get on a company's mailing list. Companies across America make money by renting and selling your name, address, phone number, and other personal information they have acquired about you. Once a company gets this information, you are on a list and your name will get sold or shared with millions of other companies who want to send your their advertisements. It sounds like the odds are against you, doesn't it? Well, you can fight back and do something about this problem by reading the information in this article.

The first thing that you need to do is to contact the Direct Marketing Association. You can find the current address, phone number, etc., of this organization by visiting the Internet and keying in the name. After you get their address, write them a letter telling them that you do not want any unsollicited mail from the companies that are their members. And they have alot of members! Be sure to include your complete name and address and make it clear to them that they are to remove your name and address from their mailing lists. Also, include your telephone number and request that your number be removed from all telemarketing lists. Tell them that you do not want any companies making unsolicited calls to your home. The Direct Marketing Association will very likely remove your name and personal contact information from their lists within a time. Keep in mind that this won't happen over night. It will take some time before you notice the reduced flow of junk mail coming into your mail box. Also, keep in mind that you will have to re-register every few years with the Association in order to keep your request current. You can find out more details on the Direct Marketing Association's website, or by calling them direct.

The second thing you can do, starting today, is to instruct every company that you do business with not to sell, rent, or otherwise give your name, address, phone number and other personal information to any other company. Notify them in writing and keep a copy of the letter in your files. The reputable companies will honor your request in order to keep you as a customer for their own company. They are not going to risk losing your business just so they can make a few bucks on the side by selling your name.

Telemarketers are another source by which companies get your personal information, sell, rent, and otherwise share it. Telemarketers can be thwarted off too by telling them that you do not want them to call you anymore. Tell the companies to put your name and address and phone number on their forbidden list. Warn them that if they persist, you will report them to the Federal Communications Commission.

With a little time and effort, you can stop your personal information from being passed around from company to company.

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