I am drowning in a sea of slippery glossy junk mail. It must that time again to register my name and address with the Mail Preference Service (MPS). I know that a name registration last five years, it’s just hard to believe it’s already been that long. But my god, the difference is dramatic. I went from zero to five tons of catalogs overnight.
Here is the site for MPS. It is no longer free, but $1 is not so bad for junk mail relief. Plus you can register online now.
Also, I am now receiving mail for 4-5 previous residents at this address. Here are a few tips for getting rid that junk:
To stop mail addressed to former residents, or a former spouse
If you rent you are probably familiar with receiving mail for a dozen or more former residents of your dwelling. Since you probably don’t want any of the stuff, you can use two powerful techniques that might not be appropriate for yourself:
- Bulk mail for “current resident or …”: Start with sending a postcard or letter to Mail Preference Service, Direct Marketing Association, PO Box 643, Carmel, NY 15012-0643 Write “please activate the mail preference service”, and include the name, address, and zip code. You must send individual postcards — the DMA wants to make this all as inconvienent as possible. The DMA will ignore requests that don’t appear to be from a single individual.
- First class and some bulk mail: If the former residents neglected to fill out a Post Office change of address card, or it expired, you can fill one out for them. You must fill out one card for each unique last name. Write “Moved, Left No Forwarding Address” as the new address. Sign your own name and write “Form filled in by current resident of the house, [Your Name], agent for the above”. You must write “agent for the above”. Hand this form directly to your carrier, if possible, as your carrier must approve the form and see that it gets entered into the post service National Change of Address (NCOA) database. This is very effective.
This information comes from a very thorough article called, “A Free Guide to Reducing Unwanted or Intrusive Advertising” at www.obviously.com.
I have done many of the things this article suggests, including calling 1-888-5 OPT OUT to stop the three major credit checking companies from selling my info. Also, I have registered all my phone numbers at www.donotcall.gov.