Closing the flood gates on junk mail – Part 2
Junk mail costs the nation billions in waste disposal and it is on the increase, following a deal stuck between advertisers and the struggling U.S. Postal Service. However, steps can be taken to stem the flow of the unwanted mailings — to your mailbox at least.
No junk mail websites
The Kentucky newspaper the Hazard-herald recently recommended some sites to help minimize the amount of junk mail received.
The website OptOutPrescreen.com is a collaborative effort of the nation’s top credit rating bureaus. It offers an online form by which consumers can be excluded from the marketing lists the bureaus compile and provide to insurance and financial services companies. Filling out the form online gets you off the marketing lists for 3 years. Print the form out and mail it in, and you can be kept off the list for life. Or you can tell them yourself at 888-567-8688.
Or you can register with a site run by the trade organization, the Direct Marketing Association. By registering at DMAchoice.org, the DMA will delete your name and contact information from the mailing lists of more than 3,600 advertisers.
However, telling the DMA to take you off its lists won’t stop junk mail from coming from companies you frequent or from organization to which you have made donations. Those will need to be contacted individually.
Finally, the Hazard-herald recommends registering at CatalogChoice.org. The organization helps to get your information off of mailing lists for catalogs, circulars, coupons and the like. It also offers a paid service that works a little harder.
Registering with all of these sites should significantly decrease the amount of junk mail you receive, although it will not eliminate it entirely. However, a new app may be just the ticket to catch the sweepings.
There’s an app for that
Mother Nature Network posted a piece earlier this month about a new smartphone app that acts like your own personal junk mail watchdog.
PaperKarma is available in both Android and iOS formats. You use the app to take a picture of any unwanted mailing and it does the rest of the leg work for you.
But it is not fast. According to Mother Earth Network, the app warns that it can take several weeks before mailings from any given advertiser ceases coming.
However, since the app is free, what can it hurt?