I notice there is more interest in opting out of junk mail in the search engines that drive people to this blog, and not just Market Value Place. I’ve also been noticing, the “opt-outs” I sent a few years back have expired, and I’m starting to get a lot of crap in my snail mail box again.
Chase Bank was the first junk mail advertiser I ever noticed had an “opt out” policy – in winky-dinky print on the bottom back of their sales pitch letter, I found out I could write them a letter asking them to stop mail at my address(es). Boy Howdy! It worked, just like they said, for about five years.
I know because I keep stuff. My mom left me a bunch of old metal file cabinets she bought at a yard sale – one still has “$5!” painted on the side. They’re great, they had the hanging files in there and everything. So, I keep any piece of paper I think I might need in future. Sure, I weed through, a year later I might say, “why the hell did I keep this?” and I toss stuff out. But a lot of it I say, “Whoa, here this is!” Maybe it’s the receipt for something that still has a warranty on it, or maybe it’s an old agenda from a years ago city meeting – almost once a week I dig into those files for something useful.
Of course I have a file in there marked “junk mail,” in which I keep copies of any requests I make of whoever. Neat-O! When I started getting Chase Bank advertisements, for myself and my husband, ONCE A WEEK!, I knew my last letter had expired.
I wonder if you’re like me, you get busy? Stuff piles up? I had not even had time to open them for weeks, they just sat stacking up on my desk – like a beacon screaming – HEY, JUANITA, WRITE THAT DAMNED OPT OUT LETTER!” Finally when the stack started to sport a little spider web hung with dust puppies, I picked one out, opened it up and started to scan the sales pitch for the opt-out info. Imagine my surprise when I saw it, staring at me BOLD FACE – “PRESCREEN AND OPT OUT NOTICE”. Holy cow, I suddenly realized, as I have with great relief from time to time – I’m not the only person who complains about this shit.
It says I can call a number – screw that, I don’t have time in my life for phone calls. Luckily, it gives me, not one, but three addresses I can write to in order to opt out, not only from Chase but “this and other companies.”
“If you do not want to receive prescreened offers of credit from this and other companies, call toll-free at 888-567-8688; or write:
- Experian, Inc., 701 Experian Parkway, PO Box 2002, Allen, TX 75013-0036;
- TransUnion Opt-Out request , PO Box 505, Woodlyn, PA 19094-0505; or
- Equifax, PO Box 740123, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241.
Note, there’s an “or” in there, but I’m writing to all three. This applies to all those credit card offers, mortgage loan offers, any offer of credit. Junk advertisers buy our addresses from the companies that are supposed to safeguard our credit, so we can ask them to remove our names from the mailings lists of who knows how many junk mail generators.
Another junk mailer I found to be cooperative lately is Geico. Their offers were also piling up in my box, weekly, for both me and my husband, even “neighbor” – as if! So, I went to their website –
That was easy, and I’m waiting to see if it works. I’ll know shortly – we were getting two or three pieces of mail from Geico a week!
Sheesh, I’m working on saving a forest here!
Things do change. When I was a kid, people smoked in restaurants, garbage trucks backed up to cliffs to dump trash in the ocean, factory wastes were dumped in rivers across the nation. The dump at Glass Beach in Fort Bragg California operated into the 1970’s, and a cement factory down the beach regularly dumped “slobbers” – waste cement cleaned from the trucks at day’s end – over the cliff.
We made those things change, people who care enough to take five minutes of their time to make a difference.