- CatalogChoice: More time consuming, but more individualized. Search for specific companies, non-profits and political organizations from which you don’t wish to receive mail. If the organization is listed on the site, it will have individualized instructions for how to get off its mailing lists. In many cases, you will need to call, email or send a letter to the company. If you don’t find a company listed here, check DMAchoice.
- DMAchoice: Quickest way to get off as many lists as possible. Use this site to make one online request for each of four categories of junk mail: catalogs, magazines, credit and other. You can also make individualized requests. If you don’t find a company listed here, check CatalogChoice.
- OptOutPrescreen: Opt out of pre-approved offers for credit cards and insurance. This site is maintained by the credit reporting agencies. You will be asked to provide your social security number, and it’s safe to do so. They already have your social security number and will use it to make sure they are putting the opt out notice on your specific account and not another person’s with the same name. (You can also get to this site from the DMAchoice website.)
Don’t worry about missing catalogs from your favorite companies or donation requests from your favorite charities. If you have done business with a company, you will not be removed from its mailing lists, unless you contact the company directly and specifically request to be removed from its customer mailing list.
The results may be dramatic, but they won’t be quick. Any mail that has already been printed and labeled with your address will still be sent, so it will take a few months before you notice a decrease.
Don’t get added to new lists! Most companies sell and/or share your name with other organizations, which exponentially increases junk mail. When you do business with a company or make a donation, pay attention to the fine print and checkboxes to make sure you follow directions to opt out. If necessary, include a note specifically asking that your information not be shared.
Finally, responding to surveys and entering sweepstakes or drawings is a surefire way to get added to multiple mailing lists. My advice is don’t. If you must indulge, include a request that your information remain private.
Let me know your experiences getting off those lists!