Saturday, October 15, 2016

How To Stop Junk Postal Mail

The average American receives 41 pounds of junk mail per year. Not only does junk mail clog up our mailboxes, it also wreaks havoc on the environment. Nearly half of the junk mail received annually (44 percent) ends up in a landfill. In addition, nearly $320 million in local tax money is used to dispose of junk mail, and more than 100 million trees are used to create pulpwood for paper products. While the United States Postal Service does not have a one-stop method for reducing junk mail, there are many ways to reduce the amount you receive.

Black out the bar code and address on all junk mail that is delivered using first class postage. Put a circle around the postage and write "Not accepted: return to sender." This can be put in any mail box, and it will be returned to the business that sent it.
Request a 1500 form from the U.S. Postal Service to stop the delivery of sexually explicit material.
Call 1-800-5 OPT OUT to stop mail generated from the three major credit reporting agencies. This will stop the majority of credit card offers.

Contact by phone, mail or email all companies that send out catalogs and request to be taken off their mailing lists.

Call 1-800-645-9242 to be taken off the Publisher's Clearinghouse Sweepstakes Mailing list.

Contact American Family at 1-800-237-2400 to be removed from its sweepstakes mailing list.

Call or write the Direct Marketing Association (see Resources) and ask them to activate the preference service. This will eliminate close to three quarters of all direct mail for 5 years. You will need to sign up again after 5 years.


Opt Out Directly (When Possible)

Each year your bank or credit card company should be sending you a Privacy Notice. Ironically, this isn't junk mail. In fact, this notice gives you the opportunity to opt out of some marketing and "sharing" practices (translation: selling your info). If you missed that notice and thought it was junk mail, just contact your financial institution and ask about the privacy policy. These opt out opportunities should be available at any institution that handles your money, like an insurance company, an auto dealer you arranged financing with, and even a check cashing place. If they've dealt with your money, they may have a way of opting out so take advantage of it directly.

Another option is to sign up for TrustedID Mail Preference Service. The service is free and you can search for an individual company or organization and find the opt out instructions. You can even find out how to prevent phone book delivery.

Remove Yourself from Marketing Lists

The Direct Marketing Association via DMACHOICE.org will contact direct mail companies and inform them you wish to opt out of any offers they may have. This includes companies you haven't done business with. When you register online you can opt-out of catalogs, magazines, credit offers and "other" mail offerings. To reduce credit card offers only, you can use OptOutPrescreen.com. Both services are independent of each other, so be cautious and sign up for both.

Alternatively, previously mentioned41pounds will opt your family out of offers for $35, which lasts for 5 years. They claim a more comprehensive opt out than the other free options.

Use Electronic Billing

Even if you opt out, some companies may send you junk mail in inserts when you receive your bills. If you switch to an electronic statement, you can prevent this problem. Some companies even charge you less if you switch to paperless billing. You can often do this right from their web site.

Avoid Print Magazine Subscriptions

Magazines often result in an avalanche of junk mail as they sell your information to third-party companies. The publisher may allow you to opt-out of selling your information to third parties, but with a large publisher they can still cross-promote other products within the same brand. Even without the third-party junk mail, the publisher still berates you constantly to renew your subscription. The one piece of junk they won't remove is those annoying insert cards that fall out of the magazine that litter everywhere.

When possible, choose an electronic version of the magazine or start a magazine trade at the office to give your career a boost. If you tend to bring a magazine to a waiting room or a gym, ask the business owner to subscribe to your favorite magazines. Subscriptions are cheap and a great way of accommodating customers.

Donate to a Few Select Charities Instead of Many

If you donate to charity, good for you! But charities often sell your name to other organizations to make money. Smaller gifts barely recoup the costs. Charity Navigator recommends making larger gifts to fewer organizations, rather than many smaller gifts. This maximizes your contribution and gets your name on fewer lists. You may also give to charities anonymously using NetworkforGood.


USPS mail hold

How to stop junk mail

USPS change of address

USPS tracking

US post office hours

How To Put An Mail On Hold

Headed out of town? We can hold your mail safely at your local Post Office™ until you return. Sign up for Hold Mail Service in two simple steps.

Schedule Hold Mail Service. You can notify us up to 30 days in advance or as early as the next scheduled delivery day. Request your start date by 3 AM ET (2 AM CT or 12 AM PT) on your requested day, Monday—Saturday. (NOTE: For hold times greater than 30 days, please sign up for a USPS Forward Mail Service).

A request to Hold Mail can be submitted in three ways:
• By filing online at: Hold Mail at www.usps.com you will need to do the following steps: You
will need to enter your name, address, phone number, email address and click “Check
Availability” to see if a Hold Mail is available through the online system. If it is not available,
you will need to submit a hold request using one of the other options provided:
• Submitting a completed PS Form 8076, Authorization to Hold Mail at your local Post Office
facility.
• Contacting 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) where a representative can assist you.
Note: A Hold Mail request is not necessary for a PO Box, as mail will be allowed to accumulate for up
to 30 days.
Confirmation number:
When completing an online Hold Mail request, a confirmation page will be displayed with a
confirmation number to verify your request has been accepted.
How far in advance do I need to submit my Hold Mail request?
Online Hold Mail requests submitted before 2:00 A.M. Central Time can begin on the same Postal
business day. Postal business days are Monday through Saturday. Requests made in person at your
local Post Office™ or by calling 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) must be submitted one business
day in advance. You may submit a Hold Mail request up to 30 days in advance.
What are the minimum / maximum lengths of time the Post Office™ will hold my mail?
Hold Mail requests must be for a minimum duration of 3 days. The maximum duration for Hold Mail
requests is 30 days. If you need mail held longer than 30 days, please contact your local Post
Office™.
Do I need to submit multiple Hold Mail requests if there is more than one person at the same
address?
All mail regardless of name will be held for the address entered. Submitting a Hold Mail request once
is all that is required to hold mail delivery for everyone at the address.
When my mail is being held, are packages held too?
Yes. When your mail is placed on hold, your Post Office™ will hold all packages as well.
Cost of the Hold Mail service
Currently this service is available at no charge.

USPS mail hold

How to stop junk mail

USPS change of address

USPS tracking

US post office hours