Home Forums Work Decluttering your mailbox

This topic contains 17 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  pkilmain 7 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #158261

    MsDasha
    Member

    About two years ago, I went through all the steps to remove myself from every junk mail list ever. I only receive magazines I like, bills, and personal mail. I even opt out of catalogs that I love, like JCrew, William-Sonoma, Pottery Barn…. *sigh*

    And yet, somehow, the March of Dimes got my name somewhere. Probably from my change of address form, since it happened right after we moved. They sent me one of those mailings with a dime in it. I was a sucker, and I sent them $10 and their dime back. Lo and behold, I get charity solicitations at least weekly, including from the March of Dimes themselves! I have no problem with giving to charity, but I do have a problem with all the unsolicited mail cluttering up my recycling bin….

    I know that getting off the mailing lists of charities is hard – has anyone done so successfully? HOW?

    And while we are at it, does anyone know how to get magazines to stop sending you renewal notices, other than signing up for autorenew?

    (Also, I’m really uncomfortable with the forum names here… I never seem to know where to post!)

  • #161104

    lumpster82
    Member

    Decluttering your mailbox

    MsDasha, this is a constant struggle for me. I also took the step of opting out of catalogs that I enjoy reading, but what I found was that when I placed an order on their website, that automatically put me BACK on their mailing list. I’ve also found that THOSE catlog mailing lists get sold to OTHER catalog retailers with a similar market base. So, since I get J. Crew, I also get Garnet Hill. And since I get Anthropologie, I also get Urban Outfitters.

    What has been worse though is the credit card offers. I know that there is a way to opt out this kind of mailing, but if a company has a “business relationship” with you, they are free to continue to send mailings to you. So I constantly get offers for airline & hotel rewards program credit cards.

    I’m sorry I don’t have the answer for you, but I just thought I’d commiserate.

  • #161107

    Claycat
    Member

    Decluttering your mailbox

    I have this problem, too, not just with mail but with email, also!

  • #161111

    loripax
    Member

    Decluttering your mailbox

    Ugh. Some of the charities are the worst. At a friend’s request, a couple of years ago I contributed $10 to a major local charity that is supposed to focus on feeding, sheltering, and otherwise aiding the homeless. I still continue to receive, every single week, a multicolor, multipage mail solicitation from them for more money. I politely requested that they take me off their list more than once. I even went so far as to send a letter directly to the head of the charity and the board of directors pointing out that they have now spent at least ten times what I donated to them on trying to get more, even when I’ve asked them not to, and that they will never see another penny from me. I still get the stupid solicitations.

    I don’t think there’s an answer to this one.

  • #161112

    MsDasha
    Member

    Decluttering your mailbox

    Sigh. I’m starting to think that there is no answer either! I think I’ll try contacting the charities one by one to ask them to take me off the mailing list. And be more careful to whom I give from now on! NPR does not spam me.

    @Lumpster – I’ve had success contacting the companies I do business with, like credit cards, and asking them to stop sending me stuff in the mail, saying that I believe it to be an identity theft issue. It’s time consuming to do though, and takes a while to work, but overall, I’ve been successful.

    @Claycat, I’ve dealt with email by religeously clicking the unsubscribe links at the bottom. I use gmail, so anything I can’t “unsubscribe” from, I mark as spam – future stuff almost always goes into the spam folder then. My email inbox is usually empty, in part because I don’t get much unwanted email.

    Also, I read this tip somewhere – if you want to remain in the mailing lists for companies you shop with regularly but don’t want the temptation of coupons in your inbox – set up a filter for them. You can label it “coupons” or something and have them automatically archived in gmail or sorted into a folder in another program. So when you know you will be going shopping, just search “coupons” or open your folder and see all the discounts and promotions!

    @Lori, if they are not responding after you requested that they stop sending you the mailings, maybe you should report them to the BBB? I was on the site recently trying to find a way to report telemarketers (it was through the donotcall registry website), and I saw that you can report charities.

  • #161116

    loripax
    Member

    Decluttering your mailbox

    Yay, NPR. I set up automatic donations with my local NPR station and the local foodbank, and neither of them spam me, ever. I also belong to the art museum and the zoo, and I make sure I let them know that I appreciate NOT receiving endless solicitations from them.

    Glad to hear there might be a BBB option — I’ll check into it.

    And yes, definitely with mail filters. I set up filters for all that kind of thing, which drops all the ads and stuff into a folder I labeled “commercial.” If I need something or am expecting a receipt or something, I can look in there, but otherwise I can just blindly empty it to the trash every couple of days. Makes my inbox that much nicer to deal with. (And I recently set up a special e-mail address just for that kind of thing and have anything to that address filter into that folder, too.)

  • #185448

    Anonymous

    Decluttering your mailbox

    I signed up for this service years ago:
    http://precycle.tonic.com/

    It worked pretty well. I think it used to be called Greendimes, and frankly I can’t figure out what it’s called now (Mailstopper?).

  • #185452

    Parsifal
    Member

    Decluttering your mailbox

    I hate checking the mail on Spamday, I mean Tuesday… nothing but circulars and credit card offers. Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to fix it that would be less trouble than just tossing the unwanted mail in the trash, so that’s where it goes.

    I’m also pretty sure that donating blood is what got me on most of my current charity mailing lists. Want to know why people like me stop giving to international mega-non-profits? That’s why.

    Looks like it is time to start refusing to give my number and address to retailers again. You’d think I grew antennae from the look I got after informing a retail jockey “I’m not giving you that information. You can take my cash or I won’t buy anything here.”

  • #185457

    Rosa
    Member

    Decluttering your mailbox

    Parsifal, if you are uncomfortable just saying no (or if you get an unfortunate salesperson whose POS computer is set up to not continue without the info – when I worked at JCPenney that was the case, but that was a long time ago) you can always lie. I always give the ZIP of my hometown, and the phone number of the front desk of my old employer. I know both by heart so the lie’s not ridiculously obvious, and it means I don’t get calls or junkmail.

  • #185458

    jbeany
    Member

    Decluttering your mailbox

    I’ve been giving out my canceled land line for every retailer who demands a phone number. Like heck I’m giving them my cell!

    I was getting crap from some reservation school my gram had donated to for years, because my name was on her checking account. I finally got off that one by sending them a note that she was deceased and to remove both our names because I had never, and would never, donate, so they were wasting their money sending me address labels, notepads and dream-catcher key chains. (Although my cat did love to chew the feathers off the dream-catchers.) I think it worked – nothing has shown up at my new place.

    What I really want to know is how to stop getting junk mail intended for the last 10 people who lived in the apartment before me!

  • #185460

    pkilmain
    Member

    Decluttering your mailbox

    Someone gave out my cell number as their own – whether on purpose or by transposing numbers I’ll never know – and I got calls from a credit card company for several months. After the first couple of calls, during which I told them that they had the wrong number – I stopped answering and deleted all their voice mails. Finally I answered and asked to speak to a supervisor. I informed her that I also had a credit card with them and if they didn’t stop calling me I was going to cancel mine. Finally it stopped.

    My husband wrote to the charities he donates to and told them that if he received more than X solicitations (I forget how many) a year, they’d never see another dime from him. Worked for all but one.

    Another thing I’ve heard of is to send back your “don’t contact me” info in their self-stamped envelopes. I religiously unsubscribe from mailing lists, and filter others who won’t stop. It’s an ongoing problem.

    And don’t get me started on the waste of trees by companies sending you yet another catalog with anything you order from them….

  • #185461

    Zora
    Member

    Decluttering your mailbox

    What has worked for me is being so poor that I rarely buy anything or donate any money. All I get now are catalogs from Lands End and Ulla Popken, from whom I *have* ordered clothing. Nothing else.

    Drastic cure. Not for the fainthearted.

  • #185462

    Jackthetiger
    Member

    Decluttering your mailbox

    In Australia, we have a “Do not write” and a “Do not Call” register run by the federal government. It works pretty well except that you have to re-register every three years. If some mail does get through, and you contact them, they are always a bit worried when you tell them that you are registered because they can be fined if you report them. I am just happy to be taken off their list!
    Parsifal, I do not understand the need to give retailers our phone details. We were asked for our names, address and phone numbers when we purchased a toaster. We paid cash, but they were very insistent. Finally we told them that we would leave the toaster and they processed it as a cash sale. They were full of dire warnings about how we would have to keep our receipt to produce if it required repair. I asked why they were so lacking in confidence about the durability of the products they sell.
    We only get donation requests from the two charities we support. It has taken us a while, but by refusing to give our details to people who do not need them, and following up any unsolicited mail and tracing where they got our details, we are pretty well junk mail free.

  • #185475

    pkilmain
    Member

    Decluttering your mailbox

    JtT – we have a “Do Not Call” register in the US as well, but I like the idea of “do not write.” In addition to being really really annoying, it’s ecologically unfriendly. I don’t seem to encounter the retailers who want my address/phone number much, though I do stop those who want me to sign up for “their” credit card as opposed to my bank card.

  • #185476

    jbeany
    Member

    Decluttering your mailbox

    I hate store credit cards. Why on earth would I need more? I get rewards with the regular one, why add to the heap? They always get soooo perky and chirp, “You can save 10% on your purchase today!” Oooooh, yee-haw – save 6 bucks today and deal with 6 pounds of junk mail every month instead. It’s not worth it, plus, why would I muck with a great credit rating?

    I’m equally annoyed with store memberships. One of the local groceries has started one, complete with yet another little plastic barcoade tag I’m supposed to add to my key chain. Best of all, if you don’t sign up, you don’t get a single sale price. The chain had done a trial run at the store in the small town I used to live in, and I hated it. Keep track of the points, and use points on certain sale items each week and on and on and on. Don’t forget to give them an email addy so they can spam you AND send you junk mail! For every product that you bought that you might be able to use points on, you had to tell the cashier or the self-checkout computer if you did or did not want to use your points on that particular item. A 15 minute trip to get 5 items took that long again to get through the checkout with everyone adding and subtracting points and punching at computer screens. Uggh. I just wanted some snacks, not a math quiz. When they announced they were taking the membership chain wide, I just groaned. I had moved away from the one store they had test run the membership in, and I was hoping not to see it again. When I turned down the clerk who was trying to get people to sign up for it here in my new home town, she pointed out that I wouldn’t be able to get sale prices without.
    “Yes, I will – at another store.” Yup, the one across the street – problem solved!

  • #185477

    Ella
    Member

    Decluttering your mailbox

    I love junkmail. I just consider it free cat litter with free delivery. 🙂 It goes straight into the shredder and then into the litter box. I figure I’m saving well over $100 a year and no more lugging home heavy sacks of store-bought litter.

  • #185504

    pkilmain
    Member

    Decluttering your mailbox

    jbeany – both grocery stores where I live have membership plans. In both cases however, you need merely to swipe your card at checkout. One – Safeway – gives you the sales prices, plus airline miles. The other – a Kroger affiliate – gives points, but they figure them and once a quarter send you card with a monetary credit. In addition, with the card you always get a $.03 discount at their gas station and more if you have a lot of points. Again, you don’t have to track it at all. Swipe your card and the pump knows! At this second store you can get sales prices without the card – there are paper coupons in front of the items on the shelf.

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