They don`t live here anymore

Furthering my pursuit to stop junk mail, I have begun attacking the mail that I get that it addressed to previous residents of my home or people who have never lived here.

The first step is the catalogs and coupon mailers that come addressed to someone else “or Current Resident”. One previous tenant was a golfer, I’m not, so the weekly (sometimes twice weekly) fliers from the Golfsmith has to go. The fliers contained no information for opting out of their mailing list, no phone number to call, except the local store who informed me that they were not responsible for the fliers and he wouldn’t give me the main office number. But in the age of the Internet, this didn’t stop me. I went to the Golfsmith website and used their contact page. After a few emails back and forth trying to make the customer service team there understand that I hadn’t ordered anything and just wanted off the mailing list, they finally got it and have claimed that I have been removed.

Thankfully, that was the hardest one to deal with so far. Others have immediately understood what I wanted and responded accordingly, so the catalog of horrifically expensive watches should stop, the fishing catalog, and handful of others should stop within the next few weeks.

Next to deal with are the real mail items for other addressees. Legally, I can’t open their mail to find out if there is a contact number. Nor am I supposed to just throw it out. According to the post office, mail not addressed to me should be marked “Not at this address” and left in the mail box. I’ve been doing this for almost a year now and they still deliver mail for the same wrong people. I suppose I may just have to live with it.

The last thing to deal with is random junk mail, usually for local businesses or those packets of coupons for services I don’t need from companies I’ve never heard of. This level of junk is called Direct Marketing, and there just happens to be a Direct Marketing Association and they publish a method to be removed from their lists. You can find the instructions here. Now, unlike the prescreened credit offers I posted about before, being removed from this list isn’t free. It is going to cost you $1 per name/address combo you want removed. But $1 is worth it to me, not only to stop me from getting this junk, but possibly reducing the amount of this junk that gets printed.

The fight against junk mail continues…


  1. Have you never, ever responded to unaddressed mail? Do you not find free newspapers useful, interesting and informative? What about Yellow Pages or Government information? Free product samples?

    You will be a very rare person indeed if you have never responded to a leaflet promotion and have no interest in the above.

  2. I think once I got a coupon in the mail for a discount on a gym membership, but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t have gotten just by walking in to the gym. 99.9% of the stuff that comes in the mail is rubbish, and the 0.1% that is worthwhile isn’t worth dealing with the other crap.

    I’m not sure what “free newspapers” you are talking about, the only thing I’ve ever gotten is the “See what you missed this week!” 5 page piece of junk the Atlanta Journal Constitution leaves if you aren’t a subscriber. I get more news from the internet in 5 minutes than I would get in that mini-newspaper. Product samples? I haven’t gotten a free product sample in the mail in over ten years. As for the Yellow Pages… yeah, a phone book is useful… I would just like them to stop delivering me a full set of three giant books every three months. What a gigantic waste!

    And I guess I am a very rare person, because I’d rather not have them waste the paper on stuff I’ll never use. Call me crazy that way.

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