Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Save a Tree! Opt-out! by Barbara Quinn

I hate junk mail, especially the paper kind. It clogs my maibox with absurd offers and is a scourge on the environment. All that useless paper. What a waste of trees and waste of time to open and then shred or recycle. Do they really think I am going to switch insurance companies or take on yet another credit card? And so today I am grateful for being able to opt-out of junk mail. I’d already gotten on the do not call list http://www.donotcall.gov/ and installed a spam filter, but credit offers and insurance offers clogged my mailbox. I learned I didn’t have to put up with them any more.

A few weeks ago I went to http://www.optoutprescreen.com/ and registered for their free service. If you’d rather do this by phone you can call 1-888-5-OPTOUT. You can opt-out from receiving what they call “firm offers” for five years, or, oh joy!, permanently. If you elect the permanent opt-out option you print out and fill out a form and mail it in. I am here to tell you that it works! Within a few weeks, my mailbox started looking much emptier. You will no longer be included in firm offer lists provided by the consumer reporting companies. That’s one of the reasons why you get all this crap. Because the credit companies can send your name to the insurance and credit industries. (Another tool you can try is dmachoice.org which allows you to opt-out of catalogs, magazines, credit cards and more for three years at a time. )

I don’t like the fact that they call this “firm offer” opting-out. What a confusing and meaningless term. And printing out and mailing is cumbersome. But, at least this option does exist and it's permanent.

Why not save some trees and sanity and opt-out!

And if you ever change your mind and want to get those offers again, there’s an option to opt-in, which to me is more mind-boggling than the term "firm offer” opt-out.


Patresa Hartman said...

AH! i am grateful for this post! yes yes yes! i want to opt out! no more junk mail!

Barbara Quinn said...

Go for it, Patresa! It's sooo good to be able to take control of the mailbox again.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Hey, thanks! I'm gonna check it out.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Here is another service to try:

Barbara Quinn said...

Thanks, Kat for another good site!
And yay, Angie! I bet you'll be happy you did!

Listen to our Podcasts