If you’re sick of having your mailbox stuffed with junkmail every day, you oughta swing by Do Not Mail and sign a petition to help get it stopped. Its goal is to create an opt-out list similar to the Do Not Call list for telemarketing scumbags. I usually don’t bother with online petitions because I’m not always convinced that they have any impact, but in this case I signed within 30 seconds of seeing the website. Why not? It pisses me off knowing that just by making a purchase anywhere with my credit or debit card, my name and address can be added to a mailing list without my permission. Within weeks I’m getting shitmail from companies I’ve never heard of, and it’s virtually impossible to find out who’s got my name so I can have it removed from the list. So many companies are sharing this info with each other that nailing down the source list is an exercise in futility.
One of the worst offenders is Advo with their ShopWise bundle o’ crap, because they happen to be in bed with the U.S. Postal Service. A week after you move to a new address, you’ve got a packet of shit from Advo stinking up your mailbox. How did they know? Gee, let me guess. And getting them to stop delivering it is nearly impossible. While Advo is quick to remove your name from their lists, you will likely keep receiving their stuff because mail carriers don’t keep track of who wants it and who doesn’t. Unless you make them, that is. Here’s what happens every single time I change my address, and I mean every time:
- Enormous packet of Advo junkmail arrives a week after I move into my new place. Welcome to the neighborhood, enjoy these valuable savings coupons! Yeah, fuck you too.
- I call Advo’s local office and ask to be removed from their lists. They tell me I’m now off the list, but it’ll still receive their crapola for “6-8 weeks” because they do so much printing in advance. All marketing companies say this.
- After 6-8 weeks I’m still getting their junkmail, but the delivery address isn’t mine. If I’m in a new apartment (instead of a house), someone else’s apartment number is on the address card, yet the thing is in my mailbox. Sigh.
- I call the local branch of the USPS and tell them I’m still getting Advo junkmail even though it’s not addressed to me. They pretty much just shrug and tell me they’ll look into it. (Sometimes they just say “Yeah, OK” and hang up on me.)
- Advo junkmail arrives again a week later. I call Advo to see if they can get the USPS to stop. They say “This shouldn’t be happening, it’s part of their contract to not deliver to anyone who’s been taken off the list.” They call/email the local postmaster to see what’s up.
- A week passes and more Advo junkmail arrives, still not addressed to me. I call Advo again, they contact the USPS, and finally it stops for good. Sometimes the mail carrier puts a big pink sign inside my mailbox saying “No Shopwise” because it’s too hard to look at the address card and see who it’s supposed to go to.
By this time, months have passed since that first call to Advo. To be fair, the Advo folks have always been pleasant to deal with and have gone to bat for me when the USPS wasn’t paying attention, but I still resent the fact that I get on their lists again every fucking time I move. It’s happened so many times that I don’t even call them anymore — I automatically email the same person who’s helped me resolve this problem in years past, and she’s been great about helping me out. And this is only one company amongst thousands who want to flood my mailbox with junk! I’m tired of getting free trial issues of stuff I didn’t ask for and catalogs that I’ll never, ever, ever order from. (Why are we getting Pottery Barn Teen but not the regular Pottery Barn catalog? And boy, Rolling Stone has really rolled downhill lately. But I digress…)
So you can see why I’d love-love-love to be on a Do Not Mail list. I’m tired recycling this crap, I’m tired of having to pick through a dozen bits of deceptive advertising just to find my bills and other things, and I hate the idea of how much waste they produce every single day. Leave people the hell alone — if they want your services, they’ll come looking for it. (The site also links to various methods of getting off these lists, so it’s worth a look.)