Thursday, January 03, 2008

How to Opt Out of Junk Mail

Do you get a lot of junk mail? Specifically, pre-screened credit card offers? I get a ton of these, like 2 or 3 a day. That adds up to a buttload of credit cards I don't want, and certainly don't need (two maxed out Mastercards are plenty, thanks.), not to mention a lot of wasted paper.

I'm trying to be a bit greener...in the environmental way, not in the jealous or Kermit the Frog sentiment of the word. Did you know that there is a continent-sized mass of plastic debris floating in the Pacific Ocean? I kid you not- read the article. Frightening. I blame Hawaii.

Anyways, the good news is that you can opt out of those credit card offers for five years. Here is the scoop from the Federal Trade Commission (Protecting America's Consumers!).

You can either call this number 1-888-5-OPTOUT (or 1-888-567-8688 if you hate translating letters into phone numbers like I do.) and use their automated system, or go online to optoutprescreen.com . I tried the telephone number first, but they wanted me to enter my social security number, and I didn't feel comfortable doing so. On the website form, providing your social security number is optional.

Now don't say you never learned anything useful by reading DCoE...

10 comments:

bigglesworth said...

yeah, but does it work? i'll give it a try -- i'm already a skeptic though:)

bigglesworth said...

by the way, i'm glad you're finally finding out about the plastic island we've been trying to create out here in the pacific. most of it is dunkin donuts containers / coffee cups, and there are no DD shops here so...

Kevin said...

I did this a few months ago, and it seems to work to some extent. But the credit cards you already have continue to send all of their junk - like $10 checks for you ... if you sign up for their $20 a month protection scheme.

nad said...

Kevin - if you're diligent you can make money off those $10 checks. Generally you have 30 days to cancel the service, and all that takes is a phone call. I've been cashing those checks for the past 6 months, and my CC company has now bought my SO and I dinner a couple of times.

Beth said...

It works thankfully! I think it also stops sending student loan consolidation offers, too. Does anyone know how to opt out of catalogs? Somehow every catalog company got our info (no joke - I really don't need the PajamaGram catalog). I am blaming Babies R Us. I have no proof, but they steal all my money and I am sure they've sold my soul to the devil.

maria said...

In order to keep track of who is selling my info, I'll add an extra letter to my last name or alter it someway whenever I sign up for a catalog mailing list or magazines.

eileen said...

MJ- that's a good idea; I should start doing that.

Kevin said...

nad, I was tempted to make a quick $30 by cashing the checks, b/c I did see you could cancel, but then I thought I'd probably forget and it'd be a big hassle. I agree, though, that if you're diligent, you can definitely play the CC companies at their own game and get some cash off of them.

eileen said...

Same here- I would definitely forget to cancel the service, but a more orgnaized person could make some extra money doing this.

Amanda said...

Beth, I don't know how you can opt out of all, but you can call the customer service number on the back of the catalogue and tell them you want to stop receiving them. They ask for the codes on the back page. I called william sonoma and ended up getting out of like 6 other catalogues at the same time b/c it's the same company.