coupon mailers & more crap from the P.O.

March 30th, 2010

coupon mailer shaft

you know the coupon mailers and junk flyers that arrive in your mailbox?
have you ever tried to stop the Post Office from putting them there in the first place?

all of the handy links and references around the interweb require you to give more information to those companies than they had in the first place. (Isn’t that a form of extortion? or at the very least idiocy.)

take a closer look at the mailing panel: funny thing is, the Post Office puts them in your box regardless of there being any address actually on it. [see update below re: Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM)]

Small, yes, and nearly not worth writing about. but’s it’s one of the many examples of institutionalized junk in the world. Why should the act of complaining turn into a Falling Down accumulative sort of thing? And what was the other more recent version of that film?

In pursuit of some inkling of simpler living, here are some links that can help you reduce the junk mail. It’s still too bad that consumers have to opt-out of these things, rather than exercise their own shopping skills and discretion and opt-in to mailings.

FTC Prescreen offers Opt-out (check out that permanent opt-out option!) (requires registration)
Online tool developed by the Direct Marketing Association to help you manage your mail.

2 very helpful junk mail information pages:

[Update: 12/9/12]

From the DMA site, I found this little tidbit. It explains the ‘service’ that I found rather mysterious. But, after realizing that the very existence of the USPS is hanging on by the thread of revenue from these companies, it’s not so mysterious anymore.

The US Postal Service has introduced Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) to small businesses around the country. In a nutshell, the neighborhood business can advertise by giving the local Post Office a bundle of promotional mail without any names and addresses and the postal carrier will deliver it to every patron on their route. It is an inexpensive and very effective way for small businesses to advertise their products and services.

The USPS did build in a process for businesses to exclude mail from certain mailboxes, but unfortunately no one told consumers how to register for the opt-out service and until now there has been no central repository for the opt-outs.

The Direct Marketing Association is working with the USPS, printers and other businesses to encourage the use of our consumer EDDM opt-out list.


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