We’ve all gotten the unwanted catalogs and fliers in our mailbox. Imagine it multiplying into the dozens or hundreds. It was the experience of a Bremerton man and when he couldn’t find a solution, he called me.
Ron Losey imagined spending his golden years in his garden, not on the phone trying to stem the massive growth of junk mail filling up his mailbox.
"There's probably 160 some odd catalogs I had here at one time,” said Losey.
More than 80 companies have been targeting Ron's address this year alone. His issue all began with a simple purchase or two.
“We'd go online and order things and when we did order it, shortly after that we started receiving catalogs from different companies,” explained Losey.
Ron tried calling each company to get his address removed and that’s where he learned how the problem was spiraling.
“He says well, we rent your address out to other people and we charge them a fee for that,” said Losey.
Ron’s situation got me wondering, what can you do about junk mail? Ernie Swanson with the United States Postal Service says your options are limited. These mailings are completely legal. And no matter how much you complain, the post office has to deliver them.
“The postal service cannot stop mailing, sending, completing delivery of these kinds of mailings. We have an obligation because they paid the postage that we have to deliver it,” explained Swanson.
If you believe writing "return to sender" will make a point, think again!
“Typically advertising mail doesn't have a return to service on it and we'd just have to put it in recycling bin some place - which you might as well do anyway,” said Swanson.
Your best move would be to contact companies like Direct Marketing Association and Catalog Choice. They can help end the mailings. Otherwise, since there is no “Do Not Call” list for the mail, you are on your own.
“They're under no obligation to remove your name. But again, with the expense of printing, producing, mailing the material, you'd think that it would be in their best interest to do so,” explained Swanson.
Just remember to opt out of ads and catalogs if you can. As for Ron, we hooked him up with the info and it appears to be helping. Just remember, unwanted mail bothers you but costs the business more.