Slay the Junk Mail Monster! Three Websites That’ll Help

Unsolicited and unwanted credit card offers, catalogs, and magazines all have the potential to derail recovering overshoppers. These three websites will help you to opt-out of lists supplied by consumer credit reporting companies, remove your name from junk mail providers, and enable you to choose whether or not you want to receive mail from companies making offers of credit. You can choose to stop getting mail from companies that send catalogs, from those offering magazines, newsletters, and other periodicals, and from those who ask for donations or make retail, bank, or other offers. Here are the details:

OptOutPrescreen

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Equifax, Experian, Innovis, and TransUnion are permitted to include your name on lists used by creditors or insurers to make firm (preapproved / prescreened) offers of credit or insurance. (A firm offer of credit or insurance is defined as any offer of credit or insurance to a consumer that will be honored if the consumer is determined, based on the consumer’s credit report, to meet the specific criteria used to select the consumer for the offer, subject to certain confirmation requirements.)

With a few clicks of the mouse on this website, you can fill out a brief online form to Opt-Out, removing your name from lists supplied by the four consumer credit reporting companies, Equifax, Experian, Innovis, and TransUnion, to be used for firm offers of credit or insurance. By choosing the five year Opt-Out option, you can complete your request on this secure website. Your name will not be eligible for inclusion on lists used for firm offers of credit or insurance for five years.

The site offers you these choices:

  • Opt-Out from receiving Firm Offers for Five Years – (electronically through this website).
  • Opt-Out from receiving Firm Offers permanently – (mail Permanent Opt-Out Election form available through this website).
  • Opt-In and be eligible to receive Firm Offers. This option is for consumers who have previously completed an Opt-Out request – (electronically through this website).

EcoCycle

This website, with an environmental perspective on reducing junkmail, outlines and then details a number of steps that help you remove your name from junk mail providers, saving money and shopping temptation while you support the planet.

Their ten recommendations, some quite easy, some a little more cumbersome, add up to a powerful suite of weapons against the monster. Each comes with instructive details.

  • Remove your name
  • Know the magic words
  • 1-800-NO-THANKS
  • End credit card solicitations
  • Stop junk promo products
  • Catalogs, charities & contests
  • Cover your tracks with all the direct marketers
  • Dial out of unwanted phone books
  • Hire the experts.
  • Support legislative action against junk mail.

DMAChoice

Companies want to reach people who are most likely to be interested in what they have to offer. That’s why they rent or buy relevant mailing lists instead of just sending mail at random. These prospect lists are created from information about your past purchases and interests, as well as from public records, phone directories, club memberships, and other sources.

However, direct mail is only successful if you’re interested in the types of mail you’re receiving. DMA Choice helps you get more of the mail you want, and less of what you don’t.  They divide direct mail into four categories:

  • Credit Offers
  • Catalogs
  • Magazine Offers (this includes subscription offers, newsletters, periodicals, and other promotional mailings)
  • Other Mail Offers (this includes donation requests, bank offers, retail promotions, and more)

For each of these categories, you can choose whether or not you want to receive mail from individual companies, or, if you prefer, from all companies you haven’t purchased from or donated to within an entire category. Any choices you make will be effective for five years from the date you make them.

David Eisenach
Research Assistant
Stopping Overshopping, LLC