How to cause maximum irritation for credit card companies

Go to a people search company.
Waste some money.
Find out the CEO’s name, phone number, names of family members and home address.
Find out the names, employers, schools, phone numbers and home addresses of all the located family members.
Put all the information you garnered on a sheet of paper.
“Hi. I found this info on the Internet.
Please stop sending me junk mail.”
Separately, put in the original mail.
Send to CEO’s home address.

It’ll probably get forwarded to corporate security, and waste a whole bunch of time.
In fact, make a copy. Send to corporate security.
Not quite illegal, but creepy as hell.

That may not work. I read somewhere (sorry, no cite) that one guy shredded his application, taped it back together, filled it out with his work address (different from his home address) and sent it in.

His credit card was approved.

I suggest burning the sucker, then sending back the ashes.

Spoken like someone who’s never had incorrect information about him floating around in some damned credit database forever, causing all manner of Kafka-esque bureaucratic absurdity.


I love that site.

Looks interesting…am I looking at anything in particular?

From the Cecil column linked above:

I can’t help wondering if these people have wood stoves. . .

Going to

and opting out will drastically reduce the amount of credit card offers you get. I believe credit card companies that you have a current relationship with can still send you offers, but this will get rid of everyone else.

There are a lot of lonely people out there. Some of them may welcome even junk mail as an alternative to not getting anything. (My mother was a directory assistance operator for years, and she used to tell me sad stories about people who called them on holidays like Christmas just to have someone to talk to.)

Or have root cellars that need insulating.

An easier way of messing with the drones is to swap the inserts between companies. Send the blank MasterCard form to Sears, and vice versa.

I’ve been sending them thread reports from a certain poster or midget porn, depending on which is more readily available at the moment.

Seems to me the credit card companies keep sending the offers out for the same reason spammers send spam; enough people respond affirmatively that what they gain far exceeds what it costs them, including any marginal extra cost for dealing with the occasional “surprise”.

In other words, although I have no cite I really don’t believe any amount of shredded paper, other junk in the envelope, etc. will stop them from doing it; the only thing it will do is make you feel good.

In Prank The Monkey, the book of pranks by the guy who runs ZUG, he tests to see whether mail gets delivered with “supplements” by enclosing, say, a check with a small donation to his college’s alumni association. The checks did get cashed, so they apparently did get where they were meant to go.

As I recall, he started with a length of steel chain, upped the ante with lead roof flashing (almost two pounds), and finally enclosed a solid lead bar (over 5 pounds). They all got delivered.

You know, the US Postal Service, bless its heart, permits the mailing of live chickens and road kill.

Just sent it along with a nice cover letter: “Thank you very much for your kind offer of the steak knives with completion of a credit applicaton. Unfortunately, I am not permitted to keep knives, so I must decline your kind gift. Please accept my gift to you which is enclosed herein.”


Heh. My Dad sent in that question.

Yep, the top brass aren’t only not *irritated *by this, they don’t even *hear *about it.

If you want to feel really good, cross-shred your junk mail, mix it 50-50 with cat litter, and watch the animal treat the stuff with the respect it deserves.

I think of it this the same way I think about giving telemarketers hell when they call, to wit:

I’m making the peon’s work life slightly worse.

If enough people do it, his work life will be a lot worse.

If his work life is really bad, he’ll quit.

If he quits, the company will have to hire and train someone to replace him, costing them money and reducing their bottom line.

If enough people do this, employee turnover and the difficulty hiring new people (because the job sucks balls) will eat into the company’s profit so much they’ll go out of business or at least discontinue the practice.

In other words, if you work for a company that does things people hate, don’t be surprised when they react negatively.

Telemarketers are a whole 'nother animal. The way I see it: the more of his time I waste, the less time he has to call someone else and possibly make a sale. And the only way telemarketing will ever stop is when it becomes unprofitable. Therefore, it is my sacred duty to waste the telemarketer’s time, because it hits the company right in the profits.