Returning Junk Mail

I frequently received in the mail junk stuff. You know, those advertisments for $1 billion lines of credit, new magazine subscriptions, etc. With those that have a postage paid envelope, I take the part with my name and address on it and write in bold Sharpie marker, “Remove my info from your mailing list!!!”, stick it in their postage paid envelope and stick it back in the mail.

I haven’t been doing it long enough to determine if it’s effectively cut down on my junk mail, or if I’ve been taken off of any mailing lists, but it irritates me to no end to receive so much junk mail.

This takes little of my time (as opposed to calling their toll-free number and attempting to get a hold of someone to request being taken off their mailing list), and almost none of my resources (other than the Sharpie marker and the energy to open and write and seal the envelope). Is there some negative impact that I may be missing by doing this? Anyone have any better suggestions?

You might be interested in this classic Cecil column: Can I mail a brick back to a junk-mail firm using the business reply envelope?.


I don’t go so far as using a brick cos i know the Post Office won’t accept it.

But i do have a little hole in the park across the street from which i regularly excavate sufficient soil to bring the weight of the pre-paid reply envelope over 60g. 60g being how much is permitted for standard mail. I hope that the PO charge the junk mailers for the excess carriage :smiley:

With people getting so annoyed at Telemarketers and a Law being passes taking care of that nonsense, I have long been amazed on how many people who are annoyed by junk mail and the waste that is generated by it alone, that no one has done anything similar to telemarketing.

Doesn’t always work. Once, I was so annoyed by this company that kept sending me magazine subscription offers that I put everything they mailed to me in the reply envelope. I mean everything, including the outer envelope they used to mail it to me.

Apparently, they thought that meant that I wanted to subscribe to their magazine. I got the first issue shortly thereafter.

I had been getting an incredible amount of junk mail. It included such things as subscriptions to magazines, such as “Field & Stream” and “Golf” that I never even ordered. Every single car dealer and church in the entire D/FW area had my name and address. It tripled when my father died, and for some reason I will never fathom, I started getting junk mail addressed to him at my address! Forget that my father never lived at that address, and that my father and I had not shared an address in almost 30 years!

Then I bought my house and I figured the junk mail would not be forwarded.

Jesus, but was I wrong. I’m still getting all the old junk mail, with the little yellow stickers on it. Since when did the post office start forwarding junk mail? And I’m still getting mail addressed to my dad at my old adress. And now I’m also getting junk mail with my new address. And junk mail with my father’s name and my new address. And now all the typical “new homeowner” junk mail.

But the worst part? The former homeowner’s junk mail is NOT being forwarded, and now I’m getting HERS, TOO!

Jeez! Make it stop!

The drones who open the returned mail have absolutely no power to take your name off of the lists. They just toss the several letters like yours that they get in a day in the trash. You are wasting your time.

Well, you could always install a woodburning stove in your basement and store up the junk mail as winter fuel.

I do that all the time. I just tear off the bits of paper that have my name on it.