Personal Finance 

USPS Offers Real Mail Spam with No Opt Out

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USPS Mail TrucksIt’s no secret that the United States Postal Services makes more money when there are more pieces of mail to deliver. It’s also no secret that they make a ton of money delivering business mail, so it should come as zero surprise that the USPS is now offering a direct mail service to businesses (it’s been live since last April), called Every Door Direct Mail. It lets a business send mail to a “neighborhood” without knowing names or addresses and only costs 14.5¢ a piece. So while the current stamp price is over forty cents, businesses can spam you for a fraction of the cost.

This is the physical world equivalent of spam and you can’t opt out of the service. You have to tell the business you do not want to receive unsolicited mailings!

How are you going to know which businesses are using it? You’ll get unsolicited mail!

How do you opt out? You’ll need to contact each one of them individually. Welcome to your new game of whack a mole.

I find that the best way is to use Catalog Choice, since they have a free database of contact information to help make the arduous process just a little easier.

As a business, this idea is brilliant… it just needs a centralized opt out database.

(Photo: icanchangethisright)

{ 20 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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20 Responses to “USPS Offers Real Mail Spam with No Opt Out”

  1. Wilma says:

    I don’t mind junk mail. It’s a waste to the enviroment but the trash can is near by. I still prefer a catalog to online perusing. I can go back and forth without all the fuss. There are several real estate agents that flood my mail box on a regular basis and I get a lot of seed & gardening catalogs. Nothing like curling up with a couple seed & garden catalogs to get you reved up for spring.

  2. Modest Money says:

    It’s funny how there are laws against online spamming, but in the real world it’s fair game. I get annoyed at the junk mail I receive, but I just can’t be bothered to try to unsubscribe from it all. I just grudgingly recycle it all.

  3. MikeZ says:

    If the business doesn’t need to know the name or address of everyone in the neighborhood, how exactly would contacting them help you opt out?

    • Walt says:

      That’s the same question I had…it must be done by address.

    • Jim says:

      The business can send the USPS a list of opt out addresses.

      • MikeZ says:

        But do they have to? If I were a business and I didn’t even bother keeping a list of addresses of my potential customers and just mail to everyone in the neighborhood. Well then I definitely wouldn’t bother keeping a list of all those who definitely did not want to be my customers.

  4. lostAnnfound says:

    These junk mailers either get tossed into the recycle bucket or we use them to start a fire.

  5. I’m not sure how you can say that they make a ton of money delivering any kind of mail. The USPS is in a huge deficit, and is struggling to find ways to cover their crazy spending.

  6. Karen says:

    Years ago, I tried to opt out of the weekly junk shopping mailing. They kept it out of my PO Box, but continued to deliver it to my home. One problem with all that junk is that your first class mail can get lost in it. I once received important mail that was addressed to someone else and was tucked in a shopping mailer. I always shake it out looking for anything important, and really wish I could opt out.

  7. bill says:

    what a wonderful way to bring down an entire industry add put thousands of people out of work.

  8. Joan says:

    I don’t mind getting the mailings. It’s a few more cents to keep the post office open. I just think they should raise the price per piece a few more cents to help the post office get out of the red.
    I know people who heat their house with their, and their neighbors, junk mail. Multi-purpose mail.

  9. Shirley says:

    If this will actually help finance the USPS and be done without personal information, then the paper can be recycled.

    The unsolicited mail that I REALLY don’t like is that with ‘pre-filled for your convenience’ forms with your name and address and/or account number. Those are just asking for trouble if you don’t shred that part.

  10. Scott says:

    14.5 cents? We should charge them full-price or double-price and see how the spammers like that? But this is just a pipe dream…

    The reality is (as explained to me by my local post office workers) the junk mail we get helps keep the cost of mailing a letter down. Well, that and a government subsidy 🙂

    From past research I did, your only real legal recourse is to claim that some junk mail offended you (as in claim it was overly explicit or graphic and disgusted you) and file the paperwork to permanently stop such solicitations from arriving in your mailbox. Usually people use this for playboy magazine ads they don’t want around their kids, but you could in theory claim it for anything (as long as you can get the post office to file the paperwork). Then… if that company sends you another piece of junk mail you can quickly file in court for damages and hit them where it hurts. But this is a real LONG shot for basic ads since no one really thinks they are are graphically offensive.

  11. Donald says:

    Mail delivery is still an essential public service for most people, and I cannot understand why the USPS is supposed to raise all its own revenue. We do not ask this of the fire department, the police, the defense department or any other public service. Mail delivery should be subsidized by taxes just like other public services. Then the USPS would not be forced to become the tool of junk mailers.

  12. Deb says:

    I have decided to ‘not mind’ the mail box spam AND have used it for the past five years, as an opportunity to ‘help’ the USPS raise money…

    Anytime a postage paid envelope is enclosed in the junk-mailer ~ with the words
    and in the stamp area…
    I send it back thru the USPS at the expense of the original spammer.
    I have 8 pieces here on my desk, 4 more in my car and just sent 4 back a couple days ago ~ all sealed up with ALL the original contents, including the envelope they sent it to me in, folded up in thirds.
    I have an area in our home for collection of these, after I seal them all back up for ‘re-sending’ and about once a month, drop them in the post office drive up box or take them to the Office Depot drop-off for USPS mail.

    I usually put everything back inside after taking a thick black magic marker and making one big “X” line crossed over it all. I even have one postage paid envelope that’s empty, that I am ‘returning’, as I must have already put the original contents in my paper recycle.

    I chalk it up to helping the USPS raise needed funds ~ while sending a message to the spammer…

  13. Wow, so this is the solution the USPS has come up with to help salvage the dying industry? How about speeding up your service and making it more comparable to your competitors like FedEx and UPS? Thanks for sharing the resources on how to opt out..can’t believe you have to call each business individually. I’m curious, does USPS have demographic info such as age, gender etc or are these pieces supposed to be going out blindly into the wild without any targetting? 14.5c per mailing plus the cost of the mailer seems expensive to throw at untargetted customers…

  14. Master Allan says:

    Oh Joy!

    More advertisements for lawn care, roof repair, and garage door services sent to me at Apartment #1305.

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