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Monthly Archive for November, 2007

No Unwanted Catalogs and Junk Mail Today!

Gidday,

We have been opting out of unwanted catalogs using www.stopthejunkmail.com for 7 or 8 years now and we generally get no postal junk mail at least 2-3 times a week.

Today we had absolutely no mail at all, not even any bills!

I thought that this was worth reporting because after all it is the Xmas season!

Cheerio,
Margot

Niwot and Boulder High Schools up for Junk Mail Challenge

Gidday,

Youth ClassAction organizer, Charlee Dyroff has 4 local Niwot and Boulder Schools signed up for the stopthejunkmail.com December Challenge, Boulder High, Niwot High, Fairview High and Peak to Peak.

ClassAction is gearing up for the December Challenge from the 10th to 15th. If you would like your school to be involved in helping your local community opt out of postal junk mail, protect our environment and plant trees with American Forests Organization it’s very simple to get your school involved.

Become a part of ClassAction
You can Contact Charlee if you would like to become a member of the ClassAction Youth Group and be a part of their stopthejunkmail.com challenge.

Stopthejunkmail.com School Partnership Program
Contact stopthejunkmail.com to get involved in funding your own independant school programs. All you need is an application form to benefit from our schools partnership program. You can be a part of an ongoing daily partnership.

Cheerio,
Margot

Bill Moyers Journal and Junk Mail

Gidday,

I have just been catching up on a segment called “Lighten the Load – Return to Sender” I saw with Bill Moyers on PBS talking about his personal issues concerning opting out of postal junk mail. How easy it is to get on lists and what can you do to reduce the onslaught coming to your mail box.

I find Daniel Katz statistics about the number of catalogs each person receives interesting but here’s some statistics from our own stopthejunkmail.com junk mail report Our members say that they get on average 14 catalogs or more a week or 780 catalogs per year! If you weigh 14 catalogs that’s about 5lbs of paper each week (and that doesn’t include direct mail solicitations). If you add that up that’s about 230lbs each year of junk mail per household.

Don’t forget you also receive junk mail from direct mail companies such as banks, credit card companies, airlines, insurance companies, magazines, newspapers, non-profits and many other companies you are affiliated with in some way. In fact if you order a magazine you are immediately adding your name to a publishers mailing list ,and someone like Conde Nast has over 30 publications. Have you thought about who else may share or sell your private information over and over again? Catalogs are but just a small piece of this puzzle.

At stopthejunkmail.com we handle all of these titles individually. So if you want to still get Vogue magazine but not Golf Digest you can select these by title from our enhanced list of direct mail publications. Similarly LL Bean has some 15 catalog titles depending upon the season and Lands End about 8 titles, our members can select to receive LL Bean Home, but not LL Bean Kids for instance.

The best advice is if you do have to order from a catalog or online you should always request the company not to sell, rent or share you private information. You should also contact your banks, credit card companies, anyone you have an account with and request that you are opted out of advertising and that they do not rent or sell your private data.

Our members are happy to use stopthejunkmail.com to better define their direct mail shopping preferences and even in our household we only get the catalogs we love to shop from and bills of course, can’t do anything about them!

At stopthejunkmail.com we have been helping consumers protect their privacy now for 6 years, since 2001. It has been our own personal passion to pass our knowledge on to consumers whether they are members or not.

Interesting items: I just read another item from

Cheerio,
Margot

Compare Catalog Choice and Stop the Junk Mail

Gidday,

There are more and more services now that you can chose from to opt out of postal junk mail. Just in the last month another service launched their beta website, www.catalogchoice.org.

Cost
The service is FREE.

How it Works
Catalog Choice is under a beta release with a site that operates very similarly to our own. You can stop individual catalogs per address and add all the members of your household to your account as we do at Stopthejunkmail.com

Available Catalogs
You can search for a catalog such as LL Bean, but you cannot selectively stop individual publications from LL Bean. With stopthejunkmail.com you have a the ability to stop LL Bean Home and keep LL Bean Kids for instance.

Account History
You can track your opt out choices on your Account as you can with stopthejunkmail.com.

Usage
You can add any number of catalogs to your account and record the customer information from the back of the catalog, as we do at stopthejunkmail.com but we also allow other codes to be added from the address label.

New Suggestions
You can suggest new catalogs if you cannot find the one you are looking for, as we do at stopthejunkmail.com.

Direct Mail
They do not handle direct mail or the DMA, only catalogs. There are no banks, newsletters, magazines, non-profits, charities, Insurance companies or political parties, computer resellers, churches, hospitals or cable companies. Stopthejunkmail.com handles all of these and many more.

How Long does it Take?
Catalog Choice has over 120,000 individuals signed up plus over 1 million opt outs recorded. They must be very busy, I am a bit worried though because it is unclear as to how they process opt out requests. I am not sure if it is a manual process or an electronic process but they do promise your catalogs will cease in about 10 weeks. I did find a blog entry from Oct 30th that said “Our team is working hard processing your opt-out requests”. At stopthejunkmail.com we immediately notify each catalog company electronically when a member opts out and we have a proven success rate of reducing direct mail within 3-4 months.

Merchant Accounts
In the same blog entry they also announced the launch of the Merchant Section of the website. This new feature is for a catalog company to confirm their merchant account, this means they can chose to receive a file containing a list of consumers wishing to opt-out of their catalogs. “… merchants did not fully understand the benefit of our service and they wanted to take a wait and see approach before signing up.” Catalog Choice admits. It seems that Catalog Choice maybe promising a service that may not actually be accepted by the direct mail industry at all.

Also another new service this past month is www.proquo.com

Cheerio,
Margot

Niwot High School to Help Consumers Opt Out of Junk Mail

Gidday,

I have been meeting with young local Niwot High School Entrepreneur the past few weeks, Charlee Dyroff. Charlee and a few of her friends from other High schools in the district are about to launch a community club called ClassAction focused around undertaking small community programs that will benefit their local environment.

Charlee first came to me with the idea that she wanted to volunteer for stopthejunkmail.com. We jointly came up with the idea to start a Schools Program between ClassAction and stopthejunkmail.com. With this program stopthejunkmail.com have agreed to fund ClassAction enabling Charlee and her fellow classmates to succeed at their objectives to help the community. Charlee plans to launch the first ClassAction Schools Challenge in December from the 10th to the 15th and welcomes any other school or athletic group in the nation to compete with them.

Charlee grew up with her dad running another program, the Colorado Youth Hockey Foundation, which was formed to help under privileged kids get into ice hockey, check out www.kidsonice.net. Like father, like daughter in this case. Charlee has other friends involved at other schools in Boulder and some other states, her idea is quickly growing. The general idea is that the kids take on small community projects to clean up their local towns and put back into the community.

If you want to find out more about ClassAction and the December Challenge defined by ClassAction, you can contact Charlee here or go to their website.

Stopthejunkmail.com offer other programs to schools, clubs or businesses who want to participate in raising funds for their own projects. Please contact us if you have any questions or for an application form to join the program.

Cheerio,
Margot

Making Your Catalog Choice, Tuesdays Biggest Day

Gidday,

At stopthejunkmail.com we have noticed that Tuesdays are the biggest day for the number of opt outs we process for members during any particular week. Historically our members are online far more on Tuesdays processing name removal requests than any other day of the week. Catalogs are at an all time high at this time of the year as catalog companies pile on the pressure for consumers to shop for family and friends.

We surmise that direct mail companies target the beginning of the week for shoppers decision making. Unfortunately for catalogers shoppers are choosing to opt out rather than shop.

We ask why a Tuesday? Could it be that Mondays are too busy for most of us getting back on schedule and routines for the week? I know Dr’s offices are hit hard on Mondays, it’s impossible to even get them to answer the phone. Mondays are also often holidays. So that puts us at Tuesday before we get to do things for ourselves. Probably the end of the week isn’t a good time either because most of us go out either Thursday or Friday nights to relax a little after a hectic week at the office or home. Saturday we are playing or watching sports and Sunday is a rest day, right? Phew….I missed Wednesday, but so do direct mail companies it appears.

Cheerio,
Margot

The Truth About Cell Phones And The Do Not Call Registry

Gidday,

I had a friend send me a copy of an email yesterday about how your cell phone number is going to be released to telemarketers tomorrow if you do not call to add your cell phone number to the FTC’s Do Not Call Registry.

I was a little suspicious because of the last sentence in the email, it seemed to be a chain letter, so I have been hunting around and found this out about these emails that the Federal Trade Commission released on October 12th, 2007.

Here’s what my friends email said…and yes, the phone number is the valid DNC registry number.

>”REMINDER….all cell phone numbers are being released to telemarketing
>companies tomorrow and you will start to receive sale calls.
>
>….YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR THESE CALLS
>…YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR THESE CALLS
>
>To prevent this, call the following number from your cell phone:
>888-382-1222.
>
>It is the National DO NOT CALL list. It will only take a minute of your time
>It blocks your number for five (5) years . You must call from the cell
>phone number you want to have blocked. You cannot call from a different
>phone number.
>
>HELP OTHERS BY PASSING THIS ON TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS.
>It take about 20 seconds.”

It seems there are a number of scams out there and you should be very careful about what emails you are opening. In Summary the FCC regulations prohibit telemarketers from using automated dialers to call cell phone numbers. Automated dialers are standard in the industry, so most telemarketers don’t call consumers on their cell phones without their consent. Yes, you may place your personal cell phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry. The registry has accepted cell phone numbers since it opened for registrations in June 2003. There is no deadline to register a home or cell phone number on the Registry.

Also the FTC announced on Oct 23rd that it will not drop any phone numbers from the Do Not Call Registry until the congressional hearings about whether the list should be permanent are concluded. So you need not worry that your phone number will become available anytime soon for telemarketers.

If you want to find out more about the FTC’s Do Not Call registry here are some FAQ’s.

Cheerio,
Margot