Does this sound familiar? You come home from a long day and decide to pay bills. You sit down and find that you have to shred 20 credit card offers before you can find your actual credit card bills. While you’re shredding, the phone begins to ring with unsolicited calls. Then you check your fax machine and find pages of unwanted offers. You didn’t ask for any of this stuff. How can you make it stop?
Many choose to simply ignore the problem by hanging up on solicitors and throwing away junk mail and faxes. However, you can eliminate the problem altogether. If you haven’t heard the phrase before, it’s time to opt-out.
Opt-Out from Junk Mail. Following these steps will eliminate a good portion of your junk mail. First, go to http://opt-out.cdt.org/ and follow the directions there. This should stop most mailings. Next, pay attention to those annoying extra fliers and forms that come in your bill envelopes. When you enter a billing agreement with some companies, they take your contact information and share or sell it so that other companies can send you junk mail offers. Most of these accounts should include an “opt-out notice” form with your bill. By completing and mailing the form, you’re telling the company that they can no longer share your information.
Opt-Out from Phone Calls. Your telephone numbers (including your cell phone) can be added to the Do Not Call List. This should eliminate most sales calls. Unfortunately, this does not apply to non-profits and political campaigns. A few of the so-called “non-profits’ that call your home regularly asking for donations are barely legitimate, but that’s a story for another Quick Tips. Go to www.DoNotCall.gov, or call 800-382-1222, to join the Do Not Call list.
Opt-Out from Faxes. The Junk Fax Protection Act of 2005 worked to stop unwanted faxes from being sent to private fax numbers. If you do get unwanted faxes, the fax must include an opt-out option.