Has anyone noticed how hard it is to cancel a magazine subscription these days? They simply won’t let you go. They may stop sending you copies, but the invoices just keep coming. Usually with some pitch like: “If you pay this low, low amount, we’ll keep you on our list.” I canceled my subscription to Entertainment Weekly at least three years ago and have moved twice since, but still I get “invoices.” How do they know where I live?

And what about those mailings with the block printing that says: “Warning: $2,000 fine, 5 years imprisonment, or both for any person interfering or obstructing with the delivery of the letter. “ As if it’s REALLY important mail from the CIA or something. And then it’s some mortgage company offering to refinance your house. They need to get over themselves, stamp “Junk” on the envelope, and recycle it themselves.

Get this one. I recently started work for our local paper. So my paid subscription (which I’ve had for 20 years) got transferred to a free subscription (woohoo, my one benefit). So now the newspaper I work for is sending me surveys asking me how I like my new subscription. Save your money!

And then there are the free AAPR issues I’ve been getting recently. No thanks. Back off. I’m not there yet. (But how do you cancel a subscription you didn’t order?)

It’s one thing to kill trees for no good reason, but to annoy me at the same time? I always think about watching Andy Rooney one night on 60 Minutes talking about stuffing junk mail from one company into a return envelope from another company and mailing it back just for spite. That was a good laugh!

It can’t just be me. What kind of crap mail do you still get? And how can I stop mine?

  1. I get large envelopes, as in 8 1/2 x 11, looking all important, just to mail a one-page letter inviting me to compare their insurance rates. What a waste, of paper, postage and MY TIME! And, what I really hate, are the companies I do business with and have specifically signed up for paperless billing, that send me offers for more services via mail. I said PAPERLESS, people! Pay attention!

    Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. I feel better.

    Gayle Carline

  2. I subscribed to an investment newsletter using my P.O. box address. After a few years it has been passed all over the globe. Some days I get pitches for three or more newsletters. The post office has a handy garbage can nearby.

  3. I get all of the above…

    I receive junk for my father who has been gone for 5+ years. I can actually understand it to some extent, since he was Sr. and I was Jr.

    But, it gets worse – I still receive junk mail for my mother who has been dead for almost 23 years. On top of that, she never, ever lived at my address AND almost half of the junk mail is in her maiden name.

    I still haven’t been able to make any sense of that one…


  4. Wow! That tops everything. Do you suppose we’ll ever ban those mass mailings for environmental reasons? Or to save the postal service money? Seems like such a good idea.

  5. When you move and forward your address at the post office, the magazine people find out from there some how.

    We moved, I was trying to figure out how to change our address with a magazine, and it showed up in the mail with the new address like it had always been coming here.

    I get junk mail for people that have our last name, but have never lived here and we don’t know them. Problem with having a common name. I just write ‘doesn’t live here’ with an arrow to the guys name and stick it back in the box. Works for a bit.

  6. Wish there was a NO JUNK MAIL form to fill out similar to the NO SALES CALLS form. Thank goodness for recycling.

  7. Yeah, junk mail is an environmentalist’s nightmare. My personal favorites are the ones that look like a check. They sucker my husband every time. He plops the prospective winfall in my lap, the look in his eyes suggestive of a hope that I’ve earned some extra royalty check or won a lottery I never entered.

    “It’s just junk mail,” I say, and the hope in those eyes dims a bit more each time. I’ll give those mailers this much–the “Made Ya Look” factor is high. Otherwise, junk mail is nothing more useful than scratch drawing/coloring paper for my daughter.


  8. Here’s a link to a great post about reducing the amount of junk mail you receive: http://www.fightidentitytheft.com/junkmail.html

  9. Jennifer–THANK YOU for that link! I have an old Direct Mail Preferences address that I clipped from Ann Landers many years ago. It’s still working for us. We get very little junk mail, since we wrote to them, and the link you gave goes even farther (further?) Here’s to saving trees–and lowering our blood pressure!

  10. Catalogs. Because I’m on the road so much and rarely have time to stroll through a store, I do most of my gift shopping online. The downside is I have give a billing address for the cc. They use that to send their catalog, which is bad enough, but each catalog is only one of many from a parent company. So I get ALL the parent company catalogs. Sometimes I receive 2 and 3 copies of the same catalog on the same day. I never look at any of them. They go straight into the recycle bin.

    I used to work with a lady who was willing to call and harass each individual company until they took me off the mailing list. She really enjoyed doing this. I miss her.

  11. I have been fighting for years to get rid of junk mail in order to save our trees. I never read any of it. It goes straight from the mailbox to the recycle trash bin. I finally have been able to stop most of it. I had to call or fax companies directly to stop them. But it has been successful for the most part.

    My sister has been married to her husband for twenty years. He is living in her home that she had prior to their marriage. She gets mail addressed to her husband’s ex-wife who, of course, has never lived there. How they get these addresses is amazing.

    Thanks, Jennifer, for the web address.

  12. When I was 17 (I’m now 35!) I sent away for some information regarding a correspondence course. I left home, moved 5 times to 3 differents states. My parents still receive “special” offers from them (for me)!

  13. I’m the junk mail queen. I receive a stack of mail 5-6 inches high nearly every day. I even get books I didn’t order and letters demanding that I pay for them. Next time I move, I’m having an unlisted address. 🙂

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