What Can You Do If a Company Refuses to Take You Off Their Mailing List?

No one likes junk mail, especially repeated mailings from the same company. Unsolicited commercial mail is a nuisance that costs money and inconveniences the recipient. Most firms respect a consumer's right to have his name excluded from their solicitation mailing lists, but when a company refuses to take you off its mailing list, you have several options that may help cut down on the junk mail.

Escalate with Customer Service

The first line of defense is to escalate the complaint with the mailer's customer-service department. Some customer-service representatives are trained to encourage a person to continue to receive mailings, so being firm but polite and seeking supervisory assistance may be all that it takes. Follow up with a certified letter to the mailer's place of business confirming your desire to be removed from future mailings.

Do-Not-Mail Lists

The Direct Marketing Association is one of several groups managing a do-not-contact list. The DMA contains more than 4,500 businesses, and its lists are used by companies across the country for unsolicited commercial mailings. By adding yourself to the DMA's do-not-mail list, you will be excluded from the lists that get to the mailers in the first place. In addition, let the DMA know if one of its member companies is not complying with a request to be removed from a list.

Better Business Bureau

In extreme cases, file a complaint with your local Better Business Bureau. Although this will not necessarily stop the mailings, the threat of a BBB complaint will often get a difficult mailer to wise up and stop the mailings. At the least, a complaint will alert other consumers that a business may be difficult or non-responsive to customer requests.

Return to Sender

One last option--return the mail to the sender. Write "refused--return to sender" on the envelope (this may not work with loose publications like coupon mailers) and put it back in the mailbox. This will not only alert the mailer that you are serious about not accepting unsolicited mail, but it creates an extra burden for them to have to deal with the returned mail.

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