Several things in life aggravate me. Stupid drivers annoy me. Wet socks irritate me. Hiccups make me angry. While there are hundreds of those "little" things that get under my skin, there is one thing above all things that has to be my most annoying pet peeve--JUNK MAIL!!

I hate it. Where does it all come from? I scarcely recall asking all these companies, especially banks to send me their unwanted solicitations. So why do they send it to me? How did I get to be a participant? Is there anything I can do to get out from under my mailbox overload?

Just out of spite and meanness, I have put their mail back into prepaid envelopes and mailed them back just to annoy and cost them more money. It might be a fantastic plan if everyone in the country did it, but it is a sure thing they do not blink an eye at my attempt to make a statement. 

How do I get on these lists anyway?

Whenever any of us purchases a product or uses a service, we can get added to one or more lists used for direct marketing. Buy a car, a house, use a consumer card, sign up for a card or subscribe to a magazine, give to a charity or fill out one of those merchandise registration forms, you, my friend, are being added to a list that is bought by businesses that will hit you with direct marketing. 

Now before we downplay direct marketing, the amount of junk mail we all get means one thing--it works! Someone, somewhere for some reason likes what they see in a solicitation and takes the bait. If there was no success in these campaigns, there would be fewer trees used for the paper that makes its way to my and your mailboxes. Selling this information is big business. And is done on so many levels, it would virtually be difficult to stop your information from being collected this way.

Is there a way off of these lists?

Yes. But there will be work involved. Contact the Direct Marketing Association's Mail Preference Service. Important to remember that if you do this, you must register every three years. If not, the mail carrier will be driving a forklift to your mailbox again. There is a small cost to do this. It will cost you one dollar. Send a check or money order along with a letter to:

Mail Preference Service 

Direct Marketing Association 
PO Box 643 
Carmel, NY 10512

Or better yet, register free online:


When you buy something from a catalogue, your transaction is usually reported to a company called Abacus. Members of Abacus exchange information with one another. There are a couple of ways to get your name out of their database.

By e-mail: abacusoptout@epsilon.com

By mail: 

Epsilon Data Services 

P.O. Box 1478 Broomfield, CO 80038

Can I stop pre-approved credit offers?

Many companies provide information on what you owe and your payment habits like do you pay your bills on time. These companies, of course, are your credit bureaus. The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires credit reporting companies to delete names of any consumer if that consumer requests the removal. 

  • 88) 5OPTOUT (888-567-8688) is a single number you can call to opt-out of Innovis and the three major credit bureaus. It is available in English and Spanish.
  • Equifax Options, Marketing Decision Systems
    • By phone: ( 888) 567-8688
    • By mail:
      Equifax Credit Information Services, Inc. 
      P.O. Box 740241 
      Atlanta, GA 30374
  • Experian Marketing Lists
    • By phone : (402) 458 5247
    • By mail: 
      Experian Consumer Services 
      901 West Bond Street 
      Lincoln, NE 68521
  • TransUnion
    • By phone: (888) 567-8688
    • By mail: 
      TransUnion Name Removal Option 
      P.O. Box 505 
      Woodlyn, PA 19094

      Include the following information with your request: First, middle, and last names (including Jr., Sr., III), current address, previous address (if you've moved in the last six months), Social Security number, date of birth, and signature.
    There may be no way to completely remove your name from all the many direct marketing companies' lists, but with a little knowledge and yes, a little time and work, you can significantly cut down on the amount of junk mail you receive. Receiving so much junk mail, especially credit card offer and even bank checks can be a real threat for someone to take advantage of your good name and do terrible damage that might take you years to repair.

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Comments 6 comments

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

This is such a helpful hub! I many people read this and take advantage of your useful information. Thank you.

judydianne profile image

judydianne 7 years ago from Palm Harbor, FL

This hub will help so many people who hate junk mail. It does get overwhelming at times.

Mardi profile image

Mardi 7 years ago from Western Canada and Texas


Thanks for this. I hate the waste of paper products and I am definitely going to contact these agencies.

ElElyone profile image

ElElyone 7 years ago

I like taking all of the stuff and putting it back into the return postage paid envelope and sending it all back.

Hahahahahahahahahaha :-)

compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 7 years ago from London UK

I always use differant names when ordering cabs, food services and all other non credtit-business companies, so I know exactly who is to blame when it comes to the junk mail i receive!!

sdy53 profile image

sdy53 5 years ago

The irony of having to put my name on a list to avoid being on all the other lists is tough to stomach :)

My biggest junk mailer is the church of Scientology. Almost impossible to shake them!

The preapproved credit card offers should be outlawed.

What "preapproved" really means in credit card parlance is that you are allowing them to review your credit history!

BTW being tailgated by another vehicle irks me more than Junk Mail.

Thanks for trying to help us all solve this irritating problem :")

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