Monday, April 9, 2007

Junk Mail and Telemarketer Call Reduction

Do-Not-Call Registry
Telemarketers should not call your number once it has been on the registry for 31 days. You must enter each phone number you do not want to receive calls, recommend your office, home, fax, and each mobile number in your household. Your registration will be effective for five years.

  • Or Call 888-382-1222
  • The do not call registry does not [technically] work for businesses; however, it is still recommended you put your office phone in because it will likely help to reduce calls anyway since most telemarketers want to clear themselves of all liability by clearing their call lists of the do not call phone numbers regularly.
  • Politicians are exempt from this program; they do not define themselves at telemarketers.
  • Companies you actively do business with can still call as well.

Credit Card Pre-approved Offers
Direct mail and credit companies generate mail based on demographics including zip code, income band and credit payment patterns. Credit bureaus make big money selling this information, information from your PRIVATE credit report without your direct consent. One call does it all for agencies Equifax, Trans Union, Experian and Innovis.

  • Or Call 888-567-8688
  • You just need your address, former address within two years, and social security number. Each adult in the house will need to call.
  • You will be given a choice to opt out for five years or permanently. If you elect to opt out permanently, you will be mailed a Notice of Election from each credit bureau to Opt Out Permanently, which you must sign and return to activate your permanent opt-out. Even though your request becomes effective with within five days of your notification, it may take several months before you see a reduction in the amount of solicitations.
  • If you have a 17-18 year old in your home or someone underage who is already receiving credit solicitations, consider doing this with them also. Perhaps they will be less tempted to get credit cards their first few years of college if they do not get pre-approval letters.

Combat Your Creditors Directly

  • Be sure to READ the privacy statement you receive annually from each creditor. In this statement they will explain what they plan to do with your information and what you can do to limit them. READ this statement and follow the instructions. This will keep your information from being spread to “subsidiaries” and “partners” of your credit card company; apparently they have a lot of “friends.”
  • Here's an Example for you, you'll have to look up the rest on your own: Discover Card. In order to provide you with access to these products and services, we may share the information we collect about you with other members of our corporate family. (The ENTIRE Morgan Stanley Corporation) We may share the information we collect about you with non-affiliated third parties, including those that accept the Discover Card. To indicate your preferences, call Discover Card at 1-800-225-5202 or write to Discover Card, PO Box 30961, Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0961.
  • Write any credit card company that sends you courtesy checks, request for them to not send them at all. These checks are extremely dangerous from a temptation standpoint and even worse from a fraud standpoint. They usually have an extremely high interest rate when you write one. It is very simple for a thief to pass these checks and very difficult for you to get cleared from them… much more difficult than a credit card dispute.

Stop Junk Mail
The Direct Marketing Association estimates that listing with their mail preference service will stop 75% of all national mailings. Requests are kept active for five years. It can take up to six months for your request to be fully processed. You can also opt-out online or mail them your request, this service is $1 per person, but it’s worth it!

  • Mail Preference Service
    Direct Marketing Association
    PO Box 643
    Carmel, NY 15012-0643
  • Include your complete name, address, zip code and a request to "activate the preference service". And… a check for $1.

To stop mail addressed to former residents, or a former spouse
If the former residents neglected to fill out a Post Office change of address card, or it expired, you can fill one out for them. You must fill out one card for each unique last name. Write "Moved, Left No Forwarding Address" as the new address. Sign your own name and write "Form filled in by current resident of the house, [Your Name], agent for the above". You must write "agent for the above". Hand this form directly to your carrier, if possible, as your carrier must approve the form and see that it gets entered into the post service National Change of Address (NCOA) database. This is very effective.

Mail From Any Source
Start with the Direct Marketing Association. But, if that doesn’t work you’ll need to go directly to the source. Look for the return mailing address or phone number of the company. Call or write asking to be removed immediately, request written confirmation of your removal.

Phone Calls From Any Source
Request to be put on the “Do Not Call List” but don’t make the mistake of hanging up! Ask them for their company name, address and phone number. Get their verbal confirmation that you are now on the do not call list. Ask them how long it will take for your request to become effective. Keep a record of the call, call the Federal Trade Commission if it doesn’t stop.

Be careful not to search for these web sites as you could come upon a phishing site, a fraudulent site designed to look legitimate and obtain your info. Type these web addresses directly in the Address Entry box on your browser. Oh and I took some of this information from a web site long before I started this blog.. don't remember who.

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