I do that all the time. I remove anything with my name and stuff the return
envelope with papers from another offer. Credit card company may get the
offer for cheap car insurance or a coupon for 20¢ off a box of Tampax.
Sure, childish maybe but I have to wonder what nasty names the guys in the
mailroom call me when they open them.
Be aware that the direct mail industry got the regulations changed over 15
years ago to stop most of the liability for those stunts. The return postage
limit is capped at something like a dollar. The regs let the post office
simply toss overstuffed envelopes, something the sorting machines do with
verve. If you want the BRM to actually cost the mail spammer anything then
don't over-weight it. Actually, just sending back the empty envelope
accomplishes about 85% of your goal of costing them something.
As of 15 years ago when I was in the magazine business, a postage-paid
business reply matter (BRM) cost around 85 cents in postage so stuffing it
doesn't do much. Takes the fun out of sticking a PP-BRM to an old tire and
mailing it back :-)
Much of the BRM envelope processing is now done in the Third World. Again, 15
years ago Bangladesh was becoming a major player. Back then they'd ship the
bulk mail to Bangladesh for opening and ship it again, this time to a
nominally English speaking area like India for keypunch. Handwriting
recognition software probably does it now. No Americans ever touch the paper
after it leaves the USPS sorting facility.
Only speculation now: Probably the most effective thing at gumming up the
works that you could do would be to put something in or on the envelope that
would muck up the operation of the sorting machines. Like that rubber snot
that they bind in the business reply post cards in magazines. The post office
tends to reflect all the costs of processing back onto the direct mail
industry so I bet that if a lot of people do this, there would be a negative
effect on direct mail.
If you just want to get rid of junk mail then there are several steps you can
take. I've done all of these and it has worked grandly.
1. Get on the federal do-not-call list. http://www.donotcall.gov /
2. Get on your state's do-not-call list
3. Get on the Direct Marketing Association's do-not-mail list
4. Have a flag put on your account with the three major credit reporting
agencies that you do not want to get credit card or loan solicitations.
Here is the DMA's opt-out page
The first selection is what you want, though it seems broken at the moment.
Incidentally, the DMA is raising the legislative alarm regarding states that
are proposing to pass do-not-mail legislation similar to the do-not-call ones.
Their "bad" (our good) states are listed here.
Use this as a guide to support existing legislation if your state is included
or to spur new legislation if it isn't.
John De Armond
See my website for my current email address
http://www.johndearmond.com <-- best little blog on the net!
Tellico Plains, Occupied TN
If we aren't supposed to eat animals, why are they made with meat?
I would in such case weight up the envelope to about 1/4 pound or
3.9 ounces or 3.6 ounces (with a few appropriately-sized pieces of sheet
metal, but with envelope thickness under 1/4 inch).
Preferably have the pieces of sheet metal thin in thickness (use more of
them) for the envelope with such sheet metal to be "adequately
- Don Klipstein (don@misty,com)
Here, in this part of Canada, anyway, we were able to put ourselves on
a 'Non addressed mail list'.
This doesn't take care of those business who at some point inthe past
have done business with you or have you on their ctalogue list! But
reduces the 'spam' consisting of advertisng ec. somewhat!
Well, you don't go to town anyway? That's what we do--sounds as though
you've roughly the same trip distance as we and we've had the box in
town since grandparents sometime back in the '20s (at that time the
impetus was that the nearest delivery point was within a mile of town
anyway, so if had to go that far were essentially to town, anyway.
Since, the advantage of dry, no rural box to maintain/repair (how much
time and $$ have you wasted on this box not to mention the
aggravation?), no security problems, no vacation overflow problems,
etc., etc., ... There are many advantages against some disadvantage.
It would be quite unusual if the boxes weren't available for collecting
mail 24/7 even though the PO itself is closed--most rural PO's in very
small areas have gone to the banks of boxes somewhere on the outside of
the building; those that aren't generally leave the lobby open.
I suppose there could still be some that don't have access, but they
must be rare any more...
Our PO Boxes are only available when the lobby is open, that's 9 AM to
4:30 PM. A long time ago, the lobby was open 24/7, but when some idiot
thought it would be fun to put something burning down the inside mail
slot, all post offices in the area now close the lobby at night.
Remove the TOS star ship captain to reply privately.
Same here - none of the rural post offices in my area provide box
access after 6pm. The 24/7 access would likely be provided where
security cameras are installed - the little offices in my area operate
on a shoestring budget so cameras are of the question.
Ahhhhhh. The old days. Casing and drill pipe and anchor chain mailbox
supports. Casing barbecues. Boilers made out of hundreds of dollars of
exotic metal flange gaskets. Which somehow cost us zip.
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