Stopping Unwanted Mail - my story of fighting back
Stopping unwanted mail would save lots of trees, give postal carriers a break, and remove from your mailbox a slew of packages, catalogs and letters designed to tempt you into spending money.
And, if you are committed to frugal living, you don't need temptations to push you off course.
So, how do you stop unwanted mail? Well, here is my story about movies by mail and how I stopped them cold.
I belong to an organization that sends videos by mail and asks members to purchase them. I purchased quite a few because they were of good quality and high value, and I wanted to support fund raising for the organization. It was and still is a worthy cause.
It wasn't a money making scam; it was a legitimate fund raising effort. Something that I wanted to participate in.
Once I didn't want any more videos, I sent them back and called to have my name removed from the list. About a year later, the videos started coming again. I again sent them back and called to have my name removed from the list.
When you can't stop those movies by mail, the fund raising effort begins to look a lot like a money making scam, and it needs to be treated that way as well.
Their objective was to raise money, and my objective was to stop unwanted mail, unwanted temptation to spend money, and reduce the hassle associated with sending things back.
When the videos started up for the third time, I took a different approach to stopping unwanted mail and the movies that came with it. I kept the movie.
It is my understanding that when someone sends you something in the mail, and you haven't ordered it, you can keep it. Don't take my word for it, because it's just something I heard, and I figured it might be a way of stopping unwanted mail.
Normally I would send it back, but I was torqued off that this organization can't take "no" for an answer - even when I had phoned them twice and checked off "send no more videos" with each return mailing.
My plan was to have them come to the answer "no" all by themselves, so I opened the video, watched it, enjoyed it, and put it in my collection. It was a fine product that was very instructional. It was well worth whatever they were asking for it.
I threw away the return mail packaging for the video, because I intended to keep this "free gift", compliments of the money making scam.
After a few weeks, I received a letter in the mail that asked for payment for the video. I tossed that in the trash. A few weeks later, I did the same thing again with another letter they sent. And, when the third letter came asking for payment, it also went into the "circular file" with the rest of the trash from the scam.
I was focused on stopping unwanted mail that begged me to part with my money. One way or the other, I had to get on their list of "don't send this guy anything else because he doesn't pay" for things we send him.
Whether this organization is thick-headed or whether they just wouldn't take "no" for an answer, I was focused on stopping unwanted mail that asked for money, and that's just what I did.
Just by keeping the movie, my problem solved itself! I haven't received any more letters, and the funny thing is that this organization hasn't sent me any more videos "on approval" either.
That means I don't have to make any more phone calls to get off the mailing list, and I don't have to send anything else back. I suppose they gladly took me off the mailing list because their fund raising wasn't working as planned.
If your focus is frugal living, be sure to turn a blind eye to things that temp you to spend money unnecessarily. Stopping unwanted mail is one way to do it.
I didn't know how to stop unwanted mail, but this seemed like a reasonable approach, and it worked just great. If you have a success story about stopping unwanted mail, let me know so I can add to this collection of techniques for others who are committed to frugal living.
Done with Stopping Unwanted Mail, take me back to Money Making Scams