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Cedar Mill News
Volume 3, Issue 11


November 2005

Reducing junk mail
By Megan Bruce, staff writer

Few people like to get unsolicited ads or credit cards in the mail. Ditto telemarketing calls and spam for various sorts of enhancements or “investment opportunities.” While it may be impossible to completely eliminate these wasteful nuisances, there are several ways to drastically reduce them.

Credit bureaus offer a toll-free “opt-out” number that prevents pre-approved credit card offers for two years. Simply call 1-800-OPTOUT (567-8688) to get more information and to sign up. The operator will ask for your personal information, including your home phone and your social security number, but don’t worry: the information is confidential and necessary in order to process your request.

You can also contact the three major credit bureaus letting them know that you don’t wish for your contact information to be shared for with other companies for promotional purposes. Just make three copies of a letter stating you want your information to remain confidential and send it to these major credit bureaus:

• Equifax, Inc., Options. P.O. Box 740123. Atlanta, GA 30374-0123
• Experian, Consumer Opt-Out, 701 Experian Parkway, Allen, TX 75013
• TransUnion, Name Removal Option, P.O. Box 505, Woodlyn, PA 19094

For direct marketers, there are options to reduce both telephone and mail solicitations. The Federal Government has the free and easy to use National Do Not Call Registry. For details or to sign up visit www.donotcall.gov, or call 1-888-382-1222 from the phone you want registered. Within three months there ought to be fewer telemarketers interrupting your dinner hour. The registration remains valid for five years or until the number is disconnected. After five years, you can simply register again.

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) has a Mail Preference Service allowing you to opt out of receiving direct mail marketing from their member companies. Like the Do Not Call Registry the restriction only lasts five years, at which point you will have to re-register. To register with the DMA MPS, write a letter to:

• Direct Marketing Association, Mail Preference Service, P.O. Box 643, Carmel, NY 10512

Even with these preventive measures, unwanted solicitations seem to be as inevitable as taxes. If you receive a call from a telemarketer, politely let them know that you wish to be removed from their database. Some spam e-mails have links that allow you to unsubscribe, but prevention is the most important step. One option is to create a free e-mail account and enter it whenever you don’t want to receive correspondence.
Lastly, please remember to recycle all junk mail, taking care to remove all non-paper items from the envelope first.


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The Cedar Mill News
Published monthly by the Cedar Mill Business Association, Inc.,
P.O. Box 91177
Portland, OR 97291-0177

Publisher/Editor:Virginia Bruce
12110 NW West Rd
Portland, OR 97229