Who'll Stop the Mail?
The U.S. Postal Service delivers—but don't expect it to deliver you from the mountains of junk mail it dumps on your doorstep. Direct marketing mailings—which have increased by some 5 billion pieces since the National Do Not Call Registry went into effect in October 2003—generate billions of dollars in revenue for the USPS. Maybe that's why some seemingly obvious steps for refusing these mailings don't really work. For instance:

Just Say No
  • Writing "return to sender" or "refused" on the envelopes of unsolicited letters and placing them in your outgoing mail will not remove you from the sender's distribution list. The USPS does not forward third-class bulk mail; postal regulations require that it be thrown away instead.
  • Placing unsolicited mail in a return envelope with postage due is another futile attempt to stop future mailings. In all likelihood, the USPS will simply return the envelope to you for the correct postage. If you omit your return address and the Post Office is unable to return it to the sender, the envelope will go to the USPS's mail recovery center.
Please note: This is general information and is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult with your own financial advisor before making any major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio, and a qualified legal professional before executing any legal documents or taking any legal action. Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities are not responsible for any losses, damages or claims that may result from your financial or legal decisions.


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