Q: I hate getting junk mail. I’ve registered with the Do Not Call list and with the Direct Marketing Association’s “do not mail” list.
It has been very successful except with local real estate agencies.
I don’t know where they get their mailing lists but every time I receive a mailing I contact them to have my name and address removed from their lists. This has worked with most agents/agencies – except for one.
I have gone so far as to contact their corporate office in New Jersey trying to get someone to comply with my request. Unfortunately, I still receive mail from them. This has been going on for most of the last year.
Is there anything legal I can do to get them to comply with the Direct Marketing Association’s “Do Not Mail” list? Or is there another avenue that I can try that might not be so drastic or costly?
I am at my wits end with this agency and don’t know what to do. Any information or suggestions you have will be greatly appreciated.
A: I think many people are fed up with the amount of junk mail and junk email they receive, not to mention the telephone calls from solicitors that magically occur during dinner.
If you want to stop the flow of information by telephone, you can go to the Federal government’s Do Not Call website (www.donotcall.gov) and register your telephone numbers. Companies that do not abide by the Do Not Call list can be fined a substantial amount of money for each violation.
Once your name and number have been on the list for at least 31 days, and if you then receive a telephone call from a company (other than a charity, political organization or other exempt company), you can go back to the donotcall.gov website and file a complaint.
If you want to stop the direct mail madness, you may register with the name removal file by mailing your name(s) and home address and signature in a letter or on a postcard to: Mail Preference Service, Direct Marketing Association, P. O. Box 9008, Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008.
If you’re sick of getting too many emails, you can go to the Direct Marketing Association’s website (www.e-mps.org) and register your email address. Members of the DMA are supposed to check with the registry and clean their email lists of those addresses that have been registered.
You can also call toll-free to (888) 5OPT-OUT to opt out of having credit bureaus sell your personal information, which means you’ll receive fewer pre-approved credit cards in the mail.
In your case, you’ve done some, if not all, of these things, and by your own admission they’ve been successful. What can you do now? You can go back to the DMA and file a complaint against the local and national real estate companies that aren’t following the DMA registry.
Send your complaints in the form of a letter and be sure to include photocopied samples of the offending mail.
Don’t forget to send a copy of the letter (and photocopied enclosures) to the Federal Trade Commission.
You can also file a complaint with the Attorney General’s office in your state and New Jersey. If real estate agents locally fail to comply with the Do Not Call lists or the Do Not Contact lists, you might also want to place a call to the National Association of Realtors, located in Chicago on Michigan Avenue and file a complaint.
That’s about all you can do. I wouldn’t spend any money on this. The truth is, if you’re only getting the occasional piece of mail and are not deluged with email or phone calls, you’re already way ahead of the game.