Tuesday, November 21, 2006

How to get off direct marketers' lists

I got these off the Direct Marketing Association (DMA)'s Consumer Assistance site and a Privacy Policy mailing from my bank. I've done all of the steps described below. I'll follow with an update in a few months.

How to stop direct marketing mailings (for five years)
  1. Go to Mail Preference Service.
  2. Fill in the online form. (You can also print out the form and mail it in with a $1 check but why bother?)
  3. Charge $1 to your credit card. It's a verification thing.
  4. That's it. But don't celebrate too soon. You'll only be off the list for five years.*
How to stop credit card mailings (for five years)
  1. Call 1-888-567-8688 (1-888-5-OPTOUT).
  2. Follow the instructions. You can choose to remove your name from the call list for five years or permanently. Choose wisely.
  3. Based on your phone number, they'll ask you to confirm your address and name (which they automatically know). You'll also be asked to enter your Social Security Number and date of birth.
  4. If you want, you can do the same for other people in your household. You'll just have to do the entire process again.
  5. Snail mail will be sent to you within five days, which you'll have to sign and send back.
  6. Rejoice, in a limited fashion.*
How to stop telemarketer calls (for five years or permanently)
  1. Go to the National Do Not Call Registry.
  2. Click the "Register Now"button and enter your phone number(s) and an email address. You'll need the email address to confirm your registration.
  3. Check for an email from the National Do Not Call Registry. Click the link in the email.
  4. You're done. Again, don't celebrate too much. You're only off the list for five years.*
* Remember, you're only off the lists of those scrupulous marketers (oxymoron alert!) who actually use these registries.