How About Mail Preference Postage Discount

If you think the following idea is feasible, please support it with letters (see above).

Every year USPS would insert a mail preference check-off sheet with the IRS tax package. The sheet would list 10 to 12 categories of ad mail — computers, home entertainment, food, men’s/women’s apparel, etc. — based on a sampling of the previous year’s ad mail volume. The individual could check off interest in any (or none) of the categories. Mailers would submit mailing lists to USPS prior to a mailing. Mailers would not have access to the file since it would be confidential. USPS would place markers in the mailer’s files indicating the individuals interest in some mail and not others, or none at all. Mailers who do this would get a 1-2 cent per piece discount for lists that that have been so processed — its use would not be mandatory. No names would be added, but matching names would be data enhanced. The object would be to take a list and reduce a mailing based on the recipient’s actual preference rather than demographic guess work.

The advantage to mail recipients (like you) is that they would get far less junk mail, and the mailers would not only benefit from the discount, but would receive a higher response rate and lower mailing costs. The USPS would benefit from increased revenue (the charge for mailing non-filtered junk mail could be increased) and reduced delivery cost.

This has been suggested to the USPS and direct marketers. Both are extremely conservative with regard to anything relating to list and mailing access. Also, this idea doesn’t fit inside the normal concept of how postal discounts work — it’s hard to prove the economic benefits before it’s tried. Yet a Mail Preference Postage Discount might be a good idea for everyone involved.

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What To Do

What you can do

Write your local Postmaster at your local post office. Be sure to ask them to forward your comments to their superiors. Call 800.275.8777 /7 for more information or visit http://www.usps.com.
Write the U.S. Postal Service Consumer Affairs department expressing your dissatisfaction with junkmail policies:

Consumer Affairs Policy & Program Development
USPS – HQ
475 Lenfant Plaze SW
WA DC 20260-0004

You can also call 800.275.8777 /7 to leave a voice comment, but written letters carry more weight. They will probably respond with a standard reply about how junk mail provides them with ongoing revenue. Don’t give up – write back! See Mark’s observations and recommendations at whew.com. He believes it necessary to get carriers and post offices to return junk mail to the sender when you mark it “refused”.
The Capitol Switchboard will connect you directly to your Senator or Representative: 202.225.3121.
Find out who your Senators and Representatives are at http://www.congress.org – just enter your zipcode. Then write them with your concerns.
The Government Reform Committee oversees the U.S. Postal Service. Do write and/or call them with your concerns:

Government Reform Committee
Room 2157
Rayburn House Office Bldg.
Washington DC 20525
202.225.5074

According to U.S.C. Title 39 – Postal Service section 3008. Prohibition of pandering advertisements, you can fill out Form 1500 to stop delivery of any material that you find offensive. All you have to do is fill out a USPS Form 1500 and attach the opened mail piece to it and turn it in to the Post Office. The USPS will issue an order that no more mailings be sent to you by that mailer.

Form 1500 states that the mailing contains pornographic material that you find offensive. (The law says the determination of what is offensive or pornographic is at the sole discretion of the recipient). The two-sided form is available at any Post Office, and photo copies of it are acceptable. It is easy to fill out and takes only a minute or two. The USPS will send you a letter with a case number, stating when the cease and desist order was issued to the mailer. If you receive mailings after a grace period you can report them to the enforcement office – instructions provided in the letter.

Contact Private Citizen at 800-CUT-JUNK. They have a very successful strategy for getting off junk mailing lists, using Form 1500. If you run into resistance from a postmaster when submitting Form 1500, Private Citizen can do a little arm-twisting, representing you as your attorney.

usps tracking

usps tracking number