Remove Your Information From Junk Mail Lists For Free

My 5-year-old shredder is dying from all the junk mail I’ve fed it over the years. I’m totally hyped about buying a jumbo 12-sheet shredding beast. Coincidentally, I just ran across a free service called ProQuo.com that supposedly helps you remove your name and other information from a variety of different lists, including Coupons & Weekly Circulars, Snail-Mail Marketing Lists, Mail-order Catalogs, Telemarketing Lists, and Credit Card and Insurance Offers. From their FAQ:

How does ProQuo help consumers?
ProQuo helps consumers remove their personal information from marketing lists, data brokers, and other organizations responsible for a large amount of junk mail. ProQuo does this by helping people request removal directly from these sources. In many cases, ProQuo will send these requests electronically to the specific organizations that consumers select. For companies that don’t accept electronic requests, ProQuo helps consumers to print out forms for mailing or directs consumers to third party web sites.

I’ve been trying them out, and many of them do require you to print out and mail in a form to request removal. Still, many accept electronic requests, and I had no idea any of this was even an option. ProQuo also incorporates other removal services like the National Do Not Call List. Here’s a screenshot from their interface:

altext

If the service is free, how does ProQuo make money?
In the future, ProQuo will allow consumers to request offers that they do want in addition to eliminating the offers that they don’t want. ProQuo will make money from the advertisers that provide these offers. ProQuo will only provide these offers when requested by consumers.

Hmm… I’m kind of skeptical but their Privacy Policy looks okay at first glance. “We will never release consumers’ personal information without their express consent – ever.”

Comments

  1. This would be fantastic! I just bought a house and within the first week, i got 16 pieces of mail for “mortgage protection.” What a load that is.

  2. Not to mention all the other crap I’ve gotten

  3. Junk Mail Rules says:

    Less junk mail means higher postal rates. The first class volume is way down due to the internet, USPS makes a lot of money from the bulk mail. Keep the junk mail coming.

  4. Graham,

    I just bought a house also and I’ve gotten around 20 of them from various businesses. If you look in the fine print, the letter usually states it is not affliated with your lender at all (even though they have the name of the lender on the letter). They get it all from public records. So there is a company going through public records and apparently all the information is there, name, address, and lender of the mortgage so they compile that and send it out or sell it. read this article

    http://michaelbluejay.com/house/scams.html

  5. no kidding! same thing happened to me after I bought my house. I was so excited to move somewhere new and not deal with all that crap like at my old place.

    thanks, public-record scouring ne’er-do-wells!

  6. Let me know how this goes. I don’t get to much junk mail right now but a service like this, if legit, I will keep in mind.

  7. I’ve been reading too many spams lately…

    I read the title as “Remove Your Informations…”

    X-D

  8. Removing yourself from credit/insurance offers is already a free thing to do. It’s called opting out. The official site is http://optoutprescreen.com or call 888-5-OPT-OUT (888-567-8688). These are the credit reporting industry’s opt-in/opt-out resources, which stops the four credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, Innovis, and TransUnion) from selling your credit information to direct marketers. You can opt out for a five-year period or permanently. (You can always opt in again if you decide you’d like to get these offers in the future.)

  9. The official site for removing yourself from pre-screened offers is optoutprescreen.com

  10. Once they remove your information from the other lists…do they include you on their own mailers? Wouldn’t that be ironic. :)

    -Raymond

  11. I looked at this site and optoutprescreen.com (thanks Robert). Prescreen looks more legit as they *appear* to be tied into the credit agencies. When you go to the ProQuo site, look in the upper left hand page, its says “Beta”. Hmmm, I’d wait.

  12. OptOutPrescreen only applies to pre-screen credit and insurance offers. It does not remove you from other lists like catalogs, ValPak coupons, charities that spend way too much on marketing, etc. It’s included as one of the list of ProQuo options.

    I have no idea if this works, but I’ll see.

  13. I don’t mind the junk mail. I just need to find a cross-cut shredder with a large slide out basket for less than $100. I fill mine up in a couple of days.

  14. “Less junk mail means higher postal rates. The first class volume is way down due to the internet, USPS makes a lot of money from the bulk mail. Keep the junk mail coming.”

    Something’s seems wrong with this logic. Companies pay to send out the catalogs/mailings/crap. When they send less out, their costs go down, consumer costs go down. Less paper is consumed, so paper costs go down. Maybe its a wash… If this stuff was “opt in” rather than “opt out” I wonder how many would go for it?

    USPS costs will go up for a while, then they will start cutting back services as more information is transmitted electronically. Seems like they need to figure out something that doesn’t involve wasting their time delivering crap…how much time does the junk mail take to process and deliver? those mail carriers aren’t workin for free and I would be fine if they stuck to business. I have heard that the mail worker pensions are going to overwhelm the USPS – hence the constant upselling of insurance, delivery confirmation and “would you like stamps with that?” Taken straight from the McDonalds supersize playbook.

  15. I’ve been reusing the business reply envelopes that they send as regular envelopes. apparently, they use those barcode regardless of what the address says. A personal letter I sent came back from a credit card company. haha very funny card services…

  16. But if you get rid of all the junk mail, how will you find out about promotions for cash back and free airline miles?

    I for one hope Jonathan doesn’t get his name removed from credit card mailing lists…

    I also like coupons!

  17. To Graham, Ryan, Sarah, et al:

    Moving companies sell the information of new homeowners (name/address/?) to those that would pay for it. That is one likely source of all your newfound junk mail.

  18. Just curious, why do you shred your junk mail?

  19. Wouldn’t unsubscribing from junk mean that you wouldn’t get any more credit card and other such offers? I am still playing 0% game or using occasional bonus – usually with modified terms based on my profile, those terms cannot always be found online. So I would like to keep those coming, even if out of 10 envelopes I am only going to look at 1 offer seriously. The rest of it tho I would gladly give up – maybe it would help save a few trees and some of my time!

  20. You can be removed from the ValPak mailing list by contacting ValPak directly at valerie@valpak.com or by going to the automated website at Cox Target Media: http://www.coxtarget.com/mailsuppression/s/DisplayMailSuppressionForm

    You do not need to go through ProQuo to do this.

  21. Matt Henderson says:

    Jonathan, I’m a regular reader of you blog. You might also want to check out CatalogChoice.org; We’ve got over 600,000 users opting out of over 8 million catalogs. It’s a free and effective service!

  22. Jonathan, I read your post about the mortgage insurance protection letters and my remedy was to send every one of them back EMPTY, that way they get charged for the postage. I do this with every piece of unwanted mail…. -It wasn’t long until I think they got the hint, plus it supports that USPS too!

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