Junk Mail Again

1. A music video about junk mail.

2. The Direct Marketing Association announced Jan. 8 that it is no longer charging people $1.00 (fondly called the "inconvenience fee") to sign up for the Mail Preference Service which allows you to remove yourself from various mailing lists.

3. Then Tom Watson with King County Solid Waste Division in Seattle, WA, and the National Waste Prevention Coalition posted this to a list serve:

”DMA is clearly responding to Catalog Choice the new national opt-out service launched last fall by the Berkeley, CA-based non-profit Ecology Center. As of today, more than 360,000 people had signed up for Catalog Choice. DMA is also retooling their Mail Preference Service to make it seem more like the user-friendly Catalog Choice. In addition to taking off the $1 fee, DMA has introduced a shorter (and similar) website name, http://www.dmachoice.org.

Now, here's where it really gets interesting: The DMA Mail Preference Service used to be generic, taking people off all lists. Then Catalog Choice came along, letting people specify which catalogs they wanted to opt-out of. So now, DMA has decided they like that idea better, and they have changed the Mail Preference Service so that you just select the mailers you don't want mail from, rather than opting out of everything.

Ironically, the end result may be that less junk mail gets reduced. And even though the DMA finally took off the $1 fee, they still require you to give a credit card number when you sign up for their Mail Preference Service, supposedly to verify the request. I think that's just as much a barrier to some people as the $1 fee.”

I tend to agree with Tom.

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