Return Junk Mail To Sender

When I took a college business class, our teacher talked about all the "junk/unsolicited" mail we all receive. If you notice that most of it has a return address on it. He told us to cross out our names and put "return to sender" on it and the compnay that sent it has to end up paying the return postage for it. After a while they will hopefully quit. I do this all the time and it has worked. May seem like a pain but I hate junk mail and I'm gonna let them know it. Give it a try, you really have nothing to lose.


By Cheri from Garland, TX

If the junk mail that you receive has a return postage paid stamp on it, all you have to do is tear up the mail, put it back in the PRE-PAID POSTAGE envelope and mail it back to the sender. After a few of these mailings, they get the message and will NEVER send you their junk mail again. I have done this for over a month, and it is working. It was the post office that informed me of this action. Interesting, huh?

By Mary Pallister from California

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June 29, 20071 found this helpful

I hate all the junk mail too but I now use it to my own benefit. Many times the inserts in junk mail are only printed on one side. I use it as free note paper. Many times there is an envelope inside as well and I save these in a drawer of my desk. They are handy to make a grocery list on the plain side and slip my coupons inside. I also use the envelopes to send lunch, field trip, etc money with the kids to school.


It really isn't all that terrible anymore to get the "junk mail" when I recycle it into free usuable items for my own use!

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June 29, 20071 found this helpful

I used to do that, return the postage paid envelopes, and it does work to some extent, but many companies don't give up that easily. Most get a bulk rate on those postage paid envelopes, so it doesn't hurt them much. Although with the rising cost of postage it probably hurts more now than it used to.

Several years ago I started writing to the mail preference service, which made a huge impact on the amount of junk mail I received. I believe names stay registered for up to three years, though you do occasionally have to write again (in the instance of mispellings). And when I order something online, by mail, or even in person at a store, I let the company know that I don't want my name/address sold or rented to anyone else.


Otherwise you wouldn't believe how quickly your name/address can circulate.

I also phone the overly persistant companies (those with toll free numbers) and tell them in person that I want to be removed from their lists. It takes some of my time, but the results are well worth the effort (and they end up paying the phone charges).

We rarely have junk mail in our box now.

The MPS used to be free, but I guess they now require $1 handling fee to process the request.

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May 8, 20200 found this helpful

Now called DMAChoice - cost $2.00 via online (credit card needed) or $3.00 via mail in form (use money order) - service good for ten years.

Suggestion- collect your junk mail for a year before doing this service. You MUST include ALL name/address variations your junk mail is addressed. Or when you receive a new name/address variation you must pay another fee.

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By Annie. (Guest Post)
June 29, 20070 found this helpful

Not only do I send the junk mail back to the sender but I stuff the return envelope with all the junk mail I can fit in it and they end up paying the extra postage. That way I get rid of all the junk that came that day. I love recycling !

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May 8, 20200 found this helpful

Postage paid return envelopes are only good for a certain weight - if envelope is over this weight then USPS deems waste and tosses the envelope. So this means the "stuffed" envelope doesn't even make it to the intended receipient.


Just use postage paid envelopes as you would a normal envelope - mark out preprinted info and attach a label with your intended receipient. Postage paid by someone else!

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By Dean (Guest Post)
June 29, 20070 found this helpful

I return the junk mail to sender but I tear it in half and enclose the part with my name and address so they know who returned it.I very rarely get junk mail.

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By Susabelle (Guest Post)
June 30, 20070 found this helpful

Putting "return to sender" on junk mail does NOT mean it goes back to who sent it. Bulk mail is not returnable, so when it hits the post office, they have the expense of disposing of it. And guess who pays THAT cost -- that's right, YOU AND ME in higher postage costs.


Don't waste your time and energy, throw the junk mail in the recycle bin and be done with it.

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April 6, 20171 found this helpful

Better to try locating how to reach the company directly and request being removed from mailing list. At least it helps.

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October 31, 20170 found this helpful

Good advice but just try to get the actual mailing address for Spectrum Cable (also known as Time-Warner Cable). I get tons of advertisements from these people and the only "return address" is "Spectrum Americas fastest growing internet provider." I was finally able to complain to them via Facebook, but it's been 6 months now that they promised to remove me from their mailing list and STILL GETTING their advertisements!

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June 6, 20190 found this helpful

I was literally told by xfinity and other cable giants- that I had to join national do not market list (which Im already on!!!)-.
In order for them to stop mailing me offer junk letters EVERY 3-5 days !


Incredibly abusive , IMO .
Also I fully believe potentially ILLEGAL.....
Nice, yeah Ill become their customer ? Right.
I cant get them to stop !

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May 8, 20201 found this helpful

Spectrum (aka Time Warner) opt out...

(Found via their privacy policy or Google Spectrum opt out)

NOTE: Use current resident as name if receiving mail addressed this way. Basically, submit separate requests for each person receiving a mailer even if same person just different name/address variation.

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June 30, 20070 found this helpful

This works in the UK too...I get a great sense of satisfaction knowing that they are having to pay postage twice.

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By Sharon (Guest Post)
July 3, 20070 found this helpful

As A At Home Business Owner, I LOVE junk mail....I throw away the mail and use the postage paid envelopes and mail back with my advertisement in it! Business Cards, Flyers, ect. You never know who may open it and be interested in your business!

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May 8, 20200 found this helpful

This may be the best solution to junk mail I have heard in a long time - with the exception of eliminating it!

Which I have done - NOT one SINGLE piece of junk mail!!

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By Claudia- MD (Guest Post)
August 20, 20070 found this helpful

I like the way you all think! My pet peeve is the business reply cards that they put in magazines- sometime 6-7 in one mag! I tear them out and stick them in the mail without 'filling in the blanks'- Or sometimes if I really get perturbed, I write "NO BRCs ! " on the card. And these companies don't get a sale and have to pay the postage. Even if I don't write anything, I'm sure they get the picture.

I also like to stuff one company's junk mail in another company's envelope. Let them do business with one another and leave me out of it!

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September 17, 20070 found this helpful

Folks, while all this sending mail back to the companies might make you feel good at the time, you need to know that using their postage reply envelopes for anything other than a legitimate business purpose is a postal crime. Would you really like to be subjected to a lawsuit over something like this? Keep in mind - a few hundred dollars a month for people thinking like this is a tax write off and a big company does not even see it or care. Use the proper methods to get off the lists, opt out of lists when you sign up for everything you buy, call companies if you want, use the paper for scratch paper or shred it. I personally use the envelopes inside and out to file, save and sort small things going on at the time, give away things, etc. Kids love to use them to make their own play mail, too. Life is too short to get so worked up over junk mail!

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By Cathy from Townsville, QLD (Guest Post)
October 5, 20072 found this helpful

I've printed up a sheet of stickers saying "Return to sender and remove from mailing list'. That way, I don't have to write it again and again, just peel off a sticker and pop it on the envelope.

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September 23, 20081 found this helpful

I have found that both of these suggestions (RTS and tearing up and returning the junk mail) are not as effective as contacting the company with a message that they must remove you from their lists (as per Federal law). Most times, the stuff I've returned to them just ends up in a waste basket and the junk keeps coming. The people opening these mailings don't care; they just toss them. And, if they don't stop, you have no recourse to force them to remove you but they have no choice if you've specifically stated, REMOVE ME FROM YOUR LIST because they face stiff penalties if they don't comply. This has worked for me for many years and I very rarely get junk mail.

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October 23, 20082 found this helpful

1. If you're crafty you can make your own paper out of junk mail!

2. You could also cut the paper into strips and weave them into mats or bowls or baskets.

3. Paper Mache!!!

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By (Guest Post)
January 31, 20091 found this helpful

If you return to sender mail remove your information. I had a rubber "Return to Sender" stamp made to stamp my junk mail.The Post Office got mad and stopped my mail after returning my junk mail.

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 523 Posts
August 10, 20130 found this helpful

I handle this a little differently. I do not cross out my name and address. I do the exact opposite because I want the sender to know the returned mail is from me. I leave my name and address on the junk mail. There is always a little space for you to add additional information. In that space I write 'Please remove my name and address from your mailing list'. They have to pay return postage to get this message.

You're not going to stop junk mailers. That's how make a living. All you should want is to get your name and address off their list. It works for me.

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August 10, 20131 found this helpful

I have been doing this for 50+ years. Everytime I have moved I started getting junk mail again, but after sending them back they stop. Good Luck

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August 11, 20130 found this helpful

I'm with you Debbie52. I do the same (- using them for kids school... n/a at this time in life, all adults now :) It's kind of like, 'making lemonade out of lemons' along with just being plain, Thrifty. It's just where your mind goes! And I bet you're the first to spot a rainbow after a rain...and the one who stares with smiles.

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August 13, 20131 found this helpful

I handle this a little differently.

The prepaid return envelopes belong to the company that sent them out; so, I return them. Our postal system says it is not making enough to keep running because we are not sending enough mail through the system. Bulk mail goes through for pennies on the dollar; but, prepaid envelopes cost the company almost double the cost of a first class letter. (I do not return any envelope with my name on it because I want them to keep supporting the post office). Since, I started doing this the amount of outgoing mail from my household has greatly increased.

The rest of the junk mail (after the envelope is returned) is shredded. This provides me with free mulch, packing material, and even heat.

I use the excess shreddings to make paper "bricks" which I burn in my fireplace/wood stove instead of wood. Very simple and easy to make (you can buy a brick maker that makes between 1 - 8 bricks (depending on which size you buy) at a time and it is free. I make bricks throughout the year and in the winter have plenty on hand.

So, love your junk mail and keep it out of the landfill.

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December 12, 20190 found this helpful

There is a two part concern of not only dealing with unwanted media, but also what you do with it once it is in your home. Be careful with anything that has your name on it even is just as small as an name and address.

I worked in the credit industry for 35 years. The risks that are posed by the mailers are at the risk of identity theft and credit fraud. The information placed in some of the marketing data and printed media can be used to steal your identity and also hijack your credit. This is one primary access points in which unsavory individuals or groups will garbage or dumpster dive. Credit fraud cost billions a year not to mention the mental trauma to the victim. Any credit type offers must be shredded well in order to prevent any risks to yourselves. For those who are not aware, any credit granting institution is fiscally liable for fraud or misuse of your credit if you can prove it. Although attorney's will take the lions share of your potential settlement, you will have the satisfaction that the offending institution will have to pay dearly.

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October 16, 20210 found this helpful

That's clever!! And hilarious!! I get so many letters for my husband who has passed. Even tho I filled out the forms provided online I still get them. It is alway junk mail but it hurts my heart really bad and makes it more difficult to try to live without them. I have called the companies like his health insurance. They said in capital bold letters "WE MISS YOU! PLEASE COME BACK!" Do you know how many times I have screamed those exact words? It has been a while since I called them asking to stop sending him mail but it took a dozen times!"They finally stopped but it is forever in my head. How do I cleverly irritate them as they have hurt me. I still get mail from everyone he had business interactions with. I know now not to open them. I thought they were important for the first year!! I get calls for him to make appointments. How can I stop this? (I got rid of my phone

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