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Wednesday
Apr112012

How to Stop Every Door Direct Mail

The U.S. Postal Service has a plan: more advertising mail.

You can tell the USPS that you want the ability to opt-out of mail sent to "Current Resident".  Sign our letter at Citizens for Mail Choice.

Check out this video we made with a summary of EDDM: Every Door Direct Mail.


If you haven't yet seen or heard ads for "Every Door Direct Mail," you probably soon will. It's the "new" program from the postal service that allows businesses to mail every address in specified zip codes. No need to have names and addresses. Just select the zip codes you want to mail to, and the mail carrier will drop your ad in every mailbox in those zip codes for under $0.15 per piece.

Is this what USPS customers want? Well, yes. Businesses are the primary customers of the USPS. Mail recipients aren't the customer, we are the product. The postal service sells access to us, and therein lies the rub. Many people don't like being a product without consent, which raises questions like, "what if I don't want more advertising mail"?

So what can you do about it?  According to the Every Door Direct User Guide (link), the Customer delivers the Do Not Deliver addresses to the Post Office with the Facing slip for each zip code. We know there's a process to opt-out and we need to work together to make sure it works.  When companies select the zip codes they want to send EDDM mail to, there is a section on the Facing Slip for "Do Not Mail Addresses." If your address makes it on that form, the mail carrier should skip your address.

 


Sounds straight forward.  Since we oversee this process for millions of Americans, we've been digging into the details to make sure it really works.

We started with confirming that the Post Office is getting the Do Not Deliver lists from the Customer since the user guide (shown below) says that it is the Customer's responsibility to complete this section. We called the USPS Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) Customer Service Center to confirm and herein lies the problem. On our first call we were told it's the Post Office's responsibility to fill that section out. So, then we called the USPS general customer service center and asked how to get on that list at the local post office. We were told to go to DMAchoice, which we know does not stop unaddressed mail. So we called EDDM Customer Service  back.  This time we spoke with someone else and she indicated that either the post office or the customer could complete it. Given the confusion, we're assuming the user guide is correct.


It's unclear the extent to which requests will be honored. You get the feeling not many companies use this section. Honoring an opt-out for unaddressed mail follows a completely different process than honoring an opt-out for addressed mail. That said, companies receiving opt-outs through Catalog Choice should be honoring them for all mailing, addressed or unaddressed.

If you get unaddressed mail from a company you've submitted an opt-out to, let us know!

 

 

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