Sunday, 9 May 2010

Say NO to junk surface mail

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
We are sick and tired of the junk mails stuffed in our mail box. We want it to stop! Here are some actionable items from the easiest to the more involved ways:

1) Circle the return address on the promotion junk material, put it in the post box and send it back to the advertiser.

2) Do (1) but add your address on the space of the promotion material and write "not accepting unsolicited mail"

3) This is a long shot and is quite involved, generate bad publicity by documenting who and when the advertiser sent you some unsolicited materials that are not friendly to the environment and causing you nuisance.

I would encourage everyone to do at least (1).

Results expected:
- The post office is handling many returned mail, a nuisance to them and costly 
- The advertisers receive a lot of returned mail if the post office is doing their job and it may cost them, because they are the recipients' of returned mail without a stamp

FULL MESSAGE
Aren't we all sick and tired of the countless junk mails stuffed into our mail box? It is bad enough that my service providers such as banks, telephone, utilities, credit card companies are all sending me promotion that I don't need, it is even worse that any company that engages the efficient and reliable service of our government post office can deliver (with an affordable fee, I am sure) any promotion junk without a recipient name nor the address to our mail boxes everyday! As a result, millions of tones of rubbish in the form of papers, plastic wraps are produced everyday while the recipients' don't even read the content. Often the mail just goes from the mail box to the nearest rubbish bin in the lobby of the building.

As a person who is mindful of the impact on such activities on our environment and is annoyed about the time wasted in dealing with this nuisance, I have been thinking how we stop this. Often the offenders will print a small note on the cover claiming that you can write or fax (suspiciously they don't usually provide you with an email address) them a note detailing your particulars (name and address), saying you don't want to receive such material from them. Come to think of it, would you bother to go through the trouble? and does it work? We cannot seriously expect the post office to keep track of your name and address on some bulk delivery service that they provide without the name of recipient and address.

The stakeholders are the advertisers, the deliverer and you & I as recipients, what can we do to exert pressure on the advertisers or the deliverer. Here are some actionable items from the easiest to the more involved ways:

1) Simply circle the return address on promotion material (they provide the address because they are being clever to comply with the law to provide an address intended for you to "write" to them to get you off the list), and put it in a nearest post box. You are exercising your right to return the mail to the sender for material that is mistakenly place in your mail box, after all there is no name of recipient, address and you certainly didn't ask them to send you things.

2) Do (1) but add your address on the space of the promotion material and write "not accepting unsolicited mail", this is what they ask for, right? Details of ourselves and stating that we don't want to receive their mail. Postal service has to treat each of us seriously, because each of these returned mail has unique information about "important consumers" who are communicating with a potential service provider

3) Okay this is a long shot and is quite involved, so I won't drill into the details. Basically, make some publicity by documenting who and when the advertiser sent you some unsolicited materials that in your opinion is not environmental friendly and causing nuisance to you. If we gather momentum, this is bad publicity for the advertisers etc. Okay this is a long shot and too involved.

I would encourage everyone to do at least (1).

The results I am trying to achieve is as follow:
- The post office will soon realize they are handling many returned mail, a nuisance to them and costly (if they can't pass this cost to the advertisers)
- The advertisers will receive a lot of returned mail if the post office is doing their job and it may cost them, because they are the recipients' of returned mail without a stamp

Hopefully, one or both of them will have to conclude that something is seriously wrong.

Don't get me wrong, I understand there are people in the printing industry, advertising industry, delivery industry and perhaps the advertisers who are making money on this, I am just saying that please please please be more creative and make money in a way that it doesn't cause nuisance to us, hurt the environment and our further generations. Go find some ways to be more targeted on locating your customers!

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