Friday, February 5, 2010

MailStopper Didn't

I promised an update on Tonic MailStopper, which I signed up for in May 2009. This is a service which claimed to stop up to 90% of your junk mail in 90 days. Unfortunately, I haven't noticed a dramatic decrease in the amount of junk mail I get. However, there are a couple of caveats. The biggest one was stated by the company itself when it sent customers an email in November '09: "We finally looked in the mirror and admitted to ourselves that we can’t change the junk mail industry." MailStopper has changed their name to Precycle and their service to a package of "two energy efficient light bulbs, a reusable bag and a junk mail reduction product that eliminates only what we can guarantee will be eliminated." There are also no recurring charges unless you move. Precycle costs $43 total.

The other caveats, at least with the old system, are that you had to go onto MailStopper's web site to identify some of the junk mail that you didn't want in order for them to stop it. They did stop some advertising mail automatically, and did most of the difficult work for you. I'm sure I could have done more to reduce junk mail by going into my account and requesting specific places not send me mail. Another caveat: we get a lot of solicitations for charitable donations, which, depending on how charitable you're feeling, you might or might not classify as junk mail. Again, I could reduce these by going into my account and specifying which ones I didn't want mail from. But I didn't. A final caveat: I didn't quantify how much junk mail I got before or after paying for the service, so I'm just going by my memory, and memories are far from perfect.

If you're so inclined, I encourage you to try Precycle, or 41 pounds, which charges $41 for 5 years, or ecocycle if you want to do it yourself for free. I'd be interested to know how well any of these work for you. As always, I'm also interested in your ideas and practices for reducing our contributions to global warming. Thanks, and
Stay cool,


  1. I have used DMA (the Direct Mail Association) Mail Preference Service for years, and it really does cut down on unwanted mail. It can take a while to get off the lists, and you sometimes have to call catalog and other companies to have them take you off if you are already on. You need to give them every permutation of your name and address that might be out there. I think it's free - at least it used to be. There is also a similar thing for unwanted telemarketing phone calls as well as unwanted email.

    When I signed on to DMA, I just sent them a letter by mail, but it looks like you can do it online now at:

    The mail address is:

    Mail Preference Service
    Direct Marketing Association
    PO Box 643
    Carmel, NY 10512

    Hope this helps!

  2. Thanks, Heather, for this great info! I went on the site and it seems easy to use. Glad to hear it works for you--I hope it does for me, too.