5 Easy Ways to Stop Junk Mail

The recent story of an elderly gentleman from Nottingham being deluged with up to 200 items of junk mail a day, highlighted a problem that might only be an irritant to most of us, but can become confusing and frightening to vulnerable adults and result in them becoming target victims of fraudsters.

The average householder receives 250 pieces of unwanted or “junk” mail every year. This varies depending on whether you are in a rural or city location, what mailing lists your name has found its way on to and whether you have previously responded to unsolicited mail. So how do you stop junk mail?

Here are our top 5 easy ways to reduce unwanted mail:

1. Register for the Mail Preference Service (MPS) by visiting www.mpsonline.org.uk or telephone 0845 703 4599. MPS will effectively remove your name from 95% of mailing lists. Following registration it will take up to four months for the service to have full effect and will remain in place until you cancel it.

2. Avoid joining new mailing lists. Always tick the box saying you do not want to receive mail from the company. Read these options carefully as I wouldn’t want to say these companies are being wilfully misleading, but… Sometimes you need to tick the box to not receive mail, sometimes you need to leave the box unchecked. Often you are asked separately about offers from the company you are dealing with and offers from their “carefully selected partners”.

4. Leave mailing lists. Write or telephone organisations that you receive unsolicited mail from and ask to be removed from their mailing lists. Keep a record of who you have asked, when and how so that you are able to follow up requests.

4. To stop unaddressed mail (e.g. to the occupier) being delivered by Royal Mail send your name and address to

Royal Mail Door to Door Opt Outs,
Kingsmead House,
Oxpens Road,
OX1 1 RX

OR email optout@royalmail.co.uk or telephone 01865 796988. Once you have contacted Royal Mail they will send you details of the opt out procedure and a consent form. Once you have completed and returned the consent form Royal Mail will remove you from the mail list for unsolicited mail.

5. Put a clear, polite sticker on your letterbox simply saying “No Junk Mail”. If you are within Nottingham these are available from Nottingham City Council. City and County Councils or the police often have similar resources available particularly for vulnerable or older adults.

Other Useful Services:

Telephone Preference Service (to reduce unsolicited telephone calls): www.tpsonline.org.uk or telephone 0845 070 0707

Email preference service: www.dma.org.uk


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