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JunkMail Disobedience Day

Send it back from whence it came
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Spring is a time to tidy the house and for advertisers to wake from hibernation. With the thaw, comes bird song, new growth and a deluge of junk mail. I propose the following solution - store it up, then send it back, all of it, on the same day...

May 1st - MayDay for Mass Mailers

Many junk mail items contain application forms for products nobody needs. Fortunately, business reply envelopes are usually postage-paid. A quick fix is to shred the application form and place in the pre-paid envelope. Sadly, this does not waste nearly enough of their time. So why not 'doctor' the application form discreetly removing or defacing key information. If fact, the more time you spend, the more inventive you can be.

If there is no reply envelope, simply return to sender, plus "Cease and desist", or as I prefer "Deceased, so desist".

riposte, Apr 03 2001

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       This is proportionally harder on the postal system than the mailers. What do you lose by sending back doctored junk mail irregularly? You would *gain* more confusion to the mailers, who would learn to ignore a pile of angry mail that all arrived on May 1st, as you propose.
hello_c, Apr 04 2001
  

       The Avengers Front Page (now sadly departed) suggested, among other things, taking any two pieces of mail, and filling out each one's application with the info on the other, and mailing them back. The only prblem (aside from legal) is that you can't actually be there as the conmfusion ensues. There's also filling the envelope wiht superglue, covering it with duct tape, filling it with confetti, and a veritable plethora of other means of doctoring it.
nick_n_uit, Apr 04 2001
  

       The only thing that makes this hard on the Postal Service is everyone doing it on the same day. Aside from that, the USPS collects money from the owner of the bulk mailing licence when you send the post-paid envelope back, so it's no skin off their nose.   

       If everyone picked a day at random (maybe pick your birthday or your anniversary) and did this, then it would spread the impact out over the whole year (making it so the junkmailers couldn't just ignore the mail on a given date).
mwburden, Apr 04 2001
  

       Obviously the twelve step PA programme seems to be working for everyone else. But not for me. From whence indeed! Pshaw!
Gordon Comstock, Apr 04 2001
  

       When you get those pre-approved letters in the mail for everything from credit cards to 2nd mortgages and junk like that, most of them come with postage paid return envelopes, right? Well, why not get rid of some of your other junk mail and put it in these cool little envelopes! Send an ad for your local chimney cleaner to American Express. Or a pizza coupon to Citibank. If you didn't get any other junk mail that day, then send them their application back - blank! Just make sure your name isn't on anything you send them. Heck, you can send the return envelope back empty if you want, just to keep 'em guessing! Let's turn this into a people's revolt! Eventually, the banks and credit card companies will begin getting all their garbage back in the mail. Let them know what it's like to get junk mail, and best of all... THEY'RE paying for it ... twice! We'll also keep our postal service busy -- a good thing, since they say e-mail is cutting into their business, and that's why they need to increase postage again!
joelwork, Jul 13 2001
  

       A friend of rmutt's keeps threatening to move to a cabin with a wood stove, order one cheap item from every catalog she gets, and heat her house in perpetuity by burning the resulting avalanche of catalogs.
rmutt, Jul 13 2001
  

       I think I saw a filler story on the news once, years ago, about someone who'd done just that. They didn't bother actually buying things from all these companies; they just sent in the reader-interest cards, etc.
wiml, Jul 15 2001
  

       Here is another way to strike hammer blows at the junk mail industry, and reduce your postal bill at the same time. Simply stick a label with a new address over the printed address on the pre-pay envelope. You can thus mail to the destination of your choice, with the junk mailers picking up the tab. Be careful not to obliterate the all important registration number on the envelope, though. I have tried this, and it does actually work, and, I presume, is prefectly legal.   

       This would be especially useful for clubs and societies, who could ask members to donate their pre-pay envelopes to the club.
Mickey the Fish, Feb 14 2004
  

       humanbean: So, would my idea (redirecting pre-pays by altering the return address) work in the US or not?
Mickey the Fish, Feb 16 2004
  

       One way to really irritate the mailers, would be to send them some of the copious amount of AOhelL disks that populate the planet. In pieces perhaps.
TheCoat, Mar 07 2004
  

       . . . or second hand bricks.
bristolz, Mar 07 2004
  

       Today in occupational therapy, we're going to tie knots if your eyesight is bad; if you can see clearly we'll be filling in charity soliciations to the many, many credit card companies that support us.
dpsyplc, Mar 07 2004
  
      
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