That is my best impression of my paper shredder, which is working overtime ever since I started cleaning up the mail. I can’t count the number of offers I get for Chase Freedom, or Capital One, or American Express. These offers are more than annoying, there are a number of ways in which they are costly.
They Take Up My Time
The last time I responded to a credit card solicitation is never. I will never reply, and never will, because if I’m going to apply for a new credit card, I’m going to research and search out the card that is right for me. Since I find offers useless, they are nothing more than a nuisance that must be destroyed before they clutter my house.
They Could Be a Temptation
So, I’ll never respond to a credit card solicitation. But, they must be effective for attracting someone’s response otherwise, credit card company’s would not spend so much money sending them. If you are someone who might reply to a credit card solicitation, then these offers pose as a temptation that could lead to over-spending or lower credit ratings.
They Cost Money to Destroy
No, my electric bill will not skyrocket because I’m running a paper shredder. However, I have had to purchase a paper shredder. In fact, I’ve had to purchase two paper shredders over the last 6 years. Again, not a budget breaker, but between a few cents of electricity and a $30 purchase of a paper shredder every 6 years, I’m paying a lot of money to destroy something that I don’t want mailed to me.
They are a Risk To My Identity
Given the increase in identity theft, it is discouraging to have hundreds of credit card offers being sent in my name. The more mail I see, the more I can’t help thinking that it makes it all the more easier for someone to take a card out in my name.
I Can Opt Out
I don’t have to put up with credit card solicitations. There is a way to opt out of solicitations. According to the Federal Reserve, there is a listing and a phone number to opt out of credit card solicitations:
You can have your name and address removed from these lists by opting-out of the listing. This will reduce the number of unsolicited offers you receive. To opt-out, call 888-5-OPTOUT (888-567-8688) or visit www.optoutprescreen.com . You will need to provide certain information in order to opt-out, such as your name, address, Social Security number, and date of birth.
Excited about the prospect of opting out, I also found the official site to opt out of phone solicitations as well.
The FTC also had information on how to opt out of other commercial mail solicitations:
The Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) Mail Preference Service (MPS) lets you opt out of receiving unsolicited commercial mail from many national companies for five years. When you register with this service, your name will be put on a “delete” file and made available to direct-mail marketers and organizations. This will reduce most of your unsolicited mail. However, your registration will not stop mailings from organizations that do not use the DMA’s Mail Preference Service. To register with DMA’s Mail Preference Service, go to www.dmachoice.org, or mail your request with a $1 processing fee to:
Direct Marketing Association
P.O. Box 643
Carmel, NY 10512
In the interest of being thorough; if you have any problems, here is what you can do to file a complaint:
The FTC works to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint or get free information on consumer issues, visit ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. Watch a video, How to File a Complaint, at ftc.gov/video to learn more. The FTC enters consumer complaints into the Consumer Sentinel Network, a secure online database and investigative tool used by hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
These forms of marketing are annoying and costly. Trust me, you won’t ever miss them.