Waste disposal company Veolia have calculated that the average home receives around 650 items of unwanted mail every year. If you’re fed up with your letterbox being full of “junk”, there’s no single organisation that you can register with, but here are some actions you can take:
Get a letterbox sticker
Put a ‘no junk mail’ sign on your door. You can make a sign yourself or you can order stickers online from Veolia – email your name, address and request to email@example.com.
Contact Royal Mail
You can tell Royal Mail to stop to delivering unaddressed mail to your address. You can find the form you need online by searching “royalmail opt out”, but Royal Mail will send you a copy of the form if you can’t print it yourself. You can phone them on 0345 266 0858 or email them your name and address at firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll stop getting unaddressed junk mail within 6 weeks but this won’t stop addressed advertising material.
Register with the Mailing Preference Service
This will stop most advertising material that’s addressed to you personally. You can register at the MPS website mpsonline.org.uk or you can contact them by phone on 020 7291 3310 or email email@example.com. You should start to notice a difference soon after registering – it can take up to 4 months for the service to be fully effective.
Stop charity marketing mail
You can contact the Fundraising Preference Service if you want to stop getting marketing mail from a charity registered in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. They’ll tell them to remove your contact details within 28 days. The best way to do this is to register on their website fundraisingpreference.org.uk. You can register over the phone if you prefer on 0300 3033 157.
Contact your electoral registration office
You can search for your local electoral registration office on GOV.UK. Ask them to take your details off the ‘open register’ – this is a list of people and addresses that can be bought and used for sending junk mail. Tick the box that says “opt out” of the open register whenever you’re asked to register.
Contact the sender directly
If you want to stop getting mail from a particular sender, contact them directly. Include this sentence: “Please stop processing my personal data for direct marketing purposes in accordance with Article 21 of the GDPR within one month of the date above.”
Return to sender
If you get junk mail with a return address on the envelope, you should write “Unsolicited mail, return to sender” on the envelope and then post it – you don’t have to pay.
Report scam mail
If you want to report a potential postal scam you can write to Royal Mail at Freepost Scam Mail, phone 0800 0113 466, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Be tickbox alert
In future, you should check any forms that you fill in for tickboxes that say something like “I give permission for third parties to contact me” or “I give you permission to contact me”. Ticking (or unticking) the boxes will prevent you from getting junk mail from that company. If you give your contact details over the phone or online make sure you tell them not to send you marketing mail or give your details to anyone else.