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Wayne Adult Community Center

Feature article from the March, 2002 Newsletter

You Can Retaliate Against Junk Mail

Are you tired of having to go through advertising mail whose cost is subsidized by our first class postage rates? Are you disgusted at the fact that even legitimate bills often come with several advertising inserts? Well, you can get even, at least in part.

The information below has been circulating on the Internet. Its inclusion here is for information purposes only, and does not constitute a recommendation.

When some people get ads in their phone or utility bill, they return the ads with their payment. The philosophy is: Let the advertiser throw its own ads away.

Those letters touting everything from “pre-approved” credit cards to second mortgages usually come with postage-paid return envelopes. Recipients have been known to get rid of some of their other junk mail by putting it in there: They send an ad for a local chimney cleaner to a bank, or they send a pizza coupon to a mortgage company. If they haven’t gotten anything else that day, they just send back the application (of course, making sure their name isn't on it), or they just send the return envelope back empty, to keep the sender guessing.

These people say: “If enough of us begin doing this, maybe eventually, the junk-mail advertisers will begin getting all their stuff back, and will see what it's like to receive a storm of junk mail. Best of all, they will be paying for it. Twice! As a bonus, this will help to keep the U.S. postal service busy. After all, private competition and E-mail have been cutting into their business, but if we patriotically help them enough, we may keep postal rates down.”


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