Reducing Unwanted Telephone Solicitations and Junk Mail

To reduce the number of unwanted telephone and mail solicitations you receive, we offer the following tips:

To Reduce Telemarketing Calls

  • Place your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry! The Federal Trade Commission began registering consumers on a national "Do Not Call" list in October 2003. You can register up to three phone numbers, including your cell phone number, by visiting www.donotcall.gov or calling (888) 382-1222. Your phone number(s) will remain on the registry for five years from the date you register. As of January 1, 2005, telemarketers covered by the National Do Not Call registry will have up to 31 days from the date you register to stop calling you.

  • Some calls are exempt from the Do Not Call Registry. Examples include, calls from companies with whom you have an existing business relationship; political organizations; charities; and telephone surveyors. However, even if the organization is exempt from the Do Not Call registry, if asked, they are required to honor your request for privacy and place you on their internal Do Not Call list. Companies that violate this law and continue to call you may be subject to a fine of up to $11,000. It is important to report "Do Not Call" violators. The Federal Trade Commission has provided a complaint form on its Web site - https://www.donotcall.gov/default.aspx or call (877) FTC-HELP (877-382-4357).

  • You may also want to remove your name from telemarketing list generated by members of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). Write a letter and ask to have your name removed from lists DMA manages. Include your complete name (and any variations), mailing address and telephone number.

    Telephone Preference Service
    Direct Marketing Association
    PO Box 1559
    Carmel, NY 10512
    www.the-dma.org

To Reduce Unwanted Mail Solicitations

If you've received a charitable solicitation by mail and would like to be taken off the organization's mailing list, contact the organization directly. Request your name, address and telephone number be removed from their "donor list."

If a charity utilizes a paid fundraiser, it is important to submit requests to both the charitable organization and the fund-raising entity because commercial fundraisers often maintain possession of the "donor list." Once a campaign has been completed, the fundraiser may start another campaign on behalf of other charities.

An organization's address and telephone numbers may be obtained from the Charities Program. For contact information about a registered charity or fundraiser, contact the Charities Program at:

Toll Free: (800) 332-4483 (in Washington State), or (360) 725-0378
Email: charities@sos.wa.gov
Web: http://www.sos.wa.gov/charities/

The Charities Program cannot process requests to be taken off of "donor lists" for consumers. Consumers must contact the organizations directly to make this request.

To Reduce Junk Mail

  • In addition to maintaining your credit report, the three major credit bureaus sell to companies lists of individuals who meet a certain credit criteria. To stop pre-approved credit card offers and remove your name from the generated lists, call the "Opt Out" hotline for the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Trans Union and Experian at (888) 5OPT-OUT (888-567-8688).

    You may also choose to contact the mail listing divisions of the three credit bureaus directly. You may write to them at:

    Equifax Options
    Marketing Decision Systems
    P.O. Box 740123
    Atlanta, GA 30374-0123

    Trans Union
    Name Removal Option
    P.O. Box 605
    Woodlyn, PA 19094-0605

    Experian
    Target Marketing Services Division
    Attn: Mail Preference Service
    P.O. Box 919
    Allen, TX 75013

  • "Opt Out" of mailing lists generated by companies you do business with who may sell or trade your name and address unless you specifically request that your information be kept private. In some cases, when you order from a catalog or apply for a credit card, there will be a small box for you to check if you wish to "Opt Out" of its mailing distribution list. If you want to protect your privacy, you should tell companies you do business with not to sell your personal information.

  • Contact Direct Marketing Association Mail Preference Service

    DMA's Mail Preference Service (MPS) is the Official Mail Preference Service for the Catalog and Direct Marketing community supported by the United States Postal Service.

    There are several options and preferences to choose from. Visit the DMA Web site at https://www.dmachoice.org/MPS/mps_consumer_description.php for additional information. DMA Customer Service is available by phone at (212) 790-1500 or by email at customerservice@the-dma.org.

  • Avoid sweepstakes. Their real intention is to collect names and addresses and for the purpose of selling the list to marketers.

If you are involved in a dispute with a charitable organization or its commercial fundraiser, contact the Office of the Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division and file a complaint. Complaints may be filed online at http://www.atg.wa.gov/consumer/complain.shtml or you may contact the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division toll free at (800) 551-4636.