Thursday, July 21, 2011

Junk it

I have had my fill of junk mail. Literally.

Unfortuntately Divine Intervention was not forthcoming in response to my enraged ejaculations in the direction of the Good Lord. Probably because he knows I know he's not there.

So back to earthly remedies.

I have written to some of the people who have stuffed my letterbox, including the post office. They have all taken the line that they are under contract to distribute such mail (the post office) or just a plain "eff off" (any of the very few others who bothered to reply).

The citizen's advice bureau advises you to contact the IDMA but this will only get you off lists for mail which is specifically addressed to your residence. You are still left with the fliers which I suspect are the main problem for most people.

Various remedies have been suggested. One that I liked, and which reminded me of a long past Private Eye campaign against W H Smith who refused to handle their publication, was to collect all your junk mail, assemble it in small parcels and post them all, without any stamp, to the mailer of your choice. Clearly this would only have an effect if adopted by a sufficiently wide segment of the offended population.

An alternative, suggested by the cartoon below, is to put the paper to your own constructive use.


I remember making "papier maché" in school which could be used like plaster for making masks, boxes or whatever. You normally used paste and newsprint to do this but it might just be possible to come up with some fluid which, when mixed with the glossy junkmail, would produce the same effect.

Perhaps we might see junkmail banks springing up to facilitate those who don't want to go to all this trouble in the home. On reflection, maybe that's already there, after a fashion, in our current domestic recycling bins.

Anyway, for those of my readers whose blood pressure has reached an all time high since starting to read this post, I would like to end on a calm and civilised note.

I recently got a flier from a local motoring school. Needless to say there was an email address to facilitate booking your place.

So I mailed the offender in the following terms.

I have a notice on my letterbox requesting no junk mail.

I have just received your flier in triplicate.

I would like an explanation from you of how this happened and what instructions you give your flier distributors.

I would appreciate a reply before taking this matter up on my blog.

Much to my surprise I got the following prompt reply

I have now terminated my contract with the distribution company. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

There's hope for us all yet.

And the civilised and concerned citizen involved is

Karl Nolan
Clontarf Driving Academy


  1. "They have all taken the line that they are under contract to distribute such mail (the post office)"

    I phoned the local sorting office and had a bit of a barney with them - I suspect I had phoned their head office first and was referred back. I told them that I didn't care about their contracts, that they had no right to litter my porch anymore than I had a right to litter the roads or paths. I demanded that they make a note that no junk mail was to be put in my letterbox. That worked.

    It might be worth reading the litter laws, and threatening them on other companies on that basis. (It would make an interesting test case in the courts - if one had the money to take it!)

  2. So much carbon wasted. Anything that arrives in my letterbox goes direct to the recycling bin.


  3. @N

    Good idea. Fight one law with another. Even the threat!


    Make sure you at least check that the bundle is purely junk. You need to make sure to keep postal non-delivery notes and any cheques or brown envelopes your fans might drop in the letterbox.

  4. Blimey!
    Well done Karl Nolan in Clontarf.
    Well done N.
    It's a scam being run by the post office who are paid to deliver these unwanted leaflets. They have no incentive to reduce the load (and the load on the backs of the poor posties) because they are paid to do it.
    It also helps burglars know when you are away on holidays.

  5. According to me, the junk mails should be sent back to the sender's address. Just put mark on sender's address to differentiate it from the others that are received by receiver. In such postman has to check both addresses. If the sender's address is marked than it will goes to him else to the receiver.

    Corporate Lawyer

  6. @raman maan

    Welcome to Blogger. Who are you?

    Re your suggestion. While it's called junk mail that's because it comes in the letterbox. It is not usually in the form of ordinary post and rarely carries a return address that can simply be marked and dumped in a pillar box.



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