Stopping Pre Approved Credit Card Offers
By Pete Freitag
Those of you that know me personally know that I'm a pretty laid back kind of guy. There are a few things that really annoy me - traffic, and junk mail. I'm not talking about electronic junk mail, that does annoy me but I keep it under control pretty well with SpamAssassin - I'm talking about physical junk mail.
For some reason I get a lot of it, especially those pre approved credit card offers. I noticed recently that they have a notice on them now that allow you to opt out by calling 1-888-OPT-OUT.
This service is a joint venture between the Consumer Credit Reporting Companies - Equifax, Experian, Innovis, and TransUnion. They sell your contact information to credit card companies and insurance companies.
The phone call
Being as fed up as I am, I called the number this morning. The phone system is completely automated. And the conversation when something like this:
Would you like to opt out of pre screened credit and insurance offers? I'm waiting for a menu... ... Me: YES! I'm sorry I did not understand your response. Would you like to opt out of pre screened credit and insurance offers? Me: YES! I'm sorry I did not understand your response. Hang up
I gave up quickly because they also mentioned on the phone that you can opt out online at www.optoutprescreen.com
The web site
The web site makes it pretty easy to opt out. They do however ask for your address, phone, date of birth, and social security number. That's quite a bit of personal information just to opt-out.
The web site also has a link to the Direct Marketers Association Consumer Assistance page (link no longer works) from there you can remove your name from mailing lists, and telemarketing lists. You can opt out for free by sending them a letter or postcard with your name, address and signature to:
Mail Preference Service Direct Marketing Association PO Box 643 Carmel, NY 10512
But if you want to do this online they charge you a $5 processing fee, because we all know that it's much easier for them to enter the data into their computer manually.
Now if I can only get AOL to stop sending me those tins.
Stopping Pre Approved Credit Card Offers was first published on September 19, 2005.
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