Junk Mail: Universally Hated

, , , , , , | Working | August 17, 2020

I don’t like junk mail — I never have — but when I moved into a flat, the number of pieces in my mailbox started to skyrocket. What bothered me most was the constant realtor ads in an area that was mostly renters like me and with rent that was starting to skyrocket.

After a year — and a saga where the mailbox got stolen — I printed out two signs, laminated them, and stuck them on either end of the box so that people had no excuses for not seeing them. The signs not only asked for no junk mail but specified realtor ads and political fliers.

It stemmed the tide, but still, people thought that their political fliers or realtor ad were worth ignoring the sign. One political group even had the gall to tell me, “It’s a campaigning year; we’re allowed to ignore those.” No, you are not. Slowly, the numbers dropped to nothing. Bliss!

The turning point came when the box was stuffed with about five different pieces from multiple companies, and more the next! I contacted them all! Each one, in turn, told me that they didn’t hire their own people but a third-party company. I went to that company and complained politely that my box had a very clear “no junk mail” sign, and if they did this again, I would take stronger action.

Their response?

“You didn’t have a clear sign up!” They also sent a picture of my neighbour’s mailbox, which also had a sign on it, though the “J” was partially covered by the house number. “We’re allowed to put it in when there’s not a clear sign.”

I thought for a long moment and then sent them a shoddy old camera phone photo, which could be read even at the terrible resolution.

“This is the box it was in. And even if it wasn’t, that other box clearly is telling you not to put junk in it, either.”

They very meekly informed me that they would be having a word with their delivery person. I returned to not having junk mail.

The neighbour might have slipped it into my box, but mine was the furthest away from theirs and the only other one that said no junk, so I suspect the company was telling their poor delivery person to ignore the note every so often and tried to pretend I was at fault when called on it.

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