Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Opt out of overloading...

junk mailTHIS story of a UK postman who is facing dismissal because he advised people how to stop the ubiquitous and ever-growing masses of junk mail being delivered to their home; he has been suspended for misconduct.

The overloading I mention is of course your front door but also poor postman's back! The postie, Roger Annies, “composed and circulated a leaflet about the Royal Mail's opt-out clause for unsolicited mail”…seems he was only trying to help his ‘customers’.

I must say I agree with many of the comments that follow the BBC article, here’s one that I concur with as it is something I have suggested myself in the past:
99% of people are going to support this postie, junk mail is a pain and is largely unwelcome. I'm glad he did it, as this news story has effectively told me how to opt out of receiving some of this junk. Personally I would like to see the Royal Mail be allowed to increase the price of a 1st class stamp by 10p to increase their profitability, as I think even at 40p a pop the 1st class letter service would be an absolute bargain, and perhaps then they wouldn't need to distibute colossal amounts of (what ends up as) waste paper. Dave, Yeovil, Somerset
What we call junk mail is officially termed ‘direct marketing’ and the ‘door-to-door’ contracts are a profitable service and more importantly an essential income to the Royal Mail.

"We make money through direct mail by senders paying for their addressed mail to be delivered, or through having a contract with senders who post unaddressed mail, such as local government information or local takeaways."
You may not realize it, but a company you have done business with may (???) have sold or shared your personal information to other companies involved in direct marketing. The Direct Marketing Association is essentially a good thing: they say “every organisation engaged in direct marketing needs the DMA to exist. Without it, there is no one to defend direct marketing from unethical or unprofessional practitioners, who can bring direct marketing into ill repute, trigger restrictive legislation and create consumer mistrust.”

The mission of the DMA is to maximise value for members whilst maintaining and enhancing consumers' trust and confidence in direct marketing.
They can’t be all bad because they offer the consumer information on opting out of being on these marketing lists: HERE, or use the Mail Preference Service to choose the mail you need/want, HERE:

Otherwise, to stop junk mail you can link to junk (click on the image) or contact:

Opt-Outs, Royal Mail, Kingsmead House, Oxpens Road, Oxford, OX1 1RX(for unaddressed mail) and for addressed mail Mail Preference Service(MPS), Freepost 29, LON 20771, London, W1E 0ZT or call 0845 703 4599
That unethical practitioner may not only be from the UK and there are problems with Mailings from Overseas e.g. promoting lotteries or ‘get rich quick schemes’ that are often misleading and fraudulent. The Mail Preference service advice is not to reply (and to put it straight in your recycling bin) The Office of Fair Trading is working on dealing with this; you can send any copies
you receive (including the envelope) to:

European Enforcement Team at the Office of Fair Trading at Fleetbank House, 2-6 Salisbury Square, London EC4Y 8IJ.

Also:Postwatch is an independent organisation, not attached to the Royal Mail Group or part of the Government. Postwatch was set up to ensure that post offices, Parcelforce, Royal Mail and any competing postal providers, give the best service possible to you, their customer.

“Post offices are visited by twenty eight million people at least once every week. On average, we send 100 letters and receive over five times that amount from friends and businesses each year. Just about everyone of every age and every background uses the post in some way and they need an effective consumer body to make sure their views are heard. This is why Postwatch was set up.”

Please don't get me wrong, I'm 100% in favour of the service our Postmen give us (well OK, give YOU!!...) and I am also in favour of keeping open the UK's network of Post Offices - long may they continue!


Curmy said...

Span, I'm going to do what someone on the board suggested, and send it all back shreddied in the pre-paid envelope.

Six Years Late said...

As a very active member of the DMA, I might just sit this one out.

Gavin Corder said...

Six I've already outed you! Here.

Span Ows said...

As a very active member you should be singing it's praises and telling us how necessary it all is...ahem.

Gavin ran away when he outed you but I guess that's normal...

[Span runs away :-)...]

curmy, as long as there's an envelope...someone else suggested just screwing it up and stuuffing it back in the post box; that would just make extra work for poor old postie!

Curmy said...

Six, Gavin outed you on the UK News board. So you're responsible for all the rubbish coming through my letter box are you Young Man ? Grrr !

Paul said...

Isn't this a classic example of turkeys voting for Christmas?

Royal Mail gets about 70% of its income from Six and his friends - so presumably old Postie will go the same way his colleague did the last time they had the idea of one delivery a day instead of two.

What do you say to a nineties postman?

"Pint of best please mate."

The Great Gildersleeve said...

It was suggested that the junk mail if stopped and everyone decided to opt out of it being deleivered might make postage of "Normal mail" more expensive...possibly...on the other hand...less mail might make what is real mail arrive on time, and perhaps if Royal mail could manage to keep prices lower and ontime, the public would be less likely to use alternative carriers.

I have rarely ever had problems with the mail(except for junk arriving)so perhaps I am one of the lucky one's.

Anything of this nature goes straight into the recycle crate.

I signed up to the telephone preference service perhaps I'll sign up for the junk mail to be stopped/reduced.

Span Ows said... mean posties have other jobs Paul? do they find the time :-)

Funnily enough the main reason (I think) for going to single delivery was BECAUSE of all the direct mail. If a postman just does the letters and packets everyone would get their post early (many complaints re late deliveries...) that is because with direct mail they have to deliver to EVERY house/flat/door...on any given day less than a third of all homes would get 'normal post'(OK, I made that 'third' up but I bet it's not far off)

Like you Gildy I had little problems with the mail in the UK; in fact thats' why I always dive in to protect it when the 'slaggers' begin. Also, recently I have had numerous letters from the UK - inc. birthday cards :-) that took less than 48 hours....e.e posted 22nd in the evening, arrived first delivery 24th here.

For those that haven't already please visit Baldinios Blog to read his 'English/British' post...


Gavin Corder said...

Little problems? Or few?

Oh yes and Baldy's a bit of a gem. (I imagine he's not got enough to do. Well I try to imagine that so as not to feel inadequate about infrequent and - frankly - occasionally - shallow posting on my part. Nay nay stay your cries of " Never shallow, Corder!" My modesty will not countenance such...

Oh alright. Paul's a smarty pants!

Span Ows said...

'little', not "Little Gavin", I mean I meant little problem (no 's') which may be equally poor use of the word or not. Whatever...actually I can't remember a problem at all but I'm sure there must have been some; maybe a few :-)

Baldinio's been a prolific poster for months - ages before us! I feel quite inadequate.

Paul said...

Oh thanks Guys for the heads-up about my blog and my prolific posting!

Truth is my wife works two nights a week and my daughter is in bed by nine most evenings and therefore I have time to try things out.

I'm like Gavin in that I have loads of ideas researched it's just finding the time.

I know as a writer you should write what you'd want to read yourself but blogs are great for feedback and the whole thing doesn't feel so "stuck in the turret" if you know what I mean!

Gavin Corder said...

Well he shouldn't have kept so damn quiet about his blog on the boards then should he? We might have been fans!

Paul, I don't know about a turret, but Span's stuck in tourettes!

Span Ows said...


No I ain't! TESTICLES!

P.S....we're coming up to our 1st blogging birthday...

Gavin Corder said...

We best bust a blog bottle by way of a birthday bash in Barce!

Span Ows said...

Blimey, bloody brilliant, boozy, brainwave buddy!