November 30th, 2011
Have you been getting assaulted by near daily credit card offers, some of them from the same companies? They arrive week after week, complete with terms and conditions and a fake credit card just in case you’re wondering what it might look like.
The offenders may be your mortgage company or your airline. For some reason, people I do business with think I want to open a special credit card with them. No thanks, United Airlines. I can’t remember flying with you anyhow.
I’ve been lazy about calling up these people recently. I’ve been shredding the personal info on these offers then recycling those messy shreds. I throw the non-personal stuff, like those pages-long terms and conditions, in the recycling container. Like you may imagine, I’m growing more annoyed with wasting my time and with the waste of paper.
I’ve opted out of receiving direct mail in the past, but that was a few addresses and years ago. They catch up with you when they can.
You can opt out from receiving all prescreened credit card or insurance offers. Visit the FTC consumer alert on how to stop receiving unsolicited mail.
Just today, I called the credit card offer numbers on both my mortgage company mailings and an airline. Both of these companies have been sending me, I kid you not, at least four offers a month. They mail the same offers to my husband.
I’m ashamed that it’s taken me months to opt out of these two companies. I suppose I get complacent with recycling them. However, it was extremely easy to talk with these people. One of them even apologized for the inconvenience.
You don’t have to stain your eyes looking for an opt-out phone number. Just call the main number on the offer. They’ll take special care of you! After you tell the person who answers very quickly that you want to opt-out, they may be able to take care of you.
One person immediately took me off the list. The other person had to transfer me, but altogether it only took about five minutes to get off both lists.
Here are some tips for opting out of credit card offers:
Get off all mailings for five years or permanently. Read more at the FTC. If you don’t want to opt out of everything, keep reading for tips on contacting individual companies.
Keep the mailing handy. If you call an individual company, they’ll want to know exactly how your name appears on the mailing, even if your name isn’t spelled correctly. In some cases, you may need to provide different versions of how your name appears on the mailings (with middle initial, etc.). While this may seem annoying, you’ll get it all knocked out in one phone call versus having to call back.
Call companies together if possible. Most companies won’t let you opt out your spouse, but they will let you hand the phone over to talk with the spouse to get his or her name off the list as well.
Expect a wait. It may take up to 90 days to stop receiving mailings from some of these companies. Write down the date you called, and by all means call as soon as possible!
How many credit card offers do you receive each month?
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