Here is how to put an end to: 1) a lot of the junk showing up in your USPS mailbox; 2) a lot of the spam and unsolicited email that you didn’t ask for and 3) telemarketing.
1. The major credit bureaus, otherwise known as credit reporting agencies (“CRAs”), sell information about you to companies that want to mail you junk you don’t need and don’t want. Did you ask to have your time wasted and home and mailbox cluttered up with useless debris? Fortunately, the federal government has required the CRAs to provide a website where you can go and “opt out” of receiving some of this trash. Go to: www.optoutprescreen.com and follow the simple instructions. It only takes a few minutes and you will be taken off some of these mailing lists for at least 5 years. After opting out you should begin to notice less junk showing up in your mailbox. The site also gives you the option to opt out permanently.
2. Now go to www.dmachoice.org to reduce even more the useless junk and trash that shows up in your mailbox. This site is setup by a trade organization called the “Direct Marketing Association” and they kindly give you a “Mail Preference Service”. By following the simple instructions on this site you can be removed from many more mailing lists. Here you can opt out of receiving unsolicited commercial mail from many national companies for five years. This will further reduce the amount of unsolicited mail you receive.
3. The federal government’s National Do Not Call Registry is an easy way to reduce the telemarketing calls you get at home. To register your phone number, visit www.donotcall.gov, or call 1-888-382-1222 from the phone number you want to register. You should get fewer telemarketing calls within 31 days of registering your number. You can sue telemarketers for harassment if they call you, especially if they are using auto-dialers or machines with pre-recorded messages. If you can identify the person or entity responsible and want to sue them, Call-Childress at 505-433-9823. Life is too short to tolerate salespeople and commercial activity invading even your home and family time.
4. Junk email and faxes. Federal rules require the following for much of the commercial email:
• Identification – The email must be clearly identified as a solicitation or advertisement for products or services;
• Opt-Out – The email must provide easily-accessible, legitimate, and free ways for you to reject future messages from that sender;
• Return Address – The email must contain legitimate return email addresses, as well as the sender’s postal address.
Similar rules apply to faxes. The fax must provide a return number at which you can opt out of receiving any future faxes from that particular sender. Unfortunately, federal law provides no private remedy or cause of action if senders of junk email or faxes refuse to comply with the rule. In other words, you can’t sue them under federal law. However, many state laws allow you to sue the senders of junk faxes and junk email if you have previously asked the sender not to contact you and they continue to email or fax you.
If you have registered your phone number with the Do Not Call Registry, and a tele-marketer calls you more than once, you can sue the telemarketer. A federal law known as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act provides that you can sue for $500.00 for the phone call, plus treble that amount if the tele-marketer called you willfully or knowingly in violation of the law. How could they not have acted willfully or knowingly? Make them pay the full $1500.00 plus your court costs. You can file your lawsuit in your local small claims court.
This same federal law also allows you to sue a tele-marketer for greeting you with a pre-recorded or artificial voice. In other words, if you answer your phone only to hear a machine interrupting your day, you can sue. This is the case even if you have not registered your phone with the Do Not Call Registry, and you can sue for the very first phone call you receive from a machine.
In addition to this federal law, many state laws allow you to sue tele-marketers and recover not only damages but attorney fees. If you are fed up with commercial activity that invades even your home and private life, such as junk emails and tele-marketers, Call-Childress at 505-433-9823.