Stopping Excessive Solicitation Mailings

Discussion in 'Not Sure Where it Goes' started by Kitty Carmel, May 29, 2018.

  1. Kitty Carmel

    Kitty Carmel Very Well-Known Member
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    While I am getting my step father's mail, he is getting tons of solicitations from organizations. I knew this was going on. He made some donations which I think gave him something to do but this has got really out of hand. It's 30 plus in his mail box a day. These places sell names and addresses.

    I'm going to start opening and calling some of these places to get him off their mail list. This can't go on.

    Anyone have any suggestions about any other way to go about this. Other than probably hundreds of phone calls?
     
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  2. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    On some emails there's a place you can unsubscribe but personally I don't think it works very well.
     
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  3. Kitty Carmel

    Kitty Carmel Very Well-Known Member
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    Thanks Chrissy, I kind of thought of something like that but my thought is it doesn't work either. He is an NRA member, probably got his name sold by them. Made a few donations and it's blown up. And I mean really bad. I'm going to try to tackle this. It's out of hand.
     
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  4. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Maybe you can set up a new email.acct for important things and only give it to the people that need that one.

    Forget about the other one...keep an eye on it for awhile and when nothing important goes there, forget about it.

    I have lots of gmail accts that I never look at...can't even remember my username for them...most were for joining forums.

    Of course if he does the same with the new acct...then no point.
     
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  5. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
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    I think that @Kitty Carmel is talking about actual mail of her stepfather’s that she is collecting while he is in the hospital. Once you start getting those mail solicitations coming in, it is pretty hard to get them stopped, because (just like email addresses) the different companies sell the mailing addresses to other places.
    My ex-husband has that same situation. He has donated to some of the charities or political organizations that he wanted to support, and now he is probably on every mailing list that there is. Once you have donated, even the tiniest amount, you are on their list forever, it seems like.
    However, he lives alone now, and I think that he enjoys getting letters in the mail, even when they are just solicitations, and maybe this is how Kitty’s stepfather feels, too.

    What sometimes works, if there is a return envelope inside of the letter, is to send them back their own mailer (nothing filled out, of course), and do not put on a stamp or return address.
    Then they have to pay to get the letter back, which they will, hoping there is a donation inside which makes the postage worthwhile. After a while, they take you off of the mailing list.
    You can also just mark the unopened letter “not for this address”, and put all of them in a mailbox somewhere, and let them be sent back that way. I did this after my mom and dad passed away because my mother donated to just about every evangelist who sent out mailed solicitations.
     
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  6. Kitty Carmel

    Kitty Carmel Very Well-Known Member
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    @Chrissy Cross This is not e mail. This is physical mail. He doesn't have any internet. His mailbox at the mobile home park is filled every day. I remember trying to tell my brother my concerns about these excess mailings but again he didn't care. 3000 miles away. Nothing is his problem.
     
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  7. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Oh, I thought you meant email!

    Guess you have to call then....I was getting magazines that my ex subscribed to for a long time...I had to call each one and tell them not to send them here.
     
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  8. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    Yep I agree, set up a whole new email address for him.

    Once anyone has given a donation to a single charity , it's usual (not always) but usual for the address to be sold on, therefore very quickly, people, particularly the vulnerable are inundated with requests for more and more money.

    Unsubscribing rarely works, emails are simply passed onto other companies and charities, so start a new mail for him...like CC says, keep an eye on it for a while in the event of any important emails being missed and forward the new ones to the new address. In the meantime ensure that you don't open a single one of those begging mails.
    You may also ask his permission to change his telephone number...
     
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  9. Kitty Carmel

    Kitty Carmel Very Well-Known Member
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    @Yvonne Smith Thanks for those tips. Did putting "not at this address" actually work? Because I don't know if they really get returned. I like your idea of the postage paid envelope if they send one. I could write on the solicitation "please remove from mailing list" and send it back. That could work. If they provided a phone number I'll try that too.

    I agree that it has given him something to do. But it's out of hand. He has 3 garbage bags by the back door full of the paper mailings (he does take the personal stuff off) But like I mentioned, at this time it's all falling on me and it's a mess. He can't keep hauling these bags around. I don't know what's going to happen in the future here.
     
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  10. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    oooh dear just read that you mean Snail Mail. Oh that's so much worse. Just bag the whole lot up together into a large padded envelope and mark 'return to sender''...not known at this address... to the most prolific one.....and then for every subsequent one return it to the original sender, no stamp, and then not only will they get it back they'll have to pay the postage...lol
     
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  11. Kitty Carmel

    Kitty Carmel Very Well-Known Member
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    @Holly Saunders That's another idea. My worry is if he keeps donating, it won't stop. He told me he cut back on donating. But when I saw his check book one time it had many many 10 dollar check donations. He got himself into this mess. And if he would stop it would help but I don't know what he'll do in the future. His are all these right wing political organizations.
     
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  12. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    Can you take his cheque book away..is that possible?...here in the UK hardly anyone uses cheques , I don't know about the USA.

    Fortunately he doesn't have the internet so I'm presuming he can't or wouldn't know how to set up a direct debit.

    However this is becoming a serious problem with the elderly. There was an investigation show on here about it, with undercover reporters obtaining jobs as charity telephone sales people, and despite these charities denials that they target the weak, lonely and or elderly the undercover footage clearly showed them sales folk being schooled in how to bully someone into continuing to make donations, to the point that the elderly person was paying out most of their income and terrified to tell their families. In fact some had no family at all and were in dire straits going without food to make these donations. The charities would call sometimes up to 40 times a day...it was just horrendous.
     
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  13. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
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    That is the exact same thing as my ex does, only he overdraws his account, and then he gets bank charges, plus the donation does not get to anyone he is sending it to, either. The whole family has tried to explain this to him; but it does no good, and he just can’t understand that all he is doing is handing over his SS check to the bank, and for nothing.

    Anyway, to answer your question about the marking “not for this address” idea, it did work for me, except I was marking “deceased, stop mailing” on the ones I sent back because my parents had both passed away that month.
    It still took a while; but since they were getting the paid-return envelopes back with nothing in them except orders to stop sending mail, and having to pay for some of the other ones, it eventually worked.

    As for the piles that are in garbage bags, if you have a place (bbq?) where you can burn them, then do that, and if not, put them in a dumpster somewhere and be done with them.
    You know what kind of mail is inside of them, and there is no reason to save them.
    I think that it made my ex feel like he was cared about, because he would brag to everyone how much mail he got every day and he felt like he was important to all of those organizations.
     
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  14. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Do you have power of attorney over your step dad? Does anyone?

    My baby sister did with my mom. Although my mom was capable and didn't send out checks that weren't paymeets or gifts to kids and grandkids or great grand kids, my sister's name was on all checks as POA.

    88 is getting up there and you don't want him being taken advantage of either.

    I'm just trying to offer some suggestions because I really don't know your situation with your step dad.

    I'd talk to someone official about this...but I guess at the same time if he's not senile, he can do what he wants with his money...tough call. :(
     
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  15. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
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    What @Holly Saunders says is also a good point, and if you can stop him from writing checks, then that will help. Also, if he has a telephone, he is probably getting calls, and all he has to do is give them his account number for his bank, and they will set him up for monthly donations that he might not even remember doing.
    When there is some kind of family gathering, and the kid’s dad is there, he is always getting phone calls from sales people trying to sell him something, and he loves to talk with them.
    Both of my kids have tried to set up his phone so he can only get calls from people he has on his contact list, but he still manages to give new sales people his phone number, so it is an ongoing huge problem for them to try and deal with.
    He now has a protective payee set up through the VA, and that helps some, but he still spends most of his extra money trying to donate to some cause he thinks is important, or to buy something he does not need.
    Since your stepfather is in a care facility, it might be a good time to apply to be his protective payee, and then you can make sure that his bills are being paid, and not the money all wasted on sales and donations.
     
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