Continuing attempts to establish a blacklist

On March 28, I wrote a letter (like, an actual physical one) to my postmaster (again, the actual physical one, responsible for delivery of physical mail to Charlton, MA) asking them to not deliver me mail from the six addresses that had sent me the junk mail that was in the stack next to me at the moment.

Since that time, I have continued to receive mail from those address.

So, I’m trying again, this time sending a letter with 18 addresses (I’m keeping an Excel sheet of who’s sending me junk mail now) that I want to suppress mail from, and asking explicitly this time for a reply confirming that my request will be honored.

Based on my reading of section 1.1 of section 508 of the Domestic Mail Manual, this is well within my rights as a mail recipient. In fact, for one of the monthly pieces of mail (“Your Hometown Shopper”), I emailed them and asked to be removed from their mailing list, and they said they couldn’t since the Post Office just delivers it to every address in town, and so that I need to get the Postmaster involved in order to stop delivery of it.

In the meantime, I’m just continuing to mark my junk mail Refused and putting it back in the mailbox. At least they take it back like they’re supposed to. You’d think they’d get tired of delivering mail to me just to need to take it back, so I’d expect that with an explicit order from me they’d be happy to just throw it out immediately rather than expending resources to deliver it to me and take it back and then throw it out.

If this second attempt at writing a letter to establish a blacklist doesn’t work, I’m not sure what my next steps are. I might actually try calling them, but I’m working during business hours, so I’m not sure how well I could get that to work. Besides, being the Post Office and all, wouldn’t you think they’d respond well to an old-fashioned letter? I may also try the Form 1500 approach (claiming that I consider the mail pornographic and ordering the sender to stop mailing it), but that merely makes sending me the mail illegal, it doesn’t actually stop it, and I just want the mail to stop.

7 thoughts on “Continuing attempts to establish a blacklist

  1. so I’d expect that with an explicit order from me they’d be happy to just throw it out immediately rather than expending resources to deliver it to me and take it back and then throw it out.

    I suspect this is a case where the “computational” cost of going through a list of addresses banned from your mailbox is considerably greater than making the delivery (which they have to do anyways), and then picking up the refused mail at the next delivery (which they also have to do anyways). Unless your junk mail involves rather large packets of papers and books, the additional resources needed to transport those items to you and back away are insignificant compared to the cost of taking the truck, the driver, and the mail of everybody downstream of you to your door.

    Its a nifty feature of the postal code there, but there’s no economic incentive for the USPS in general or the City/Town/Municipality of Charlton to implement it, especially for the minuscule number of people who actually attempt to use the feature (I wouldn’t be surprised if you were the only user of the system in your town).

  2. Keep a box of all the mail that got delivered that should not have been. That’s your evidence.

    Schedule a meeting with the postmaster. You should be able to file a complaint. Make sure you get names, locations, and times.

    What you do from there depends on the postmaster’s response at your meeting.

  3. If you decide to file a paper complaint, you can copy the better business bureau in on it.

  4. Scheduling a meeting with the psotmaster would probably involve taking time off of work, which I’m not willing to do for this project. :)

  5. Your post office isn’t open on Saturdays?

    I met with my postmaster once in the morning before a workday. That might work for you.

    Otherwise, get a copy of the complaint form and fill it out, cc in the better business bureau.

  6. It’s open for a few hours on Saturdays, but (1) I’m usually busy on Saturdays, and (2) I tend to doubt that the postmaster would actually be there then.

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