Letter: Don't Expect Homeland Security to Release Death ListsThat was a great letter by Leslie Mandel from Rich List Co. (Letters, Aug. 8). She really seems to have her finger on the problem. However, hoping that the Homeland Security office will release the death list with addresses and gender and make it available to the direct marketing industry is wishful thinking.
In addition, my experience with the federal government is that it takes many years for policy changes to become effective and some years later before the information is available. For the Social Security Administration to do anything different with the death file list is probably wishful thinking, but we live in hope.
I wrote a letter some time ago explaining how the surviving spouse should take it upon themselves to get removed from various lists. It doesn't take too much effort to tell the banks and credit card companies, the local phone book publishers, the state driver's license bureau and motor vehicle department, etc., to remove or change the name.
The problem is it doesn't happen often enough, and that's why mailing lists will invariably contain a portion of deceased names. The only way to handle it is educating the spouse. How that happens is the subject of another more difficult topic.
Robert Dunhill, President, Dunhill International List Co. Inc., Boca Raton, FL