Survey: 65 Percent Respondents Toss Out Mail Immediately

A study by found that 87 percent of the surveyed consumers said they get rid of too much unsolicited mail, with 65 percent of the respondents throwing out their mail immediately.

Banks were seen as the worst offenders of sending mail by 47 percent of those surveyed and catalogers next by 20 percent. Fifty-five percent of those asked thought holiday catalogs were a waste of time, and 38 percent would prefer to receive only one or two catalogs a year along with e-mail updates.

Half of the respondents said they receive one to five catalogs a week, and 42 percent preferred not to receive catalogs at all and instead shop online. The company did not specify how many people took part in the survey, and officials had not returned calls by deadline.

The top five catalogs stopped by consumers who preferred not to receive them were Coldwater Creek, Herrington, Pottery Barn, Harry & David and The Sharper Image. Top three direct mailers that consumers stopped were from the Direct Marketing Association, Val-Pak and Equifax. Such mail would include bulk mail, credit card applications, advertising fliers, coupons, fundraising, nonprofit organizations and magazines.'s Junk Mail Report was compiled from responses to 11 survey questions posed to U.S. subscribers about unwanted mail. The results are posted on the Web site. Launched in spring 2001 by Harman Research, a Boulder, CO, IT provider, a $19.95 a year service for consumers to remove themselves from the mailing lists of unwanted catalogs. The site claims a database of more than 5,500 catalogs and mass mail marketers.

“Within one hour after users select the bulk mail they wish to stop receiving, serves a legal notice on each publisher requesting they remove the user from the company's mailing list pursuant to U.S. statutes and Supreme Court case law,” a statement from the company said.

Subscribers can visit the site any number of times each year to cancel unwanted mail.

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