Junk Mail and Credit Cards and Loans, Oh My!

We get a lot of paper mail, most of which we don’t want to get. We have been switching bills to auto-pay, and that reduces the volume some.

When paper mail comes in, we sort it in real time (more or less) into three piles: bills to be paid (or at least looked at 🙂 ), stuff to be read (magazines and the like), and junk. I try to put the “easy” junk directly into our sack of paper to be recycled, but don’t always get that done. There is also junk mail that includes credit card offers. That stuff is a bit harder to deal with. I always shred the application that comes in credit card offers so no scumbag can use it to get a credit card in my name.

Since our shredder only likes a couple sheets at a time, I can’t stuff an entire envelop into the shredder. I have to open the things up and grab out the application, then put the rest into the recycle sack. A lot of times I don’t do that very quickly and I let those pile up, then take some time to open them up en mass, remove the application, and start feeding the shredder. The last time I did the shred routine was in early September.

This evening I sat down and started through the pile; Erin came and helped. We ended up with a full grocery sack full of shredded applications. We had most of another full grocery sack for the assorted envelopes, return envelopes, and propaganda that were included with the various credit card offers.

The main offenders are American Express, Discover, and Chase for credit cards (and Discover for loans). Dishonorable mentions go to MidFirst Bank. I stopped counting after 100 credit card apps. In three months!

I’ve put us on various do-not-solicit list, clearly to little avail. I find it such a huge waste of paper, mailing costs, and my time. I will never apply for one of those cards; we’ve a couple we use and don’t need any more.

But I would think: if I was the person in charge of solicitations, and I had sent 10 or 15 invites to the two people living at our address, and there weren’t any takes, I would maybe take those people off my mailing list and save myself the cost. And the aggravation inflicted on a couple potential customers. Listening, American Express? Discover? Chase?

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