Frequently Asked Questions
1. What exactly is "Junk Mail"?
Any mail without an address is considered "unaddressed admail". If you display a sign that says "No Junk Mail" or "No Admail" or "No Flyers", Canada Post honours your choice. You can also send a letter to your local postal outlet. If after opting out, you still receive unaddressed mail please contact Canada Post by calling 1-866-607-6301.
After opting out, Canada Post may leave you the following Acknowledgement Note
At Canada Post Corporation, we will respect your wish not to receive Unaddressed Admail.
This means we will no longer deliver free samples, coupons, flyers and circulars, government mailings, free distribution magazines, catalogues, non-profit and event information. Also we will no longer deliver municipal service notices (ie schedule of snow removal, changes in garbage pick-up, announcements of town hall meetings). However Canada Post is only one of many distributors of unaddressed materials: you may continue to receive these materials from other distributors.
The only unaddressed materials that Canada Post will continue to deliver are House of Commons mailings, community newspapers, Elections Canada mailings, provincial chief electoral officers' mailings and municipal electoral mailings.
If you receive delivery via our postal boxes, community mailboxes or group mailboxes (green boxes), your notice must be affixed to the inside of the mail receptacle door. Notices placed on the front of these boxes will not be honoured and will be removed as part of our regular maintenance.
We will resume delivery of Unaddressed Admail at any time if you remove the notice from your mailbox. For additional information, please call a Customer Service representative at 1-800-267-1177.
2. I have a "No Junk Mail" sign but I still get ADDRESSED advertising I don’t want.
Unfortunately there is still a lot of junk mail that does have your name on it. This is because your name has been included on a purchased mailing list or you have provided your contact information for promotions. Addressed admail has our name and address on it and the stamp says "THIRD CLASS MAIL" or "BULK MAIL" or ADDRESSED ADMAIL".
Here are some effective things you can do to stop addressed admail:
- Register on Canadian Marketing Association's Do Not Contact registry and your name will be removed from their members’ mailing lists.
- For solicitations with a prepaid Business Reply Mail (BRM) envelope (i.e. a credit card application):
- Tear off the part of the application that has your name and address on it.
- Print 'Do Not Solicit' and sign your name and date.
- Put it in the BRM envelope and mail it off.
- Be patient; it can take up to 8 weeks for companies to get you out of their system. By Canadian law, they are required to, and most reputable companies will stop soliciting you.
- For mail marked "Bulk Mail" or "Third Class Mail" or "Addressed Admail" in the top right corner:
- Look for a PO Box or other address, or customer service address.
- Write to them requesting removal. It's worth the stamp!
- Better yet, find a customer service phone number or e-mail address or website where you can go to request that you be removed from their solicitation list. Remember, it's the privacy law in Canada, and it will take a little time.
- What is a non-profits viewpoint about people opting out of lists? Read this Red Dot blog post from the UN Refugee Agency
- Jonathan states that their fund-raising dollars could be used more effectively if consumers would take the time (politely) to let them know that theirs is not the charity of choice. He also clearly defines their process for flagging these consumers and reminds us of the importance of giving.
3. I am disturbed by the number of flyers I receive in my community and daily newspapers.
Although we value community news and understand it is driven by advertising revenues, our preliminary research indicate that the $2 Billion Canadian flyer industry contributes over 1 million tonnes of Greenhouse Gas Emissions annually! Our goal is to help retailers profitably transition from this unsustainable business model through effective targeting, subscription-based services and e-platforms. Your actions will help this process move more quickly as we get ready to launch "Forests Not Flyers"
- If you never read your community newspaper, cancel it. Consider reading community news online or share with a neighbour.
- Encourage community and free newspapers to be more vigilant about their distribution efficiencies.
- Encourage community newspapers to adopt a system similar to Canada Post’s Consumer Choice Option so advertisers can reduce print quantities when we opt out.
- Let individual retailers know that you are concerned about the environmental footprint of their advertising. Call or email their customer support lines, send an email to their privacy manager or ask to speak to a store manager next time you are shopping. This WILL make a difference.
- Sears print advertising is a serious eco-offender. We receive four flyers per week! Support Forest Ethics Sears’ Campaign by sending Sears an email at www.catalogcutdown.org. Let them know that the environmental footprint of their advertising is not acceptable.
4. I want to stop receiving phone books since I always use the Internet to look up numbers.
Forests Not Phone Books is another campaign that is revving up. We are requesting that Super Pages and CanPages post their official opt out policy. In the meantime, leave your opinion on our Forests Not Phone Books Blog Posting. More news to come.
5. What about telemarketing?
Canada's Do Not Call Registry is set to launch this September. Find out more on Michael Geists ioptout.ca and sign up for your personal Do Not Call List. Post your comments on a lively discussion board here. Admail is forecasted to increase as the Do Not Call registry is established -- more GHG emissions!
6. What about e-mail spam?
It is estimated that 1/3 of all emails are spam! That's a lot of GHG emissions from servers sending messages we don't want to receive! Read the latest information on the Coalition Against Commercial Unsolicited Email.
7. I believe I have discovered an Internet Scam!
The RCMP have established a service for consumers to report economic crime online. If you believe you are a victim of Internet fraud visit www.recol.ca or call 1-888-495-8501 to file a complaint to the RCMP.
9. What else can I do to reduce unwanted advertising?
Please spread the word to everyone on your mailing list. Hang up our poster and announce our campaign in your church bulletin, school, and community centres. Together we can make a difference. Vancouver-based Change Everything blog has a unique idea for reducing admail in apartments.
The Red Dot Campaign Team thanks you for spreading the word about Consumer Choice and urging advertisers to be mindful of their environmental footprint!