Instructables

How to get back at junk mail senders

Step 1: Find your target

For my example, I'm going to be using an envelope provided by a college I will not be attending :P.

You want to look for "Buisiness Reply Mail" envelopes, which are provided by many companies who want information back from you. These make perfect targets because the amount of money charged to the company depends on 2 main things, Weight and routing code.

Step 2: Mess with the wieght

Well, buisiness reply mail is supposed to only contain one sheet of paper... If it is over a certain weight, the company is charged extra by the post office. I like to use shredded paper (thank you staples) from my paper shredder. It is lightweight, but you can pack lots into the envelope. After you put in a nice little note saying that the company can "STOP SENDING ME THESE FU**ING LETTERS", pack as much shredded paper into the envelope as you can. Then, duct tape the envelope closed (packing tape also works, but it is lighter :( ).

Step 3: Mess with the routing code

the routing code is what tells the post office where the letter is supposed to go (for machine sorting). If BRM doesn't have this code, the company is charged more.

All you need to do is take a black magic marker to this code, and all of a sudden, they loose more money :D.

Step 4: Final steps

Write nasty things about the company on the envelope (no obscenities :D) you may as well give the postal workers who have to hand sort your envelope a laugh.

Drop into a postal box, and your done.

I do this about once a month, saving up all of the business reply mail envelopes and shredded papers (remember to recycle :D)

I hope you liked my first instructable, Peace.
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hawks22gk4 years ago
I know this thread is forever old, but I just ran into it. I used to work for the post office and I'm also annoyed that I receive so much junkmail, but in reality it's a necessary evil. Bulk mailings are what keeps stamps at a reasonable rate (Before you complain about postage prices, the US has the lowest postage and most reliable service of any industrialized country in the world). Without the Junk mail mail carriers, sorters, clerks etc. would lose jobs. Stamps would go through the roof. A better way to protest junkmail is to not even open it. If any a piece of mail says "presort standard" without saying "return service requested" It is junk. It doesn't get forwarded, if the name or address is wrong it gets pitched. So, just don't even open it. Recycle it, burn it, throw it away. It will take you 2 seconds and save someone's job and probably a mint in postage.
This is the same post office that has been complaining of losing so much money and business that they will have to stop delivering on Saturdays and that the entire mail service will have to slow down.

However, i think it is very weird that since they admittedly have less business to handle, that this means their work will take them longer!

I also would like to see the figures showing how much $ they lost in letter traffic from people paying bills online (the biggest complaint heard from the P.O. as to why they lose money), compared to the enormous amount of package shipping the internet has brought into existence. They may have lost 2.00 or so each month from my house from me mailing envelopes, but they sure have made up for it with the huge price they charge to mail even the smallest flat rate package.
If I order just one thing, or mail out just one thing per month, they have more than recouped their "lost" envelope profits. And I truly believe with the size of sites like ebay, etc., that mine is not an abnormal case.

Yes, ours is the bet service, but unfortunately, back when UPS came out, they were able to deliver the same quality service for a lot less cost. So the government slapped fees/mandatory price increases on UPS b/c the government run USPS was being shown up and people naturally gravitated towards UPS b/c it was so much less expensive. Instead of doing the right, and honorable thing and study how to mimic/compete with UPS, the government greed factor stepped in and they fixed their competition by forcing UPS to become as expensive as the USPS.

I have no sympathy for the plight of the USPS. If they went under, UPS and Fed Ex would, most likely, be able to drop prices and still get the job done right. This would mean people would be more willing to mail things again, business would increase even more. And possibly Fed Ex and UPS would be able to hire the once-USPS employees since these private companies would be splitting the business the USPS lost.

As history has proven in America, leaving business in the hands of the private sector is what has produced our wealth/strength/and living standards we have helped to share with the world. Government run systems are all in financial trouble (medicare, medicaid, social security, the P.O. etc.).
FYI: The problem with ignoring junk mail is that the sheer quantity of it is wasteful and bad for the planet. I have opted out of lists, but there is still the inserts that the post office puts into every mailbox that annoys the heck out of me - basically - all they are doing is printing trash for a landfill. Those resources could go elsewhere. I've heard you can opt out of those but you have to pay money to do it. That really blows.
Just wanted to agree with you. As advertisers move to cheaper e-mail and web-based ads, and as legislators make more "Opt-out" legislation, the direct-mail advertising business is slowly fading away. Postal rates are going up, services are going down, and post offices and distribution centers are going to start to disappear. Like it or not, the money generated by "Junk mail" makes it possible for you to send a letter to your friend across the nation for only forty-four cents. If we didn't have USPS, a simple letter would cost you around ten dollars to mail with FedEx or UPS. It's easy to get mad at direct-mailers, but all they are doing is trying to sell you a product, and the way they do it actually benefits everyone who uses the Postal Service.
Lysol6 years ago
"<wolf> 1. Save every Free Credit Card Offer you get, Put it in pile A
<wolf> 2. Save every Free Coupon You get, put that in pile B
<wolf> 3. Now open the credit card mail from pile A and find the Business
Reply Mail Envelope.
<wolf> 4. Take the coupons from pile B and stuff them in the envelope you hold
in your hand.
<wolf> 5. Drop the stuffed to the brim envelopes in your mail and walk away
whistling.
<wolf> I have now received two phone calls from the credit card companies
telling me that they received a stuffed envelope with coupons rather
then my application. They informed me that it they are not pleased that
they footed the bill for the crap I sent them. I reply with "It says
Business Reply Mail" I'm suggesting coupons to you to ensure that your
business is more successful. They promptly hang up on me.
<wolf> Now, I did this for about a month before it got boring, so I got an
added idea! I added exactly 33 cents worth of pennies to the envelope
so they paid EXTRA due to the weight. I got a call informing me about
the money, I said it was a mistake and I demanded my change back. After
yelling at the clerk and then to the supervisor they agreed to my
demands and cut me a check for the money. I hold in my hand at this
very moment a check from GTE Visa for exactly 33 cents."

From http://bash.org/?127039
lbrewer42 Lysol2 years ago
I cannot stop laughing over this - BRILLIANT! I plan on starting this practice as soon as I can.

volund (author)  Lysol6 years ago
hum, the coin idea is good, but it takes extra time to argue with their supervisors, and then you really have no guarantee that you will get the money back (though, it would cost them an extra envelope, postage, and check to send it back) My way is guaranteed to cost them a bit, and be fast and easy to do.
ilpug volund2 years ago
Does it really matter how long it takes? it sounds like tons of fun to me!
acerene Lysol2 years ago
Hahahaha!!
that was great, lol
oh my god, that's hilarious
i agree
Derin Gamer9175 years ago
especially the cash part
That is a billion times better than telling the telemarketers that your dead when they mispronounce your name!!!!
person:is .....there? you:im dead... person:no your not?!? you:yes i am.....(background) boom!!!! person:sir??? sir???.....MANAGER!!!!!i think he shot himself..... manager:lemme listen phone:boop boop boop boop manager:or he shot the phone........
by far the best story ever. wonderful "stick it to the man" instructable
Gavabc123 Lysol6 years ago
that is the greatest idea ever
unominame4 years ago
A typical Friday **lightbulb pops up over my head** walks over to pantry. eats the rest of off brand cereal. takes out plastic liner . lookes at box and smiles. looks around house. aha! stares at boot filled with concrete **Don't ask** puts boot in box. fills in the rest of space in box with gravel from the front yard. seals box with duct tape. Next day. I walk out to check mail. **sifting through mail** there it is! my credit card I didn't apply for. i'll teach them to mail me! gets buisness reply mail letter. duct tapes it to box, along with aditional tampering. lugs very heavy cereal box to the nearest post office weighs the box for good measure OMG!!! 28 pounds 12 ounces! puts box in mail along with a note saying "I don't want no damn sky miles" self laugh at what the mailman/ company's faces will look like.
sadly, that wont work. it just gets thrown away, but nice way of getting rid of trash before pickup day
ilpug pmn93932 years ago
Concrete gets thrown out. What does work is to put a bunch of rocks in there, loosely packed in newspaper. Then, on the outside of the box, write: "contains rock samples, do not damage"

Voila! box o' rox to your favorite annoying junk mailer!
dahee3 years ago
i laughed so hard!
hilarious and vengeful. great combo!
keep up the creativity! don't let em stop ya.
NE patsrock3 years ago
dude this is soooooo funny did u ackually do this???!!!:P
barley1233 years ago
This is so funny! Won't you get in trouble though? I hope not, because I will definitely try this one day. :-}
barley1233 years ago
This is hilarious! Thanks. Sheer brilliance . . . . . .
:P
Peek4 years ago
Culture Jamming/Ad Busting at it's finest! It's Sunday so no mail today but just wait! This is so on!!!!!!!
BarginsTech4 years ago
HAHAHAA nice man
thing 24 years ago
I am going to post an instructable about a different way to do something like this!
it would be better just to use whole folded sheets of paper because they are more dense, aka costs more ;]
ghostfart4 years ago
Well ive got plenty of return enverlopes from the t.v licence authority..just sitting here....Im guessing it would only be rite to send em back.
lmao
RedFlash5 years ago
Is this legal
seem good. but cant u get busted for doin this? my friend actually thought he was funny mailing an envelope full of baby powder to our school.
volund (author)  unaffiliatedperson5 years ago
There is nothing illegal about this. what your friend did is stupid as hell. NEVER send anything that could be seen as a threat to the company. there is a huge difference between sending an envelope of shredded mailings and sending an envelope of something that resembles a biological or chemical weapon.
Get back at them two fold. The business reply envelope usually comes inside a much larger evelope full of sh*t you don't want anyway. Shred THAT and put it in the envelope and make them pay to recieve their own junk mail back!! Double Whammy! DC
volund (author)  DieCastoms5 years ago
Sorry, but did you read the post? I shred all of the material I get, theirs, their competitors, and other random companies info.
I almost fell off my chair on this one, when I laughed so hard about how to stop junk mail! I gotts to try this one!! Pete.
rudedohio5 years ago
nice
Offers for low- or no-interest credit cards aren't as common as they used to be, but there is a website that lets you opt out of credit offers. I did it about two years ago and haven't received more than 4 credit card offers since. It's also free.

http://www.optoutprescreen.com/

(I am not associated with the above site. I just find their services valuable.)
Heck yeah! I have thought about doing something like this, though my mail carrier might start wondering about all those fat envelopes with no return address.
mopsley5 years ago
Really enjoyed this article. Was very useful and made me smile. Thanks, Mopsley
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