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The Junk Mail That Wouldn't Take a Hint

October 19, 1986

In regard to an Oct. 5 editor's note explaining how to get off many mailing lists by writing to Mail Preference Service in New York, I would like to tell you of my experience several years ago.

Mail Preference Service sent me a letter questioning the wisdom of my request to be removed from mailing lists. They told how I would not be kept up to date on the newest products and how I would no longer enjoy the free samples I had been receiving. The implication that my life would be misery without knowing of the newest stripes in toothpaste or the newest shape in sanitary napkins didn't sway me.

I completed the written form requesting to be removed from mailing lists over which they have some jurisdiction, and for the next month the amount of mail sent to me doubled.

After that parting salute from the mass mailers, the volume diminished to a trickle. Most of it was probably from firms outside their jurisdiction. But the effects weren't lasting. As with some diseases that need periodic booster shots, it may be necessary to reaffirm your opposition to junk mail. I still receive striped toothpaste, panty hose, mouthwash and, most recently, a sanitary napkin.

ART HARLEM

San Gabriel

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