When it comes to “opting out,” we’ve long advised consumers to opt out of receiving pre-screened credit card offers using Opt Out Prescreen and from other offers that entice you to spend outside of your budget. Use this quick-reference guide to get your name off these marketing list
Opt Out Prescreen
Opt Out Prescreen allows you to remove yourself from credit card offers by calling 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688). The credit bureaus offer this toll-free number to allow consumers to take their names off the list of credit and insurance marketing companies, leading to less unsolicited ads and pre-approved credit card offers. You can also opt out online by visiting www.optoutprescreen.com.
When you opt out by phone or internet, you are automatically signed up for 5 years, after which your information will be back in circulation and you will start receiving pre-screened offers again. To opt out permanently, start by visiting the web site mentioned above. You’ll have to sign and mail in a printed form to opt out permanently–you will be sent the necessary form after you visit the web site.
Junk Mail Opt Out
Junk Mail Opt Out can be achieved by registering yourself with the Direct Marketing Association to stop receiving unwanted advertising in the mail. This registry lasts for five years. You can also opt out of commercial emails from the same location: www.dmachoice.org. Bear in mind that opting out with the Direct Marketing Association for both postal and electronic mail only applies to members of the DMA.
Opting out of Telemarketing
To stop receiving unwanted telemarketing calls, put your phone number on the national Do Not Call Registry. Call 1-888-382-1222 or visit www.donotcall.gov to register. (If you are calling the toll-free number, be sure to call from the phone number you want to be put on the do not call list.)
You can choose to remove your number from the do not call list at any time, or it will be removed automatically if your number is disconnected and assigned to someone new.
It’s important to remember that the Do Not Call rules do not apply to every telemarketer. Non-profits, charities, political organizations, polling companies, and anyone you have done business with recently. The Do Not Call Registry also won’t stop scammers who are operating illegally or committing fraud (if they’re already criminals, the Do Not Call list won’t deter them). To file a complaint against someone who violates the Do Not Call list, call 1-888-225-5322 (888-CALL-FCC). You can also complain online at http://www.fcc.gov/complaints.
For more information about opting out, download our Consumer Guide To Good Credit.
Photo: loop_oh via Flickr CC