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Junk Mail

August 30, 2015

I used to receive a free weekly newspaper along with two bundles of flyers.  These were delivered by a local distribution company.  This all stopped when that company was taken over by a daily newspaper that also distributed flyers.  I understand that subscribers to the daily paper still got the weekly paper and the flyers.  I never subscribed, so I didn’t get either.  I suppose that’s called “buying out the competition”.  I had enjoyed reading the weekly newspaper.  Most of the flyers went quickly into my blue cart.

I still got a few flyers with my mail delivery, but that was it.  One day I arrived home to discover an inspector from Canada Post walking down my driveway.  She had already checked my mailbox but found it empty.  She asked me if I had received a particular flyer.  I replied that I thought so, but it would have gone directly into my blue cart.  She told me I could stop flyers if I wanted, and that there were instructions on the Canada Post web site on how to do this.  At that time, I didn’t do anything because I had no reason to stop those few flyers.

About a year later, I found a reason.  Canada Post announced that they were ending home delivery of mail, over the next few years.  I’d have to pick up my mail at a group mailbox instead, maybe a block away from my house.  I didn’t want to go there only to get those unwanted flyers.  I get very little real mail anyway.  Picking it up two or three times a week would be plenty for me.  The amount can only decrease in the future.  My utility bills are all delivered on the web or by e-mail already.

When I looked at the Canada Post web site, I quickly discovered that they don’t call it flyers or junk mail, even though that’s what most people call it.  Instead, they call it ad mail, or unaddressed ad mail.  Their web site had many pages for senders of ad mail.  That makes sense, since ad mail is an important source of revenue for Canada Post.  I only found two pages for receivers of ad mail, like myself.  I expected to find some way to request that they stop ad mail to my mailbox on that site, but instead they advised me to attach a sign to my mailbox.  The postman would see that sign, the web page advised me, and would notify Canada Post to stop the ad mail.  I learned from other sites that Canada Post would ask me periodically to remove the sign and begin accepting ad mail again, just in case I made a mistake, or really wanted that advertizing.  It’s no mistake.  I hate advertizing.

I checked a couple of local home supply stores.  Both had small and very nice self-adhesive signs in the two to three dollar range.  They both read “No Junk Mail”.  I couldn’t find one that said “No Flyers” or “No Ad Mail”, but I suppose the message is the same.  I bought one and stuck it on my mailbox.  It was surprisingly effective.  After one day, the flyers stopped.  Later I did find a couple of items in my mailbox that looked like flyers, but both had my name and address printed on them.  I suppose Canada Post considers them to be real mail.  Both of them went into my blue cart very quickly.

All in all, I’m very pleased with my decision.  It only took me about a week to stop looking forward to a mail delivery, only to be disappointed when it was all advertizing.  I may miss out on the occasional special offer, but the absence of junk mail makes it all worthwhile.


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