Tired of all the spam and junk mail you receive? I don’t know of any perfect way to get rid of all of it, but there is a new, free online service that is trying to take a bite out of the problem: ProQuo.com. It’s going to take me a few weeks to determine exactly how much spam and junk mail it frees me up from, but I have signed up for the service and it is very easy to have the service take you off of mailing lists you don’t want to be on.
When you first sign up for ProQuo, you’re asked if you would like to receive regular updates on what lists you may want to remove yourself from. Once you’re in the application, you’re presented with a few arrays of types of mail—electronic and paper-based—that you don’t want to be getting.
There is one subsection for Coupons & Weekly Circulars, another for Marketing Lists and Data Brokers (many of these are the folks who will sell your personal information to others), one for Other Directories, and a Telemarketing Lists category. It’s very easy to ask ProQuo to remove you from a particular type of list. Each citation in each category has a Stop button beneath it, and clicking the Stop button prompts ProQuo to send electronic messages on your behalf requesting your removal from the list. In some cases, ProQuo guides you through the necessary removal process rather than sending your request.
According to the ProQuo site, a marked reduction in the amount of junk mail you get will take place four weeks after your requests go out, and the full impact will be felt in about three months. It’s not possible for the application to do absolutely everything on your behalf. The company FAQ states:
“Certain companies like OptOutPrescreen.com and the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) require that consumers submit the requests themselves. As a convenience, ProQuo provides links to these sites for you to complete their forms.”
I’ll be keeping a close eye on my results from ProQuo over the next few weeks. One thing’s for sure: It does make it very easy to send requests to many kinds of list owners to remove your name.
Do you have any good tips on keeping spam and junk mail contained?