Friday, January 23, 2009

Mail Call

A couple of things that came in the mail this week have me wondering about the means direct mail marketers will use to get you to read their "junk" mail.

The first was from Architectural Digest and came with the ominous warning on the envelope, "Do Not Bend." So I'm wondering just what's so special in this envelope that I would be upset if the post office bent it. What little gift has Architectural Digest sent me?

What you are seeing is not only the envelope, but its entire contents. Frankly, I was disappointed. I just didn't see one thing I couldn't live without.

The second piece of mail had no return address, but in the upper left corner of the envelope were the words "Neighborhood Information." Is this something from my neighborhood association, from the Hoover city government, from the police or fire departments? Not hardly. It was an advertisement for a handy man.

This was not the first time I've received one of these envelopes marked "Neighborhood Information." As I recall, the first one contained a marketing letter from a local fitness center. I'm on to this tactic, and in fact I didn't even open the latest one until I got ready to post this blog entry, and then I had to dig it out of the recycling.

And finally, while I'm talking about mail, I just have to mention the invitation that was returned to me yesterday marked "Unable to Forward." I understand that this happens. Things get addressed wrong, or the addressee has moved and the forwarding order has expired. But this invitation was mailed to Little Rock on October 17, 2008. That's more than three months ago!!

I feel fairly certain that the Little Rock post office has not been looking for this couple for three months.


The Walkie Talkie said...

In the last couple of days I have gotten Christmas cards returned that were mailed out over a month ago. But three months that is bad!

Mar Mar said...

I've got a couple of things to say about this.

1. Always open your junk mail. Alan's bad about not opening things like that, and he once threw away a $50 rebate voucher.

2. Alan's vindictive side does what Andy Rooney suggested. He always seals up and sends back the envelope with the postage meter on it. Nothing goes in it, of course, but if you send it back, they have to pay the postage! Andy Rooney says if everyone would do this, they'd quit sending the junk.

KBeau said...

Actually, I have heard that you should put all of the stuff they sent you into the return envelope. Costs them more postage.

Malvie said...

Ahh, the battles with the Little Rock Bulk Mail Center....

In my former life, I sent out workers' comp checks to injured workers. Remember, these are people's PAYCHECKS; it's how they make their house payment and buy food. Most workers' comp recipients are from the labour class anyway (very few on-the-job injuries in high rise offices), so they might not have a big backlog of money---they need that money promptly.

You would not believe the battles I had with the Little Rock Bulk Mail Center (which is a division of the Memphis Bulk Mail Center). We'd have people's checks showing up 3 months later, returned to US three months later (if at all), some with "unable to deliver" stamped on them when the check before and after (with the identical address) had already been delivered.

After one particularly bad round (they lost an entire lot of our checks, about 200 of them which I mailed at the West Little Rock Post Office on the same day; ALL of them went awry), I went to the Bulk Mail Center and demanded to speak with the Postmaster of Little Rock. She very calmly told me, "Oh, when we get overloaded, we just load whatever we can't get to on a truck and ship it to Memphis."

"Well, what happens to it there?"

"I don't know."

And you wonder why your mail gets lost...


I never go to the mailbox, I'm like Mar Mar's Alan, I could care less; it's mostly junk. Nathan is a stickler about getting the mail, so that's his job. He scrupulously opens each piece. Me, I still have my commercial-grade shredder from CMI, and I stick the entire thing in the shredder.

I could have made this a blog post of my own, but I'd rather it'd be a comment on yours! ;-)