If states will soon be regulating WHO gets mail, where will it all end??

By
Real Estate Agent with Maverick Realty

Earlier I wrote about the Do Not Mail List possibly coming into effect, with some states pushing harder than others

This is how the Do Not Call List got started, it slowly but surely came into effect.  Yes, I did put my home phone and my cell phone on the Do Not Call List because the calls got out of hand and ridiculous. 

Yes, I do open my mail over the trash can and throw away all junk mail on the spot, but does that mean that I want it to become a law that only certain people can mail letters to me?  I think I am big enough to decide that myself.  What do you think? 

Did you know that in the last year, 11 states have introduced do-not-mail legislation, calling for the imposition of hefty fines on marketers who mail solicitations to residents whose names are on do-not-mail lists?  What do you think of this?  What is your opinion and how would this affect us in the real estate business?  Will our hands be further tied? We already can't call certain people, is this fair?  Do you agree with this?  It makes me so mad my hair is turning red.....Vickie McCartney's hair turning red

 

So far there are actually 11 states considering the do-not-mail legislation,and they are as follows:

Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, New York, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Texas, Vermont and Washington. The bill in Vermont was introduced last week. There have been additional measures have been introduced in New York and Washington, as well as in New Jersey and Virginia, where registries would include people with mental illnesses and certain senior citizens.  Are you in any of those states?  Which state is next?  Will they all pass this legislation?  Should we all be fighting against this? 

The bills do vary from state to state. In most cases, marketers who mail solicitations to individuals on do-not-mail lists would face fines of several thousand dollars per violation.  In Michigan, for example, violations can also result in up to six months imprisonment and a fine of up to $500.   Any ActiveRainers out there from Michigan may need to  listen up!  Could you imagine, going to jail for sending a letter to the wrong person? OH MY!

 

Just so you know, in all cases, nonprofit organizations and politicians ( of course, how convenient...)would be exempt. There would also be a business-relationship exemption as well.( OH! Thank God, we could still write to our current customers.....)

Proponents of the measures believe that the do-not-mail laws will have the same effect as the do-not-call registries as they will give homeowners a say over what information they want coming into their homes and that this will be a good thing. 

What do you think of this? I know myself, I don't like to be sold to, BUT is this the way to go?  It will surely hurt the paper industry as well as the postal services, and many more I am not thinking of or want to write them all at this very moment, but is this going too far?

I mean, if you don't want the mail, why can't you just throw it out.  Before you know it, our whole life will be regulated.  Is that what we all want? It doesn't really sound like America to me.  What does it sound like to YOU????

For further Do Not Mail Info click here. 

Vickie McCartney,Realtor~Owensboro,Kentucky

Vickie McCartney,Realtor Home Realty GMAC~Owensboro,Kentucky

 

 

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If you would like to buy or sell a home in Owensboro, Kentucky, please call  270-315-5354, or you can visit www.Maverick270.com  or email me for more specific information on the communites I serve.  Click here to view all properties  for sale in Owensboro Kentucky and surrounding areas. 

Vickie McCartney, Realtor, Broker Associate, ABR,~ Maverick Realty, Owensboro, KY

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Rainmaker
79,895
Jon Boyd
Home Buyer's Agent of Ann Arbor - Ann Arbor, MI
Ann Arbor Real Estate Buyers Agent

 

I think a do-not-mail list is crazy.

"Junk mail" is productive for the advertisers or they wouldn't do it.

May 13, 2008 03:31 PM #43
Rainmaker
449,858
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Jon~ You are right, a Do Not Mail List is CRAZY!  It is productive, and that is why people do it.  I have not really been one to send mail or do direct marketing, but I may have to someday or want to, and I don't want someone dictating to me that I can't do it if I so chose.

May 13, 2008 03:53 PM #44
Rainmaker
290,164
Kathleen Lordbock
Keller Williams Realty Professionals - Baxter, MN
Keller Williams Realty Professionals

And here I thought your hair was naturally red!!!

May 13, 2008 04:42 PM #45
Ambassador
799,106
Brad Andersohn
Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876

I wanted to share with everyone what the law.com site states in regards to the do not mail legislation, we just need to fight another battle and win!!

Law.com, and I quote, "Bills to stop the sending of unwanted mail, which are modeled after the do-not-call phone registries, have been introduced in nearly a dozen states, raising fundamental legal questions about states' ability to regulate the U.S. Postal Service.

In the last year, 11 states have introduced do-not-mail legislation calling for the imposition of hefty fines on marketers who mail solicitations to residents whose names are on do-not-mail lists.

The 11 states considering do-not-mail legislation are Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, New York, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Texas, Vermont and Washington. The bill in Vermont was introduced last week.

Additional measures have been introduced in New York and Washington, as well as in New Jersey and Virginia, where registries would include people with mental illnesses and certain senior citizens." unqoute.  Here is the rest of the story.

If this were to become a law, it would be aweful.  I'm almost certain that the USPS has their very best representatives taking care of this nonsense, but we should never assume that, I think NAR and others wil need to join in and have a voice on this one too.

May 13, 2008 06:32 PM #46
Rainmaker
1,570,124
David Saks
(retired) - Memphis, TN
Stop to consider that eliminating junk and unwanted mail will reduce the burden on the postal system and keep our first class postal rates down? The Postmaster General might like that idea ! So will the mail order catalog companies.
May 13, 2008 07:03 PM #47
Rainmaker
130,480
Kevin O'Shea
Coldwell Banker - White Plains, NY
White Plains, NY Real Estate

I amiably disagree with David above.  The post office makes money on every piece of junk mail sent.

I believe there are laws in effect now in NY that if someone asks you to take them off your mailing list, you must.  I feel that is sufficient.

If you think about how much Junk Mail you get everyday, you can understant why people want the option.

All the best!

May 13, 2008 07:24 PM #48
Rainmaker
363,351
Susie Blackmon
Ocala, FL
Ocala, Horses, Western Wear, Horse Farms, Marketing

Congrats on the featured post.  I'm  not surprised about the attempt at more legislation -- we can't even say Merry Christmas any more without offending someone, and ending up in Court because of what we put in mall decorations is just as ridiculous. 

May 13, 2008 07:54 PM #49
Rainmaker
1,570,124
David Saks
(retired) - Memphis, TN

I absolutely, amicably, respectfully  disagree with you, Kevin.

1. The benefit of reducing negative environmental impact is nearly incalculable.

2. Labor costs would be reduced.

3. Excessive and uncompromising storage requirements would be eliminated from bulk.

4. Trash collections would be lighter on community sanitation efforts

5. Landfills less overflowing.

6. Keep trees in the forest. More than 100 million trees are destroyed each year to produce junk mail. 42% of timber harvested nationwide becomes pulpwood for paper.

7. Reduce global warming. The world's temperate forests absorb 2 billion tons of carbon annually. Creating and shipping junk mail produces more greenhouse gas emissions than 2.8 million cars.

8. Save water. About 28 billion gallons of water are wasted to produce and recycle junk each year.

9. Save time. You waste about 70 hours a year dealing with junk mail.

10. The pulp and paper industry is the single largest consumer of water used in industrial activities in developed countries, and it's the third-largest industrial greenhouse gas emitter (after the chemical and steel industries).

11. The average adult receives 41 pounds of junk mail each year (about 560 pieces). 44% goes to the landfill unopened.

12. On average, we receive 10.8 pieces of junk mail a week, compared to only 1.5 personal letters.

13. More than 62 billion pieces (4 million tons) of junk mail are produced each year.

14. The majority of household waste consists of junk mail.

15. 40% of the solid mass that makes up our landfills is paper and paperboard waste.

16. Junk mail inks have high concentrations of heavy metals, making the paper difficult to recycle.

17. $320 million of local taxes are used to dispose of junk mail each year.

18. California's state and local governments spend $500,000 a year collecting and disposing of AOL's direct mail disks alone.

19. Transporting junk mail costs $550 million a year.

20. Lists of names and addresses used in bulk mailings reside in mass data-collection networks. Your name is typically worth 3 to 20 cents each time it is sold.

Want to add anything else to the list, Kevin? Your a fine, civic minded, responsible gentleman. By the way, I collect stamps and the famous White Plains Souvenir Sheet of 1926, one of the first postal collectibles issued by the United States, is one of my favorite items in all of philatelic history. I've owned several of them. Stamp collecting is the only reason I have to voluntarily absorb unsolicited mail.

 

May 14, 2008 06:28 AM #50
Rainer
23,000
Tamara Heyward
Self-Help - Durham, NC

I'm a member of Catalog Choice, which I have thoroughly enjoyed. I get to decide on a case by case basis who I want to receive catalogs from. Since I do most of my catalog shopping online, this is a win all the way around. I don't have a recycling bin full of catalogs, catalog companies aren't wasting their resources mailing to me, and we save some trees:).

Maybe there's a way to extend this idea to other mass mailers (grocery stores, coupon vendors, Realtors). Today, we are able to control access to how people reach us. With caller ID, we can screen phone calls. With spam filters, we can screen emails. Direct mail is the last "uncontrollable" medium for getting your message out. Put yourself in the mailee's shoes - can you imagine the uptick in direct mailings that went along with the advent of the Do Not Call list?

I'm suprised at how many of us have responded in the "what about me" vein to this post. I thought our job was about customer service and what is right for our clients. Our local MLS already produces mailing lists with "do not mail" addresses clearly marked. The do not mail addresses are probably less than 1% of the addresses, which leaves me plenty of people to contact.

I am a firm believer that a consistent mail campaign can produce results. But during my GRI coursework days, I also remember hearing from almost every instructor that the long term health of our business depends on what we do for our current and past clients, and the business they send our way. There are over 1 million Realtors - just about everyone knows a Realtor or knows someone who knows a Realtor - they will find us without our fancy postcards. Our industry is much more dynamic that what can be printed on a post card - let's keep blogging, e-newslettering, websiting, sponsoring community events, joining organizations, and servicing our clients, and we'll be just fine.

May 14, 2008 06:36 AM #51
Rainmaker
449,858
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Kathleen- my hair isn't naturally red, I just get to change the color easily with my charicature photos!! 

May 14, 2008 11:50 AM #52
Rainmaker
449,858
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Active Brad ~You are right, the postal service probably has been dealing with this, but you never know.  They definitely have the most to lose since they make their biggest money on junk mail.  I don't know about you, but with the price of stamps, I don't do many mail-outs for the fun of it. 

May 14, 2008 11:57 AM #53
Rainmaker
449,858
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

David~ The Postal Service is fighting the Do Not Call List big time.  They make their biggest money on junk mail, and without it they may not will not survive. 

May 14, 2008 02:41 PM #54
Rainmaker
449,858
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Obeoman~  It only makes sense that the internet and blogging are the wave of the future, or rather the future is now, we are creating it. Like you said, the truth of the matter is that  AR and Blogging is where it's at, so to speak. 

May 14, 2008 02:47 PM #55
Rainmaker
449,858
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Jan~ Just wondering if you came back on here to see all the comments -it wasn't featured the first time you wrote.

Lizette~I guess Brad was serious when he told usabout this Do Not Mail idea being formed  in class, it isn't a joke , he was serious. Just go ahead and ask him.

May 14, 2008 04:32 PM #56
Rainmaker
565,568
Mike Saunders
Lanier Partners - Athens, GA

I hate junk mail. I understand why people don't want it.

I am of mixed feelings regarding this.

One, receiving junk mail is an intrusion on my life. The mailer is forcing me to take some time out of my day to deal with it. Some of it is obvious, others, well, they look like maybe they need to be opened, only to find that it is junk.

At least I don't increase the landfill with mine, it goes right to the recycling bin.

There are ways to opt out of junk mail, you can contact the companies directly and halt it individual companies, you can go to various opt-out sites, you can go to several sites (one mentioned above) and cherry pick catalogs and such, and (and this is cool) you can freeze your credit see (http://activerain.com/blogsview/510377/Avoiding-Credit-Theft-You), which also has the benefit of getting rid of all those capital one and other thousands of credit offerrings that fill your recycling bin, or trash.

Yeah, there are unintended consequenses, our business will be affected (but, we managed to find ways to get around do-not-call). The postal service will suffer and our personal rates will go up to make up for the lost revenue (either that, or, it will again become a taxpayer supported operation and our taxes will go up, or, probably both will go up).

But newspapers will probably benefit with all kinds of additional flyers being placed inside. So, the impact on trees and landfills might not be as beneficial.

It's time to start, getting those creative juices flowing, to anticipate these things and get a head start on ways to work through them. Hey, I have this idea, let's call it Active Rain and we can.......

May 15, 2008 12:04 AM #57
Ambassador
2,739,883
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

All of these socialists inspired laws seeks to control what I would consider the exercise of free speech, even commercial speech.  The problems are not caused by the users of the telephone, the postal system and the most egregious abusers of all, the e-mail spammers. 

The abuse of the communication medium is the problem, not the communication. 

I agree with you.  It takes me 2 minutes to quickly go through postal junk mail, for which the sender has paid a fee, albeit a reduced fee. 

The do not call resulted from cold callers and predatory callers abusing an otherwise useful tool for home owners, the telephone. 

E-mail spammers cost me $75 a month for a filter on my web server.  It also costs me about 30 minutes a day to dump the junk from my e-mail box on a daily basis.  Without the spam blocker on my web server, it would take me 2-3 hours a day to download and dump.

Spammers cost the country $Billions every year.  I have no sympathy.  In fact, while postal advertisers are usually selling a real product, so much e-mail spam is duplicitious, porn, crude and illegal.  Yet, it goes on unchecked except by the consumer of Internet services who are forced to spend time and money to protect themselves.

The government is apoplexic when someone sends smut through the mail and puts the perp in jail.  The government turns a blind eye to the e-mail spammer who sends the smut and puts it on your computer monitor. 

IMO, a government that fails to protect the citizenry against abusers is sanctioning that abuse.  Such government action always makes me want to "follow the money". 

Which lobby is getting money to which politician to make sure the spammers are not prosecuted????

 

May 15, 2008 12:36 AM #58
Rainer
123,025
Julie Neerings~Lifting Hearts ♥ Building Dreams~
Agent Referral - Salt Lake City, UT

Congrats on your feature Vickie! This is a touchy subject, I do absolutely agree with you.  My concern is that with DNC, email laws and now possibly DNM, we are up against referrals only etc.  We are going to have to really step it up to bring in the business consistently.

May 15, 2008 04:00 AM #59
Rainmaker
449,858
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Lenn~ Gosh, this could be another post, maybe you should blog this!!  Email spam is a big hassel, and uncalled for.  Thanks for taking the time to read and for the thoughtful comment, I guess I hit a nerve here, didn't I?

May 15, 2008 04:30 AM #60
Rainmaker
449,858
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Julie~ You are right.  Either way we are going to have to step it up to bring in our business consistently.  I think blogging is a part of the answer. I appreciate you and everyone else for stopping by and for commenting as everyone's opinion is valuable. Thanks you!

May 16, 2008 04:41 AM #61
Rainmaker
655,882
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

Perhaps the post office will have enough weight to stop this sort of thing from occurring.... if mail like this is banned, they will be in trouble financially.

May 16, 2008 06:50 PM #62
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