Junk mail deluge through shared letter box

7th December 2015

I live in a converted Victorian house split into four flats. We got four door bells but only one letterbox. The problem is that we get bunches of leaflets from companies such as Talk Talk. Often we get more than four leaflets. Recently we received seven leaflets from the Green Party.

I have tried to contact the senders. The Green Party responded and apologised but it doesn't seem possible to contact companies such as Talk Talk. Is there anything we can do to stop the junk mail deluge?

Dr Junk Buster's answer: 

Unaddressed junk mail from large companies such as Talk Talk is typically distributed via Royal Mail. Even if you could contact them – which can be very difficult indeed – they would almost certainly refer you to Royal Mail, as they are responsible for the distribution of the junk mail.

It might be worth asking Royal Mail to deliver just one leaflet to the property. I would avoid the customer service department and instead phone your local delivery office – Royal Mail's head office is moe likely to take a formal stance ("every household shall get a leaflet!").

Another option is to collectively opt out of receiving unaddressed mail distributed by Royal Mail. All the households in the property would have to register with the Door-to-Door Opt-Out separately. You could print four registration forms and try to persuade the other households to complete the form.

If contacting Royal Mail doesn't work and the other households can't be bothered to opt out I'd simply return all the junk mail to the senders. It's not going to magically stop the extra pieces of junk mail but it does make the senders / advertisers aware that their adverts didn't have the desired effect. And it might make them more considerate. Virgin Media has recently stopped their door-drop campaigns and set up an opt-out for people not interested in addressed junk mail because their mailings were damaging the Virgin Media brand. Without people complaining / return junk mail they wouldn't have been aware of the nuisance they were causing.