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Can We Stop Junk Mail and Calls to Deceased Person?

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 16 May 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Junk Mail Telesales Unsolicited Mail

Q.

We lost our Dad last October and we would like to know how to stop receiving junk mail and research telephone calls for him. It is very distressing to us, especially Mum.

(D.B, 16 June 2009)

A.

One of the worst things that can happen to the partner of the bereaved is to be plagued by junk mail and phone calls for the person who’s died. It constantly dredges up memories and stops them moving on and really having closure.

Junk mail is bad enough at the best of times, and you can have it stopped through the Mail Preference Service. But for those dealing with death, there’s something called the Deceased Preference Service, whose only function is to stop the dead getting junk mail.

It’s worth noting that this only applies to junk mail. Bills and other important things will still be delivered. This simply stops unsolicited mail, or at least most of it – it’s impossible to give a 100% guarantee.

It’s a free service, which is always a plus. It works by distributing the details of the deceased to as many companies as possible, so that name will be removed from their lists. Of course, that doesn’t happen overnight, and it will take between two and three months for virtually all the junk mail to disappear.

All you need to do is go to the Deceased Preference Service site and register all the details (alternatively, you can print the form, fill it out and send it) and they’ll take care of the rest.

With phone solicitation you can stop that quite easily, too, although be aware that it will stop all telesales calls to the number, not just a specific person who lived there, unless there’s specific consent. Unfortunately, the regulations involved in this don’t cover market research companies; when one calls, a request to be removed from their list should do the trick.

Use Telephone Preference Service for a free service, although there are competitors that offer similar, and possibly more complete services, but for a fee. Simply register the phone number on the site, and after 28 days telesales calls should end.

It’s worth knowing that this service doesn’t affect those annoying recorded calls we all receive. But legislation means that recorded calls shouldn’t be made without prior permission of the householder, so your mother (or you) could complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office about the offending company.

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