Drowning in Junk Mail – My Battle to Stop Junk Mail from Citizen Guardian and Engage Direct Mail

In July, I broke some of my rules. I was rude to people on the phone, and I was snappy at people in email. That it took me a year to snap at someone is a miracle. Let me lay out my case for completely losing my mind at these people.

Last year she was getting junk mail from:

The Seniors Center a project of Checks & Balances for Economic Growth
The Seniors Center a project of Checks & Balances for Economic Growth, (202)785-9500Citizen Audit page, Open Secrets page, Charity Navigator page.  They have been in trouble with the FEC in the past.

National Sovereignty Center, Program of the Citizens Assembly
The Citizen’s Assembly, Citizen Audit page, Open Secrets page, Charity Navigator page.

American Seniors Against Obama Care a program of Citizen Guardian
Citizen Guardian (202) 469-3433, (540) 630-6400 and email info@CitizenGuardian.org Citizen Audit page, Open Secrets page, Charity Navigator page.

The Council of Seniors a program of Volunteer Americans
Volunteer Americans, Citizen Audit page, Open Secrets page, Charity Navigator page.

Secure America Alliance a program of United States Public Policy Council
U.S. Public Policy Council changes@PublicPolicyCouncil.org Citizen Audit page, Charity Navigator page.

American Service Council office@americanservicecouncil.com , Citizen Audit page, Open Secrets page, Charity Navigator page.

and Civic Council, Citizen Audit page, Open Secrets page, Charity Navigator page.

All these groups have one thing in common, they all use Engage Direct Mail for their direct mail fundraising campaigns. I have already written about them, and Gary Jarmin. I contacted their compliance office info@uscomplianceservices.com in July 2014.

Letter from the Engage Direct Mail Compliance Office 7/23/2014
They sent a letter saying that it will take 12 weeks to be cycled out of their system.

Dear [name]

I am writing as a follow up to your request on July 22, 2014, requesting that your name and address be removed from out clients’ mailling lists. In response to your request we have been instructed by each of our clients American Service Council, Checks & Balances for Economic Growth, Civic Council, Citizen Guardian, U.S. Public Policy Council, Volunteer Americans, The Citizen’s Assembly to add your name and address to their do not mail lists.

Please be advised that we have received confirmation from out data department, that your name and address has been removed from the mailing list of all out clients as of 07/23/2014.

I must emphasize that direct mail solicitations are produced at a minimum of twelve (12) weeks in advance of their mail date. As such, letters in production prior to the date of this stop mail request could include material addressed to your name and address and could already be in the mail stream. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Thank you for your patience and understanding in resolving this matter.

If you require any additional documentation, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at (310) 606-9250 or email me at info@uscomplianceservices.com.

That was July 23, 2014. That means that junk mail from all those groups will stop in mid October 2014. Fine.

The junk mail didn’t stop.

Secure America Alliance a program of United States Public Policy Council
This mailpiece is from Secure America Alliance a program of United States Public Policy Council arrived on December 18, 2014. 2 months after mail from Engage Direct Mail should have stopped.

So I circled back to Engage Direct Mail. Now junk mail from them should stop in March 2015. ( I think I filed a DMA complaint about Citizen Guardian around this time. My notes about the DMA complaints are incomplete.)

IT DIDN’T STOP!

American Seniors Against ObamaCare a program of Citizen Guardian
This mailpiece from American Seniors Against ObamaCare a program of Citizen Guardian arrived on April 2, 2015. A month after mail from Engage Direct Mail should have stopped the second time.

She died in February. Now it is on. I registered her will everyone I could think of to tell them she was dead, and to stop sending her junk mail. But Engage Direct Mail just kept rolling along.

I contacted Engage Direct Mail in May. I was told that she was removed from the database March 27, 2015. Why wasn’t she removed in July 2014? Whatever. Another 12 weeks it is. That brings us to June 2015 for the new stop date.

Citizen Guardian
In June I got a mailpiece from Citizen Guardian on June 9, 2015. You can see my note on the envelope that it should be the last one.

Well this is what arrived in July:

3 from Citizen Guardian

What the hell??

That is when I unleashed my full middle-aged, white privileged, entitled self. This woman became my spirit animal:

For each of these mailpieces I left a screaming message for Citizen Guardian on both of their phone numbers (202) 469-3433 and (540) 630-6400. I knew it would do no good. But it felt good.

After the first mailpiece I filed a complaint with the California Attorney General. I mentioned things like that she was dead, that I had been trying to stop junk mail from them for a year, and that their mail was offensive and harassment.

Letter from the State of California Department of Justice 7/6/2015

Dear Jennifer Bell,

Thank you for bringing your consumer complaint to the attention of the Office of the Attorney General. Often, it is only through letters from concerned and responsible citizens, like you, that out office becomes aware of consumer problems.

You Should be aware that California state laws do not allow us to represent private individuals in person cilil matters. However, in cases of statewide significance, we can bring legal action against a company when substantive evidence is presented to us supporting allegations that a firm has violated California law.

We have forwarded a copy of your letter along with an inquiry from our office to the company you are concerned about. Hopefully, this will elicit from them a response which we will all find satisfactory.

Again, thank you for contacting out office and giving us the opportunity to assist in this matter.

Lupe Zinzun
Public inquiry Unit

for Kamala D. Harris
Attorney General

This was the response I from Engage Direct Mail. I didn’t get this until after the 3rd mailpiece.

Letter from the State of California Department of Justice 7/23/2015

Blah Blah. Copypasta 12 weeks. Blah blah removed from data base on 7/15/2015. Blah blah.

After the 3rd mailpiece I emailed the compliance office again:

It has been more that 12 weeks and [name] is still getting junk mail from Citizen Guardian. She has received 3 so far this month. I cannot emphasize enough 1. How dead she is and 2. How upsetting it is for her family to see mail addressed to her. I have given your company more than enough lead time. This is now harassment. From here on out I am going to send you an email every time I get a piece of junk mail from Citizen Guardian.

Please remove [name and address] From your mailing lists. She is dead. She died penniless because she gave all her money away to people like you. Please stop sending her junk mail.

And here is the reply

I personally took care of your request to remove your [relationship] name and number from our data base on 7/21/2015.

Please note, that direct mail solicitations are produced at a minimum of twelve (12) weeks in advance of their mail date.  As such, letters in production prior to the date of this stop mail request could include material addressed to your grandmother’s name and address and could already be in the mail stream. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

HER NAME WAS STILL IN THE DATABASE?!?!?! What the hell is going on in that office? Are they purposefully malicious or just incompetent?


On their website, Engage Direct Mail they claims to have the “cleanest” mailing lists with the best leads:

Cleaner Data in: From the first mailing, we’ll clean your data like never before. First we’ll use the standard tools like NCOA, LACs, and DPV. Then, we’ll bring out the big guns. Our proprietary ECOA process culls out undeliverable addresses, phony names, and those records our 11 years of testing tells us just won’t work. Then our system corrects and adds titles, appends apartment numbers, corrects misspellings, and applies vanity addresses (if your donor says he lives in Beverly Hills, do you really want to address his mail to Los Angeles?). From your first mailing we can increase your response even more with our proprietary Response Maximizer which will grade your file based on our 10 Characteristics of Responsive Households and remove the households least likely to respond.

There is a lot going on in that paragraph. I’m going to pull out a couple of my favorite phrases.

“Remove the households least likely to respond.” I would think a dead person trying to get off their mailing list for over a year would be “least likely to respond.”

Is one of the “Characteristics of Responsive Households” family members who are trying to stop your client’s junk mail? If so, I am in the prime demographic.

As far as I can tell the database for Engage Direct Mail is filled with either dead people, or older people with dementia that can’t afford to give money to their fake PACs.


The clock has started again. Now it is scheduled to stop mid October 2015, a year after it should have stopped the first time. 😡

Through this whole project I have tried to keep my cool during my contact with any of these blood sucking monsters. But even I have my limits. It is sad when I have to turn the bitch level up to 11 to get something done.


If you are getting junk mail from these people, my plan of attack would be:

  1. Email info@uscomplianceservices.com and request to be removed from their mailing list.
  2. Wait twelve (12) weeks for it to stop.
  3. When the junk mail doesn’t stop, file a complaint with the DMA and your state’s Attorney General.

Do not let it drag on for a year like I did. At the first sign of non-compliance, hit them with the big guns. Leave a paper trail of complaints, for yourself and others. They need to learn that they can’t ignore people’s requests to be taken off their mailing lists.

Blog post from 2006 from a person who went through the same thing I did.

To connect the dots between these scams, you have to google Gary Jarmin. Don’t be surprised if you get so many diverse hits that you think you’ve found a whole group of different people. In fact, he’s (a) a former moonie; (c)legislative director of Christian Voice; (c)national field director of the American Coalition for Tradition Values; (d) head of the American Federation of Senior Citizens, E) Freedom, USA; (f) American Intelligence Council…

Drowning in Junk Mail – This week in Junk Mail 31 pieces

All 32 pieces

I’m not gonna lie the mail can get boring. They send the same mailpiece over and over. They do that because once they find a mailpiece that brings in money they will send it out forever until it stops being effective. It is rare that junk mail has a topical, ripped-from-the-headlines subject.

Freedom Watch

This week Larry Klayman’s Freedom Watch sent a mailpiece that talks about ISIS. Of course it is trying to scare the money out of you, with the envelope screaming:

ISIS terror cells now on American soil… protect your family: open now!

Thanks Larry, I will just go crawl under my bed now.


2 in 1 day club
2 in 1 day club

2 civil rights groups
2 from Civil Rights Groups on the same day. This is not the first time this has happened

Hillsdale College
2 from Hillsdale Collage, Wiki page opt-out here DonorServices@hillsdale.edu

Response Unlimited
2 from Response Unlimited

Random Political Junk Mail
Random political junk mail


Charities
Charities


Scams
4 scams

  • Office of Magister Davids PO Box 3 NL 1693 ZG Wervershoof Netherlands
  • Immuno Corp, Aleksander Olsen 2340 Mira Mar Ave Long Beach, CA 90815 Immutol by Ralph Wallace
    How seven sick salmon, unconventional wisdom, serendipity, and a beer brewery saved an economy, healed the hopeless, and changed the course of modern Immunology. They have an F from the BBB.
  • Affiliated Opportunities Group (AOG) PO Box 25220 Miami, FL 33102-5220
  • Carmen Dumas PO Box 1061 NL-3600 BB Maarssen Netherlands

Stuffed and ready to go

4 pre-paid envelopes stuffed and ready to go

1 from 1500 ready to go
Only 1 form 1500 this week. It is the scam from Miami.

Left overs
Leftovers


I am starting the Drowning in Junk Mail Book Club

America's Right Turn by Richard A Viguerie and David Franke

The first choice is the 2004 classic America’s Right Turn by Richard A Viguerie and David FrankeRichard A Viguerie is the founder of the direct marketing firm American Target Advertising. This is his story of using “alternative media” to push the conservative agenda starting in the 1960’s.  When I finish, I will write a book report for it. Something I haven’t done in a few decades.

Drowning in Junk Mail – This week in Junk Mail 46 pieces

All 46 pieces

I hate slipping back like this, but the amount of mail that rolls in can have wild fluctuations in either direction week to week. PaperKarma has been having problems ever since the update to iOS8. I hope that they work everything out soon. I have a huge backlog of requests right now. And I have ratcheted up the revenge meter. I have sent out my first DMA Ethics Case Complaint form. It is for State Department Watch. I have emailed State Department Watch, I got no response. When I called them no one picked up the phone. Oh, now it is on State Department Watch. Look for that at the bottom with the pre-paid envelopes and the form 1500’s.


2 in 1 day
2 in 1 day club

5 from Response Unlimited
5 from Response Unlimited:

American Policy Center
2 from American Policy Center, run by Tom DeWeese his SPLC page, Source Watch page, opt-out here admin@americanpolicy.org

2 from Food and Water Watch
2 from Food and Water Watch, Wiki Page, Charity Navigator page, Source Watch page, opt-out here

Political mash up
Political Mash up

Random Political Junk Mail


10 Charities
10 Charities


3 US based scams
3 US based scams

5 scams from the Netherlands
5 scams from the Netherlands

  • Midas Financial Group Mergers Access Division PO Box 8396 3503 RJ Utrecht Netherlands
  • Harrison Institute PO Box 1061 NL-3600 BB Maarssen Netherlands
  • Winner Club PO Box 20 NL-1715 ZG Spanbroek Netherlands
  • Dr. Kramer PO Box 164 NL-3960 BD Wijk bij Duurstede Netherlands
  • A.P.M.E. c/o M.V.E.U. PO Box 1219 NL-3600 BE Marssen Netherlands

8 prepaid envelopes ready to go
8 prepaid envelopes stuffed and ready to go

1 form 1500 ready to go
1 form 1500 for The Moskowitz Report ready to go

DMA Ethics Case Complaint form for State Department Watch
DMA Ethics Case Complaint form. It is for State Department Watch.

Name of organization that you are bringing to our attention: State Department Watch

Organization Contact Information: sdw@statedepartmentwatch.org

Address on return envelope: PO Box 97343 Washington DC 20090-7343

Street address: 22648 Ave San Luis WOODLAND HILLS CA 91364,

Mailing address: PO Box 6102 WOODLAND HILLS CA 91365

Phone number: (818) 223-8080

Contact Person at the organization: Carl Olson

Please give a brief overview of your concerns and attach any relevant correspondence or other documents:

This complaint is being made on behalf of name AKA other name, that is the name on this mailpiece. My family has power of attorney for her affairs.

I have contacted State Department Watch by email and by phone and received no response. I would like name to be taken off their mailing list.

I would also like her to be taken off the mailing list for their other projects:

Minuteman Project With Jim Gilchrist

Tea Party Campaign With Dr. Jerome Corsi

The Tea Party

American Sovereignty Task Force

There are no guidelines as to what you should write, so I was very to the point. If this works I will make a “how to guide”.


Left overs

Leftovers

Drowning in Junk Mail – This Week in Junk Mail 48 pieces

All 45 pieces

I have stalled. I am stuck at 40-50 pieces a week. I don’t expect to drop again until the end of the month when the junk mail from Base Connect stops. I am taking a photo of every mailpiece in PaperKarma. I have entered over 140 different companies since I stated using PaperKarma in late July. A human from the DMA got back to me. They want people to mail in a formal complaint. I am going to try and get an e-mail address out of them.


2 in one day
The 2 in 1 day club

Response Unlimited
8 from Response Unlimited

DNC junk mail
4 from the Democrats

Survey time!!
DNC Survey
Just incase you haven’t figured out how I fill them out, I answer the opposite of what they want, then make junk mail the most important topic in America.

Engage Direct Mail junk mail
3 from Engage Direct Mail

The Senior Citizens League, The Social Security & Medicare Advisor
2 from The Senior Citizens League.  After being threatened with it in other mailpieces, I finally got at copy of their newsletter The Social Security & Medicare Advisor opt-out here info@tsclhq.org

Random Political Junk Mail
Random political junk mail


Charities
6 charities


Scams
6 scams

  • Douglass Report
  • The Infinity Income Dealership by Alliance Publishing Inc 3011 West 183rd St #342, Homewood, Il 60430. This is a pyramid scheme. You send $97 to Homewood,Il and $100 to the person who actually mailed the letter to you. Chat on RealScam.com, Chat on Scam.com
  • The Arthritis Trust of America PO Box 7003 Merrifield VA 22116-7003. This is a scam charity that has a scam sweepstakes attached to it. #48 Worst Charities in America
  • Liberty Document Reporting LDR PO Box 190 Old Westbury, NY 11568, PO Box 422 Old Bethpage, NY 11804. This is an advanced fee fraud scam. They want you to send in $21 and they will send you $3,639,921.00
  • National Magazine Exchange Strike it Rich IX Sweepstakes 800-975-8526, 8285 Bryan Dairy Rd Ste 150, Seminole, FL 33777-1306. Tampa Bay Times article about NME
  • C Logistic Processing PB20 4850 AA Ulvenhout Netherlands it is signed by Pippo. This is an advanced fee fraud scam.

I have sent or will send a from 1500 out for all of these scams except for the one from the Netherlands.

Because I went on vacation over the  holiday weekend, I will be processing the form 1500’s and pre-paid envelops next week.

Left overs
Left overs

Drowning in Junk Mail – How to Opt-out of Junk Mail from Engage Direct Mail

Update: Oh how naive I was back then: My Battle to Stop Junk Mail from Citizen Guardian and Engage Direct Mail

Another day another direct mail marketing firm stopped. Today it is Engage Direct Mail.

Opt-out here. If that doesn’t work, email the Compliance desk, info@uscomplianceservices.com. You shouldn’t have any trouble with them, everyone I dealt with was very nice and very professional.

National Sovereignty Center, Program of the Citizens Assembly
This is the only one I have photo of. I only took it because it was so small and cute. Little did I know that this little mailpiece would be the key to finding Engage Direct Mail.

National Sovereignty Center a project of The Citizen’s Assembly Inc does not have a website. They share a name with the Citizen’s Assembly Foundation. The CAF has put in their about section that they have no connection with these guys.
This is the bill The Citizen’s Assembly Inc wants to push through H.R.75 – American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2013. Their Bizapedia page has the vital statistics.  Their Washington DC address is a law office that specialises in non-profits. The Virginia address is for another law office Sparks & Craig LLP now known as Herge, Sparks & Christopher LLP. Open Secrets page, Washington State page.

Volunteer Americans: For God and Country, The Council of Seniors


Here are some other people that use Engage Direct Mail
 Blog post from 2006 from a person who went through the same thing I did. The big connection he found was Gary Jarmin. He has his fingers in a bunch of junk mail pies:
To connect the dots between these scams, you have to google Gary Jarmin. Don’t be surprised if you get so many diverse hits that you think you’ve found a whole group of different people. In fact, he’s (a) a former moonie; (c)legislative director of Christian Voice; (c)national field director of the American Coalition for Tradition Values; (d) head of the American Federation of Senior Citizens, E) Freedom, USA; (f) American Intelligence Council…