Business

Seen At 11: New App, Paper Karma, Could Help Put An End To Junk Mail

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NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — You probably came home to some today, an endless stream of catalogs, and ads frequently referred to as junk mail.

“We get so much junk mail it’s ridiculous,” Amy Blyth Whipkey said, “Insurance, real estate, magazines, GVC, a store I’ve never shopped at.”

Whipkey told CBS 2’s Maurice Dubois that the advertisements started pouring into her family’s mail box after she and her husband David bought their home.

“It’s frustrating because you can’t keep up with it,” David said.

More than 262-million pieces of unsolicited mail are delivered by the U.S. Postal Service every day and, according to the environmental Protection Agency, junk mail isn’t just a nuisance it’s wasteful. Half of all advertising mail gets tossed in the trash.

“Certainly marketers and fundraisers don’t want to send a marketing offer or a fundraising offer to a consumer who doesn’t want to receive that,” Senny Boone, Direct Marketing Association, explained.

There is a website designed to help businesses keep the attention of interested customers and to help overwhelmed consumers put an end to unwanted mail. It’s called dmachoice.org and customers can sign up to opt out of mail that they don’t want to receive, Boone explained.

The site receives between 10,000 and 15,000 opt out requests each month.

Whipkey thought that a shredder would be the answer to her family’s problem.

“Then I was like ‘I’ve had enough’ and I had to find a way to deal with this massive amount of mail,” she said.

Whipkey decided to turn to “Paper Karma” a free app designed to help users stop getting junk mail that they don’t want.

You submit a picture of the mail that you don’t want, along with your name and address, and the app contacts the company.

“As soon as you’re unsubscribed it turns green and it will say it was a success,” Whipkey explained.

As annoying as it may be direct mail is a big business for the U.S. Postal Service bringing in more than $16 billion annually.

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