While Qwest Dex is fairly incompetent when it comes to maintaining (or, more likely, honoring) an opt-out list, it looks like their direct mail marketing team understands that it does no good to deliver marketing materials to people who are not interested in receiving them. For example, here is the response I received after contacting Qwest through their website to ask to be removed from their direct mail campaigns:
Thank you for your recent e-mail inquiry to Qwest in regards to removing
your address from our mailing list. I apologize for the delay in
responding to your e-mail.
I have removed your address from our mailing list. Please allow 2-4
weeks for mailings to stop.
If you have further questions or concerns, please call the Qwest
Customer Service Center at 1-800-491-0118 or click the chat button on
the following page. When an agent is available the help icon will
appear in the top right corner: http://www.qwest.com/corporate/customerService/contactus/
Qwest Chat is available to assist you during the following hours:
Mon – Fri: 8:00 AM – 12:00 AM Central Standard Time
Saturday 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM Central Standard Time
Sunday 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM Central Standard Time
Qwest appreciates your business and values you as a customer. Our goal
is to provide you with excellent service. If you need further
assistance, please visit us online at http://www.qwest.com/customerService
for a variety of customer service options.
Qwest Customer Care
Time will tell whether they do truly honor it, but based on my experience with other direct mail marketing companies, I’m confident that they will. Why? Because direct mail companies live and die based on the performance of their lists. And their lists perform better if they are targeted at true prospects. Clearly, someone who isn’t interested in receiving direct mail pieces either isn’t going to be swayed by materials they’re not interested in receiving, so the marketers can decrease their costs while increasing their conversion rates by removing people like me.
Compare that to the Yellow Pages model. Yellow Pages feel much less pain when they over-deliver their directories since they’re not directly benefiting from the sales that do or don’t happen from each book. Sure, their printing and delivery costs would be lower if they delivered to only those who planned to use the books. But they seem to be more concerned with creating the illusion that the books are nearly universally used so they can use that illusion in their sales pitches. Forget the fact that many people have moved beyond annual books for business information. Forget the fact that Qwest is one of three books delivered annually in cities like Minneapolis, so there is probably only a 1/3 chance that people will use that brand of book if they choose to use any yellow pages book at all. Just keep the illusion going a little bit longer.
That makes the yellow pages more similar to a media model like newspapers, where newspapers have tried to game their circulation rates to create a similar illusion over time. If I step on the newspapers placed outside my hotel room door, and my luggage rolls over it, am I counted as one reader or two for circulation numbers?
So, keep that in ind before you throw away a junk mail piece for the 100th time. Take a minute to send the company an email asking to be removed from their list. It really does work.