Do you have problems with Junk Mail or Unwanted Telephone calls?
What is the Mailing Preference Service?
The Mailing Preference Service (MPS) is a free service set up 20 years ago and funded by the direct mail industry to enable consumers to have their names and home addresses in the UK removed from or added to lists used by the industry. It is actively supported by the Royal Mail and all directly involved trade associations and fully supported by The Information Commissioners Office.
The MPS Consumer File is a list of names and addresses of consumers who have told us they wish to limit the amount of direct mail they receive. The use of the Consumer File by list-owners and users is a requirement of the British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing administered by the Advertising Standards Authority. It is also a condition under the Code of Practice of the Direct Marketing Association.
The MPS can remove your name from up to 95% of Direct Mail lists. It will not stop mail that has been sent from overseas, un-addressed material or mail addressed to The Occupier. You can expect to continue to receive mailings from companies with whom you have done business in the past. You may also receive mailings from small, local companies. If you wish these mailings to be stopped, you must notify these companies directly. It will take up to 4 months for the Service to have full effect although you should notice a reduction of the mail during this period.
Registering with the MPS is FREE
What is TPS?
The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is a free service. It is the official central opt out register on which you can record your preference not to receive unsolicited sales or marketing calls. It is a legal requirement that all organisations (including charities, voluntary organisations and political parties) do not make such calls to numbers registered on the TPS unless they have your consent to do so.
Organisations with which you have an ongoing relationship, for example those who regard you as a customer, (or in the case of charities – a donor) may well gather your consent during the early stages of your relationship with them and will therefore be entitled to call you even if your number is registered on TPS, unless you have previously told them specifically that you object to them calling you for marketing purposes.
The TPS can accept the registration of mobile telephone numbers, however it is important to note that this will prevent the receipt of marketing voice calls but not SMS (text) messages. If you wish to stop receiving SMS marketing messages, please send an ‘opt-out’ request to the company involved.
As TPS registration only prevents marketing calls, organisations will still be able to call you for the purposes of genuine market research.
Before you register with TPS…
It is worth reflecting on the fact that registering may well prevent you from receiving relevant and worthwhile information. For instance charities find telemarketing to be an economical way to raise awareness and much needed support.
If you are happy to receive telemarketing calls from some companies but not others, contact the companies who you do not wish to hear from and ask them to remove your details from their call lists. All companies – including charities and voluntary organisations – are required to respect your wishes.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is responsible for the enforcement of these regulations. Please click on the useful links page on this site for their details and for more information on this area of the law.