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Shredding session keeps unwanted mail in check

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Dear Heloise: I don't have a question, just a comment about an item in your column.
I wish you "good luck" in trying to get your credit-card company to stop sending those pesky checks. I called and wrote trying to get them stopped because of my concerns about identity theft. The checks just kept coming. I finally requested that my account be closed and told the company that the reason for this was the checks. In return, I received several letters urging me to keep the account open. Finally, I got a letter that said my account had been closed, regrettably.
One month later, I received a letter telling me that even though the account was closed, the company would keep it on its "inactive list." To reopen the account, I only needed to use my card again or use one of the enclosed checks! It seems to be a battle that cannot be won. I keep a basket on my desk where I toss any item that comes in with my name on it. When the basket is full, I have a "shredding session" -- I find it very satisfying.
Thanks for all your hints -- keep it up, please. We all need new ways to do things easier. Lynda Kimpel, Chula Vista, Calif.
Lynda, I feel your pain and aggravation! It appears we will have to go right to the source of the matter. Credit-card companies: Why are these unsolicited blank checks sent out to account holders when most don't want them? There should be a quick and effective solution for declining them -- especially, as Lynda pointed out, because of "concerns about identity theft."
Identity theft is a real problem -- canceling these checks should not be! Heloise
Dear Heloise: My wife was amazed at my resourcefulness when I packaged up a used PDA for mailing to an online-auction buyer.
I've had a small penchant for saving plastic bags here and there and also began saving the clear plastic wrap that comes on most magazines. By cutting the wrap at the seam on the top and removing the magazine, you're left with a nice, clear plastic bag. These things are perfect for a professional mock-up packaging job. The bagged PDA I mailed -- in the original box, of course (I'm a pack rat with those, too) -- will arrive as if coming from the factory! Briton Barker, Hillsboro, Ore.
Dear Heloise: It would be nice if department stores would have ideas on how to arrange knickknacks they are selling. I see a lot of new stuff out there and can't figure out how to use it in my home -- but if they would have a free brochure for me to look at when I'm shopping, I think they would sell a lot more of these items. Karen, via e-mail
XSend a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to (210) HELOISE or e-mail it to
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