11. How does my name get on a mailing list?
Our economy and job market depend on companies, large and small, being able to reach consumers most likely to be interested in their products and services. Direct marketing is often the key to business success and to lower prices and better services for consumers.
Unlike credit report information, which is very specific to an individual, direct-marketing information applies to large groups of people and is used to create mailing lists of individuals within those groups who are most likely to be interested in purchasing a product or service.
How does your name get on a mailing list?
- Magazines, credit card companies, clubs and organizations, charities, manufacturers and retailers make lists of their subscribers, customers, members and donors available to other businesses for a rental fee.
- Companies purchase information from various public and private sources to develop consumer databases for specific marketing purposes. These companies are called list compilers. Nearly everyone’s name appears on compiled lists.
- Credit reporting companies (including Experian), under carefully controlled procedures, provide lists of creditworthy consumers to companies that offer credit. This is called a “prescreened” list.
Prescreened lists help credit grantors find “ideal” potential customers. If you receive a preselected credit offer, all you have to do to accept is sign your name and provide a few other limited pieces of information.
The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act allows creditors to review your individual credit history when you accept the offer. If you no longer meet the criteria, your application may be denied.