Do you ever feel like your mailbox is filled with ads and letters you didn't sign up for?
While most mailers are innocent ads or coupons, some take it a little too far, making it appear what they have to say is urgent.
The Better Business Bureau is now warning about one of the thousands of mailers homeowners have been receiving.
Sheila Kippley received one of them. She opened her mailbox the other day to find a strange letter inside from a home warranty company.
"It said that it was extremely urgent and time sensitive," she said.
The letter urged her and her husband John to give it their immediate attention.
"It indicated that we already had this homeowner's policy and that it was about to expire," she said.
But the Kippleys had no recollection of ever being customers.
"I didn't know that I had a home warranty," he said.
Better Business Bureau flooded with questions and complaints
Homeowners all over the country -- from 28 states so far -- have complained to the Better Business Bureau about mailers like this, most coming from a company called US Home Guard.
Renato Brasil received a US Home Guard letter and said he could see his father panicking and sending money.
"This is predatory," he told us. "My father could fall for this. He could send a check, even though he doesn't know who they are."
The BBB has now issued a warning about the letters. Sarah Wetzel, a representative with the BBB, said while it is a legitimate business, many homeowners feel misled.
The BBB says to be wary of phrases like "final notice," "urgent," or "must respond."
"There is definitely this sense of urgency that consumers feel like they needed to respond immediately," Wetzel said.
But the truth is, there's no need to act or respond.
We called and left a message with US Home Guard but have not received a response.
So how do you stop these mailings or prevent them from going to an older relative?
- One option is an opt-out service called DMA Choice.org.
- Or you can reach out to the company directly and demand they stop.
- Or do what the Kippleys plan to do: ignore it.
"It is just entirely inappropriate as far as I'm concerned," John Kippley said
A home warranty can be a smart idea in some cases. It's nice to know that if a major appliance fails, you will not be hit with a $5,000 repair bill.
But the Better Business Bureau says responding to some urgent letter in the mail is not the best way to do it, so you don't waste your money.
Don't Waste Your Money" is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. ("Scripps").
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