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Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Monday, February 25, 2002


Write to credit bureaus
to halt credit card mailings

Question: What is the best way to stop receiving credit card applications in the mail? Lately, I've been receiving an unusually large amount of credit card applications. I didn't realize this until discussing it with co-workers, but I wasn't the only one replying by sending the ripped-up applications in the "no postage needed" envelopes provided. I'm sure it's not the most effective method to get the credit card solicitors to remove me off their mailing list, but it sure makes a statement.

Answer: Contact the major credit reporting bureaus to stop the influx of pre-approved credit card applications.

You can either call or write the National Opt-Out Center, at 888-567-8688 (P.O. Box 97328, Jackson, MS 39288-7328), which is supposed to cover the major credit bureaus: Equifax, Trans-Union and Experian (formerly TRW).

To cover your bases, you may want to also contact them individually: Equifax, 800-685-1111 (Options Department, P.O. Box 740123, Atlanta, GA 30374-0123); Experian, 888-397-3742 (Consumer Opt-Out, 701 Experian Parkway, Allen, TX 75013); or Trans-Union, 800-888-4213 (Name Removal Option, P.O. Box 97328, Jackson, MS 39288-7328).

Give your full name and address and ask not only that your name be taken off all marketing and mailing lists, but also that your personal information not be shared or sold.

The Federal Trade Commission has a sample "opt-out" letter (a copy can be found online at www.ftc.gov/privacy/protect.htm#Credit) based on what the different credit bureaus ask of those opting out.

The sample letter has, in addition to first, middle and last name (including all variations) and current mailing address, a previous mailing address within the last six months (not required by Equifax and Experian); Social Security number (not required by Experian); date of birth (not required by Equifax and Experian); and signature.

The other way to reduce the amount of junk mail you get is to write to the Direct Marketing Association's Mail Preference Service: P.O. Box 9008, Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008.

Q: Is there anything that can be done about the outdated orange construction signs seen all over the island? For example, there are several on Likelike Highway stating that construction is starting April 2000. That construction is long done. I think it's disgraceful that the signs are left littering the landscape.

A: The signs are not outdated, according to a state highways official.

Just because you don't see activity or "full lane closures" when you pass by doesn't mean a project is completed, said Martin Okabe, engineering program manager of the state Department of Transportation, Highways Division, Oahu District Office.

"Projects can carry on for two or three years," he said. "Normally, if we leave signs up, (work) is still ongoing. There may be spot work here and there, and punch list items and things like that. Normally, when we complete the job in total is when we have (the contractors) pull down the signs."

Mahalo

To Richard Garcia and Reynaldo of MRC Inc. On Feb. 1, I had a flat tire near the Wilson Tunnel turnaround. Luckily, a crew was doing some repair work and was so nice to change the tire for a lady in distress. Richard even let me use his cell phone, then refused to accept anything for his kindness, but I insisted. Hopefully, other companies will suggest their employees offer assistance whenever possible. We'll be so grateful. -- A Kaneohe Resident





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Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210,
Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered.
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