Why Domino's is dumping unwanted junk mail in my letterbox

Domino’s pizzas dumped their pamphlets in my letterbox twice this month, ignoring my ‘No junk mail’ sign. Surely I'm not the only person frustrated by junk mail?

I’m trying to reduce my impact on the environment and getting advertising material against my wishes has been an ongoing frustration. It’s probably unfair to single out Domino’s, particularly when real estate agents seem to be the worst offenders, spamming me with advertisements for houses I can’t afford multiple times a week.

But I decided to tackle the problem one piece of junk at a time and posted a tweet, tagging Domino's. A staffer promptly sent a private message, saying they were sorry to hear about the problem, but suggested the likely cause was the wording of my “no junk mail sign”. “A helpful tip according to the Australia Post website… is to have a sign instead that says No Unaddressed Mail,” they wrote.

Two images of junk mail pamphlets beside the author's letterbox. It has a no junk mail sign on it.
Domino's dropped its junk mail in my letterbox twice in two weeks. Source: Michael Dahlstrom

I was sure this couldn’t be the case. It’s not. The advice was out of date.

A Domino’s company spokesperson later emailed, clarifying it now has a “strict policy not to deliver pamphlets to addresses marked as 'No Junk Mail’”.

Is Australia Post behind the junk mail dump?

So who was to blame for the junk mail? Domino's appeared to offer a clue in its response to me.

“Domino's is proud to partner with Australia Post as a third-party delivery service provider across Australia,” it said.

I sent an email to Australia Post, who told me they too take the issue of junk mail “very seriously”.

“Unless the unaddressed item is a community notice (sent by charities, political parties, educational or religious organisations), we instruct our posties to not deliver other unaddressed mail to letterboxes with ‘No junk mail’ or ‘No unaddressed mail’ signs,” a spokesperson said.

So Australia Post and Domino's were both maintaining they respect no junk mail signs. Could one have just made a simple error, or alternatively, was neither to blame? Despite Domino's generally using Australia Post to deliver their advertising, I was able to establish that on some occasions franchisees employ the services of local delivery companies.

Is there a junk mail complaints procedure?

I decided to broaden my approach and turned to the peak body representing letterbox distributors for advice. Kellie Northwood, CEO of the Print and Visual Communication Association (PVCA), told me they also comply with no advertising material signs.

“There is a strict code across the distribution of material into letterboxes marked ‘No advertising material’,” Ms Northwood said. “The letterbox distributors of addressed and unaddressed mail comply to the code and are signatories.”

An Australia Post mailman delivering a letter from a bike.
Australia Post is not the only company that delivers unaddressed mail to letterboxes. Source: AAP (File)

Under the PVCA's remit is the secretariat of the Distribution Standards Board (DSB), a self-governing body that oversees compliance with the Code of Conduct across Australia and New Zealand.

When complaints are received about members, it follows a simple two-step procedure. Firstly it contacts the distributor, asking for an alert and rectification order. If there is a second complaint about the same issue it is reported to the regional manager and DSB board.

“Over the past 12 months with over 3 billion unaddressed units distributed to letterboxes across the country under the DSB signatory, there were only 906 complaints, an error rate of 0.00002684094%,” Ms Northwood said.

Surprisingly, she maintains many Australians are nothing like me and actually want advertising material delivered to them. “In fact, we receive some complaints from Australians who do not receive their catalogues and flyers and are seeking delivery, this is not seen in other channels,” she said. “To make a comparison, this would be the equivalent to Channel 7 not playing advertisements during the grand final and having viewers ring up and complain they didn’t see any advertisements.”

What can I do if my 'no junk mail sign' is ignored?

Since speaking with Domino’s, Australia Post and PVCA I’m still unsure who sent the Domino’s flyers. But my no junk mail sign appears to be suddenly working, and I haven’t received a single piece of advertising material in my letterbox.

If you're having problems with unwanted advertising material, you can contact Australia Post on 13 76 78 or auspost.com.au/help-and-support.

For matters that don't relate to Australia Post, you can call DSB on 1800 676 136 or email them via their website.

Alternatively, you can contact the company behind the junk mail directly or tag them on social media.

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