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Date Posted: 03:26:59 12/22/04 Wed
Author: mo
Subject: Re: maria duval
In reply to: eriko 's message, "Re: maria duval" on 03:47:51 10/30/04 Sat

THE MARIA DUVAL BUSINESS, PART 2 of 2

MARKETING METHODS

The firms are eager after new customers. They put out announcements in papers and coupon leaflets, and offer a free lucky talisman or a cross of seven wishes, together with a free horoscope, in the name of Maria Duval. If someone replies, (s)he gets the free item, but is then bombarded with a slew of offers for services and goods from Maria Duval and later from other sources too. Thus the curious usually have their first contact with this business when the free talisman is send them. This is a sound marketing practice. The advantages are many:

One gets a good database of names and addresses of liable and impulsive people who have interest in astrology, magic, etc. A gift puts a potential customer in a happy mood. The actual offer for sale of horoscopes etc can be targeted to potential customers only. The offer can be very persuasive and one can use suggestions and other powerful but questionable selling methods, like used in Maria Duval letters indeed. Undesired publicity of the offer and marketing methods can mainly be avoided, for example from the side of pro consumer agencies.

The advertisements sometimes contain a short questionary. The customer has to mark some questions with yes/no, write a wish for her/his greatest hope and another one for the removal of her/his greatest burden. I think that the firms use the questions in order to find the most lucrative setup of marketing letters.

There is a www.mariaduval.com website, passive in nature, that gives some background information on Maria Duval in several languages. The claims there are still claims and not independently verified proof, journal clippings possibly excluded. Another form of customer service are contact phone numbers, telefax numbers and e-mail addresses. It seems that somewhere, like Finland and Sweden, the phone and fax numbers are free, their use don't cost a cent. It seems the business runs as smoothly as ever!

I have seen signs and changes in marketing, which to my mind are direct reactions to criticism in internet, a kind of evolution. In any normal business it would be called better customer service, giving the customer a better value for her/his money, but here? I have an other opinion...

The firms sometimes promise to return the money of dissatisfied customers if the customer returns the goods. This is required by legislation. It seems that some get their money back, some don't.

AN ANALYSIS OF THE MARKETING METHODS

The Maria Duval letters are certainly worth study for everyone who needs to write oppressive, manipulative, etc text, that is actually cabable of causing angst in reader. One Heke has made a good analysis on the contents of Maria Duval's marketing letters. (You should look what heke means in the Hawaian language. )

WORKING TROUGH EMOTIONS is much more effective than working through reason in the marketing of this kind - probably any kind - of goods and services, because our emotional systems are open, easy to influence and defenceless against affectation. Duval feeds solely your emotional needs, there really isn't much for the intellect. Furthermore, even after reading, understanding and accepting this analysis, you are still susceptible to these methods because of the disparity of reason and emotion. Remember it!

THE IMPRESSION OF AUTHORITY AND EXPERTICE that Duval strives to achieve, is done first by her self-presentation as the medium and clair-voyant of the Society for Psychic and Parapsychic Research and by claiming exact and true predictions and appearances in numerous radio and television broadcasts, and second by occasional sentences in her letters like
"I can give exact and detailed predictions through the combination of astrology, my supernatural skills and psychoanalysis. I have proved this countless times in press and television."
"Do you believe that I would endanger my reputation as a famous clair-voyant only because not being completely sincere to you?"

PERSONAL STORIES from her own live - or invented - have the purpose of creating a friendly and unsuspecting atmosphere. Duval simply tries to make you drop your guard.
"Before my uncle died, who was a knowledgeable clair-voyant and medium too, he gave me three talismans, one for money, second for love and third for luck.
(...)
Many years later (...) the man that I loved left me. (...) I did remember my dear dead uncle and his talismans. I searched everywhere and finally found them in the attic, in an old cabinet. I choose the talisman of love and took it with me.
The next morning I got a call. It was the man who had left me without even giving me a hope of ever seeing him again. He told me that some unusual or mystical power made him miss me and want to meet me.
Two weeks later we were together again."

THE FOCUSING OF CONSCIOUSNESS at the very beginning of the letter makes you more liable to her suggestions and increases the efficiency of her manipulations. Duval focuses your consciousness by direct suggestions like
"I ask you to give me all your attention"
"I ask you, heke, to carefully read the content of this letter, because if ..."
"It's very important that you read this letter in all its details"

THE EMOTIONAL SEESAW simply means the alternation between promises and warnings, positive and negative hints, good and doubting suggestions etc. A cool and detached attitude of the reader is counteractive to Duval's purposes and with this tool she tries to make sawdust out of it. The emotional seesaw creates and increases uncertainty too which comes very handy when she later takes it up to make you dependent.

SUGGESTIONS run gamut in Duval's letters. Her carefully chosen words sprinkle over you like water from a fountain. Perhaps you enjoy getting soaked through and trough but don't believe for a single moment that her letters aren't carefully designed tools of manipulation. They are certainly not written spontaneously. Words are her only means to influence you, that is if you don't believe in magic, and with words only she weawes the web and effect of every other means that are discovered is this analysis.

A PARADE OF CONTENT CUSTOMERS is one of the basic marketing tools. I have but some doubt, real of imaginary customers?
"... I gave my talismans of money and happiness to one of my female friends. She had lost her source of income and was fighting in poverty. A little later her troubles were over. Her bad luck turned into good luck. She got FIM 10 000, and a while later FIM 19 000 more. She decided to start a small enterprise, that soon became a success"

THE CREATION OF DEPENDENCE is in my mind one of the ugliest tools that Duval uses. You may have perceived how Duval starts her letters so that the balance between good and bad suggestions, or promises and warnings, is in the positive side. The balance is then gradually shifted to the negative, and at the same time Duval poses herself as the only possiibility to ward away all that negativity. In other words, first Duval feeds you with hope, then snatces it away, and finally demands your money for giving it back. Cool!

PROMISES OF NEW LETTERS keep your interest up. Duval certainly desires that you would become a good, paying and longtime customer. It works to her advantage too if she can make you wait with expectation and hope for new letters.

EXTREME FRIENDLINESS feels so very good, but coming from a total stanger it borders into the unbelievable. Duval's parting words give honey sweet examples:
"Heke, I hope to hear soon of You and I send You my hearties greetings.
Your trusted friend Maria Duval"
"I send from the deep of my heart my whole love and my whole positive energy to You and your nearest. I wait impatiently for your message.
With respect Maria Duval"
"I really trust You. I wait for your answer and I send You my heartfelt greetings. Your honest and loyal friend Maria Duval"

EXAGGERATED PROMISES serve well in igniting your enthusiasm and in converting you to a true fan and believer. You yourself could well use the example below, in self-hypnosis!
"Heke, If You get succesfully over this considerable obstacle in your life, a completely new and exciting live awaits You.
You don't have to stretch the penny at the end of the month anymore, You don't have to pay back your loans and credits anymore, because You will have as much money as You need and even much more. (Yes, I see very much money for You!)
Love and friendship will surround You and You will never again be lonely. You will allways have someone nearby whom You can talk to and whom You can trust.
Everything will succeed that you take up. Were You shy and without self-esteem?... You will become a self-assured person with an irresistible charm, You will enchant other people and attract them.
Didn't You believe in yourself and in your future? You will see that a shining future awaits You, which will give You self-confidence and fill your mind with happiness and hope"

GIFTS are tokens of friendship. Duval's gifts however are marketing tools, their purpose to convince and support you in your decision of accepting Duval as a do-gooder, even friend. She uses them to awaken your greed too:
"You will get a unique gift if You answer me. It is a secret, known only to seers, and my masters have allowed me to reveal it now to those people who consult me. (...) It is my destiny here on earth to help those poeple who long for happiness and want to share their happiness with other people too. And I know, that You too Heke belong among the people, and I believe that I can tell You this secret. The secret is a magical object. It supports the effects of the talisman and gives it even a hundredfold power. You get not only more lucky in fortune games, but You get a special protection too. It is like You had an antenna, connecting You and me, and linking you with especially spritualistic forces from beyond that protect us.
(...)
In addition You get that mysterious gift that I told You a while ago. Decide quickly because I don't have enough of these objects, not for everybody who writes to me."

HINTS are open or indeterminate succestions and a very powerful tool. Closed or determinate suggestions can only cover a specified area, but hints however work trough your imagination, and cause you to raise the particular hopes and fears specific to you. What could be more effective?
"I told at the beginning of my letter that I see some troubles too. Is there someone in your circle of friends who wishes ill for You? Have You been cursed? I can't tell You more about that now, because I dislike saying out something that is less than 100 percent sure. We can prevent however, with the help of my clair-voyant skills, that You would get trapped."

ENVY too is within her toolbag. Duval says that famous, wealthy, happy people are just like you. She says this seemingly in order to encourage you, but actually she wants to make you envious of them. It then so happens, like a miracle, that she is able and willing to help you too to get and be the same! Believe that and you are in a trap. Duval really paints a very simplistic picture about the why and how of our destinies here on earth:

"You surely know about men and women in your surroundings, who succeed in allmost anything, even when there is nothing special about them. They don't have more diplomas is their pockets, nor are they more intelligent, but still all the success accumulates in their saldo. It seems allnost like everything in their hands would change to gold!...
This is as difficult to understand as why men run after certain women. The women have nothing what others don't have too, yet men svarm around them like mosquitos around the lamp.
You too might think of succesfull people and wonder: What do they have that I don't? I assure You that these people are just like You, and still they attract luck as much as they desire...
Yes, these luckyblessed attract the friendship of those who can give them what they really want: a nice and well paid working occupation, a possibility to get rich, and other things like that... They don't lose one single opportunity which could bring them more money, more love or more joy in live. One could allmost believe that they possess a capability to cause all these enjoyable things to come to them...
These men and women operate like magiciens who find water and hidden treasures with their wand. They are like magnets that draw the good things in live to themselves.
And I see that You are like these people, You have the same power to happiness. And this power, abiding deep inside you, is fortunately undamaged and only waits awakening!..."

WARNINGS that Duval strews here and there are good food for your imagination. Duval uses very often the combination of promises and warnings, or in the language of your emotions, hope and fear.
"Dear Heke, the year 2001 means to You the beginning of a new life. It will be much better and much richer live than You now live. I have proofs of it!
But You must be carefull Heke! Allthough the year 2001, first year of the new millenium, seems to be an especially good year for you, something very strange did happen in May 2000, and it may diminish your chances to get succesfull!..."

FEAR isn't such a nice tool at all. Duval actually gives you, now and then, strong and straight negative - and this really is dirty and most ugly use of the power of suggestions, does she want to derail people into depression or worse? - suggestions in her letters. The purpose here is to make her offer of help appear like a release from uncertainty and fear. Actually you would only lose what you never even had, and what existed only in the golden clouds of her promises and your hopes.
"No! You can't beat this remarkable obstacle alone...
Because of all the troubles that You had in the past, your physical and psychic condition is weak. There is a great danger that You don't manage this transition period well without external help, which would be a real catastrophe.
In addition to that, last May You were influenced by a particular negative influence from the stars, that befell on earth when the stars, earth, moon and sun aligned with other five planets. A contribution from this occasion is that your chances of happiness and success dropped even lower.
An extraordinary occasion... but in a negative sence."

COMPANIONSHIP or doing things together characterizes the behaviour of friends. Like trust, relaxation, unguardedness etc that go with friedship, your feelings of companionship makes it so much easier for Duval to cast her influence upon you. So she tries to make herself a companionable friend with:
"We'll make it together so, that these capabilities and even gifts that I peceived in You will become your own. Because I can now tell You that You have the rare gift what I call "real might", it's a great inner power which can help You to change your destiny"
"Yes, we'll let together this might, your power, to come out and nobody can avoid perceiving it
We'll change your destiny. We'll win battles that can remove the obstacles from your way to happiness, well-being and joy of live".

PROMISES OF COMPLETE SUPPORT. Yes! You must really be worth gold if the famous Duval so completely puts herself to your help. Only remember that she promises the same to everyone she sends her letters to. You may regognize the following:
"I would like to say to you that you can from now on trust that I give my help without any limits when it is the question of how to make the luck step into your live as soon as possible. It really should have been there beside you since long time back."
"Heke, I know that It'll be difficult for You to surpass this considerable obstacle in your live alone. Hence I decided to write to You today and offer my many-sided help for free and without limits"
"I would like to give all my powers to your use in order to make You a happy and very content man for the rest of your live!"

FAKE INDIVIDUAL ADDRESSING doesn't only mean the use of 2. singularis addressing mode in a mass produced letter. It means too, that Duval in fact lies when she writes statements that appear to be meant just for you, but actually are found in all her letters of that series.

THE CREATION OF THE FEELING OF URGENCY is there for the purpose of making you afraid of missing your unique opportunity. Again and of cause Duval offers to help you and relieve you from fear...
"Therefore I would like to tell You once more: Act right now and send me back allready today your coupon that I enclosed with my letter, and which entitles you to my special help. Act now and don't delay any longer. It really is extremely important to You and your future!
Time goes by, Heke, and I'm afraid that soon it'll be too late if You don't act immediately."
"PS I would like to poin out once more that most propably You won't ever again get a corresponding opportunity to change your life. You have the luck to step into the new millenium. The next occasion will happen... after one thousand years!
Hence act now, even for your own good."

MEGALOMANIA alias outswelled ego works well as a kind of safequard against you coming to other thoughts about Maria Duval and her activities. The more energy, assosiations, parts of self-image, emotions, habitual thinking patterns etc that become bound with Duval in your mind, the stronger the safequard grows, the more difficult will it be for you to have a free uncolored understanding about Duval and the more painfull the eventual ego crash.
" Taking into consideration what I have seen, I can tell You right now that your case is one of the most amazing that have came my way for a long time. I can reveal to You that your case is one of the most interesting that I have bumped against for a long time."
"Some of your vibrations indicate to me that there are deep within You latent abilities and powers that can change your whole life"

REVEALING AND ENTRUSTING SECRETS characterizes the behaviour of good, trusting and trusted friends. Duval tries in so many ways, and this way too, to create the appearance of friendship and trust between you and herseff, which she later utilizes for her own purposes. Secrets and mystery are rather exciting as such too.
"In addition I will send You a collection of The extraordinary secrets of White Macig. I received it directly from my Great Spiritual Master, who lived a long time ago. He/She took a telepathic contact with me, so that I could transmit this message to those persons whom I guide and protect against the negative effects of May fifth, and whom I help to find their happiness. The Spiritual Leaders of the humankind say that the collection is the best antidote to any negative forces that lead people to deeper plight."

DISCOUNT PRICES, apparently offered especially for you, might make you take her offer. The discount however is there for all, it's simply one of her many tools in getting your money. I'll give you some sweet examples:
"I admit that I charge high prices for my services. Yet I don't want money to become an obstacle between us. For this reason I give You a special offer for your Future Horoscope and your Lucky Calendar"
"The normal price for my help is FIM 400.But because I have seen that You haven't had it very easy in your live, I'm ready to meet You partway. If You send the filled coupon within 48 hours, I'ill give You a FIM 100 discount. Yes, You got ir right: You only pay FIM 300 for your secret formulas and not the normal FIM 400. You have to admit that I really do everything in order to help you."

RECIPROCAL BEHAVIOR means that if Duval does something for you then you need to do something for her, otherwise you would self-feel like a despicable opportunist. You feel that you owe her something for that free amulet, don't you? Duval also stirs reciprocal feelings in you with sentences like:
" I will help You. I have allready told the future from the stars. On my desk I have now a readymade first aid package for your future."

The analysis ends here. It loads all upon Maria Duval, but the involved firms are probably more responsible. Only very intelligent, perceptive and professional add writers (with a sodden moral!) have the skill to write like that!

GOODS AND SERVICES

The firms offer at least following goods and services:

- the free lucky talisman. It is a piece of stiff card, on one side some figures on a golden background, on the other a picture of Maria Duval's face
- a free cross of seven wishes
- six month horoscopes. They are automatic printouts from a computer program.
- tarot interpretations. They are automatic computer printouts.
- 90 days personal positive psychomagnetic course
- slim booklets that contain simple magic tutorials, and instructions of health tonics or drinks
- magical seremonies and other occult actions
- initiation done by Maria Duval
- talismans or amulets for good luck, like.a celtic circle of life, a talisman with herbs inside, or a pentagram
- small magical or occult items like a ring designed by the good people of Atlantis
- bad smelling parfymes

It is certainly possible that some goods, or rather the knowledge involved, which is magical lore, formulas, design of the courses, descriptions for tonics and potions, instructions, spells etc, come originally from Maria Duval. The practical arrangement is naturally that the firms get everything out of their computers and subcontractors.

LOGISTICS

Over two million people have got at least that free amulet and about 10 - 40% seem to actually buy something too!. Massproduction is necessary perforce.

The involved firms send their offerings allways in the native language of a potential customer. They have to use translators which is costly. Individual letters mean individual translations mean no money flows home. This is one more reason why the Maria Duval letters, offers, horoscopes, courses, and whatever have to be massproduced, possibly with a standard body plus automated variation and personalisation. Some messages confirm that the marketing letters are indeed identical, newer mind their fake personalized style. The letters promise individual services, like personal initiations, programming of personal amulets, direct mental or astral influence fron Maria Duval on behalf of the customer, etc... The great number of customers make these promises rather untrustworthy.

Many people have written that nobody ever answers any personal letters. It is only too easy to understand why, because first, the number of customers is nearly two million and second, the customer's personal letters are not read by Maria Duval, but by some office clerk employed by the involved firms, and most often, by nobody. Sometimes the involved firms ask short desciptions from customers, about how it goes with them. It seems they use the descriptions in order to get material for the testimonials section of www.mariaduval.com.

The reasoning above means that a customer only gets what unpersonal and massproduced material the firms send, like computer generated automatic astrological interpretations, no individually programmed amulets, no magical seremonies performed for the customer's personal benefit, no individual occult influences from Maria Duval, etc... When we contrast that with the personal promises in the marketing letters, we see the lies and cheating that the firms perform.

AUTHORITIES ARE NOT HAPPY

It certainly is no big news that this business has gotten itself in dire staits with authorities. There have been, there are and will be several complaints aginst the involved firms. The internet knows the following cases. There must be more because not every case is reported in internet.

The International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN) decided by autumn 2003 to act in the case of Maria Duval's marketing methods. ICPEN characterized the marketing as clearly unbearable, scaring, oppressing, missleading, threatening and insulting. It violates marketing legislation and good business practices as defined by international organizations of commerce. The Swedish Konsumentverket, in her role then as the chairman in ICPEN Europe, initiatiated a coordinated european action against the marketing practices. Konsumentverket demanded first that illegal marketing is stopped. This demand was sent to all addresses that distribute the marketing means. The second stage was that the authorities in each involved country wrote to the firms and the media was made aware of the illegal campaigns. The results of these primary actions were planned to be analysed in the third stage and the decision was to be made what other actions were necessary in order to stop this marketing.

In New York, USA, the BBB (Better Business Bureau) issued June 1996 a consumer alert regarding the National Parapsychology Center adverticing the services of Maria Duval. There were complaints that consumer expectations were unfullfilled, or that the consumers didn't get their money back. An interesting sideline is that if a customer wanted to have a more detailed information than the 8 pages of the initial contact, she had to send a photo or some hair, plus 27 to 70 dollars!

Customers have complained to Italian customer authorities in September 2000 and November 2000 about Duval's misleading marketing practices etc. The complaits were found to be justified.

The British ASA authority has received and adjudicated on three complaints against Astroforce Ltd t/a Maria Duval, in December 1999, March 2000 and November 2000. The complaints were about misleading marketing, and in main successfull.

The Harmonie Ltd operated 1999-2002 in Australia using the names Astroforce, Maria Duval and Marie France. Their scam operation was investigated and then closed down by Australian authorities when enough customers complained. The authorities legally intercepted customer's recent letters and returned their money. The Harmonie Ltd was ordered to refund all customers who asked it.

EVEN IN A BOOK

Armando Pavese, a researcher on the psychological motivations relating to magic, spiritism and occultism has authored a book, called The black book of magic, in which he puts the medium Marie Duval in the same camp with the wizards, swindlers and quackers of todays' Italy. The language of the book is italian.

MARIA DUVAL

There really is a Maria Duval, a witch, voyant, business woman, you name it! The involved firms claim that Maria Duval was born into a family, which belongs to the nobility, and whose members have served the french kings. She herself is a countess. She made her first miracle healing at the age of 8 years, etc... There are such nicely dramatic and emotional elements in the information what the firms present about Maria Duval, that it makes one doubt the truthfullness of the whole lot, especially when we remember how the firms lie and seek to manipulate the customers in their marketing. There is no independent information in internet that confirms these claims.

Maria Duval is the author of several books, well over twenty in number. She has used at least her own name and the alias Anne Cramford. The books are published in many languages. Some typical titles are The Grand book of secrets, The Grand secret manual of the initiates, the Grand consultation of the tarot, How to become a voyant, The Secrets and techniques of success and power, etc.

Maria Duval was born 1937 as Carolina Maria Gamba in Milano, Italy. She is now a citicen in France. She has at least some fame outside this business too. It seems her career really lifted when she predicted the winner right in some bygone french presidential elections. Once she found the lost dog of Brigitte Bardot, and Ralf Schumacher believes in a bad smelling amulet from Maria Duval. The last two are rather funny bits of data, but they indicate presense, past fame and bygone reputation in the european sky of magicmakers and seers. To use that past fame and reputation to start a business is well understandable. Not so are the methods, the brutal manipulation and lies, that this business uses. In my opinion, this whole business is driven by an insatiable greed.

Well, at least Maria Duval seems to be rather rich nowdays, and have three homes: in Argentina, in Swiss Lausanne and in French Callas. Her Argentina home is said to be a whole ranch, whose address is but unknown. The Lausanne address is unknown too. The Callas address is Quai Quatre Chemins, 83830 Callas, France.

In an interview for Danish television, Maria Duval is reported to have said that she has nothing to do with this business, neither knows anything about it. This reminds me about and old proverb, which says that even rats leave a sinking ship. It is hard to believe that she spoke the truth, because she started this whole business. She also travels far and wide promoting the business. By report she appeared in Finland over a year ago, arranged a press meeting, presented some horoscope interpretations on their President Halonen, etc... Soon thereafter there appeared nationwide advertisements about her and that free talisman offer.

Maria Duval meets hundreds of clients face to face too. This her "luck by mail order" business is sure to come up. She herself must have seen the advertisements here and there too. Furthermore our messages exist in internet since a good time already, and she must have got lots of questions about if it's true what we say there.

Probably nobody but Maria Duval herself is ready to believe that the involved firms can use her face, name and fame in their marketing like they do, without an agreement with her. She also owns the Maria duval trademarks.

Jacques Mailland explained once in an interview that "Maria distributes the free talismans in order to tell the world that she exists, and is here to help and heal those who seek help. Her local agents in foreign countries take care of the practical business; Maria does not personally send any letters, nor does she see the answers. The Danish or Scandinavian local agent Kaj Hvolgaard has now and then invited querysome journalists to visit France and Maria Duval together with him, so that they could chat with her personally

These facts clearly prove Maria Duval's presence and involvement in this business even today, allthough and for unknown reasons, she has sold this business to the firm Harmonie Ltd. This meant selling your names, addressess, data on who has bought what, the rights to use her name and face in advertising, the rights to sell her goods, and an arrangement of some travels and work to promote the firm. She may even get a fixed percent of the income. It is unknown, if Maria Duval is one of the owners of the Harmonie Ltd.

RECOMMENDATIONS

The internet material make the situation rather clear. This is simply a business, not a helping hand from Maria Duval. There are very few voices who say someting else, and they are not very convincing. I feel that these recommendations, copied from diverse messages in the German Aerger Forum, are sound enough.

If you really need help, please go and seek it elsewhere, through a personal contact with a suitable person. The more you need help, the more prone you are to fall into the lies and manipulation that will be worked upon you by this business. If you are after magical help and tools in order to make your life better, that is all right by me. The internet and public libraries are full of free material, that you can experiment with. You will even find in Kevin Harringtongs site, and for free, some of the Maria Duval material that the firms send to paying customers. You can allways pay the firms later if you find the material useful.

The people in this business really try very hard to ignite your enthusiasm and to hook you when they design the Maria Duval letters, and they are good at it too. If you allready happen to be in an Astroforce mailing list, the following few recommendations are for you. You may simply throw away all letters as soon as you get them, without reading them. This easily protects you from the manipulation in the letters. If your curiosity get overhand then show the letters to a friend for a neutral opinion. Compare your letters to what others have received whenever possible. Wait at least a week after receiving a letter and let yourself cool down until you decide or do anything. Then decide to do nothing. Don't let the "warnings" or time limits uppset you. One simply tries to hook you with them. Remember that the letters are massproduction after all and not personal.

The various european preference services offer protection for consumers who don't want mailings from direct marketing firms. Most european countries have preference services for mail, phone and/or fax. An email preference service has been set up at a global level, with the ability for national portals. Preference service means, that you can contact the national organisation for this service, and tell them to add your name to the list of people, who don't want to receive any direct marketing mailings. Most civilized list brokers and direct marketing firms respect the customer preference, when expressed in these so called Robinson lists, and filter you out of their mailing lists. (mind you, only filter, not remove!) You must inform the preference servises in every country, where disturbing post is send to you.

The Federation of European Direct Marketing, FEDMA, www.fedma.org, knows the existing procedures and contact points in European countries. However, they have so far released in internet only a summary with no useful data to the customer! So you have to contact FEDMA in person, and request the names, addresses, etc of the national preference services, which you need to inform about your preference of NOT wanting any direct marketing mailings. The FEDMA offices are in Belgium and he person to contact is Margrethe Saxegaard PR and Communications Manager, msaxegaard@fedma.org , phone 32 2 776 03 91

The www.junkbusters.com site is a very good place to visit too. It offers good information on your rights, legal aspects and what to do if you get dissatisfied.

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