Coupon Inserts

Imagine it – a virtually unlimited supply of free Sunday coupon inserts, delivered right to your door, no newspaper subscription required! Sounds like heaven to couponers. But to non-coupon users, it’s something else entirely.

A group of Chicago residents has filed a lawsuit against their local newspaper and a major coupon insert provider, to make the coupons stop.

Now, if there are two kinds of people in the world – those who love free coupons delivered to their door, and those who consider it “junk mail” – these residents are among the latter. 25 of them, who live or own property in the Logan Square section of the city, have sued the Chicago Tribune and Valassis, the parent company of RedPlum, for “trespass, public nuisance and private nuisance.”

They claim they’re being inundated with unwanted coupon inserts and ads, and their pleas for it to stop are falling on deaf ears. The Tribune delivers the twice-weekly “ShopLocal” direct mail package to millions of households in the Chicago area. The plastic-bag wrapped packages, tossed outside residents’ homes, include RedPlum coupon inserts, store flyers and advertisements that would otherwise come in the Sunday newspaper for subscribers. ShopLocal is specifically geared toward non-subscribers; the Tribune brags to advertisers that it “reaches 100% of households” – whether most of those households want it or not.

Now 25 of those households have had enough. “The deliveries that are at the core of the complaint are the size of a Sunday newspaper,” the residents’ attorney Michael Jaskula told Coupons in the News. “We are not talking about an occasional flyer stuck on a fence by a local business, but a massive bundle of paper, and multiple copies to each address.” The lawsuit complains that the deliveries keep piling up. “Defendants deliver the unwanted RedPlum/ShopLocal direct mail packages to properties where the previous week’s deliveries remain on the porch, lawn, sidewalk or other location, in plain view,” the lawsuit reads. “The unwanted RedPlum/ShopLocal deliveries pile up week after week, creat(ing) the impression that the property is abandoned or the owners are out of town.” In one case, the suit alleges, one plaintiff’s home was burglarized “in part because of the number of RedPlum/ShopLocal deliveries that had piled up on his doorstep while he was out of town.”

Moreover, the lawsuit notes that residents have repeatedly called and written the Tribune, asking for the deliveries to stop. The fact that they keep coming, means the plaintiffs must pick up and dispose of the unwanted packages, “which is a substantial annoyance” and which costs them “time out of their lives that the plaintiffs can never recover.”

For that, each of the 25 plaintiffs is seeking $50,000 in punitive damages.

In a statement, the Tribune said “we understand the frustration felt by some who wish to opt out, and we are revisiting that process in order to improve the customer experience. If a resident wishes to stop delivery, please call 1-800-TRIBUNE or email triblocalvalues@tribune.com.” Valassis has not commented, but it too offers an opt-out form.

“Had the Tribune’s opt-out system been more effective, there would have been no need to sue,” Jaskula told Coupons in the News. It’s unclear whether the plaintiffs hope to actually collect their $50,000, in addition to having the deliveries stop. Jaskula said the lawsuit (and presumably, the $50,000 figure) was simply a last resort to get the Tribune’s attention. And so far, it seems to have done just that – Jaskula said the number of deliveries to the plaintiffs’ addresses seems to have declined lately.

So if you’re interested in stocking up on all the free RedPlum inserts you can carry, might want to consider a road trip to Chicago. But get them while they last – before residents, who want no part of them, get their wish.

12 Comments

  1. Red Plum AKA Valassis AKA Tribune is a fucking nuisance. Stop dumping your garbage all over the city.

  2. I was off their list for many years but then one of my tenants subscribed to the paper. Now we are receiving 3-4 of them every time. I have filled out the forms to be removed from their delivery list. It says it takes 5-6 weeks for them to remove you. Ridiculous. Since I live in one unit and rent out 2 other units, they pile up fast. None of my tenants pick them up for the coupons. I’ve placed a planter on my step to collect them all in batches. I’m tempted to put a clause that does not allow tenants to subscribe to the Tribune at our address into the lease. What a pain.

  3. I live in Portland Oregon, and I have already tried to opt-out of the red plumb junk list, but instead of having the mailings stop, they have actually increased. I used to get one a week, now I receive them every other day. I would love to join in a lawsuit against them because if it is against the law to harass someone, then they are breaking the law. I am being harassed by the Red Plumb. I worry that some of my important mail is being lost in the folds of useless paper, and I am actually being forced to look at the advertising in order to check that I am not throwing away my legitimate mail. Please help stop Red Plumb from cutting down trees, making people mad, clogging up the mail, and harassing the public.

    Thanks!

    • OK, first it’s Red Plum. Plum, not plumb. If you really get that many of them , you should know how to spell that. Next I have to ask, are you really complaining about getting too many money saving coupons delivered to your door? Must be nice being a millionaire.

      • Gary A, aka RedPlum(b) employee, trash is trash. Unwanted trash is a nuisance and repeated trashing is harassment.

        Tell your company to keep junk mail out of our mailboxes and off our property.

      • Wow Gary, you’re an asshole.

      • Not Gary A says:

        Gary, I know this is an old thread, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t add that you are such a tool. Just a complete d*ck. Wow. (And does the “A” in your name stand for “A**hole”?)

      • Hey Gary, shut the fuck up, asshole. It’s JUNK no matter what the company name is, genius. MOST of America NEVER uses coupons and ALL of America resents having to “opt out” of something they didn’t “opt in” on. Go fuck yourself, fucking child molester.

  4. Pingback: Another Reason To Make Your Coupons Social « CoupSmart Blog

  5. charlene decosta says:

    i wish i knew how to get the redplum ads and coupons, because i didn’t renew my newspaper. i have tried several possible places and no replys.

    • Please send it to me if u dont need them or i can pick it up let me kno or text me at 6161-597-6441 ill pay for shipping thanks in advance ! I live in michigan please help if u can ill take rhe unwanted insert if u dont need them of your hands 😉

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