Can you mail that one thing to ME ?
Just kidding (times 2).
I used to be a "Direct Marketing Terrorist" which is what the real name for a mail or phone solicitator is, of course they should change that because of the whole thingy that happened.
Anyway, here's how it works. Credit Card companies are to blame, TOPS is to blame, and 'MAYBE' people you buy things from are to blame. Anyone that knows where you live and knows what you buy sell your name and address to list companies INCLUDING those that tell you they don't, I know because I've actually caught people red handed and they still denied it- ("The Ken Robert's Company" and "Main Street Trading" Brokers actually boasts about the confidentiality they give clients AS they sell your name.) It's 10 times worse now because of the internet because they make harvester programs that can leach addresses (especially email) off of sites. They can't off of a secure site but if you go to a site just to fill out a survey to enter a contest or something they can definately get it - along with the idea that the place that's having a game or "contest" is just getting addresses for mailing lists anyway.
Once you actually buy something you're on the BUYER list and stay there for 3-6 months, I forget. So if I buy Protein Shakes thru the mail I go on the "Hey, this guy buys health stuff thru mail order" list and it's sold to whatever mail order health places want it and I get bombed with health ads for a while until I stop buying stuff for a while. Credit Card companies and TOPS markets know exactly what you buy and when you buy it. TOPS has those "Bonus Cards" and they know exactly what type of tampon you buy and how much and how often and what time of day- EVERYTHING and they sell the heck out of that information.
In dear Abby someone wrote and complained about those ads targeted at fat people that have a "supposed" add ripped out of a newspaper that's for a diet pill or something with a handwritten post it note on it saying "Jennifer, (the person's real name) you got to try this! It works!" This person was hurt because she couldn't tell who that she knew would send her something like that and Abby actually said the truth for once (and it didn't include the words "Get counselling") that it's FASSION BUG that sells the names of everyone that buys PLUS size clothing to diet companies. It's specifically the Fassion Bug credit card that knows what size the clothing is that someone bought. Radio Shack asks for your name and # everytime you buy anything as small as batteries. Tell them to straight to **** from now on. "I don't have a phone and I live in my car, could you please hurry up before they tow me? Thank you so much, I really appreciate it!" The looks you'll get... Priceless.
Small companies like Learning Strategies probably don't sell names because they probably don't even want us to buy anything from competitors and want to keep us all to themselves, and I'm just guessing that, who really knows. Also, when companies do direct mail campains they do them in the thousands. LS is using the "repeat business" tactic and it's obvious because they have lots of products and keep comming out with more. Now the company that LS is using to take orders off the TV infomercial, that's another story. LS already made it clear here that they don't take the orders off the tv ads, some other company does.
For the past few years I've been very careful what I order with a credit card and whenever possible I've been using checks and specifically asking to not be put on any mailing lists and it's definately cut down on junk mail. If you get a peice of junk mail with an 800# call and have them remove your address and if they give you any flack do it everyday. It works. If you get something with a return envelope tear your address off their letter and mail it back to them (it costs them 76 or 80 cents, I forget) and write the word remove on it and if you don't get either an 800# or return address you're dealing with some poor soul trying to do a "Don Lapre- make money at home in the mail order business" thingy who's paid retail for your name and address who won't make a dime and who probably won't have 2 cents to rub together in a month and who certainly won't have any money to mail you anything again in the future so don't worry about it.