Junk Buster

An Obituary

Quick summary for those with short attention spans: Junk Buster is dead. For advice on how to stop unwanted junk mail, visit my Stop Junk Mail website.

Junk Buster was an application that made it easy to contact opt-out services for junk mail and paper directories. In just a couple of clicks you could get a form for two opt-out services for unaddressed mail and cancel the Yellow Pages, Thomson Local Directory and/or BT Phone Book. The application was launched in March 2009 and killed off in December 2015. Over 43,000 households have used the (free) service to stop unsolicited crap.

For the last couple of years Junk Buster was in need of a revamp. The application was built in Flash – a proprietary technology that's riddled with serious security bugs and which shouldn't be installed on your computer. (I wiped Flash off my own computers in 2014, which led to the odd situation that I was no longer able to see my own Junk Buster application.)

I could easily have rebuilt the application using a normal coding language. However, I feel the application had another flaw. All opt-out schemes for junk mail and paper directories are run by the companies that send the stuff. They don't want you to opt out, and they therefore make no attempt to make their opt-out services easy to use. Junk Buster was useful because it created a single place for finding out about and contacting opt-out services – but after contacting the services you were on your own.

The only way to make a service such as Junk Buster really useful would be by turning it into a junk mail manager – an application that not only guides you through the various opt-out processes but also makes sure that the opt-outs actually stop unwanted junk mail and paper directories. Setting up such a service is quite a bit or work. I'm already spending plenty of time on my Stop Junk Mail Campaign, and I've decided that I'm not going to run a second anti-junk mail website. That said, if you're a junk mail hating coder I'd love to hear from you – please drop me an e-mail via the Stop Junk Mail website.

So, that's it! My thanks to all the people who've said nice things about Junk Buster over the years. And who knowns, one day there might be a better Junk Buster application.