Deceased Preference Service

There are so many matters that need to be addressed following a bereavement that it can be easy to overlook some simple things. One of these is unsolicited mail.

Unsolicited mail is usually sent by companies as part of a mass-mailing marketing campaign. It can cover anything including promotional literature and offers from broadband service providers to introductory offers of credit cards and loans

The Deceased Preference Service

Continuing to receive unsolicited mail addressed to the deceased can be quite distressing and upsetting for relatives. Registering with the Deceased Preference Service is a good way to help bring a stop to most unsolicited mail.

The posting of unsolicited mail is not a minor issue: it is estimated that around 40 million items are posted to deceased individuals each year in the UK. It’s an incredible amount of mail that represents a lot of potential upset for many people.

To make this system work, the Deceased Preference Service collects the details of around 95% of deceased individuals. It then shares this data with a large number of organisations so that they can prevent unsolicited mail being posted. All reputable organisations that post unsolicited mail have no wish to cause upset and distress and therefore work closely with the Deceased Preference Service to ensure that mailings to deceased individuals are avoided where at all possible.

What mail the service does not stop?

The service does not prevent official mail items such as:
  • Bank account statements
  • Credit card statements
  • HMRC post
  • Bills such as utility and bank statements
  • Premium bonds

Organisations such as those detailed above need to be contacted individually to notify them of the death.

About registering with the service?

Registering with the Deceased Preference Service is quick and easily done online at or if you prefer, you can register by post by printing off the registration form, completing it then sending it freepost. Even if the death occurred some time ago, you can still use the service to stop unsolicited mail. The organisations that the Deceased Preference Service contact tend to update their records with the information that is sent to them on a monthly basis. This means that unsolicited mail may continue for a few weeks before their database catches up.

Combating Identity Fraud

Impersonation of the Deceased (IOD) fraud is a major problem. The sharing of death records not only prevents unsolicited mail but can help combat identity fraud. Until quite recently, it has been difficult for law and credit agencies to access death records, making it easier for fraudsters to impersonate the deceased by copying details from obituaries. To find that a loved one’s identity has been impersonated following their death can be particularly upsetting, so not only will using the Deceased Preference Service help stop unsolicited mail but it could help reduce fraud too.

A free and confidential service

The Deceased Preference Service is completely free of charge. The data that the service supplies is covered by the Data Protection Act and is not used for any other purposes.

Speaking to someone at the Deceased Preference Service

If you feel you need to speak to someone at the Deceased Preference Service, please call 0800 068 4433 during office hours.
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