Column: Feeling harassed by Publisher’s Clearing House

It’s not exactly stalking, but any person who signs up to take part in that iconic PublishersClearhouse House contest is just about as close as one can get to being the victim of a stalker.

Publisher’ Clearing house pushes the envelope … literally.

If you sign up via snail mail, you unknowingly agree to give up six to10 hours a week to return and search and paste and sign and re-mail the PCH prize documents that come your way almost daily.

The mail comes with various headlines attached to it such as: ‘IMPORTANT! 1 Step Required,’ ‘Will you ACCEPT or SURRENDER?’ ‘last chance to enter,’ ‘letter of intent,’ and ‘Tagged for review.’

The packages you get from PCH are huge and colorful and include dozens of items and contest and inserts and other crapola to wade through. And they come weekly — sometimes daily — with threats of losing your eligibility, etc.

I heard a stat somewhere that said something about Publishers Clearing House being responsible for the destruction of 2,314 trees each day. That’s how much paper is being used on their mailers and more mailers and other mailers and final chance mailers.

That’s a lot of needless wear and tear on loggers across this nation and around the globe. Not to mention the fuel needed to get those trees to the sawmill and the company that makes paper and envelopes.

Add to that the tons of trash generated for dumpsters and landfills in the world, plus the gas used by mail carriers delivering PCH documents and potential prize winners driving to the post office to make their winning documents.

Why, the cost of this contest would make Al Gore crazy … if he wasn’t off flying somewhere in his private plane to talk about wasteful energy usage.

That’s also a lot of wear and tear on U.S. Postal Service employees and equipment and vehicles. And what about those torn ligaments and dog bites suffered by mail carriers toting tons of PCH documents around every neighborhood in the United States for months each year.

I wonder if PCH isn’t the cause of the U.S. Postal Service’s unending quest to make a profit.

Anyway the snail mail contest is a big pain in the posterior.

Still, not wanting to give up on a potential $12 million a week for the rest of my life, I gave PCH another chance.

But this time I signed up via email.

Believe me, it is no-less irritating.

If it is not technically harassment, it’s pretty darn close.

Then again, there is that possibility of $12 billion a week check being delivered to my home for the rest of your life.

How irritating could PCH’s email attack be?

Pretty bad!

Even though there is always that caveat on mailers and in email that says “no purchase is required,” I feel guilty each time I respond to an email without buying something I’ll never use.

So after signing up, I tried to ignore my emails.

But that’s not easy. One email informed me that it said it was the last day to sign up for something like $13 million hourly for the rest of my life … or something like that.

So I replied. But after that reply, I vowed no more.

Today I received a Letter of Intent email:





ISSUED BY: Publishers Clearing House

Please be advised that you, Russ Kent, could win $7,OOO.OO A Week For Life. You see, we are prepared to select a Lifetime Prize Winner during a special early look event for Gwy. No. 11OOO. This prize payout has been approved by contest officials at Publishers Clearing House. In the event you win, it would be our intent to have the Prize Patrol personally visit the Kent family to announce your good fortune.

If it is your intent to possibly change your life with the financial freedom that winning a Lifetime Prize on April 27th would give you and your family, it is imperative that you respond promptly.

Simply click the button below by the April 3rd (11:59 PM, ET) deadline to enter, Russ. Don’t miss out on this chance to walk away a multi-millionaire — RESPOND NOW!

Once your entry has been confirmed, you’ll be presented with an exciting featured opportunity!


Deborah Holland

Executive Vice President

I can’t say no to $7,000 a week. Why, with that kind of money coming into my checking account every seven days I could keep Direct TV and get the high-speed wifi at home and maybe even trade in my 15-year-old vehicle.

I can’t pass up that kind of change.

I mean, there are printing labels in the PCH factory with my name already on them.

They need directions to my home in Galion.

I have to be close to winning.

Still, why can’t they remember how to get to my place. I’ve provided directions to my home dozens of times through the years. And with all the money the PCH harassment campaign generates, why don’t they keep manage to keep track of those driving directions?

Anyway, maybe it’s all the rain and snow and ice and wind and cold and lack of spring that is making me a bit grumpy, but I’m tiring of PCH.

But if I receive one more email from the folks at Publishers Clearing House …. well …. I’m going to explode.

Still a two-year subscription to Golf Digest would do wonders for my wonky golf swing.

It can’t hurt …. plus, it’s only email.


Russ Kent

Galion Inquirer



Russ Kent is editor of the Galion Inquirer. Email him at with comments or story ideas.