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Stopping the catalogs

Please! I'm begging you! Stop the catalogs!The worst part about ordering a home-improvement item or sample online is that you know you’re going to be receiving catalogs in the mail that you may not want, even if you unclicked the send-me-unlimited-marketing-materials-from-you-and-all-your-partners-from-now-until-eternity button.

And how do you stop the catalog influx once it starts? Do you call the customer no-service number and beep through a series of options until you’re pretty sure the human you’re finally speaking with has no power to do what you want done?

Or do you gather together an envelope and stamp and mail your request, being even more sure it will do no good whatsoever?

Yes, I have tried all these tactics, but with little success.

Yet I have high hopes for Catalog Choice, a website where you can indicate which catalogs you’d rather not receive. Then, the website people contact the companies on your behalf and tell them: Stop already!

Catalog Choice is a sponsored project of the Ecology Center. It is endorsed by the National Wildlife Federation and the Natural Resources Defense Council and funded by the Overbrook Foundation, the Merck Family Fund and the Kendeda Fund.

Here are the catalogs I’ve requested a stop to during the last month:

Bed, Bath, & Beyond
Best Buy
Big Dogs
Costco
Flor
Pottery Barn
Sky Mall
Trader Joe’s
Westways

I actually really like all these companies. But I do my online shopping online and see all the ads I need in the daily newspaper.

So far, Bed, Bath & Beyond is the only company that has confirmed my request. Yay! I can log into my account on www.catalogchoice.org and keep track of my choices.

All my other requests are marked unconfirmed or pending. I don’t have much hope for stopping Westways as I already made several requests on my own to stop this magazine from coming and I was informed that if I had a AAA card, I was required to get this publication. Does that sound right to you?

The Catalog Choice website states that nearly 1 million people have used the service, and have opted out of more than 11.8-million catalogs.

Have you used Catalog Choice? And did it work?


4 Comments on Stopping the catalogs

  1. I have a membership with MyJunkTree and the service works great. I used them to Remove Junk Mail form my mailbox. I stopped the weekly coupons, credit card offers, miscellaneous junk mail, phone books, and of course the catalogs. I received a confirmation directly from the catalog company in about 48 hours letting me know I was off the list.

  2. I’m going to check out Catalog Choice, but I also have a membership to http://www.greendimes.com/
    The freebie level is limited, but the paid (one-time) level has completely eliminated unwanted junk. Some days I have no mail at all!
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    KPR: Wow!
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  3. I tried to cancel Westways too. What I was told on the phone is that because AAA is a non-profit, they *have* to send you some periodical garbage. I got annoyed and canceled my AAA membership, which worked. No more Westways! A little extreme admittedly.
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    KPR: I’m almost there!
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  4. Mike Johnson // June 9, 2008 at 3:51 pm // Reply

    I’ve used Catalog Choice, and it is fantastic.
    It takes six or eight weeks for them to stop sending the catalogues. During that time, I had a growing pile of catalogues on my desk. I’d go through them and make sure I had declined them. It’s a little tricky because some companies, like Sierra Trading Post, send out several different catalogues, each under a different name (Sierra Women, Sierra Shoes, Sierra Hot Deals, and so on) . Each has to be declined.
    I started back in November, and I was getting one or two per day. But it’s probably been three weeks since I received an unwanted catalog.
    I’d never decline BBB or Costco, though — they come with valuable coupons.
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    KPR: Thanks, Mike! That’s great news.
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