Monday, October 13, 2008

Are you getting crankie about catalogs? Here's how to say no to all that junk mail

The "green recipe" that people continue to request from Betty is "How can I stop my junkmail?" BWB has made it very easy, by clicking on the link below:
but I've also reprinted below this comprehensive list straight from the Federal Trade Commission's website ( of stopping the relentless retail that happens via mail and phone. I love this list on how to "Just Say No" to junk mail and junk solitications by phone.

As a side note: Betty is full of grace and tact when it comes to politely declining plastic bags or junk mail or (just recently) a "free Disney DVD" from Circuit City, but it is not always easy as she battles with Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn direct mail marketing: after FIVE REQUESTS over the past TWO YEARS, I am still receiving the catalog.

So Betty's research unearthed this call line: 1-877-FTC-HELP to report egregious abuses of marketing companies who ignore your requests to JUST SAY NO. Hope it helps!


FTC Consumer Alert
Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection Division of Consumer & Business Education
Unsolicited Mail, Telemarketing and Email: Where to Go to “Just Say No”
Tired of having your mailbox crammed with unsolicited mail, including pre-approved credit card applications? Fed up with getting telemarketing calls just as you’re sitting down to dinner? Fuming that your email inbox is chock-full of unsolicited advertising? The good news is that you can cut down on the number of unsolicited mailings, calls, and emails you receive by learning where to go to “just say no.”
Credit Bureaus
The credit bureaus offer a toll-free number that enables you to “opt-out” of having pre-approved credit offers sent to you for five years. Call 1-888-5-OPTOUT (567-8688) or visit for more information. When you call, you’ll be asked for personal information, including your home telephone number, your name, and your Social Security number. The information you provide is confidential and will be used only to process your request to opt out of receiving pre-screened offers of credit.
In addition, you can notify the three major credit bureaus that you do not want personal information about you shared for promotional purposes — an important step toward eliminating unsolicited mail. Write your own letter or use the sample letter on the last page of this Alert to limit the amount of information the credit bureaus will share about you. Send your letter to each of the three major credit bureaus:
901 West Bond
Lincoln, NE 68521
Attn: Consumer Services Department
Name Removal Option
P.O. Box 505
Woodlyn, PA 19094
Equifax, Inc.
P.O. Box 740123
Atlanta, GA 30374-0123
Direct Marketers
The federal government has created the National Do Not Call Registry — a free, easy way to reduce the telemarketing calls you get at home. To register your phone number or to get information about the registry, visit, or call 1‑888‑382‑1222 from the phone number you want to register. You will get fewer telemarketing calls within 31 days of registering your number. Telephone numbers on the registry will only be removed when they are disconnected and reassigned, or when you choose to remove a number from the registry.
The Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) Mail Preference Service lets you opt out of receiving unsolicited commercial mail from many national companies for five years. When you register with this service (for a $1 fee), your name will be put on a “delete” file and made available to direct-mail marketers. However, your registration will not stop mailings from organizations that do not use the DMA’s Mail Preference Service. To register with DMA’s Mail Preference Service, go to
The DMA also has an Email Preference Service to help you reduce unsolicited commercial emails. To opt out of receiving unsolicited commercial email from DMA members, visit Your online request will be effective for five years.
Department of Motor Vehicles
The Drivers Privacy Protection Act allows states to distribute personal information only to law enforcement officials, courts, government agencies, private investigators, insurance underwriters, and similar businesses — but not for direct marketing and other uses.
If You Have a Complaint
The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit or call toll-free, 1‑877‑FTC‑HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
Sample Opt-Out Letter (Send to addresses on first page of this Alert.)
To whom it may concern:
I request to have my name removed from your marketing lists. Here is the information you have asked me to include in my request:
(List all name variations, including Jr., Sr., etc.)
(Fill in your previous mailing address if you have moved in the last 6 months.)
Thank you for your prompt handling of my request.
July 2008


Harry said...

I registered with the DMA to get my name removed from the catalogue mailing list. Additionally, every day, when I got home from work, I'd put all of that day's stack of catalogues in a stack and start making my phone calls. I called every company and asked them to remove me from their mailing list. Sometimes, I'd make 4 or 5 calls in an evening. It probably took about 3 months of these regular calls before the catalogues stopped.

BWB said...

Thanks for the inspiring comment. I admire your persistency and commitment. That's what it takes for change to happen!