kill a catalog, save a tree

The holidays are still 2+ months away, and we’re already drowning in catalogs.  It’s clutter that we don’t need, and it’s bad for the environment.

I went to the Direct Marketing Association website and asked to be taken off their lists.  (They charge you $1 for the privilege, which ticks me off.)  That helps with the random catalogs from companies I’ve never heard of, but doesn’t stop catalogs that you’ve bought from in the past.  The problem is that I do like ordering from companies like LL Bean and Oriental Trading Company, but I do so from their website, and I don’t need (or want) to get a monthly catalog from them.  So I’ve been calling one or two companies a day and asking them to take me off their lists.

In general, the process has been pretty painless.  But Lilian Vernon was sufficiently annoying that it makes me far less likely to order from them in the future.  You call, and get an electronic voice that asks you what you want to do.  Then it asks you to read it your customer number off the catalog.  Then it asks you to confirm that your address is… (whatever they have in the system.)  Only then does it connect you to a live operator… who proceeds to ask for your customer number again, and for you to repeat your address to her.

Update: Via Aggregating the Fascinating, I found Catalog Choice, a free online site to submit requests to be removed from a catalog.

6 Responses to “kill a catalog, save a tree”

  1. Hilary Says:

    You might want to try gethuman.com – I checked and they don’t have Lillian Vernon mentioned specifically, but the site does have some tips and tricks to help bypass all the annoying stuff.

  2. alwen Says:

    I hate those! When I get one that is voice-operated, I’ll say, “What? What? I don’t understand,” rather than responding to the prompts. Usually that puts me in the queue for a human being.
    http://gethuman.com/ is great if it happens to have the company you’re looking for.

  3. jen Says:

    We did greendimes. It worked astonishingly well; the magazines just dried up, and they stayed dried up. (That’s the real tough one — making the cancellations stick.)
    You have to actually PAY A SUBSCRIPTION to GreenDimes to have them remove you from all the various catalog lists. Which is just SO WRONG!! But the problem there is not with green dimes, it’s with the weak consumer protections we get in this country. I once worked at a direct mail house, where the posted internal policy was that when someone called to have their name removed, you marked them in the system as having “actively responded” and redoubled efforts. All perfectly legal. Grumble grumble.

  4. mom Says:

    We used the promotion on the Center for the New American Dream’s website:
    http://www.newdream.org/junkmail/
    They have free forms so you can do it yourself, or we opted to pay $41 to get them to do every and all catalogues for us – it’s great and most of the $$ actually goes as a donation to work on climate issues. The $$ buys you 2 years, I think, so if you forget a catalogue, you can go online and ask them to deal with that one too.

  5. dave.s. Says:

    write your congressman – catalogs should pay the same rate I spend to mail a letter. Anything someone thinks I am worth 41 cents an ounce for the chance that I will order will either be selling something I really want, or be out of business in three months.

  6. landismom Says:

    Great topic, and what a bunch of helpful comments! We are drowning in catalogs here too, I’ll have to try some of these tips.

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