Webby cool

So when I was on the way home from work today, I listened to an interesting news piece that told me about an interesting new website that is out there.

Since the beginning of my marriage, catalogs and unwanted mail have been the bane of my existence. DH hates to check his mail, to the point that I once ended up opening about 1.5 years worth of mail which he had chucked in a cardboard box.  These days I open the mail daily and dutifully, so I am exposed to the annoying letters that reach him, my sister-in-law, and me. DH knows better than to interrupt my junk-mail abolitionism, but it does get a bit taxing to become so emotionally charged when I receive an unwanted catalog or solicitation.

At least once a week I end up calling one company or another, who cannot reveal to me how they received our contact information, and they swear up and down that they will stop sending me unwanted mail. Yet the catalogs continue and spread. As I’ve found, simply signing up for baby registries puts you in the mix, even if you didn’t sign up for the free diaper coupons that Motherhood Maternity continually peddles. I never give out my phone number anymore at the stores (and haven’t for several years), but I can’t stop DH and sis-in-law from doing the same, and I never know who we all will have to continually call to get off these infernal lists.

Hence, the utility of Catalog Choice. For no cost to yourself, you can individually remove yourself from catalog mailing lists using the information on the back up catalogs you receive – and most of them are there, though I don’t think they have the option at this point of getting off Car Insurance and Vonage lists.  I know for a fact that registering with the DMA is incomplete and rarely comes to any good result in terms of reducing catalog numbers. But hopefully catalog choice will work more smoothly, and it seems useful that they ask for source codes from the backs of catalogs – which to me make it more likely that our names will be identified correctly.

What’s more – for an annual donation of $20/year, the folks at Catalog Choice will actively remove your name and address (up to 4 name-address combinations) from direct marketing lists.  Not a bad price to pay for less irritation when opening mail after work!