Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The best thing since....

Catalog Choice has come up with the next best thing since the "No Call" program went into effect several years ago. They've come up with a way for you to stop the numerous phone books, the multitudes of credit card offers, the flyers, circulars and ads that come your way courtesy of the US Mail Service & the companies they work with.

I've just signed up and requested two phone book companies here in Omaha to "Stop Mail" on their phone books. (We have 3 companies - why do I need 3-4 phone books a year? I'm single - no one but me reads them!)
Let us do the work I really don't get much else in the mail - except an occasional CC offer and that stupid "your car warranty is about to run out" card that I've been getting since I bought my car 6 years ago. Next time I get either of those I'm definitely putting a "Stop Mail" request up!

(Personally, I don't have enough junk mail to purchase the envelopes. I'll just go online and put a Stop Mail request up. But I could see how helpful they would be to someone who gets TONS of junk mail - and/or is too busy to take care of putting up their requests and following through. Fantastic idea!)

Press release:

Catalog Choice Launches New Service to

Combat Increasing USPS Junk Mail

BERKELEY, CALIF. (November 8, 2011)As the U.S. Postal Service aggressively seeks to increase direct advertising mailings, Catalog Choice—the leader in mail efficiency—is working to help consumers combat the impending tidal wave of junk mail. The Berkeley-based non-profit today launched MailStop™ Envelopes—the first in a line of premium services set to roll out this fall.   

Users can purchase MailStop™ Envelopes for $6.75 each, fill them with up to 15 mailing labels from unwanted mail and send the envelopes back to Catalog Choice. Their staff will then scan the labels, fulfill the opt-out requests and record the transaction in customers’ secure accounts. Companies have 90 days to honor requests before formal complaints are filed and then submitted to the FTC. Customers can use the envelopes to opt-out of any unwanted mail including catalogs, donation requests, circulars and coupon mailers, as well as phone books. The envelopes are available for purchase at www.catalogchoice.org and can also be gifted to friends and family.

Catalog Choice has been testing the MailStop™ Envelopes with customers for the past several months. Brad Barrish, one such customer, said, “Catalog Choice is a no-brainer for anyone who is tired of receiving so many catalogs in their mailbox and just doesn't have the time to write letters and follow up with the companies sending them. At $6.75 an envelope, it's hard to find an excuse not to participate. Thanks so much for such a compelling and easy way for people to opt out of junk mail.” 

“MailStop™ Envelopes enable individuals to stop unwanted mail seconds after they pull it out of the mailbox,” said Chuck Teller, Executive Director, Catalog Choice.  “Since the beginning, Catalog Choice has empowered people to take control of their mailboxes. MailStop™ Envelopes offers another way to improve the relevance of mail for consumers, reduce mailing costs for businesses and garbage disposal costs for cities and counties. It’s a win for everyone involved.”

MailStop™ Envelopes is the offline version of Catalog Choice’s online service, which allows consumers to control who can send them unsolicited mail. In recent months, Catalog Choice has also partnered with communities across the country including Chicago, Ill.; Seattle, Wash; San Jose, Calif. and Kansas City, Mo.-Kan to provide localized mail preference programs for their residents.

About Catalog Choice
Founded in 2007 to provide consumers greater control over the marketing materials that enter their mailboxes, Catalog Choice is the world’s largest preference and privacy portal with more than 1.4 million consumer members and 4,100 direct marketing companies.  By reducing unnecessary mail and phone books, Catalog Choice’s free and low-cost services reduce deforestation, greenhouse gases, solid waste and water consumption. Catalog Choice, a non-profit organization based in Berkeley, Calif., is supported by grants from the Overbrook Foundation, Kendeda Fund, Merck Family Fund and Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, as well as donations from members.

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