Frequently Asked Questions

About the Online Service

Does your service just include catalogs?
Is my personal information kept private?
Will Catalog Choice share my information with spammers or junk mailers?
What if I've used your service and I'm still getting the same mailings?
What is your dispute process and how does it work?
I don't see the company I want to decline on your list. What do I do?
Where do I find the customer number and source code?
What if I can't find the customer number?
Why is my request labeled "Waiting"?
Why is my request labeled "Delivered" or "Unconfirmed"?
Can I use this in an office or business?
What is the best way to set up an account in an office or for a business?
How do I create additional names and addresses?
How do I update my email address?
If I buy from a company and I've opted-out of their marketing activities, will I get back on their mailing list?
Why am I prompted to fill out the company's form for some of my requests
I've selected the link in the activation email or password recovery email and nothing happened.
Can I use Catalog Choice to opt-out of emails, newsletters, etc.?
Is this service available outside the United States?
I'm a company, and would like to learn about the benefits of your service.
Have another question?

About MailStop Shield

What is MailStop Shield?
If I use MailStop Shield, does it stop all the mail I don't want?
Why can't I purchase or renew MailStop Shield?
Is my MailStop Shield subscription still supported?
Can I still redeem my MailStop Shield gift subscription?

About Catalog Choice and TrustedID

Why did Catalog Choice change from a non-profit to a for-profit company?
Why does Catalog Choice still use a ".org" domain?
Who is TrustedID?
What is going to happen to my personal information?
What happened to my donation?
What is the new foundation about?


About the Free Service

  • Does your service just include catalogs?
    Since we launched the free service in 2007, we have expanded the number and type of companies you can contact through Catalog Choice. The service has been expanded to include phone books, coupons, and other marketing and donor solicitations. Now you can use Catalog Choice to opt-out of postal mail and name sharing from more than 9,000 titles.
  • Is my personal information kept private?
    Yes. Catalog Choice never rents, sells, or releases your name for any purpose other than fulfilling your specific mail preference request. Additional protection is described in our privacy policy.
  • Will Catalog Choice share my information with spammers or junk mailers?
    We only provide companies with the information they need to take your name off of their mailing list. We use a unique email address from Catalog Choice for each opt-out you create and do NOT provide them with your email address. Companies can respond to you via email using the Catalog Choice email we create for each request. Companies are not allowed to sell your address to any third parties.
  • What if I've used your service and I'm still getting the same mailings?
    If you continue to receive the same mailings, you can make a new request or you can file a complaint through our dispute process. Remember that some requests can take up to 90 days to process and that during that period you may receive more mailings.
  • What is your dispute process and how does it work?
    Our dispute process allows you to formally file a complaint about a company that is ignoring your opt-out request. If you have made a request and 90 days has passed and you continue to receive mail at the same name and address, you can file a complaint. We will deliver this complaint to the company, and if appropriate, to the proper authorities. To file a complaint, go to "Your Choices" and click on the "Details" button for the offending company. This will bring you to the Activity Statement where you will see a record of your requests and find the "File a Complaint" button.
  • I don't see the company I want to decline on your list. What do I do?
    If you can't find the company you are looking for, please help us by suggesting them for inclusion in our database. Type the title or key word of the title in the search field. If the title you are looking for is not listed, you will be able to select the link "suggest a company" to submit a request to add the title to our database.
  • Where do I find the customer number and source code?
    The customer number or account number should be clearly labeled and it is usually in a blue box. The source code may be referred to as a catalog code, key code or priority code and it is often in a grey or yellow box. Mailing labels may vary from this model. If you cannot clearly identify these areas, select "Not Available" and ensure that your name and address are entered as they appear on the mailing label.
  • What if I can't find the customer number?
    Some mailings, like catalogs, will have a customer number printed on the mailing label. If you include the customer number when opting out, you will increase the likelihood of the company identifying your records. If you do NOT have the customer number, or simply can't find it, don't worry as it's not strictly necessary. In this case, feel free to click "Not Available" when opting out. (And if you later find it, you can add it to your opt-out record at any time, on the My Choices page.)
  • Why is my request labeled "Waiting"?
    Every request that you make through our service is delivered to the company. The status of your request goes into a Waiting state until we either get a confirmation from the company that they are processing your request (the time may vary due to a company's individual suppression processing schedule) or a direct response is received. If the status is listed as Waiting, no further action is required. If more information is necessary to process a request, you will receive notification on the homepage of your Catalog Choice account.
  • Why is my request labeled "Delivered" or "Unconfirmed"?
    When a response is received, we mark the status as "Delivered". If we have not heard back from the company after 90 days, we mark the status as "Unconfirmed." Please note that there are companies which will not send a direct response but will honor your request. You should not receive mailings after 90 days from the submission of your opt-out. If you continue to receive mailings after 90 days, you may file a complaint.
  • Can I use this in an office or business?
    Yes, Catalog Choice is a perfect way for businesses to reduce the waste of unwanted mail. Use the service to eliminate duplicate mailings or to stop mail to former employees who no longer work at your company or in your department. Each employee can set up his or her own account or a department or small business can set up an account with multiple recipient names.
  • What is the best way to set up an account in an office or for a business?
    There are two options for using Catalog Choice in an office. First, one person can set up the account for the office or department and be the central resource, responsible for opting out of unwanted mail for others in the office. This person can add multiple recipient names to the office account, including both current and former employees. Second, each person can set up his or her own account at the office and add their home address to reduce waste at both work and home.
  • How do I create additional names and addresses?
    It may be necessary to create additional names and variations of names to stop the delivery of unwanted mail to all members of your household or office. Additional names should be used for multiple people as well as variations on names e.g. Mrs. Smith, Anne Smith, A Smith. Additional addresses can be used for opting out of mail at home, office, or vacation home. Once you have created an account and logged in, you will find a "My Profile" screen where you can create additional names and addresses.
  • How do I update my email address?
    Login to your account with your registered email address and select My Profile, located at the top right corner of the page. Click the pencil icon next to your email address, enter your new email address in the email field and select "Save."
  • If I buy from a company and I've opted-out of their marketing activities, will I get back on their mailing list?
    Most retailers will honor your opt-out request regardless if you continue to buy from them. However, some companies will exercise their right to continue marketing to you if you are a recent buyer. If you continue to receive mail but wish to be removed, submit a new request or file a complaint.
  • Why am I prompted to fill out the company's form for some of my requests?
    Some companies will not accept opt-out requests directly from Catalog Choice. In these cases, we help you file the request directly on the company's site. By using the special Catalog Choice email provided, you can still track this request within our system.
  • I've selected the link in the activation email or password recovery email and nothing happened. What can I do?
    Roll over the link with your mouse. With some mail servers, a box will appear giving you the option to Enable Links. Click on "For this message", and then click on the link provided. If you are continuing to experience problems clicking on the link, please contact us.
  • Can I use Catalog Choice to opt-out of emails, newsletters, etc.?
    We have added other forms of advertising mail and phone books to our service. We do not plan on addressing email opt-out as the CAN-SPAM Act requires companies to include unsubscribe instructions in marketing emails.
  • Is this service available outside the United States?
    No, at this time the service is only available within the US.
  • I'm a company, and would like to learn about the benefits of your service.
    Please be sure to visit our companies website.
  • Have another question?
    Please don't hesitate to drop us a line


  • About MailStop Shield


  • What is MailStop Shield?
    With MailStop Shield, we act as your agent to make requests to a group of companies that do not market directly to you. We contact third-party marketing companies and go through the process to opt you out of their systems. Third-party marketing companies sell or rent your name to companies looking for new customers. Most third-party marketing companies work behind the scenes and are unknown to the general public. They have also made the opt-out process complicated.
  • If I use MailStop Shield, does it stop all the mail I don't want?
    No. MailStop Shield will reduce the amount of unwanted mail you receive, but it may not apply to direct mailers who have already acquired your name for marketing purposes. You must continue to use our free, brand-specific opt-out system to stop mail from companies with which you have a customer relationship. MailStop Shield will only remove you from third party marketing lists that are rented to companies for prospecting. It will not remove you from any mailing lists that you are currently on.
  • Why can't I purchase or renew MailStop Shield?
    The sale and renewal of MailStop Shield subscriptions have been suspended. We are working on updates that will enhance and contribute to our commitment to provide a convenient and trusted service to reduce your unwanted mail and protect your privacy.
  • Is my MailStop Shield subscription still supported?
    Yes, we will fully support your current subscription until your 1 year expiration date.
  • Can I still redeem my MailStop Shield gift subscription?
    Yes, you may redeem your gift subscription here and it will be supported for a full year. We will work as your agent to request the removal of your information from third party marketing company databases.

  • About Catalog Choice and TrustedID


  • Why did Catalog Choice change from a non-profit to a for-profit company?
    In order to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Catalog Choice mission and free mail preference service, the Catalog Choice Board of Directors made the decision to be acquired by TrustedID, a leader in identity protection and privacy services. All of the proceeds from the purchase of Catalog Choice will fund a foundation that will provide grants that continue to support our mission to help people reduce unwanted mail and save natural resources.
  • Why does Catalog Choice still use a ".org" domain?
    Like craigslist.org, Catalog Choice uses the ".org" domain because it represents the public service mission of operating our free mail preference service for citizens and companies.
  • Who is TrustedID?
    TrustedID is an industry leading company delivering privacy, security and reputation management services to consumers. TrustedID is committed to proactively helping protect consumers against credit and identity theft. Since 2005, TrustedID has been empowering consumers with tools and resources to manage and protect their credit and personal information, and who has access to that information. TrustedID and Catalog Choice together will now provide the nation's most comprehensive identity protection, privacy and junk mail reduction service.
  • What is going to happen to my personal information?
    Your personal information will not be compromised or shared in any new way as a result of this acquisition.
  • What happened to my donation?
    Your donation to Catalog Choice remains tax-deductible. Your contribution helped build the non-profit and create value. This value, as determined by the sale of Catalog Choice to TrustedID, will now transfer into a new foundation being established per the terms of the acquisition.
  • What is the new foundation about?
    TrustedID will pay into a foundation to fund public service efforts to stop reduce unwanted mail and save natural resources. This foundation will be administered by a separate, non-profit board of directors.
 
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