FAQ

How Our Service Works

I want to stop all incoming junk mail. Will this do the trick?

You can use Catalog Choice to submit individual requests to catalog merchants that are currently sending you mail you do not want.

Unfortunately, no current service has the capability to stop all of your incoming junk mail in one fell swoop, because there are different kinds of mail coming from different sources (saturation mailings from your local USPS, political and charitable mailings, and catalogs, which come from individual merchants, some of whom share lists of names with other companies).

One of the titles in our database is Opt-Out Prescreen, which can help take your name off of credit card offer lists, so merchants do not share your personal information with others. We also recommend that our members register with DMA Choice, an industry-affiliated service that helps take your name off of prospecting lists, in tandem with our service.

Can I use Catalog Choice to control my email inbox or stop spam email?

No. Our service is only applicable to catalogs and other kinds of paper junk mail.

How is this service different from me contacting a company directly on my own?

Using Catalog Choice will help you terminate catalogs more quickly and easily than picking up the phone and calling each individual merchant on your own. We have over 9,000 titles in database, so our website provides merchant opt-out information in one convenient place.

As an environmental non-profit organization, we’re passionate about working to protect natural resources and encouraging merchant compliance. Your participation in our service will help us track merchant compliance as well as calculate the aggregate amount of water, energy and trees that our members efforts have helped save!

My MailStop Shield subscription expired. How do I renew it?

Equifax, the company who previously owned Catalog Choice, discontinued all paid MailStop Shield services in 2013. Thus we do no longer renew expired subscriptions, send out envelopes or provide refunds for any unused envelopes.

You can still terminate as many catalogs as you like for free on our website.

What is the Customer Number and Source Code, and where can I find them?

The Customer Number or Source Code are numbers listed on a catalog mailing label, which merchants use to help identify you. You can find the Customer Number located in a blue box on the mailing label, or in the line above your name on the mailing label as a string of numbers that begin with the letter C.

You can find the Source Code located in a grey or yellow box on the mailing label.

If you cannot clearly identify a customer number or source code, simply leave this field blank, as many merchants do not require this information to process your opt-out request.

Can you send me a catalog, or assist me with an item I ordered from a catalog or website?

No. As an environmental non-profit organization, we are completely unaffiliated with the marketing industry. We do not send out catalogs or printed mailings of any kind, and do not have the capability to assist with product orders.

How can I stop mail from charities, political mailings and other solicitations?

You can use Catalog Choice for more than just terminating unwanted catalogs! We have over 9,000 titles in our database, some of which are charitable and political organizations.

My city or company wants to reduce its junk mail. Can you help?

Yes! We’re thrilled to hear that you want to get your city or company involved in stopping their junk mail! We partner with numerous organizations to help them track their member activities and the resulting financial and environmental benefits.

Please reach out to customer service regarding your interest in partnering with Catalog Choice to help your organization reduce its junk mail, and a member of our staff will be happy to assist you.

I can’t find the company I’m interested in in your list. How do I suggest a title?

Please email customer service and let us know the name of the catalog you’d like added to our database.

Note that we do not add hyperlocal or very small organization’s publications to our database.

Your Account

How do I send a complaint to, or take legal action against, a merchant?

Unfortunately, there is no legislation that requires that merchants honor your opt-out requests, thus we cannot help you take legal action again a delinquent merchant.

We do track merchant compliance, and you can help. Once it has been 1-2 months since you submitted a particular opt-out request, log in and click the thumbs down next to the request to let us know if you are still receiving mail from this merchant.

How can I stop mail addressed to another person?

You can process opt-out requests on behalf of another person, such as a family member or the previous resident of your home, by creating an alias in your Catalog Choice profile. When creating the alias, be sure to enter in the person’s name exactly as it appears on the mailing label.

How can I stop mail addressed to “Current Resident”?

If you receive a piece of mail addressed to “Current Resident” or “Our Neighbor”, rather than a specific person, it is possible that it is a saturation mailing. Saturation mailings are paid for by local businesses and sent to every house in a particular neighborhood by the US Postal Service.

According to the USPS, you can visit your local post office and fill out a form to opt-out of these kinds of mailings. Unfortunately, contacting the merchants themselves about these kinds of mailings is a futile effort if they don't have your personal information in their database, which is usually the case.

We regret that we can’t do to assist you with terminating saturation mailings.

How I can I stop offensive mailings?

To terminate mail of an offensive nature, visit your local USPS office and ask for an Application for Prohibitory Order (form 1500) against the particular merchant.

You can also reach out to the merchant directly and mention that you will file a Prohibitory Order against them if they refuse to honor your opt-out request.

Does Catalog Choice keep my personal information private?

Please see our Privacy Policy for full details.

How can I stop mail to a deceased person?

Our condolences for your loss. You can process opt-out requests on behalf of a deceased person through your own Catalog Choice profile, by creating an alias for them. When creating the alias, be sure to enter in the person’s name exactly as it appears on the mailing label.

We also recommend that you register this person with the Deceased Do Not Contact List maintained by the DMA.

Why do some merchants require that I fill out a customer form, or that I provide them with my personal email address?

Some merchants make it very difficult for you to opt-out of receiving mail from them, and a few do not accept requests from Catalog Choice - instead, they’ll require that you submit your personal email address to complete your request.

Unfortunately, we have virtually no control over the manner in which merchants process their opt-out requests. We’re constantly trying to work with merchants and encourage them to collect and process opt-out requests in a way that is easy and convenient for our members.

Donations

I’d like to make a donation, but I’d prefer not to do it over the internet.

We want to thank you so much for considering making a donation to Catalog Choice! As a non-profit organization, we rely on the generosity of our members to be able to provide our service free of charge.

You can make a donation over the phone by calling us at 510-883-1055, or mailing a check to:

Catalog Choice/The Story of Stuff Project
1442 Walnut Street #272
Berkeley, CA 94709

Again, we truly appreciate you considering making a donation to Catalog Choice! We couldn't do what we do without your help.

Catalog Choice/The Story of Stuff Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, EIN #46-4334785. No goods or services were received in exchange for this gift and it is fully tax-deductible in the U.S.A.

I’m having trouble with your online donation page.

We want to thank you so much for considering making a donation to Catalog Choice! As a non-profit organization, we rely on the generosity of our members to be able to provide our service free of charge.

If you were unable to complete your donation, here are a few things that may have caused the problem:

  • Using a credit card other than a Visa, Mastercard or Discover.
  • Not filling out all of your personal information in the online form before submitting it.

If you continue to experience problems with the online form, you can make a donation over the phone by calling us at 510-883-1055, or mailing a check to:

Catalog Choice/The Story of Stuff Project
1442 Walnut Street #272
Berkeley, CA 94709

Again, we truly appreciate you considering making a donation to Catalog Choice! We couldn't do what we do without your help.

Catalog Choice/The Story of Stuff Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, EIN #46-4334785. No goods or services were received in exchange for this gift and it is fully tax-deductible in the U.S.A.

Can I get a refund for my donation?

We will happily refund any donation made in error, such as a duplicate donation, as long as you reach out to us within 2 business days.

Help! I’m still receiving a ton of junk mail.

Please note that it can take 1-2 months after your submit an opt-out request for the unwanted mail to cease altogether, as many merchants print their catalogs in advance.

Additionally, many catalog merchants sell or rent lists of personal information to others. For this reason, we recommend that our members use DMA Choice, an industry-affiliated service, in tandem with Catalog Choice to help get their names off of prospecting lists.

Unfortunately, we have virtually no control over when and how catalog merchants process the opt-out request they receive.

I have another question that is not covered in the FAQs!

Contact us at support@catalogchoice.org or through the online form. We will be happy to help!