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Take Control of Your Private Information

MailStop Shield

Last week, the New York Times published an article titled You for Sale. It chronicled how Acxiom, one of the largest Data Brokers, has amassed the world's largest consumer database and all of your information is for sale. We believe that you should be in control of your personal information, not Data Brokers.

We built MailStop Shield to make it easy for you to stop Data Brokers from freely selling your identity. With MailStop Shield, we get Data Brokers to remove your name and address from the marketing lists that they sell. This reduces unwanted mail and protects your privacy.

Today, we are pleased to introduce you to the improved MailStop Shield.
The service removes your information from the top Data Brokers and now provides clear, easy-to-follow information so you can track the progress of your opt-outs. There are several additional Data Brokers that we are working to add to the service, including Acxiom. If you subscribe to the service, we will automatically submit your opt-out requests throughout the year as we add them.

With MailStop Shield you can take another big step toward protecting your personal information and stopping unwanted mail.




USPS Vision Survey Results

As the United States Postal Service (USPS) meets with key leaders this week to discuss its future, a new survey by Catalog Choice - a TrustedID company and the nation’s largest mail preference service - finds that over 80 percent of consumers would not mind having mail delivery reduced to five days per week. Empowered with feedback from over 18,000 consumers, Chuck Teller, Chief Strategy Officer for TrustedID, arrives in Washington, D.C. today to represent the voice of postal consumers everywhere and deliver survey findings at PostalVision 2020/2.0 - a meeting of USPS leaders and industry experts.

 The survey’s overwhelming response sparked a range of ideas about postal reform including:

 Consumers prefer to receive personal correspondence and packages in the mail:

  • About 90 percent of consumers prefer to receive personal correspondence and packages
  • Only 20 percent of consumers prefer to receive local company advertising and less than 2 percent prefer to receive non-local advertising
  • Only 7 percent of consumers prefer to receive non-profit and political solicitations in the mail

 Consumers have indicated they are comfortable with mail delivery five days per week:

  • Over 80 percent of consumers are “definitely or probably ok” with mail delivery five days per week, with the number dropping significantly to just over 50 percent for mail delivery four days per week
  • Over 90 percent of consumers would be inconvenienced if mail delivery was reduced to two days per week

Key feedback on services the Postal service could deliver:

  • Over 65 percent of consumers think that the USPS should create a website to access all government forms like DMV, passport, taxes, etc.
  • Over 30 percent are willing to pay a monthly fee to not receive advertising in the mail
  • Over 50 percent of consumers think that the USPS should leverage the fact that postal workers are at their homes on a daily basis and set up a recycling pick-up service to take away old cell phones, batteries, light bulbs, etc.

“In order for the United States Postal Service to remain viable, it must listen to the needs of postal consumers across the country and adapt,” said Teller. “Citizens care about the long term viability of the USPS and they are actively engaging in sharing their vision for the USPS. Our survey results clearly indicate that people don’t want mail that isn’t intended for them and they don’t mind reduced mail delivery to make that possible.”

Catalog Choice works with consumers, companies and communities around the country to eliminate unwanted mail. During PostalVision 2020/2.0, consumers can continue the conversation about the role and future of the USPS by responding to live questions from the Conference through either Catalog Choice’s Twitter account or Facebook page.


Conducted online, the survey questioned a national sample of over 18,000 Americans. Polling took place between June 6 and June 11, 2012. 


How to Stop Every Door Direct Mail

The U.S. Postal Service has a plan: more advertising mail.

You can tell the USPS that you want the ability to opt-out of mail sent to "Current Resident".  Sign our letter at Citizens for Mail Choice.

Check out this video we made with a summary of EDDM: Every Door Direct Mail.

If you haven't yet seen or heard ads for "Every Door Direct Mail," you probably soon will. It's the "new" program from the postal service that allows businesses to mail every address in specified zip codes. No need to have names and addresses. Just select the zip codes you want to mail to, and the mail carrier will drop your ad in every mailbox in those zip codes for under $0.15 per piece.

Is this what USPS customers want? Well, yes. Businesses are the primary customers of the USPS. Mail recipients aren't the customer, we are the product. The postal service sells access to us, and therein lies the rub. Many people don't like being a product without consent, which raises questions like, "what if I don't want more advertising mail"?

So what can you do about it?  According to the Every Door Direct User Guide (link), the Customer delivers the Do Not Deliver addresses to the Post Office with the Facing slip for each zip code. We know there's a process to opt-out and we need to work together to make sure it works.  When companies select the zip codes they want to send EDDM mail to, there is a section on the Facing Slip for "Do Not Mail Addresses." If your address makes it on that form, the mail carrier should skip your address.


Sounds straight forward.  Since we oversee this process for millions of Americans, we've been digging into the details to make sure it really works.

We started with confirming that the Post Office is getting the Do Not Deliver lists from the Customer since the user guide (shown below) says that it is the Customer's responsibility to complete this section. We called the USPS Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) Customer Service Center to confirm and herein lies the problem. On our first call we were told it's the Post Office's responsibility to fill that section out. So, then we called the USPS general customer service center and asked how to get on that list at the local post office. We were told to go to DMAchoice, which we know does not stop unaddressed mail. So we called EDDM Customer Service  back.  This time we spoke with someone else and she indicated that either the post office or the customer could complete it. Given the confusion, we're assuming the user guide is correct.

It's unclear the extent to which requests will be honored. You get the feeling not many companies use this section. Honoring an opt-out for unaddressed mail follows a completely different process than honoring an opt-out for addressed mail. That said, companies receiving opt-outs through Catalog Choice should be honoring them for all mailing, addressed or unaddressed.

If you get unaddressed mail from a company you've submitted an opt-out to, let us know!



Tracking Catalog Choice Over The Years: A Member Testimonial 

We received an email from one of our members, Tiffany Simonsen, who has been tracking the success of Catalog Choice  for her and her family every year since 2007. With Tiffany's permission, we'd like to share her story with you.

Happy New Year!

This email is to thank you for your great service and share a little bit of the difference you have made for my family.

As part of an education program I was running, I registered my first choice for stopping catalogs on 10/26/2007. I kept track of all the catalogs our house received in November and December. I've since transitioned to a different job, but I've continued to use your service to help stop the catalog clutter. (I've also continued to keep track because I was curious about our progress.)

When going through the catalogs in our mail we separate out the catalogs that need to be entered into Catalog Choice, tear off the necessary information and recycle the catalog. Every few weeks, sometimes once I month, I then login to our account and update our choices.

Each year we've been pleasantly surprised to see the number decrease and this year the 'wow-factor' was so fantastic, we needed to tell you about it.

Catalogs received during peak holiday mailing season:

           '07   '08  '09  '10  '11
 Nov    97    83   66   55   29
 Dec    42    42   32    26  16

We would have never accomplished this on our own. It takes a little effort and persistence, but it is most definitely paying off. Thank you so much!


Have you been tracking the progress you've made with Catalog Choice? We'd love to hear your story as well.


Kudos for MailStop from Twitter


olyhillary Great idea for older relatives who aren't so computer savvy but are sick of junk mail:… I <3@catalogchoice

Jaime Thompson

jaimegirl  The best $6.75 you'll ever spend. Mail @catalogchoice junk mail using the MailStop envelopes and they do the…

Sonny Cohen

SonnyCohen  Consistently impressed with @catalogchoice effectively stopping junk snail mail

James Young

jydesign  Clever offering from @catalogchoice: "MailStop Envelope" mail them your junk mail (prepay env), they'll opt you out


Jen Harman

harmanizer Great way to cut down on junk mail and catalogs with a pre-paid envelope:…


NationalReset   @catalogchoice is offereing a cheap, reasonable way to opt out of unwanted junkmail. Kudos 2 them: $6.75 Xmas gift idea

Shaun Dakin

shaundakin  Very Cool > Stop Junk Mail, Block Unsolicited Mail, Opt-out of Unwanted Mail | Catalog Choice