How Can I Free Myself Of The Crate & Barrel Catalog Scourge?

Tor has a simple request. He wants companies to stop wasting paper and sending him printed catalogs. He would also appreciate it if companies would stop selling his name ad address to each other in order to send him even more catalogs. This is a tall order–well, at least it is for Crate & Barrel.

I recently recieved double issues of Restoration Hardware catalog (one addressed to me, the other my wife). We’ve never done business with them, but it seems they got our info from Crate and Barrel (who we registered with for our wedding, and also sends us double issues). I’ve asked Crate and Barrel several times to remove me from their mailing list; its a waste of paper and I have the internet.

I called Restoration Hardware customer service, and nicely asked a sales lady to remove me from their mailing list. After she took my info I asked, “Can you tell me who else is going to get my information? I know you got my info from your sister company, Crate and Barrel, so who’s next?” She laughed nervously and said she could check the option to “not rent my name to 3rd parties.” I laughed (pretending that I found it funny, not that I wanted to reach through the phone and throttle the CEO upstairs) and said I’d love to not have my information rented out.

How can I get my name removed from Crate and Barrel, do I have any recourse available since they rented my name after I specifically instructed them to remove me from their mailing list? How can a party I’ve never done business with have a “don’t rent my info out” option, is the world really that evil?

Yes. Well, maybe not. Make sure that you’re on every do-not-mail list in creation, in order to prevent companies you don’t have a business relationship with from selling your name.

It’s hopelessly old-fashioned, but fight mail with mail. Instead of calling the companies, next time, request in writing that they take you off the list. Send the label from the catalog or junk mailing so they know precisely who you are, and send a brief but firm letter.

If that doesn’t work, play hardball: USPS Form 1500 is your friend. Yes, it’s intended to make people stop sending you unwanted pornography, but you can extend that to mean anything that’s offensive. And I don’t know about Tor, but I find some of the items in the CB2 catalog deeply offensive. For example:

cb2orange.jpg

I don’t want that filth in my mailbox.

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