Can Dell Stop Itself From Sending Me Catalogs?

Dell, for the love of God, stop sending me catalogs! They are annoying and unwanted, not to mention, useless. If I want to buy something from you, I’ll go online. I’ve filled out your online forms asking you to stop. I’ve asked over the phone. Three different Dell executives have been in email contact with me pledging that they would investigate the mystery of why Dell is addicted to sending me catalogs. I’ve burnt them. I’ve recycled them. They continue to arrive. In my previous post on this, someone mentioned they got Dell to stop after filing a BBB complaint. Here’s where you go to make one online. I just filed one, my first ever BBB complaint (Dell, see what you made me do?). It took less than 5 minutes.

UPDATE: After drafting this post, I re-emailed the Dell execs who said they would help me. One of them wrote back to say that these May catalogs are the last I will get. He says that I spoke with him back in March, they had already missed the May cuttoff because they process the files far in advance. We’ll see what the mailman brings next month.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Gorky says:

    Here we go again, another person that is just too lazy to throw the catalogs away. Is it really that hard? Im sure your time could be much better spent doing something other than complaining

  2. sdf632 says:

    Lol, I used to get those dell catalogs like clockwork as well. Then i moved from the west coast to texas. No more dell catalogs!

    the ironic thing being that I live in austin now, which is all of 15 minutes away from dell hq…

  3. Ben Popken says:

    @Gorky: That’s right, I’m too lazy to throw the catalogs away. And I’m so lazy that I even wrote a post about it. That’s what lazy people do: extra work.

  4. Megatenist says:

    To the OP, don’t hold your breath.You’ll be receiving catalogs from now until doomsday.

    No matter how many times the system is told to remove you from the mailing list,it simply puts you back at the bottom of the “rotation”, and it starts all over.

    Nothing short of moving will remove it.

  5. Buran says:

    @Megatenist: Or filing a complaint of pornographic mail — you do not need to actually show that it is such. It just needs to be offensive to you.

  6. Megatenist says:


    It’s a stupid waste of paper that never seems to end.Ben has every right to be upset.I STILL get catalogs even though I severed my ties w/ them long ago.Although,strangely enough,it’s very sporadic…

  7. Buran says:

    @Gorky: Here we go again, another person that doesn’t understand that that’s not the point. The point is, the company is ignoring the wishes of its customer even when the complaint is taken as far up the food chain as you can go. It’s now time to bring outside authorities into the picture.

  8. frankadelic says:

    @Gorky: Environmental responsibility isn’t laziness.

    I’m trying to opt out of all the catalogs I get as well. Cabelas is the worst and I have yet to successfully opt out. I tend to order a lot of stuff online so what I’m finding is that if I finally get a company to stop sending me catalogs, then I order from them, I end up back on the list. I’ve started writing in the comments section of the orders that I don’t want to be on the catalog list again and it seems to work.

  9. Megatenist says:


    Hmmm..that might work.Maybe if more people did that,Dell-Hell would stop killng trees at an alarming rate.

  10. iEddie says:

    @Buran: And knowing Dell they’ll continue sending him junk – then he can sue them. :D Apple is more successful than these morons and they don’t go out sending retarded catalogs

  11. amyschiff says:

    I get these things because the person living in my apartment before me got them. I never have bought (nor will I ever buy) a dell….

  12. Kos says:

    In the past two days I’ve received 1 mailer, 2 phone calls at work (my daytime number), and now 2 emails about extending the warranty for the Dell computer I bought for my parents year. Warranties are like free money to them b/c its warranty claims are a low % and the cost of replacing an old computer is very low. But c’mon, it is so damn obnoxious.

  13. mmstk101 says:

    at least they aren’t sending you crappy dell computers?

  14. amyschiff says:

    @mmstk101: hah true… that would be WAY worse. They’d probably find a way to give my home built PC a virus without ever being plugged in.

  15. amyschiff says:

    @mmstk101: hehe that would definitely be worse.

  16. amyschiff says:

    ok bizarre… sorry for the double comment and then the 3rd apologetic one

  17. bigdave914 says:

    @mmstk101: At least they have a resale value, a small value but a value none the less.

  18. blackmage439 says:

    @Gorky: You, and everyone who shares your beliefs on this subject, are missing the point entirely. To create and mail these catalogs requires factors more time and energy than throwing them away. You’re looking at:

    1. The trees cut-down to create them, and the wasted energy to transport and process them.
    2. The money to mail them.
    3. The wasted energy to get said mailing to the customer’s door.

    This could all be avoided by simply creating emailed catalogs instead. Or, at the least, making it easy to be removed from this list. The bottom line is, this spammage is directly wasteful and harmful to the environment.

    I’ve been a loyal Dell customer for years. However, I’m sick of receiving this un-solicited mail every fricken month. I will now start continuously removing myself from their mailing list AND marking all catalogs as “RETURN TO SENDER: REFUSED”.

  19. scoosdad says:



    And for certain classes of marketing mail, I believe the post office is under no obligation to actually return said mail to sender. They could very easily just toss it into a dumpster where it would end up in a landfill.

    Better for the environment that you’re defending if the recipient would just recycle it himself and move on, than to take that tactic.

  20. dotcomrade says:

    @blackmage439: I will now start continuously removing myself from their mailing list AND marking all catalogs as “RETURN TO SENDER: REFUSED”.

    Won’t work. The post office will just throw the catalogs in the trash–I don’t believe they even recycle.

    A better suggestion would be to recycle the catalogs you get and join Catalog Choice (it’s free) and sometimes works to get you off these lists.

  21. clayfree says:

    Hey Ben, I just signed you up again for Dell catalogs :)

  22. gomakemeasandwich says:


    This is still better than the bitch crying about having spit on her credit card at Costco. A thousand times better actually.

    BTW, you’re the first person I’ve ever seen that doesn’t care about junk mail.

  23. gomakemeasandwich says:


    LOL or the crappy Indian “tech support” that comes with them.

  24. DomZ says:

    If you really want to make a difference just recycle them and feel “green” about yourself. This is a case of someone having nothing better to do then complain and whine. All this calls for is a few seconds to take the catalog from the mail pile and put it with your recycling.

  25. gomakemeasandwich says:


    Apple is more successful than Dell? Isn’t Dell the second largest computer manufacturer in the world? Let’s get real, if Apple didn’t have the iPod, there would be no Apple.

    Wow, I can’t believe I’m defending Dell.

  26. gomakemeasandwich says:


    Well he could always hack in to the Dell servers and remove his name…given the state of their “tech support,” I doubt they’d notice.

  27. gomakemeasandwich says:


    I actually kind of like getting the Dell catalogs; they remind me of the awesome computers I could build myself for half of the cost.

  28. gomakemeasandwich says:


    No need, Dell beat you to it.

  29. dotcomrade says:


    I too tried to opt-out of Cabela’s catalog mailing list -what a waste of paper as their catalogs are over 100 pages thick-by calling their customer service number and asking that they remove me from their database. When that didn’t work I cut out the address label and mailed it into them with another request. They still kept coming so I signed up for Catalog Choice.

    What happened next really pissed me off-they refused my request for removal!:

    From Catalog Choice:

    Our records indicate that this merchant has elected not to process Catalog Choice members’ opt-out requests. You can call their customer support number at 800-237-8888 to manually request they remove your name from their lists. While there, you might express the value you find in Catalog Choice as a user friendly service, and encourage them to reconsider working with us.

    I called, spoke with a supervisor and “encouraged” them to remove me. Haven’t seen one of their catalogs since.

  30. sysak says:

    Al gore will help you.

  31. scoosdad says:

    @dotcomrade: Ah, Cabela’s. Another retailer that cheerfully asks for your phone number at the checkout line as if they somehow need it in order to take your money.

  32. gomakemeasandwich says:



    I’ll be the poor bastard that actually has that number never sleeps.

  33. gomakemeasandwich says:
  34. bilge says:

    If I was able to get Comcast to stop sending me promotional mail, then stopping junk mail should be within the grasp of any company.

  35. roadapples says:

    I think the point here is that all these online opt out pages are crap, and this goes for many other companies, they just don’t get it. I don’t blame the OP for being pissed, these catalogs are just a complete was of time and resources.

    In Dell’s defense, though, i still love how they will let you buy a computer with XP, and configure it online. Go to hell HP, BestBuy, and Circit City

  36. wickedpixel says:

    File a “prohibitory order against sender” with the post office. It’s meant to stop sexually oriented advertising, but the post office cannot refuse to accept it based on whether THEY think the advertising is sexually explicit or not – that determination can only be made by the recipient of the advertising. so if you think those new dell notebooks are too sexy for you, hit up the USPS website for form 1500. []

  37. facted says:

    As the OP mentioned, I did actually file a BBB claim against Dell and was contacted by a representative from Dell who was very nice and removed me from the catalogs. This was after I had manually tried to remove the name (the prior tenant in my aparment) myself 5 different times over the span of a year. I have not received a catalog since.

  38. sgodun says:

    I just received Dell catalog #74,127,823,323,998,982 a couple of days ago. Fed up with their constant lies (I’ve even gone so far as to have an attorney draft a legal demand), I got on the phone with Dell for nearly an hour and a half to place an order. I questioned everything, keeping the salesperson on the phone with questions about everything from software to video cards to networking to peripherals to you-name-it. (I personally believe the wireless headset was created for exactly this type of task.) My complete system came out to be nearly $12,000. When the sales person started to ask me for billing and shipping information, I told them that I changed my mind and didn’t want the computer any more. After about five seconds of stunned silence and a very uncomfortable laugh from the other end of the line, I said that Dell has harassed me so much with all of these unwanted catalogs that I thought it was my civic duty to waste Dell’s time in return. I bade the sales drone a good day and hung up.

  39. thenotwho says:

    Maybe I’m too late on the bandwagon, but Ben – consider using A friend of mine got me a subscription as a Christmas gift (they have free subscriptions, but you can pay for extra features if you don’t know what to get your friend for Christmas)

    The purpose of the site is to get you off the mailing lists of whatever catalogs you choose – or all DMA (Direct Marketer’s Association) promotional catalogs and other junk

    I noticed a pretty sizeable drop in my junk mail after I started using them. They’re not perfect – and they may not be able to fight Dell, who knows – but it’s a start. As a side note, I did buy a Dell recently and haven’t yet received even a whiff of a catalog. Coincidence? Maybe…

  40. trk182 says:


    Who gets free porn in the mail?

    And why would that be a problem?

  41. Shaggy says:

    @trk182: I, in fact, have gotten free porn at my home, through the mail. It was a catalog for…well…let’s just say adult toys. It was addressed to someone who had lived at my house previously.

    Now, why would that be a problem? I’ve got a five year old who loves mail; sometimes she gets to the mail before I do.

  42. Buran says:

    @trk182: Because you can’t mail porn through the US Mail, there’s a law that allows you to file a complaint against anyone who does mail it to you, and once you do so they get in serious trouble if they do it again.

  43. sburnap42 says:

    That’s not as ridiculous as the situation I was in. We used to get every Pottery Barn catalog twice. (In different names.) Always on the same day. Usually one on top of the other in the mailbox. About ten years ago, I called them up to try to get them to stop one. I wish I’d taped the call. It was apparently utterly impossible.

    We haven’t bought from them in years, though, so we now get them very rarely. But always two.

    I honestly don’t mind the catalogs other than the general waste. My wife does all her Christmas shopping online and we will seriously get 20-30 catalogs every *day* during early December.

  44. scoosdad says:

    @gomakemeasandwich: I just said, “no thanks, here’s my cash.”

    The 555- exchange in most area codes is reserved for phone company use. That’s why whenever someone on a TV show or in a movie gives a phone number or a number is shown, it almost always starts with the 555- exchange. That keeps the show or network out of legal trouble for giving out someone’s real number by accident.

  45. ludwigk says:

    When I worked at an Apple Store in Northshore Mall, Peabody MA, we got Dell catalogs all the time. Dell would send us a catalog each month addressed to Steve Jobs. So, I guess I could say that I used to read his mail, or more accurately, I threw away his mail.

  46. gomakemeasandwich says:


    Good job, you fucked with someone’s living because you got a magazine. You’re so fucking sweet. And by sweet I mean a complete asshole. I hope Dell sends 1000 magazines to your house and just dumps them on your porch.

  47. gomakemeasandwich says:


    I was actually joking, but thanks for the info anyway.

  48. gomakemeasandwich says:


    In addition to what I said earlier, the fact that you had an attorney draft a legal demand over magazines tells me you’re either an 80 year old asshole who hates his life or a mid 30s arrogant stock trading SUV driving douche who thinks he’s the shit. Either way, you suck.

  49. gomakemeasandwich says:


    Holy shit, you learn something new every day on this site.

  50. Rogue Justice says:

    “Dude, your going to hell.”

    I personally think of Dell as the worst computer company around. In my house we have a Toshiba laptop and two custom desktops.

  51. freejazz38 says:

    hahahahahahaha. Toshiba??? hahahahahahaha Another genius speaks. Hey, genius, look up Toshiba laptops class action on google, and get back to us when you finish counting how many they’ve had for faulty mb’s, batteries and power packs. Please, get a clue, THEN post