BBB Complaint Gets Dell To Pledge To Stop Sending Catalogs

Two Fridays ago I filed a Better Business Bureau complaint against Dell because they ignored my repeated cries to please remove me from their catalog mailing list, and today I got this following message from Dell’s corporate office (listen here). The nice lady says she located my address and is removing it from their system. This is redundant as some other Dell execs say they’ve finally got my address removed but it does show that filing a BBB complaint does work for getting Dell to promise to stop sending you junk mail (we’ll have to see what the mail man brings, or rather, doesn’t bring, to know whether it worked completely). Here’s where you can go to easily file one online.

(Photo: What Rhymes With Nicole)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Truvill says:

    I wish we had something tradeable that we can bet on here, because I really think we haven’t heard the last of this.

  2. snoop-blog says:

    Why do people let unwanted junk mail get to them so bad? I often wonder how do these types handle real bad situations, or do they just make mountains out of mole hills. Cc offers are one thing, due to identity theft, but even still there is no such thing as a do not mail list. Throw it away or better yet, recycle it and be done with it. I hope the next pc the op buys ends up being a dell just because I love irony.

  3. ConsumptionJunkie says:

    I still say “Puh-leeze,” the BBB is garbage. Broken link.

  4. ezacharyk says:

    @snoop-blog: It is not the fact that he is whining about it. It is the fact that he is having to go through such a head ache to cancel something completely simple. How hard should it be to get off a mailing list? It should be as simple as a click on a web site or a 1 minute phone call. Not dozens of phone calls and a complaint to the BBB.

  5. m1k3g says:

    Unwanted junk mail is as bad as spam, in my opinion. Bastards should not be allowed to blanket mail everyone within a certain city, zip code, etc. The post office seems to allow (even encourage) this behavior and it’s a bitch to get off many of them. Why there is not a ‘do not mail’ list is beyond comprehension. Ever come back from vacation to a yard full of phone directories, yellow pages, ‘free’ newspapers, crap taped to your front door, stuck under your doormat, etc? Nothing says ‘Hey burglars, no one’s home – please come and rob us” better than that! It should not be allowed.

  6. edosan says:

    @snoop-blog: Do you know what’s even better that “recycling your junk mail?”

    It’s “not getting the junk mail in the first place.”

    Most of the junk I get in the mailbox goes in either the shredder or the recycling bin, but it seems like a more efficient use of resources to not get the mail in the first place.

  7. snoop-blog says:

    @edosan: I agree that it’s wasteful, but this isn’t They have a right to mail flyers to anyone who has an address. I’m not saying it wouldn’t be nice to not get junk mail, I’m saying it’s such a waste of time to get all bent out of shape over it. I agree with the op in the fact that junkmail like spam is bullshit. However Snoop-blog doesn’t make the laws so don’t gang up on me because I defended Dell’s right to mail to whoever they want to.

  8. darkrose says:

    I let my “junk mail” pile up until Friday night and then toss it in the recycling bin or the shredder depending on what the content of the junk mail actually is. It takes all of 20 seconds. Yes, it’s wasteful to send it in the first place..But junk mail is what keeps the post office from charging me $3.00 a pop to mail my christmas cards (ZOMG MORE DED TREEZ!!!!)

    It doesn’t bother me to get junk mail in any way. It doesn’t bother me to walk the 15 paces from my kitchen to the recycle bin in the garage. I mean, really…

    I get about 400 spam messages a day to my personal accounts and also control a main corporate server that gets about 20,000 spams a day (I have to flush the quarantine queues). I just press delete and go about my life.

  9. marsneedsrabbits says:


    I have to sort it. That takes time. My time.

    If it has a credit card application or that sort of thing, I have to shred it and hope it’s brother won’t be accidentally dropped or mis-filed when it goes in the tiny slot for mail. It happens. And sometimes identity theft happens after that. That sucks.

    We signed up for the “no credit card offers thing”, and it seems to apply to everyone but Capitol One and Citibank. They send stuff endlessly, despite specific requests they they not after the other thing didn’t dissuade them. They suck.

    If it is just junk mail we didn’t ask for, catalogs or whatever… well, we didn’t ask for it. We won’t order from those companies because it’s a matter of principle, but I still have to deal with it. I still have to remove the cover and shred it if it has my name on it. A lot of those things are coded and when you see one that says “pre-approved” or “no payment till next year”, they can be used by dishonest people to open accounts in your name. That sucks, too.

    If it takes just a minute a day, that’s an hour every two months. I didn’t give those companies permission to take my hour, and am not being compensated for my time.

    But it takes more than a minute a day.

    Which is why I hate junk mail so very much. It sucks time right out of your day and you get nothing in return.

  10. snoop-blog says:

    @darkrose: Thank you. I was going to remind everybody that those junk mailers help keep postage low, but I was pretty sure I would just be preaching to the wrong crowd.

  11. mk says:

    you know, i think i’d rather pay a little more to send out my christmas cards and the occasional thank you card then to get the amount of junk mail that gets sent to me.

  12. edosan says:

    If junk mail subsidizes my postage, why am I both getting more junk mail and postage rate increases? Can I opt for more junk mail if it makes my postage go down?

  13. snoop-blog says:

    I can truely say that eliminating junk mail, would not make my life any better or happier. If some of you think eliminating junk would make you happier, wow, just wow. This to me should be like one of those water on a duck’s back kind of thing. I think if junk mail gets you down, or mad, it might not be the mail. Just sayin.

  14. DomZ says:

    Ben I pose a scenario for you: Say it takes you approximately 10.583 seconds to take the Dell catalog from your mail pile and put it into recycling. Let’s be cruel to Dell and say they send you maybe 2 catalogs a month and maybe an extra around the holidays. That’s 25 catalogs. Now take 25 x 10.583 seconds and you come up with the nice round figure of 264.575 seconds (or 4.409583333333 minutes, repeating of course). You have wasted easily more than 20 times that on the phone with Dell customer service/execs and filing BBB complaints. You really should read Lifehacker sometime.

  15. Munsoned says:

    Ben, I feel that this issue has taken you over emotionally. Getting off of a mailing list should not be a BBB issue. If they never take you off the list, it proves that they are incompetent if nothing else. However, a BBB complaint over it seems excessive. If it’s an issue of fraud, call the state AG. Other than that, I’m not sure it’s worth the stress. Let it go, man. Let it go.

  16. Munsoned says:

    @DomZ: And, This.

  17. Munsoned says:

    @snoop-blog: And This, too…

  18. wickedpixel says:

    Junk mail I can handle, it’s the endless volume of mail addressed to the former tenants of my house that’s driving me up wall. I have to RTS at least 2 pieces of mail every day and the note left to the postal carrier directing him/her to only leave mail with my name on it gets completely ignored. Not forwarding your mail (or changing your address with you bank and CC companies immediately) when you move is just plain irresponsible.

  19. DH405 says:

    Dell gives out some pretty sweet coupon codes in those catalogs. I say keep ’em coming.

  20. A BBB report over junkmail ? OMG

    Yes junk mail is serious, it is a waste of our personal resources as well as the resources of the planet, but is junk mail worthy of a BBB report?

    I think not.

    In fact I think it is time for the OP to grow-up.

    Everybody needs the BBB to prod corporations for serious, life-threatening, harmful to society type actions. Every minor “I can’t have my way type report” to the BBB only serves to minimize the impact of serious complaints.

  21. Ben Popken says:

    @Corporate-Shill: You couldn’t be more wrong. Get a grip, it’s the BBB, not 911.

  22. Yay for Ben! I for one salute your battle to defeat the junk mail demons, as I have been there myself. All the future trees that were saved thank you.

  23. Ever come back from vacation to a yard full of phone directories, yellow pages, ‘free’ newspapers, crap taped to your front door, stuck under your doormat, etc?

    No, because I actually took the 30 seconds to visit the USPS website and put a hold on my mail service until after I returned from said vacation.

  24. @Its The Beer Talking: OK, it just occurred to me that the previous commenter was likely talking about stuff not delivered via USPS. My bad.

    I only really see the free newspapers & restaurant menus once in a blue moon though…depends on where you live.

  25. snoop-blog says:

    Hmmm, I can now clearly see that the op was ben, *removes foot from mouth*, carry on ben, carry on.

  26. SejalOceanid says:

    Okay, so how do we stop getting the Yellow Pages delivered? I can’t
    remember the last time I *didn’t* use an online search to get a
    business phone number, and yet they keep leaving me their books…

  27. DomZ says:

    @Ben Popken: Its not 911 but you’re pushing back legitimate serious claims because you can’t just recycle the catalogs and call Dell wasteful and unorganized.

  28. howie_in_az says:

    @Corporate-Shill: No means no, whether its in regards to surprise sex or junk mail catalogs.

  29. XTC46 says:

    @howie_in_az: surprise sex… nice

  30. Parting says:

    I just cross the address, write ”wrong address” and throw it back in a postbox. Every time it worked like a charm and mail spam stopped.

    It works only if you don’t want to deal with the company :)

  31. @DomZ: What’s your address? I’d like to come over and dump my trash on your lawn. It’s cool, right? You can just recycle it and call me an inconsiderate human.

  32. @howie_in_az:

    Yes. No means No. And there ain’t now way I am going to buy from your company should mean just that.

    But a BBB complaint?

    A little overkill, don’t ya think?

    I personally have filed a couple BBB complaints.

    Complaint #1 …. mechanic was observed spraying oil on the rear struts of my car in hopes of overcharging me for repair services.

    Complaint #2 …. I paid for a fence to be installed. I purchased the supplies and the guy started the job. It was Friday and “payday” for the guy’s employees so I paid for the portion of the job that had been completed to that point. The guy and his employees never returned to finished the job. Since I had only paid for services rendered up to that point the DA would not take the case.

    I don’t want to get into a pissing contest over the validity of complaints, but a complaint over “junk mail” just does not seem very important, especially against the number of complaints the BBB receives against Dell every year. Think I am joking about Dell’s BBB complaints? Try the Austin TX BBB.

  33. P_Smith says:

    Dell shifted themselves on this one because the catalogues were costing them money.

    Does anyone naively believe that if it were costing the customer money, Dell or the Bunch of Bumbling Buffoons (BBB) would have done anything about it?

  34. MeMikeYouNot says:

    I’ve been getting Dell Catalogs since God was a child and can’t think of the last time I owned a Dell–early 2000 probably, but when they come, I glance through them and then toss. What a big deal over nothing.
    I’m more upset by the Christian church flyers and invites I get–haven’t been a church-goer for many years and certainly never in the city where I am now. I wonder how they got my name and address; these aren’t just addressed to Resident…again, more garbage.

  35. Chaosium says:

    The BBB doesn’t care about companies of that you’re not currently a customer of.

    If there’s no transaction, there’s absolutely nothing they’re going to do for you.

  36. dantsea says:

    @Corporate-Shill: Everybody needs the BBB to prod corporations for serious, life-threatening, harmful to society type actions.

    Or, you could piss into the wind. With the right updraft you’d feel a bit of splash on your face, thus confirming you did something that was actually useful.

  37. Ben Popken says:

    Do we think the BBB assigned a special case worker to probe the scope and depth my complaint and weigh its impact across the fabric of human history? More like they read my six-sentence description, stamped it with, “not crazy,” and forwarded it to Dell along with the latest batch of consumer complaints.

  38. nightshade74 says:

    A better / more useful approach might have been this:

  39. blackmage439 says:

    Way back in 2003, some lying Dell rep got my family in trouble with some kind of payment. I can’t remember the details now, but to sum up, we were told we didn’t have to pay this charge. Dell fired back immediately and was threatening Collections.

    We filed a claim with the BBB, and fired off a snail-mail letter to at least one executive. We never received a response from the executive, but within weeks, our bill was dropped, and an apology issued.

    Dell may be deaf to the EECB, but the BBB still holds sway.