By Barbara Wood | Special to the Almanac
In light of complaints about receiving 17-pound bundles of Restoration Hardware catalogs, people have been asking how they can stop receiving unwanted mail and phone calls.
Several websites offer to help people remove their names and addresses from mailing lists and the Federal Trade Commission has hints on its website.
In addition, the FTC website tells how to stop receiving pre-approved credit card and insurance offers, and telemarketing calls.
To reduce junk mail, the FTC recommends using the Direct Marketing Association's Mail Preference Service, which puts the names of up to five people in your household and five versions of your address on a delete list sent to direct-mail marketers and organizations for five years.
Register for this service either online, or by mail (with a $1 fee) at: DMAchoice, Direct Marketing Association, P.O. Box 643, Carmel, NY 10512 . The website also allows people to opt out of unsolicited marketing emails.
Once registered, the service allows users to opt out of such mailings as catalogs, as well as offers of magazines, credit cards and miscellaneous other items.
A Woodside resident who used the service says, "My experience was that 10 minutes doing this reduced my junk mail load by about 70 percent." He recommends the catalogchoice.org website to opt out individually from those mailings that the DMA service misses.