Before I start this review, the best way to get off a mailing list is to contact them directly. Email them, call them, harass them like they harass you. For this project that was just not an option. It would have been hundreds of emails and phone calls. Even with cut and paste my entire day would have been sending emails, and keeping track of responses. That is why I used both Catalog Choice and PaperKarma.
Also they count requests differently, Catalog Choice counts each request individually and PaperKarma lumps all the requests to each group together. So if I get 10 mailpieces from Citizens United, Catalog Choice would have 10 requests and PaperKarma would have 1 request. I am going to use the PaperKarma standard for this review to 1) lesson confusion and 2) so I don’t inflate the stats. The numbers are ridiculous enough without counting each piece of mail individually.
They essentially do the same thing: you enter junk mail into their system, they try to contact the junk mailer and ask for the junk mail to stop. The key to both of them is to maximize the system. Enter every piece you can. Leave a paper trail of what you have received. Use all the tools they give you. Don’t be passive about the process.
It works best on well established legitimate charities. It does not work as well on 501c(4)s, candidates running for office, and scams. They need to update their database more often. One great feature is: if you are still getting junk mail 90 days after your first request, you can file a complaint with Catalog Choice and they will pass it on to the FTC.
I used Catalog Choice from April to the end of July. I have 173 requests for individual groups on that service. I was imputing fewer and, fewer mailpieces because they either weren’t in the system or I would input a mailpiece but it wouldn’t go through to the company.