News From Terre Haute, Indiana

January 24, 2012

LIZ CIANCONE: Catalog this mail as junk

Liz Ciancone
The Tribune-Star

---- — On or about Dec. 1, I picked up the mail to find three Christmas cards along with an unusual spate of catalogs. The cards reminded me that mine were still in the bottom drawer of the desk waiting to be addressed. I appreciated that.

I also appreciated the notice on one catalog saying that if I did not order something pronto, they would send me no more catalogues. Promises! Promises!

In fact, I have NEVER ordered ANYTHING from that catalog or from most of the companies whose catalogs flood our mailbox at all seasons of the year. I’m not sure, but assume they got my name and maybe even my credit rating from one of the catalogs from which I order now and then. I understand companies do that and even sell addresses to one another, a practice offering no recourse to the consumer — namely me.

Why is it that we can ask to be put on a “no-call list” so we won’t be called from supper to be offered a hot deal, but there is no such thing as a “no address-swap list”? If only! I’d be the first to apply.

I hope the folks at the recycle center aren’t suffering back pain after lugging my annual supply of catalogs from one dumping site to another. And, folks, lay in a supply of aspirin because the post-holiday influx of catalogs has begun.

These carry stuff I passed up with the pre-Christmas catalogs except that they no longer offer me free postage. I guess knocking off a few dollars on the season price is giving me enough of a break? However, I once had a friend in the retail business who said that even when offered at half price, the shop made a profit. And, as Mom always said, “Never buy anything on sale for which you wouldn’t be willing to pay full price!”

One catalog with an outlet in Indiana wants me to add sales tax to any order. I understand that, but I don’t understand why I’m asked to compute shipping costs to include the sales tax. Why should I pay for them to mail by 7 percent to Indianapolis? That catalog always goes to the circular file with nary a glance.

Maybe it’s my fault. I dread shopping and prefer to order by phone and so they keep sending them. I am going to keep an eye peeled to see if that show catalog really means it when they say it’s my last. Boy, I hope so!