Dear Heloise: This is to add to the suggestion from the woman who called the catalog companies each year to stop catalogs from being sent.
Ask the customer-service representative if he or she handles calls from any other catalog companies -- the one that I work for owns seven. I can put in a request to stop all of them if that's what the customer wants.
It is helpful if you have the mailing label available. It has your customer number on it, and that way we can be sure that your name and address are removed from our mailings. If we enter just your name and address, it might not stop the catalogs, unless we happen to enter it the same way that the label is printed.
I always tell my callers that they will receive up to three more catalogs -- frequently, the catalogs are already printed and addressed and are just waiting to be delivered. Please be understanding when one of us tells you this -- I've had people get irate and rude. It's beyond our control.
Remember, if you order something, it's going to generate mailings. That's just a fact of life. Our company's mailings are software-driven. The computer keeps track of whether or not you make a purchase, how often and from which catalog. If you don't order anything else, the catalogs will come less frequently and will eventually stop. Sometimes one of the "sister" catalogs will be sent to you, too.
As a side note, we've been receiving a pool-supply catalog for 10 years because we entered a contest to win a pool. We've never bought a single thing, and I've called to have it stopped. Go figure! Della Hoke-Uvick, Camp Hill, Pa.
Della, it's nice to know I'm not alone -- we've been receiving a catalog for more than 15 years, and we, too, never bought a thing! As you say, go figure! Heloise
Dear Heloise: For years, I had trouble saving receipts for income-tax deductibles until a kind lady at my bank showed me the perfect solution: get two different credit cards. I use one to charge items that are deductible -- doctor's fees, etc. I use the other card for everything else. I save the statements.
At the end of the year, I have proof of paying for the deductibles, because the credit-card statement does it for me. Granny in California
And here's another tax helper from Alice Lyons in Takoma Park, Md.: "I write and subtract all debit purchases in my checkbook with a red pen. Donations are written in black ink, and all other checks are written in blue. This makes tax preparation easy." Heloise
Dear Heloise: We order our medicine -- 90-day supply at a time -- over the phone. I mark an "x" on the bottom of the bottle to show I've called it in, and write the confirmation number on the label. This keeps me from wondering if I've ordered the refill or not. C.D. in Texas
XSend a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to (210) HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com.
King Features Syndicate