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Membership Directory

Discussion in 'Member Feedback' started by johnh, Nov 8, 2010.

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    • Member

    bcweir

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    Frank, even MY high school had more cool kids than that, percentagewise.


    1,400 submissions (at one submission per member) out of approximately 70,000 BMW CCA members.

    You do realize that's only two percent of the entire membership? In fact it's probably less, since that 70,000 is likely not the exact figure.

    Frank if high schools did that poorly selling THEIR yearbooks, you can bet it would either be discontinued, or they'd find a new plan for the yearbooks STAT. Two percent wouldn't even pay for the raw material, let alone the labor and printing costs. In fact, somebody would probably get kicked off the yearbook committee.

    With all due respect, it sounds to me like 98 percent of the membership knows something you don't. I'm happy to be on the larger side of those numbers.
    • Member

    CSBM5

    Post Count: 340
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    This is profoundly sad that the club "bought" the semi-scam and allowed this company access to the CCA mailing list of members and now hard sell them on this "directory". No telling where all those addresses will end up now (yeah, I know, they promise not to use them). However, that is a moot point as we all have had to put up with the yellow warning cards that imply that if you don't call to "update your information" your entry might be wrong. Initially they didn't want to clearly state you had to opt in to be included.

    I've been a club member for almost 30 years now, and I don't recall anything like this ever been done in the past. It reminds me of all the charities that hire these firms to raise money for them, and then those firms pocket as much as 85% of the money raised. A local charity was interviewed about this a while back, and the reply was that they raise more money that way even if they only get 15%.

    I don't know, maybe that's a harsh comparison, but count me out too.
    • Member

    CRKrieger

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    Even if Frank is correct (and, for the purposes of argument, I will assume he is), this entire industry is little more than sleazy opportunists. It's kind of like having the 'best' rattlesnake for a bedtime pet.
    • Member

    Brian A

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    Let's be careful not to fault Frank for trying different things. It's his job to make this club as good as it can be, which means cautious experimentation with new ideas not just stewardship of historic traditions. I am sure he too can smell rats, when rats are around.

    Yeah some things may work out better than others, but it's the trying that counts. This club is a big club and needs professionals to manage and administrate the Organization. Us saying, "I tole ya so" is not constructive and not supportive of people who need to stick their neck out a little and try a few risky things.

    Despite the whinging that occurred in this Forum last year regarding Membership fees, I feel impressed by the earnest efforts of The Board to run the Club well. What Bruce Hazard writes in "President's Page" in Roundel is interesting and inspiring. His topics always are about planning "the big picture" for the Club, reaching out, organizing, and planning. I always feel impressed (and in awe, since I sometimes can't even get my shirt on right side forward).

    It is good to doubt, but it is important too to recognize just how lucky we are to already have a good (I did not say "perfect") club administration.
    • Member

    bcweir

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    I don't fault Frank for trying different things.

    If I fault him for anything, it's the impression that I don't feel he's taking membership concerns about this yearbook seriously. My concern is I don't see Frank defending the rest of us with respect to the missteps this company has taken.

    If the BMW CCA is really in charge of this project, then the BMW CCA management, which WE the membership elect, have the last word in the conversation regarding how the yearbook project is handled. On the other hand, if it's been "sold" to this company without any say from the membership, then it's a fair question to ask what this company received in the bargain, especially when it's OUR personal information at stake.

    It's one thing to make a "mea culpa" and admit making a mistake. After all, "to err is human, and to forgive is divine." Yet to continue defending this company amid its questionable and controversial practices, is to say "everything is fine" when everyone else is smelling smoke and failing to evacuate the building. I am having a tough time seeing Frank putting membership concerns ahead of putting out this marketing product. It's much too cozy a relationship with this outside company that doesn't seem accountable at all to the people it is ultimately supposed to be working for -- us, the BMW CCA membership.

    I don't know about you people, but the stance Frank is taking doesn't fill me with confidence that my personal information is being handled appropriately. Especially since I did not give this company any consent to use my personal information for any purpose whatsoever.

    Only 2 percent of the entire membership taking part in this project, Frank? That's abject failure, not resounding success. Please come clean about this.
    • Member

    granthr

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    Whew!! I thought I was the only one! :D Thanks Brian A, good points.
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    It seems that it is being posited that this project was initiated by the board randomly, out of the blue, for no reason whatsoever, or only to make some money for the club, or for Harris, or from a solicitation from Harris.

    Frank explains in his response that this project was initiated due to requests from many club members - is there some reason to begrudge the desire of other club members for such a product? Sounds to me like Frank, and presumably, the board, was simply responding in the best way they knew how to offer something desired by enough members to make the project worth offering by whatever means was feasible.

    I see this as a win-win for the club; the club doesn't have to bear the costs, and offers a unique product that a portion of the membership definitely wants. I doubt there was any pre-supposition about or definition of "success" - whatever books Harris could/can sell, they can sell, and that's all there is to it. If they could sell more, I imagine, great for them, and if they sold one or none, then so be it. Presumably Harris is offering the books profitably at their price points; the club can't afford to do it for free (ie, not charging members), and I imagine if the club thought they could accomplish the project profitably and sell the books for less, they would have. In all likelihood, the books would have had to be priced higher if the club attempted to do this project in-house - how would that be better for anyone, particularly the members who want the books and whose requests initiated the project? It certainly wouldn't be fair, as Frank mentions, for the whole of the membership to bear the cost for a project that only a portion of the membership wants.

    And, if Harris is contractually obligated to protect the membership contact information, why the skepticism over Harris fulfilling their contractual obligations? Harris wouldn't be in business for long if they consistently disregarded their business responsibilities to their clients - who would patronize them?

    As far as I can tell, the main mistake made through this whole process was one of notification and timing. The notifications could have been better and more clearly explained, and the mailing went out before the email blast. As for how Harris conducts their response when one calls in, is there a 'perfect' way to sell something? Seemed to work just fine for some 1400 members... but, that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement - that's up to Harris however, I suspect.

    If there is one thing to take away from it all, it would appear the club perhaps might consider offering the option for members to opt-out from the club providing a member's contact information to anyone for any purpose, including 3rd parties specifically contracted by the club to communicate with members, or offer members products the club feels might be of interest to members. Then, anyone concerned enough about it, can simply opt-out, and fugedabowdit.
    • Member

    bcweir

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    Opt OUT? Are you freaking kidding me?


    "Hello member. This is BMW CCA. We've just sold your personal information to approximately 700 marketing companies to make an extra buck. If you DON'T want to receive unsolicited marketing offers, you're going to have to write each and every one of them individually to tell them you do not want to receive unsolicited marketing offers.

    Have a good one, and thank you for your membership in the BMW CCA."
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    No - not the impractical approach. The CLUB offers an option for you to opt-out. Once. Then, a member is opted-out from anything the club might solicit on a member's behalf from 3rd parties.

    Silly Weirbbit! (Trix are for kids!) ;) :p
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    • Member

    bcweir

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    Spoken like a true telemarketer - the ones who call during dinner or on the cellphone


    The BMW CCA community must be just one great big candy store to you, right?
    • Member

    Satch SoSoCalifortified

    Post Count: 2,187
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    Brian, Brian, Brian. . .

    Now now. Calm down. Take a deep breath. Time to adjust the dosage. . . :)
    • Member

    bcweir

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    Drug free, and proud of it...

    Unfortunately, some people in here could stand to start a pharmaceutical regimen.

    Along with that, regarding my remark, if the horns and pointed tail fit, wear 'em. :)
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    Hardly. I trust the national office to safeguard the membership database and use our contact information responsibly. I don't think I can pinpoint it, but I recall there being an explanation someplace that the BMWCCA reserves the right to allow companies or non-BMWCCA parties to contact members (via access to the membership database contact info), IF the BMWCCA feels the products or services offered are, or may be, of general interest to the membership at-large. Thus, I was neither surprised nor alarmed by a small yellow card arriving in the mailbox offering the book. If there were members out there who did not understand this, I could see how the mailing could come across as a surprise, and with negative connotations, particularly if a member is negatively predisposed towards marketing efforts of any kind.

    The BMWCCA has proven itself in that regard, as over the last 25 years of being a member, I haven't seen the national office release our mailing info for 3rd parties to contact us even occasionally - more like rarely, at most.

    If companies feel the BMWCCA members are their target market, undoubtedly it's both more efficient and less expensive to advertise in the Roundel than to beg the club for access to it's member's address list and assume the expense of printing and mailing anything to club members.

    As countless companies offer various privacy options, I don't see any reason why the BMWCCA can't offer a similar privacy/use-of-contact-info option, whereby members specify whether they want to be contacted by BMWCCA-authorized/endorsed organizations, or not. You check a box on your BMWCCA membership form (or wherever), and voila, don't get the mailing from some organization offering this or that or whatever, once ever, or once a decade, or whenever. Simple, & problem solved - for anyone that's concerned about it. I'm not too concerned about the club allowing telemarketers access to us; Since the board and the national office is not, oh, the Federal Government, I suspect that they are loaded with common sense, dislike telemarketers as much as the rest of BMWCCA members, and are intelligent enough to know that there would be a protest outcry of epic proportions were they to have the members bombarded by phone in some telemarketing campaign. That much ain't rocket science, besides which the Nat'l Office folks and board are waaaay smarter than to allow something like that.

    If I had a product or service that I thought all BMWCCA members would purchase, were I ever so fortunate enough to profitably offer something with that broad of an appeal, even though it _might_ be tempting to look upon such an economic opportunity or those potential purchasers as a so-called 'candy store', I don't think I, or any profit-oriented capitalist who values their customers and potential for repeat business, would so shallowly disregard the potential customer base. :D
    • Member

    Randy Forbes

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    Search for yearbook information...

    Yikes! After doing a quick search, looking to see how to submit some information for the yearbook, I wind up at this thread! Unfortuantely, there were no other results from my search.

    After reading the five plus (5+) pages of whining and consoling, I found absolutely nothing that relates to the submission content.

    To the Executive Director, and MGarrison, thank you for your sensible posts. To most of the rest, you are too paranoid! If anyone wants it, there's waaay more of your personal information on the www that's free for the taking, and a lot easier to access than buying it through this club.

    Why do you think they call them Public Records?

    My search for an example of what's been contributed, or what what the format looks like continues :(
    • Member

    bcweir

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    I suppose that defends on how loose your definition of "personal information" is.

    While not speaking for anyone else but myself, I responded to an insert in an issue of Roundel inviting me to call a toll free number for the purpose of submitting stories about my car for the personal yearbook. Nothing on the insert said anything about being subjected to a moderate to high pressure (level of pressure being defined as how many times I declined) "sale" for the selfsame yearbook. Had the generally agreed upon definition of "full disclosure" been put into practice, the insert would have informed users in advance that calling the toll free number meant also submitting to a sales opportunity for such a year book. I would have agreed to sharing information about my vehicle (it's locked, in a private storage facility, and I have the only key, being 36 miles away from the vehicle), but I would have not made the call if I had known I would be subjected to a moderate to high pressure sale.

    Suppose I put an insert on your car's windshield inviting you to take advantage of a free detailing. You decide to take me up on the offer, and you provide me with your car key for the purpose of having access to the vehicle, purportedly so that I could clean and detail the interior. Instead, without your knowledge and consent, in addition to detailing the vehicle, I TAKE it on a cross country trip and keep it for a month before returning it to you.

    Would the above example be considered "fair use" of your property? You gave me permission to detail the vehicle, not to drive it anywhere, and certainly not to keep it in my possession for a month. The claim that you didn't explicitly "opt out" of giving me permission to basically steal your car for a month would not be a realistic defense in any court of law in this country. By the same taken, I don't consider the defense that I didn't "opt out" first to be a valid excuse to subject me to an unsolicited, moderate to high pressure sales call for the same product I was led to believe I was contributing to.

    I realize that your laissez-faire approach to the concept of "private information" would probably abhor the idea of the extra labor involved in shredding unwanted mail containing your social security number. But at the same time, it's pretty over the top to call those who ARE conscientious of how PRIVATE information is used (I don't know about you, but I still consider MY personal information MY property) paranoid "whiners and consolers."

    While you're at it, since you're so open about how your personal property is used, please leave the address for your unlocked vehicle with the key in the ignition so that the rest of us can give your vehicle a "cross country" detailing. Also leave a valid credit card in the vehicle so we can refuel it at your expense as well. :D
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    • Member

    Randy Forbes

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    I'm more convinced than ever now.

    You should write fiction; the way you transend from a postcard in a magazine to a cross-country trip, via a vehicle detailing, is just fascinating.

    Now if you'll excuse, me, you've wasted far more of my life than I care to give you. I wish there would've been some sort of disclosure at the beginning of this thread...
    • Member

    bcweir

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    Just in case you do decide throw out mail containing your SS#

    How about signing the outside of the envelope too, just to make it easier for the identity thief?

    Somehow I don't think you'd mind.
    • Member

    Randy Forbes

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    It's here...

    ... and I AM PI$$ED!

    Besides buying the damn thing, I purchased a feature page, and spend a lot of time to compose a couple paragraphs to describe my BMW experience.

    Not only was the text completely omitted, the editor(s) did not even include my wife's name.

    What a total F*&%ing waste of time and money.

    Thoroughly disgusted with the way this was handled, including the fact that I submitted my entry to two (2) people that I had wrongly been convinced that they knew what they were doing.

    The way I feel right now, I seriously doubt I will renew my membership.

    Signed (!) Randy Forbes
    • Member

    CSBM5

    Post Count: 340
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    Sorry to hear that happened Randy. A lot of us had "suspicions" about this company as it seemed they were out to "turn the crank and make a buck" off the CCA, and it appears that is what happened. My father (who's been a member since 1972) wanted to have me write up an article about how he "found" BMW back then (Bavaria), etc, but I told him I didn't believe it was worth the time for this "publication" due to the reasons above...sadly...
    • Member

    executive director

    Post Count: 124
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    Its here

    Randy,

    Why don't you give me a calll with the details, or send me an e mail if that's easier (fpatek@bmwcca.org) and I will find out what happened to your feature page. I am sorry that it did not make it into the book and I am sure we can get a refund of your money.

    Frank
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