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Why I probably won't renew my 10 year BMW CCA membership

Discussion in 'Member Feedback' started by sunnyandrich, Jun 7, 2013.

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    sunnyandrich

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    Hi, felt I would take a minute and post some feedback as to why I am contemplating not renewing my BMW CCA membership when it comes up.

    I've had five bimmers since 2003; one E46 ZHP, X3, E91, E90 and now an M car. Love driving the cars.

    First, I generally like Roundel, except: This months cover (June 13) with an ugly purple MINI is a worryingly familiar trend I seem to be seeing. I joined BMW CCA, NOT MINI CCA. I don't want to read about MINIs. I like the Tech Talk column, and I usually read Satch Carlson's end piece. That is about it, before it goes in the trash after 10 minutes.

    I received about $50 in BMW CCA 'reward bucks' coupons in the mail a few months ago. Unfortunately, there does not appear to be any way to use these physical coupons online, without making a phone call/some kind of credit back. It was a nice gesture, but the mechanics are such that I will miss the opportunity to order / wear some club merchandise with these 'bucks'.

    I have gone to my local chapter web site a few times, but there is not a lot of social activity or events posted there. I was hoping to attend more club meets, to get to know my fellow members, but I haven't seen a lot going on that I was available to attend.

    This online forum on the CCA is a good idea, but the fact you have to log on EVERY TIME you want to check for new posts makes it hard to use. So hard that I rarely use it. Instead, I use other vBulletin-based or FaceBook social media instead. Our local special interest BMW club FaceBook page has 250+ members. There are at least 50 posts on our club FB page for every post I see on the local CCA chapter FB page. We meet at least monthly in our local area, and have a very diverse group of members. The whole concept of a 'website' that is not readily accessible by a smartphone or iPad, by apps like TapaTalk, In my humble opinion, just won't get used in this day and age.

    I don't mean to insult anyone, and I think the National Office tries very hard to keep the club going.

    I just wanted to share my perspective. Thanks.
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    MGarrison

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    I think many might agree that the online presence, ease-of-use, utilization, and integration with club events, regions, and chapters may leave much to be desired.

    Your opinions and feelings are perfectly valid, but objectively, it sounds like you're taking the glass-half-empty perspective. For me, at least, logging on ain't all that much of a hassle - click my bookmarked link, click log-in, the browser automatically fills in the login info, click log-in again, wait a couple of seconds, I'm logged in and on the forums page as per my bookmark, click "what's new", and all new posts are showing.

    Is that as easy as the old forums, or most v-bulletin forums, where one click brings up recent posts? Nope, definitely not... but it ain't oh-my-God-I'm-going-to-die-because-this-is-impossibly-patience-stretching, either. It's just a few freakin' mouse clicks and a little bit of patience and time.

    Would I prefer it to be less mouse clicks and faster? Sure, no doubt - but, for me, it's not worth allowing myself to get annoyed by a reality I can't change or do anything about, and it sure ain't anything that's going to make me pitch my membership card out the window and stomp on it. If there's something I take exception to with these forums and website in particular, it's the process by which they were implemented, which was solely top-down. I appreciate that the the club has the forums at all, and that Steven S. single-handedly preserved the content of the prior forums here, but as best I can tell from all the reasons relayed, the forum & website re-do was done to resolve issues that were largely problems the head-office personnel were experiencing, and seen or experienced far less by users. So, I come away with the impression the new site makes life a whole lot less hassle for it's administrators, and imposes less ease-of-use onto forum participants than what we had prior. Still, none of that is a crisis in the overall scheme of things, it just means the forums comparatively aren't quite as convenient to immediate access as others. It is a damn nuisance to be automatically logged out without any warning, though; ironic too - several hoops to jump through to log-in, but log-off is an automatic time-out. That's something I'd like to see changed, but still, it's not going to drive me away either.

    Socially, the club can tend to be what you make of it - not enough events in your area? Why not get involved and make something happen? Not enough chapter members? Recruit some. If there's marque enthusiasm in a local presence, why not be a club evangelist instead of a critic? Schedule conflicts? Speak up - if you don't let people know something doesn't work, then you can't expect any accommodation from event organizers. Doubtful of club benefits? Who else has dealers offering discounts on parts and in some instances, labor? Anybody else we know of having BMW offer a rebate program on new and CPO vehicles for their members? Obviously, there are many other club benefits to take advantage of beyond those two examples. Don't like the Roundel? Write the editor, or write-up the kind or article you'd like to see and send it in.

    As for making a brief phone call to use the bucks and having a Mini on the Roundel cover, I just don't see what the big deal is for either. There have been somewhere around 528 Roundel covers, rarely with anything not BMW-related, I suspect the odds are high you'll see BMW's featured prominently on the cover again - don't panic. Not sure why making a phone call to the national office might be a problem; however, you make a valid point that, at least on the surface, there doesn't appear to be any reason why the bucks usage can't be integrated into webstore/site functionality. In the meantime, I don't see why you wouldn't get any club merchandise you want, regardless of whether the bonus of some 'CCA bucks discount exists or not, or that it might take a phone call to take advantage of the discount.

    I agree that the club organizationally at the national and local levels might also improve usage and integration of technology, social media, etc. - but, even as large as the club is, there are still limited resources. It is no doubt time-consuming and expensive to implement making the club accessible to every possible app, phone, tablet, or piece of specialized 'net-accessible hardware and technology out there that folks might be using. Not needing to be connected at-the-hip to the internet and web world every second of the day, and being perfectly content with my dumb-phone, accessing the club website and forums from remote locations at all hours of the day or night isn't much of a priority for me, but it's perfectly logical that creating ease-of-access in all fashions ultimately would be beneficial for members and the club.

    You make it sound as if the club was struggling to just barely survive - I don't think that's the case, but I do think the office staff is dedicated and works hard on the club's behalf. I've noticed darn few line-item reports of the head office running conferences costing $45 million with hyper-expensive customized Star Trek & Gilligan's Island event-launching videos featuring National Office staff as the characters, so - compared to the IRS, the National Office must be downright destitute. But, that's another topic entirely...

    Anyway - if you opt not to renew, I tend to think it's your loss, but obviously you're the only one to make the decision. My only recommendation can be to try to consider things objectively. For instance - what percentage is the $48/yr dues of what you pay in car insurance per year? $48 barely gets two people two cheap steaks, salads, and some iced tea at Outback these days... just sayin'...
    wellardmac and steven s like this.
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    wellardmac Ninja World Traveler

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    Agreed. You get out what you put into an organization.

    My experience is that I've met lots of members that are as enthusiastic about cars as I am and that always results in a great conversation. Worst case when I show up to and event is that I see cars that I love and get a few photos, but the time is never wasted.

    My interactions with the national staff have been outstanding and they know how to organize a good event - it helps that they love our cars as much as we do.

    These items alone make membership worthwhile, but when you add in the cost of discounted BMW merchandise and parts it becomes a bargain.
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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    I thought the Mini Paceman was more like rootbeer brown than purple, but whatever...
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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    And as for a Mi... a Mi... a MINI on the cover of Roundel, we've discussed this shocking development in another forum, for those who somehow missed the last time we had a Mini on the cover.
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    steven s

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    If you would like I can split this thread. Doesn't have anything to do with the original post.
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    Teemo Panda

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    I would agree to some points of OP especially in the forums,
    I noticed that every chapter has their own forum, but my concern is that it is very like separate like, some looks really dated, in short everything is messy, especially memorizing each chapters website.

    Why not just integrate all the chapters forum into this main site?
    That way everything is organized and connected,it would minimize the forum cost for each chapter, we have to get updated to the times that social networking dominating.

    And one thing, isn't the core purpose of the BMW CCA is to connect people around the nation or worldwide?
    CSBM5 likes this.
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    steven s

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    OK, this is going on a couple different tangents so I'll close it.
    But before I do, chapters choose what they want to do.
    Some have fairly active forums and want to be independent.
    Other chapters don't have the resources to host a forum so it's an option here.

    Chapter websites are a whole other subject.
    There are some really, really nice ones and others haven't been updated in several years.
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