Feb 122010
 

Yesterday I ordered the rally T-shirts. So I can check one more thing off of our To Do list. In the past, we tried having several different colors of rally shirts, but we quickly learned what a can of worms that was. No matter what color we had, somebody wanted the same size in the color that we had just run out of. So we ended up buying way too many shirts, and were stuck with a surplus of them.

Since then, we sell shirts the same way Henry Ford sold his Model T – you can have any color you want, as long as it’s black. Well, actually, as long as it’s red, which is the color for this rally’s shirts. Please send me an e-mail at [email protected] to reserve your shirts, because they go fast. You can pick your shirts up at the rally and pay for them then. Cost is $15 per shirt for regular sizes, and 2X and larger sizes are $2 more per shirt.

We now have almost 175 RVs registered for the rally, and more coming in every day. Shoppers will be happy to learn that we have 32 vendors so far, and many of them have reserved multiple booth spaces.

Grapefruit tree 2 webWhile we have had a chilly stay here in Apache Junction, Arizona, I guess I really can’t complain, compared to what folks are putting up with back east. I mean, if you had a choice, which would you rather do, shovel snow, or walk out your RV’s door and pick a fresh grapefruit right off the tree at your site for breakfast? Unfortunately, the cholesterol medication I take isn’t compatible with grapefruit, so all I can do is look at them and drool, but Miss Terry has been enjoying them ever since we got here.

A couple of days ago, I wrote about our commitment to protecting our readers’ privacy and that we never sell or rent our mailing list. We hate junk mail as much as you do. We dropped our Good Sam Club membership after one year, because they insisted on deluging us with junk mail from the day we joined. Solicitations to renew, to buy insurance, to buy campground directories, and on and on. To us, the benefits of the membership did not outweigh the hassles of their junk mail.

A few weeks ago, when we bought our new Winegard automatic rooftop TV dish, I let them talk me into joining Camping World’s Presidents Club for a discount on the dish. When I did, I specifically told them that I did not want to be put on their mailing list or to receive any junk mail. But guess what I got in our last mail forwarding? Yes indeed, a Camping World advertising catalogue! That’s the reason I was not a member of Presidents Club for the past 9 years, and why I won’t be again. What ever happened to respecting the customer’s wishes?

Yesterday we got our annual Thousand Trails renewal, and enclosed was a notice of their privacy policy, which said in part: “We are permitted by law to share all the information we collect…. (1) with companies that perform marketing services on our behalf, and (2) with other financial institutions with whom we have joint marketing arrangements. For example, we may share information with financial service providers with whom we offer products, such as insurance. We may also share all the information we collect, as described above, with other nonaffiliated third parties…. such as insurance companies for whom one or more of our affiliates acts as agents, and non-financial companies, such as firms that offer products and services of interest to our members, such as recreational vehicles and accessories, and products and services related to outdoor camping.”

The privacy policy went on to say that if we did not want them to share our personal information with anyone else, we had to either call or visit the Thousand Trails website to specifically tell them not to, and then “We will implement your request within a reasonable time after we receive it.”

I logged into the website and filled out the form instructing them not to divulge our personal information, but that really ticks me off. Why should I have to tell them to respect my privacy? I guess corporate greed has replaced customer service in every business there is.

Thought For The Day – It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.

Register Now For Our Arizona Gypsy Gathering Rally

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  19 Responses to “Shirts, Grapefruit, And Privacy”

  1. Nick, I agree that there is way too much junk mail out there and we droped Good Sam for similar reasons. Actually, if Good Sam and Afinity seperated and Good Sam were permitted to become an RV club again instead of a profit center we might be interested again. Regardless, one of the tactics to get our name off junk mail lists is to print “Return to Sender” on the envelop and throw it back into the mail box. The return mail requires the sender to pay twice. If everyone did that the junk mail would stop. You might want to consider promoting such an activity. When the junk mail is costing the business more than the profit center can afford, the junk mail will stop. Instead of throwing the junk mail in the garbage, return it to the sender. Sounds like fodder for Bad Nick.

  2. I can throw it away as fast as they can mail it to me.

    It’s just advertising, and we are all inundated with that. I don’t see the problem, really.

  3. I can understand your aggravation as a full timer with junk mail. However, without junk mail such as the Camping World catalogs, how do full timer daydreamers like me decide what is “needed” to be added to my RV 🙂

  4. I suspect that by the time a “reasonable time” has passed, they have already shared your info with who knows how many entities.

    I’ve heard so much about Good Sam and the amount of email. Maybe we all should begin giving GS’s address on EVERYTHING. Let them sort out the chaff. Isn’t turnabout fair play?

  5. I had a similar experience recently with Verizon and Radio Shack. I needed a new battry for my phone so I went to Verizon but they said a replacement would be 60.00 and recommended I buy a new phone instead (contract etc.) I told them I wasn’t interested in a new phone so I went next door to Radio Shack. They ordered a replacement battery for me for 16.00 (free shipping). I was happy. Later that day I got a text message fom Verizon telling me to “look forward to great deal” on a future text and have been getting them, 1 a day, ever since. Radio Shack was no better. They asked for my e-mail address so they could send me tracking info on my battery but instead I got several promo e-mails and never did get one regarding my battery. I went back to Radio Shack and they removed me from the mailing list immediately and, so far, I haven’t gotten any more ads from them. Unfortunately when I went back to Verizon the guy just tried to sell me a phone again and said they can’t do anything to stop the text messages even though they didn’t start until I spoke with him the first time. I guess I’ll have to take my service somewhere else to make it stop. I think the standard should be “your information is kept private unless you request that we share it”,

  6. We have Grapefruit, Orange and Lemon Trees here and I absolutely agree, the Grapefruit are the best I’ve ever tasted. It’s better than candy!

  7. We also dropped Good sam for the same reason. Since our mail forwarding service is our daughter and son in law, we do not actually get any mail, just e-mailed items that we actually need to look at, which is very few, we canceled all subscriptions for Magazines, etc. we pick up FMCA magazines when we visit them, but really get all info we need online. When asked for phone numbers, zip code etc at stores, we simply tell them that they do not need that info.

  8. I tell them ” I’m sorry but I can’t give out that information” and watch their whole world stop. The young cashier just stands their with a blank stare! I just stare back at her. M&C

  9. I’ve been trying unsuccessfully for several years to get off of Good Sam’s mailing list. How do you do it? Don is a lifetime member, and he even gets solicitation mail from them, addressed to different versions of his name.

  10. Hi Nick……had the same problem with Good Sam when we first jointed 6 years ago, but went on line and completed the form to stop the junk mail. Man, it was overwehelming! I think we received mail from them 3-4 times a week….ugh! It took about 3 months, but it stopped, and now all I get is their monthly magazine, which I enjoy reading. I agree whole heartedly that it’s absurd we should have to “opt out”, but at least it does work! On the otherhand, when I joined FMCA I indicated up front I did not want junk mail, and the only thing I get now is their magazine, and annual membership invoice…slick.

  11. It also irritates me when businesses send us birthday and Chrismas cards. Because we have our mail collected at our service then sent to us in priority mail packages, we have to pay postage to get their greetings. I mean, it’s not like most of those businesses even have a clue who we are. Fortunately for us, we don’t get the Good Sam mailings; I think because we didn’t pay to have junk mail forwarded. We do get heavy campground directories we’d rather not get; we prefer to look them up online.

  12. Our South Dakota mail forwarding service, Your Best Address, asks what mail is to be forwarded. All third class mail is shredded so we only get the important stuff. Every once in awhile we get a text message or phone call from Verizon but nothing that we consider a “nuisance”. When we had a house, we did use the postage paid envelopes to return the unsolicited advertising to sender. Once we got on a local business list and, after receiving several fundraising requests for $150 a pop, I wrote “We are no longer living at this address. Please remove me from your mailing list! Pretend I’m dead!” That was The End!

  13. Nick The latest that I heard about grapefruit and your medication is that as long as you don’t take the medication and eat the grapefruit in a 2 hour period that it is OK to eat grapefruit. The doctors probably haven’t figured out the new information yet. Ron

  14. Since I am Lifetime member of good sam club I used to get the junk like you. I even called them and was told it was easier to send the mail to me then to take me off the list, so I started saving up their junk mail and over stuffing it in one of their return envelopes and sending it back to them postage due. I waited about two weeks and called them back to tell them I was sorry but it was easier to do that then to throw away their ads. It took about a month and in the last two years I have not received one piece of mail from them.

  15. As full-timers we do not want this junk mail either. When we need to put an address on something we know will generate junk mail we use a son’s address. He has a good garbage service and we do not have it go through our mail service. If someone picks up our mail service address we send them a change-of-address card. This works better than asking for them to stop sending “stuff”.

  16. The whole privacy thing is a legal quagmire. In Canada a company or individual can be prosecuted if they don’t fully disclose what they are going to do with your information but not for actually doing it. In other words they can do whatever they want with your information as long as they tell you about it but they can’t do anything without telling you. Which leads to some really bizarre disclosure statements. If I sell something to you and you are sending me a cheque to pay for it, legally I have to tell you that I am going to write your name down in case you don’t get around to paying me.

  17. Just for your information, those of you who put return to sender on junk mail, if the mail is standard mail, the P.O. ends up throwing it away. It does not get returned to the sender, unless it has address correction on it. It does cost them if you put the mail in one of their return envelopes and mail it to them. Whether they pay any attention to who it is from, i don’t know. Linda

  18. We also had too much junk mail from Good Sam’s Club. I called them and explained I had to pay for all the mail to be forwarded and I only wanted the Highways magazine. Now we only get the magazine and notice when our membership is up for renewal. Was no problem at all.

  19. Nick , Check with your doctor about the amount of grapefruit and your meds . I found out that most meds have a problem with grapefruit if it is consumed at the 1 quart per day level . My doctor allows me to have grape fruit in “moderation” . None of my meds have had any change or difference ( heart , cholesterol , blood pressure, rejection ) and I do like my grapefruit and juice !

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