Jan 302011

My mother always thought I was a pretty good kid, my father constantly told me I could accomplish anything I wanted to in life if I worked hard enough to make it happen, and I had a dog once that was sure I was the greatest creature that ever lived. But in spite of all that, I can’t walk on water, even though some folks seem to think so.

A while back, a reader forwarded me an unsolicited e-mail that they had received from an outfit called the Camper$ $aver Club inviting them to join their organization. One look at the e-mail told me this was a scam. The exclusive “club” was open to only 1,000 RVers who, for a one time $450 enrollment fee, could camp at any campground in the country for 7 days, once a year, for free. ANY campground! ANY CAMPGROUND!

This had scam written all over it. The e-mail was poorly composed, contained misspelled words, and had terrible punctuation. It was obviously not written by anybody with even basic communication skills. The return address was a generic Hot Mail address, not a business e-mail address.

And the offer itself was ridiculous. If I own a campground why would I honor it? What would be in it for me, to give away 7 free nights of camping?  The e-mail said it was because of the publicity campgrounds and RV parks would receive from it; once the club members had stayed at a campground, they would come back and pay.

No they wouldn’t, they would go across the street and stay at a competing campground for free instead. That’s what I’d do. After all, every campground in the United States is participating in the club, right? If I could go to any campground for free, why would I go to one and pay? Can you imagine what a sales job this outfit had to do to convince every campground owner in the country to sign up? I wish I had them selling advertising in the Gypsy Journal!

I wrote back to these folks and told them to just ignore the e-mail, it was obviously a scam. If it sounds to good to be true, it isn’t. But some people are their own worst enemy. I got a second e-mail from them a few days ago, telling me that they had decided to give it a try. They paid online with a credit card, and received a membership card back by e-mail. They said that they have been to five campgrounds so far, and were turned away when they presented their membership card. One campground owner actually  laughed at them.

They said they had written back to the company to complain, but the e-mail bounced. There was an 800 telephone number on the membership card, but it is the number of a company that never heard of Camper$ $aver Club. Now they want me to expose this scam in my blog and the Gypsy Journal, and help them get their money back. Now, just how in the world am I supposed to do that?

But these weren’t the only people with expectations of me that I just can’t live up to.

Because the post office does not forward Standard Rate mail, we always ask subscribers to send us their winter mailing addresses if they are going to be on the road as RV snowbirds, so that they don’t miss an issue. Most folks are pretty good about that, but every year we spend a lot of time and money sending out replacement copies to folks who didn’t get their papers, because they didn’t give us their winter address, or their summer address when they return home from their favorite snowbird roost.

One reader who wanted to be sure he would get his paper recently sent me an e-mail asking that the current issue be sent to an RV park in Mission, Texas, the next issue be sent to a relative’s house in California, the issue after that to an RV park in a different California city, the issue after that to a fourth address, in Iowa, and on for the next six issues of the paper. He stated that he is a fulltimer and doesn’t have, or want to pay for, a mail forwarding service.

We’re good, but we’re not that good! I replied that we have thousands of readers, and there is just no way we can keep track of that many changes. He responded that he thought he was “dealing with professionals.”

Professionals yes, but I still can’t walk on water.

Thought For The Day – The happiest people aren’t the ones who have everything, they’re the ones who make the best of everything they have.

Register Now For Our Arizona Gypsy Gathering Rally

Nick Russell

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

  11 Responses to “I Can’t Walk On Water”

  1. Sounds like that peripatetic fellow should sign up for your online edition!

  2. What in the world is wrong with the guy that wants each issue sent to a different address. Why doesn’t he just sign up for your “electronic editions”. That would make the most sense to me. Or am I missing something here?

  3. To the people who bought the bogus membership, “There is no free lunch.”
    To the people who want a new address every month, “Get a life.” and “Sign up for the on line version per Bob Martel.”
    Enough said.

  4. Too many companies fall very short nowadays for lack of customer service. It seems that not only do companies fall short but the consumers are asking for way too much. Maybe that is why companies began lacking and then why consumers began asking for so much.

    It’s this new syndrome out there, “It’s all about ME world”. Maybe the drug companies will come up with a new pill for them to take or possibly one for us so we can then tolerate those types of people. Either way, we lose and once again the drug companies will win.

    Nobody walks on water and everyone must use common sense above all else when making decisions. And, then if they do not work out, TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for your own hand in the matter and stop looking for others to fix it but then again, you just can’t fix stupid!

  5. Hey Nick,
    I know you know about the Miranda rights, but one was left off that I think everyone needs to be aware: “You have the right to remain stupid” They were told it was a scam and they ponied up the money anyway, there is just no explaining this.

  6. These are people I call “sheep dip” because you aren’t supposed to say “dip sh##.” As Stu says, we all need to learn to take responsibility for ourselves — our decisions, our actions, our stupidity. If we gain weight, it’s not McDonalds’ fault; it’s ours, and we need to take weight off. If we make a bad investment, it’s our decision, even if we got the “tip” from a friend or investment advisor. It’s still our own decision where to put our money. And if we fall for something that’s obviously too good to be true, it’s our responsibility to stand up, dust ourselves off and learn from our mistake!

  7. The 1%’ers are also in RVing?

  8. If the people who bought into the campground membership used their credit card, they should contact the credit card company and contest the charge, if it’s not too late. I feel sorry for them, as we all have done something stupid in our lives and hope the credit card company can save them.

  9. I got that same scam e-mail from Camper$ $avers and sent it to the spam file. We made the mistake at the Hershey RV show of signing up for all kinds of drawings from free campground nights, and that’s mistake I won’t do again! Ever since our e-mail has been flooded with spam. Not just RV related stuff (which there is a lot of) but also everything from penis enlargement to get rich quick schemes. Somebody obviously sold those e-mail addresses. I had to change my e-mail address and notify everybody, which is a real hassle.

  10. Everyone should have a “junk email”. Get a free service like Hotmail or Yahoo email. Use it to sign up for things. That way scammers never get your regular email addy.

  11. The person who signed up for the 7 free nights in any campground in the U.S. got exactly what he deserved — nothing.

    Regarding the guy who wants you to be his private mail forwarding service I am reminded of the great quote form Samuel Johnson: For some, no explanation is necessary, but for others, no explanation is possible.

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