We joined the Good Sam Club when we bought our first motorhome, and just as quickly dropped our membership because our mailbox was immediately crammed with solicitations to renew our membership, to sign up for their roadside insurance plan, and to buy this product and that service. Repeated letters and phone calls to Good Sam did no good, and the junk mail continued to stream in. Only after I wrote a very nasty article about it in the Gypsy Journal, which I sent to their CEO, did they finally take us off their mailing list.
While some of their products are very good, in particular their extended warranties and roadside service plans, the company as a whole is way too aggressive in their marketing efforts for my taste. And now, in their eternal quest to make a buck, they have stepped way over the line.
Good Sam recently sent out a new DVD titled Essential RV Maintenance to many of its members, with a notice that recipients had the option of either returning the DVDs, or paying $12.95 for them. Legally, nobody has any obligation to pay for, or return, any unsolicited product they receive in the mail, but a lot of people may not know that, and would either pay for the DVD, or have to go through the hassle of returning them.
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When the action stirred a lot of criticism on the internet, CEO Marcus Lemonis responded with a letter that said, in part, “I asked myself, ‘What’s the best way for people to see what I am so revved up about?’ So we decided the best way was to put the DVD right in your hands with no risk or obligation.”
I’m sorry, Mr. Lemonis, but that’s just lip service after the fact, and one more example of why we no longer belong to the Good Sam Club. Did you ever consider that “what’s best” for you to spread your message may not be appreciated by the people who are on the receiving end? A lot of fulltime RVers do not appreciate having to pay the extra postage to have their mail forwarding service send them your junk, excuse me, products, that they have not requested.
The RV Daily Report said that at least 20 internet threads have been created about the unsolicited DVDs. I hope the word spreads far and fast, and that people flood Good Sam with returned DVDs, which they will have to pay postage on. I do that with all unsolicited junk mail like that. I like to cram as much as I can into a postage paid return envelope before I drop it in the mailbox. Maybe if enough people did that, and it started costing Good Sam to get their junk mail back, they might rethink their marketing program.
Yes, it may be a great DVD, and it might have some very useful information in it. But I’m a big boy, I don’t need you to decide what’s good for me. I already have the government doing that!
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We kept the DVD as “a gift” since we did not solicit it. BTW, the RV Daily Report link you posted noted that there were some “risky” techniques used in the DVD. “Several members pointed out a risky maneuver in the DVD in which the technician snugs down a bolt on a battery using a pliers while wearing a metal watch, which one person said could turn red hot if it shorted the positive battery lead to the ground.” OUCH.
We belong but get nothing from them except pertaining to the services we subscribe to. I’m not sure when we opted out of their other mailings. . . it was so long ago I can’t remember. Apparently it worked the one time I did it because we get no junk from them.
No solicitation mailing from them here either, for many years.
I guess this makes me the third comment that we don’t get any junk mail from Good Sam.
When we joined Good Sam I called and asked to be removed from any mailing list they might use, to be removed from early renewal offers, etc. and it has worked. I get no extra mailings from Good Sam. We’ve used their road side towing service twice with excellent results. Didn’t receive a DVD.
We don’t get much of anything from them either, we’re lifetime members.
The way I deal with junk mail from a company with my name and address on it is to cross it off and say either no long at this address or I am deceased. You don’t have to pay for that they do.
Ho Ho Ho
I belonged a long time ago. Got all their junk mail but NOT the renewal notice for the Road Service. I broke down 10 hours after it had expired. They had sent me 4 notices 4th class which Livingston discards. Gee, do you think one first class would have been cheaper? Luckily my vehicle insurance picked up the tab for the tow. GS did call for a tow truck at least.
The first words out of my mouth when that “unsolicited” DVD arrived was, “I’ll be damned if I’m going to waste my time mailing this back. Like you, I knew that I didn’t have to do that.” And, like you, I also stuff prepaid envelopes with their own junk and happily drop it in a mailbox close to our favorite Tex-Mex restaurant. We call it our “Mail Run Special.” I think it takes colossal nerve to assume that people want something they didn’t order. They must think that their members aren’t smart enough to make their own decisions. Thanks for this timely article.
Update: I just went into my Good Sam account to check the settings. As I remembered, I didn’t have any of their mailings checked off. So, somehow all of that slipped through. When we just came back from 8 weeks on the road and 14 pieces of Good Sam mail, I wrote them asking to be removed from the mailing. From my lips to God’s ears. Let’s hope it happens.
You don’t need the ” Essential RV Maintenance” DVD. You have Greg’s phone number.
Good Sam lost their orginal mission years ago. “The Family RV club” Now it has become a GREEDY Dollar chasing Corporate business. The all mighty Dollar is their only mission now. And the Family Club idea is long Dead !
Like Barbara, I just scratch out the AD and write REFUSED/RTS on their enevlopes, and drop it in the mail…..
From the day we joined Good Sam we got junk mail from them. Even a year after our membership was over we still got it. It only stopped when we switched to SKP mail service and specified no junk mail to be forwarded.
How do you all NOT get their mail? We have asked to be taken off the list, begged to be taken off, even demanded and all to no avail. It just keeps coming. Same for Camping World, they constantly send us junk mail.
I just got a renewal for the GS towing service that I didn’t want this year. They just went ahead and renewed the service and charged my credit card $99. I didn’t even know they had my credit card number on record and asked them to erase it from there database. Everyone should do this also…NOW!!!
When I called them to cancel and have my money returned, they said that I had checked the auto-renewal box. But I know that I didn’t …I never do for stuff like this.
The guy on the phone hummed and hawed, then eventually refunded my money.
Coach-net here I come.
I got the DVD and called GS to tell them I didn’t want it. The girl on the phone was rude and acted like I was a deadbeat for not automatically paying for it.
Oh, did you hit a sore spot with me! I’ve been a member since 1995 and have recently let my membership lapse for all the reasons mentioned. The DVD is just sitting here, however I do return their junk mail in the prepaid envelopes when available with a note saying “how do you like receiving junk mail”. If enough people do this, it might have an effect, since it is now is costing them postage and manpower to open the envelopes. Bob
About 75% of te time I just delete you Gypsy journal that I get from you by e-mail….my DW reads every issue. Some times I agree with you on things but the majority I do not.
Your comments about Good Sam Club and the junk mail and e-mails that we all get from them is very true and hit’s it right on the nail head squarely.
I get about three pounds of junk mail a week give or take from Good Sams, about membership and or insurance, you name it I get from them they are worse than AARP.
I just placed the entire envelope on my trusty digital scale. 3.7oz. I figure that if I put their entire package in a envelope that it will fit in and affix their return label to it it will cost them a little under $2.00 give or take $0.05. I think if everybody did tht they would get the hint.
My idea is to throw away the DVD but stuff the envelope full of other junk and send it back. Why should they get a chance to sell their DVD to someone else?
Update to my above comment. I put it in a 6×11 envelope. Loaded it up with the three emergency insurance things I got this week, weighed it 6.8 oz. total. It’ll cost em about 4 bucks this week.
We no longer get their junk mail. Guess our mail forwarding service is doing a good job for us. But on a positive note about Good Sam – We had an issue with our RV dealer and could get absolutely no satisfaction. Wrote a letter to Good Sam Action Line! WOW! Suddenly the dealer could not do enough for us to resolve the issue. When we asked why the change in attitude. They said they received a letter about the problem and wanted it resolved. Thank you Good Sam!
Nick, thanks for confirming what we thought that unsolicited mail in the US is the same as the UK, in that the recipient has no legal obligation to pay or return the product.
This is good to know as we are currently on our way home to the UK so the unsolicited DVD will remain in our trailer until we return to the US next year.
We opted out of their junk mail on line about 2-3 years ago and no longer receive the junk. Their road service is super. I though about taping all junk return envelopes to a brick and droping them in the mail. What would that have cost them? But my wife talked me out of doing that. So I just send all I can get in their return envelopes and send it back. I cross out any application forms and ask them to take me off their list.
I was furious when we got the unsolicited DVD — didn’t pay for it, didn’t return it, knew we didn’t have to do either — but how many people don’t know that? Good Sam may have been a member-oriented organization once upon a time, but the corporation running it now regards members as sheep to be fleeced. We won’t renew our membership.
I got a bill from them in the mail today, I will fill it up with some of their junk mail and send it in a day or so!
Also just a word of warning…..I posted something on RV.Net….a link about the worst states and Taxes for full timers I read on Escapee Forum. It got deleted and I got a very curt PM from one of their sanctimonious moderators. .So then I started adding to all of my posts “be careful what you post here…big brother is watching”
Yesterday I got a PM from a Moderator “He asked me what my agenda was, and he also that said if I ever posted that again he was going to delete or edit my post, and for me not to do that so I could save him some work.
So I posted a comment this evening and it was completely deleted. I think I will call Good Sam’s and demand a refund of all of my membership fee’s and magazine subscriptions and then tell them why and give them this clowns name.
I got a bill from Good Sam’s for the DVD in the mail today. I guess I will fill it up with more of their junk mail and send it back to them tomorrow morning.