Affinity Group is NOT RVer friendly

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BernieD

Well-known member
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Mar 1, 2005
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5,878
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Goodyear, AZ
As a follow up to ongoing discussions regarding MT registration and where pressure is coming from, Bob Clerc posted the following on the Diesel RV Yahoo Group. With his permission:

Mentioned a few weeks back that there was a dealer group in the mid-west
taking MT to court over LLC. Apparently their claim is that the MT LLCs
are causing RVers to not buy from their mid-west dealer network because
some states in that area, notably IN, are talking about imposing a sales
tax on any unit sold in that state, no matter where subsequently
registered--like MT. The "new" thing I learned about this is that
Affinity Group, Inc (AGI) is an affiliate of this dealer group. I don't
know the nature of that affiliation, but it would certainly seem that
AGI would thus support the interests of that dealer group. The reason
that the role of AGI in this becomes relevant to RVers is that AGI is
the parent of Trailer Life publications and of the Good Sam Club. It is
my belief and believe that it can clearly be shown, that AGI, through
its operating components, TL and GS, nearly always comes down on the
side of the RV industry rather than the best interests of RVers.

I ranted a couple weeks ago about how Sue Bray, executive director of
the Good Sam Club, has come out several times in support of the federal
fee demonstration program. It may be that she has a honest conviction
that the fee demonstration program is best for all in view of the
realities of federal budgeting. However, I have a suspicion that the
best interests of the campground owner/operator group (ARVC) is what
really motivates her. The more impediments, i.e., fees,  are placed
before the RVer in using federal lands, the more likely we are to use
the ARVC campgrounds. This was clearly demonstrated a few years ago when
the Good Sam club (and possibly TL publications) came out with strong
statements that it was unsafe/unwise to stay at other than "approved
campgrounds". This, to me, was clearly a pitch by ARVC, through the AGI
operating components, to stay away from Wal Mart and similar, which was
denying revenue to their members. There was nothing balanced in their
position. It was, in my mind, clearly a commercial pitch by AGI without
any regard for the real facts in the matter, namely, that once in a
while, due to driver fatigue or other factors, it might really be best
to take refuge at a Wal Mart or similar.

Although I don't have much use for the Good Sam club or its publication,
although a life member, I believe the TL publications to have very good
technical content and many worthwhile articles about various aspects of
RVs and RVing. It just seems a shame that we have no publication of
fairly widespread distribution that is focused from cover to cover on
the best interest of the RVer and, in fact, one that takes an advocacy
role in some critical issues particularly as pertains to safety. For
example, most of the problems with tires--primarily blowouts--are the
result of RVer neglect in one way or another, and the tire industry
generally puts out very good tires (if the proper ones are selected by
the RV manufacturer). However, from time to time, there are problem
tires. We have no mechanism to really alert RVers and to challenge the
tire manufacturer that they really have a problem with this or that
specific tire series. We really have the fox guarding the chicken coop.
Wish there were an alternative.


 

Ron

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Jan 29, 2005
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Home is where we park it
Thanks for posting that Bernie.  IMHO he has hit the nail on the head.  As fare as I can see the only thing Affinity does for the RVer is take every action they can to fill our mail boxes with junk mail.
 

Jim Dick

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Feb 11, 2005
Posts
7,651
Location
Titusville, FL
Bernie,

I have tried to severe all ties to Affinity. Unfortunately, I found we again joined the Good Sam group due to a promotional. So far I do not believe we have received any unwanted mailings. I agree that anyone associated with Affinity does not have the interests of Rvers in mind. They only want the almighty buck it produces!!

 

Tom

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Posts
49,042
Don't hold your breath Jim. All I did was buy the coach and got on their dreaded mailing list. The last few mailings I've returned to them with a note asking them not to mail me any more of that junk. I have almost all my bills on auto pay but, thanks partly to Good Sam, I can't leave home for more than a couple of days without my mailbox filling up.
 

Chet18013

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Mar 5, 2005
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1,861
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Full time in RV. Home is where we are parked
Tom said:
Don't hold your breath Jim. All I did was buy the coach and got on their dreaded mailing list. The last few mailings I've returned to them with a note asking them not to mail me any more of that junk. I have almost all my bills on auto pay but, thanks partly to Good Sam, I can't leave home for more than a couple of days without my mailbox filling up.

Call their 800 and rase holy HELL. It took me about three calls and they finally got the message. I found out that each person's record in their data base has a box, that if checked will remove you from all mailings and promotional offers. You have to specifically ask that they check it on your record.

Chet
 

Ned

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Feb 1, 2005
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USA
Chet is correct, we have not received anything from AGI for several years.  They don't even send GS renewal notices anymore.  It can be done.
 

Tom

Administrator
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Jan 13, 2005
Posts
49,042
Chet/Ned

I don't know why I'd have a "record". I'm going to wait and see if my snail mail back to them, complete with their own junk, works.
 

Ron

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Posts
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Home is where we park it
We got the junk mail stopped when I called Sue Bray, she was on vacation but her replacement work fine) and announced we had just hung a banner across the back of the MH that read "Boycott Good Sam and Affinity group junk mail generators" and was going to travel withit there until all junk mai was stopped.  SHe replied that wouldn't be neccessary all I had to do is request to be removed from the mailing list.  I told her that hadn't worked.  Gave her our name and GS number she said just a minute and when she came back on line she mentioned that she shows we had made several requests.  Thats my point and why the banner.  She said whe was sending us a bunch of prestamped pre  addressed envelopes and asked if we would cut the mailing lable off any junk mail we contributed to GS and dend them back to her.  Since we used the Sams Camp as the address for GS we did that till we left then our camp manager continued til the envelopes were gone.  We have not recieved any GS junk mail since.    However I would never give them our mail forwarding address.

Oh if you want to use the banner we never really had one. ;D
 

Jim Dick

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Feb 11, 2005
Posts
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Location
Titusville, FL
Tom,

I let Pat check the mail so I don't know if we have been getting anything but she hasn't complained. :) She was given an 800 number to call and it did work.

 

Ron

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Jan 29, 2005
Posts
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Home is where we park it
Jim Dick said:
Tom,

I let Pat check the mail so I don't know if we have been getting anything but she hasn't complained. :) She was given an 800 number to call and it did work.

When I made my last call they noted that I had made several calls and a written request in the past. Apparently it was all on the computer but no action to honor my requests had been taken.

Personally if we weren't Lifetime members of GS we would be members at all.
 

blueblood

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 16, 2005
Posts
1,082
The posters comments regarding IN sales taxes are timely. The new policy did go into effect at year end with disastrous results to dealers. High end dealer sales fell 50% thus far this year. Today the IN legislative tax committee met to discuss modifying the law to allow credit for up to 6% for tax paid in another state. Dealers such as Tom Sinnet (sp) used the word disaster in his testimony. It doesn't help for MT sales but the method of determining how IN would know that tax was paid to other state remains an issue. Proposal was that buyer would have 60 days to prove tax paid or dealer would be responsible to pay IN tax. This would be a logistical nightmare. 
 
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