By Chuck Woodbury
In last week’s newsletter, Issue 817, I asked if you had ever received a complimentary membership to the Good Sam Club.
A reader had asked me earlier if the club was giving them away. He said he let his membership expire, but three months later received a new card in the mail with a “complimentary” membership with the same member number but an expiration date a year later. I realized after talking with him that the same thing had happened to me.
Well, it looks from the responses that the club does, indeed, give away free memberships. It also appears it gives away memberships that look like memberships, but aren’t official. Here are a few of the emails we received about this:
A reader named Ira responded: “My Good Sam membership expired August 31. The new complimentary deal came this week, call it the Oct. 20. Yes, the name and membership number are the same, with a new expiration date of September 25, 2018.”
Jeff L. wrote: “Yes, I got a free Good Sam Membership a month ago. I was not going to renew my membership as I do not have a Camping World nearby, do not often stay at a Good Sam parks, and I have found the prices at Camping World to be high. I do not see any benefit to membership.”
Reader Judy W responded: “Yes, I have received membership cards but when I show someone (who offers discounts with membership) the card they say they have no proof that I’m a member.”
Jim A wrote: “I’m not a Good Sam fan at all, but what do you know, they sent me a year’s membership? I use the occasional discount when we stay at a Good Sam Park.”
A reader named Ken had this to say: “Last year I signed up for a Good Sam membership and a week later I signed up for the roadside assistance plan. Surprisingly enough, within one month of paying my dues for both, I received a complimentary membership card (not roadside) in the mail. I called and asked for a refund or extension on my paid membership, since I had received the complimentary membership. I was told by customer service that I could not qualify for the free membership because I had already purchased a paid membership. I had not requested the free membership but was sent it randomly.”
A reader named Lori wrote: “I, too, received what I thought was a ‘free’ Good Sam membership card two or three months ago. However, last week I looked at it (since I had signed up for GS Roadside Assistance and was organizing my RV cards), and it said on the back something about not being valid for membership. On the front it looks like the real McCoy. I put it in the round file cabinet and figured I didn’t have membership.”
Another reader wrote, who had apparently had not even read what I had written in the last newsletter. He asked: “I didn’t renew my GS membership in August, tired of supporting Marcus L. Today I received a complimentary membership, which I find curious. Are you aware of this tactic? Have there been that many people dissatisfied and drop them or am I just lucky? I’d like your take on this and wonder if any/many of your readers have been similarly gifted.”
Apparently, the club also pitches memberships, or at least renewals by phone. A reader named Jason wrote: “I let our membership lapse, got many phone calls wanting us back and they offered three years at the price of one plus a printed campground directory. Online it shows the membership expiration correctly, but I still don’t have membership cards four months later and no printed directory. I have submitted the contact form on their website three times with no response.”