NRA Scamming members?

This is a discussion on NRA Scamming members? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; This article is taken from Consumerist.com...The member comments on their site are unfiltered any may be NSFW (language). It is a consumer advocacy site owned ...

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Thread: NRA Scamming members?

  1. #1
    Member Array nkanofolives's Avatar
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    NRA Scamming members?

    This article is taken from Consumerist.com...The member comments on their site are unfiltered any may be NSFW (language).

    It is a consumer advocacy site owned by Consumer Reports. I highly recomend you add this website to your daily browsing...

    Consumerist - Is The NRA Trying To Trick Its Members Into Paying For This DVD? - NRA



    Is The NRA Trying To Trick Its Members Into Paying For This DVD?
    By Chris Walters, 2:22 PM on Tue Jul 7 2009, 15,122 views

    Arthur, a member of the NRA, received a promotional DVD out of the blue about six months ago. As we've discussed before and as Arthur points out, if you're sent something that you never ordered, you don't have to pay for it, return it, or acknowledge it. The NRA said as much in their letter to Arthur.

    Months later, however, he started receiving notices that asked him to either pay for the DVD or return it.

    The National Rifle Association sent unordered DVDs to its members. It correctly explained that since the DVDs were unordered, its members could return them (post paid), keep them, give them away, or if any wished, pay for them. Of course, they hoped that many would pay for them, and sign up to buy additional DVDs in the series.

    As you can see in my letters to them, the problem came in subsequent mailings. What appeared to be bills arrived with instructions to return the DVDs or pay for them. Since these were sent well after the original mailing, many people would have forgotten what was originally said. I'm not a lawyer, but I believe such billing is illegal under Title 39, United States Code, Sect. 3009 subsection (c).

    I don't want to (literally) make it a federal case, but I'm sending the information to you in the hopes that the light of publicity will cause them to take the right corrective actions.
    Arthur even wrote a pretty clear letter to the NRA alerting them to what looks like deceptive marketing practices on their behalf:

    You are allowing your reputation to be sullied by TN Marketing, LLC.

    About a half a year back, I received an unsolicited American Rifleman DVD. As it was unsolicited, there was no requirement for me to return it, pay for it, or even to acknowledge it. The letter that came with it recognized that, and said that if I didn't want to buy or return it, that I could pass it along to someone else. It went so far as to say that I could "consider it a free gift." So far, so good.

    However, since that time, I've received several mailings from TN Marketing requiring that I either pay for or return the DVD. These mailings were made long enough after the original one that most people would have already discarded the original letter explaining that there is a third option of doing nothing. Those who took the original letter's suggestion and gave the DVD to someone else would then be being billed for something they could no longer return. I consider this to be deceptive and close to fraud. I hope that this strategy is that of TN Marketing rather than that of the NRA, itself.

    I expect to soon see a letter sent to all of us who did not originally pay for or return the DVD, including those who paid only after being unfairly (and illegally?) dunned by TN Marketing. It should apologize for the misrepresentation that TN Marketing made under your name and restate what was in the first mailing: You would like us to pay, but there is no requirement to pay for or return the DVD. Those who paid only after being wrongly dunned should be given an option to ask for their money back.
    Unfortunately, the NRA's response was simply to take Arthur off their video distribution list and add his name to their Do Not Promote list. This prompted Arthur to send an even clearer letter to them:

    You did not read my previous letter carefully enough. I am not complaining about frustration. I am complaining about illegal practices by either the NRA or a company performing work for the NRA.

    If the NRA bilks its own members, how can we be expected to believe anything else it says? If the NRA prospers by this unethical act, how are we to believe that it won't do worse in the future? If I don't do what I can to correct a wrong being done in my name (as a member of the NRA), am I not complicit?

    Therefore, if you cannot convince me that you are taking this seriously, conducting your own investigation, and contacting all who paid the illegal dunning notices, I will have little choice. I'll have to either go public with the information or make formal complaints with the FTC and the Postal Inspector.
    If you're a member of the NRA and received this unordered DVD, remember that no matter what subsequent notices or bills you receive, you're absolutely not obliged to respond.

    [Note: this post is about the FTC Mail Order Rule and a possible violation of it by a marketing firm hired by a special interest group. It's also about the group's apparent unwillingness to look into the problem and fix it. And it's about the Mail Order Rule in general and how it works. It's NOT about the NRA's existence or mission, however, so please don't derail the comments with political fighting or jabs.]



    Anyone here on DC experienced this same "billing issue"?

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  3. #2
    Member Array Randy's Avatar
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    Yes, I have. I put the bills in the same round container as the DVD. It looks like someone else put their DVD in the microwave. :)

    I am also disappointed that NRA allows a third party access to the member list.

    Randy

  4. #3
    Distinguished Member Array Siafu's Avatar
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    I kept the DVD because any unsolicited mail I get becomes mine. There was some language in the correspondence that came with it that said something about a gift but requesting a donation or some such thing. I like the NRA and am a supporter as is my girlfriend and may father but the junk mail they send sure does pile up fast.

    BTW: The DVD was ok and I have passed it around to some friends who also got the benefit of the bargain.

  5. #4
    Senior Member Array PaulG's Avatar
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    I got such a DVD and then started getting bills.

    When I got the second bill, I called the NRA and they told me they would stop sending me bills.

    They did stop.

    Haven't had a problem since.
    fortiter in re, suaviter in modo (resolutely in action, gently in manner).

  6. #5
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    I too received an unsolicited DVD from them. I may watch it someday....
    If the public are bound to yield obedience to laws to which they cannot give their approbation, they are slaves to those who make such laws and enforce them.--Samuel Adams as Candidus, Boston Gazette 20 Jan. 1772

    Veteran--USA FA
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  7. #6
    Distinguished Member Array C9H13NO3's Avatar
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    I have never gotten any junk mail from the NRA. I never "opted out" that I know of, but all I ever get is a renewal notice every year, and my American Rifleman magazines.
    -Ryan

    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

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    I got it. There was a sleeve to drop it in and mail it back postage paid, which I did. Minimal effort and I didn't want the DVD. No problem. I did get to keep some trinket that was in the package. I don't even recall what it was anymore.
    Procrastinators are the leaders of tomorrow.

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    Member Array SHOOTER13's Avatar
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    Exclamation YES...

    I received the same DVD mailing...read the attached letter stating that I could pay, pass on, keep for free, or toss the package. I decided to just keep it and put it aside, and still have not watched it.

    When I got the mailings that said I should pay or return, I made a copy of the original letter with the options...highlighted the option that said I could keep it for free...put it in the return DVD mailer...and sent it back to them ( post paid on them ).

    Never heard another word...!!

    PS...trinket was a bronze coin with a 1903 Springfield inprinted...if you opted for the DVD series...another gun coin in the series would come with each DVD.
    Last edited by SHOOTER13; July 8th, 2009 at 01:32 PM. Reason: add info
    SHOOTER13
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  10. #9
    VIP Member Array automatic slim's Avatar
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    Received the DVD, Never received any billing.
    "First gallant South Carolina nobly made the stand."
    Edge of Darkness

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array PatrioticRick's Avatar
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    I got the DVD and a couple of bills, I filed the bills in the round file and went on with my day.
    Μολὼν λαβέ

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  12. #11
    Member Array Dakota97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C9H13NO3 View Post
    I have never gotten any junk mail from the NRA. I never "opted out" that I know of, but all I ever get is a renewal notice every year, and my American Rifleman magazines.
    You must be the only one in their 4 million members who don't get junk mail. Consider yourself lucky!!!
    NRA life member.

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array JonInNY's Avatar
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    Never got a DVD. If anyone wants to send the DVD to me, I'll take it! PM me for address!
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch; Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
    -- Benjamin Franklin

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dakota97 View Post
    You must be the only one in their 4 million members who don't get junk mail. Consider yourself lucky!!!
    Nope, I'm another. I never receive anything other than their magazine and items that I request....
    Bumper
    Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde; Beware the anger of a patient man.

  15. #14
    Member Array smotta's Avatar
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    ^^ That's because they're watching you....and know you have a big scary forum where you can bash them if they did.
    "In God we trust, as for the rest of you... keep your hands where I can see them" - Unknown

  16. #15
    Distinguished Member Array USPnTX's Avatar
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    How weird, never received the DVD or any unsolicited mailings. However, they call me every week!
    "Do not fear those who disagree with you; fear those that do and are too cowardly to admit it" - Napoleon

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