I joined AARP recently. Did an auto quote online with Hartford Insurance using the link provided by AARP a few days ago. As the phone number is optional for the quote, I provided email only. At the end, the quote is about 10% higher than my current premium, so I did not proceed. Hartford Insurance keeps sending me emails. Unsubscribe does not work, so I have to block it as spam. To my surprise, I received two calls from Hartford Insurance today! AARP, can you tell me who gives my phone number to Hartford Insurance? What a shame!
I signed up for Hartford auto insurance and got a discount for the first year. When it came time to renew, however, the premium tripled in price. I complained to AARP and even cancelled my membership for a couple years. I will never use any of these so-called benefits except for maybe local restaurants. The only time I received a benefit was 10% off at Denny's.
Couldn't agree more. In general, AARP seriously needs to get its act together in the areas of email communications (both from AARP itself and its "partners"), as well as privacy/information sharing with partners.
After years of trying to surgically manage the numbers and types of emails I received from AARP using the tools they provide, I finally unsubscribed from ALL emails from AARP- which worked! However, when I just recently renewed my membership, AARP automatically changed my communications preferences to their default and I again started to receive emails from AARP- the first being from The Hartford...And as you've noted, none of the unsubscribe links at the bottom of the emails from The Hartford actually work (you get routed to Foresee, the online survey company, and are told that "Feedback isn't Available". This is entirely unacceptable - both the change to "default" communications preferences upon renewal, as well as the inoperable unsubscribe links in the emails from The Hartford..
As much as I believe in much of the good work being done by AARP, I also believe their privacy policies are unacceptable and that their online (web and email) presence and processes need a real kick in the pants as well.
AARP Services, Inc. (profit arm of AARP) develops all of these benefit type things as many other organization's do to get and support membership - AARP.org receives royalties from these companies that says they offer these benefits to AARP members for use of their name.
I think many times members that seek info on these benefits kind of jump the gun and go thru the AARP.org site to check them out. OR they automatically think these benefits offer a discount type thing. They don't - they might offer other things that they have developed for this demographic group. The benefit of these things is still up to the individual and how they might use these benefits in their own lives.
One should investigate the AARP-linked benefit anonymously by going directly to the company's plan - just so you can read all about what the benefit is and unless it has some discount stated on specific areas of the AARP benefit - don't just assume.
Many times these benefits are just specifically designed in some way that gives something to the over 50 crowd - then it is marketed as an "AARP" (logo included) benefit - Do you need them, do you want them - up to the individual.
These added things also make it very difficult to compare price to price what you might have now. That's why you have to weigh what things they have added to the plan to make it an AARP name carrier.
But this is not just what one should do with these branded products - it is just being a smart consumer. You have to compare apples to apples to determine any good/better/best price - then it may be an introductory offer so you have to check that too.
The integrity of the company is also good to use in the comparison.
A friend of mine made the mistake of trying to research insurance on one of those e-sites - she thought she would never see the end of those solicitations.
Privacy starts with how much information you give out to them or they have access to from your affiliation.
Hi Gail- I'm not sure whether your reply was directed to me, or to Lil. But if to me, than I assure you I'm well aware of everything you shared in your email, and can also assure you that 've never made the mistake of making any kind of inquiry to one of their partners.
As such, the info that you shared - while helpful to anyone not familiar with it - doesn't bear on my fundamental assertions that ones communications preferences shouldn't be changed upon renewal, or that communications preferences for emails from AARP and its partners should be better structured and more granular (e.g. even when I'd whittled my subscriptions down to two weekly or monthly emails, AARP still managed to send me just under 30 emails per month).
Actually it was just a general comment - not to you or Lil - directed to those who aren't careful about how they do their inquiries - anywhere, not just AARP. Sorry if you took it otherwise.
I agree with you about a company changing preferences when one renews - Do you think in this AARP case, it is a tech thing or on-purpose by design? Might be worth the ask to the powers that be - by email 😉
I am not a current member so I don't get any emails nor any "benefits".
Normally I'm able to decipher whether an organization's "misfires" are intentional or inadvertent (e.g. an IT bug) by working my way up through the customer service chain. But having been somewhat unsuccessful in doing so when I've had a couple prior other issues with AARP- I didn't even bother with this issue. I simply asked customer service to remove me entirely from email communications and asked the rep to communicate the issue through the channels that were available to her.
BTW, I love your use of quotes with the word "Benefits" 🙂 When I first joined way back when, I actually did a couple of the kind of comparisons that you recommended in your initial note, and quickly concluded that they weren't "beneficial" to me at all ... And since then I simply haven't wasted my time with any of them- finding that I can do better elsewhere and on my own. But that said, what doesn't work for me could indeed work for someone else. So heeding your admonition to be a smart and cautious consumers is unquestionably the way to go for all of us... Cheers, Larry
I'm pretty sure AARP sells the phone numbers of their members to various companies. Ever since I joined AARP, I've been getting phone calls from MedAlert at least twice a week, all from different numbers so I can't block them. I opted out, which lasted about 2 weeks. Now, I'm getting prank calls from them which hang up as soon as they announce their name.