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beware AARP membership renewal notices
AARP sends mass mailings to "valued members" to renew. Over the years, I've received many of these posted YEARS before my membership is actually due for renewal. AARP is well aware of this and chooses not to correct this clearly deceptive and predatory practice.
It will be interesting to see if AARP takes down this post.
@michaelg222537 I suspected something was odd with all the many early renewal notices I was also receiving, but sadly chose to ignore what was revealed as a deliberate and misleading practice. I am appalled that the Board of Directors of AARP.org a (non-profit) decided to overlook these actions in favor of monetary gain.
I have always accused the administrator of the AARP Rewards Program for it's unsatisfactory performance in the programs activities i.e. Rewards Instant Wins, Points Only gift cards, Daily Deals, Sweepstakes and discounted gift cards only to realize management may be instructed to keep the $ value of all rewards as mediocre as possible. Just Saying
I agree with you. I would like to use my 2,079 points toward my renewal. Still looking into it, but I bet they don't allow it. They would say they didn't make any money. Points, that whole thing is a joke. A few points get nothing and everything else is expensive and you AARP just make money off of it. I need AARP to help me and others not hinder us.
AARP's shady billing practices are precisely what bring me to the site today, although I've been complaining for years. What makes these practices unconscionable is the fact that some elderly people (those with cognitive problems, say, or folks who may not keep careful records) won't realize that they're forking over cash to AARP for no reason.
Whenever I've complained, AARP has responded with an "oops" letter of apology, but nothing changes. It's hard not to wonder if the company's billing practices are not, in fact, deliberately misleading.
We, too, have been scammed! AARP sent a five year renewal approx 3 months before expiration. I promptly paid the full $63 for 5 yr renewal. Three weeks later more junk mail from AARP....requesting our renewal(same membership) with a new discounted renewal price of $45 for 5 yrs also a 4 piece luggage organizer set upon prompt renewal. THIS IS ASS BACKWARDS!!! Why are we not given the reduced price with goodies to pay early??? I want the $18 credit and the luggage or I will be cancelling for a full refund! We have been member since 2010.
I just got scammed as I got my notice and It showed different pieces of the luggage I think about 4 pieces. I paid online and they never sent the gift and mine was not any type of organizer at all it was luggage. I'm very disappointed in AARP and will never renew again. They won't even answer my questions nor are of any help whatsoever. #BoycottAARP due to the lies
@PatriciaG267634 Hi Patricia, thank you for taking the time to reach out- I'm here to help. AARP has never offered luggage as a complimentary membership gift. The 4 piece set is luggage organizers. They can be used to organize your smaller items within your luggage while traveling. Here is a link to an offer that shows an image of that gift: https://aarp.info/renew35-luggage I sent you a private message to assist further. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you need anything!
@creekclark67 Thanks for being a member! I appreciate you taking the time to reach out regarding the difference in offer pricing. The membership fee is $63 for 5 years although we occasionally have discounted pricing offered on certain mailings. It seems as though you do not have Private Messaging enabled on this Community Forum for me to send you a private message with more details. Please give us a call toll-free at 1-888-OUR-AARP (1-888-687-2277) so we can discuss the options regarding the membership offers.
Also, the particular offer that was used to renew your membership did not include a gift. That's no problem! I have ordered you the complimentary 4 piece luggage organizer set and you can expect to receive it within 3-4 weeks by mail. You will also be able to track it online once it ships, learn more here: Where Is My Free AARP Gift?
I, too, have received multiple notifications for renewal of membership dues. I finally paid for a couple of more years of membership (to insure my elegibility for United Health Insurance). I now have three membership cards, one for a former wife, all received AFTER I spoke with a lady in member services. After my last payment was received by AARP (December 2021), I received a notification that I had paid for ADDITIONAL years on top of the two more years for which I had already received credit. This makes me question how AARP manages funds in general.
About five years ago, I complained to AARP that they were not crediting me for dues paid in advance. After months of hearing nothing, I received a check for the overpayment. No explanation that I recall. Just the check. Gotta wonder how much that kind of paperwork costs the association.
The fix is obvious and very simple to implement.
It is clearly unethical to intentionally send such premature notices. If the practice is intentional, then AARP should review their ethics standards. I suspect that this practice is also illegal. It certainly should be. It's not hard to imagine that a large number of members unwittingly send in unnecessary payments. It's clear from responses on this thread that AARP is not diligent about returning such payments; and is very slow to return those payments when a complaint is made. Will it take a class action lawsuit for AARP to correct this?
It's very hard to believe that this practice is not intentional. AARP could easily do some very simple database programming to base notices on expiration date. If your tech staff is telling you otherwise, then you need to find some competent programmers.
Correcting this practice would not only make members less suspicious of your motives, but it would save huge administrative and mailing costs.
I enjoyed reading your post. In defense of AARP, I do not agree that the practice of sending out notices offering "free" gifts for renewing way ahead of time to AARP members is illegal or even unethical. I'm pretty sure that AARP is well aware of what they are doing and has the technology to send renewal notices closer to expiration dates. Taking prepayments and having the use of that money for a longer time period is probably the only way that AARP can afford to offer "free" gifts for membership, which I have personally received, and most times have found useful. The large brown and green tote bag offered in 2020 has become my favorite shopping bag because of its large size and strong handles so I do not regret at all renewing when I received that, although I admit that many of their incentives are far less valuable.
It is up to the member to decide whether the items offered as incentives are useful enough to pay over a year in advance. It can definitely be a problem when a senior has lost capacity for reasoning but retains the ability to make payments for multiple years in advance and due to health issues, is unable to use any of their membership benefits, other than the "free" gift they receive. However unfortunate, I do not believe that AARP has any way of knowing their members' mental state unless notified by the member's family.
I enjoyed reading your post. In defense of AARP, I do not agree that the practice of sending out notices offering "free" gifts for renewing way ahead of time to AARP members is illegal or even unethical.
How about when they tell you "Your membership is about to expire!" -- 3 YEARS before that is true! That's what happened to me this morning. I have a hard time believing intentional deception is ethical!
Thanks for your thoughtful comments. The problem is they send these notices without showing when current membership expires. Yes, we could look in our records, but let's face it, many of us seniors can be a little disorganized, forgetful and too trusting; or just don't take the time to check - we assume that AARP is a reputable organization and only sends renewal notices when expiration is approaching. Because of this practice, we sometimes unintentionally renew years ahead of expiration.
AARP could clearly state in the notice when the current membership expires. But they don't. I've complained about this by email and phone. Their responses are invariably polite but evasive.
Read some other posts in this thread - there are many similar complaints. For instance, see the post from WebWiseWoman dated 08-19-2021 below.
So they are well aware of this practice and they could easily correct it (only send notices within a short period before renewal (say 3 months); and clearly state expiration dates on the notices. But they don't. This suggests that they are deliberately deceiving the people whose interests they supposedly represent.
As for using prepayment money to pay for "free" gifts - that's not so different from a Ponzi Scheme where an investment company uses money from new investors to pay off existing investors. These companies often go bankrupt when cash flows from new investors don't keep up with demand. I hope that AARP is not in such dire financial straits that they are doing this.
Why not just offer the incentive "free gifts" in an online store and use the savings to lower dues? Those who want the items could buy them with the money saved on lower dues. And those of us who don't want them save on lower dues. I suppose the current scheme brings in more money since they can probably buy larger quantities of the items much cheaper.
Agreed, Michaelg! I have "lifetime" membership bought when I was eligible in 2004 (and have bought for Mom, then Sis and Bro when those two became eligible) so we have to patrol Mom's mail for these renewal notices.
I spoke to AARP when I received the first one for me and they attempted to blame it on data issues; I haven't wasted my time on the following notices (15+ years or so). At some point some shyster lawyer will launch a class-action suit, I'm sure...
Phil Harris, actor and showman, to John Fogerty of CCR: “If I’d known I’d live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.”
Hi @gm94 I had to laugh at your comment “the 'free gift' of an AC/DC power charger which lasted for 10 minutes before it stopped working…” ☹️
as I had a “Bluetooth speaker” which sounded like a practical & useful bonus gift….yet at 4 inches high you could barely hear anything…& worse…it only worked with a device that’s less than 10 feet away…..
so much for MEH bonus gifts! 😄
Take care ~Allen
- MEH bonus gifts
- I received the offer for the free charger if I auto renew for 2 years, so I did. Then I saw a message in my inbox for the 5 years for $45 so I cancelled the auto renew. When I went back to my inbox the message was there but when I clicked it it didn't do anything. The next time I went into my inbox it was gone. I will not renew unless I can get it for the 5 years for $45. My subscription expires in April. On a side note I did receive the free charger, so now I will have to keep an eye on my account so it isn't charged. I don't really care about the free gift. I would rather get the 5 year discounted price. I will say that I purchased over $3000 worth of gift cards for a vacation I am taking next year and I instantly saved 10%, or over $300, so there is definitely value to being a member, but I agree that the discount offers are not timed well. I hope there is an offer for 5 years at the discounted price before my expiration date or I may let it expire.
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