Friday, March 27, 2009

Is AARP really your friend?

AARP loves me. AARP wants me. AARP needs me. And I can prove it.

Although I’ve been a reluctant member on and off for more than twenty years, I keep getting solicitations to join the great pretender organization. Just this week, I got their email spam extolling the benefits of AARP membership. Shazaam. While I was putting this post together, yet another AARP spam arrived via email! I’m not kidding.

Just this year, I’ve lost count of how many printed come-ons have arrived through the U.S. mail.

Has this ever happened to you? Damned straight it has. Here’s this week’s case history of from a little old lady who just wants to be left the hell alone:

“George: I decided to join AARP, despite my opposition on several counts. I
joined. Since I joined, I've received three requests for me to join and
three separate "temporary" cards. I already called once and asked them to
correct the problem.

“The latest, and third, mailing prompted me to call again. I explained to
this nice woman on the phone that the cost of compiling, printing, and
mailing three letters with SASEs enclosed and temporary cards was probably
close to $20 bucks in staff time, materials, and postage. And I added that I
didn't want my AARP dues wasted on inefficiency. And that if it happened to
me, I'd estimate that it happened to many others and might be wasting
thousands of dollars.

“Moreover, I wanted a call back to tell me the problem had been fixed. And
finally, until I had been informed of a correction, I was going to tell
everyone I knew that AARP wasted hard-earned savings and retirement dollars
on stupid inefficiencies of which they'd already been notified.

“My way of carrying out this threat, which I didn't want to be an empty one,
is to write you.”

Hint to AARP: buy a merge/purge software program and clean up your lists.

Then, when you aren’t concentrating so hard on selling insurance, maybe you can focus on health care reform, Medicare reform, prescription drug reform. Fix this list and then we'll work on your blatant conflicts of interest. Medicare Part D comes to mind.

…and the beat goes on.


Anonymous said...

I've screamed at AARP about the same thing. I finally got them to stop. I can just imagine the notations on my membership file! Sharon

sph said...

We assume because we make charitable contributions throughout the year that we are bombarded with paper mailings from charities that are unknown to us. Does anyone else get items like blankets from the Lakota Indian Reservation? AARP hasn't found us but these others are driving us to madness trying to get them to stop!

Anonymous said...

AARP an acronym for Against All Rational Purpose.

Ken Martin said...

There are a number of sites purporting to be able to get you off the junk mail lists:
1. Privacy Council at

2. EcoCycle at

3. at

4. at (fee charged)

5. Do-it-yourself at

6. at

And more. Just Google.

The South Plainsman said...

The nation's largest insurance agency, and the one that spends the most on politicians.

I put all their stuff in the trash.

Anonymous said...

I joined AARP when I turned 50. $10 for ten years initial membership. I've been using the card they sent me (as a sample in the renewal letter in 1995) for hotel discounts for years. I'm rarely asked to show my membership card and when I do, everyone, including the clerks that actually enter the membership number into their computer, accept my come-on card as the real thing. I always spend the $10 I save on hotel fees at a local bar, so I feel everyone is getting a good deal out of this. Phil

George Phenix said...

AARP has spammed me three times since I began this particular post. That's a tad excessive.

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