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FMCA MEMBER BENEFIT UPDATE

Unfortunate News About Verizon Offer

The July issue of Family Motor Coaching magazine includes an announcement regarding a wireless internet plan that FMCA had intended to make available to all members. Unfortunately, Verizon officials have informed FMCA that this plan cannot be made available to members after all.

FMCA did its due diligence in working with Verizon regarding details for this offering, with several months of communication, including approval from Verizon officials of the July 2017 article and ad. We had every reason to believe that Verizon understood what FMCA’s plans were in launching this program. And we were excited to be able to pass along savings to members for a data plan that would help to keep them connected in their travels.

As is common practice in business, the program launched via email to a small test group of FMCA members so that we could make sure the sign-up form was working correctly and staff felt comfortable with the enrollment process. When this “soft launch” occurred, shortly before the planned launch to all members on June 26, news of the program was picked up by several online sources, including some outside the RV industry. We quickly learned that mobile data is a hot topic well beyond RV circles! Shortly thereafter, FMCA was contacted by Verizon officials and informed that the plan could not be offered to FMCA members as intended.

The only alternative plan suggested by Verizon to date is not advantageous as a member benefit. So, with regret, FMCA has been forced to rescind the offer of a Verizon wireless internet plan benefit for members. Verizon has indicated that they will not be honoring any of the orders that were entered during the test launch.

We are disappointed that this didn’t work out as planned, and we know many of you are as well. Please know that FMCA’s goal all along was to do what we strive to do on an everyday basis – to offer valuable benefits to our members and to help make their travels pleasant and worry-free. Rest assured that we aren’t giving up on that mission. We’ll continue to look for great benefits that will add value to your membership.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why wasn’t this plan offered to all FMCA members?

The plan was to roll out the program to ALL members on June 26. In an effort to make sure the sign-up process would go smoothly, before that full launch an email was sent to a small, randomly selected group of members in mid-June as a beta test of systems and to help build staff comfort with the process. While the program was in this test stage, online news media heard about the test launch and published information about the new benefit. This is why many FMCA members did not hear the news directly from FMCA.

I’ve heard people who don’t own a motorhome joined just for this benefit. How could that happen?

FMCA had no intention of extending this benefit to non-motorhome owners. At this time, membership in FMCA is open to owners of Type A, B, and C motorhomes, and bus conversions. FMCA has measures in place to ensure that new members are motorhome owners. If someone who doesn’t own a qualifying RV claims to have joined, it could be that he or she didn’t understand the question, or chose not to answer appropriately.

Did you do this only to get new members?

No. FMCA is always looking to expand its current benefit offerings to members. Of course, we hoped that the plan would go well and would provide motorhome owners an additional incentive to join FMCA. FMCA is a social organization, and we always welcome new members to join us!

Did FMCA offer this plan simply to boost the association’s revenues?

FMCA wanted to pass along savings to its members. In developing pricing for the program, the objective was to only cover incremental staff time required to administer the program. All billing and administration, other than technical support, were to be handled by FMCA.

I joined FMCA only for the Verizon benefit. Can I cancel my membership?

Yes, of course. FMCA is a fun-filled family organization, and we want members to be happy with their affiliation with FMCA. If you joined between June 12 and 16, 2017, solely for the Verizon offer and/or you do not own a motorhome, please call us at (800) 543-3622 for a full refund. However, we hope you stay! FMCA has lots of benefits — the tire purchasing program, the FMCAssist Medical Emergency and Travel Assistance, program, a monthly magazine, etc. — that members say makes membership more than worth the modest annual dues. And, of course, many people literally join for the FUN of it — to participate in events and chapter activities.

Could FMCA not handle the volume?

To be completely honest – we were overwhelmed when news broke. During the initial few days, many of you called with questions and left a message to have your call returned. However, don’t worry that we weren’t prepared; FMCA has a strong team in place to provide members with benefit assistance.

Was the program cancelled because of new members joining just to participate in the program?

No. The only stipulation in the agreement was that participants had to be members of FMCA. Longevity of membership did not matter. So, new members were eligible to participate. And, of course, FMCA regularly enrolls new members on a daily basis.

What did FMCA do with the credit card information?

Credit card information was entered in FMCA’s secure, PCI compliant system.  After the cancellation, all orders placed are considered null and void; Verizon will not honor any of the orders. Rest assured that credit cards were not charged, and FMCA did not provide Verizon credit card information.

Has FMCA thought about offering a data plan through another provider?

Yes!  FMCA is always trying to expand its member benefit offerings. So, we will continue to explore this and other opportunities (especially based on the enthusiastic response from members to this program).

Can I contact Verizon directly to voice my concerns? What is their phone number? FMCA is working with the corporate division of Verizon, and we are not advocating for members to call Verizon or to contact a local Verizon retailer about an FMCA program. If you have questions that are not answered above, please email FMCA at membership@fmca.com.

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