Bhigdog

RENEWAL THICKET

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Just tried to renew my lapsed membership on line. What an impossible thicket of dead ends, misleading instructions, and..... " You can't get there from here. You have to go someplace else first" (Spoken in my head with a thick down East Maine accent).......Oy Vey......... Bob

Edited by Bhigdog (see edit history)
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Programmers, web site designers like engineers should have to use the app/site or have to fix the part in the field before they actually put it in use/production. I’m a computer service bureau owner and can’t stand the illogical sites these guys put up with instructions that don’t match the terminology for the process they are trying to have you do. 
 

Edited by SC38DLS (see edit history)

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I always figured 1/3 of the effort for a program that worked and 2/3 for the error handlers. Was usually right.

 

Just had my CU send $40 to the club with my member number.

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I don't think you can renew a lapsed membership via the online system. The easiest way to do it is to mail in a check or call HQ and do it over the phone with a card. Perhaps the next version of the website will be designed to do that, but I suspect it is not the most common type of renewal. 

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Heck mine was current and could not make it work (kept saying it was sending an e-mail that never arrived). Called to verify the address and member number & CU sent a cheque.

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1 hour ago, MCHinson said:

I don't think you can renew a lapsed membership via the online system. The easiest way to do it is to mail in a check or call HQ and do it over the phone with a card. Perhaps the next version of the website will be designed to do that, but I suspect it is not the most common type of renewal. 

 

Home page. Top banner. First item "renew".  Home page. Right hand side HIGHLITED  "join renew". Under that a PayPal logo.

Why would I think I could renew online?........Stupid me...........Bob

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3 minutes ago, Bhigdog said:

 

Home page. Top banner. First item "renew".  Home page. Right hand side HIGHLITED  "join renew". Under that a PayPal logo.

Why would I think I could renew online?........Stupid me...........Bob

Just relating what someone else experienced a year or two ago...

 

You can join (and receive a new member number) online. 

You can renew if you are a current member online.

I still don't think you can renew a lapsed membership online and retain the expired member number.

You can easily mail a check or call and renew over the phone.  

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That's what i will have to do, Matt. I always knew I could do that. My point is that the home page leads one to think they can renew a membership online and then leads one into a thicket of confusing and conflicting paths causing bewilderment and loss of time for no good reason.

Maybe I'll get around to it next week if I think of it...........Just sayin.............Bob

Edited by Bhigdog (see edit history)

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Why have a site that says “Renew” that you can’t renew on and have to make a phone call to accomplish?  
I’ve had  on line renewal capabilities on my circulation systems for the last 17 years. You can do a renewal, add, change or cancel and it doesn’t matter if you are an expired record or current. Over 30%of the average magazine subscriber renews at the last issue or late. Most pubs allow what is known as a grace issue or two. This site just needs to be fixed and it will greatly help the total membership database and numbers. It will pay for itself in keeping lost renewals. I’m sure you all know most people do not have the patience to work thru these problems and would just say the hell with it. 
 

sorry if this sounded like a rant but I really get frustrated with ridiculous sites like this when they can be good with a little common sense. 
Dave S 

Edited by SC38DLS (see edit history)
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Anyone else get this ? Go to page, login with member number and password and get this. E-mail never comes.

error.jpg

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I have had trouble renewing online for several years. I finally just called them. I have a background in IT, so it wasn’t user error, the site doesn’t work as designed. As mentioned above the email they supposedly sent never came and wasn’t in my spam filter either. 

Edited by victorialynn2 (see edit history)

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On 2/13/2020 at 8:47 PM, MCHinson said:

The easiest way to do it is to mail in a check or call HQ and do it over the phone with a card.

 

Actually, Matt, that's not the easiest way to renew a membership, or do most anything, on line at most up to date sites. Most any site I visit to purchase something takes two clicks. The first is "buy" the second is "pay with PayPal". That's it. Paypal provides my data to the vendor and pays them for me.

The vendor is told and so knows who I am and who to credit............. Easy Peasy.

Two clicks and I am OUTATHERE.

NO hassle. NO thicket. NO frustration.

So now I'm expected to pick up the phone, maybe play phone tag, explain my case, write and mail a check or fumble in my wallet for a card, read the number, ex date, and code. All because of an inept web site.

Sounds like the tail is trying to wag the dog. I"M the customer. Make it easy for ME...........Bob

 

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Bob,

I agree that it would be nice to be able to renew a lapsed membership online. I believe that a new improved website is in the plans, but for now, the easiest way to do it in the real world is to either call and give them a credit card number, or else mail in a check. You have to deal with the way things actually are instead of how you would like them to be. :)

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They assign you a number, that number is unique to your account. They should not reuse those numbers. Computer storage is cheap and plentiful to store millions of names. How do I know that- I own a computer service bureau that specializes in circulation fulfillment for magazine subscription list. I process for over 100 magazines and a total of over 4 million names monthly. That’s a few more than the association has in its data base. It is on a laptop!  If you subscribed and your sub expired three years ago you can still renew on line by putting in your account number and payment info into a secure site. If you don’t have your account number use your email address. If you don’t have your email use your name.! It’s not rocket science!  Make it simple. Buy a program that works if you can’t get your I.T. Staff to do it right. It will pay for itself in good customer service if nothing else. 
it shouldn’t take multiple years to fix it. 
 

There I go another computer site rant or is this just an on going one. Sorry. I just get frustrated with technology that is so poorly presented.  The association is better than what they present on the site and that’s just a shame 
Dave S 

 

edited to correct my misconception of thinking account numbers would not be reused. I’ve been corrected in that thinking. By reusing numbers it can cause problems for renewals IF those numbers get reused too soon after the original member expired. I firmly believe there is no valid reason to reuse them and that practice just complicates matters. This is a very good association I enjoy very much and just want to see it be the best possible experience for all involved. 
I appreciate having been told my thinking was incorrect. 
Dave S 

Edited by SC38DLS (see edit history)
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8 minutes ago, MCHinson said:

Bob,

I agree that it would be nice to be able to renew a lapsed membership online. I believe that a new improved website is in the plans, but for now, the easiest way to do it in the real world is to either call and give them a credit card number, or else mail in a check. You have to deal with the way things actually are instead of how you would like them to be. :)

 

Actually, Matt, and I am truly trying not to be confrontational, but I don't HAVE to deal with things the way they actually are. I can choose to not deal with them at all. Think about it.

This illustrates the the entire attitude of the AACA, as I've seen it over the last 20 years.

I.E. This is the way we've always done it.

Selling a product that has to be 25 years or older is one thing.

Trying to sell that product with technology and a management/marketing style that is 25 years old is another.............Bob

 

 

 

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What do you expect from 25 year olds ?

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25 year olds should be more tech savvy than this 25 year old with 3 times the experience!  
But I also expect common sense which is probably my downfall 

 

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Computer programmers are like people that design forms.  Then never fully test the final product and wait for someone to complain before fixing anything.  I hate it when you need to fill out a form for whatever reason and the blocks are not large enough to enter the information.  I designed numerous forms for flying years ago in the USAF and the rule was design a draft version, fill it out to see if the blocks are large enough,  make changes as necessary, test it again and make changes until you get it correct, then go final.

 

I always renew when my AACA account is still active in December and have never had a problem renewing online.

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Can guarantee that programmers I worked with were different. Of course this was for digital flight and engine controls for afterburning aircraft (Pratt&Whitney then General Dynamics). People were very aware that if we made a mistake, someone else made a large smoking hole in the ground. Was serious that I spent 1/3 of the time on making the code work then 2/3 on error handling. 2nd fail safe/flight critical software is different.

 

Of course that was near fifty years ago, guess the criteria/ethics are different now.

 

P.E., CISSP, ISSAP, IAM/IEM (ret)

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I recently moved so just got around to renewing. I was able to do it online in just a few minutes including updating my address, zero issues. 

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I just got back from attending a function for a life member of AACA who received the highest honor in his state from the Governor.  Pretty cool as he is someone who accomplishes things and does good for others and was well deserving.  I was not able to address this earlier as such.

 

Not only was the above member able to navigate the website easily thousands  and thousands of others have as well!

 

However, we agree it needs to be simplified and are trying to do so.  Everyone is an expert on how easy this  should be but we have multiple interfaces which present a challenge.  Our storefront is Magento (we were talked into but others and are not happy with it at all),  we use Authorize.Net for credit card purchases and it all has to interface with our custom membership software and therein lies the proverbial rub.  So unless you understand the problem it is hard to understand why this is difficult.  Our members have also made it loud and clear they do not want us to save credit card info and we agree.

 

We are in the process of looking at all new technology for our website including new software for the site itself and changes to the store.  We do not have full time IT staff here to address it so we rely in large part from several IT concerns that are trying to help us weave through this mess.  We will get better.

 

I am going to resist addressing some of the more insulting comments here as they simply are not worth the time and effort. 

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Steve. I understand the complexities of all of this and agree it is hard using multiple platforms. One thing I would suggest is just make sure the terminology use throughout the system is the same. If the instructions say “this term” and the site has “that term” a non tech subscriber member will go nuts trying to figure it out. 
As I’ve said this is a great association, probably the best I’ve ever been a member or did work for. I just want everyone to be happy with being able to keep enjoying it as much as I have. 
 

if any of my comments were  mean or offensive I truly apologize for that was not the intent. I do think all of you are doing a very good job and appreciate your efforts 
Dave S 

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3 hours ago, Steve Moskowitz said:

I am going to resist addressing some of the more insulting comments here as they simply are not worth the time and effort. 

 

Comments that may be seen as insulting may not be intended as insults but are designed to get ones attention. Looks like it worked.

Maybe I'll get around to making that phone call after all.......Cheers............Bob

Edited by Bhigdog (see edit history)

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