FMCA does the right thing for its members

18

By Chuck Woodbury
EDITOR
As you may recall, a year ago in March, the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) abruptly cancelled its annual international rally in Tucson, Arizona, only weeks before it was to begin. Instead of offering refunds to members who had prepaid to attend the event — in most cases hundreds of dollars, perhaps as much as $1,000 — the club offered vouchers for a future rally. Many members were upset.

Now a year later, as the club of older RVers prepares to gather for its 2021 rally, this time in Perry, Georgia, it has made a decision to refund all the prepaid rally fees for the 2020 Tucson event.

We at RVtravel.com commend the organization for its action.

Here is the letter that FMCA treasurer John Reynolds emailed to all members who were holding vouchers.

“As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic caused FMCA to shut down our international convention scheduled to take place last March in Tucson. With the cancellation being so close to the start of the event, there already had been a substantial cash outlay to cover direct costs and overhead related to the convention. To make matters worse, the stock market experienced a sharp decline when the pandemic started, so FMCA’s investment funds took a hit. Those two factors led to FMCA issuing certificates in lieu of cash refunds.

RVs at a previous rally

“We are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. The vaccine has been rolled out, the stock market is near record highs, and FMCA’s overall financial health is the strongest it has been in many years.

“As National Treasurer and Finance Committee chairman, I suggested it was time that we make the situation right for our members and exhibitors. I am pleased to announce that my advice has been followed, and every family member and exhibitor currently holding a letter of credit is being issued a full refund. Be on the lookout for a letter to arrive in the mail soon with a check for the amount you paid for Tucson registration, services, and activities. These checks will be sent in batches over the next month, so it may take until mid-April to reach you.

“Thank you for your patience as we worked this out. While the situation has not been ideal, in the end I think we have been able to do right by our members and exhibitors. We appreciate your continued support of FMCA.”

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Denny
1 month ago

Many things have changed over the last few years. Memberships in Organizations have suffered. As I see it an organization has to offer a reason or Reasons that entices one to belong. If an organization was to offer big discounts for fuel, overnight stays, vehicle insurance, etc etc then maybe it would be worth it to those that have canceled their membership.

But that can’t happen and unfortunately that won’t happen. FMCA was a great at one time.
It saddens me to say that it’s time has passed or is passing…..it’s the sign of the times……
now it’s time to move on…..

Roger Marble
1 month ago

I’m preparing my Motorhome for my trip to Perry. I am scheduled to give three Seminars on Genealogy and two on tires. I had registered for Tuscon and was disappointed that the event had to be canceled. I think that few people understand the up-front costs associated with organizing such large events. It’s good to know that FMCA is going to make good the fees that many members paid to register for Tuscon. Hope some of you will stop and say Hi at one of my Seminars. See you in Perry.

Nick
1 month ago

Unfortunately, last year’s decision upset many folks, and they quit FMCA. This may be a little late. On the flip side, I have posted on FB a couple of times an issue with FMCA. Rather than deal with any issues or constructive criticism, both pages removed my post or refused to post it. Nobody likes an organization that tries to censure its members, especially today.  

Jimmy John
1 month ago

Thanks to President Trump’s plans that was set in motion stocks are gaining still. FMCA is on it’s way back.

WEB
1 month ago

If you go to the FMCA store (shopfmca dot com), you still can buy the t-shirt for the Tucson event.  👕 

Dick
1 month ago

As the FMCA Treasurer pointed out, much of the fees collected for the 2020 Tucson event had been disbursed to cover the event expenses, leaving little to be refunded. FMCA is not a profit generating business and does not maintain a significant bank balance to be able to instantly refund a debt the magnitude a complete cancellation incurred. I can understand the vouchers and the problems trying to recapture funds advanced for services. I applaud the Association for making the refunds. To complain about lost interest is at most a nitpick as bank interest in the last year has hovered at around .1%. For those of us able to afford the RV Lifestyle to quibble over trivial amounts seems inappropriate to me.

Having faith in the FMCA, I took advantage of the discounted membership prices offered in the past year and extended our membership. This perhaps aiding the Association with cash flow.

Barry T
1 month ago

I value my FMCA membership and have been a member for many years, my number is in the 137000’s. IMO, one of the best benefits offered is the MiFi package. I had the Verizon MiFi offered through FMCA, but it throttled after a specific amount of data was used. It was useless for streaming. After my contract ended, I went with the MiFi program that FMCA offers through Sprint. It is TRULY unlimited data and I am now able to stream NetFlix, YouTube TV, Prime Video, etc. It does an excellent job for internet access. We run two iPhones, a laptop, and my wife’s iPad with no problems. I own an RV pad in Rockport, TX and receive only 1 to 2 bars, yet I am still able to stream and surf. This alone is worth the FMCA membership to me. The Sprint program goes solely through FMCA. FMCA ships you the device, FMCA is the contact for tech support, and you pay FMCA directly for the service…about 50 bucks a month. I love it.

Last edited 1 month ago by Barry T
Bob P
1 month ago

This was the main reason I let my membership lapse, at the time it happened I could’ve sworn Marcus Lemonis had bought the club as it seemed like his foot print was all over it. From what you printed about their refund I see nothing about any kind of interest or extensions or extra perks for holding everyone’s money for a year. I guess members just made an interest free loan to FMCA membership. No thanks, I’ll keep my semi worthless Good Sam lifetime membership, at least it’s paid for 30 years ago.

Alice
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob P

We have a worthless Lifetime Membership in Good Sam and would stay with FMCA as much preferable to GS!

Char
1 month ago

Last year FMCA retained a new company for their travel insurance. That new policy had a Covid exclusion. FMCA never announced that exclusion, never mentioned it anywhere to its members. My husband and I depended upon that travel insurance in case something ever happened to him while traveling. My husband died of Covid while we were in Arizona. When I tried to use the insurance to get home is when I found out about the Covid exclusion. I was left stranded 1200 miles from home. Shame on FMCA for not notifying its members of the Covid exclusion. It would’ve made a difference in the decisions we made at the time.

Sink Jaxon
1 month ago
Reply to  Char

So very sorry for your loss and the injustice you suffered.

Tommy Molnar
1 month ago
Reply to  Char

As usual, insurance is designed to take in as much money as possible while paying out the least possible. That’s how the industry makes money. But you are correct. Shame on them for not mentioning a COVID exclusion upfront. Of course some will say “shame on you for not reading every word of the small print”, but who does? There are pages and pages of legalize that is hard to understand at best, and totally un-understandable at worst.

Tom
1 month ago

See you in Perry.

Rick Sorrenti
1 month ago

While FMCA has done the right thing the disappointing part of all this were the careless comments from the RVing community after this event was cancelled. Zero empathy shows what many in our society have become. Very sad.

Bob Zagami
1 month ago

Congratulations to the FMCA leadership team for righting a wrong that resulted in a tremendous amount of negative pushback from its members, exhibitors and supporters. Likewise, this action should be applauded and well received in their community. The best way to correct a wrongful action is to make it right, and they have come forward and done just that with this action. For that they should be commended.

Tom in PGH
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob Zagami

I agree with everything except “righting a wrong”. I don’t see that there were any other viable options. With all of the money that had been spent to prepay the convention, there simply were not funds to refund. Being boxed into a corner like that, the way I see it, there were two roads that they could have taken:

1) File for bankruptcy, which would have absolved the debt, but done serious damage to their reputation and possibly led to their demise.

2) Take the course of action that they ultimately did, which was to eventually make good on their debt.

I, for one, applaud their actions as noble. While it may have been hard for many to accept at the time, and I’m sure that much criticism was received, I believe that they have emerged from this much stronger.

While I didn’t personally have any funds tied up in the cancelled convention, I have been a member and will continue to be one.

Last edited 1 month ago by Tom in PGH
Jesse W Crouse
1 month ago
Reply to  Tom in PGH

I agree. Thanks for the back story. Someone must have been thinking at FMC.

Gene
1 month ago
Reply to  Tom in PGH

I agree with both Bob & Tom. I have been a member of FMCA for many years. It was the only thing to do with covid closing down everything. FMCA also didn’t have to refund the money now, or ever. As for paying interest, how much interest do you get from the IRS on your tax refund that the government has had for the year? Isn’t that an interest free loan?