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  AAA Stirs Resentment With Aggressive Marketing of Plus Program

Better World Would Never Make An Advertisement Resemble a Renewal

Although By Reading Kicking Asphalt, You Have Agreed To Donate Your Child's College Education Fund to Us. Missed the Fine Print? We're Just Trying to Make You Better Readers

A prospect writes in: I've been hearing about the Better World Club on the Car Talk radio program recently, and as a AAA member it intrigued me. Then I received a membership-upgrade promotion from AAA that I consider one of the worst, most unethical commercial solicitations that I have ever received. The form looks like a simple renewal, and only by reading it carefully did I realize that it was a pitch to upgrade to Plus membership, i.e., to receive benefits that we don't need at a higher cost.

I've always been uncomfortable with AAA's aggressive marketing of Plus memberships, but this was over the line. It's especially bad coming from an organization that is supposedly built on the trust and confidence of its members.

This caused me to come to your Web site and look around. There I learned about AAA's lobbying efforts to promote roadbuilding and oppose mass transit and cleaner-running automobiles, and at that point my decision was pretty well finalized.

We'll probably join the Better World Club, because of AAA's abusive marketing to its own members as well as the difference in environmental policies. We may need to wait till our AAA membership expires this summer, though, so we won't be paying for duplicate services.

At any rate, thanks for putting a great idea into practice!