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Old 07-11-2013, 10:19 PM
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I'm annoyed at BJ's Wholesale Club

For those who don't know, BJ's Wholesale Club is a member warehouse store like Sam's Club or Costco.

Anyway, I have a membership and it has to be renewed annually. I generally wait for it to expire and then renew it the next time I go to the store. I figure that way I'm not paying for something I'm wasn't using.

But BJ's has apparently decided to put a stop to this. I was there today and I was told my membership is about to expire. I stopped at the information desk on my way out to check to see if they were running any membership specials (sometimes you can buy a membership and get two extra months free).

They weren't running any specials and I was also told that they will maintain my account for two months after it expires. I can't use my account for those two months. But if I renew it in that time period, the renewal will automatically extend from the end of my previous membership.

I feel this is a rip-off. Let's say I don't buy anything for the next six weeks and then go in to pay for a new annual membership. They're going to backdate my membership through the six weeks when I wasn't using it and give me a "one year" membership that will actually only be good for ten and a half months from the date I buy it.

This pisses me off. I'm going to wait and see if they actually enforce this or if they'll waive it when I want to renew. If they do try to enforce it, I'll probably decide not to renew just as a matter of principle. I can always get a membership at Sam's Club instead.
Old 07-12-2013, 12:00 AM
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What if you don't talk about renewing and simply ask to join as a new member?
Old 07-12-2013, 12:13 AM
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I went there. I was extremely disappointed.
Old 07-12-2013, 12:23 AM
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I could be wrong, but I don't think that is new at all. I'm pretty sure they have done that for quite a while, if not pretty much always. It's possible you've tried to pull that one before, didn't think that they might be automatically circumventing that little trick, and only thought your hiatus didn't count against the membership period you paid for, when it actually did.

Same thing happened to me. For a while now, I've intentionally done what you did, thinking I was skipping a month or two that didn't count against my new membership period. But it was only during my most recent attempt that I actually paid attention and saw that the trick didn't work. -_-

Last edited by voltaire; 07-12-2013 at 12:25 AM.
Old 07-12-2013, 01:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voltaire View Post
I could be wrong, but I don't think that is new at all. I'm pretty sure they have done that for quite a while, if not pretty much always. It's possible you've tried to pull that one before, didn't think that they might be automatically circumventing that little trick, and only thought your hiatus didn't count against the membership period you paid for, when it actually did.

Same thing happened to me. For a while now, I've intentionally done what you did, thinking I was skipping a month or two that didn't count against my new membership period. But it was only during my most recent attempt that I actually paid attention and saw that the trick didn't work. -_-
Perhaps. Maybe in the past I went past the two month limit without realizing it.
Old 07-12-2013, 03:08 AM
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What happens if you wait an entire year? Do they charge you for the year you never went there?
Old 07-12-2013, 08:17 AM
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If you wait longer than two months and then get a new membership, is it more than the cost of the renewal would've been?

(I actually had a BJ's membership years ago and vaguely remember some bullshittery along these lines, but don't remember the specifics.)
Old 07-12-2013, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Vinyl Turnip View Post
If you wait longer than two months and then get a new membership, is it more than the cost of the renewal would've been?
I believe that renewing a membership costs less than starting a new one. We were just in the store and were told as long as we renew before the deadline we saved a bit on the membership, I forget the exact numbers.
Old 07-12-2013, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Telemark View Post
I believe that renewing a membership costs less than starting a new one. We were just in the store and were told as long as we renew before the deadline we saved a bit on the membership, I forget the exact numbers.
Our membership expired last month, and we didn't have the money earmarked for it until last week. My husband went in there and paid -- it was the same price as the regular renewal ($50, I think?) But then again we didn't go past the two-month thing which I didn't realize until the OP's post.

What I don't like is their not having family memberships. The next time I go to BJ's I'm going to have to pay $50 for my own card. Down at Costco $75 renewal takes care of both of us.

BTW, I prefer Costco. BJ's however, is less than 3 miles from our house.

Last edited by kiz; 07-12-2013 at 09:07 AM.
Old 07-12-2013, 09:15 AM
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They do this so that they can get more membership money. Thousands of members sliding their renewal dollars back a month or so has the same effect on the club's bottom line as not getting an interest rate on a savings account for one month. It takes money away from their present value.

So a simple solution is to decide whether or not you want to give them that money. If not, quit going there.

Last edited by BubbaDog; 07-12-2013 at 09:16 AM.
Old 07-12-2013, 09:47 AM
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The backdating you describe is fairly standard practice at these membership stores.

The two month window was settled upon after a rather expensive class action lawsuit against Costco. It is considered a consumer victory.

Last edited by RhapsodyInBlue; 07-12-2013 at 09:49 AM. Reason: Edited to fix broken link
Old 07-12-2013, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telemark View Post
I believe that renewing a membership costs less than starting a new one. We were just in the store and were told as long as we renew before the deadline we saved a bit on the membership, I forget the exact numbers.
No, I checked on that. It's the same renewal fee regardless of whether you do it during your membership or after it expires.
Old 07-12-2013, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by BubbaDog View Post
They do this so that they can get more membership money. Thousands of members sliding their renewal dollars back a month or so has the same effect on the club's bottom line as not getting an interest rate on a savings account for one month. It takes money away from their present value.

So a simple solution is to decide whether or not you want to give them that money. If not, quit going there.
Obviously they're doing it to make more money. The point is how many people will be like me and avoid renewing over this? I'll probably just game the system and switch memberships back and forth from BJ's and Sam's on a year by year basis.

They should take a clue from the airlines and tie their customers in with some kind of loyalty program. Give people a five dollar discount if they extend their existing membership.
Old 07-12-2013, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
No, I checked on that. It's the same renewal fee regardless of whether you do it during your membership or after it expires.
I think he meant to suggest that it's cheaper to renew within the 2-month period after your previous membership expired, than it is to renew after that 2-month period has passed. Which sounds about right, although I don't know.
Old 07-12-2013, 10:22 AM
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You can get a BJ wholesale? Shit, I'm never paying retail again!!
Old 07-12-2013, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
No, I checked on that. It's the same renewal fee regardless of whether you do it during your membership or after it expires.
I think they quoted us at $20 up to the deadline, but if we slipped passed that it would cost us $50 for another year.
Old 07-12-2013, 11:30 AM
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I was gonna point out that I wanted to join, but then I noticed the apostrophe. Carry on.
Old 07-12-2013, 12:06 PM
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BJ's sent me a "free" 60 day card. If I liked it I could buy a membership that would cost for a year but only give me another 10 months, basically extending the 1st two months. If I signed up for a year on the spot they would give me 15 months instead. If I used the 60 days and did not sign up within 30 days I would not be allowed to sign up for at least a year.
I took the free 60 days and don't really intend to sign up ever after shopping there.
Old 07-12-2013, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by voltaire View Post
I think he meant to suggest that it's cheaper to renew within the 2-month period after your previous membership expired, than it is to renew after that 2-month period has passed. Which sounds about right, although I don't know.
If not, the lesson would seem to be either don't let your membership expire, or wait at least two months after it does.

I was going to say that backdating membership renewal dates (after a period where the membership was unusable) sounds like a practice that begs for a class-action lawsuit. I don't really remember hearing about Costco's.
Old 07-12-2013, 01:29 PM
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I went there. I was extremely disappointed.
The experience had an unhappy ending, did it?
Old 07-12-2013, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by voltaire View Post
I think he meant to suggest that it's cheaper to renew within the 2-month period after your previous membership expired, than it is to renew after that 2-month period has passed. Which sounds about right, although I don't know.
No, I was told it was the same price regardless of whether I renewed while my current membership was still in effect (in which case it would be extended from the end of my current time) after it expired but within two months of the expiration (in which case it would be backdated to the expiration date) or more than two months after it expired (in which case it would start from the day I joined).
Old 07-13-2013, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by kiz View Post
Our membership expired last month, and we didn't have the money earmarked for it until last week. My husband went in there and paid -- it was the same price as the regular renewal ($50, I think?) But then again we didn't go past the two-month thing which I didn't realize until the OP's post.

What I don't like is their not having family memberships. The next time I go to BJ's I'm going to have to pay $50 for my own card. Down at Costco $75 renewal takes care of both of us.
You should check on that- we don't pay an additional fee for a second card at BJ's. I think there is a fee for a third, but it's not the price of a separate membership.
Old 07-13-2013, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by doreen View Post
You should check on that- we don't pay an additional fee for a second card at BJ's. I think there is a fee for a third, but it's not the price of a separate membership.
http://bjs.com/info.aboutmembership.options


All three membership options include a free second card for a family member.
Old 07-13-2013, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by kiz View Post
What I don't like is their not having family memberships. The next time I go to BJ's I'm going to have to pay $50 for my own card. Down at Costco $75 renewal takes care of both of us.
Also, doesn't the basic Costco membership cost $55, not $75?
Old 07-13-2013, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
You can get a BJ wholesale? Shit, I'm never paying retail again!!
Join the club!
Old 07-13-2013, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Budget Player Cadet View Post
I was gonna point out that I wanted to join, but then I noticed the apostrophe.
So you decided to stick with Trapper John's Wholesale Club?
Old 07-15-2013, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
Also, doesn't the basic Costco membership cost $55, not $75?
Signage I saw when I was at Costco a few days ago said $55, and since I live in California, if there are regional variances, I'd expect to be seeing the higher prices here.
Old 07-15-2013, 02:22 PM
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Like the OP, I renew at BJs when I am told by the cashier that my membership has expired. I do this because I want to ask about my usage to see if it's worth doing the more expensive membership or not (with a % back in points.)

I have always simply assumed that they would be renewing back to the date it actually expired and not the current date. That's how memberships work.

It's how magazine subscriptions work. It's how gym memberships work. It's how gun clubs work.

Why should they reward you for paying them late? If anything they're doing you a favor not charging you a late fee.
Old 07-15-2013, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Debaser View Post
Like the OP, I renew at BJs when I am told by the cashier that my membership has expired. I do this because I want to ask about my usage to see if it's worth doing the more expensive membership or not (with a % back in points.)

I have always simply assumed that they would be renewing back to the date it actually expired and not the current date. That's how memberships work.

It's how magazine subscriptions work. It's how gym memberships work. It's how gun clubs work.

Why should they reward you for paying them late? If anything they're doing you a favor not charging you a late fee.
Huh? It appears you've misunderstood the situation. I don't know about gym memberships or gun clubs but I do know this is not how magazine subscriptions work. If you have a subscription to Maxim, for example, and the last issue of your subscription was the July issue but you don't renew until October, they don't charge you for the August or September issues. You don't get those issues and you don't pay for them.

And what on earth are you talking about with late fees? That just doesn't make any sense.
Old 07-15-2013, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
Huh? It appears you've misunderstood the situation. I don't know about gym memberships or gun clubs but I do know this is not how magazine subscriptions work. If you have a subscription to Maxim, for example, and the last issue of your subscription was the July issue but you don't renew until October, they don't charge you for the August or September issues. You don't get those issues and you don't pay for them.
Depends on the magazine. I've had some that automatically renew and send me the August and September issues even if I don't pay until October. I haven't renewed after the subscription expired - I've simply paid afterward it expired . Which from BJ's point of view ( and that's not the only way to view it) is what they are doing as well. You didn't pay until October- but you could have come in in August or September and just paid the fee, rather than start the new member process from scratch as you would have to do if you waited until January.
Old 07-17-2013, 09:37 AM
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Once I was about ten months late getting the annual car registration sticker at the California DMV. By the time I did, it was easiest to pay, slightly early, for next year's sticker as well!

They refused (as a matter of policy?) to give me the prior year's sticker (though I paid for it, and probably a penalty surcharge as well). If I'd paid only for the one sticker, and gotten the new sticker a week later, I'd have had two stickers instead of one!
Old 07-17-2013, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
Huh? It appears you've misunderstood the situation. I don't know about gym memberships or gun clubs but I do know this is not how magazine subscriptions work. If you have a subscription to Maxim, for example, and the last issue of your subscription was the July issue but you don't renew until October, they don't charge you for the August or September issues. You don't get those issues and you don't pay for them.

And what on earth are you talking about with late fees? That just doesn't make any sense.
If you let your membership to BJs lapse from July to Oct then that same thing would happen. But if you are just paying a month or two late both BJs and Maxim would still let you have the service and would take your payment and renew it back to the end of the old subscription/membership.

Late fees are when you pay someone late and they charge you a fee. It happens with many products and services. For instance, if I don't pay my gun club fee by the end of the year they charge me an extra $50. This way people are motivated to pay on time and not pull scams like you are trying to run.
Old 07-17-2013, 11:09 AM
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I’m disappointed with this thread… all I read was BJ’s Wholesale…… no BJ anywhere, damn!
Old 07-17-2013, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Debaser View Post
If you let your membership to BJs lapse from July to Oct then that same thing would happen. But if you are just paying a month or two late both BJs and Maxim would still let you have the service and would take your payment and renew it back to the end of the old subscription/membership.

Late fees are when you pay someone late and they charge you a fee. It happens with many products and services. For instance, if I don't pay my gun club fee by the end of the year they charge me an extra $50. This way people are motivated to pay on time and not pull scams like you are trying to run.
I was told that I couldn't make purchases until I renewed - but that after I renewed they would charge me anyway as if I had been able to shop there.

So in this case, "late fees" are the scam. They're not charging for services they provided. They're charging for services they did not provide.

I have no problem paying a one year fee for one year of service. I do have a problem with paying a one year fee for ten months of service. And I have a problem with the people who make that kind of scam possible by their willingness to accept it.
Old 07-17-2013, 03:40 PM
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Do you apply this insane logic to other services based on your usage rather than their set prices?

Do you only pay Maxim 90% of the subscription price if you didn't have time to read one of their magazines? Do you only pay for half of a hot dog at the ball park if you're not that hungry?

Is this thread a joke? Do you really not understand that during those two months you were welcome to use the club (once you paid your bill). You just didn't. But why should they have to eat that cost?

Why don't you take this to the next level and insist that your year of membership should entitle you to use the club 365 days, even if it's spread out over ten years. That would also be insane, but it would be logically consistent with your current proposal.

I've heard of cheap people, but this is taking it to another level. We're talking about 1/6th of a year that costs $55. That's $9.17. Get over it.
Old 07-17-2013, 04:06 PM
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I’m disappointed with this thread… all I read was BJ’s Wholesale…… no BJ anywhere, damn!
Every time I arrive, I get this thrill of anticipation, only to leave as frustrated as before.
Old 07-17-2013, 05:04 PM
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Every time I arrive, I get this thrill of anticipation, only to leave as frustrated as before.
I see you've met my wife.
Old 07-17-2013, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Doughbag View Post
I’m disappointed with this thread… all I read was BJ’s Wholesale…… no BJ anywhere, damn!
I wish that FTFY was allowed:

Quote:
I’m disappointed with this thread… all I read was BJ’s ho sale…… no BJ anywhere, damn!
FTFY
Old 07-17-2013, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Debaser View Post
Do you apply this insane logic to other services based on your usage rather than their set prices?

Do you only pay Maxim 90% of the subscription price if you didn't have time to read one of their magazines? Do you only pay for half of a hot dog at the ball park if you're not that hungry?

Is this thread a joke? Do you really not understand that during those two months you were welcome to use the club (once you paid your bill). You just didn't. But why should they have to eat that cost?

Why don't you take this to the next level and insist that your year of membership should entitle you to use the club 365 days, even if it's spread out over ten years. That would also be insane, but it would be logically consistent with your current proposal.

I've heard of cheap people, but this is taking it to another level. We're talking about 1/6th of a year that costs $55. That's $9.17. Get over it.
I'm having a hard time believing you're serious.

Do you really think it's normal to pay for things you didn't buy? Because it isn't.

When you subscribe to Maxim, do you also send Time magazine fifty dollars for not subscribing to them? When you go to eat at McDonalds, do you stop at Burger King on the way home and pay them for the meal you didn't order there? If you bought a new TV at WalMart, would you also give Target three hundred dollars because you didn't buy a TV from them? When you go to a car lot, do you pay them for all the cars you don't buy? Do you just carry around bundles of money and just give some to everyone who tells you that you could have bought something from them?

Guess what? You don't have to do any of those things. I only pay for the things I actually buy. That's the normal way people live. I don't know where the hell you live that things are so different.

By the way, you're now a member of Little Nemo's Financial Consulting Services. You owe me a hundred dollars. In fact, what the hell, you've now been a member since 2003. Send me a thousand. Plus two hundred more for late fees.

Last edited by Little Nemo; 07-17-2013 at 09:26 PM.
Old 07-18-2013, 06:11 AM
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Background, I'm a Costco member, and shop there routinely.
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Originally Posted by Debaser View Post
Is this thread a joke? Do you really not understand that during those two months you were welcome to use the club (once you paid your bill). You just didn't.
I'm welcome to use BJs under the same conditions, even though I am very much NOT a member of their store. The only difference between me and Little Nemo is that he has paid for BJs membership in the past, I haven't.

Conceptually, these folks are simply allowing their membership to lapse after it runs out, then getting a new membership when they want to shop at BJs again. My Maxim subscription ends, I stop paying them until I want to get more magazines. If that's 2 months later, I can restart my 1 year subscription with a 2 month gap.

If these stores wanted to, they could institute a new pricing scheme, let's assume today's membership is $50/yr:
Annual Membership $55
Renewal Membership $50 - valid when there is no lapse in membership
New Member Discount $5
Old 07-18-2013, 06:13 AM
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I suppose you could solve this problem by having your husband sign up for the next card, and rotating between the two of you every 14 months.

Me? That's too much of a headache to have to complete paperwork and get new cards.
Old 07-18-2013, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by PunditLisa View Post
I suppose you could solve this problem by having your husband sign up for the next card, and rotating between the two of you every 14 months.
But I'd have to have a gay marriage for that. And that means my membership card wouldn't be valid in most states.
Old 07-18-2013, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
You can get a BJ wholesale? Shit, I'm never paying retail again!!
The logistics of wholesaling BJs must be quite challenging.
Old 07-18-2013, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post

Do you really think it's normal to pay for things you didn't buy? Because it isn't.
All your analogies fail for the same reason: BJs isn't forcing you to be a member. You are choosing to pay for your membership, and then to renew it.

Pay your bill, cheapskate.
Old 07-18-2013, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Cheesesteak View Post
Background, I'm a Costco member, and shop there routinely. I'm welcome to use BJs under the same conditions, even though I am very much NOT a member of their store. The only difference between me and Little Nemo is that he has paid for BJs membership in the past, I haven't.

Conceptually, these folks are simply allowing their membership to lapse after it runs out, then getting a new membership when they want to shop at BJs again.
Thanks for the explanation, but it's not needed. Everyone reading the thread understands how the OP wants the membership system to work. Unfortunately, that's not how it actually works. Under this system, things would be more complicated for BJs and it would cost them money. Plus it's not how memberships to things generally does work.

For example, take Maxim...

Quote:
My Maxim subscription ends, I stop paying them until I want to get more magazines. If that's 2 months later, I can restart my 1 year subscription with a 2 month gap.
Not true. I finally outgrew maxim a few years ago. I stopped paying them and it took years for the magazines to actually stop coming after my subscription lapsed. They make money off ads mostly, not subscription fees. It's in their best interests to have as many subscribers as possible, even if they don't pay. That's why most magazines are free for the first year.

If you did pay two months late, you wouldn't be given a two month gap. Your new subscription would begin at the end date of your old one. I regularly renew Wired, Fast Company, Field and Stream and others and they all work this way.

The NRA and AAA also work this way since I've paid them both many years now as well.

Do you have any real life examples of a membership or subscription that would actually give you a break for a two month lapse in membership?

Quote:
If these stores wanted to, they could institute a new pricing scheme, let's assume today's membership is $50/yr:
Annual Membership $55
Renewal Membership $50 - valid when there is no lapse in membership
New Member Discount $5
Sure they could. They can set it up however they want.
Old 07-18-2013, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Budget Player Cadet
I was gonna point out that I wanted to join, but then I noticed the apostrophe.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Biffy the Elephant Shrew View Post
So you decided to stick with Trapper John's Wholesale Club?
Trapper? I thought that said Snapper.
Old 07-18-2013, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Ludovic View Post
I wish that FTFY was allowed:

FTFY
Damn!!! That would be nice, like.
Old 07-18-2013, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
But I'd have to have a gay marriage for that. And that means my membership card wouldn't be valid in most states.
You should try and change the world, one BJ at a time.
Old 07-18-2013, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Debaser View Post
Thanks for the explanation, but it's not needed. Everyone reading the thread understands how the OP wants the membership system to work. Unfortunately, that's not how it actually works. Under this system, things would be more complicated for BJs and it would cost them money. Plus it's not how memberships to things generally does work.
My apologies, when you use the term "insane logic" I thought you actually meant that the concept was illogical.

Companies may not setup their subscription services to work this way, since it would cost them money, but the concept is perfectly logical, do you disagree?

Why should BJ's preference in the terms trump Little Nemo's? Business agreements are ones of joint acceptance, if LN doesn't want to be counted as a member after his 1yr term expires, why does BJs get to do that unilaterally?
Old 07-18-2013, 10:48 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Yeat!
Posts: 6,091
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheesesteak View Post
My apologies, when you use the term "insane logic" I thought you actually meant that the concept was illogical.

Companies may not setup their subscription services to work this way, since it would cost them money, but the concept is perfectly logical, do you disagree?
The insane part is him thinking that he gets to dictate terms to BJs and get a special break that no one else is getting. Plus the fact that basically all subscription and memberships work this way so what he wants is highly unusual.

Quote:
Why should BJ's preference in the terms trump Little Nemo's? Business agreements are ones of joint acceptance, if LN doesn't want to be counted as a member after his 1yr term expires, why does BJs get to do that unilaterally?
Do you seriously need me to answer this?

Because the reason is that it would not make sense for BJs to have different agreements with each of it's customers. They need to have one policy (or maybe several) for all members. They work with lawyers and accountants and come up with the agreement and the price. Then people can choose to join or not.

Do you seriously think it would be a good idea to BJs to individually negotiate it's terms of membership with every individual member?

I'll ask you the same thing I asked him. Should other industries work this way? Should you be able to pay your credit card bill whenever you like and not have a late fee? After all, "business agreements are ones of joint acceptance".

You guys are such special little flowers? Are you both millennials? The terms of the BJs membership agreement are for the common people! Not you. You are too important to pay the $9.17. The rules don't apply to you, especially if you decide you don't like them. Let me guess: You always got a trophy in sports, even if you lost.

Pay your bills, penny-pinchers.

Last edited by Debaser; 07-18-2013 at 10:48 AM.
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