AARP tries to take advantage of old people

By | January 29, 2024

My wife and I joined AARP a year or so ago (no, we’re not retired, and no, we’re not senior citizens; they accept members starting at age 50). Today we received this in the mail:

Let’s talk about why this letter is appalling.

  1. They don’t tell you that if you renew online for 3 years or 5 years it costs less than automatic renewal. They’re trying to leverage people’s love for a bargain by concealing that it’s actually not the best membership rate they offer.
  2. Every old person I know gets frequent flier miles or some other type of rewards on their credit card. They’re trying to trick you into paying with your bank account instead of your credit card, which costs them less money and takes away your rewards.
  3. The whole paragraph about how secure automatic renewal is, is a transparently stupid and offensive attempt to play off of seniors’ fears:
    • They’re citing a 5-year-old report.
    • The report is about data that’s 7-11 years old.
    • Fraud level “by dollar value” is a 100% irrelevant statistic. The relevant statistic would be fraud level by number of transactions. Having said that…
    • Even that isn’t relevant, because fraud level is irrelevant when you know whom you’re giving the check or credit card to.
    • If fraud were a concern, then the fact of the matter is that it’s often much harder to get money back from a fraudulent bank account transaction than from a fraudulent credit card transaction.

I thought the purpose of the AARP was to protect and advocate for seniors. Apparently they think it’s OK for them to take advantage of their members?

In the year+ my wife and I have been AARP members, I don’t think we’ve taken advantage of it a single time. I suspected this would happen before we joined, but my wife insisted. The fact that membership has been worthless to us so far, coupled with the offensiveness of this deceptive letter, makes it unlikely that we’ll renew our membership.

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One thought on “AARP tries to take advantage of old people

  1. Michael Jones

    Hi Jonathan.

    There’s a point you might have missed – people forget about the dozens of automated renewals they have and are quietly losing a lot of money for stuff they aren’t using.

    Second point – for bastards who perpetrate these scams, you can bet cancelling the arrangement is tougher than marrying into the Mafia and then trying to back out with a divorce.

    I gather the Australian government is working on legislation to target these shonks and it can’t come soon enough.

    Thanks for the post. Power on, brother !

    Also – is it OK for me to reblog this at our cyber pub – ?


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