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Discussion Starter #1
As a person involved in the membership/recruitment area of MBCA, I know tht MBCA is very interested in learning the reasons why many enthusiasts are not attracted to join. MBCA has recently hired a consultant firm to do surveys and look into this, but their data base includes only members and those who have recently become former members. It does not include those who have checked out MBCA and have chosen to never join.

There is a MBCA poll here on this board, and a few of you have stated your reasons for not joining. It would be very helpful to me and to MBCA if all of you who are not MBCA members woulpost your reasons right here.

This is not to start arguments. If your reason is valid to you, it's valid! I may pop in only to clarify a matter.

When this thread is (hopefully) full of responses, I will send it to MBCA's national membership chair and its president.

Don't be shy! You are an enthusiast. If MBCA does not appeal to you, it is our fault and not yours!

Of course, there are some things that MBCA can't fix, some things it can fix in time, and some things it can fix rapidly.

Your help in identification of problem areas will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for your responses.
 

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1: Saleries of the club bosses, especially since they advertise two raffles a year and the numbers show large amounts of money being made by them. Only one raffle a year, pay resonable salaries, and money from raffle and membership shown where it goes.

I was irritated about mailings for multiple raflles when it turned out the odds weren't that good and I did the math of how much money is raised because of it, and it doesn't seem to go to help the members.

2: Focus on events people can attend and programs that assist people with cars they have. Money towards purchase of another Mercedes-Benz is not of value for the majority of people who do not want to commit to buying another new Mercedes. Events that go to Germany are great, but some cannot make those, so have other event people can as well.

The club CEO making 6 figures from the club can afford to lease or buy a new Benz every couple of years, but maybe others cannot. Maybe they can, and do not want just Mercedes' products. Support the Benz they own, not the one the factory wants them to buy.

Events in Las Vegas all the time, etc. Some people would like to drive to something close to their neck of the woods.

3: Facilitation member to factory communications. Provide members with an avenue to have their issues reviewed by the company, be an advocate on behalf of the members within reason. By the same token, strive to provide the members with exclusive access to factory reveals. Give the members and the factory a voice.

No help in contacting the factory to get part so my car could be fixed, no help in contacting the factory when the dealer totalled my car wiating for the part, no help in contacting the factory to get option on replacement car to make it match one dealer totalled. Not even allowing a "letter to the editor" about the dealer totalling the car in the magazine. Ability to get into AMG driving academy through other avenues first, etc. Mazda would have a closed, pre-press, champaign reveal of their new Miata to the Miata club even.

The basic tenants of any governing body: Be transparent, represent the people who pay, and provide a good, valuable service.

After that, make sure the regional clubs are well run and have fun events planned throughout the year, especially those that involve the car. Especially here in South Florida where events are planned for "snow birds" during the winter and not for the summer.

Make sure there is a strategy to allow members to approach regions with event ideas, and also ways to make that member make good on their promise to put that event on. Have an avenue for people to contact the national when they think their ideas are being dismissed on a regional level.

In other words: Help Me. Let Me Help You. Don't Dismiss Either Without Worthwhile Consideration!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
RacerCub:

Although this was brought up on the other thread, I'll respond here if that's OK. I called MBCA national, and learned that we do have an ombudsman program to help members who are having problems with dealers "doing right" by them. A member can use this program by writing to Executive Director, MBCA, 1907 Lelaray St., Colorado Springs, CO 80909-2872. The member should include his/her member number, vin number, and a full description of the problem including any service records relative to the problem.

I don't know how well this works, as I have never needed to use it, and I personally know nobody who has. But it does exist, for what it is worth.

As far as activities go, please look at my section's web site at www.mbca-okc.org and check out out past and future activities. And soon a resource link to SLK World will appear there also. Let me know what you think of our activities, but keep in mind that my section is located rather "in the middle of nowhere" so interesting destinations for a day road trip are scarce.
 

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RacerCub:

Although this was brought up on the other thread, I'll respond here if that's OK. I called MBCA national, and learned that we do have an ombudsman program to help members who are having problems with dealers "doing right" by them. A member can use this program by writing to Executive Director, MBCA, 1907 Lelaray St., Colorado Springs, CO 80909-2872. The member should include his/her member number, vin number, and a full description of the problem including any service records relative to the problem.
Dole,

I think more people would use/access this program if they had a link to an e-mail address on the MBCA web site. Most people, including myself, don't know what snail mail is anymore.:)

PS, I am a member.
 
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Well, in 2005, that might not have been the case. Calls and letters went unanswered.

Your region has more then double the events of South Florida, and we have summer all year round!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
dltslk:

The main web site of MBCA is www.mbca.org. Before you go there, please know that I think the site could be better! But it is what national has at the moment.

RacerCub:

I believe you are correct, in that the ombudsman program wasn't started until sometime after 2005. Can't remember exactly when, but 2006 sticks in my head. Also, I have heard rumors (not confirmed) that MBCA national is cutting some of those salaries of which you rightfully complain.
 

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BTW, if anybody wants to check out an MBCA section with a whole lot of events and activities, check out the FT. Worth, TX section right here:

http://www.mbca.org/fortworth/
My parents live there. I will have to remember that for when I drive over. I'm not sure Mom's Kia mini-van would be fun at the events!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, competitive driving events (timed) are restricted to Mercedes-Benz automobiles. But otherwise, there is no requirement that one even own a Mercedes to join the club or participate as a guest in its other events. We have a very active couple in our section (chapter) whose Mercedes does not run (and may never do so according to what I hear). They drive to events (including on road trips) in a different make of car. And we have members who do not own Mercedes, but joined the club and attend to "ask the man (or woman) who owns one" before making the investment. Once I drove an eleven year old Ford truck to a party, because the weather forecast didn't look good at all -- and I was not alone in this.The Kia would be welcome.

Now, I hope other regulars on this board will give me some input as to why MBCA is not attractive to you. Remember, this is not your fault. It is ours.
 

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We have never really checked it out. I do not know anyone in the Portland area that is a member, so I guess I never gave it much thought. I do however try to attend as many events as I can with the SLK Northwest group out of Seattle. So I would not necessarily be against joining another group of MB enthusiast.

I will check out the web site for the Portland chapter and maybe drop in on one of their local events. Who knows, maybe I will run into someone who is also a member of SLK World. I don’t see many if any from the Portland area on the forum at all.

I think to answer your question, for me it is just a matter of out of site, out of mind.

I hope this helps you out.
 

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I should have also said that my wife spends half her time in your neck of the woods (Tulsa) so she is not around much to attend a lot of events that may be going on in the area.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Dave54:

Your situation is a bit unique, as you have the Northwest SLK group. If your main or only interest in Mercedes is in the SLK, this group may fully satisfy your car club desires. From what I hear, it is an excellent group! It is the only SLK specific club in the US, as far as I know.

For what it may be worth, here is a link to the Portland section's web site.
http://www.mbca.org/portland/

And I think your "out of sight, out of mind" comment spoke volumes. If MB enthusiasts don't know about MBCA and the local sections, they don't know to check out the Club to see if they like it or not.
 

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Dolebludger I've been seeing more and more interest in 'SLK' clubs forming. There are several regions on here that seem to be starting or trying to organize SLK clubs or groups in their areas such as the NE, SW, Northern California, and we have been working on that here in Atlanta as well.
 

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so caL suX!

Dolebludger,

i just checked out mbca, as this discussion caught my eye the other day. there are no links to the los angeles or orange county regions. the san diego section has 6 times as many board meetings than actual events; and well, las vegas is too far to drive most of the time.

but then again, so cal doesn't seem to be very cohesive as a whole. we don't even have our own section on this site lol. so find a way to make so cal less apathetic and i'm sure you'll get us in droves :tu:

tom
 

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Discussion Starter #16
tommy:

There clearly ought to be a web site for LA and OC, as these are high population areas, and high "Mercedes population" areas. But, I couldn't find one on the MBCA forum or the MBCA web site. So we can't have any idea what events and activities they offer at this point.

When I first joined, my local section had no website (yet). So I called MBCA national at 800-367-6372 and asked for the name and phone number of the Central Oklahoma section president. I called him and had a nice chat about what sort of activities and benefits were offered. I learned when and where the next monthly meeting was to be held, and attended. In this case, I liked what I found, and have been a regular since then.

But that was several years ago, before it became expected that all organizations and businesses have a web site. It is inexcusable that the LA and OC sections don't.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Titus:
Good! :) How's it working out? How did you learn about MBCA?

BTW, all, my concern (and a lot of salesmanship) for MBCA is in no way meant to detract from this SLK specialized forum or from SLK specialized clubs and groups. In fact, if your interest is confined to the SLK models, such clubs or groups are the way to go -- if there is one in your area. This forum certainly has a lot more SLK specific info than the MBCA forum has, due to the fact that the MBCA forum covers all models present and past. But if your interest extends to all things Mercedes, MBCA is a good thing too.
 
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