Why Does the CTC Discriminate Against Joint/ Family Members?

Should the CTC issue membership cards to all members by default?

Poll ended at 22 Aug 2016, 7:57pm

Yes
27
90%
No
3
10%
 
Total votes: 30

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geomannie
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Why Does the CTC Discriminate Against Joint/ Family Members?

Postby geomannie » 25 Jul 2016, 7:57pm

This is an issue that my wife has tried to take up with the Membership Section of the CTC but rather than engage in the debate, the powers that be have decided to settle the discussion by declining to reply to her. Not being someone who cares to engage in public forums, I am raising this here on her behalf.

The situation may be summarised as follows. The CTC offers joint/family memberships, at rates cheaper than individual membership, for members sharing an address http://www.cyclinguk.org/join-membership. This benefits the joint members through reduced subscription costs, and the CTC through reduced magazine production and mailing costs. However, the CTC then by default only sends out a single membership card to the principal signatory of the joint/family application, with the instruction that other members under the joint application may apply for a card should they wish one.

On cost grounds the issuing a single membership card may seem reasonable, but if you explore a bit deeper the wrong-headedness of this is clear. Firstly, all members signed up under a joint application are full members and the issuing of only a single card sends out the message that there is one dominant member of a family/partnership, who is more deserving of holding a card than the other(s). In practice, it seems likely that is very often the male in a partnership that receives the card. The sending out of only one card would thus be potentially discriminatory against many female partners. Maybe such sex-based discrimination is not in fact real, but a response from the CTC on this point would be welcome.

Secondly, the CTC is a charity under English law and all members must be treated equally. The holding of a CTC card provides benefits to the owner such as discounts in selected shops, and voting and attendance rights at CTC meetings. The physical possession of a card is thus not a trivial matter. Imagine the uproar if the National Trust, also a charity, decided to issue cards as standard only to a single member of joint applications? The cardless partners would be rightly aggrieved, so why does the CTC feel that it is right to do so?

We believe that all full CTC members, whether under a single or joint/family membership should be given membership cards by default, rather than by having to make special application. The current situation is unjust, of dubious legal status, and should be remedied as soon as possible.

Perhaps wiser heads here can suggest ways of getting this anomaly corrected, maybe by getting this raised at the next AGM, though speedier suggestions would be gratefully received?
geomannie

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Re: Why Does the CTC Discriminate Against Joint/ Family Members?

Postby LollyKat » 25 Jul 2016, 8:29pm

Yes - that has annoyed me too, as the wife in a joint membership. We used to get a membership card each but in the last few years there has just been the one, in my husband's name :? .

In practice I have found that having a note of my personal membership number has been accepted by shops, without my having to show an actual card. There seems no reason for the CTC to act like this, though. We have joint membership to several charities, e.g. the RSPB, and they all send out separate cards. If they can, why can't the CTC? It's hardly rocket science.

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Re: Why Does the CTC Discriminate Against Joint/ Family Members?

Postby MurielDownie » 25 Jul 2016, 9:15pm

It's extremely annoying, and I can't imagine that sending out one membership card rather than two saves any money. Especially since people like me get in touch, and ask for a new card. So that is going to take a lot more manpower and postage than getting them both done at once.
I need a card because if I go on a CTC course or training day I have to give my CTC number. Where else am I going to find it without getting in touch with HQ?

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gaz
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Re: Why Does the CTC Discriminate Against Joint/ Family Members?

Postby gaz » 25 Jul 2016, 9:55pm

geomannie wrote:This is an issue that my wife has tried to take up with the Membership Section of the CTC but rather than engage in the debate, the powers that be have decided to settle the discussion by declining to reply to her. Not being someone who cares to engage in public forums, I am raising this here on her behalf. ... a response from the CTC on this point would be welcome.

CTC do not view the forum as an official communication channel and it would be unwise to expect any official response on this thread.

Personally I'd invoke the complaint procedure on both the lack of reply and on the policy of only sending one membership card.

I would believe that the policy does save CTC money, even after factoring in the costs of sending additional cards when requested, I still think it's wrong.

A membership card for every member, surely not too much to ask.
There'll be tarmac over, the white cliffs of Dover ...

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andrew_s
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Re: Why Does the CTC Discriminate Against Joint/ Family Members?

Postby andrew_s » 26 Jul 2016, 12:53am

gaz wrote:I would believe that the policy does save CTC money, even after factoring in the costs of sending additional cards when requested

The sending of membership cards will be contracted out to someone. The CTC will supply a data file containing a list of names, addresses, and membership numbers, and the contractor will laser/inkjet print the details on pre-printed form letters/cards, which they then mechanically put into separate envelopes and send off to the post.
Putting several membership letters into the same envelope won't be an option.

The CTC have the choice of either one letter per household, or one letter per member.
How many joint/family memberships are there, out of the total 67,000 membership? How many members actually request a separate card? I'd guess that the difference could come to maybe 5,000 letters and 5,000 lots of postage.
How long will the family membership discount over separate individual memberships remain the same if you insist that the savings are reduced?

If the effect of a request is just to add a name to the next month's mailing list, there's very little admin cost in dealing with the extra card requests, so asking people to ask for the extra cards seems a reasonable compromise (provided they actually act on the requests, and save them for next year).

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Re: Why Does the CTC Discriminate Against Joint/ Family Members?

Postby Flinders » 26 Jul 2016, 8:29am

I think a card for each member seems fair enough. It's not too much to ask. Especially as you might want to use it for discounts when the other person wasn't there- including for things like presents.

Incidentally, I carry our card as my husband does a lot less cycling than I do. But it's interesting that the default is for the husband according to a previous poster, as ours comes in my name. I suspect that's because I pay for it. :?

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Re: Why Does the CTC Discriminate Against Joint/ Family Members?

Postby Vorpal » 26 Jul 2016, 8:43am

andrew_s wrote:
gaz wrote:I would believe that the policy does save CTC money, even after factoring in the costs of sending additional cards when requested

The sending of membership cards will be contracted out to someone. The CTC will supply a data file containing a list of names, addresses, and membership numbers, and the contractor will laser/inkjet print the details on pre-printed form letters/cards, which they then mechanically put into separate envelopes and send off to the post.
Putting several membership letters into the same envelope won't be an option.


I don't think that Cycling UK outsource this. They did for a few years, but I think it was brought back into the organisation in 2013.

Anyway, whether it's done by someone in Cycling UK, done by a computer, or done by another organisation, I'm sure that they can reasonabløy manage to send out membership cards to all members of a family in one envelope. If nothing else, the ones that require special handling of some sort can be sorted out to be done manually.
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DaveP
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Re: Why Does the CTC Discriminate Against Joint/ Family Members?

Postby DaveP » 26 Jul 2016, 9:13am

It's not the only organisation that messes up in this area.
A while back my wife bought me a National trust membership for my birthday. I am clearly the member. Communications, mailings etc. come in my name - all but the renewal bill :lol:
I eventually relented, intervened and took it over in my own name. No big deal - except that they make quite a thing about Gift Memberships. How dare they assume that someone wants to go on giving the same gift year after year?
We got into a similar tangle with an energy provider a few years ago. The account was in my name, the bills came to me, the cash was extracted from my wife's bank, and even though she was paying they wouldn't talk to her on the phone, it had to be me...
You wouldn't think it could be so complicated!
Trying to retain enough fitness to grow old disgracefully... That hasn't changed!

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Re: Why Does the CTC Discriminate Against Joint/ Family Members?

Postby Psamathe » 26 Jul 2016, 11:50am

geomannie wrote:...
Secondly, the CTC is a charity under English law and all members must be treated equally. The holding of a CTC card provides benefits to the owner such as discounts in selected shops, and voting and attendance rights at CTC meetings.....

Which to me suggests they should discard the joint/family reduced membership and stick to a one member one payment.subscription system. After all, why should e.g. a married couple effectively pay a reduced rate (per person).

If it is a matter of reduced costs on e.g. Cycle Magazine then allow a membership option to not receive Cycle (or receive electronically) and get a reduced subscription. But a one member-one subscription would seem fairer and avoid complaints like yours.

Ian

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Re: Why Does the CTC Discriminate Against Joint/ Family Members?

Postby Tangled Metal » 26 Jul 2016, 12:34pm

Can friends living in the same house get joint membership or is it only for those living as a couple?

If the reduction is a due to one copy of cycle and less admin, etc. then surely it should apply to other examples where the same saving is present?

I'm only asking tongue in.cheek as I'm not married but living with someone. Do I have to get married to join? What if me and my son wanted to.join but not my partner? Could we get joint membership reduced price?

I'm trying to say that any married it joint membership systems have a lower equity than one member one fee systems.

Other clubs I'm in have similar discounts but provide 2 cards, like C&CC. They also offer a discounted online membership where you don't get any of their books or magazines. Saves a bit on joint membership.

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Re: Why Does the CTC Discriminate Against Joint/ Family Members?

Postby Bmblbzzz » 26 Jul 2016, 12:59pm

Annual Membership suitable for families or two adults living at the same address. Membership can include up to 2 adults and unlimited children under 18 residing at the same address. Please note: automatically only the main member will receive a membership card and welcome pack, membership cards for additional members can be requested at any time from our membership department at no additional cost.

http://www.cyclinguk.org/join-membership

"Two adults living at the same address" so you don't have to be a couple let alone married.

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Re: Why Does the CTC Discriminate Against Joint/ Family Members?

Postby Psamathe » 26 Jul 2016, 1:12pm

Bmblbzzz wrote:
Annual Membership suitable for families or two adults living at the same address. Membership can include up to 2 adults and unlimited children under 18 residing at the same address. Please note: automatically only the main member will receive a membership card and welcome pack, membership cards for additional members can be requested at any time from our membership department at no additional cost.

http://www.cyclinguk.org/join-membership

"Two adults living at the same address" so you don't have to be a couple let alone married.

But single parent with children is not eligible ? All seems very discriminatory to me. One person, one membership fee seems fairer.

Ian

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Re: Why Does the CTC Discriminate Against Joint/ Family Members?

Postby Bmblbzzz » 26 Jul 2016, 1:15pm

I'd have interpreted that as saying one adult and unlimited children can have joint membership as long as they share an address.

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Re: Why Does the CTC Discriminate Against Joint/ Family Members?

Postby Vorpal » 26 Jul 2016, 1:20pm

Psamathe wrote:But single parent with children is not eligible ? All seems very discriminatory to me. One person, one membership fee seems fairer.


Annual Membership suitable for families or two adults living at the same address.
(my bold).
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Re: Why Does the CTC Discriminate Against Joint/ Family Members?

Postby Psamathe » 26 Jul 2016, 1:25pm

Vorpal wrote:
Psamathe wrote:But single parent with children is not eligible ? All seems very discriminatory to me. One person, one membership fee seems fairer.


Annual Membership suitable for families or two adults living at the same address.
(my bold).

I suppose I can't appreciate why two adults should get a discount over one adult. If it is about costs of servicing (e.g. Cycle Magazine) then single members could be given the option to forgo that and get the lower membership fee. Just seems to discriminate against single (unattached) members.

Ian