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RE: Exchange Memberships and Foreign Subscriptions
George Slusarczuk wrote:
> Exchange Membership in the AKA/BKA is a fine thing, but at present it is
> complicated and awkward. I was a BKA member in the '80's, but it was not
> easy to find somebody willing to exchange membership and I finally
> dropped out. If one tries to pay the membership fee directly, the
> banking charges make it prohibitive.
> At that time I proposed a different method to further membership in both
> Societies, but the powers that be, apparently, were not interested or
> didn't think it worthwhile.
> The method is absolutely simple: Each Society has a representative on
> the territory of the other, to whom dues can be paid, i.e. the BKA has
> somebody representing it in the US, to whom American members can pay
> their BKA dues with a simple personal check, & the AKA has somebody in
> England collecting the AKA membership dues.
> Once in a while the representatives transmit the collected money to the
> respective Society, paying only one banking fee. Commercial firms and
> banks use this method constantly. It works & it's simple. Why not try
This certainly would be a good way to go if it could be organized properly.
I have been a member of a number of killie associations for many years (AKA,
BKA, KFN, DKG), some as far back as 1971 and paying foreign subscriptions
has always involved getting international money orders for each, once a
year, and paying an additional $8 or so bank charges on each money order.
I recently received a note from the Treasurer of the KFN indicating that for
foreign memberships they would now only accept a payment by direct bank
transfer of funds. Not even money orders in Dutch Guilders would be
acceptable. Presumably this is because of the commission they have to pay on
checks, money orders, etc. sent from outside of The Netherlands. Now, a
direct bank transfer might, to the KFN management committee, seem like a
good solution to the problem; however, when I went to my bank to arrange
this I was informed that the fee for such a transfer would be $35 which is
exactly the same as the actual membership fee. Effectively, my membership
fee has suddenly DOUBLED. The result is that, as much as I regret it, unless
I can think of a different way of paying, I will probably be forced to let
my KFN membership lapse (after being a member for 15 years or so ?). As a
matter of principle, if nothing else, I object to being forced to pay twice
what I have been paying for years for the same service. I suppose I could
mail cash but that is risky.
If killie associations, such as the KFN, want to encourage international
membership then they must make an effort to make it easier to pay
subscriptions from a foreign country.
The best solution to this problem, and one that would make exchange
memberships unnecessary, is for associations to have an online membership
payment facility that allows the use of credit cards as, in fact, the AKA
now has. I realise that there is a small fee to the association involved but
if that were passed on to the (foreign) member it would still be cheaper
than paying the bank charges.
In the absence of an online credit card payment option, multiple year
subscriptions also help because the bank charges are usually the same
regardless of the amount being paid.
Brian R. Watters
University of Regina
Regina, Sask. S4S 0A2, Canada
Ph: (306) 584-9161 (home); (306) 585-4663 (work)
Fax: (306) 585-5433
E-mail: bwatters at sk_sympatico.ca
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