I signed up for the gold membership last summer, before it was actually active. As you may remember, the sign ups were available for a month or two before we got log in details. At the time, I paid $89 for a year of service. The deciding factor for me signing up was that it was right after the failed video chat with Joe, and Dave promised that we would be rescheduling the video chat soon, and that would be open exclusively to gold members. Not wanting to miss a chance for that, I signed up. I was also interested in the contests, and I liked that the membership included a subscription to Live 365, because I checked the membership prices for Live 365 and the RR subscription was not much more. I thought it was a good two-for-one deal. The kicker was that during the time I signed up, there was a contest about "Sign up by [x date] and be entered to win a trip to LA." A winner for that contest was never drawn.
The problems started nearly right away. I never received information to log into my Live 365 account despite several requests to Dave and Jenn. Once the membership program went online, they switched from Live 365 to another service, and the Live 365 membership that I never got working anyway was removed from the membership perks. After this switch, it was weeks before I could get anything to play on either my home or work computer. Eventually I contacted the streaming service directly and they were able to assist me.
At this point, the price of the membership dropped to something like $39, and Dave was offering lots of promotions such as three months free. There were other contests to encourage registrations, such as a second trip to LA contest, which also never had a winner. I was very upset that I had paid double the price for the same membership, and when I asked Dave about it he said he would make my membership two years. About a month later, I was randomly charged $42 on PayPal from Retro Rewind. After a few emails, Dave reversed the charge, but claimed it was somehow my fault because of my PayPal settings.
The second video chat with Joe did not happen until December, and when it did, it was open to everyone. We did get some on-demand stuff, but not the unreleased Joe songs we talked about before I signed up. The "Exclusive three packs" during each show never happened as far as I know.
In December, Dave started promoting a contest where winners would have access to a private Joe rehearsal show in California. While there would be a few non-paid winners, he said several times that there would be "A LOT" of Gold member winners.
A selection of tweets:
Donations BEFORE the deadline are up for 15 tix up for grabs. ALL OTHER TIX (numerous, numerous) are for GOLDIES ONLY! from webAnd then the story started to change:
RT @4everKnights @RetroRewind How many goldies will win tickets? Can you tell us yet? DH: No exact # yet but it will be A LOT. Trust me
FYI a % of ALL December Gold sales are being donated to LGT.org
Hay gang! REMEMBER u HAVE to be GOLD MEMBERS in order to be picked for the mass of tix to Joe's rehearsal show is LA next month! from web
I'm still waiting to hear back from Joe on the rehearsal before the drawing. Sorry for the delay but I'll give you LOTS of notice! PROMISE!December 31, still promising rehearsal show access:
LAST DAY to go GOLD for $39.99 (1/2 price) and to get registered 4 tix to Joe's rehearsal show. http://www.retrorewind.com/members.htm from webNo mention of the contest for a week. And then:
Hey gang. Spoke with Joe today & due to some unforeseen issues rehearsals are closed to the public. We're both sorry about that. SO plan B..For most New Kids contests, it takes us under an hour on Twitter to fish out the winner. And yet, for this contest, where there are supposedly lots of winners, we haven't found one.
RR is picking winners to fly to Chicago to see the show there. You'll meet Joe & see the show and stay in Chitown. Details 2marra :)
Winners for the Joe Mac Chicago contest will be notified privately via email 1st of next week. No further info tonight.
Happy Monday gang!! Emails are being sent to winners of the contest! from web (Jan 11)
hey gang. Be sure to check your junk mail folders on ur email accounts for an email from me about the contest. from twidroid (Jan 11)
Add this to
- No winners drawn for either trip to LA contest (said to be due to scheduling issues)
- Video chats open to anyone
- No HWGA unwatermarked photos or video delivered yet although the shoot was in October
- Pushing donations to medical fund of a "friend" related to contests (the more you donate, the more entries you get)
- Continually fluctuating membership prices and promised features
- Lack of response to questions about any of above
Dave's twins were born at UCLA Medical Center. (Have been informed it was not at UCLA. Would be happy to correct this if given accurate info. Below is still relevant.) Around the holidays, he set up a page (www.retrorewind.com/jules) asking for donations to the hospital:
What we'd like to ask you to do is make a donation in his name instead. The money will be used to buy toys, clothes, and other gifts for some of the other children in his hospital. I've seen some of the other babies and kids in his hospital and I know for a fact they can use our help.The PayPal link is paid into GiftShop339, which is the account of Jenn's store KenRico Gifts. It would have made a lot more sense if it had been a link to the official UCLA Medical Center Giving page, which lets you choose the pediatrics department as a beneficiary. (Have heard - unconfirmed - that the hospital was USC. They also have an official donation page.)
Please click on the donation link below and give what you can. It’s PayPal and you DON’T need an account with them to donate, just a credit or debit card. With your help we can make things a little brighter for some families this holiday season. Thank you for giving us an opportunity to give back this holiday season!
Through PayPal, we have no way to know if UCLA received any money. If they did, did they receive everything that was donated? In addition, none of the BHs who donated will be able to claim the deduction on their taxes because it was not paid to a non-profit.
On the same topic, while noble, it seems odd that the family would be donating to a hospital they have said they are suing over issues with their son.
I'm sure there are more things I could mention, but I'll leave it at that. If you have experiences to share, please leave them in the comments. I also realize that by writing this, I'm opening myself up to any wrath Dave can throw at me, and I'm prepared for that. (Not sure what he can do to me really, other than call me names, but sticks and stones.) Dave, if you're reading this, I would LOVE to be proved wrong. Tell us who the contest winners were, send us some pics of all the stuff you donated to UCLA, deliver the video shoot extras we were promised. That would be great. But you can still take this as notice that I'm canceling my membership.
Jan 13 Update: This video, posted June 13, 2009 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_OMJeRIJ-g) describes, in detail, the benefits at the time I subscribed (July 20, 2009).
Update: In fairness, I am posting Dave's responses, via Twitter:
As I said, I am very happy to be proved wrong.
Second update: Great news! I heard from a contest winner! She won in early November as part of the Brinley donation contest. (I only vaguely remember it and she doesn't remember much more.) But she will be flying to NYC this weekend to see the Joe show! Her flight and ticket were covered, and she even got a bonus show ticket for her husband. She did pay for her husband's flight. I was very happy to hear this and hope more will come forward.
On the flip side, there are at least three comments below about contest winners that were chosen but never received their prizes, despite repeated attempts on their side to get in contact and make arrangements.