MEMBERSHIP / RENEWAL
Roadtrek International Chapter FMCA
A Roadtrek Owners Club
Your organization functions due to the work of many volunteers. We have no paid staff and while the chapter covers some of the expenses borne by the volunteers the value of the the labor is enormous. Keep this in mind when evaluating the services provided.
Our dues have been $15 per year for many years, but with the loss of corporate support, we have been forced to increase the dues to $20. In addition beginning in January of 2020 we will only mail newsletters by specific request. We have a few members who don't have access to the Internet and we want to continue to make the information available to them. It costs about $10 per year to send the 6 newsletters and this is a very large expense we can no longer afford. So for those members with no other option we will continue to mail newsletters. You can always read the newsletter on-line and or print out the pages you want to read in detail.
We use PayPal to make it possible for people to pay with a credit card. There is no need to have a PayPal account. PayPal accounts are only needed for people who want to get paid by credit card. You don't need an account to pay your dues. PayPal would like to have you as customer who wants to get paid by credit card, but this is not required. PayPal is a large operation and has a very effective fraud protection system in place and lead the industry in this regard. Your risk of having your card compromised using PayPal is very low.
For the vast majority of users, PayPal works very well. It's cost effective for the chapter since it makes it easy to get funds from members and deposited into the bank account. In addition it makes processing Canadian funds much easier and much less expensive. Some banks charge as much as $4 for each Canadian check.
When we started it was a simple matter to keep track of the membership with paper and pencil. With so many members, it would be a very daunting task to do this with paper and pencil.
Rather than dig out from a pile of checks and paper forms, these volunteers would rather do other things like travel and put on rallies.
This online form makes it much easier to collect the membership information and keep the records updated. Additionally this system provides for a method of making payments using a credit card. This simplifies the job since it's much easier than having to manually deposit and record each and every check.
We know that not everyone is comfortable with paying online, but in reality it's very safe, particularly if you pay attention.
Even if you don't pay with a credit card, please make an effort to use the online form. This helps because we now have the information in a form which can be easily copied and added to our records. Since we cut and paste, there is little chance of spelling your name wrong!
Filling out the Online Form
This form is smarter than most and it will detect some errors and missing information. It won't let you complete the process until you have entered the needed information. If you make an error or leave something out, the computer will display a message in Red Letters. Look for the error message for an explanation for why it's not working. Common errors are not specifying the number of years you wish to renew for and not including the complete Zip+4 as part of your address. Another common error is not specifying if your information has changed. The chapter secretary will make note of this and update your information in his records.
If you have questions or special comments, please contact the Chapter Secretary directly, please don't insert questions or comments into the renewal form. The computer is easily confused.
If you have problem applying or renewing, here are some tips which may help. First of all, you must have a valid FMCA number to renew or become a member. The FMCA number has a leading character which is normally an F for family, but there are commercial members which have the letter C. There is another class of membership, the I class which is for a membership provided by dealer as part of the sale of a new unit. These memberships are good for one year. If you have a parent with a membership, you can have an S or D at the end of your FMCA number which indicates son or daughter.
You may apply online for an FMCA membership at www.fmca.com.
Here is a little tour of the signup screen:
To start you must select "New Membership" or "Renewal" and the number of years you wish to pay.
You must fill in every box which has an asterisk * by the description. This information is needed to complete your registration.
Both a phone number an a valid email address are required.
You may include an alternative email address which we can use should we have trouble reaching you. If you don't have a second email address please leave the space blank.
Two Ways to Pay
Once you have completed the form and checked your work carefully, then click the PayPal button. If you must pay with a check, then enter your check number in the field provided and the "captcha" number in the blue box and click the "Send form to Chapter Secretary" button. If the machine finds missing information or a syntax error, you will get a message. Correct the problem and press the button again.
The screen appearance will vary depending on whether you've used PayPal before.
If everything "looks correct" and you select the PayPal option, then you will be taken to the PayPal site. The initial screen should look something similar to this:
If clicked the link "Submit Form to Chapter Secretary" then you will see something like this:
Print this out along with your check and mail to the chapter treasurer at the address shown.
If you've used PayPal in the past you may have an account and have forgotten about it. In that case PayPal may "recognize" the credit card number and demand that you log in. If that's the case then you will need to find or recover the password for your forgotten PayPal account.
If you are paying by credit card, and we hope you will, you will see the following screen after you click the link "Don't have a PayPal Account".
Due to changes in the PayPal system, the screens may look a little different, but it should function in the same way. If any doubt, be sure the PayPal url is correct and the lock icon is visible indicating a secure site.
Normally most of the fields will be filled in with the information your provided on the first form. Should you need to use a different address and/or name for the credit card payment you can change the information. We will still use the information you provided on the first screen for our records and ignore any changes you make here. If PayPal sees a City and postal code which don't match up, it will leave these fields blank. You must fill in a valid address for PayPal to work.
Simply fill out the information and be sure and include the three digit CSC code which is on the back of your credit card. All of your information must be correct and consistent with your credit card for the payment to process.
Click the "Review and Continue" button at the bottom.
It should look like this:
Okay one more step, PayPal will confirm your information and ask for confirmation that this is what you want to purchase
Okay you're done, If it worked correctly, PayPal will confirm and then send an email confirmation.
PayPal wants you to set up an account, but you don't have to do this.
PayPal changes their web pages from time to time and it's difficult to keep up with them. I've updated the screen shots to show what they looked like of 1/24/2015. It will always be possible to just use your credit card or debit card. There is no need to set up a PayPal account.
Most of the time PayPal works just fine, but can sometimes be difficult. Don't take it personal, it just happens.
Normally when you get to the PayPal screen, you can just click, "Don't have a PayPal Account" and it will take you to a screen where you fill out the form. You enter your credit card number and confirm the payment. At the end you will often be asked if you want to set up a PayPal account. You can simply decline.
PayPal like every financial institution works very hard to control losses due to fraud. With so many transactions to process, this is a huge challenge for them. They have very sophisticated software which examines every transaction and looks for potential fraud. Sometimes the software is not sure and provides a "soft decline." This means that while the bank may not have declined the card, the software detected something which did not feel right. Some uses will get a message "This card cannot be used for this transaction." This does not mean that there is anything wrong with your card, it just means that their software algorithm detected a pattern which tripped the alarm.
PayPal does not want their site used for illegal purposes, for example to check to see if a stolen card is "good." So they obscure the messages.
PayPal won't provide information about why this happens, but we can speculate. First of all they keep a lot of information on users and if you've ever used PayPal before they have a bit of history on you. They can match you up with that history in a number of ways including your name, address, phone number, email, credit card number, cookies on your machine and the internet address of your computer connection.
I discovered that if you get the 3 digit CVC code wrong it will just say the card can't be used. So be careful when you enter the number. I managed to transpose two digits and it took me a few tries before I realized what I had done.
It's important that your name, address, phone number and postal code be consistent with the credit card you are using. The email address can also trip you up. I also suspect that they look at the internet address being used. The internet address or IP is a unique number associated with your connection the internet.
Bottom line some combination of the the above can "trip" the filter.
I'm not sure, but the reported behavior where PayPal seems to demand that you set up an account may be reflective of the same perceived potential of fraud.
None of this means that there are actual problems with your credit card. The best solution when you get stuck is to call PayPal customer support. 1-888-221-1161 is the U.S. support number and 1-402-935-2050 is the number from outside the U.S. It can be difficult to get to a live operator, but once you do they are very helpful.
Some have reported the following message when they reach the PayPal site: It might say something like: "Sorry - Your last actions cannot be completed."
This may be caused by a corrupted cookie. A cookie is a small file on your computer used to "remember" bits of information about your last visit to a website. Cookies are essential for the web to work.
If the bits of information in the cookie make no sense, the PayPal machine gets confused and thus the message.
A quick way around this cookie issue is to use an "InPrivate" or "Incognito" browsing session. Under the tools tab in your browser there should be an option called "InPrivate Browsing" or "Start Private Browsing." This opens a new window and no existing cookies will be seen by the sites you visit. New cookies can be set, but they will disappear when you exit the session.
It's possible to clear all the cookies, but this is a bit drastic, you can clear cookies associated with a particular site, but that's more complicated.
If you are still having trouble, please send me an email with a description of the problem and we will work with you to find a solution. A screen shot can be very helpful. Hit the "print screen" key on the keyboard. You can then paste the image into a word document or the paint program. Save it and send it to me.