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Cooking Club of America

I received an invitation in the mail to join the Cooking Club of America. For $12 a month I get to test different products, techniques and sometimes keep the appliance. Also comes with a monthly magazine filled with recipes, cooking secrets, etc.

Has anyone tried this club or heard anything about it? I'm tempted to join but it sounds too good to be true and I don't want to be hassled.

Any feedback is much appreciated!

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  1. Put the invitation into the trash. CCA is exceptionally aggressive in their marketing techniques and the items that you are sent for "testing" or as premiums are cheap.

    On occasion, the magazine has had some decent recipes, but once you subscribe, it is nearly impossible to get rid of them, even after you unsubscribe.

    Trust me. In about six months after you join, you will get a notice claiming that you have been selected for life-time membership into CCA, all for a small fee of around $300 or so. It simply isn't worth it.

    On top of that, I consider their marketing predatory as they will send you invoices for subscriptions, even though you haven't agreed to them. Three years after not renewing my membership, I still get the fake invoices stating that I need to send in X dollars to reactivate my membership.

    Never.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Seth Chadwick

      Yeah.....everything HE said!! And more.....

      They are the WORST! I joined unawares and now cannot get them off my back and haven't sent them money in ages and I keep getting their mag, their notices and their letters. I started stuffing everything back into the postage paid envelopes and sending them back to them- i think they may have finally gotten the hint!! The recipes are loaded with fat and calories and the few I have tried never tasted very good.

      1. re: cooknKate

        Call their Member Services line and be forceful. My husband once worked for the parent company of this magazine, and believe me, predatory is the name of the game. Member Services might not deal with you right away, but keep it up. If nothing else, contact the USPS about fraudulent demands for membership dues after you have cancelled. I wish you luck.

        1. re: cooknKate

          Hi,
          I actually signed up and then I got my first thing to test. It was a poorly designed measuring device, Supposedly to replace measuring spoons. I concluded after seeing a small return form (for my testing opinion)that THAT was just an inducement to get one to pay for their book. I think it is an insult to ones intelligence to let us think they are evaluating our 'evaluations.' How patronizing! I quess I was reading too much work related material and thought this would be a fun respite!! Even a memebership card! Please!! Now I'll have to go through the tired routine of getting them off my back!! HA!! I quess I deserve it! Sandi

          1. re: britzbeads

            And the membership card didn't even have MY name on it!!! "Personalized" indeed! It was personalized for Geneva someone or other! (I'm Stephanie!)

          1. re: Seth Chadwick

            Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!!!! I just received an "invitation to join" too and I'm glad I looked it up here first. The dues that they ask for is $12/yr, not $12/mo. as the original writer of this subject wrote. I must say that the low price was very tempting at first. But alas, thanks to all who put their 2 cents in.

            1. re: Seth Chadwick

              I was a member of CCA and Seth is right. You have to really try hard to get rid of them. They sent me an unsolicited cookbook, one which I had already. They then started harassing me about paying for the book after I told them they had sent me a copy of this very book several years ago. It was like putting pajamas on a tiger to get them to pay for the postage so I could return it. And then there is the "lifetime" offer Seth mentioned. Forget about it. Throw the invitation away.

            2. Here's my post on it a while back... http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/... In a nutshell, don't do it!

              1. Thank you for responding so quickly. I'm sooooo glad I decided to ask about this, I guess my suspicions were right on.

                1. Save your money for some really good kitchen equipment that you will use!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Seattle Rose

                    Now that sounds like a plan! Something you will use...and enjoy. :-)

                  2. Get rid of it quick!!!!!!! You'll be pestered forever!

                    1. Thank you all for this information. i just ran out to my mailbox to retrieve the registration form, tore it up and trashed it. Glad i decided to get more info before the mailman came!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Espie

                        Thanks to you all for writing in on this -- I put my "accepted" invitation in the mail last night and then thought I had better research the company. Thankfully you all wrote in and I too ran to my mailbox to take back my registration!

                      2. Nah, don't waste your money. I just got the invite, too. I kept the combination bowl scraper/pasta measurer, and the magnet (because I thought it might be a nice frame for a photo on the refrigerator) and recycled the rest. I have enough to do without having to deal with that.

                        1. It's good and bad. I keep getting told I'll get this and that sent, but haven't received anything really. They keep sending me the magazine for which I am never billed. I get an invoice saying I can become a lifetime member,but it was not anywhere near $300 dollars. I believe it was $25 or $35 dollars. I declined, but I still receive the magazine. If receiving a free magazine once a month is a burden, bring it on

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: jhopp217

                            Actually it is just under 300.00 and they say they send you cookware once the entire "dues" are paid. The promos make you think it isn't much until you read the really fine print and they have you for much more money.

                          2. Well, after countless snail-mail posts to these clowns, I finally smartened up, thanks to one of you. I called the customer service 888 number. My guess was to be on hold for a while. Why put more than one person on the cancel extension as the member may just get tired of holding and hang up. I hung in there for a TWENTY-TWO MINUTE HOLD!!

                            Then after getting all of my information, the lovely voice said it would take 23 days to have this finalized as it has to "go through the system!!" Ha!

                            I told them in this day and age of high-tech goodies that that was unacceptable and from this point forward all items received would gladly be accepted as gifts from their marvelous organization.

                            What a bunch of scammers.

                            1. I got my invitation and held on to it for a week while I procrastinated on making a decision. THANK YOU to all who posted to this as I know I just saved myself a ton of headaches by not applying. As the old addage goes: If it sounds to good to be true, it usually is!!

                              1. Hello --

                                Thanks so much for posting this question. I just got my CCA "Invitation" and almost fell for it but after reading the responses I am putting everyth9ing in the trash. I guess we all need to be reminded that if it sounds too good to be true, it almost certainly is.

                                I read the endless letter that comes with the package -- interestingly, none of the posts here mention the $100 in grocery coupons of your choice that supposedly come with the membership. Did anyone get those?

                                BTW, the good thing about this whole experience is that my research led me to this site. THAT is a plus.

                                Cooke in Maine

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Cooke in Maine

                                  I read the endless letter that comes with the package -- interestingly, none of the posts here mention the $100 in grocery coupons of your choice that supposedly come with the membership. Did anyone get those?<<

                                  Never!

                                2. I too rec'd an "invitation" in the mail from this place...my "invitation" was in the form of, as they called it, a 'DUES INVOICE"! What I found even more frustrating than their fake billing was the fact that they gave me NO means of contacting them...no website, no phone number or anything! Has anyone found a way of contacting them (other than the address on their greedy little return envelope for payment)?

                                  Any information on this topic would be very helpful. Thanks!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: lorifishercash

                                    Even if it's NOT a postage-paid envelope, write on their lengthy "invitation" DECLINED - NEVER ORDERED and send it back to them. As it has their address on it, and if you don't put your address on it, they'll have to pay to receive it, thinking they're scamming someone into paying for it). They'll discover they did scam you when they open the envelope.

                                    Or it will just get tossed by the USPS. Either way - you didn't order anything from them; you're under no obligation to pay.

                                    But if you really want to attempt to get off their mailing list, here's their contact info (you can usually go to a website and go to their Site Map to find an actual contact page vs. their online contact page where you send them an EMail): http://www.cookingclub.com/FAQ/FAQDet...

                                  2. Heck I never even became a member and I have been receiving these "invitations" for years! I actually got a cheese grater once as incentive to join, but the quality was cheap (as one of the other replies stated about cheap products). Luckily it was free. But I haven't ever joined and I constantly get junk mail asking me to join.

                                    1. Good advice from everyone. AND if you ever get a similar "invitation" from The National Home Gardening Club, run just as fast and as far....

                                      1. How did you get one, they told me that my friends and other people know that I'm a foodie and it was a special invite. :)
                                        I threw my in the trash. I suspect they get the names from food magazines.
                                        Danny

                                        1. I really do heart Chowhounds. I was literally in the process of sealing the CCA reply form in its postage-paid envelope when I had the thought to check Chowhound for any posts on this club, and, as usual, I'm so glad I did. I know that my husband and I are still receiving emails from Columbia House, despite the fact that we cancelled our membership, oh, 8 years ago, so I don't appreciate companies like this. I also hate all the deceit inherent to this process -- I'd be much more likely to respond positively if the marketing materials were honest in the first place. In any case, a big THANK YOU to everyone who weighed in on this! I kept the magnet and bench scraper, and have chucked the rest into the recycling.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: freelancer77

                                            Thank God for google....I just got an invitation yesterday, and I brought the forms with me to work to send off, in case I decided to do it. However, I wanted to do a little checking into it via the internet before I committed. And I am SOOOO glad that I did. After reading all of these posts and not hearing ONE good thing about this organization, I tore up the form and trashed it, too! And like another of you said previously, it brought me to this site :) I am going to tell all of my friends about this so they aren't taken in, either.

                                            1. re: amylovescupcakes

                                              Thanks for everyones input!! I received an invitation yesterday, and was so tempted to "join" I decided to go to CCA website and join from there. Glad I checked this site first!!

                                          2. I found this site by accident and wanted to see what people thought about CCA. I have to say I am surprised. I joined CCA about eight years ago and have really had no complaints. Yeah I did get the invite to get the cook books but I declined it and that was that. I did get the life membership and as a premium for life membership got a really nice set of stainless steel cookware. I like the magazine and have gotten some decent recipes. I get it every month and have never been billed for anything after paying my life membership fee. It's not full of "healthy" cooking but there are other places if that's what I am looking for. I have received a few products to test and they were small but useful items. I probably don't get more items because I don't keep up with sending my profile to them. CCA may not be for everyone but I think I got my money's worth. And no I do not work for or with CCA or anyone affiliated with them.

                                            1. I received my invitation today and did the math: "Over the years, more than 490,000 of our Members have tested products worth over $3,000,000 and kept them FREE!"

                                              Wow! That's $6.12 worth of stuff per Member. No thanks.

                                              Then again, their website states "Cooking Club of America members have tested and kept over $2,000,000 in fantastic products." That drops the value to $4.08 per Member.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: mardiba

                                                Now THAT is pretty damn funny! But ever so sad for those that might have gotten sucked into their con.

                                                1. re: mardiba

                                                  I just got one in the mail today, talking about what an exceptional cook I am...which of course, I am, but how do THEY know that?
                                                  I was reading the information, saw that "490,000 members and $3 million of products tested" and immediately said to my wife "Wow, $6 per member...wonder how many of those actually got bread makers and cookware?" I tossed the pasta measure/bowl scraper and blank recipe cards in a drawer, stuck the measurement magnet on the fridge, and shredded the rest. This company's no different than the click-through come-ons in the margins of a Facebook page.

                                                2. This club is the biggest ripoff I have ever come across. What everyone else has said is very, very true. I am still hassling with these morons and I am thinking of filing a formal complaint with the BBB about them. They keep sending me invoices for their inane cookbooks, the subscription for which I canceled two months ago. I will not pay for their crap and I suggest you not get involved!

                                                  1. hi everyone. I as well received this invitation in the mail and was slightly intrigued. I have read more than a 100 reviews on numerous websites that have a majority of people saying that this is a scam. I have been told to look up their BBB rating and that they have gotten an A+. Let me verify: the company North America Membership Group, Inc. got the A+, not necessarily Cooking Club of America. North America Membership Group, Inc. has many different clubs associated with them. I am not convinced it is a complete scam, but more or less a very aggressive company who has very poor morale and customer service. That alone makes me not want to join. I am glad there are those few who have had a great experience with them but there have been far too few of those great experiences to make me want to join. I too received a "Free $100 grocery coupon card" but anything like that has sirens going off in my head.
                                                    What I really want to know is how I was first put on this "nomination" in the first place? I do not have any ties to any other cooking magazines, cookbooks, cooking forums (until today) or cooking websites. I havent ever been prompted by any of their other clubs, nor am I a member of any club. I just moved into my new home only months ago but they already have my new home address? How do I get off their mailing site??

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: caitlynelyssa21

                                                      Just don't respond. If you don't, they'll most likely drop you.

                                                      You got the offer because you've just moved into a new home. Believe me, the types of mailing lists that are sold for "New Movers" are HUGE. Oil delivery services, window replacement services, magazines, gutter replacement, lawn care, etc.

                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                        STOP!!!!!! there are an abundance of "CLUBS" all use the same format, free testing, gifts, etc. etc

                                                        Look up any of the following and compare the site to "Cooking Club",
                                                        Fiahing Club of America
                                                        Handyman Club of America
                                                        Hunting Club of America
                                                        Motorcycle Club of America
                                                        I stopped looking, but this is one company offering the same gadget promotions, contests, forums for many interests, and yes folks, in each club you can become a "Life Member". If high pressure marketing works in one area, roll it out and see how many people you can fool!!!!!!

                                                      2. re: caitlynelyssa21

                                                        Your BBB investigation piqued my interest... I just received the invitation in the mail the other day and was excited (thank goodness for google--otherwise, I might have signed up) because the outside of the envelope has the BBB Accredited Business logo directly below the Cooking Club of America logo. HOWEVER, I double-checked the BBB site and the Cooking Club of America is NOT rated or accredited by the BBB. As you said, only the parent company is. All I can say is SKETCHY!

                                                      3. crap. i got an invitation and i just put it in the mail yesterday, they made it sound so good

                                                        1. Thanks, I googled and found this thread. I got an invite today. Into the trash it went.

                                                          1. I've been a member of CCA for several years and love it. First of all, it is $12 per year, not $12 per month. Clearly the original poster does not read things carefully.

                                                            Althougth I initially experienced some of what is described in this blog in terms of wanting me to sign up as a life member for $300, sending unsolicited items, etc. I read the fine print on each of these items and figured out how to discontinue receiving the unwanted solicitations but continue receiving the magazine, which I love! It is a fairly common and standard practice for a business to aggressively try to sell the products its advertisers advertise in its publication; otherwise it wouldn't be in business long.

                                                            I find the magazine to be very informative and my husband and I love the recipes I make from it. I find them to be mostly pretty easy and healthy.

                                                            4 Replies
                                                            1. re: member52601139

                                                              It's one thing to be aggressive. It's quite another to play fast and loose with words to garner sales.

                                                              CCA is notorious for sending "invoices" for memberships that people never, ever asked for nor ordered. The very definition of the word "invoice" is a bill presented for goods or services rendered, not a hook to get people to sign up for something.

                                                              I don't care how good the magazine is or how great the recipes turn out. They are trying to capitalize on people who see the word "invoice" and think they ordered the item.

                                                              There is no reason for them to be doing that and, no, it isn't just "aggressive."

                                                              It is unethical.

                                                              1. re: member52601139

                                                                whew! that is unbelievable...
                                                                You actually liked it???
                                                                took me almost a year - several years ago - to get the ugly, aggressive and threatening bastards to leave me alone - after several years I just got another invite. well I removed all references to my name and packed all the crap they sent and I sent it back to them using THEIR Business Reply Mail label...
                                                                at least they get to pay the postage...
                                                                I feel like I just got even from the last experience.

                                                                1. re: otisbella

                                                                  The company that runs this direct mail operation has a" club" for almost every hobby/interest.
                                                                  So far I have seen:
                                                                  The Cooking Club of America
                                                                  The Fishing Club of America
                                                                  The DIY Club of America
                                                                  The Hunting Club of America

                                                                  the list grows; they have a successful, high pressure format and I guess enough people go/fall for it.

                                                                  1. re: otisbella

                                                                    Haha! I love your idea! I just did the same, stuffed all their crap back in their own envelope (minus anything with my name on it) and I'm enjoying thinking about them having to pay for me sending it back to them.

                                                                    It did sound too good to be true, plus, everyone I know knows that I don't hardly cook. Ever. I might make a salad here and there, or bake a cake that comes from a box, but that's about it. So it was extremely odd to me that I should have been "nominated" as some amazing cook. More likely one of my recent magazine subscriptions "nominated" me. Or maybe Gevalia (yeah I know, expensive, but in their case, it really is outstandingly good coffee).

                                                                    I thought of giving it to my sister, as she actually is an amazingly good cook, but figured I better check it out on the 'net first. I'm really glad I did. Thanks for the feedback, everyone. You've saved me (and my sister) a big hassle.

                                                                2. Thanks for the post. I received an invitation to join in the mail today which sounded like fun and since you can pay online I happened to have a visa gift card that has something like 12.50 left on it so I thought it was a happy coincidence and I'd go ahead and try it out for a year since it would be "free" to me. As I was going to the site I figured I'd google it quickly just to make sure and came across this post, which sounds like it saved me a major headache and lots of junkmail.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. Thank you all for this thread.

                                                                    I got one of these too and had also planned to sign up, but my wife accidentally tossed the letter in the trash. I was disappointed at first, and went to their web page to sign up.... but I could never find out what it cost!

                                                                    Sure the letter said $12.00, but I thought that was a "special discounted rate" only available through the letter. I get suspicious when anyone actively HIDES their charges. So I kept googling and found this thread. Boy am I glad I did! So instead of signing up with them, I've signed up with you guys :D

                                                                    They won't be getting any of MY money now!

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: Raven21633

                                                                      So instead of signing up with them, I've signed up with you guys :D
                                                                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                      Yay! Gotta love Chowhound. :-) Welcome to the "Club", Raven! You're gonna get SO addicted. ;-)

                                                                    2. DO NOT join this club. This company is a SCAM!!!! They pretend that they are going to send you products to review, but instead they are a cookbook company that will bill you for the book unless they receive it back within 14 days!! When I informed them that I was going to contact Better Business and Consumer Affairs, the representative arrogantly said, "Go right ahead!"

                                                                      1. I'm a life member oh for about 9 years now. When I joined they sent me a really nice set of pots and pans for my membership fee. At first they sent me quite a few cookbooks. Anything I did not want to keep I sent back no problem. They have only sent me one set of utensils to test and several magazines a year. They have sent me several invites to buy/test products of which I have never responded to. No problem there. They definitely make it sound like you will be given the chance to test products for free and keep the products. Doesn't really happen that way.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: WOWNOW

                                                                          "They definitely make it sound like you will be given the chance to test products for free and keep the products. Doesn't really happen that way."

                                                                          Even though I know you're a bot, let me just copy from the original envelope containing the invitation, which I have sitting right next to me:
                                                                          "Will you do us a favor and test cooking products? (And keep all the test products FREE!)"
                                                                          Oh, I'm sorry... maybe they actually DO make it sound that way. Huh.

                                                                           
                                                                          1. re: sporadic89

                                                                            Perhaps you didn't read WOWNOW's post very well, although you quoted it.

                                                                            S/he acknowledges that they claim one thing, and it isn't strictly true.

                                                                        2. There is a lot of bad press on the internet about this club. I've been a member for almost a decade and I still love being a member. I wonder what all this fear and bad press is about that I never experienced. I'll admit there are some minor annoyances with them such as some of their marketing techniques (which I think is responsible for the rampant bad press on the internet), but all and all, I am particularly happy with their magazines. This is very high quality, filled with all kinds of incredibly tasty recipes that range from pathetically easy to modern and gourmet. They offer cooking classes that are awesome. I mean, it's not even that expensive. Cooking Club of America is a great thing and I never regret being a member. It's sad that some of their minor annoyances in their marketing techniques have been disproportionately used against them to the point that the internet rumor against them has morphed into this fictional and ugly monster. If I had done internet research on forums before joining the club, I definitely would not have joined the club because it sounds so terrible. It's sad, because I love being a member.

                                                                          1. WISH I HAD KNOWN ABOUT THIS POST BEFORE I GOT SUCKERED! BUDDY THEIR GOOD! Their offers really got me in there. I love to bake gifts, and I thought this was an easy pot of gold but in reality I was their pot of gold. I signed up and just gave them that 12.00 buddy! I was gonna bake gifts and get gifts this year! But, the SCAM won't stop this cook from delivering SWEET GIFTS this year. I just can't help thinking, about that sweet, innocent, face smiling at me in their advertisement, everytime I reach for my whisk. LOL. And how I would love to give her a CHRISTMAS GIFT! But HEADS UP ALL YOU HOME BAKERS OUT THERE LIKE ME! Continue to bake with love, and continue to bring joy to those who appreciate a good treat, and if any of you get your hands on that little hussie, give her an ALABAMA SLAM for me, I promise to do the same for all of the bakers they SCAMMED if I do. Verbally or physically, don't matter to me, and here's a little mojo for that site if they're reading this... SUCCESS IS AS DANGEROUS AS FAILURE, AND WE ARE OFTEN OUR OWN WORST ENEMY! (man I feel better now). Thanks for reading, and HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO US ALL!!!!

                                                                            1. I, too, just opened this $1 per month "invitation" from Cooking Club of America and, after reading the "too-good-to-be-true" terms, I searched the net with the question: "How much does Cooking Club of America really cost?" I clicked on this topic and I am soooooo glad I did. I like the free items that were included in this "invitation" (the spaghetti measurer/scraper tool and magnetic measurement chart) but, thanks to all who posted your experiences and knowledge here on chowhound.com, Cooking Club of America will not be receiving my acceptance to this bogus "invitation" today or any other day.

                                                                              Again, thanks to all of you who took the time out of your busy days to post your experiences, knowledge, and advice!

                                                                              1. I have been a life member of CCA for several years. I am generally well pleased with the club, magazine and prizes / products. I would not call the club a rip-off but they are aggressive in their recruiting.and merchandizing. I have cooked professionally and love to cook and am pleased with recipes in the mag. $12 for 1 year membership and 12 issues of the mag. let's see: $12 for 12 months + free mag subscription or is it; $12 for 12 month mag subscription + free membership or is it; $0.50 per month for membership and $0.50 for a magazine/month? Let us not forget about email recipes and benefits of the CLUB ie recipes, forums, cooking schools and classes, tips, etc etc etc. There are hundreds of free web sites for every profession but as for as I know no one that is free sends out monthly mags, books or other prizes, gifts or other benefits. I just trash mail from those I not interested in (without opening). Your name and address has most likely been added to mailing lists. You will receive mailings for the rest of your life as long as you have a mailing address ie "Resident ". good luck!

                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                1. re: dan_g

                                                                                  Are you nuts?

                                                                                  Constant harassing "invoices", unwanted books, and 40 minutes on the phone waiting to "try" and kill your account and getting snotty help.

                                                                                  I honestly don't think anyone in their right mind buys CCA's business practices. I am surprised someone hasn't shut them down.

                                                                                  1. re: dan_g

                                                                                    Sorry - for anyone who is a relatively accomplished cook, much less someone who has done this "professionally", this magazine, its recipes, and the products are just not worth it - the negative opinions far outweigh any positives posted here or on many other sites about this company.

                                                                                    1. re: dan_g

                                                                                      You will receive mailings for the rest of your life as long as you have a mailing address ie "Resident ". good luck!<<

                                                                                      There is a *big* difference between receiving junk mail (whose senders are not going to harass you and worry you to death) and the business practices employed by the Cooking Club of America. It's really telling that so many posters here have weighed in with negative experiences with this company.

                                                                                      1. re: GibsonGirl55

                                                                                        "Now I'm not a one timer! I know the difference between a CLUB and a blog. I was offering and opinion other than the 60+ bashings. I shall..." <<

                                                                                        Don't know why you didn't complete your thought. In any case, the posters here, including moi, know the difference between a CLUB and a blog. People sharing their experiences with this business certainly doesn't indicate any such confusion except that you could make such a leap to make such a conclusion.

                                                                                        As I said earlier, it's telling that the subject of CCA has drawn such a visceral response.

                                                                                    2. I would rather purchase my cookbooks through Amazon.com or Jessica's Biscuit. http://www.ecookbooks.com.

                                                                                      Either both would be more acceptable alternatives than dealing with a company -- which tried selling me two of the same cookbook --that would worry you silly. And besides, who needs the hassle of paying postage to return "cheesy items"?

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: katyemorris

                                                                                        Just read your post and wondered if you have the customer service number? I can't seem to be able to contact them. Must have misplaced my membership papers.

                                                                                      2. I love the Internet. I received the offer in the mail yesterday. My instinct was 'too good to be true'. On my first try to investigate I came across this thread which confirms my suspicion and thus have tossed the material. Thanks!

                                                                                        1. Amazing that the original post was 5 years ago and this madness continues! I just received my Nomination (I'm SUCH a fabulous cook, amazing how EVERYONE knows that! :) ). I was tempted, already placed the "I accept" sticker on the form, and would have taken it to the mailbox this afternoon. The whole time I was doing that, there was this little voice in my head "it's a scam...don't do it...it's a scam". I tried to ignore the little voice, but it kept getting louder and louder. Finally it could not be ignored, and I went online to do some research. I thank my lucky foodie stars that I found this website! I've already shredded the invitation, and have now signed up for Chowhound instead! Thanks to all for posting their experiences on this website...I do believe y'all just saved me $300 and years of anguish!

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: Beadybaby

                                                                                              I love reading this, Beady. :-) Welcome to Chowhound. Fair warning - it's addictive. ;-)

                                                                                            2. They're back!!!!

                                                                                              I received an "invoice" in the mail (that was the word stamped across the insert) telling me that I needed to pay the invoice to reactivate my membership in the CCA.

                                                                                              Since I never ordered their service after terminating my membership more than five years ago, it is completely unethical for them to send me an "invoice" trying to suggest that I reapplied for membership (I wouldn't and I won't).

                                                                                              The Cooking Club of American needs a dictionary to look up the word "invoice" and a crash course on business ethics.

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: Seth Chadwick

                                                                                                How on earth has this company managed to avoid being shut down? Other unethical businesses have had their doors forcibly closed...I simply do not understand how this one has managed to slither on its snaky belly through the cracks!

                                                                                                1. re: Beadybaby

                                                                                                  This direct mail marketing company uses the same basic format for many special interest groups. To name a few Fishing Club of America

                                                                                                  Hunting Club of America

                                                                                                  Auto Repair Club of America

                                                                                                  ETC.,ETC.

                                                                                                  see CLass Action Blog below

                                                                                                  http://classactionblog.mdpcelaw.com/2...

                                                                                              2. Thank you for starting this extensive discussion on CCA. I'll fill their 'offer' under "G".

                                                                                                1. I also got taken in by this company, who I believe are unethical and their sales tactics are reprehensible. I only wanted the magazine, so I paid my $12. I never got an issue, so I complained and got one back issue. Months passed, no magazine, I complained. Got another issue, then a third. Then nothing. I complained and I got a few cheaply made kitchen items and several cookbooks that they wanted me to pay for, I returned them. I finally called customer service, waited on hold for 37 minutes, and told the representative I wanted my magazines or my money back. They sent me three more magazines, all three were the copies I already had. So, for my $12 i got duplicate copies of 3 issues and a lot of junk I didn't want and didn't order. They're still sending me "invoices" for a life membership, and I cancelled three years ago. They also had my Dad in their Handyman's Club. Yeah, he sent the money for the life membership. Dad died 4 years ago, and they were still sending useless junk and bills, in spite of my numerous phone calls and emails telling them of his death. Finally I sent a copy of his death certificate and a nice note saying I'd consider all further items gifts and they could just try to collect from a dead man. DO NOT join this.

                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Annie1992

                                                                                                    I wish I would have read this one before. So I found a 'deal' on some deals website that said, free premium membership for life. I didn't know about this company so I thought why not get free 12 issues of cooking magazine. I have got lot of magazines for free in the past with no strings attached, so didn't think much,

                                                                                                    I went to the site, first page for name, address etc. Second page was credit card info. So I was like, if its free, why do they need my credit card. I didn't fill up and closed the browser.

                                                                                                    Today I got an invoice in the mail for $12. I wonder from you folk's experience, is it safe to ignore the invoice? I did write to their membership service so lets see what they respond.

                                                                                                    What do you suggest?

                                                                                                    1. re: vegiefudie

                                                                                                      Ignore it.

                                                                                                      OR write on the invoice - NEVER ORDERED - PLEASE CANCEL and send it back to them. (Make sure to make a copy for yourself and note on your copy when you mailed it.)

                                                                                                      You didn't input your CC info, so they have no way to charge you. Their system obviously kept the address info, which is why you got a mailed invoice....and they're hoping you'll pay so they can get $12 out of you and then never send you the magazine.

                                                                                                      1. re: vegiefudie

                                                                                                        ignore it. i've gotten the same thing before. not from them, but something else. but you haven't actually received any products, so there's nothing for which to charge...

                                                                                                    2. I received this in the mail today and I am so glad I looked this up before I got a bunch of trouble started!

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: babs57

                                                                                                        A previous post of mine from 2010......................

                                                                                                        STOP!!!!!! there are an abundance of "CLUBS" all use the same format, free testing, gifts, etc. etc

                                                                                                        Look up any of the following and compare the site to "Cooking Club",
                                                                                                        Fishing Club of America
                                                                                                        Handyman Club of America
                                                                                                        Hunting Club of America
                                                                                                        Motorcycle Club of America
                                                                                                        I stopped looking, but this is just one company offering the same gadget promotions, contests, forums for many interests, and yes folks, in each club you can become a "Life Member". If high pressure marketing works in one area, roll it out and see how many people you can fool!!!!!!

                                                                                                      2. I got rid of them years ago. When they asked me to join for $12, I did not give them my credit card, but instead sent them a check for $12. Very important- on the invoice" I wrote do not send anything I do not order in advance- I will not pay any extra money for it". Photostat the check and the invoice where you write in not to send you anything- and keep it on file in your house. So i sent in the check for $12 and a note not to send me anything else- only the magazine .

                                                                                                        I got the magazine for one year-it comes every other month- 6 issues I believe. They did send me a book which i did not order. I called them up and told them that i wrote do not send me anything. I also did not open the package- so I wrote refused and sent it back to them. When my year was up- i never heard from them again,lol! I guess they realized that they could not make any money off of me!

                                                                                                        1. This is a negative option club - which means they will send you product(s) monthly until you tell them to stop. Which may not be easy. If you pay by credit card, they will debit your card . . . and that's not easy to stop, either. This sounds like something I fell for on a 'Get It Free' website . . . and it took many phone calls to have the situation resolved. Caveat emptor!!

                                                                                                          1. Yes I got the grocery coupons. Yes I also paid for the full membership which was like 275 dollars. I received some sample items to try. I also received the items you get for paying for the life membership. I get the magazines every month also. I haven't felt scammed or harassed by them personally. I currently don't buy anything from them, I don't pay them any money, and I still get the magazines and offers. I don't dispute that it is a scam or not really worth the money for 99 out of 100 people, maybe I somehow got put on a VIP list with the company. Sorry to all the disatisfied individuals.

                                                                                                            1. I have been a member for about 12 years now. Everything was great, up till about 3years ago. I did renew this year for 3 more years, hoping that they would get things in order soon. That was about 8 months ago, so far things have not gone back to normal. I hate this Stuff...Stuff that we have to use to test things, it has been 2yrs now that I have been trying to test something... When I signed up 12 years ago we were to test something at least once a year and it was always nice items. When Stuff...Stuff started everyone had the opportunity to test a food for plants with out taking points away . It killed everything I put it on. I ave always had beautiful flowers and delicious garden, not one thing grew to be able to eat. So all my money and hard work was wasted, I was so upset over it all. That is the last thing. The only have things to test way!!!! Over everyone's points. If things do not get better,I am asking for this last payment for a refund because it is not what I signed up for! It will be false advertising. So we will see how it goes.
                                                                                                              Charlotte McGee