Here’s a question I keep hearing and reading: What’s up with the National Home Gardening Club and it’s
Gardening How-To Magazine? And indeed I’m JUST as confused as everyone else. See, I don’t even remember subscribing
but when they sent me dunning notices I coughed up the $12 and decided to investigate.
While the first source of confusion is the unusual nature of the club-magazine combo, when a question about it was put to the gardening Yahoo group in my neighborhood, the answers revealed not just widespread confusion but irritation with the reams of junk mail coming out of the company. Then one astute listserv member pointed us to what commenters at Dave’s Garden Watchdog have to say about this company. And oh, boy, let the ranting begin!
In summary, there are 18 positive responses, 10 neutral, and 30 negative. And can you really trust those too-glowing positives? (We know that employees of company – of all types – are routinely instructed to comment favorably on forums, so I discount them by at least half.) And these lifted words from the negatives and neutrals reveal a decided pattern: "suckered in," "false promises," "waste of money," "false advertising," "switcheroo", "irritating experience," "total scam," "deceptive," and "avoid this company!"
There’s more. The "free" stuff is deemed "junk" and "worthless". The magazine is "a joke," "barely there," and full of "grade school level gardening tips". (I have to agree, based on the 5 whole minutes it takes to read one of them.)
This Website is provided by North American Membership Group ("NAMG"), subject to the following Terms of Service ("TOS"), which may be updated by us from time to time…These TOS apply to the following sites: Huntingclub.com, Fishingclub.com, Handymanclub.com, Gardeningclub.com, Partnersclubonline.com, Cookingclub.com, Healthandwellnessclub.com, Creativehomeartsclub.com, Thehistorychannelclub.com, Streetmachineclub.com, Clubrapala.com, and Namginc.com.
So neither the magazine nor the "club" exactly spring forth from the bosom of the horticultural establishment. But readers, weigh in. Positive, negative or – hard to imagine – neutral?
A WORD ABOUT FORUMS
The Watchdog feature on Dave’s Garden is awesome and I accessed it without paying anything, so I’m confused. I seem to remember complaints about fees, so has that changed? And if Daves is free, why exactly do we need the dozens of new forums that are launched on the Web every month? Clearly I’m not a forum person myself, so enlighten me.