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Unsubscribe at Your Peril!

By John Grossmann
Incoming D17 President

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” –Charles Dickens

I think Dickens might have been talking about email. What a great invention; what a terrible invention. An all-digital publication world relies on email. Membership organizations need a way to contact their members. It’s cost effective. It’s portable. And yes, it can be annoying.
I have written Bahar Gidwani, the new CEO at ACBL, talked with Bonnie Bagley (our national rep), and, at the Taos D17 board meeting, given an earful to Bob Heller, ACBL’s President. ACBL’s email system has a huge problem - less than 66% of the members can be reached via the Pianola email blast system.
What are the causes? Some folks don’t give ACBL their email address. Some move, some change internet providers, and maybe a few forget to pay their bills. But as Pogo suggests, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”A lot of folks think casual “unsubscribes” is the problem. Unsubscribes are taken very seriously by Pianola and ACBL. Your email address is wiped clean and communications end. Down with dumb emails that make no sense. Down with emails about stuff you don’t care about.
Ooops. You also won’t get any notification that the Forum was published in April 2018 either. And maybe not that email offering you a free play or a chance to win a bridge book. (I’ve come to entice you!)
Remember what Pogo says. It applies to management too. ACBL main office, districts, and units need to learn to respect their members. Email should be used sparingly. No emails to folks outside the logical market area. Don’t send a Life Master an email about a I/N Sectional. Ooops. We have those moments too. The buck next year stops at my desk, so if you see email abuse let me know (by email!) at Blackstone.co@comcast.net
It is my understanding that you should get no commercial sales emails based upon your ACBL membership data. You may get something from Baron Barclay because you ordered from them, but not because you are member of ACBL.
Remember, April 2018.
Visit acbl.org and connect with “myACBL login” by entering your member number and password. Click on the “Update My Information” blue button. Click on the “Update my Contact Information” blue button. Scroll down the page to see what email address you have provided. Count to ten, then update your email address. Then click “Submit.” Be ready for the digital Forum, starting April 2018. I vote for the “best of times.”