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Unhappy about Woodworkers Guild of America

17106 Views 71 Replies 58 Participants Last post by  redalert714
About 3 weeks ago, I received a DVD entitled Essential Woodworking Techniques, in the mail from Woodworkers Guild of America. I didn't order this DVD, and I have no idea why I received it. I have never signed up for anything from their website, don't have any subscriptions to any woodworking publications and I don't know how they even got my name or address unless some online company where I bought a tool sold my name to them. I haven't even watched the DVD. I put it in my library of DVD's and forgot about it. Yesterday, I received correspondence from them requesting that I either pay $13.95 to keep the DVD or return it in the product return envelope that came with the DVD which was tossed in the garbage along with all of the other envelopes, advertisements etc. that came with it by my wife as she thought it was garbage. I'm inclined to just ignore their request because I didn't ask for it in the first place and to return it will now cost me shipping charges because I don't have the return envelope. What would you do?
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I write articles for the WWGOA web site, and through this work I have gotten to know the WWGOA team pretty well over the years. The marketing approach is to provide a free sample and hope that you like it so you will sign up. I think it is unusual at first to send out your actual product for free and hope that someone will pay for it, but apparently they find that people are more likely to sign up for the series if they have a firsthand experience with the product. It is an unorthodox approach, but it is not a scam. As pneufab pointed out, the letter states that you don't have to pay them anything. Even after someone signs up for the series, any individual DVD can be returned even after it is viewed fur a full refund. Ever try to do that with a DVD anywhere else? In their DVD series they have produced some of the best techniques focused content for beginning/intermediate woodworkers that I have ever seen. My father has learned a lot from the DVDs and the focused training was invaluable to him as he began woodworking at age 75 and we started Vern's Wood Goods ( I also watch the videos with my son so that I am confident that he is receiving instruction from a formally trained shop instructor in addition to the guidance that I provide since I am self taught. Like many public schools, his does not have a woodshop program so WWGOA can help fill this void. George Vondriska is a phenomenal craftsman who has been teaching woodworking at various schools (including his own) for years, and for the past five years he has committed nearly all of his time to producing content for this DVD series. I believe that he has now produced over 75 DVDs. They shoot these videos with a producer full camera and crew, and they are editing by professionals as well. This is a high quality product; well organized, excellent guided instruction. The DVD series is now also endorsed and promoted by Wood Magazine as well as Woodcraft. They also provide a ton of free content on their web site, both video and written content. Many of their stories are written by some of the same writers who develop stories for Woodworkers Journal, American Woodworker, Family Handyman, and other magazines where you would pay for similar content that you find for free on Just as with a print magazine, there are tool reviews, project plans, tip/technique articles, reader tips, etc. It's all original, and it's free. So, I hope that you can look at the whole offering and recognize that WWGOA is bringing a lot of value to our community. It is a business, like a magazine or any other product, so yes they want to sell something. But they invest heavily into developing a great educational product, and with all due respect its not a scam. I wish more companies in the woodworking field would send me a free sample of their product that I can keep with no obligation.
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I apologize for the poorly constructed post. I will admit that it was a bit "stream of conscious". OK, it was a LOT "stream of conscious". :)

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