[B]What are the benefits of joining the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA)?[/B]
In exchange for your annual dues fee, the association represents your interests broadly; doing advocacy at the State and Federal levels on a wide variety of issues; working with the media and representing the positions of gamers and gaming; offering a variety of services; disseminating news and information via our publications; and providing you with a host of affinity benefits, including discounts and special members-only special offers on games-related goods and services.
[B]What kind of discounts and special offers are available for members?[/B]
We have partnered with the leading companies and brands that we believe our members either currently use, or would benefit from being customers of. The roster is regularly added to, so you should definitely check back often to see who’s newly added. Our partners provide a wide variety of perks for ECA members, a detailed list of which can be found after you login and click Member’s Page. Those supporters include leading online retailers such as Amazon.com and Buy.com; big box merchants such as Target and Wal-Mart; rentailers like GameFly; and other marquee brand names such as: Hyatt, Chase, Fandango, and more.
[B]Are the things that partners offer guaranteed? Can they stop offering discounts and promotions?[/B]
These companies are choosing to work with us primarily because they want to put their money where their mouth is. For years, marketers have been saying that consumers should buy their brand, subscribe to their service or choose them over their competitors because they care about gamers and gaming. When ECA came along, it gave those who actually meant it to do so, rather than just saying so. They want to work with us similarly to why companies partner with parallel membership associations, like AAA or AARP. That said, our partners are for-profit businesses and can choose to discontinue any offering at any time without notice. It hasn’t happened as of yet – nor do we expect it to for any reason – but it certainly could. Nothing is guaranteed.
[B]What can we do to make sure that ECA supporters continue to offer perks?[/B]
The easiest thing would be to simply use their services, generally. So regardless of whether there’s a special offer or not, or even if it’s outside of gaming, choose to be a customer of theirs in lieu of a different company or brand. Supporting them in return shows them that this is a two-way relationship and it’s yielding the unexpected (but likely hoped for) consequence of you not just being a new consumer in one category/type of service, but overall. Another thing would be to write them and express your thanks for their offer(s), for their partnership with the association, and what it means to you. Like any service business, they usually only hear from customers when there’s a problem. So getting a quick note of thanks would probably go a long way to reinforcing the partnership and making them more likely to continue working with us.
[B]What if there’s a service or company that I’d like to see partnered with ECA?[/B]
We’re actively working with new supporters all the time. It’s an entailed process that takes time and requires a lot of work on both sides. Rarely does it come about quickly and effortlessly – like anything else worthwhile in life. So it’s likely that we’re already talking with that company/brand, but it certainly can’t hurt for you to make us both aware. Shoot a note to their marketing or public relations folks and ask them to consider working with us and send us a similar message. Just make sure to manage your expectations. The larger the company, the longer it usually takes to work through the process. If the partnership makes sense though, it will happen.
[B]Is any of my contact information and credit card shared with partners?[/B]
[B]Are you allowed to give away or resell ECA member benefits?[/B]
No. The reselling of any of our benefits is in violation of our membership agreement. Members who do so will have their membership revoked without compensation. Similarly, anyone who purchases the resold benefits too will be removed from the database and not permitted to rejoin the association. This policy ensures that our partners and members in good standing do not suffer as a result and it’s something we take very seriously.