Shortly after I formed a new business, I was quickly contacted by an NASE rep who apparently watches the "New Business License" section of the local newspaper. I agreed to an appointment and let the guy come to my home (I operate my business from home).
After letting him explain the benefits, I ask the big question - "How much is the membership?" He says, "Only a $25 one-time application fee and $35 membership!" Sounds like a really good deal, right? So, just to be safe, I ask, "$35 per year, right?" He says, "Yes sir, that's right."
During the sign-up process, I started getting a little hustled, and signed all the papers without checking them over too carefully. Well, you've probably already figured out where this is going.
One of the things I signed must have been a draft authorization, because when I was balancing my business checking account this month, I noticed a $35 draft from "NASE" and I couldn't figure out what I might have purchased from them. Then it hits me - Mr. Nice Salesman REALLY meant $35 a month! Yes, after checking on NASE's website, sure enough, the membership package I bought was $420 a year!
NASE Corporate cancelled my membership without much hassle, so that was a plus.
In summary, here's what I want to warn people about:
1. NASE Membership has a lot of enticing benefits, but the membership fee is $420 per year. That is a lot of money for a new business to fork over during startup.
2. NASE Sales Reps are independent contractors, so they don't have the same corporate oversight that an employee would.
3. Many benefits aren't exactly what they seem, many have "small handling/shipping fees," some are difficult to use, and customer service is typically not very knowledgable about the benefits.
4. As always, give yourself plenty of time to look over all the documents you are signing!