Handyman Club of America is a Scam

Handyman Club of American is a Scam

Handyman Club of American is a ScamBack in September, I received a marketing letter from Handyman Club of America.  The letter was offering me an opportunity to test tools and give them a review of what I thought of the tools.  As compensation for my time to test and review the tool, I would be allowed to keep the tools free of charge.  There was a $12 a year membership fee, that included a subscription to Handy magazine, with a money back guarantee if I was not completely satisfied with any aspect of my membership.

I thought wow, what woodworker doesn’t like to get free tools to play with.  Now I figured the tools would probably not be the high quality tools I was use to from Lee Neilson, or Lee Valley tools.  However, they advertised that they have given away more than 4.5 million dollars’ worth of free tools.  The advertisement showed pictures of an array of tools featuring a very expensive looking generator.

I also figured that I would be subjecting myself to their email-marketing department getting newsletter emails trying to sell me additional products, but hey, that is what my spam filter is for.

To sweeten the deal they offered two free gifts, a 35-pocket bucket organizer, and a 3-pc screw extractor.  So I thought to myself, for $12 I get two free gifts with no obligation to return them and a 100% money back guarantee, I mine as well give it a try.  I filled out the send no money now flyer and sent it back.

The first thing that came in the mail was a welcome letter with instructions on how to set up my membership account and pay my membership fee.  I paid the membership fee thinking they are being a bit sneaky with it.  They advertised $12 a year, which was true, what they failed to mention, was that they bill for two years at a time.  Now my $12 risk just went up to $24, but I thought to myself “whatever” and paid the $24.

I continued reading through the welcome package and came to the part on how to get my first free gift, the 35-piece bucket organizer.  From the original information they sent me, they made is sound as if they would ship the two free gifts as soon as I signed up.  Not so, I had to go to a webpage, be bombarded by pop up ads, and fill in my information again, to get them to ship the bucket organizer.  By the time, I completed all this I was starting to get a bit irritated.

I continued on reading more of the welcome package, looking for what kind of other hoops I would have to jump through.  After all, there was supposed to be two free gifts, where was the 3-piece screw extractor.  Well as I read, I found out.  “You will be sent your first product to test a 3pc screw extractor”.  What?  I have to give a tool review on the 3-piece screw extractor.  How tacky is that?  They said it was a gift for signing up.  My mother always taught me to give without the expectation to receive.  Apparently there mother did not teach them the same level of manners.  Asking me to work for the free gift they promised, how tacky.

A week or two passed and a package came in the mail.  I opened it up and in it was the 3-piece screw extractor and a how to do home repairs book.  Let’s talk about the screw extractor before we get to the book.  The screw extractor came with a post card to review it.  If I remember right, the card had three questions on it, two of which were multiple choices.  The first one was “how satisfied are you with this product”, and had the standard choices ranging from unsatisfied to very satisfied.  The second question was yes or no, “would you recommend this product to a friend”.  The final question was for additional comments.  Now this post card was so small that the additional comment section could hardly fit one sentence on it.  Clearly, they do not want an actual, meaningful review.  They really just wanted your information to try to sell you additional products, which brings me to the unexpected book that came in the same package.  The book came with a letter stating, if I like the book I can purchase it now and agree to be sent additional books to have the opportunity to purchase, or send the book back and miss out on future opportunities.  Now I was getting really irritated, I have to waste my time to package it back up and take it to the post office to mail it back or pay for it.

They failed to mention in any of the information they have sent me that, I would be mailed unsolicited products to purchase or be responsible for ensuring they are sent back.  The occupy Wall Street protestors complained about predatory lending from banks, well this was predatory selling from unethical businesses.  I read on another blog that a guy did buy the book, and when he wanted to ship the 2nd book they sent back, he discover that he had to pay for the shipping.  He was under the impression that the club cover the shipping because the 1st book that he received came with a prepaid shipping label to ship it back.  It was just more deception.

I dove deeper into the deceptive business practices of the Handyman Club of America to see how this tool review really worked.  I wondered how do you get to review the big-ticket items like the advertised generator.  As by now I`m sure you have figured out that getting to review big-ticket items would be extremely time consuming and difficult.  Nowhere could I find any information on how many times I would be sent unsolicited products to buy or be responsible for sending back.  I did find out, if you want to do further tool reviews past the 3-piece screw extractor, you have to sign up for a third party service.  So yippy, you now get to be deceived by someone else!  Once you sign up for the service you have a choice from some low-level entry-level tools to review.  Each review you complete, you get points, and you can then use those points to buy more tools to review, to get more points.  The point system in not clear on how many points you get for reviewing the different level items.  However, it was clear to me that you do not get very many points per review.  Scrolling through the different tools you can review, most of them are the type of products you would make fun of on the really stupid info-mercials.  Their was not what I would consider high end tools available like what was advertised, only a promise that new tools come available to review on a regular basis.

Their whole operation seemed to be set up to send you unsolicited products, in hopes that you buy it from them or forget to send them back so they can bill you for the products at a later date.  Their website, which they promote as a great resource for finding out information geared towards the handyman, is more advertising than quality information.  Their magazine, as most magazines these days have more pages dedicated to advertising than actual content, and the content that is provided is of low quality.  If you want a magazine subscription that is worth something, try subscribing to Fine homebuilding, Fine woodworking, Or Popular Woodworking.  You will learn a lot more from them than from Handy.

I wrote them a letter explaining my dissatisfaction, asking them to honor their 100% money back guarantee, and refund my money.  A few weeks later, I received and email stating that they have received my request and processed it.  I no longer received the Handy magazine subscription, or unsolicited  products to  buy.  I also did NOT get my money back.  A few days later I received a letter from them that looked like a check was enclosed.  I opened it up and it was not a check, but a voucher made to look like a check for $24 wanting me to change my mind and resign up.  Over the next several weeks I received 3 more similar vouchers but still no refund.  I went to their contact page on their website looking for a phone number to call so I could talk to a real person.  No phone number was listed.  Obviously, they do not value their customers enough to want to talk to them.  There was only a contact form.  I filled it out and got an automated response saying someone will respond to you within 48 hours.  At this point, I felt that was not a sufficient response after all it has been five months.  I went to their Facebook page and messaged them through Facebook.  No response, so I went to their twitter page and called them out on twitter, again no response.

I guess I should not be surprised, as free tools sounded too good to be true.  Overall, their sales tactics are deceptive and aggressive.  I just do not do business like that.  I have worked many commission sales jobs over the last 10 years and never have I had the need to use deceptive sales tactics.  I just could never bring myself to treat my customers that way.

I consider companies like Handyman club of America to be scammers, and their business practices to be deceptive, underhanded, and unethical.


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  1. The company started out as a “good” company, but turned south over the last two years. When I first joined as a member (10+ years ago) they did offer good products to test for free. Now they are a useless pirate scamming enterprise that is ripping people off.

  2. This review is a scam. I left a comment less than a year ago that detailed my time as a lifetime member and all of the tools and items I received to test. I decided to check out your review again, and low and behold my comment describing my positive review of the club is no longer posted. Who’s scamming who now???????? What a douche you are.

    1. Kevin I assure you that I have never seen you attempt to post to my blog. You must have it confused with another, or if you used stronger language than douche the filter would have deleted your comment and I would have never seen it.
      Anyhow, by calling me a douche just because I shared my experience and voiced my opinion just further proves my point that Handyman Club is a bad place to hang out.
      Have a good day sir

  3. I am a life time member of Handyman Club for approximately 20 years. In those almost 20 years I have purchased an expensive router bit set with a cheap pine case. Extra larger expensive bits in cheap pine boxes. I have also purchased the pull saws in one carrying case which they were suppose to send me a second case (not free of course) which I never received anyway. Also a nice set of jack knives in a cherry case (10 knives). I started purchasing there pocket watch collection in 2013 , there were to be 12 watches, as of May 2014 I received 11 watches and haven’t received the final watch as of November 2014. The display case which is cherry and and is a cheap plastic holding rack is now been packed away because it is obvious that I will never receive the final watch. I have called the company on numerous occasions and received the same robotic response read from a computer screen. It doesn’t seem possible that anyone is actually alive or cares. I will no longer participate in Handyman or Scout or whatever name they go under. You are losing members because of your lack of concern for there concerns.

  4. Handyman Club Of America is nothing more than a scam, and every comment stating this is a scam is spot on. The tools they send are crap, the knives, router bits, and saw blades are all made in china and are pure sh*t. The fees they charge could buy better tools and less hassle. Avoid them like the plague!

    1. I too am a lifetime member of approximately 20 years.. I have not received a copy of HANDY magazine in over 6 months to a year. Do you still receive the magazine ???? Bobby G

      1. After hassling them for over 6 months to get a refund and don’t receive anything from them, not even the junk mail they used to bombard me with.

        1. I have had the same problems that you experienced. I used to pay my bills online for ten + years, but since this scout thing started up, I haven’t able to. I have a small outstanding balance but can’t pay it online anymore. No phone numbers have worked. No human contact at all. I am figuring it is all a waste of time.

      2. They stopped printing the magazine. They ANNOUNCED that they were going from 6 issues a year to 4 issues, published 3 of them and then just stopped. No notification or anything.
        I Joined this club in 1999 and became a Life Member in 2000. I never had a problem except for the fact that they CHEATED me out of my Leather Jacket that they promised to me if I became a Life Member. I did everything I was required to do. I sent in my claim slip with my size indicated, just like I was supposed to do, but, 15 years later, They still haven’t sent it and they are refusing to.
        What really gets me is the simple fact that, I never joined an online club. Have you ever put a computer near sawdust? BAD PLAN!
        They didn’t even have a website when I joined, AND I didn’t even own a computer back then! The club is 100 per cent online now and who wants to pay to subscribe to a website?

        The article is correct. Handyman Club of America is nothing but a SCAM.

        1. I must have joined about the same time you did. I had been a yearly subscriber but my wife and I decided that since I wanted a leather jacket anyway, it seemed like a good deal to become a life member. I did actually get the leather jacket, and I still have it. But now I only wear it for dirty outside jobs because the zipper broke within about the first year.

          I must have missed the announcement about the change in publishing the magazine. I quit reading it after they started printing the adult ads in the back. I did notice it came less often and was getting thinner. I actually found this blog today because I suddenly realized – after getting a marketing e-mail from Scout about some new “Woodworkers Guild of America” that it had been some time since I’d heard anything or received a magazine. So I guess the Woodworkers Guild must be their latest try.

          1. Yup. Me too about the woodworkers thing in my email. I just deleted the email. Fool me twice shame on me.

      3. Another
        member of the
        Brotherhood.my magazine stopped I called subscription dept..yeah wright.

  5. The comments are accurate. The Handyman Club used to be good. Got many test products. It went downhill when they changed the test products to a third party. It seems that they are trying to get rid of the lifetime members. We’ll be asking for a refund.

  6. I joined as a lifetime member several years ago. They were good. Got my magazine, and free tools for signing up. The second year it changed. They did the scout stuffstuff website (which is closing! per email today), magazines went from monthly to 4x a year to nothing. Their customer service has been lousy from the first time I had to call them (wonder if that number still works?), still trying to find a current website. Am trying to work on a refund, but so far haven’t been able to make contact with them. Will keep trying!

  7. It was a good magazine to read while on the throne. But lifetime subscription to a website, you have got to be kidding. So now I have a lifetime subscription to information that I can find elsewhere for free on the web? The lifetime members should have been given a choice, prorated refund or website. And really I wouldn’t care if the refund was $1.00, it would send them a message getting swamped for refunds. They just F’d you over, took the money and ran and didn’t care.COMPLETE SCAM.

  8. i sent my check for $24 last year and it was cashed in April of ’14. I think I did receive 1 magazine as well as the screw extractors. as I recall, the magazine was too slick to use as toilet paper. I have had no luck finding a contact phone number to ask for a refund.

    1. I became a lifetime member from day one and I got my jacketcouldn’t stand the poor quality chinese stuff they kept sending me and I had to keep sending it backthe magazine was getting realthin anyway it’s was no use anymore nobody I mean nobody should join this club any more

  9. Barney Montano
    may 18 2015

    I also wondered what happened to the magazine. Haven’t got one in over a year. I have been a life member since 2005. I didn’t like the crappy china watches and knives but a few of the early tools were ok. Too bad they went south, it started out as a quality club and a lot of information. Gonna miss it

  10. I joined Handy Man Club in 2010 and paid the lifetime membership fee. What a ripoff. After complaining they sent me a letter stating I haven’t received the magazine because they discontinued it 2 years ago. The Router they sent me as part of my membership did not work so they sent me another one and it never worked either. They are a total scam and no one should join that club.

    1. Let me know what you come up with. I became a life member but never noticed that I wasn’t getting the services anymore. I just thought it was because I hadn’t signed up for tools tests and the like. They always sent me crap to try. Never any of the “good” stuff.

    2. Hi Walter my name is Dave can you let me know how to go about it to. I been a life member since 08 and have not gotten a thing from them in about 10 years. The phone numbers are a joke to try to get a hold of them. Thank you for your time

  11. FYI, Handyman Club is an expert at playing the “game”. My Credit Card Company cannot dispute charges older than 120 days, and, of course HMC gamed me successfully for longer than that. Those scammed should write to the AG of MN if they want to, but I doubt if that will have ANY impact.

  12. I have been a lifetime member for a long time. I wondered why I wasn’t getting the magszine. No luck on the computer or sending letters for a refund or even to change my address. Guess I will chalk it up to bad service and forget the money I lost. Too bad. I liked the tools I got except for the router. I bought several bits and have to get a new router to enev use the bits.

  13. I have been a lifetime member since the early 1990’s. I like the magazine but they are not regular and I haven’t received a product to test for years.
    I just received a notice of subject to EXPIRATION 08/21/15 I THOUGHT A LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP
    usually means membership paid for life.? RON J

  14. I have been a life member since the early 2000 the last 6 months no magazine can`t seem to get a hold of anyone and yesterday I get a notice of a 2015 rate adjustment from The Family Handyman they changed their name and offering a 69% savings so much for a lifetime membership just crooks. I live in Western Canada the magazine now comes from Niagra Falls Ontario instead of Markham.

    1. JIM, FYI. The Family Handyman is a different mag than Handy. Readers Digest was the publisher of Family Handyman mag. Not sure if still is. I still get it. Not a bad mag.

  15. I have been a lifetime member since the early 1990s but have not received a mag for over a year tried to make contact but failed also looked in stores for the mag but never found one.Figured they went belly up,until I started searching for the reason.And lo and behold I find this website that explains what a scam HMC or whatever they call themselves is. Love to see someone bleed them like they bled their subscribers

  16. Been there done that,got screwed.been a member for several years.never received any free product tests.my LIFETIME subscription even stopped coming.hope they read this

  17. Charles W Morris #30512657 North Platte Ne 69101
    Tried to get phone number can not find. If you find number it has been disconnected. I know it is a rip off.
    No magazine in months have been member in 2006. Just another bad dill.

  18. Lifetime member since 1/95
    I also stopped receiving the magazine and I have been emailing a Brandon Griffiths at handy+id6785@scoutmemberservices.zendesk.com I found out that the magazine is only available online now. I guess they no longer print it. I am going to see if I can get my money back. I don’t read any magazine online. What about if I want part of the magazine, I have to print it out, I don’t have a color printer! Like some of you said, It started out as a great magazine, but now it is junk!

  19. Obviously the original HMC has changed over the years from good to awful to a scam based on the comments above. I took a life membership in the early to mid-1990s and received everything they promised…including the leather jacket which I still wear. It is actually good quality notwithstanding its “Made in China” label. I also received a number of test tools which I still have and use today. I agree that the later gimmicks they offered by sending unsolicited saws, knives, router bits, etc., were of questionable quality. Since they were unsolicited, it is my understanding that there is no requirement to pay for unsolicited items or send them back per postal regulations. If the HMC provided return postage, I sent items back that I did not want, and I let them know if I was not interested in receiving additional items. Seems like I got an invoice once which I ignored and sent them a letter citing the postal regulations that deal with unsolicited mailed items. It appears that “Lifetime” membership refers to the lifetime of the magazine (no promises for immortality) and not the lifetime of the subscriber. It WAS a good organization at one time. Too bad it lost its focus through poor management and leadership—and, perhaps, greed.

  20. Also a lifetime member. Realized two weeks ago I’d not heard from HCOA in a long time. Decided to check it out online and found this site. I’ll admit I’ve not been “scammed” in any way and am actually a Charter Member and a Lifetime Member. I have enjoyed several dozen books on woodworking from them along with the magazine and a few gifts. When I joined the leather jacket wasn’t available. Instead, I got a drill/driver in a plastic case along with several drill bits and accessories. It still works today even though it’s cheaply made.
    Seems most of us long term members remember how good it was back in the day. Today, I’ve zero experience with them at all and was disappointed when the Scout thing came up. Seems a great club turned into something quite worthless and even more hated by potential new members. I apologize to anyone who has not had the same great history as I have and assure you that HCOA used to be top notch. I wish I could disagree with the comments about them being scammers now but I don’t really see how I can. To those of you true woodworkers, professionals, and amateurs like me I hope that the negative experience with HCOA does not derail your woodworking desire. I’ll put on my HCOA Life Member Hat and remember the good old days and hope you will make great wood working memories despite HCOA’s attempts at making it difficult for you to do so.

  21. This is total BS! I didn’t buy in to a lifetime membership but I’m paid through to 2017, yet I am a lifetime member over on another magazine of this “scout” called hunter, when I bought in you received a bunch of goodies step by step, lucky for me I guess it was soon enough cause I ended up getting all my goodies.. But as for handy I wanted to join into lifetime, but didn’t want that cheap router, saw, bit set, and some other stuff?I had spoke to someone and they said I could buy in for a cheaper price and since I had been a member for xx amount of years my price was lower then the normal buy in! I almost went for it, I figured if I bought a few more years and I asked again the price would go even lower, I guess I was lucky, cause the other day I noticed I haven’t been receiving either of the two magazines for some time. I emailed handy the other day and got a reply, at first I didn’t even understand what the heck they were saying, the next reply I got was that they offer even more online and that they no longer print! So I replied again asking I want my money back for both magazines, both the hunter and the handy, I haven’t received a reply yet! And after reading all this, I guarante I won’t get another! This is just total BS, yeah I can supposedly get info online, but I’m not going to drag my laptop to sit on the throne, like someone else said, or out to the workshop, nor am I going to print everything and waist my ink and paper when it could just be on a magazine!

  22. My wife called into the company (Scout) and spoke to someone in regards to my two memberships(handyman & hunter) since I am a lifetime member to hunter nothing can be done, I can not get anything for it, point blank! yet since I was “not” a lifetime member on handyman and paid to 2017, i am “supposedly” getting a refund for a whopping $24 woohoo, but still buying into a lifetime membership then being told you can go online and get everything! How am I going to take it out in the field and sit and read? Or out on the job? Just total BS!

  23. Ditto on all the above except for any positive experience! Maybe we can gather at the river and come up with a class action suit? Is there an attorney out there that has been scammed by HCA and would take the case pro bono?

  24. Thanks for posting your review of the Handyman Club of America “scam”. When I joined as a life member back in 2005, it was a good setup with a magazine I enjoyed getting. I got tools to test. Some were really nice (an adjustable router) and some were cheap, low end things (toilet plunger). I got to keep all of them. And then the magazine stopped and the requests for testing stopped and I had to go to some website “scout.com” to get information. Now I can’t even log into this website! What happened to my LIFETIME status? I have a question in to their customer service, so we will see. I do miss that magazine though. It had the best stories in the back about the history of things like plate glass, fly wheels, etc.

  25. I became a Life Member to Handyman Club back in 1997. When I joined I received the leather bomber jacket with my membership. Since then I received several items to review. Many of them were in the 1 or 2 dollar value range, but I also got a huge set of titanium coated drill bits, an 18v spiral saw, and a nice metal work table/cart.

    It started out with a monthly magazine, but later moved to a bimonthly schedule, which was still OK. In 2014, it was announced that the magazine was going to a quarterly schedule, and I received exactly two of those magazines, the summer and fall issues, and nothing since.

    I no longer get ANYTHING from them in the mail, not the magazine, not the junk mail, nothing. I do not even recall getting anything from them in the email in a long time. The last email I remember was when they moved their online accounts to scout.com.

    They started out as a great value, but the past five years or so have seen it go entirely to crap. If I were to receive an offer from them now, I would agree that it is nothing more than a scam. It’s a damned shame that something so great has become such a pathetic excuse for a ‘club’.

  26. I am so glad I read your letter!! I was a member of this club back in 2000 and 2001. I must admit that when I belonged to it it was a legit club. In the 2 years I belonged to it I ended up with a 100 pc. Black and Decker drill bit set, a couple of different Stanley products to test, a 7and1/4 inch Skil saw, a nice Cooper hand saw, a couple of Vise-grip clamps and a Makita router! I was about to go on their website to sign up again when I saw your letter. I am sorry for what you had to go through but you just saved me from a huge headache!! I think I will opt for one of the woodworking magazines you mentioned.

  27. Some ought to find Larry Okrend’s telephone number and address. He’s the con man that started this organization, took as much money as possible from us unsuspecting “lifetime” members, and now has apparently disappeared. I joined back when the Club first began and only recently realized I hadn’t been receiving a magazine. I was blaming the Post Office! Glad I didn’t voice my complaints.
    An earlier post was from someone who said they had hired an attorney. Any results?

    1. If i’m not mistaken the HCOA dropped right off after Larry Okrend got out of it. I recall a letter from him or something about him either quitting or passing on. It was a long time ago. I also am a Lifetime Master builder Member. Anyone remember the Master builder patches? That means I was scammed twice at least. I have almost the entire knife collection sans 1 knife. Dang! I have several of the saws, all of which are good and sharp as the day I got them. I have the drill bit set in the red case. The ones I didn’t break, I have the drill and separate driver for joining, neither of them work, I got the work table that is in new condition etc…So, I guess for the $300+ I paid for the club when I joined, I got my moneys worth. Once upon a time a few years back I also tried with no success to contact someone but I got better results telling my cat the problem. I just wrote it off as a learning experience. Lesson learned? I surely hope so.

  28. I myself joined H.C.of.A. 20 something yrs. ago and have been treated accordingly. Started out great really never tested the tools cause i read the fine print and the fees where a scam. But – and you know there is always a but after not testing the tools they the company decided to send a tool to me on their on. And then after i did not send it back cause they sent letters wanting the tool back cause they tried to charge me for a tool that their going to send us as members to test and keep for free i got several letters trying to get me to pay for it. Finally someone calls me from the company and i just told them that i never received any tool and was`t paying for it and make sure not to send any anyway. Then they started sending and trying to charge for calendars that i did not order or request. After i received the first one i told them i did not want it and was not going to pay for something i did not order – now that went on for 3 yrs. of calendars. With all this said when i joined it was nearly $200 for life time membership and would receive the bombers style jacket and all the patches and a belt buckle along with a couple of other little items. I did receive all the items and was satisfied cause the jacket was more than i thought it would be – didn’t care much for all the other items.This was when it was a good company but as everyone else is complaining the last couple of yrs. they really went down. With the price that i payed i was to receive the magazine also for life and for the past 2 yrs. i haven`t received not one of their handyman magazine… So if anyone out there knows a # that i can call and for nothing else raise a little Hell then i would be thankful for that # . Sometimes it just feels great to Vent the build up…

    1. I have also been a HMCOA lifetime member since 04/03. I have read all the comments about how this club has fallen apart and I agree with all of them. It seems you are looking for a phone number. Well I still have my old membership card and there is a number on the back. It is 1-800-243-7679. I haven’t tried it to see if it is active. I’ll leave it up tp you.

  29. I too, like many of you on this thread, have been a Lifetime Member since 1999 and was pleased with the monthly magazine subscriptions, the stuff they sent me for paying a couple hundred dollars which was a hat, a belt buckle, a membership card, a cheap pocket knife with tools that flip out like the original “Leatherman Knife”, and a couple decals with their logo. I thought their tool testing program was a scam from the beginning and never entered the contests simply because I know how contests work in mail order….they all are rigged lies to get you to maybe buy something else. I noticed last year after I got my last subscription in the Fall 2014 addition that they were going either out of business or that the business was going south when their e-mails and junk mail discontinued. I sent them an e-mail and got a response that they discontinued the magazine but I still had special privileges as a Lifetime Member….. Online Premium Content: Access exclusive, fresh content every day across the network of 300+ Scout affiliates, including every major MLB, NFL and College team plus various lifestyle/leisure destinations like Hunting,Cooking, Gardening, DIY and more. Searchable; Members-only content.
    Members-only forums; E-mail newsletters with stories, tips, contests and more; Automatic entry into Club contests; 10 percent discount on tickets to special events; and finally my availability to have access to their website (LOL!!) where I have to click on “Benefits” to see the deals they have. Like it or not, this is what we get when you join any network or company as a Lifetime Member. I learned my lesson and will never ever pay a lifetime fee for anything ever again. Hell….you could die tomorrow after paying a fee to be a Lifetime Member for any reputable company and they got your money while you are dead. I am disappointed that I have been after fifteen years but the first few years were not bad and it seems that someone bought the company or liberal management stepped in and took over the business reducing it to a low grade scale by changing the name, discontinuing the magazine, using only a web site and not staying in touch with it’s members. Sad!

  30. I joined as a lifetime member, 1& 1/2 years since I’ve got a magazine or emails . Tried to contact them with no response. Same with North American Hunter.

  31. Gene Kirby says:

    I became a lifetime member of Handyman Club in 2007,however I have not receved a magazine in over a year. Unable to contact customer service. What’s going on?

  32. Maybe lifetime member means now getting screwed for a lifetime ! I to am ten year plus member and have lots tools that I still use in very amateur way, but again the last few tools have been total scam. Saw set blades broke after one use, etc. as far as I’m concerned they’re finished with me and I of them.

  33. Lifetime, ha! My husband has been a lifetime member since 1998. He rec’d a sachel of sorts when he signed up and a nice certificate. He was sent some small things to review, but they were mostly junk. Still, we liked the magazine until it quit coming, that is. The last magazine we rec’d was glossy summer of 2014. Today we finally realized, after cleaning out magazines, that we no longer receive it. Funny, we didn’t miss it. I’ve spent far too much time today on this, however, what we paid for a life membership gave them a nice endowment with little expense on their part. Scout is a joke and a scam too. Apparently home projects are to include national sports too? Really? Do they think we are all jocks? Try to find a phone number and waste more time. Nah, I don’t think so.

  34. Is there a way of starting a class action lawsuit against them for breach of contract. It seems to me that we all have lost money from them. I myself am one of them.

    1. I think it’s a great idea but for how many ppl they screwed over it would be like the class action lawsuit against HSBC bank. Recoup like $80. Not really worth the time. They were affiliates with cooking club of america, street machine club of america, fishing club of america and so on. Not just HCOA members. I was a member of 2 of the other clubs mentioned and haven’t heard anything from them either. Just didn’t lifetime membership from them.

        1. I would like to be included, as well. HMCA billed me for things I never received, and strung me along quite convincingly.

  35. Also seen a member of handyman and life member of North American hunter and both have quit sending magazines long ago, not even a notice we were done. If you do a class action I’m in.

  36. I will keep everyone up to date, but I have contacted an attorney about starting a class action lawsuit against the main club that has joined all the clubs together. They need to be stopped and all those wronged should be compensated.

    1. Please add me to your list. s******@gmail.com. I too am a life member since December 2004. Highly disappointed. I will support a class action.

        1. I have been watching the ire mount over the last several months. I agree – an outright scam.
          I am owed product for which I paid.
          When my verbal conversations with HandyMan Club ceased (on their initiative), and my emails went un-responded, I tried to get them to respond to me as I feigned interest in placing an ad in one of their several magazines. No luck.
          About a month ago, a respected Woodworkers Guild of America was referenced in HandyMan’s email solicitation to me. In a call to Kate, WWGOA) she disavowed any recent association. with HandyMan Club.

    2. Count me in the law suit. Even if I don;t get anything out of it, it would be worth it to stop them from continuing to pilfer $ off of other unsuspecting folks.

  37. I also joined and became a lifetime member after my first deployment in 2004. I just got back from deployment hoping to enjoy all the issues I missed while away. Looks like I got screwed too. Class Action Lawsuit!? Ditto- Count Me In!!!!

  38. and here I was wondering what was goin on with no mag an all ,an then run into this . not a computer person , believe me takin forever to type. yes I am a life time member. they had sent a questionare of what tools I had an told them just about everything but a router, so lo an behold about a year later I get ROUTER bits I cant use …LMDAO .and that had to have been 20 yrs ago. havent seen anything since. Didnt really care about the tools anyway just wanted to see the ideas and what new gizmo’s had come out in the mag. So that being said yea, if theres a class action I’m game, dont figure much will come of it probably just chalk it off to good ole american greed that seems to be runnin rampant nowdays. to bad too i really looked foward to gettin that mag in the mailbox .

  39. Been a lifetime member since. 1997 and as others have stated, HCOA was very good back in the day. Then came the switch to Scout and 4 mags a year…….then nothing… Since 1-2015. Attempted to make contact, guess they don’t exist. Well the early mags were really good and the rest tools not so bad….then they became worthless crap oh well, got my leather jacket ans a pneumatic finish nailer…..class action, I’m with whoever is in!!!!

  40. I’m with RKD for sure! I joined MANY years ago and had great success with tool testing and giveaways. Their magazine was a worthwhile effort AND read, and I really DO miss it 🙁 Guess they just weren’t making enough money – Do you all remember when they tried ‘upgrading the ‘Lifetime Membership’? That seems to be when they fell apart. Yep, too bad!

  41. I found you all trying to get in touch with anybody at the company .I’m another one . joined in 2008 life time . I got two cheapies to try and that’s it. No magazines for several years. The cooking club also got me. They definitely got more out of me than I of them both of them.

  42. Been a Lifetime member since 1999. Got a few tools in the beginning and was asked to test a tool once. Can’t say when I first noticed that I was no longer receiving the magazine but it must be at least 2 years. Now I see what’s going on. Thank you to everybody who wrote in for clearing up that little mystery.

  43. I joined the HMCOA shortly after they were created. Paid somewhere around $250 for a lifetime membership. Got my leather jacket (that I still wear). The magazines started out to be very informative with nice project ideas and articles, several years later it went South. The only thing I ever got to test was a stupid 10 cent plastic drill bit guide. A couple of years ago when I realized that I wasn’t getting the paper magazines, I called to complain and actually talked to a live human being! I was told that the “Handy” magazine was exclusively online. NO more paper copies. I got a lifetime password to view their online content and was less than impressed when I checked it out. Since their content had diminished, I just gave up on them. Hey, I got a nice leather jacket and many years of magazines. I’ll call it a wash.

  44. Really too bad… I enjoyed the Cooking Club, The Handyman Club, and The North American Hunting Club(?) – lots of interesting articles – so much better than today’s magazines – – but, I’ll go along with whatever is decided!!

  45. I needed to renew my Texas Driver’s license and needed my birth certificate to do so. In looking for it, I came across my Charter Member card and realized that I became a Lifetime Member back in 1998 and then realized I hadn’t had a magazine for awhile. I’m also a Family Handyman subscriber, so I easily overlooked the Handy mag. Whenever I see a Lifetime tag, I always ask myself, whose lifetime? But in this case I relented and paid for what I thought was a lifetime of magazines. Also received some tools over the years – the drill I’ve never used. Have lived in the same house since 98 and now will be moving in a month so I guess there’s no point in searching for a change of address web page for Handyman Club of America. Maybe before he leaves, Odumbo can issue an Executive Order to Handyman Club of America to refund all Lifetime Membership fees! Then I’ll be satisfied

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