X-Message-Number: 14801
From: "Thomas Kirschner" <>
Subject: How I lost my membership at Alcor, Reply to David Pizer
Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000 20:36:17 +0100

Dear David,

I thank you for the time and effort you put into commenting my "case". It
seems, that some of the things that I had written in my previous
corresponcence with Alcor were expressed by me somehow ambiguously. This may
have come partly, because I am not a native English speaker; and  there had
also been two points, where I had decided for an unprecise wording, because
I had not been about the facts, myself.

However, through your comments, I feel forced to make my points more

>From your reply here, I must assume that your original credit card did
>change, there seems to be no mistake, and there seems to be no mistake that
>you knew it changes but forgot to notify Alcor.  If that is true, that
would be *your* mistake, not Alcor's. >>

I agree, but it is NOT quite true. I have been travelling almost everyday,
since the whole issue started, and therefore had only very limited time to
put into this. Now I just found the time to do my homework: I spoke with
somebody from my creditcard company, EUROCARD. What they told me throws a
whole new picture, at least in my opinion:

* My last number change was in May 1996. Since then, my number has stayed
the same. Alcor, however, have argued, that my credit card "stopped working
on February, 1999." So how can that be?

* In the same mail, Alcor writes: "The last four digits of that credit card
were 0690." EUROCARD just told me, that a) these numbers were never the end
of any card, that I held from them and b) that this combination is very
unlikely to be a EUROCARD number at all. ???!!! Somebody must have made a
mistake here, and I canīt figure out at the moment, who it was. All I can
tell you is, that I never had a credit card from any other company.

* Third: In the same conversation, I asked the person from the credit card
company, if a case like mine - where a company wants to charge from a card,
where the number has changed - was considered to be one of the more regular
errors that occur. ("Yes.") Then I asked, what he thaught is the default
procedure for such a case. He explained, that this should normally be no
problem at all, and that they are dealing with those things all the time.
What normally happens, then, is that the customer (in this case: me) is
informed by EUROCARD, and thereby given the opportunity to give to the other
party the new card number. Actually, the procedure that he explained, was a
bit more complex, but it ended in his conclusion, that there a plenty of
ways to solve this problem satisfactorily.

<It seems that Alcor is in the process of updating its files.  This is
<something that has been long overdue.  Recently I had to do a lot of extra
<work to bring one of my insurance policies into compliance with ways that
<are best for Alcor to be confident that they will get paid if they do a
<suspension.  Lets look more at that  where it is mentioned below.  But a
<note here, it is not that hard to do the work that is necessary, it seems
<it might have been less work than all the letters you composed???

Dear David,

I have never stated, that I would not be willing to do the same: In fact, I
would be VERY willing to bring my insurance policy into compliance with
Alcorīs policy. I agree, that this might not even be much work. But:
* I never knew that this has to be done.
* And now, that contact between Alcor and me is again established, they have
given me every reason to assume, that they would not even accept my
insurance at this point anymore, no matter what documents about compliance I
might bring.
* So, why are you telling me, that I had better invested my work into
straightening this out?

<<You also did not contact Alcor for a whole year that your
magazine quit coming. That seems like the problem *was* caused by you.    >>

The first part is true. But with the information, I have just been giving, I
think the second part doesnīt follow, anymore. At least not in this strong
form. I did make a mistake by not contacting Alcor for 12 months. No longer!
But there were many other strange happenings, that lead up to the present

<<If you do not know why your mail and E-mail are bouncing back, it seems
that Alcor would be in even less of a position to know that, so I don't
understand how you can fault Alcor???>>

Hold on. It is not, that I do not now WHY my e-mails are bouncing back. I
did not now, THAT they are bouncing back! Thatīs a difference, isnīt it.
What I have been trying to say is, that I am STILL not aware, that they are
bouncing back. Over the years, I have had a couple of alternative e-mails,
as probably most of the people. Until now, I am not sure, under which
address Alcor has been trying to contact me. I strongly assume, that it was
under my main address, which has been (and still is!) working since about
five years. I will try to find out from Alcor, which address exactly it was.

<<Alcor was unable to contact you because the regular mail
and e-mail kept bouncing back.>>

As I have expressed numerous times: I have NOT moved in the last SIX years.
Everybody else seems to have no difficulties to send (snail-) mail to me. I
do not live at some esoteric place. I live right smack in the middle of a
town. I am listed in every phone book there is. I do have a proper name-sign
on my door. I do have a proper letter box. I am a business person. If people
would not be able to contact be, I would be bancrupt in a few weeks.

<<You have some kind of insurance that Alcor can not verify will pay if you
die and they suspend you. >>

But when Alcor signed the contract with me, they accepted it. And let me
tell you, that my insurance company is not some fly-by-night enterprise. It
is one of the major German companies. I can understand, if Alcorīs new
policy puts high concern on the validity of insurance contracts. But that
doesnīt mean that any contract, that has been signed in the past, is not
valid, anymore.

<<If Alcor tells you that the company you have insurance with is one that
they can not be sure they will get paid if they suspend you, then you have
to get insurance with a company that Alcor has confidence in. >>

No, I donīt think so, Sir. Alcor accepted my insurance funding, when they
signed the contract with me. If they force me now to change, I have a major
disadvantage: I am now older, and a new insurance contract would be way more
expensive for me. Under German law, it would be obvious to anybody, that
Alcor can not force me under my given contract to change the insurance
provider, unless they have been proven to not be paying. I canīt imagine,
that American law is so different. Otherwise: What would be the use of
contracts, if a party can afterwards introduce new rules as they like?

<<At this point I can see what you need to do.  Fill out the new forms, and
<<get insurance with a company that Alcor is sure will pay them.  Its is not
<<any more complicated than that.>>

Please, letīs try to stay objective and fair. It IS more complicated, you
should know that very well: My new insurance rates will be considerably
higher, stemming from three facts: My increased age, my worsened health, and
the low EURO exchange rate. Plus: Arenīt Alcorīs rates higher now than five
years ago? And will I not have to pay some processing fees? And what about
my fees at the German notary?

<<What you are calling an "easy" way is a way that is not safe for Alcor's
patients and other living members.  All the rest of us have to fill out the
correct forms and we all have to provide funding that Alcor is rock-solid
sure will pay off.  >>

Please keep in mind: I filled out the forms, too, and I am sure, they are
still safely resting with Alcor. All I am asking for, is to keep those.

<<Perhaps your e-mail was canceled because you were paying them with
the old credit card also.  Did you check that?>>

There was no canceled e-mail.

<<It would seem as a responsible person that you would want to use a
company that you were certain would pay Alcor.  Your letters seem to say
that you want Alcor to be responsible for you but you are not willing to do
things to make sure Alcor gets paid.>>

Where exactly do me letters say that? Until now, I have not disclosed any
information about my insurance.

<<If the company you have insurance with is not going to pay Alcor when they
suspend you then the company *you* have selected is forcing this situation.

Yes. If. But thatīs a phantasy, so far. Alcorīs phantasy and yours. Fact is,
that I have a contract with that company, and that I have been paying my
fees for that contract ever since. And that there is an explicit document,
that gives Alcor the rights to receive that money. Everything else is
hypothetical. Please keep that in mind.

<<Sir, you have overlooked the fact that Alcor had NO WAY of notifying you.
<<The mail they sent you came back.>>

As I have been trying to express, I think that Alcor just did not try hard
enough. Here are the reasons:
* I did contact Alcor, about a year ago (in order to tell the exact date, I
would have to go through my archived outlook-files, which I am too busy to
do, at the moment). There, they missed the opportunity to clarify matters
with me. I contacted them via the same e-mail address, that I am still
using; if theyīre organized, then they should after that still have my
address in their correspondence on their harddisc. But they didnīt look into
that. By the way: There was another time, where they didnīt look: When I had
contacted them a year ago.
* They did, obviously not make use of the possibility to have me contacted
via my credit-card company, even though that is a very easy routine
* They did not bother to call me up. I am openly listed.
* It remains to be explained, why letters to me never arrived, while
everybody else seems to have no difficulty.

Keep in mind: Alcor did have contact with me a year ago. They did not use
this situation to clear things up. They are referring to a credit-card
number, which - after checking with EUROCARD - I never had. They accepted a
funding solution, that now seems doubtful (in their eyes). If they used the
same diligence in addressing my envelopes, I can very well imagine an
alternative reason, why the letters never arrived: Maybe they had been
wrongly addressed. Can they proove the contrary? I can, however, proove
easily, that I have been living at the same address for the last six years.
Why should the mail not arrive? Did they send it such, that the deliverer
needs to get my signature, as we in Germany do with all letters of legal
importance? Where is the document, please, that shows, that the deliverer
was not able to find my address or get a hold of me?

<<I do not think Alcor can acknowledge any wrong doing.  They tried to
you and were unable to.  You quit paying dues and you did not get your
magazine for a whole year and still did not notify them!<<

I think to have addressed everything except your last point:
I was not aware that receiving a magazine is a proof of membership. I
thought my contract is.

>>I cannot speak for Alcor, but as an impartial observer that you asked for
input from, I would say that the fault seems to be all yours and that if
you wanted to do the right thing, you would quit complaining and fill out
the proper papers and get the correct insurance and get on with your life.>>

Be sure that I know how to appreciate and value properly these caring words
from a former Alcor rep.


Thomas Kirschner

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