ASK TOM READ
Every month the 810 Club receives mail from its members. Many times questions are asked which Tom Read responds to personally. The volunteers suggested that they select some of the best questions and have Mr. Read share the answers with all listeners via this special web page.
You are encouraged to Ask Tom Read by emailing your questions to email@example.com. Names will not be used as we do not have permission to include them.
Q I enjoy the monthly 810 Club newsletters. I was wondering how they are prepared and printed? I notice that some months they are perfect and other months I find one typo and some rare months I find a number of typos in the newsletters.
The 810 Club has no paid employees, only volunteers. Different volunteers work on the newsletters, different months. It is often a big rush to get them electronically to the firm that actually processes them for mailing. It is not unusual that a person finishes the work around midnight. There is no time for a professional proof reader, such as some of our listeners who are retired teachers. It is a question of taking the time to be perfect vs. getting the newsletters to you on time. You have told us that getting them to you on time is more important. Another problem is Microsoft's spell check changes words automatically as the electronic transfer is made.
Q WHY DO AUTHORS GIVE AWAY THEIR BOOKS?
A. Many authors, some who have best selling books on the New York Times best seller list, are indeed giving away copies of their books on their radio programs. They charge a nominal fee for shipping and handling.
How Can They Afford To Do This?
Since local book stores are almost extinct, and downloaded books are heavily discounted, it is difficult to make money as an author today. So many authors develop a consulting service to assist readers in obtaining further information on the subject of their books.
Generally, when they give you a free book, they also offer you a 30 day free trial to use their Internet consulting service. Some of these consulting, web based services are very worthwhile but they do cost money. If you do not specifically inform the author when you order your free book that you do not want to subscribe to their consulting service, they will automatically convert you to a fee basis at the end of the 30 day free trial. This approach is very common, especially in the computer software field.
Many people find this convenient such that the consulting service continues automatically. Others, however, do not make good use of the consulting service and therefore should make it known that they do not want the consulting service continued on a fee basis after the free trial. Failure to do so will result in an automatic monthly charge on the credit card you used to pay the nominal postal and handling fee to receive your free book.
Q A listener in Yakima is curious why ACN asks in which city we live when we request a program schedule or ask how to listen to the network via the internet and is any of our information sold by ACN or the 810 Club?
Neither the ACN network nor the 810 Club has ever sold any email addresses or mailing address to anyone and never will.
When a person emails ACN and requests a program schedule, we respond and ask where they live, what city. The obvious reason to be able to determine which ACN affiliate program schedule they should be sent. There is no reason to send a listener to KYAK in Yakima a program schedule for KGDN in the Tri-Cities. Sometimes a person is listening on the Internet and then we know to have the 810 Club send then a network program schedule, not a station program schedule.
Our listener in Yakima may want to know why the 810 Club mails out the program schedule rather than emailing it. Some years ago, they did try emailing program schedules to those that made that request. We found many problems people had with opening the attachment. Some internet service providers will not even let an email go out that has an attachment. Other people said they could not open the attachment on their computer and still others said the schedule would not print properly. So the vast majority wanted the 810 Club to stick with the printed schedule which could be placed on the refrigerator.
We also looked into attaching all of he affiliate's program schedules to the ACN web page. Since we are using a very old, but paid for, web page designing software, it would not work well with the more modern internet browsers.
The Yakima listener also asked about the request for information about ACN and LBS network streaming. The reason we like to know the city where the person lives is that we have found in some cases the person did not realize that we had a network affiliate that covered their location. They were glad to know that. Another reason is to determine if there is a local interference problem with one of our affiliates. For instance a listeners in Wenatchee to KTBI 810 AM wanted to know how to listen to the ACN network on their computer, and when they told us they were in Wenatchee, we asked why they would want to listen over a little computer speaker when ACN had a powerful radio station in their community. There answer was that a hum had developed recently on KTBI. We turned that information over to George Frese, our consulting engineer in Wenatchee, and after some tests, he found a faulty transformer on a power pole in her neighborhood that was causing a hum on all the local AM stations. He contacted the power company and they appreciated the information and fixed the problem.
Another example is a lady who asked for internet listening info and told us she was in the Tri-Cities. We mention that ACN had a powerful FM affiliate there and she said there was a hissing noise at times under the programming on KGDN and so she wanted to switch to internet listening. We turned that info over to the KGDN engineers and since it came and went, they had a hard time finding a problem but eventually found there was a technical problem and if we had not asked the lady why she wanted to listen on the internet when she had local affiliate or where she was located, the engineers might have been chasing the problem for years.
Q IS KTW IN SPOKANE HEARD ON THE INTERNET?
Not presently. However, KTW is the flagship station of the Liberty Broadcasting System (LBS) and LBS does stream the network live on the Internet as the ACN network does. But not all of the programs you hear on KTW are LBS programs and therefore are not heard on the LBS live streaming. Some programs on LBS are from KTW and are therefore heard on the LBS streaming as are some of the ACN programs.
It has been suggested by numerous ACN listeners, in areas where they do not have reception of KTW, that LBS include more of the KTW programs on their Internet streaming. That is now a reality.
Q My wife hates to use our credit card to make a purchase on line but most companies will not allow her to mail them a check. Any suggestions?
In talking with a listener who is with a major bank, he shared that one option some people are doing is to obtain a new credit card and instruct the bank to assign a low dollar amount as the maximum that can be charged on the card. Then use that card only for on line purchases or where you must use a credit card for incidental expenses such as mailing and handling.
Q Mr. Read wrote in a recent 810 Club Newsletter about his idea for a new "opt out" type of credit card. Could you provide an update?
For the answer, please click on Next Page below.