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Lost order slowed Clubby's arrival

After seeing the letter in the column from the woman who needed help getting her Princess Diana doll, I thought you might be able to help me. I sent for my Clubby Bear Beanie Baby in October. My check was cashed on Nov. 11. I have written to the address on the Ty club box, the only address I have. The company has not responded. Denise Sabo

Response: Paul Morin, customer service manager for the Beanie Babies Official Club, said that Cyrk Inc., the fulfillment house for the club, has been unable to locate your order. However, since the company now has your check copies, it will process your order right away. You should receive it by the end of August. If not, Morin asked that you write to the club at P.O. Box 30, Danvers, MA 01923, so the package can be tracked. He apologized for the inconvenience.

Club benefits changed

I have been a member of the PGA Tour Partners Club since 1995 and have enjoyed the magazine and especially the free PGA Tournament passes. However, the benefits of membership have been diminishing.

In 1996 and 1997, I received the PGA Tour Partners official media guide, and I was able to purchase at a special price the 1996 media book for the senior tour.

I have been a faithful dues-paying member, and I also encouraged friends and family members to join. Last year, I kept calling the toll-free number for validation of my membership and free tournament pass. Each time I was told it was being sent. It never came.

In February, I received an "invitation" to join the PGA Tour Partners Club. I called the same telephone number I had been calling last year and was told the club was under new management. I was advised to send in my dues so the benefit package and membership card could be sent to me.

I sent in $44 for a two-year membership. I called many times in April, May and June, but no membership validation of benefit package ever came. The final straw that broke the camel's back was a series of phone calls from the organization's telemarketers asking me to take a lifetime membership. Over and over again I repeated that I had already signed up for a two-year membership and was waiting for my card and benefits package to arrive. The answer back was always that they were just telemarketers and couldn't help me with that, but didn't I want a lifetime membership?

All I want is the membership card and benefits package that are due me. One of the benefits is admission discounts, but, to get the discount, I must present my membership card, which I can't get the club to send me. To date all I have received is the July/August magazine.

This has become a matter of principle. It makes me wonder if golf is no longer a gentleman's game, or is it just telemarketing badgering? I hope you can resolve this problem. George Hildum

Response: Laura Burkholder, vice president of membership development for PGA Tour Partners Club in Minnetonka, Minn., said you were originally a member of the previous Partners club. In this club you paid higher membership dues of $32 to $36, which included a media guide but no product testing or giveaways, etc. She said her organization took over the Partners Club in 1997, and it became the PGA Tour Partners Club. The media guide is no longer one of the benefits, and it has not been promoted as such. In exchange, she said the annual dues have dropped to $24.

Burkholder apologized for the inconvenience you experienced and said she is sending you your membership card and a few complimentary tournament admission passes. She is also sending one of the club's product test forms for you to fill out and return. Your record has been marked to not receive any future telemarketing promotion calls from PGA Tour Partners Club.

If you have any further questions or concerns, she said you can contact her at the club's Minnetonka address.

If you have a question for Action, or your attempts to resolve a consumer complaint have failed, write: Times Action, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731, or call your Action number, 893-8171, or, outside of Pinellas, (800) 333-7505, ext. 8171, to leave a recorded request for Action. Names will not be omitted except in unusual circumstances. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

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