Not Getting Member Benefits That Were Advertised for a Professional Association

For the past few years, I have joined a professional association which is relevant but not essential to my job.

Membership is close to $300 per year.

This professional association used to partner with Member Advantage to provide benefit program to members of the professional association, such as discounted gift cards for major merchants such as Woolworths, Coles, JB Hifi, Priceline, Uber, etc. This benefit program is actually the main reason I joined this association, many of my colleagues didn’t join this association and they are doing just as fine as I do career-wise.

Just recently I couldn’t access my account on Member Advantage. Upon contacting staffs at Member Advantage, they told me their partnership with my professional association was ceased, which is shocking to me as I did not receive any notification prior to this.

I emailed the professional association but haven’t heard back anything yet for a couple of working days.

Does anyone know if Consumer Affairs is willing to look into case like this? Where members paid annual member fee and not getting member benefit that was advertised/promised? Furthermore, no prior notification for terminating member benefit.


  • +7 votes

    1 posts / 0 comments

    Ah that explains it.

    Consumer affairs? Why not try A Current Afair? Today Tonight? GoFundMe?

    Just ask for a partial refund of your year so far and cancel. Simples.

    What did they say when you called them, the association?

  • +16 votes

    You don't join professional associations for the additional benefit programs to get 5% off Coles or whatever. They're an extra. You join to have recognised industry networking, events, seminars, knowledge shares, even training etc. You likely have no case as they would have wrangled some T&Cs that you signed up to somewhere.

    • +2 votes


      If you joined the professional association with the sole expectation of receiving shop discounts then you probably do not belong in that profession in the first place. Just cancel your membership and consider you got an instant $300 discount for your shopping for that year which may very well be more than the 5% or so discount that you are complaining about. Otherwise join a buyer's club(if there is such a thing) or an industry specific union( most unions have shop discounts and cheap movie tickets, etc.) instead of a professional association.

      As mentioned above professional memberships are there to support you with your profession and in the advancement of your career as a professional in that industry (think seminars, networking, industry news trends and publications, etc.) and shop discounts are just a value addition offered with your membership that they have every right to cancel/change anytime at their discretion.

  • -1 vote

    dont believe your story

  • +1 vote

    Find a new profession.

  • +2 votes

    I understand it's much easier to come on OzBargain and ask others to do your work for you, but I do recommend reading the terms and conditions you would have agreed to when signing up.

  • +1 vote

    Just call them and cancel your membership. I'd argue for a partial refund on a pro rata basis dependent on how much of your membership remains. Do not bother consumer affairs about this.