Comments on The Great American Cooking Scam" (30 total) View all
  Comment Sorted by
Date Written
Re: Re: Re: Cooking Club of America is a bunch of crap
by jasmineboop
I don't know how you think that this is a good idea. I have signed up for other clubs from the same company that runs the Cooking Club of America. The "free" items they send you to test are not really free as you end up getting a bill for them if you receive the items at all.

I also would like to know who "nominated" me as none of my friends have even heard of this club. I know that this is just junk mail but they should really re-word this so they don't sound so much like a scam in the first place. They should also actually follow through on what they say is free. The only free items I received from any of the clubs run buy the parent company are what I received in the enticement kit and the new member kit. Everything else cost me and I even had to fight customer service when I returned the unwanted "free" items that I returned and was still billed for.

They even tried to send me to collections on items I had returned and the membership fee when canceled the membership. I even sent a certified letter requiring a signature to cancel and the customer service rep stated it was not received. I gave her the name of the person who signed it and she finally relented. If you have the money to throw away on this club you could do more good giving to charity or even throw some my way.
Aug 26, 2012
1:23 pm PDT

Ditto on The Great American Cooking Scam
by grapey
This very day I logged into my Cooking Club of America account. It has been two years since I've received a product to review and noticed quite a few complaints on that subject alone. I was surprised when I checked the BBB site and found the business name is actually North American Membership Group, Inc. dba Cooking Club of America. The same company offers other clubs as well. You might be surprised to see they have an A rating from the BBB, have had 803 complaints in the last 3 years and that all of the complaints were closed. Then, said I to myself, whatever happened to checking with the BBB before doing business with a company. The Epinions site is great for feedback and provides better advice than the BBB - who has time to hassle over tedious transaction details...tedious due to bait and switch, misrepresented benefits and unsolicited products showing up at the door with a bill attached. Maybe the BBB should take another look at their A rating; it appears this company will take care of specific complaints but does not change its practices. The BBB website for Minnesota might like to hear from all of us who are not satisfied and may assist in resolving complaints about this "affinity market" company.
Jun 19, 2012
3:30 am PDT

Re: Re: Cooking Club of America is a bunch of crap
by massleelee
Send me one negative product review that CCA has written. I dare you to find one. Are you telling me that every product they send for testing is great? If so, I have some swamp land to sell you. It seems that the same people who think this magazine is great seem to also think this is a quality magazine. The recipes are pretty uninventive and it's full of scammer advertising. Anyone who thinks this magazine is legitimate is a sucker and probably shops HSN as well.
Jun 4, 2012
7:50 am PDT

Re: Cooking Club of America-- Not a scam--
by catnjb6598
I too am a bit surprised at some of the comments. First of all $12 a year for the magazine is pretty cheap if you ask me. If you do not want it for 2 years when the bill arrives then call the company and tell them you only want it for one year or you do not want it at all. They will fix it.

I guess people think they are going to get a mixer or blender or something right away to try. There are tens of thousands of members and they have to spread out the testing every month. I have been a member for 11 years and I am very satisfied with all the things I have gotten. I have never yet gotten a mixer or blender to test or actually any big thing for that matter but I have gotten some very nice gifts through the club and lots of great discounts with other companies as well. I am a Premier Lifetime Member. If you have a problem why not call the company and give them a chance to make it right before you decide to bash them. Have any of you who got the magazine and paid the $24 even tried to call the company and tell them you are not happy with your membership? I have never called Customer Service that I have not had a pleasant experience. If you get mail about the other clubs and you are not interested just throw it away and when you call CCA tell they you do not want to be on the list that sends them out.
Jun 3, 2012
6:28 am PDT

thanks all
by abc46251
I receive these 'invitations' about twice a year and always suspected the club was not all that. If it sounds too good to be true --it probably is! I was beginning to be curious if maybe I was missing out on something (and they said it was because so many know what a great cook I am!) Then I thought check it out online. Yeah, just what I thought. Thanks to all of you that took the time to tell. I do not really need a magazine subscription that costs 2x what is said. I have made use of the little refrigerator 'Measure Magnet' and measure for spaghetti portions, and I have given some to friends (who maybe aren't as "great " of cooks as I am) to recieve so many'free' offers fro CCoA! lol
Oct 12, 2011
5:09 am PDT

by manda40
This is my first year. I received an email and joined online, later sending in my $12 fee by check. I was fairly sure I knew what I was getting into but I felt the magazine alone was worth the $12. I've had a few products sent to me - a knife, cheese grater, stainless steel soap. My only complaint would be having to pay return shipping costs for the books. They do send way too much mail and have even phoned once (I didn't pick up) but those are all things I can ignore. I'm still on the fence but I'll see what I think after the year's up. They don't have my credit card or bank info so I'm not in any danger of charges I haven't approved.
Aug 5, 2011
9:27 am PDT

Freebies can't be choosey
by equess3n
I joined the CCoA a few years ago, but cancelled for budget reasons. This year, I decided to rejoin the club. I paid $12.00, as I recall. I wouldn't really call this club a "scam". I think what irks folks is that we join, with fantasties of receiving a Kitchen Aid Stand mixer or Wusthof knives to test. Not gonna happen. The first go round (years ago), I think I got a packet of spices to test. Big whoop. This time around, I received a cheap set of BBQ tools. I don't know if it's because I'm a food blogger, that I finally got something worth $15.00 or not. I wrote an honest review. It's been a few months, and I've received nothing more to test. Kind of disappointing, but I'm not upset about it Bottom line, the magazine is pretty good. I like that their recipes don't use canned soups or packet mixes, because I'm one of the "scratch cooks". So, I look at it this way-- I have a foodie magazine subscription. I like their website, because I can be lazy and copy and paste the recipes and store the in my electronic recipe file (my "DEMY"). I keep getting pitched for a life time membership, but I have All-Clad cookware. Why would I want that cheap set of cookware? I've already upgraded, over the years. I wouldn't call this place a scam, unless you are counting on the free products to test. Move past that, and join only if you are interested in a magazine...and MAYBE getting free products. But don't count on them being expensive. It's up to whatever the manufacturer is providing.
Jul 8, 2011
3:58 pm PDT

Re: Re: Cooking Club of America a Scam
by brigittadd
I absolutely agree. I signed up for this club easily lured in by the Free product tests! exclusive membership! only $1 a month! Turns out, I just got cheap crap and requests for a lifetime subscription every freakin 2 weeks. Now that I want to cancel, there is no option on the website to do so, even though they did say that you could cancel at anytime and receive your money back. This 'club' holds true- If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.
May 14, 2011
9:12 am PDT

Re: Cooking Club of America a Scam
by djrsp
I am so glad to have read this review prior to submitting my reply to this company, especially as you say that they are also The North American Hunting Club, my husband paid his dues for a few years with that one, they often tried the lifetime membership, but he never got ONE thing to try and evaluate, so we finally dropped that membership, but we did not have too much of a problem, they still send stuff trying to get us to re instate our membership, but we just chuck it in the garbage, no collections or anything bad like that. But I don't want to have to deal with all that bull_____ !! Again.

Thanks for this reviews and all the helpful information. Too bad it does not work, it is a great concept, maybe some of the old time members get some product and such but I am sure there was an over whelming amount of folk that did reply, can you imagine if every family int he country responded to this, how much money this company makes. And look at how many do not have computer like we do to research a company first!! For me, thanks be for the INTERNET!!!

For me, I am trashing the Packet that came in the mail today, there may be some of you out there that have had a good experience, but the bad right now seems to be outweighing the good.

Have a good weekend and THANKs

May 13, 2011
10:21 am PDT

Re: Perhaps you should read?
by sagacity80
a bunch of crock!!!!! u represent a bunch of liars. I got sucked in at first saying it was 12 dollars and then the actual bill came for 24 dollars.... so how do u like stealing other people's money.
Mar 3, 2011
2:12 pm PST

Thank you for your comments
by dhplaw6
I just received my billing invoice from Cooking Club of America. They were only going to charge $12.00, but they doubled the amount, and that's when I decided to check this company out.
To everyone who wrote a review, thank you. I've decided that based on everything I read, I will not join this club. I should have known it was too good to be true.
Feb 23, 2011
2:32 pm PST

Re: Cooking Club of America-- Not a scam--
by chitoe
I was really surprised to see how many people had a problem with the CCoA. I had a membership for a little over a year and ultimately canceled it because I couldn't afford it anymore. The test products I received were cruddy, but I didn't really hold that against them, when I signed up I pretty much figured that I wasn't going to be getting fancy, expensive, high quality products sent to me for free. I got my little lifetime membership card and thought it was cute, got oodles of magazines with tons of recipes, and when I canceled it was no big deal. It was an expensive subscription, which is why I can't afford it anymore, but I knew that at the get go because I read the material I was sent. I don't think it's a bad company, just sounds like a lot of misunderstandings, and that's too bad...
Feb 13, 2011
8:51 am PST

Wish I had found this site BEFORE joining
by lzcrkrs
*Sigh* I had googled CCoA before joining. Found only good things. I joined for a 12 month, paid $12. They sent me a magazine a couple months later (took long enough) Then a box. With a "free" test product and a cook book. The book was a nice basic book with clear detailed pictures. Well worth the $10.99 they were asking. The test product was a cheap Made In China travel knife. You could get hurt trying to get this knife out of the plastic protective sheath. Very junky and did not cut good at all! (a butter knife cuts veggies and anything else I tried easier). So I paid for the book. In short order another came, they wanted $24.99 plus shipping for a book that looked used before they shipped it to me, the content is not even worth $5. OH, AND THE DAYS OF PREPAID SHIPPING LABELS ARE OVER, they included a return label that for my convenience had the amount of shipping $$ to affix. So I am sending it back. They send that metal soap thing with it as the test product. NOT impressed.

Anyway, between the time I joined and actually got the first issue of the magazine, I received almost immediately through email and snail mail solicitations to become a life member. That has ticked me off - why would I commit to something for a lifetime if I have no idea what a year membership is like. I am thinking I will try to cancel before my year is up, that is how disappointed I am. I sure do not want any more shipments.
I suppose I would hire a lawyer if it got to that point about if they tried to collect $$ from me. Maybe a class action lawsuit in the future.

As for magazines, Cooks Illustrated is going to be the only subscription I keep. Well worth the money for that one. The CCoA ones are not helpful to me at all.

To sum up, if you join a club, I have found they are all really the same whether Cd clubs, book clubs or cooking clubs. Fees, automatic shipments of things you may not want, then you have to return them (now at your own expense unless you are smart and return to sender). They are hard to cancel membership to. Sometimes you think you did then you get a bill on a credit card that was cancelled a couple years before. I do not know how they can do that (CC company said it had to do with the way they charged it) but it happened to me in the mid-1990s, and happened to me in 2010.

Dec 15, 2010
11:30 am PST

Re: Perhaps you should read?
by coyoty
"Yes, they may be masked by 'free' this and 'free' that, but that is advertising and marketing for you."

No, that is false advertising and fraud if it's not true.
Nov 11, 2010
10:02 pm PST

Re: Re: Re: consumer98's comment
by chels112
To get off of the mailing list, call and ask to get off of the mailing list. It really isn't that complicated.
Nov 11, 2010
9:41 am PST

Perhaps you should read?
by chels112
I worked for NAMG in the member services department for quite a long time. The only advice I have for anyone who is having problems with the cooking club or any other clubs associated with NAMG is to read the material you're sent. Every policy is outlined. For the 'unsolicited' books you receive, you agree to receive them as soon as you accept the offer. It's actually benefit number eight, that they will send you books and items to preview, that you can call at any time to stop them, and that if you don't want to pay the postage, they even send you pre paid labels!
For the 'poor quality test products'-tough luck! It never once states that you will receive an expensive or premium item to test. It is not even in the cooking clubs' jurisdiction! What is sent out to the members of the cooking club is completely and totally up to the manufacturers of the items. So, if you receive a small, cheap gift, blame the manufacturer, not the club.
For the lifetime membership-Directly on the offer it states that you pay the set amount for 12 months. It even states the full price, if you bother to read the material.
The fact of the matter is, if you are going to send your money into a company, read ALL OF the details, not just the ones that seem appealing. Yes, they may be masked by 'free' this and 'free' that, but that is advertising and marketing for you. If you ever have a problem, you can call member services and they are more than happy to help.
Nov 11, 2010
9:37 am PST

A waste of my time
by madeline10
I too thought this was a great club to join and for only $24.00. What a waste of my time and items received. And they have sent me multiple invoices and they are never the same price.

Don't waste any energy or time on this club at all. The items are a waste. The magazine is okay but you can get just as good of recipes from taste of home and you don't have to join a club.
Sep 2, 2010
3:55 pm PDT

total scam
by massleelee
I wrote a negative comment on Feb 20, 2010 and here I am again. I received another crappy test product. A little freaking packet of fleishman's pizza yeast! Oh that is totally worth the life membership cost. I am totally going to write a glowing BS review and see if it ends up on the the magazine since I'm guessing that only people who write great reviews get the "good stuff". Oh and has anyone seen the Premier Membership crap. So I guess us lifers are really going to get the shaft now if we don't upgrade our membership. What a joke!
Jul 22, 2010
8:01 am PDT

Cooking Club of America Scam
by sgilpin912
For those of you who seem to think that this is not a scam you need to think again! I went to the Better Business Bureau website. Yes this business has an A rating BUT it is because they resolved they complaints that were against them. In the last 3 years there were 765 complaints. I was also a member of one of the sister companies called Creative Home Arts Club. I paid the $24 subscription fee instead of the one year fee that they had promised. Granted the magazines were interesting, I too was sent a bill for the lifetime membership fee of $300 and I declined that so when I received the package in the mail today from the Cooking Club of America. I came to this site and read all the comments. Then I went to the BBB website and researched and read what was said on their site. Sorry everyone, but when there are 765 complaints against a company within a 3 year period there is a problem!!
Jul 21, 2010
7:25 pm PDT

Cooking Club of America-- Not a scam--
by diannern
Wow.... Amazing reading all the comments here re CCA being a scam n that all of u got "bills" etc. My husband n I have been Life Members of CCA for just about 10 years now. When we "joined" originally we got the cookware, aprons, spoon rest, cheese shredder etc...and over the years--with the "testing" have received Le Crueset Ware, Stand Mixer, foods, spices etc. We have totally enjoyed receiving the magazine with all the recipes and other testers recommendations. Our experience with CCA has been very positive. We use many of the items we have received on a weekly basis --some even more often! The steamer pot is great! We have gone thru one cheese shredder and when I broke it--they sent us another!

I have spoken (via internet either email or chat) with many, many others who have also had extremely positive experiences with CCA. I feel for those of you who have had these bad experiences -- but it is NOT a scam...It is a reputable Club with many hundreds of thousands of satisfied members.
Jul 20, 2010
5:16 pm PDT

I suckered in too
by observant1
Am looking for the 800 # right now just got my 303 rip off letter, still haven't gotten my intro products and don't want anything to do with the company. SO GLAD YOU WROTE!
May 10, 2010
4:19 pm PDT

by paquebot
Thank you, Latte Chick! I just received this in the mail and I always throw these out (except Gavalia which I'm about to cancel - in all fairness, thier coffee is fine and their prices reasonable UNTIL you add the shipping charge. One can do much better buying excellent coffee elsewhere for cheaper...). Anyway, you're right - I thought, "for $12 how can I go wrong?". And then I went to my computer to do a bit of research and found your reveiew. Thank goodness for the internet and honest people like you! I am promptly shredding the the mailer and putting it in my wood stove! it's only good for making a fire! have a great day, Latte Chick, and thank you for taking the time to do the review! You've saved this person from being a Cooking Club shmuck!!
Feb 27, 2010
9:20 am PST

Thank You LatteChick
by eilish99
I just got the solicitation packet this week... and all but the flimsy rubber bowlscraper cum pasta measurer and the conversion magnet have taken their turn in the shredder.
Feb 4, 2010
5:17 pm PST

Cooking Club of America is a joke
by massleelee
I'm glad that some of you have had positive experiences, but I've been a lifetime member since 1999 and have recevied a few crappy products to test and a set of crappy knives. Nothing over a value of $10. Maybe it's because I've chosen to give bad reviews to products. Has anyone ever noticed they never write a bad review for any of the products??? At this point I only open the magazine up to see if they have decided to print a bad review. Haven't seen one yet in over 10 years!!!
Feb 2, 2010
8:31 am PST

Re: Re: consumer98's comment
by jsheaffer1
I started with this "club" almost a year ago. I got their first cookbook for $30.00, and liked it. THEN, they started hounding me to order more, have them directly mailed to me, after two more cookbooks I called to cancel my cookbook mailings, and cancel my membership, It was then, and only THEN, that they decided they would sell me these same cookbooks for $20! This place is a scam, the whole thing is a scam! Now, if I can only figure out how to get off their mailing list!
Dec 30, 2009
7:56 am PST

Cooking Club of America - It works for me!
by ndagliano
I stumbled across all the comments about the Cooking Club of America when I was trying to locate a recipe that was published in an issue a year or two ago. I must say, I was baffled by all the negative comments. I initally subscribed to the magazine in 2001 and loved it. When I was solicted to become a life memember and promised a set of cookware in exchange, I declined. They agreed to lower the lifetime membership fee when I said I did not want the cookware. I signed up, paid the reduced fee and received the free cookware anyway! I look forward to the magazine every month, have made dozens of their recipes and kept every issue. Just last month they published a kitchen tip I sent in. I was presented with a check for $25 (to use as I like) and a free kitchen mandolin slicer (very nice quality!) They also notified me that they will be printing one of my original recipes, and for that I get a cassarole dish. If this is a scam, than I am delighted that they decided to scam me!
Dec 16, 2009
4:33 pm PST

Re: consumer98's comment
by sara9894
A few moments of searching on Google, and I can easily conclude that you have the incorrect company and kjguillemette's comment is correct. Cooking Club of America is part of North American Membership Group, Inc. based in Minnetonka, MN. They are a BBB-accredited "clubs" business with an A+ rating. Read the whole page, and you'll see that one of North American Membership Group's DBAs is "Cooking Club of America".

The BBB does have a separate listing for "Cooking Club of America" as a "publishers-book" business, but it is not accredited and has an F rating. It also has an address in York, PA which tells me this is probably a cookbook membership since every book club I've ever belonged to was based in that area. The two businesses may be related, but they are completely different.

Now for my disclaimer: no, I'm not an employee or a member. I just received mail from this club and was researching it when I came across this site. I simply don't like false information tainting legitimate businesses. Just go to and search for "Cooking Club of America" to read both listings for yourself.
Nov 23, 2009
7:20 am PST

Re: Cooking Club of America - A very good deal
by consumer98
This review must have been written by an employee. Go to and you will see this business is not an accredited BBB member and has a rating of F, due to number of complaints and lack of response to complaints. Amazing what people will do to sell you something. No conscience!!
Oct 5, 2009
2:24 pm PDT

Cooking Club of America - A very good deal
by kjguillemette
For those who don't know enough to make a choice on this where the lifetime membership is concerned. Here is a bit more info to help you out.
1. The club has an A+ rating with the BBB: Just type into the search Cooking Club of America BBB and you will find the link to BBB that show the A+ rating. (As of 9/27/09)

2. The lifetime membership includes a monthly magazine that you will receive for the rest of your life. The annual cost is normally $24. The magazine is filled with recipes, cooking tips, loads of info for the cook.

3. The membership includes a set of pot & pans, gadgets, etc that value over $1200. That doesn't include all the items that will be sent to you to test or the exclusive cooking class listings, etc.

4. The cost of the membership - they reimburse you the original $24 you paid as a discount on the lifetime cost. So after that it will run you $324.96 that can be paid off in 12 months at the rate of $27.08 a month.

5. It isn't a rip off - you get what you pay for and then some. Even if you're not a serious cook, don't we all love to have new recipes to look over and isn't it great that you'll get all sorts of products that you get to test and keep?

I think it's worth it. I know there are some of you who don't - and that is your opinion and you're entitled to it. But someone went so far as to lie about the BBB rating! Don't lie, just tell the facts as you know them. This is a great club and I am thrilled to be a member!
Look for yourself. Go to the site.
Sep 27, 2009
7:21 am PDT

cooking club of america
by susiecute57
I am a lifetime member of the Cooking Club of America, and have been one for years. I find that I am completely satisfied with the club. I have received many free items, trials, tests, and membership items that satisfy me. The cost of becoming a member has increased since I became one, but I find that my $220 was well worth the money. I love receiving my magazine monthly and many other items sent to me. So far the cost to me has been $00000.

I'm sorry that you feel the way that you do, but I find that it's been a wonderful experience for me.
Aug 13, 2009
12:18 pm PDT
 Page 1 2 3 4Next »