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Singapore – Malaysia – Brunei – Indonesia

Reaction to RAID’s Zero FEe-Membership…

Wow, what a response!

When we shared the news with the world about Zero FEe-Membership, we had planned for a healthy response, but even so, we are in shock. We have been inundated with emails, phone calls, and video calls. Mostly, from our members saying thank you for making this work, from instructors and dive centers asking, “how do we crossover to RAID?” and from others asking how on earth is this possible? Let’s get a few things sorted, and let’s start with the basics. There are no subscription fees for our instructors and dive centers to teach for RAID. For most of us, annual subscriptions have always been a drain on cash flow at a difficult time of year. So, we have worked out a business model that allows us to forego that revenue stream. Our accounting department crunched numbers and showed us smart and, most of all, fairways to compensate for the loss. The overview is simple: if we make it easier for our members to stay in business, their certifications will grow. The result increased revenue for them and for RAID. There are a few other initiatives that we’ll promote as the year unfolds but the bottom line is, Zero FEe-Membership is viable for RAID, and it will not affect the level of service we provide or the depth of that service. One other point that may sound like semantics but it’s an important distinction to get across. We have done away with annual membership subscriptions. We believe subscriptions have SHRUNK the industry over the past several years. We are working to grow it, hence the need to certify five divers to maintain Zero FEe-Membership status. And also, instructors and dive centers still pay for course credits and the associated cost of doing business. We have not made any of those costs ‘free.’ However, as always, those costs are very competitive, fair, and affordable… but not Free! We cannot share the business model we’ve developed to make this work – our competition would love us to do that – but we can share a few things that our members do NOT have to pay for. Dive Raid International is an online entity entirely. All our instructional materials, all our business is conducted online. This means our members do not have to pay hidden fees to cover printing costs, warehousing fees, and shipping. Dive RAID International has no super-salaried figureheads on its payroll. When you work for this agency, you are a productive member of the team, not a flag-waving executive. We think it would be unfair to have our members paying for expensive deadwood. Dive RAID International does not have a huge office with a brightly-lit sign on the outside and expensive leather chairs and desks on the inside. Our offices are modest and functional. The benefit to our membership is simply that they are not paying huge rental and real-estate fees to keep us in business. Dive RAID International shareholders work for the agency… for some of them, RAID is all they do day-to-day. This is efficient and effective, and it makes shareholders’ meetings direct and to the point. Everyone knows first-hand what’s going on and where the company is going. This translates into small costs for our membership. Dive RAID International has a legal team, and they are smart cookies, but their fees are realistic and supportable. We don’t have to pass on the burden of huge legal fees to our membership. And one final thing to consider: The management team’s mantra here at RAID is to be nimble and agile. As such, we will always strive to be different and to lead rather than follow. Zero FEe-Membership is an example of that difference. Within the scuba diving industry, there isn’t much we can compare it to; perhaps the closest analogy is a coop. Dive RAID International is member-centric and we have worked for two years to make Zero FEe-Membership happen. It seems fair and smart and totally outside the box. And we know it confuses some and frustrates those who are locked into expensive annual subscriptions. But we believe you will support us and this ground-breaking initiative because RAID is your agency.