John, I don't mean to be pompous or judgemental, but I quite disagree.
CPS is aimed for Professionals, and i'm sure if they were to find out that you were not a professional, you could lose your status. Being both a professional and a CPS member, i find threads like these kind of sad, but, for those who take advantage and bend the rules for your own gain, karma always comes back around...
What is sad are posts like these as they appear to be judgmental and pompous. What, may I ask are the criteria for being a "professional?" Where is the line drawn? Primary source of income? Your main job? How many gigs you've done? How often someone has paid for an image of yours? The level of ambiguity to this determination is huge to an extent to which I don't believe you have given any thought.
I don't quite understand how anyone is taking advantage or bending the rules. I'm quite certain that if Canon/CPS was overly concerned about making their memberships exclusive only to high level pros, they would do so. I tend to believe based on the way things are set up that they are really only concerned about whether you have spent enough money on their stuff.
I have a career which pays me very well which allows me to have the luxury of owning a lot of gear without having to do photography as a job. I do paid gigs for fun here and there and have plenty of gear which doesn't all necessarily get used on those jobs. Does that make me not a professional? Am I not qualified to get my equipment worked on?
Canon sells products and provides a way for you to get them serviced which also costs money. Who is anyone to tell another photog they shouldn't be allowed to have membership if they are willing to pay the money for both?
I'm pretty sure there is a higher likelihood of running into some bad karma when you are being wrongfully judgmental of others and/or being full of yourself.
I don't have a "day job" to fall back on, so I think it's only fair that Canon looks after those who depend on their equipment for a livelihood.
Being a self-employed editorial photographer is fraught with enough challenges without the worry that your camera manufacturer doesn't have your back. In this day where publications expect content for free, let's just say there are many other careers that, in comparison, pay very well. Too many times I've covered events where the hobbyists have equipment that's better and newer than mine. Most likely theirs has seen far less wear, as they don't have to come up with usable images day after day. If they miss a shot because their gear fails, yes, it's a real disappointment. If I miss mine, I've probably lost a payday, perhaps a hard-won client, as well as being out of work until it's fixed.
Definitely don't think you are either one of those things. Awin on the other hand....
Anyhow, while I respect your opinion, I still fail to understand how not allowing certain classes of photographers to have membership would help your cause. As it stands, there is a tiered setup for membership which includes one type that has expedited service as well as other perks. I know several photographers that regularly utilize that membership and have never had a problem having all their needs met in a timely fashion. So unless having such an open enrollment process adversely affects your ability to have your needs met somehow, I don't see what the issue is.
The reason Awin's comments bothered me was because they were full of assumption and judgment all of which were unfounded.
When it comes down to it, there are countless variations in need and types of photographers who do all different levels of work out there. As such, the grey area for what would be defined as "professional" is huge. Do we base it on generated income, number of jobs, frequency, type of work, etc?
I see i ruffled someones feathers... Here's the deal... year after year, and this isn't the only thread talking about this, more and more people sign up or try to sign up for Canon CPS and they have, especially recently, changed the rules and benefits of signing up decreasing what they used to give to us just to accommodate demand. I have seen multiple accounts and threads on CR and other forums where people blatantly say they are not pro's and yet they are members of Canon CPS. Instead of being stringent and exclusive, it's more of a pay per play system, and i feel it isn't right. You have seen in almost every sector in life where when people take advantage of a service or good, that good starts becoming more scarce, funds start depleting for it, and or quality of goods start to deteriorate. Without bringing politics into it, a simple look at the governments welfare and unemployment insurance systems are a great example as funding has been steadily cut to recipients and it's harder and harder to access. The same is starting to happen to this great system and it isn't right.
As a professional, i dont always have the funding to get the best gear as it is my livelyhood and i have no other funding, day jobs, etc to pay for my gear... if my gear goes down and CPS cant help me right away because some other non-pro has the gear i would need loaned to them, then i'm losing money or not being able to accept jobs and that hurt my bottom line and darn right i'm going to be peeved. It is what it is. CPS is Canon Professional Services, not Canon Insurance Services or Canon I want to be a photographer but have lots of money services...