TUCSON, ARIZONA -- I was curious about DirectBuy ads I had seen. I had been a member of "Consumers Plus" which went out of business in 2006. That club charged about $1500 to join (in the 90s), their yearly dues were $45, and their handling fee was 5%. I saved a lot of money furnishing a new home using their services. I have no complaints about them whatsoever, except that they went out of business. The only problem was that anything I ordered through them could not be returned.
Before I attended the DirectBuy presentation on 12/30/2006, I was first disturbed by the lack of ANY information they were willing to give about their business prior to my "Free Pass by Invitation Only" visit. At the "Invitation Only" visit the visitors were told not to ask questions until the end of their presentation; that is how they had determined that the presentation worked the best (they did not say it worked the best to their benefit). Then before we had a change to utter a single question we were escort out of the meeting room, each visitor having a private sales person to talk to. Therefore, visitors were unable to gain additional knowledge from other visitors questions.
I asked about their prices for about a dozen items which I was in the market to purchase. They were able to only provide a price for one item. They are either extremely disorganized due to incompetence or due to intentionally making sure no prices are available to potential members.
I happened to have a big end of year bonus and thought I could save money with my upcoming purchases so I signed up. The sales person never explained to me that my son would not qualify as a member on my account. He only asked if my son was present and I said he was not. According to the contract a dependent child has to be under 23 and a full time student to be allowed member benefits at the club. The verbal commitment to add my son at a later date was meaningless since the contract voided all verbal promises. So they lied to my about my son being able to have the membership after I passed away was never going to happen.
Since I'm almost 60, I wanted my son to be a member. He is 25, so the huge member fee - about $4600 for 3 years, would not go to waste if I should die in the next few years. But DirectBuy would not work that way. I had also made to believe during the presentation that this company had been around for some 30 years. Yes, maybe, but under various names. Also only the local franchise was responsible for providing any member benefits. Nothing like Costco, where you can travel the country and use your $50/year Costco membership to buy items on the shelf.
For DirectBuy it is specifically stated that if you order an item you have to pay everything up front the cost of the time, taxes, their 8% handling fee and the cost of shipping with is often 15% of the cost of the item. They never counted actual shipping fees but I was able to figure out the rough cost for freight. Then as a final insult if I ordered something, they could change the price afterwards at any time and I would have to pay the additional fees within 7 days. There was no one to lend support at DirectBuy if anything went wrong with the item. The buyer would have to deal with the problem alone.
The membership cost in no way guarantees any savings to the club member. No 110 % price guarantee. Nothing. You pay $4600 just for the right to order items using them as the middle man (no DIRECT BUY here - DirectBuy is an oxymoron), paying them $4600 for the right to place orders there during the first 6 months, then $200/year for the next 7 years. After that you could continue at the then current yearly fee which has been increased at each possible turn. The bottom line is that this is a lucrative business to the owner - very similar to timeshares.
A consumer has to take into account the risk that they never save any money, that the DBA company goes out of business, and that the $4600 invested wisely would provide a substantial income to offset the cost of buying items at retail. Due to all retail stores having sales 40-70% off and the internet becoming a better low cost supplier for all goods there really is no need to join this scam operation to make a few people line their pockets with your money and to get his and her Mercedes Benz as a yearly bonus. I had a feeling this was a sleazy organization due to their red flag tactics but I still wanted to see for myself.
Now that I cancelled my contract it will take them 15 business days to refund me my money!! How true to their business model. It also looks like they are trying to withhold $25 and not refund me the entire cost of the membership which I paid for. They never explained the contract and never pointed to the important information I should read on the back page. I can only blame myself for not reading that. But regardless, I enjoy writing a letter of complaint about this company and its deceiving practices to the BBB and the Camber of Commerce. There is a whole lot more wrong with what they did but I think you get the idea.
GAITHERSBURG, MARYLAND -- High end chairs with IMO transportation nicks I wouldn't accept. Brought in "expert" who said same. DB wrote email to mfg saying customer won't accept. Are the nicks defects or characteristic of wood as if mfg wouldn't get paid unless it was characteristic.
Meanwhile I never claimed mfg did anything wrong. Mfg says characteristic while Company says it doesn't sell chairs with these nicks. DB won't put in a transportation damage claim. With the extra fees, small discount and what appears to be intentional dishonesty (I was told this is always the mfg response to these nicks) DB is not worth the annual fee much less the membership fee. I should have purchased chairs directly from Co.
Do your homework. DirectBuy is not the answer. In the late 90's the dues to belong were about 2200.. today, however, they are upwards of $6,000 to join. And yes, then you tack on the 8% handling fee that the franchise owner also pockets.. and you soon realize that this is not anywhere near the savings indicated during the 2 hour presentation.
DirectBuy franchise owners are making oodles of money by getting you to fork over this kind of cash. If you aren't able to pay, you are not allowed to join for 7 years... I do not know how it will ever be possible to have this company banned in all states but someone needs to do this. Put these franchises out of business and make them go look for work. The only thing obtained by joining a DirectBuy franchise is that you would be feeding the greed of the franchise owners. Don't.. you can find better deals for the things you want and/or need elsewhere.
AUSTIN, TX -- I placed and paid for a $1485 order in March. In April, I was notified that delivery had been postponed until May 19. It is now July, I have not received my order, nor have I had any further communication from DirectBuy. DirectBuy does not respond to my email or phone inquiries. You cannot reach a real person by phone, but their phone system indicates that they check messages everyday. Maybe so, but they don't return calls! This is not the first difficulty I have had with Direct Buy. I tried to order a sofa in one of their catalogs. They never got the leather samples from the company that I needed to see.
They would not respond to my inquiries about that, and I made repeated 140 mile trips trying to get that taken care of. I finally gave up and bought elsewhere. It is hard to get help in the store because the employees are usually too busy trying to recruit new customers or visiting among themselves. You might be able to save some money on some items in the store, but it is like looking for a needle in a haystack and way too much trouble for the amount you can save. When I see potential new members in the store getting the sales pitch, it turns my stomach. I want to scream, "grab your money and run!"
We were warned by friends that they were cheated out of about $5,000 for a DirectBuy membership fee. They forked over all that money because DirectBuy told them that they would be able to buy things for their new home at the manufacturers' price -- at a 50% to 60% discount. Little did they know, after DirectBuy tacked on hefty shipping and handling fees, they were able to find most of the items for sale through DirectBuy at the same prices, if not lower prices, at retail stores like Lowe's and Best Buy!!
I have read several negative reviews about DirectBuy. All of those reviews have the same thing in common. It appears that the reviewers did not pay attention to the information presented when they purchased their memberships and they also didn't ask pertinent questions before purchasing membership. I am a DirectBuy member. However, I did not become a member when I first learned of this company. Why? Because I don't shop retail, so there was no savings involved in becoming a member. I also did not want to wait several weeks for my items to come in. That was before my home flooded and had to be gutted.
Once that happened, I joined Direct Buy because it was the smartest move I could make to save money on my extensive renovations. The Customer Service at DirectBuy is very poor. The ordering system is inconvenient and time consuming. Being forced to drive 30 minutes to the location to check prices and order items is beyond ridiculously inconvenient. However, I saved over $20,000, so it was worth it to me.
Of course, I spent many thousands to get that savings. If you aren't going to buy high ticket items that are substantially reduced through DirectBuy, then you probably don't want to join this club. Or if you want to receive items quickly. Or if you don't want the hassle of having to go to one location to check pricing. DirectBuy is very, very good for specific types of purchasing.
Pay attention at the presentation. Do the research before you buy a membership. Ask plenty of questions. By being a good consumer you'll be happy with your DirectBuy membership purchase and you won't be one of the many who write complaints about DirectBuy and wish they could get your money back.
FLORIDA -- I know an employee that currently works in the Tampa location. She has given me inside scoop on this company. The $50,000.00 giveaway doesn't exist, if anything they will make sure that one of their family members or close friends pretend as though they won but actually didn't. The owners of the company are very rude and unprofessional. She also stated that they have no respect for their employees. I think any company that does not respect customers enough to give them the option to go home and think about a $5,000.00 purchase has no respect for their customers.
Being pressured to make a same day decision for that type of investment is very low class and sounds like a scam to me. The worst part of it is, if you don't decide that day to pay the $5,000.00 membership fee, you are told not to come back for at least 7 years. This company does not want to give you an opportunity to go home, research the organization and find out all the terrible ratings they have, negative commits/complaints from different customers experiences, rude and unprofessional treatment that they are practicing. So people do your homework before you get scammed.
I feel our experience at DirectBuy was different than the ones posted on some of the reviews. We went to the open house, were treated with utmost courtesy by everyone that was employed by the Anaheim California DirectBuy facility. We knew going into this that there was going to be a membership fee, but we didn't know how much. We were not pressured in any way, shape or form.
They asked us what type of purchases we were planning to make. We are updating our kitchen, buying new appliances, wood floors, window coverings, etc. (some major purchases). They allowed us to look at as many books as we wanted, they explained how to read the books, etc. Because we went in without any prior shopping at other places (Home Depot, Lowe's, etc)
We didn't really know how much of a savings there would be from DirectBuy. Knowing we had 3 days to cancel the contract (it plainly states in big letters on the back of contract) we signed up and paid for the membership in full ($5800.00) We left there immediately and went to the local appliance store & Home Depot and got prices on the appliances we wanted. We looked at hardwood and priced it. We returned to DirectBuy the next morning and got their prices on the same floor and appliances. There was an $800.00 savings on the appliances, $3000.00 savings on the wood floors.
The even told us about a $300.00 rebate from GE that we could get. Last night we looked on the internet and saw how so many people (those who didn't join) were so quick to decide that DirectBuy is a scam, we got scared and went over to DirectBuy today and cancelled our contract. We told them we wanted to cancel, NO ONE gave us any problem, they were so kind and nice. We just told them that we didn't think it would benefit us in the long run. Our credit card was immediately refunded the money. The gal said that is their policy for those that cancel within 3 business days.
Sooooowe hope we haven't made a mistake in canceling our contract. We just got back from Home Depot and the cabinets we want are double the price of DirectBuy, for THE SAME CABINETS!!!!!!