DirectBuy Informative - DirectBuy "wholesale" membership club
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 Invition Only" visit.
At the "Invitation Only" visit the visitors were told not to ask questions until the end of their prentation; 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 imcompetence or due to intentially 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 ful time student to be allowed member beneits 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 woesnot work that way.
I had alsomade 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, whre you can travel the country and use your $50/year costco membership to buy items on the shelf.
For DirectBuy it is specificlly stated that if you order an item you vae 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 ite,. They never couted 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 tothe owner - very similar to timeshares.
A consumer ha to take incto acount 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 os buing 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 relly is no need to join this scam operation to make a few people line their pokets with your money and to get his and her Mercedence Benz as a yearly bonus.
I had a feeling this was a sleezy organization due to their red flag tactics but I stll wanted to see for my self.
Now that I cancelled my contract it will take them 15 business days to refund me my money!! How true to their bisuness 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 plame my self 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 bu I thik you get the idea.