UCC/DirectBuy Complaint - Infomercial ripoff - Direct Buy
BOTHELL, WASHINGTON -- We made the mistake of purchasing a membership to Direct Buy approximately 2 years ago. In retrospect we should have been tipped off to problems when we were told that if we didn't join the very evening we would NEVER be able to join. They did allow us to view a few catalogs in a specific area of interest before signing up, but were somewhat secretive about their "deals." Unfortunately we did join to the tune of $3999, anticipating that we would save more that through our purchases. What we have found is that products are difficult to find in the catalogs, particularly if the product has multiple parts necessary for installation such as plumbing. In addition to the listed Direct Buy price, a shipping and handling fee is charged that, at least in some cases, brings the price above the MSRP. The most recent experience we had was a toilet we ordered on 3/30/07 with an initial delivery date of 7/18/07, which was then changed to 7/24/07. By the middle of August when we still had not received the product we began to investigate.
We were told that the toilet came in and was damaged. About a week and a half later they reordered it and it AGAIN came in damaged. At that point (which was past the time our plumbers had been to our home to install the new bathroom fixtures), we cancelled our order and asked for an immediate, full refund. After a couple of days of talking to various people and attempting to talk to the branch owner, we did get a check for the full amount which they had collected on the date of our initial order. I went online and found another company with the very same toilet and the price, including shipping, ended up to be a mere $18.20 more than Direct Buy said they were going to be charging. They also delivered the product in less than 7 days with no damage. The other day I got a bill from Direct Buy for an additional $80.28 for shipping on the same toilet which we never received from DB. When I called they did say to ignore this bill.
However, if I compare the price that we would have paid if we had received the toilet through Direct Buy to the price I DID pay to the online store, Direct Buy would have been $62.08 MORE EXPENSIVE than I found online with very little effort. We have also purchased lighting fixtures that have had problems which we have put up with since returning products after signing for delivery there appears to be little recourse on defects. My husband and I have decided that we just chalk this membership up to a very expensive lesson, but if a class-action suit against Direct Buy ever comes up, we would be right there! We have found it to be a complete waste of money!