I assist a patient with a Bi-polar 1 mental disability. She was not taking the correct medication for the BP1 when she phoned for a pass and visited a Direct Buy presentation. She lacks the capacity to make good financial decisions, when functioning in a hyper manic state of mind, and did not understand the condition(s) of the contract. After signing, she gave them $185.00 in cash.
I did know, in advance, that she wanted to check them out and I volunteered to attend with her (so she would not sign something). However, Direct Buy said 'she was the only one who could attend, no personal assistants or a mental health associate was allowed to their "top secret" presentation'. What happened? She signed her life away, thinking she might get a good deal on a small freezer. When she had not made a withdrawal motion in the 3-day period to dissolve the contract (because she was not advised that was an option), it was immediately turned over to a collection agency somewhere in the mid-West. A collection agency is harassing her daily. They insist she pay ~$2, 500. Additionally, she receives bills in even larger amounts from Direct Buy! She was too embarrassed to explain the situation to anyone--until the point that it got out of hand for her.
First, how can Direct Buy management, presenters and advertisers be so socially unconscious that they choose to purposely swindle an person who obviously is suffering from a mentally illness? Her current situation is as follows: she resides with a friend, has no living relatives, and has no verifiable income from social security or DSHS. However, she is attempting to attend college full-time utilizing student loans. I hope that the college education, although it has been slow for her, will positively place her in a job within her personal limits.
What can I do to get her out of this mess? She wants me to accompany her to the store tomorrow. After reading other blogs, I am sure we will be asked to leave the premises. After a complaint is made to The Better Bureau, where can she go next? How can she stop the collector from making these phone calls?
Direct Buy must be sued for their fraudulent business practices utilizing a class action suit. If Wal-Mart employees can do it...so, can Direct Buy patrons. I wonder what lawyer(s) handled the Wal-Mart suit. Maybe we should all call him/her and get something started.
Really… Direct Buy...really…you have the Audacity to Swindle the mentally challenged and your fellow American people who simply want to change their mind regarding a business deal. For me, and many other American consumers, you have no moral compass. Since the Audacity to Hope book, written by President Obama, has shown us a new direction to move forward during this tough recession…I wonder how your company’s image with the Audacity to Swindle at its core axis can or will succeed.
I think any one of the many news television reporters across the country, talk radio, and internet reporters just might be interested in exposing the true dealings of Direct Buy. I encourage anyone who would like to see Direct Buy explain their business practices and principals, in front of the nation, should contact the national broadcasting companies, state and your local news agencies. There is definitely a story here that a news agency would be interested in researching, investigating, and then producing. Lawsuits are long and tedious. Nevertheless, by using national and local news reports to communicate that this problem exists wherever Direct Buy operates will paint a dark picture and will either force them to change their refund policy, or simply go out of business. I personally intend on passing this information up to the news reporters, and the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill.
Thanks for reading.