Upon seeing an advertisement for 4.5% 6-mo CD (w/stipulation of $15K minimum deposit) in the Austin American-Statesman over a period of several days (e.g, it ran Saturday June 6 through Tuesday June 9), I called & spoke with a John Plum on Monday, June 8, 2009. John told me they were too busy to meet with me that day, so I called back the next day (on Tuesday) & again spoke with John. After confirming the ad rate was still valid, I made an appt for Wednesday, June 10, at 10am. On Wednesday, the Statesman ad had dropped the CD's advertised rate to 4.25%, yet I was not deterred from keeping my appointment.
After driving almost 40 miles, I was greeted by Ted Hughes. Ted then spelled out a menu of financial products and investment vehicles that Amerifirst Direct could offer me. After listening to his "sales pitch", I showed him the current June 10 ad and specified that I was interested only in the 6-month CD. He again tried to dissuade me from the CD saying that the bank in which it would be invested would be "only 3-star" and in jeopardy of going bankrupt. I told him that "risk" was not a problem for me, as I trusted the protection of the FDIC. Again, I told him that I intended to keep my money liquid and did not want to invest long-term in any of their other products.
At this point, Ted became upset and told me that I flatly "did not qualify" for the CD and insisted they would not honor the ad. At that point, I too expressed frustration at driving so far only to be greeted with a "bait & switch" upsell scheme. I was told to leave the office and threatened by John Plum that the police would be called if I did not.
After waiting in my car an additional 15 minutes, I drove to another investment house at which I'd previously held similar CDs and showed the ad to my agent. He was shocked when I reported how I was treated and confirmed that Americfirst Direct's tactics were at best misleading and at worst illegal. He pointed out that, most importantly, the ad lacked their "operating under License #" information. By his account, there was no valid reason for which Americafirst Direct could refuse to honor their ad as it was written...see attached.