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Direct Buy Membership / Poorly run business and a rip off!

1 United States Review updated:

Do NOT sign up for a Direct Buy membership. The free visit requires that you pay $4,000 that day for your membership. This is a poorly run business (and a rip off).

Approximate Dates ---

May 2006 - We paid our membership fees and placed our first order (and prepaid for that). The order was received in June 2006 with missing parts. Returned the order for refund. It is December 2006 and we still have no refund.

June 2006 - We placed and prepaid for our second order. We were called and told the items were backordered until August 2006. We canceled the order. In August the order came in and we had it returned for refund. We still have no refund.

No one will return our many calls. So, besides wasting $4,000 for the membership (which is worth nothing), we lost another $2,000 in refunds never paid.

Scan the internet. There are 100's of stories just like mine. Do NOT enroll in Direct Buy. You can get better prices by shopping online. This is a rip off!

Lu
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Comments

  • Lu
      15th of Dec, 2006
    +1 Votes

    I joined in early 2006, I had just bought a new home and was hoping to do some home improvement. I did not believe at first that the membership was over $4000.00, but they said I could easily recoup that membership with all the savingings I would be getting. I could not think about it I had to make an important decision without research. I made the wrong decision and the next day I called to cancel the contract I signed. They were rude and told me their was no way out of the contract. I told them after thinking about this that this program was not going to work for me. ( Note: I did not know anything about them at this time) They would not help me or even try to soothe my distress. I felt defeated, ripped off. Since then I have tried to make my membership work. Every time I need something to buy I go first to direct buy, but either it takes too long to get it or they don't have the brand I want. Mostly I can get my purchases elsewhere quicker and for about the same price. Looking through their books is confusing and getting help from staff can be difficult. I have only purchased one thing from them and it was only because I could get it in a few days.

    I am not going to get any money back from great savings. This company does not work for me and never will. I really need my contract canceled. I am so exhausted that they could keep the money they have gotten from me already. I just want to walk away. I will continue to look for options to get free. I am a slave to this Company and I will not stop until I am free.

  • La
      27th of Dec, 2006
    0 Votes

    I've had pretty much the same results with the addition of the fact that if you want to order blinds or window coverings, they want you to use their person to measure and install, all with extra fees including a trip charge, none of witch was told before committing to the contract. If you need an appliance quickly, forget it, and if the time for delivery(to the warehouse) is correct in the catalogues, you will wait 6 to 8 weeks for most items.

    It's all a big joke. There is no convenience and very little if any savings. For example, i priced microwave ovens on-line through direct buy by manufacturer, and decided on the magic chef stainless steel. It was priced at $199.00 plush shipping, handling, and tax. Before ordering i shopped around locally and found that home depot and lowes had the exact item for the exact price, less the shipping and handling. That's just one small example!
    "beware"

  • Ri
      27th of Mar, 2007
    0 Votes

    Totally agree. Is there anyway to get out of paying the rest of the membership fees without out wrecking your credit? Further more they could keep all money that I paid to date. I need a way out of this night mare...

  • Ly
      3rd of Apr, 2007
    0 Votes

    I join Direct Buy in March 2007 with all the hopes to save money. When I started to make research to buy articles, I realized that the real savings where not really there and then when I made some research on the web about Direct Buy and that I saw all the complains, I freaked out...then I could see my $4,960 membership cost that I paid entirely going down the drain. I immediately call Direct Buy, Ottawa, where I took my membership. It was 12 days after that I joined the club. I talked to the owner and explained that there were no real savings on the articles that I wanted to purchase to renovate my house and told him that I would like to cancel my membership. After few persuasions, he said to send him back all the documentations that I received from them and that they would reimburse me....which they did. So I guess that I am one of the lucky one with Direct Buy and that there is few good people in this company.

  • Ne
      30th of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    I think you should do your research before joining. Also In most cases and most provinces and state there is a grace period of 10 days after you sign a contract to cancel.

  • Ja
      4th of Sep, 2007
    0 Votes

    My wife and I joined Direct Buy after doing no research. We were sold on their membership by their pitch about saving 50-70% on most items. We paid $4200 for the membership up front using our credit card (their payment plan option charges 19% interest!!!)

    After doing some research, we found that the savings is only really about 10-30% for most items. Ordering things were very difficult because they don't deliver to your house. You have to pick everything up at the warehouse, including appliances and furniture. Or they charge you extra for delivery even though you just paid 8% for "freight and handling". We did save a few hundred on a toilet, mattress, and some dinnerware. They didn't have a lot of brands we wanted and searching through their catalogs is overwhelming. We found that the inconvenience and long shipping times were not worth the small savings.

    Luckily, we got a full refund through our credit card. We filed a complaint through BBB also but there was no resolution from Direct Buy. We originally just asked for a prorated refund but since Direct Buy would not comply, we just went through our credit card company and got the entire amount back.

    Afterwards, we did price out some high end Hunter Douglas blinds (Luminette). You can save quite a bit on those but you still have to spend a lot. Our specific quote was $30,000 from a local retailer. Through Direct Buy, we could get the same thing with the measuring and installation for $14,000. If you are getting cheaper woven or standard blinds, then the savings is not as great but for the specific Luminettes (which are kind of overpriced) the math works out to be a good deal if you join Direct Buy.

  • Sa
      30th of Sep, 2007
    0 Votes

    Guess what the price to join Direct Buy is NOW 9/28/07 - $6000! Sorry this is a rip off...and the bottom line you do not get 50% off on most things they run from 20% to about 40%. You can do as well through a Interior designer if they offer the full discout. This is really a rip off company.

  • Ac
      30th of Oct, 2007
    0 Votes

    Can someone out there post what the shipping and handling fee markup % is?

  • Mi
      29th of Nov, 2007
    0 Votes

    I agree. They don't give you enough time to research before you commit. They want you to make a decision right then and there. My wife and I were a couple of their victims back in 05. Don't expect to get quality furniture from these people. You'll end up with furniture that looks like it was dragged in from across town. And don't expect them to have a customer first kind of business. It's all about their pocket book. They won't replace it, these idiots say that that they will fix it so it kinda looks brand new. Now tell me if this makes sense. You drop about $4,000 for a membership and about another $2000 to order an entertainment center. It comes in looking like it was totally manhandled. (Oh, and they still expect you to take it home) They see that your unhappy and that they know some people who are good with woodworking and they will go ahead and get them to fix it. Not replace it, FIX IT! This was not a one time deal with me. The entertainment center I ordered was a 6 piece purchase. 4 out of the 6 were damaged. It took 4 months to get NEW, UNDAMAGED pieces. If you like getting screwed, stressed, p**sed off and raising hell for months on out, then join. These criminals are waiting.

  • Aa
      7th of Dec, 2007
    0 Votes

    What a joke! I went in today to their "open house" or as I like to call it "sleaze bag sales tactic of the year" and it all seems so great, big discounts, everything you can imagine, but the last 5 minutes is where the truth comes out. "TODAY AND TODAY ONLY" , no real business would ever make you decide that day. I walked out laughing, they actually make you initial saying you have declined your membership and are never able to join or come back again. The reason they make you decide that day is so you can't do exactly what I did, go home and google comments on them. I have read over 50 and only a handful are positive. Also, I remember right when the presentation started they mentioned how they were part of the BBB, I don't know how that is possible with all the negative experiences I have read. It sounds like a good idea, just structured wrong. WHAT A SCAM, DON'T GET SUCKERED, DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE YOU GO TO THE OPEN HOUSE AND YOU WILL SEE. STILL GO TO THE OPEN HOUSE SO YOU CAN LAUGH LATER AND THE DIRTY SALES PEOPLE.

  • Cr
      7th of Dec, 2007
    0 Votes

    I agree. Big mistake for me. We should spread the word so that about Direct Buy immoral business practice!

  • An
      15th of Dec, 2007
    0 Votes

    My husband and I were in Direct Buy today and we had an awful feeling that we were about to be duped if we signed on. So, we rang home and asked our son to quickly "Google" Direct Buy for complaints. This site came up and he read a selection of articles to us. We were convinced to leave the building immediately! So thank you for being such caring consumers as you helped us keep our hard earned $5000! We will have a better Christmas as a result and we will take our time researching each purchase in our up-coming renovation!

  • Ch
      21st of Dec, 2007
    0 Votes

    I've heard of people paying huge fees to join DirectBuy, but the more you squirm and look like you want to leave the lower the price goes. My wife and I paid about $2600 because we look young (to salespeople this equates to poor even thought both of us make very good salaries) and I kept saying, "Let's go, this is a TOTAL scam, and if it wasn't they'd let us think about it." I'm not stupid enough to join some ridiculous scam like this, but my wife insisted that we would save a lot of money. In six years we have saved about $1,000. You definitely *can* save money, but you have to go for big-ticket items like leather furniture, hot tubs, etc. I priced tires for my truck online and in local stores, and I was well over a thousand bucks, minimum, installed and balanced, before taxes. I bought these high-end all-terrain tires for $546, taxes (which are much higher in Canada than in the U.S.) included, and my dealer installed and balanced them for $80. That's a total of $374 saved on one purchase, and equals about a tire and a half for free. If I'd dropped $4,000 plus on a membership, which I wouldn't have, regardless of what my wife said, I wouldn't have saved anything, but we're building a house this year and in windows alone we'll save about $4200 according to the builder who's factoring in installation and framing. The most important thing for people to know about DirectBuy is that despite having told us that it was our only chance to join, we've been invited to the open house at least ten times since, even though we're already members. So take your time, get organized and know what you want to look at before you go so that you can get an idea of what you're going to save before you pay anything. If you need time to think about it, leave. Chances are, your membership costs will be haggled down until either you walk out the door or you think they're reasonable. Read the reviews and you'll quickly notice that the people who complain about DirectBuy the most thought they'd save money magically without spending any. Suddenly they walked out onto the street and said, I was cheated out of $4,000. How did that happen? Well, my friend, if you're too stupid to use your brain in a high-pressure situation, then my God, what did you pay for your last car??? By the way, I've only reimbursed my wife for the money I've saved on the stuff I've bought, and we agreed that if we surpass our membership cost in savings I'd pay the balance of my half. Doubtful, but we don't buy anything, and you have to buy in order to save. I'm optimistic that we could do it if we tried.

  • Al
      21st of Dec, 2007
    0 Votes

    I agree with these complaints about Direct Buy(Canada)this was a Con Job on the part of their Salespeople,the $4,000 fee is a big rip off by this Company. I contacted them about getting garage doors installed and they charged me $35.00 for an estimate,I asked if the customer has to pay for this service and I was told it was normal for a site inspection,when the company arrived at my house,they did minimum measurements and we discussed the product and the possible addition of adding a garage door opener,They told me it would have to be the product that they made and I could not have a Chamberline Product.I found this to be rather odd as they insisted on thier products,the short story is that I had another company quote at no charge and I went with them,even though they they did not make the Chamberline products they agreed to sell this product and install it with other items that we selected,and they were cheeper than what Direct Buy was offering us,SO I URGE BUYERS TO BEWARE OF DIRECT BUY and their scams and MEMBERSHIP COSTS>

    Alf Ash

  • Vb
      7th of Jan, 2008
    0 Votes

    My husband and I are in the process of building a new home and I was going to attend the showroom using the "Free Pass" but after reading all the the complaints I will steer clear of this company. This site has been a blessing. Thanks to all of you that have posted.

  • Ri
      15th of Jan, 2008
    0 Votes

    http://blogs.consumerreports.org/home/2007/09/with-directbu-1.html

    Don't believe anyone, except the non profit people, facts are clear. This is a rip off, SCAM...

  • Je
      26th of Jan, 2008
    0 Votes

    I just saw a commercial for DirectBuyCanada (today Jan.26, 2008) on television. It looked legitimate, promising tons of savings. They had a 1-800 number and their web site (www.shopdirectbuy.ca) so I decided to have a look online. I expected to find a catalogue with their prices, and then when I found no mention of $$$ anywhere, I realized there was something fishy. Without price transparency you know they are trying to hide something. Even Costco lets you compare prices and annual membership fees so it's easy to see if you would really save and how much you need to buy.

    This DirectBuy commercial was just A HOOK to get you to order their
    "Insider's Pass and Visitor's Guide" and drag your ### into a showroom, where they would use high-pressure sales tactics to make you sign into a "MEMBERSHIP" of some kind. However, nowhere on the website did it mention any membership costs, or prices of items, so there was no way to compare and see if the savings outweigh the membership fees.

    Then I decided to GOOGLE DirectBuy and thanks to all these messages, I avoided a huge waste of TIME AND MONEY following up with these RIPOFF artists. The more comments we write about them, the more often it will appear in a GOOGLE SEARCH. I am amazed that they are still getting away with this stuff, and that consumer-protection laws are not able to deal with this obvious scam.

    Based on the huge variation of membership fees that people are reporting, they probably don't have a fixed fee. It seems like they charge a membership fee for whatever they think people are willing to pay, just so they don't walk out the door without paying something. If you come in wearing jeans and a ripped up shirt, maybe they make you pay less than if you look like you are in designer clothing and have a Mercedes parked outside.

    If you want to be a good samaritan, visit a showroom by signing up at www.shopdirectbuy.ca, and then go there to warn all the innocent gullible people that it really is a scam. I would like to see a news show on them where they bring in hidden-cameras and expose everything. And keep the negative comments coming until there is a "Streisand Effect" (further negative publicity from company responses).

    See the wikipedia.com article on DirectBuy....

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DirectBuy

  • Je
      1st of Feb, 2008
    0 Votes

    why have do i pay if i want to look and give me a time to pick which i want... why i have to pay 4000... if i want to buy just coffee table and endtable.. not cost over 4000... bull ###... costco cost less 50. dollars. i dont believe what i read.. wow... i disagree 100 percent for sure.

  • Mi
      3rd of Feb, 2008
    0 Votes

    I have been asked many times to come to their open houses and take a look. And many times, I have declined. I am not about to spend $4K to join without doing a lot more research. Three words, come to mind: THIS IS REDICULOUS.

    Yikes!!!

  • Sa
      7th of Feb, 2008
    0 Votes

    IF YOU ARE EVEN CONSIDERING DOING BUSINESS WITH DIRECTBYE, THEN READ THIS. Everyone needs to check out their so-called "lawyer" and his C&D letter (typed on a MS Word template - not even a company purchased letterhead. How cheap can you get.) threatening legal action.
    http://www.citizen.org/documents/directbuycd.pdf

    and the defendants response
    http://www.citizen.org/documents/directbuyresponse.pdf

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