We are in the middle of adding a second story to our house. We saw the advertisement of Direct Buy on TV and decided to visit their showroom to check it out. The main purpose was to find out what products they carry that could look good in our empty home. We have five bedroom to fill, one empty kitchen with no cabinet, no appliances. For all likelihood, we remodel only once in our life, and we don’t really mind spending a little more on furniture and appliance. But who can pass up an opportunity to save money? As I soon find out, at the Direct Buy that we visited at Mountain View California, the manager did not care about what I want for my house. All he cares about is to sell me the membership for $6, 340.00.
We filled out the on-line form to get a free pass to visit their showroom. A lady called and told us that we cannot bring our minor child along. So we arranged to send him to a baby sitter.
I and my wife arrived at the showroom and greeted by a host and the store manager. Then we were shown to a desk by the host for a short interview and to wait for the start of the infomercial presentation. While our host interviewed us, both I and my wife noticed the hardwood floor display behind the host and imagined how it might look in our house.
The infomercial was long and boring, and we found out how much the membership would cost. I was almost ready to pay that, if we find the right furniture in the showroom. After the infomercial, we were walked to the showroom for more presentation on how low prices were at Direct Buy. Surrounded by interesting furniture displays, my wife started to walk around to examine them. She did that also to escape the never ending presentation. She was immediately told by the store manager that she is not allowed to walk around and that she has to listen to the presentation. At that point we were offended. We are not used to being told what to do and what not to do within what we considered our right. Then we were told to fill out a survey. At that point I started to feel that we were being herded around like animals; that basic rights were violated, and that common courtesy of a business to host a guest visitor was ignored. I told the host and the store manager that we are not going to fill out the survey and the manger quickly showed us out of the door.
While at the parking lot, I had a second thought. I have a free visitor’s pass to Direct Buy’s showroom, so I don’t have to listen to the store manager. I asked my wife if she wants to go back to see the show room and to challenge the store manager. She declined. But I went back in and demanded to see the showroom. He said that I cannot see the showroom because there is proprietary information there. I insisted that I have a free pass to do see the displays and that those are not proprietary information. He started calling his security team to throw me out. Two heavy looking fellows and their security manager came. The heavy fellows started grapping my arms. But then the security manager stopped them. He started reasoning with me. I gave my reason and he said that any store has a right to throw any customer out. He seems to be a more reasonable person than the store manager, who appears to be more concern about exerting his absolute power like a dictator. I told him that he has to call the police to throw me out. I ignored all their order and walked around the showroom. But needless to say, by that point, I was in no mood to examine any merchandize. I did that just to make a point that a customer does not need to be bullied around. I don’t know if he called the police or not. But I am not a lawyer. I don’t know what the limit of my right is within their store, and I don’t really want to go to court to find that out. So I left after I proved my point. I plan to report this incident to the corporate headquarter of Direct Buy.