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DirectBuy / Fraud and cheating

1 United States Review updated:
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Planning on remodeling my Florida kitchen, I paid the high price of joining DirectBuy in 2006 based on promises that I would save at least $5, 000 on kitchen cabinets. I spent 8-10 hours each week for several months in their showroom going through catalogs and working with their kitchen design “expert”.

There was a 3 week wait for a price update every time the design was modified to try to reduce the price. I wasted 7 months trying to get something within my budget. Also you had to find a contractor to pick up and install the cabinets. You had to be able to pick to appliances at their showroom.

Eventually I realized that there were not savings in the kitchen cabinets compared to other local companies. And there were not savings in their appliance prices compared to internet vendors. Most local and internet vendors deliver and/or install for free.

In the end, I went to a local kitchen design company and got excellent cabinets at $4, 000 less than the DB prices. Being a DB member was a very expensive, frustrating and stressful experience.

Don't be fooled by their lies and smiling salespeople.

Va
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Comments

  • Co
      14th of Jan, 2009
    0 Votes

    The franchise owners at DirectBuy of Providence scammed all their employees, for the first two years of operation, out of their overtime pay. Basically, the people who put in the ground work to help get that franchise off the ground were bullied into not getting paid for overtime through the threat of losing their job.

    Having been the person who managed the time keeping system for all of 2007, I downloaded the time log spreadsheet, which clearly shows they owe me, alone, over $2, 000.00.

    Furthermore, they pushed all employees to attend a conference down in Florida and lied to them saying that DirdectBuy corporate required all employees to pay their own way and that attendance was mandatory. Once at the conference, a pol of all other DirectBuy locations revealed that no other franchise employees had to pay their own way.

    To make matters even worse, almost all of the original 'core' employees have been forced out for one reason or another.

    Unfair practice? Hmmm...

  • Ma
      9th of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    This complaint is about the violation of basic consumer right at DirectBuy. I and my wife saw an advertisement inviting us to visit the showroom at DirectBuy. When we got there, we were treated like prisoners. The basic right of a consumer to walk around a showroom to look at displays was denied us. When challenged, the store manager resorted to brute force in an attempt to kick us out. The incident occurred at the DirectBuy store in Mountain View, California on 12/6/08.

    We are in the middle of adding a second story to our house. We saw an advertisement of DirectBuy on TV and decided to visit their showroom to check it out. we arrived at DirectBuy and were 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.

    The infomercial was long and boring, but we found out how much the membership would cost. I was almost ready to pay that, if we find the right merchandises in the showroom. After the infomercial, we were walked to the showroom for more presentation on how low prices were at DirectBuy. Surrounded by interesting furniture displays, my wife started walking around to examine them. She did that also to escape the never ending presentations. She was bluntly told by the store manager that she is not allowed to walk around. We were offended by his action. We are not used to being told what to do and what not to do within what we considered our right.

    After the presentation, we were told to fill out a survey. I began to feel that we were being herded around like animals. So I told the host and the store manager that we are not going to comply. The manger asked us to leave. We asked if we can visit the showroom to see the merchandises. He said we cannot because there is confidential pricing information there. I told him that I was only interested in looking at the merchandises and will not look up the pricing information in the catalogs which are kept in a separate library. He said no and quickly showed us out of the store.

    While at the parking lot, I had a second thought. We spent money and time to arrange for a babysitter, drove the distances to get to the store, and set aside time from our busy schedule, why should we leave without seeing the showroom? I have a free visitor's pass to Direct Buy's showroom. I can challenge the store manager. I asked my wife if she wants to go back to see the showroom. She declined. S

    o I went back in by myself and asked to see the showroom as part of the activities DirectBuy invited me to do. He was visibly annoyed by my challenge to his authority as the store manager (I later found that he is also the owner of the store). He called his security team to throw me out. Two heavy fellows and their security manager came. The heavy fellows grabbed my arms and started removing me from the store. I resisted.

    Sensing that the manager's order was inappropriate, the security manager disobeyed him and stopped the forced eviction. He started reasoning with me. I gave my reason and he appeared to have understood it. 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 also sense that he is so concern about his big ego that he is willing to drag down the corporate image of DirectBuy with it.

    I told security manager that he has to call the police to get me out. I ignored their order and walked around the showroom. But needless to say, by that point, I was in no mood to examine any merchandise. I did that just to make a point that a consumer has rights. I don't know if he called the police or not. 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.

    Most stores treat customers with respect and trust. We can walk around freely in the showroom of almost any store because the store trusts that we would not do anything inappropriate. All DirectBuy needs to do is to inform visitors that it is not appropriate to look at the confidential pricing information during the visit, and almost all of us would have complied. For the few who do not, a case can be made to kick them out.

    At DirectBuy, my wife and I were treated like thieves even before we have done anything they considered inappropriate. The so called “confidential pricing information" is just a poor excuse for a brute business practice. I frankly do not see what benefit DirectBuy could derive out of such a practice. That is why I was dumbfounded by DirectBuy's insistence that they had acted properly when I complained about this instance to the corporate headquarters.

    I filed a complaint to the Better Business Bureau and ask for an apology as a settlement. Not only did the store manager refused, he accused me of “trespassing“ and “walking around the areas of the building that are off limit to guests". When DirectBuy invited us to visit its facility and we agreed, we assumed that both parties agreed to be abided by commonly accepted societal rules of conduct. For example, both parties would have understood that private offices of staffs at DirectBuy are off limit to guest, and bathrooms are not.

    I continue to challenge DirectBuy's right to impose a new rule that its showroom is off limit to guests without clear notification in its advertisement that it has unusual requirements beyond standard accepted practices. Also, if the showroom is off limit, then it would be unethical to use it as an advertising tool to entice unsuspecting consumers to visit DirectBuy.

    The charge of “trespassing" is also a way to justify the belligerent behavior. I have not yet left its parking lot and went back to challenge the terms of the visit, all within a period of 3 minutes. Again, common societal rules of conduct would not call this a “trespassing". Instead of trying to understand my point of view for the challenge, he used “trespassing" as an excuse and ordered my removal by force. Both I and my wife have engaged in many debates, disputes and contests through our career. Challenges and counter challenges are ways our society uses to settle differences. We have won some disputes and lost others; but we have not yet met an opponent who would resort to violence to settle differences.

    An apology from DirectBuy would be a respectable way to end a bad business practice.

  • Di
      19th of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    DirectBuy is a nightmare & scam.
    Help spread the word...
    A Federal Class Action lawsuit against DirectBuy has been filed by Izard Nobel LLP. Contact information is as follows
    Lead Attorney - Jeff Nobel
    email - jnobel@izardnobel.com
    toll free phone# - (800) 797-5499
    Please contact them so justice may prevail & we can get our hard earned money aka "membership fees" back.

  • Di
      19th of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    It's true, their "experts" are not worth anything. Thank God we ended up ordering better quality cabinets locally because DirectBuy's "expert" made such as mess out of everything that we felt we couldn't trust her. If the cabinets had been ordered & received, we would have been stuck with merchandise that was incorrectly designed & measured. We found this out when we hired a "real expert" who also did the installation for much less than DirectBuy. What was DB's response, you ask? They claimed that we didn't get the same cabinets (which we didn't...we got something better for less!) so they could not compare prices. We need to band together & stop these people from hurting others.
    DirectBuy is a nightmare & scam!
    Help spread the word...
    A Federal Class Action lawsuit against DirectBuy has been filed by Izard Nobel LLP. Contact information is as follows
    Lead Attorney - Jeff Nobel
    email - jnobel@izardnobel.com
    toll free phone# - (800) 797-5499
    Please contact them so justice may prevail & we can get our hard earned money aka "membership fees" back.

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