Marilex Corp / Dba Direct Buy Of St. Paul / Canceling Membership
My complaint is based on my experience with this franchise location. Minnesota has a 3 day right of reccission law. I followed the law to the letter in canceling my membership within 3 business days. Sending my notice US Mail certified with return receipt so that it could be tracked.
Their sales tactics are questionable, I was subjected to their presentation for 4 hours! I didn't leave there until 11:00pm. I was not given enough access to the product costs vs savings to make any kind of reasonable comparison. I had the safety net that I could cancel within 3 business days, which for me wasn't really 3 days: Wednesday night at 11:00 pm to 9:30 am Friday morning.
I went home and began more research in the morning. Direct Buy takes your money immediately but doesn't allow access to their website for a week. It was important to me that I could make my purchases online as I am over an hour drive away from their showroom. What really bothered me was the absolute lack of disclosure of the franchises mark up, they mention it briefly in their sales presentation. I wondered how the franchise was making their money, it is the handling fee collected on every item ordered. It varies by item based on cost. This is in addition to delivery fees and state sales tax which are third party fees that Direct Buy has no control over.
So now I know the program, and feel I can find comparable pricing via the World Wide Web with no handling fee, sales tax and maybe even free shipping. At an average cost of $1, 000.00 per year of membership, Direct Buy doesn't seem like a bargain to me any more. I don't need it.
The real problem for me is getting my money back, which I have the right to by law. My cancellation notice was disregarded. The post office made 4 attempts via delivery and notices to get this in their hands. The franchise disregarded my correspondence and the post office returned it to me. It was 3 weeks later that I knew I had to battle for my rights. I made a personal visit to the showroom on a Tuesday, the staff was friendly and took copies of my documentation. I did not get access to the owner who is the only one in authority to give me my money back. He was there but busy.
The owner did call me late that evening, leaving a message requesting my credit card information via phone or email (never send personal info like that by email it's not secure). The next day, Wednesday, I returned his call and left my info on his private voice mail and requested a confirmation phone call. No contact.
On Thursday, a call to my credit card company reveals that no refund is in process and I begin the dispute. A call to Beta Finance (Direct Buys' other revenue stream) reveals that my account with them has been canceled by the Franchise, as promised on Tuesday evening.
I really hoped for their cooperation and am only getting it in pieces when pushed to do so. As of this writing I have not received a refund. Or a phone call for that matter.
My comment is buyer beware, know you state laws. I think people get into trouble when they want to cancel but do not have the legal right to do so. Don't buy something you can't afford. Be the "squeaky wheel" if necessary.