linked from Cagey Consumer Highlights
On the DirectBuy page, there are numerous links to stories about problems reported with DirectBuy, but I was thinking "Who has the patience to click through all those links?"
So this is my effort to provide a brief abstract of selected links identifying problems with DirectBuy.
- Bargain club not such a bargain: DirectBuy Financial Post 20031206
- Reporter for Canadian newspaper attends the DirectBuy "Open House", and he's able to cajole the salesperson to let him have a look at the contract without agreeing to join beforehand. He discovers things about the pricey membership that the sales pitch glosses over. For instance, there are various fees added to the "manufacturer direct" prices that are shown in the catalogs, and you have to rely on an oral promise that those fees will be "minimal." But wait, the contract says that any oral promises are worthless.
- Being a member has its costs: http://www.cbc.ca/consumers/market/files/services/ucc/index.html
- The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation wanted to bring their cameras to a DirectBuy open house, but the company said they didn't care for that kind of publicity. Why would they? At one point, they tell the CBC that prospective members will get to look over their catalogs, but when people attending the open house ask to look through the catalogs, they're not allowed. Conclusion: paying thousands of dollars to join DirectBuy takes a huge leap of faith.
- Temptations of DirectBuy: DirectBuy Star Tribune 20040517
- A Minnesota newspaper reporter reveals the scoop on DirectBuy's operation. Unlike warehouse clubs such as Costco and Sam's club, DirectBuy's centers don't have any merchandise on display. Another difference is the absence of anything similar to DirectBuy's high-pressure sales presentation. Yet another difference, whereas the warehouse clubs have a "no questions asked" refund on your membership fee, DirectBuy has an "absolutely no refunds" policy, at least after a 3-day waiting period. Oh, and by the way, while DirectBuy boasts about the variety of manufacturers it represents, even if the product you're interested in is made by one of those manufacturers, there's still no guarantee that it will be available through DirectBuy. The article suggests some ways to achieve similar savings without paying such a large membership fee. Conclusion: DirectBuy sounds really tempting, but you have to work the numbers to find out if it really provides a savings for you.
- The Ultra-Secret Society of DirectBuy: DirectBuy Ultra Secret Society Of DirectBuy
- The author reports her experience at a DirectBuy sales presentation... the roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd. The anticipation of waiting to learn how much they're going to hit them up for a membership. The sadness of learning that, since their situation is such that they cannot join today, they will miss out on DirectBuy membership for 7 years.
- Consumer reporter obtains membership refund: DirectBuy Orlando Sentinel 20050615
- DirectBuy franchisee admits that a DirectBuy membership was not suitable for this particular customer, so the franchisee agrees to refund the membership. In this case, things worked out with the intervention of a consumer reporter, but don't count on getting a refund if you join and later decide it's not for you.
- Bulk of promised savings disappear: DirectBuy Ctv 20051122
- This story, reported by the consumer reporter for Canada's largest private broadcaster, presents a case of "he says, she says". Before he joined, he was promised one price for the cabinets, but after he joined, the price shot up by $10,000. Government official comments that legislative remedies may be needed to deal with DirectBuy's practices.
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Revision r1.1 - 02 May 2009 - 19:20 by EliMantel
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