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Direct Buy of Columbia

Phone: (443) 539-3289Fax: (443) 539-3291

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Customer Complaints Summary

BBB Serving Greater Maryland no longer processes complaints against this company. Any complaints are directed to BBB serving Fort Wayne, IN for processing. For a full report contact BBB located in Fort Wayne, IN at (260) 423-4433 or http://northernindiana.bbb.org. Prior to 10/07/2015 this company's complaints were handled locally. The following data represents complaints processed by this BBB prior to 10/07/2015.

8 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 2 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Advertising / Sales Issues6
Problems with Product / Service2
Billing / Collection Issues0
Delivery Issues0
Guarantee / Warranty Issues0
Total Closed Complaints8

Complaint Breakdown by ResolutionAbout Complaint Details

Complaint Resolution Log (8)
10/07/2015Advertising / Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
Direct Buy of Columbia Maryland is not honoring the 30-day free trial membership and is trying to commit me to a membership.
On Saturday May 9, 2015 I attened an orientation to the Direct Buy Club. I was invited by my sister ***** ***** that received an email for a 30 day free trial. After the presentation, I asked the sales representative Jim how does the 30-day free trial work. He left the table, went to a office behind the counter and came with two contracts. He explained to both my sister and I that you complete the application, put a $420 deposit down, and if you do not want to stay in the program after 30 days you can cancel.
On Tuesday May 12, 2015 I called the store and stated I did not want to continue with the 30-day trial as I assess my situation and was not in need of any major purchases in the next few years. I asked what I needed to do and was told, the phone call was all I needed (this was from the lady that answered the phone).
I did not receive any correspondence from Direct Buy from Saturday May 9, 2015 until I received a call from the finance company June 11, 2015 at my place of employment. I explained my situation to the young lady and she noted my complaint in the computer and said she would have to send it to the store to be resolved.
I contacted the store and spoke with Alex **** - the owner- and he was very rude and continued to question why I came in and completed a contract if I wasn't going to use the services. I explained to him, I followed the instruction of his sales representative when asked how the 30-day trial worked and completed the paperwork. I also explained that once I got home and assessed my situation I decided I did not need a membership to buy furniture as my house is fully furnished. When I explained my phone call and what I was told 5/12/15 he said no one in his business would ever say that and that I was lying. I told him I did not make that up and I did not appreciate him telling me I was lying. I explained to him I thought the matter was resolved because I NEVER received any correspondence from Direct Buy (email, phone call, text, or regular mail) since I left the warehouse. He explained I should have received welcome emails which could have been stuck in my spam account and I told him I checked and didn't have any emails in my spam. He also stated I should have received a membership card in the mail which I never received. He said it was odd that I didn't receive any correspondence and I pleaded with him to check his system because I didn't, and assumed everything was cancelled per my phone call on Tuesday 5/12.
My complaint is Direct Buy does not hold to their 30 free trial as explained by the sales manager. My sister and I were told that you initiate a contract to avoid coming back to the warehouse after 30 days as DB valued their customers time and didn't want you to have to come back. If you wanted to keep the membership do nothing, if you wanted to cancel, you had to do so within 30 days. I sent an email to have my request in writing on June 4th after I learned of the problems my sister was having with Direct Buy.
Alex then explained that the 30-day trial membership gives you a card where all trial members have the same number and can shop from there during specific hours. That was never explained to my sister or I and Thursday June 18th was the first I heard of that. We were told complete the contract and cancel within 30-days if you did not want it anymore. We both gave a deposit of $420.00 and I would like my membership cancelled and a refund of my $420.00. I do not have a membership number as I to date have not received any correspondence from Direct Buy. Alex told me Thursday he would speak with his staff and get back to me, which he has yet to do. I tried to make a complaint with the headquarters, but was deferred to the store where the membership was purchased. Even with my email on 6/4/15, to cancel my account Mr. **** did not contact me. He stated he say my email and placed it in my folder. From June 4th to June 18th on one from DB tried to resolve the matter.

Desired Settlement
I would like the contract that I was blind sided into signing cancelled and I would like my refund of $420.00. After that I do not want any furhter correspondence with Direct Buy.

Business Response
To: Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland
Re: Case # ******** ***** (XXXXXXXX)

On May 9, 2015, Ms. ***** attended a DirectBuy Open House consultation and walk around tour lasting approximately 75 minutes. At the Open House we discuss savings, service and the brands available to DirectBuy members. During the Open house we give examples of savings available to our members and offered Ms. ***** the opportunity to ask any questions she may have. At the end of the Open House she made the decision to purchase a DirectBuy membership with a down payment and an amortization schedule for the remainder balance of the membership dues. She elected 36 months.

About the membership, Ms. ***** and I spoke about the misunderstanding of what she purchased and what she understood as being a Free Membership and how these things are different. DirectBuy does have a 30-day trial membership for folks to visit and experience how shopping works through DirectBuy. And it is free of charge. It is advertised nationally through web-site links. It is not advertised by our local Columbia club. So I have to emphatically state that during our presentation, we always ask "How did you hear about us? and What advertisement brought you to DirectBuy in Columbia?" so that we know whether or not you have an upfront 30-day offer and then describe it. If so, we would tell you about the features of that type of short-term membership versus the full pledged features of a standard 3-year membership. There are definitely membership differences and Ms. ***** and Jim did not discuss them since Ms. ***** did not communicate that she had (or choose to utilize) a 30-day free trial sales offer during the Open House consultation. If she did, she would be aware of those features and know that specialty items like ***** Grills and other high-end products or local custom items are outside of that 30-day free trail offer. I also need to state that the Free Trail offer does not cost money. But Ms. ***** did indeed elect to pay for her full membership and continued with a financing schedule and payments disclosure with her consenting signature on file. Ms. *****'s sister had a conversation with Christy ****** a reservation specialist at the Indiana call center location, to discuss the situation and it concluded with Ms. ***** having created a new (mid-June) 30 day free trail web-click through offer thus creating a new sales lead that caused Christy to call Ms. ***** in mid-June to have a discussion for another new membership.
Ms. ***** and I did speak again on the topic of three (3) conversations she had versus the standardized messages that DirectBuy organization conveys to its customers and guests. Firstly, the presenter Jim is a veteran employee of 7 years that has an excellent understanding of DirectBuy and he recalls the conversation that Ms. ***** believed the opportunity was well worth a membership for two families (with sister ***** ****** especially since Jim reduced the enrollment fee to accommodate two sales instead of just one for ***** ***** with the larger family. So both people enrolled instead of declining the opportunity to join and instead of accepting one membership at a higher price. A very nice bonus was extended to both guests with this understanding. In other words, Jim could not mathematically offer to reduce the enrollment price on a free membership service. Secondly, I cannot confirm which person Ms. ***** talked to on 5/12 because the Columbia staff was questioned and no one recalls any conversation that involved "a 30-60 day waiting period and we'll enter your note into the computer system." Our local showroom does not have a computer system that does membership customer database management. And certainly we don't deal with any 30-60 day members with a waiting period, since we only have annual memberships. The only item is a 30-day free trial offer. This is why I told Ms. ***** that her "statements were unbelievable" - which she must have translated as rude. But I can state that I was the polite business person and never called her a liar. Upon further thought today, I can admit that if Ms. ***** called another DirectBuy telephone number at another location, maybe, then it would be accurate to respond that "you don't have to do anything to cancel your 30-day membership" since it expires in less than 30 days no matter what (and replaced with a different membership or nothing). But, if Ms. ***** called someone and asked a different question- such as how to cancel or rescind part of her 3 year membership, then she would have gotten a different response - the response we need to discuss now. Thirdly, the finance company who underwrote the membership for Ms. ***** was investigated to confirm Ms. *****'s earlier assertion that a representative told her "that is was OK to cancel your membership". In fact, the rep was calling to confirm easy payment and direct debit setup for her 1st months' payment in June & July. Given that the finance company does not finance "free" memberships I told Ms. ***** that had to verify her discussion with the rep. The representative named Shocuri and her recordings were discovered and Ms. *****'s recollection of the conversation did not happen according to ********** Account Manager. All paying customers are directed to return to the Directbuy with their business questions. I disclosed to Ms. ***** that the finance company would probably not know facts about her 30-day trial offer misunderstanding versus buying a full pledged membership. Shocuri's only job was to help Ms. ***** with her 36 month amortization schedule and her direct debit payments.
In summary, the standard 3-year membership is the most popular service sold during the Open House consultation and the features and benefits of the long term membership are what the staff located in Columbia is qualified to discuss. Every email and ID card and catalog and pre-order form are thoroughly completed and discussed upon during your New Member Orientation, which has yet to be conducted by neither Ms. ***** nor Ms. ******
Her paperwork and signatures and financing agreement will be made available for review. I encourage Ms. ***** to contact me at her convenience in order to review all the benefits of her DirectBuy membership. DirectBuy requests that this complaint be withdrawn from BBB and Ms. ***** return to the showroom talk to the service staff and allow the Membership Agreement to work for her. If Ms. ***** is still not satisfied, our Membership Agreements provides her with the option of pursuing arbitration through this local Better Business Bureau office.

Sincerely,
DirectBuy of Columbia MD


Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
The response from Direct Buy in Columbia is unacceptable as Mr. **** is not accepting responsibility of using sales tactics to maneuver individuals into contracts. He mentions during the presentation it is asked how we heard of Direct Buy and my sister said she received an email for the 30 day free trial and I said I was my sisters guest she put on the invitation. This was stated to Jim and the email was provided to him as we sat at the table and asked how the 30-day trial membership worked.
Mr. **** is also stating that Jim could not mathematically reduce free membership, which is common sense. What I explained to him was when I sat at the table and asked how the 30-day trial membership worked he excused himself, went in the back, and came out with paperwork for both my sister and I to complete. He further stated he came up with a deal if we both signed up and could be cancelled within 30 days. I was trusting that what I was told was accurate. When I spoke with Mr. **** on the phone was the first time I had ever heard about how the 30-day trial really works. I explained to him that was the first time I heard that explanation and that was not how Jim presented it. Jim simply stated to complete the paperwork, put down a deposit, and within 30-days it could be canceled. I explained to Mr. **** if I knew I was signing a contract for a 3year membership I would not have completed any of the documentation. Mr. **** stated my sister and I should have received a separate card where all 30-day members receive the same number and have limited access to the club and a limited spending value. Again, I stated what he was telling me I heard for the first time and it was not explained to me or my sister at the time.
Mr. **** also stated a bonus was extended to both my sister and I which I have yet to receive. I explained to him that I had not received any correspondence (and to this date have not received a membership card or anything in the mail)by mail or email and believed my 30 day free trial was honored from my email submitted. Once I spoke with Mr. **** I did start receiving emails within a week, but to date do not have any other items he has described by phone or his response. Mr. **** **** mentioned I should have a membership card which I do not have, a bonus which was not extended and I do not have, and an invitation to come in and do an orientation which I did not receive. Everything he is saying I received I did not, and again believed my cancellation request was honored.
Mr. **** has also stated that they do not deal with 30/60 day members. If he had an ounce of integrity in his bones, he would deal with 30 day free trial memberships. As he stated in his response, they do not deal with 30 or 60 day members means he had no intention of honoring a 30 day free trial invitation that was extended to my sister and she invited me to come along.
Mr. **** also discussed my phone call with the finance company and ******** I did speak with ******* when she called and I explained to her the situation. I asked her if she wanted me to provide a copy of my cancellation email and she said no that she would have to forward my complaint to the store. She was empathetic and stated she understood my complaint and that it was not right for the 30-day trial not to be honored and cancelled and that it should be able to be cancelled.
When I spoke to Mr. **** he stated he would speak with his staff and return my call the following Monday. I have yet to receive a phone call from Mr. **** to try and resolve the issue which accounts for his lack of professionalism and willingness to work with individuals. He was very circumlocutional and didn't want to take responsibility for the lack of clarity provided by his team.
Again, as stated in my original response, I am asking for a refund of my deposit of $420 and Mr. **** to honor my 30-day free trial and cancellation. His response is unacceptable and the only option presented is arbitration. He has no integrity and is using unacceptable sales practices to tie individuals into contracts. If he can't resolve the complaint by honoring the 30-day trial sent (which can be verified through the companies computer system) arbitration and public disclosure on his shady practices will have to be the result of his stores actions.

Final Consumer Response
Case Arbitrated.

05/18/2015Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
ISSUE #1 of 2 (False promise that DirectBuy sale representative made and could not deliver)
I was invited to an open house on 1/7/2014. After I arrived, I was given several forms to complete before the orientation which asked for my personal information as well as selecting items that I might buy in next couple of years. As a new homeowner, my house has come equipped with brand new kitchen appliances, washer/dryer, etc. Therefore, I did not plan on buying anything for my house, thus, only writing "roof" in the form as a potential interest.
After the 2 hours long presentation, I was assigned to sit at one table while the other attendees sat at other tables in the room. When sales representative, Mr. ******** ******** sat at my table bringing a portfolio containing membership information and the forms that I filled out earlier, he instigated his hard sell tactic by targeting the "roof" that I wrote down, suggesting that the roof would cost me $10,000 to $15,000 to replace, and making promises that I could save thousands of dollars from hiring DirectBuy contractors to replace my roof, proposing that the money I save on the roof would cover the whole membership cost. In addition, he offered me the $1,000 travel gift card with 1 year expiration. Finally, before he left the table and gave me time to consider his offer, he pointed out that I only had that evening to decide to join DirectBuy or I would not be invited back once I walked out of the door.
It was almost 10pm and I was exhausted from work earlier. I felt pressured to make such an important financial decision without enough time to think things through or do research. When Mr. ******* walked back to check on me one last time, he made promises again on the savings I could receive from DirectBuy contractors working on the roof, and he encouraged me not to miss this one time opportunity to join DirectBuy to take advantage of saving money in the years to come. Since I had never had a roof replaced and I never worked with a contractor before, and I was verbally led to believe that I could save thousands of dollars joining DirectBuy for this roof project, by the end of the night, I joined DirectBuy and I paid the full $2,990 membership fee that I had been saving for the roof.
And I waited a couple of months for warmer weather and used the time to save more money for the roof. When spring time came, I started asking neighbors how much they paid to replace their roof, and the answers were between $11,000 to $14,000. Afterward, I called Mr. **** ******** a DirectBuy contractor, to inquire about an estimate. I told him that I am a DirectBuy member and I got his number from the brochure. I stated that I wanted an estimate for replacing my roof using architectural shingles, and he requested for my address to come and take a look. I told him that I was only interested in getting an estimate over the phone and that there was no need for him to come to my house. I gave him the info of my house (a 2 level single family home plus a basement and a 2 car garage, about 2,100 sq. ft.) and he told me it would cost about $12,000. Comparing to my neighbors' answers, I was absolutely not impressed with his estimate because I gave him the chance to work on my roof and I expected him to offer a much lower cost as a DirectBuy contractor.
Meanwhile, I asked my friends for referral on trustworthy contractors, and a local contractor who was highly recommended quoted me for under $10,000. Days later, I was chatting with my neighbor and he pointed out that my roof had missing shingles that was likely caused by a recent windstorm. I was panicked and I immediately called him to set up a date to replace the whole roof without further damage from rain, and it was completed on 6/16/2014 for $9,850.

Desired Settlement
To whom it may concern,
I'm filing this complaint because of two issues as described that I encountered as a DirectBuy member. It should be noted that I visited the DirectBuy office in Columbia, MD on Thursday night (2/5/2015). I met with Mr. **** *******, owner of the DirectBuy of Columbia, to discuss the two issues that I believe are a breach of contract by DirectBuy. At that time, I requested to terminate my contract and receive a partial refund of my 3-year contract.
I presented to Mr. ******* the materials and the voicemail from DirectBuy Travel to support my case. I specified that I no longer want to be a DirectBuy member and I do not plan on buying anything through DirectBuy because of my dissatisfied, unpleasant experience I came upon. I requested to immediately terminate my DirectBuy contract on 2/5/2015, and I asked for a pro-rated refund ($1,910) of my remaining 1 year 11 months membership from my 3-year ($2,990) contract that I signed on 1/7/2014. After discussing my contract and reasons to terminate, Mr. ******* repeatedly answered that DirectBuy does not give out refund in any circumstance, and he suggested me to file the complaint to Better Business Bureau (BBB) at the end of the night.
I am very disappointed with the Issue #1, false promise that the DirectBuy sales representative made and could not deliver. I was verbally led to believe that I could save thousands of dollars on the only home improvement (roof) that I planned on having completed after joining DirectBuy. I certainly did not receive any savings from DirectBuy on my roof replacement in this matter.
And I am very upset with the Issue #2, false advertising from DirectBuy Travel offering members "Book a cruise, Get a free resort stay" promotion. I was promised a Free Resort Stay with my cruise booking that did not deliver. In addition, the price of the ******** ***** cruise offered by DirectBuy Travel was nothing special and should not be advertised as exclusive because other major travel websites also offered a similar price plus additional onboard credit and room category upgrade during that same time period, in which DirectBuy would not match these additional offers for its members. Furthermore, the $1,000 DirectBuy Travel gift card was deceptive because I was led to believe that I could use the full $1,000 amount when I booked one vacation within a year. Instead, I was told later that I could only use a small portion of the $1,000 to apply on booking the cruise, and let the remaining balance go expired.
Overall, I believe DirectBuy has failed to guarantee the assurances that DirectBuy's mission statement claims on its website under "Service - Committed to members," "Selection - Selection to fuel your dreams," and "Value - Life-changing Savings." And I believe I'm rightfully allowed to terminate my contract and receive my requested refund of $1,910.
In addition, I would like to inquire about the highest A+ rating that DirectBuy of Columbia received from BBB. I do not believe that any company in a retail industry with 13 closed complaints from customers in last 3 years deserves the highest rating. I suggest that BBB should look into DirectBuy's sales practice and how DirectBuy recruits its members, and survey DirectBuy customers' satisfaction after their joining to determine this company's rating.
Thank you for taking the time to look into these issues as I know that BBB is interested in total customer satisfaction and fairness for the customers.

Business Response
February 24, 2015

To: Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland
Re: Case # ******** - ***, ******

On January 7, 2014, Mr. *** attended a DirectBuy Open House lasting approximately 90 minutes. At the Open House we discuss savings, service and the brands available to DirectBuy members. During the Open house we give examples of savings available to our members and offered Mr. *** the opportunity to ask any questions he may have. At the end of the Open House he made the decision to become a DirectBuy member.

The survey Mr. *** completed during the Open House indicated that he was interested in roofing for his home. Mr. *** received a quote from our roofing supplier, which he states was higher than the quote he received from his friend's local contractor. It is not known whether the exact same roofing materials were being priced by both contractors. We have only just been advised of Mr. ***'s pricing concerns, even though the quote he was given by our roofing supplier occurred almost a year ago. Please note that while the contractor Mr. *** contacted on his own provided an estimate after inspecting the roof, the DirectBuy contractor he spoke with was requested to provide a quote over the phone without having the benefit of inspecting the roof beforehand.

DirectBuy Inc. conducts proactive retail price comparison studies to ensure that our members experience maximum savings. While DirectBuy Inc. doesn't guarantee to always have the lowest price, if a member should ever find a lower price from a legitimate, local retailer on an identical item that is currently available from a DirectBuy supplier, even if it's an "advertised special," we will work with the supplier to obtain the best possible price as quickly as possible. Had Mr. *** provided us with the pricing he received from his contractor, including all the material information, we would have contacted our roofing supplier to verify if the products being offered were identical, and if so we would have attempted to get lower pricing for Mr. ***.
Information regarding how the DirectBuy Travel Program works was presented during the Open House. New members receive literature on the program as well. This literature clearly discloses how the travel credits can be applied, including limits on how many credits can be applied per trip. I contacted our travel partner to get a better understanding on the travel package issue Mr. *** raises in his complaint. Following is the response they provided:

Mr. *** called on 10/13/14 to book a cruise during our World's Largest Cruise Week promotion. Our agent explained the DirectBuy Travel program and the details of that sale to Mr. ***. They reviewed a few different options and our agent spent time researching each cruise line, and then compared it to our pricing, which provided savings over the cruise line offering. Our agent also showed Mr. *** an example from a website other than the one Mr. *** had looked at and assured Mr. *** that our pricing was better. Our agent explained how the savings credits work for each booking, and how they are partially applied to his travel purchases. Mr. *** was told that he would receive a free resort certificate with his booking, but the specific cruise he booked did not come with a free resort. However, since our agent did mention the free resort stay, we will honor this benefit and have added it to Mr. ***'s account with us.


Mr. *** came into DirectBuy of Columbia MD in February to share his frustration with the roofing and with the travel issues. After reviewing all the facts, and taking into account the length of time that has elapsed from the time these issues occurred until Mr. *** brought them to my attention, I do not feel this complaint warrants a cancellation or refund of Mr. ***'s membership. I encourage Mr. *** to contact me at his convenience in order to review all the benefits of his DirectBuy membership. If Mr. *** is still not satisfied, our Membership Agreements provides him with the option of pursuing arbitration through his local Better Business Bureau office.
Sincerely,

**** *******, Owner
DirectBuy of Columbia MD



Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
To whom it may concern,

For the case # XXXXXXXX and XXXXXXXX, I appreciate Mr. **** *******' response to my two complaints regarding Issue #1: DirectBuy's false promise that the DirectBuy sales representative made and could not deliver, and Issue #2: DirectBuy's false advertising from DirectBuy Travel offering members "Book a cruise, Get a free resort stay" promotion. However, his refusal of refunding my pro-rated membership fee of $1,910 is absolutely unacceptable. Ultimately, I demand the cancellation of my DirectBuy membership and I request the $1,910 to be refunded immediately.

It should be specifically noted that Mr. *******' statement simply did not mention or admit any fault or wrongdoing of his sales representative making false promises to me about saving money on my roofing project in the very beginning. Instead, he blamed me for not spending more of my own valuable time researching for the lower price of the roofing materials, and he blamed me for not working with the DirectBuy contractor to price match the roofing materials in order to receive my savings. Additionally, he blamed me for not bringing these issues to his attention right away.

As a consumer, I find it offensive that a company does not take responsibility of its employees' action on how they recruit members to join DirectBuy by making false promises. I also find it distressing that Mr. ******* made excuses on how DirectBuy members should have to fit into DirectBuy's purchasing process and follow all of the unjustified, "proactive" rules in order to potentially save money in a time consuming manner as stated in his third paragraph. I find it unsettling that Mr. ******* placed the blame on me in his responses when I, a very upset consumer who no longer wants to do any business with DirectBuy, had to spend many hours typing up the complaints to send to the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Also, I had to ask him for the partial refund twice, including the night I met with him in person (2/5/2015) to discuss the two issues, and he still would not refund my money.

In the first paragraph, he stated "On January 7, 2014, Mr. *** attended a DirectBuy Open House ... and offered Mr. *** the opportunity to ask any questions he may have..." It should be noted that the one and only reason I joined DirectBuy on 1/7/2014 was to receive saving or discount for my roof replacement that I did not receive. I did ask his sales representative, Mr. Jonathan ******** questions about the saving I could potentially receive on my roofing project. Mr. ******* completed calculations on a piece of paper showing me the thousands of dollars I could save. He also promised me great savings if I hired a DirectBuy contractor to replace my roof, in which the money I saved could cover my membership fee, and I could enjoy the three years of membership for free.

In hindsight, I would have never joined DirectBuy in the beginning and I would have walked out of the building without dealing with all these issues now if (1) I knew that Mr. ********** false promise would never be delivered when I was under extreme time pressure to make the decision to join DirectBuy that evening; and (2) I realized that there were multiple steps to take in order to receive a price match equal to competitors, which required me to invest much of my own time and diligence on finding the competitor's lower pricing.

In response to the second and third paragraphs, I have already mentioned in my complaint that I discovered my roof was damaged from a windstorm and I would have to replace it in a hurry. It should be noted that I contacted Mr. **** ******** a DirectBuy contractor, for his best quote after giving him the information of my house and the architectural shingles that I requested to be installed. I have already given him a chance to give me his best quote for my roof replacement over the phone. As I stated in my complaint, I was absolutely not impressed with his estimate knowing that he is a DirectBuy contractor, and I expected him to offer a much lower quote than what my neighbors had already told me.

In my case, there was a roofing project out for bid that needed to be done quickly. When I asked a contractor to give me his/her best quote, I would give him/her one chance and I expected him/her to give me the best possible quote for the job so that I would not need to waste my time talking to the person repeatedly to make counteroffers or negotiate for a lower quote because to me, time is precious. When this local contractor, who was highly recommended by my friend, gave me his best quote that beat all other contractors I had contacted, his competitive, hassle free pricing and reliable customer service persuaded me to hire him for the roofing job.

As Mr. ******* stated in the third paragraph, "DirectBuy Inc. conducts proactive retail price comparison studies to ensure that our members experience maximum savings. While DirectBuy Inc. doesn't guarantee to always have the lowest price...to verify if the products being offered were identical, and if so we would have attempted to get lower pricing for Mr. ***." I find it troubling to learn about DirectBuy's hidden truth of "proactive" sales business model with a time consuming purchasing process. DirectBuy does not guarantee to offer the lowest price available anytime and it also requires its members to spend their own time doing research to find the lowest price in order to consider matching it after certain rules and verification. This is in contradiction of its advertisement on TV, in its website and at the open house orientation suggesting how DirectBuy's products would always beat all of its competitors' prices.

It should be noted that I have never dealt with any retail businesses that ask me to be "proactive" and require me to spend my valuable time and resources to do my own research first and price match later in order for me to save some money. In my opinion, DirectBuy's sale practice should be considered fraud because when I attended the orientation, I did not remember any mention from the sales representative about this troublesome, time consuming, proactive price matching process. My understanding after the presentation was that DirectBuy always offers the lowest price for any major brand product compared to other competitors because DirectBuy gets the products directly from its manufacturers. As a DirectBuy member, I expect the best price to be always available to me in the very beginning whenever I make a purchase without going through all the hassle that DirectBuy requires its members do under the "proactive" purchasing process.

In response to the fourth and fifth paragraphs about DirectBuy Travel, I appreciate that Mr. ******* pointed out there is a fine print in my membership brochure on how I should have used the $1,000 gift card with limits on how many credits can be applied because I was clearly not aware of any limitation on applying the entire $1,000 on one single vacation. Also, there was no mention of any restriction to use the travel gift card when I attended the orientation and signed the contract on 1/7/2014. Mr. ******** ******** the sales representative, implied that I could use the total $1,000 amount all at once when I book a vacation within a year.

In the fifth paragraph, Mr. ******* stated that "Mr. *** called on 10/13/14 to book a cruise during our World's Largest Cruise Week promotion. ...They reviewed a few different options and our agent spent time researching each cruise line, and then compared it to our pricing, which provided savings over the cruise line offering. Our agent also showed Mr. *** an example from a website other than the one Mr. *** had looked at and assured Mr. *** that our pricing was better..." I want to point out that Mr. ******* made a false statement here. What DirectBuy Travel offered on the cruise that I booked was no better than other websites' offers as I stated in my complaint. It should be noted that both DirectBuy Travel and other travel websites offered the same price for the ******** ***** on 10/13/2014. The so-called "World's Largest Cruise Week promotion" was a false advertisement and nothing special about it. I mentioned to DirectBuy travel agent, Mr. ***** ****** about the additional onboard credit and room upgrade that other travel websites offered for this same cruise and I suggested DirectBuy to match. He told me that DirectBuy would neither match nor offer me the same credit and upgrade. In this case, DirectBuy refused to match the offers from other competitors, and that I consider a violation of its mission statement and I believe it is a breach of contract by DirectBuy.

In regard to the free resort stay, Mr. ******* followed up with DirectBuy Travel and they finally offered me the free resort stay that I was originally promised to receive after I filed my complaint, I consider it a little too late to make up for the mistake that DirectBuy Travel has made. I find these business ethics ridiculous and I feel cheated from not receiving the resort stay right away after I had originally made my reservation despite multiple confirmations with Mr. ****** After this incident, I was very upset about how DirectBuy runs its business and how DirectBuy treats its members. I no longer wanted to be associated with DirectBuy and I had no desire to do any more business with DirectBuy.

In response to the last paragraph, Mr. ******* stated "...After reviewing all the facts, and taking into account the length of time that has elapsed from the time these issues occurred until Mr. *** brought them to my attention, I do not feel this complaint warrants a cancellation or refund of Mr. ***'s membership..." I want to point out that what he argued about the elapsed length of time has nothing to do with the two important issues I had about DirectBuy's sales practice and its mistreatment His refusal of my cancellation and refund is absolutely intolerable.

It should be noted that I am a busy person living a busy life. I work 8 to 10 hours every weekday plus 2 more hours in commute. I had already made an effort to meet with Mr. ******* in person on 2/5/2015 to discuss my two issues. I kindly asked him to refund my pro-rated membership fee of $1,910, not the full membership fee of $2,990 that I strongly believe I am entitled to because I received no savings as promised. However, I was under contract during the two issues that occurred and I had to honor my commitment as a DirectBuy member. Unfortunately Mr. ****** declined my request of the $1,910 refund and termination of my contract. Instead, he asked me to file the complaint to BBB, which wasted more of my precious time typing up the two prior complaints and this follow up letter. Overall, I believe DirectBuy has failed me as a consumer in regard to the two issues I have mentioned and I believe I'm rightfully allowed to terminate my contract and receive my requested refund of $1,910 immediately.

Thank you for taking the time to look into these issues as I believe that BBB commits to total customer satisfaction and fairness for the customers.


Final Business Response
Thank you for forwarding Mr. **** response to our letter dated February 24, 2015. Mr. *** purchased his DirectBuy membership on January , 2014; his request to cancel his membership is being made well outside the 3-day recision period, Payment for Mr. **** membership is not conditioned on use of the membership, which is clearly disclosed on the Membership Agreement Mr. ********* on January , 2014.
The pricing issue Mr. *** refers to in his complaint occurred in 2014, yet he is just now bringing it to our attention. I personally spoke with Mr. *** during promotional events at the club in the fall of 2014, and at no point did he mention to me that he was unhappy with the roofing quote he received from our installer. If savings on his roof was his only reason for becoming a DirectBuy member, then we have to ask why he did not bring this matter to our attention immediately.
The sheer volume, and ever changing price fluctuations, of the products offered to our members was the driving force behind the implementation of DirectBuys Pricing Promise. All that is required of our members is to provide us with the make and model of the item they find at a lower price, With that information we do the work to ensure our members receive the best price, at a guaranteed savings of at least 10% percent.
I believe that Mr. *** was genuinely happy with his DirectBuy membership before the misunderstanding with the Travel promotion occurred. We have already agreed to compensate him on a future booking, and continue to stand by that offer. If Mr. *** does not feel we have made a reasonable effort to resolve his complaint he has the option, per the Member Benefit Protection section of his Membership Agreement, to pursue arbitration through his local Better Business Bureau,
Sincerely
**** *******, Owner DirectBuy of Columbia
95 15 GERWIG LANE, SUITE I 14, COLUMBIA, MD XXXXX T XXX-XXX-XXXX F XXX-XXX-XXX www.directbuy.com

Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
To whom it may concern,

This is the most frustrating experience I have had in my life to learn that Mr. **** ******* still refused to pay my requested $1,910 refund after I pleaded to him multiple times, in person and in writing. It is incredibly offensive to see that Mr. ******* simply ignored the very first sentence of the Member Benefit Protections in the Membership Agreement: "Your satisfaction as a DirectBuy Member is our top priority." I can't state it more clearly in my complaint describing my very dissatisfied experiences with DirectBuy. The only solution to resolve my complaint is to have Mr. ******* honor the Membership Agreement to terminate my contract and refund my pro-rated membership fee of $1,910 immediately.

In the first paragraph of Mr. *******' letter dated March 20, 2015, he cited the "3-day rescission period." First of all, I was not made aware of this policy by his sales representative, Mr. ******** ******** when I signed the contract on 1/7/2014. In addition, based on Mr. ********** promise of huge saving, I would not have canceled my contract in 3 days because my plan was to wait a couple of months to install a new roof through DirectBuy later to save the thousands of dollars that Mr. ******* promised. I argue that the 3-day rescission period should have no effect in my case.

To answer the question Mr. ******* stated in the second paragraph: "If savings on his roof was his only reason for becoming a DirectBuy member, then we have to ask why he did not bring this matter to our attention immediately." As I have pointed out in my previous response, I live a very busy life as a healthcare professional. I work hard and play hard. I treasure my free time outside of work. Both my fiancée and I especially love to travel and go on vacation whenever we have the time and money to do so. I have an easygoing, carefree personality that I don't usually let things bother me to get myself all upset and worry. And as a Christian, I also tend to forgive and give people second chance to redeem themselves.

After the unsatisfied roofing incident, although I felt very disappointed with the outcome that I did not receive any savings from DirectBuy, I tried not to think about it because I got my new roof done and it was over. And I decided to give DirectBuy a second chance to redeem its worth by checking out some online merchandise and vacation package to recoup the initial investment of my membership.

For example, I had looked into buying a ***** DC50 vacuum and I compared prices between DirectBuy website and internet search. To my surprise, DirectBuy did not always offer the lowest price as the company promises. DirectBuy's listed price was $341 and ******* listed sale price was $297.99. I am sure Mr. ******* would make an argument here that DirectBuy would match ******* sale price if I went through the lengthy process of DirectBuy's "proactive" sales model. I would like to make it clear that I refused to waste my time going through these "proactive" steps. Plus, adding the shipping and handling costs required by DirectBuy could possibly end up having me pay more money than what **** offered even if DirectBuy matched the sale price. Furthermore, I could easily order the vacuum online and ship it to me free without any hassle or gimmicks from DirectBuy.

Besides the huge saving that I was promised to receive for the roof replacement project, the other major reason that triggered me to join DirectBuy on 1/7/2014 was the $1,000 travel gift card that came with the contract. I had fully paid the $2,990 membership in hope that I would see some savings that match or exceed my investment through installing the roof with a DirectBuy contractor and booking a vacation with DirectBuy Travel. After the roof project did not work out, the travel portion would have been the only thing that I could actually use to help recognize my investment. As I mentioned that both my fiancée and I love to travel, I gave DirectBuy another chance to redeem itself. I allowed DirectBuy to show me the great savings it always claims for offering the lowest price and matching competitors' offers with my cruise booking.

Unfortunately, this cruise booking was a disaster as I had stated in my complaint. The labeling of the $1,000 credit to be used as a partial payment on vacation/cruises was deceiving as shown in the DirectBuy Travel brochure. My thought was that I could use the $1,000 credit from the gift card all at once as a "partial payment" to cover the total cost of my $2,000+ cruise vacation. But I was only allowed to apply $450 out of the $1,000 for the cruise and let the remaining $550 go wasted after the 12 months expiration period. In addition, the price I paid for this cruise was no different than what I found from other major travel websites. It was false advertisement by DirectBuy claiming the "World's Largest Cruise Sale" in its email that it did not offer any sale price or the lowest price. Furthermore, DirectBuy did not honor to match competitors' upgrade offers as its mission statement stated. In the end, I did not receive the free resort stay as promised that leaded to my complaint and my request of terminating my contract and refund.

To respond to the second and fourth paragraphs, yes, I have met Mr. ******* twice between the period of 1/7/2014 and 2/5/2015, one time at the new member orientation and another time at an art auction event. He and I spoke very briefly in both meetings.

After the new member orientation ended, I asked him about upgrading my membership from Gold plan to Platinum plan because of my interest in traveling. I learned that I had to pay a few thousand dollars more upfront to cover the membership cost difference between Gold and Platinum plans, but as a Platinum member, I would receive more travel credits with $1,500 a year for the first 3 years for a total of $4,500 travel credits. At that time, I was tempted to sign up but I decided to wait until I made my first vacation booking with DirectBuy Travel to see how it went. Now in hindsight, I am so glad that I did not upgrade my membership because I would have wasted more of my hard-earned money and most of the travel credits expired annually without being able to apply the full $1,500 credit in one single use on my vacation booking.

The primary reason I went to the art auction was due to my interest in purchasing some pieces of artwork for my new house. I was also curious to see what DirectBuy had to offer in regard to saving money in artwork purchases. Also, there was a raffle drawing at the end of the night to win a cruise vacation and other artwork prizes that caught my attention. In addition, I would also receive a supposedly $100 worth of artwork for free just to attend until the end of the auction. However, at the end of the night, I was only given a small piece of paper that looked like something printed from a laser printer. It was clearly not worth the $100, in my opinion, that I found deceptive. During the night, I may have said "Hi" to Mr. ******* when we walked past each other without any chit chat. It should be noted that I wasted 3 hours of my valuable time that evening wandering around inside the DirectBuy warehouse checking every piece of overpriced artwork without making a purchase. I am sure Mr. ******* would make an argument here that DirectBuy would offer great savings on premium artwork to its members. And I want to point out that I did not find any savings in these artworks because I considered them to be all overpriced in my opinion.

By no means does Mr. ******* know who I am as a person or how I feel toward DirectBuy after only meeting me twice without much in depth conversation. I did not mention about the roof incident to him earlier because I chose not to. As a travel lover, I wanted to check out what services and savings DirectBuy Travel can provide me for its redemption after the unsatisfied roofing experience. I found it ridiculous that Mr. ******* claimed in his statement that I was genuinely happy with my membership, because I was clearly not satisfied with DirectBuy starting with the roof incident. I was simply giving DirectBuy a second chance to redeem itself to show me the savings I deserve as a member through their travel service.

Although Mr. ******* tried to settle my complaint and eventually agreed to compensate the free resort stay that I was promised, I felt cheated twice by DirectBuy and DirectBuy Travel. After all these unpleasnat experiences with DirectBuy that I have encountered and built up, I have reached the point in whicht I have completely lost the desire to use DirectBuy Travel again. The bottom line is that I no longer want to be a DirectBuy member and I do not want to do any more business with DirectBuy. The only satisfactory solution I want is to have my contract terminated and to receive my pro-rated refund immediately.

In the end, I find it unbelievable that the huge amount of money I invested in this membership and DirectBuy could not meet any of my expectations since the day I joined. I have given DirectBuy multiple chances to redeem itself, including my filing of this complaint that I hope Mr. ******* would admit the troubles and deceitfulness DirectBuy has caused. And I wish he would do the right thing to terminate my contract and refund my pro-rated membership fee in the beginning when I met with him on 2/5/2015 without wasting more of each other's time. It is very disturbing to see how a retail business treats its customer the way I am being treated by DirectBuy.

It should be noted that this will be my last written response to BBB regarding my complaint. I do not wish to waste any more time typing up responses back and forth only seeing that Mr. ******* continues to make more excuses with no end results. And I will consider filing the arbitration through Better Business Bureau.

12/08/2014Advertising / Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
We were misled about the availability of a free tablet. We sat through the sales presentation, and were not provided with the tablet
Received a offer in the mail. I called to inquire about the offer and was told I would have to sit through a sales presentation to receive the free tablet. I asked about getting the tablet without sitting through the presentation and was told the next available date was in 4 months. I asked directly, if we come to the presentation, would we receive the tablet, was told YES. We went to the presentation, and declined the offer to buy. When we went to the front, was told that they were out of stock on the tablets and would have to wait 4 weeks. The sales person, **** said to call in 2 weeks and check. I called at the 3 week mark, was told, you were given a piece of paper telling you you would have to wait 4 weeks, so it will a couple more weeks. Appears to me, it is common for them to mislead a client to come into the store, and when they do not buy, tell them they have to wait for the tablet. If I knew that we would have to wait anyways, I would not have come in.. Not to mention.. The $100 gift card is misleading as well, as you have to spend $100 to get the money back.

Desired Settlement
The public needs to be aware of their deceptive advertisments, and they need to fulfill their obligations as stated on the phone to us.

Business Response
We apologize for the delay Mr. ***** experienced with receiving his tablet. We make every attempt to
have both tablets and restaurant cards available for guests when they attend their scheduled Open
House. If shipments are late, or the tablets come in damaged, we advise guests that we will ship a tablet
directly to their home as soon as we receive the shipment. On November 17, 2014 we shipped a tablet
and restaurant.comgift card to Mr. *****'s home address; tracking # XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XX.
The USE'S tracking website shows the package was delivered to him on November 18, 2014, at 2:51 pm.
With reference to the $100 DirectBuy Restauarnt.com gift card, we explained to Mr. ***** both over the
phone and on the day of the Open House that the program offers discounts on meals at participating
restaurants. Each participating restaurant has their individual offers listed with their certificates or offer;
for example if a consumer chooses to use a certificate for $25, the restaurant may ask that they
purchase a minimum of $35 worth of food.
We hope Mr. ***** enjoys both the tablet and gift card, and again we offer an apology for any
inconvenience he may have experienced due to the delay in receiving these items.

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she ACCEPTED the response from the business.)
Its sad that they feel misleading a customer with false advertising, claiming something will be provided at the time of a sales presentation. In the end, and only after we filed a complaint with the BBB, did they provide a tablet. Which, I would assume is a very regular sales practice, seeing our conversations with them 2 weeks after the fact. I know we are not the only ones that have had to deal with this misleading sales pitch. Maybe after people start to let them know they need to honor what they offer, will the business change their practices.

01/08/2014Problems with Product / Service
07/16/2015Advertising / Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
Received email for free 30 day trial membership & signed up. Decided to cancel within 30 days; however Direct Buy would not honor trial membership.
Received email communication from Direct Buy for a 30 30 trial membership. I clicked on link and it promoted for information and to signup for an in house presentation. Scheduled the presentation for May 9, 2015 with encouragement of bringing a friend. Bought my sister along. Attended the presentation by Jim. Informed him that I signed up via email with the 30 trial membership. He bought out paperwork, we both had to make a deposit for membership. Was told that we could make purchases, receive login information the next business day via email. Did not receive any correspondence via email and contacted the store. Was only given login ID and password because I informed them that I did not receive anything. During the presentation Jim presented that there were new manufacturers added, one which was Weber. I was in the market to purchase a grill. Jim guaranteed that I would get a tremendous savings. I had to constantly contact them for information on the Weber grill product that I was interested in asking if they could get it. After multiple calls and emails I was presented with information. I went on and ordered the grill expecting the white glove service that was presented to us in the presentation. Paid for the grill and then had to continuously contact them for potential delivery dates. Was given false information twice as to when to expect delivery when I was finally given the delivery tracking number and I contacted them. After contacting the delivery company ***** - they informed me on June 1st that that was the day they were expecting it in their warehouse; however, when I spoke with Direct Buy in Columbia I was told early part of the week of May 18th, then early part of the following week. Decided that at that point I did not want to deal with Direct Buy and sent an email on 06/05/2015 requesting to cancel and receive a refund of my deposit in the amount of $420. I then called to speak with the manager and left my contact information. After no response I called the next day and asked to who the manager was and to speak with him. Manager gave alot of excuses and then basically stated that I would have to prove that I received an email from direct buy offering the 30 day trial membership. I informed him that the email was sent from Direct Buy and all information should be on a server within Direct Buy and that they have a listing of those whom they have contacted. I also informed him that the email sent to me from Direct Buy contained a link for me to enter my contact information, then schedule a date for the in house presentation. It also invited me to bring along a friend. I informed him that I bought my sister with me and to date she had not received any communication from Direct Buy and that we both wanted to cancel the trial membership. The manager refused to honor their advertisement. I then contacted membercares and was told that I had to deal directly with the Direct Buy in Columbia. Later that evening I received a call from a Christy ***** - reservation specialist and informed her of the situation. She insured me that she would pass the information on to the supervisor and that someone would contact me within the next 24 hours. To date I have not heard from anyone except their collection company requiring that I make payment on the account. I informed them that I had requested to cancel the account/trial membership. The person on the phone from the collection/credit company stated that he would pass the information on up and noted it on my account. He also stated that multiple persons have complained about the same thing. So that this would not affect my credit, I made a payment in the amount of $150 to keep it in good standing, noting to the credit company that it is my intention to cancel my membership and have all monies refunded to me. Again the person stated that her would submit the information to his supervisor and made a notation on my account.

Desired Settlement
My resolution would be to have my trial membership cancelled and all monies paid, $420 deposit plus !415 payment) $570.00 refunded to me and my contact information removed from Direct Buys database. I would also like to have my sister's trial membership cancelled, who was bought in as a guest of me at the time of the presentation and her request, to also be cancelled and all her monies refunded to her.

Business Response
To: Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland
Re: Case # 36112053 ***** (or XXXXXXXX)

On May 9, 2015, Ms.***** attended a DirectBuy Open House consultation and walk around tour lasting approximately 75 minutes. At the Open House we discuss savings, service and the brands available to DirectBuy members. During the Open house we give examples of savings available to our members and offered Ms.***** the opportunity to ask any questions she may have. At the end of the Open House she made the decision to purchase a DirectBuy membership with a down payment and an amortization schedule for the remainder balance of the membership dues. She elected 36 months.

About the membership, Ms.***** and I spoke about the misunderstanding of what she purchased and what she understood as being a Free Membership and how these things are different. DirectBuy does have a 30-day trial membership for folks to visit and experience how shopping works through DirectBuy. And it is free of charge. It is advertised nationally through web-site links. It is not advertised by our local Columbia club. So I have to emphatically state that during our presentation, we always ask "How did you hear about us? and What advertisement brought you to DirectBuy in Columbia?" so that we know whether or not you have an upfront 30-day offer and if so, therefore we would tell you about the features of that type of short-term membership versus the full pledged features of a standard 3-year membership. There are definitely membership differences and Ms.***** and Jim did not discuss them since Ms.***** did not communicate that she had (or choose to utilize) a 30-day free trial sales offer during the Open House consultation. If she did, she would be aware of those features and know that ***** Grills are very high-end products that are outside of that 30-day free trail offer. I also need to state that the Free Trail offer does not cost money. But Ms.***** did indeed elect to pay for her full membership and continued with a financing schedule and payments disclosure with her consenting signature on file. Finally, the events that lead Christy ****** a reservation specialist at the Indiana call center location, to discuss the situation with Ms.***** (on 6/12?) was that Ms.***** created a new 30 day free trail web-click through offer thus creating a new sales lead that caused Christy to call Ms.***** in mid-June to have a discussion for a new membership. Christy was caught off guard in the conversation about Ms.*****'s cancellation request to end her 30-day free trial sale because Christy's job is to set up new reservations, not cancel old memberships. But Christy was polite in listening to her Ms.*****'s explanation of the situation.
In summary, the standard 3-year membership is the most popular service sold during the Open House consultation and only after the grill delivery (discussed below), is when Ms.*****'s unhappiness and misunderstanding about her paid membership came to light. Her paperwork and signatures and financing agreement will be made available for review.
I encourage Ms.***** to contact me at her convenience in order to review all the benefits of his DirectBuy membership. If Ms.***** is still not satisfied, our Membership Agreements provides her with the option of pursuing arbitration through this local Better Business Bureau office.

About the merchandise purchased, the survey Ms.***** completed during the 5/9/15 Open House indicated that she was interested in purchasing a ***** Grill for the home. The following week, after some revisions, Ms.***** received a final quote from our service specialist which Ms.***** acknowledged to the specialist directly that she achieved some really good savings as compared to the big box store for the same exact item and model. The savings on the grill when comparing retail to DirectBuy was very healthy $2,499 vs. $1,820 (or $2,040 after fees and delivery from manufacturer's California factory). Ms. ***** was happy with that transaction.

Concurrently, the grill's estimated delivery date from California was disclosed as the week of June 11th. The item was delivered to the house directly from the ***** Grill warehouse - the manufacturer (not an outside delivery company) on approximately on June 2, which is just over two weeks from the order date and ahead of the printed schedule. Around May 20th, we provided Ms. ***** with the tracking number electronically in case the factory or truck driver was not able to get a hold of Ms. ***** on the phone to schedule her delivery directly. No DirectBuy delivery truck was ever involved in this transaction.
DirectBuy Inc. conducts proactive retail price comparison studies to ensure that our members experience maximum savings. While DirectBuy Inc. doesn't guarantee to always have the lowest price, if a member should ever find a lower price from a legitimate, local retailer on an identical item that is currently available from a DirectBuy supplier, even if it's an "advertised special," we will work with the supplier to obtain the best possible price as quickly as possible.

Seeing that DirectBuy has made good on its business statements during the face to face consultation and the Purchase Order #XXX-XXXXXX for a high-end grill was satisfied with a 20% savings, DirectBuy requests that the complaint be withdrawn from BBB and Ms.***** return to the showroom talk to the service staff and allow the Membership Agreement to work for her.
Sincerely,
DirectBuy of Columbia MD


Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
When the sales rep asked what bought us there I informed him that is was based on the email I received for a free trial membership. The only option presented to me was the down payment. Jim did not present anything other than that. Jim was back and forth between the table that my sister and I were sitting an another table. He stated that he was by himself and that he had to go between both tables. I inquired about the ***** products based on the sign on the wall and he said that he could get me a good savings. No indication or mention of a separate purchase form. This information was communicated upfront to Jim during his presentation.

04/22/2014Advertising / Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Complaint
I'm awarded a Tablet and a $100 gift card. *****: "You can only get them in a 30 min time slot 4 months from now" I want them now in March, not July!
I received an Award Notification from Direct Buy saying I won a 7" Touchscreen Tablet with Android OS, 4 GB Capacity, Wi-Fi, and USB and if I called within 72 hours (which I did), I would also receive a $100 Restaurant Dining Card.
When I called on 3/20/14 at 11:15 AM, I spoke with *****, who asked a series of questions, saying I qualified for the offer. When she invited me to come in for a 90 minute sales presentation at the time of my choosing in order to collect, I pointed out the fine print on the back of the offer saying specifically I would not have to attend any sale promotion or sales presentation in order to receive the offer.
So, she agreed that I did not have to attend the presentation she offered at my convenience to collect the award. So, I told her I just wanted to collect the award and not attend.
Then she surprised me by saying I could only come in on one date, in one time slot! That date was almost four months in the future! And, the time slot was a 30 minute slot during the rush hour: 5:30 - 6:00 PM! The offer indicates it expires within 30 days from postmark. When I pointed that out, she said the offer would remain valid, that it would be bad business practice to fail to honor it.
Well, if they can give them to me in July, they can give them to me now. I don't see why they should punish me by making me wait AND make it so difficult to collect an award they themselves offered to give. C'mon ***** and Direct Buy, if you're serious about attracting customers with these promotions, don't make it hard for potential customers to collect them! Honor it now, not in four months!

Desired Settlement
I want the items: the Tablet and the $100 restaurant card made available to me now, to be picked up at my convenience.

Business Response
Forwarded message
From: **** ******* <********@directbuycolumbia.com>
Date: Wed, Apr 2, 2014 at 7:30 PM
Subject: ************* ******, *******
To: "*********@greatermd.bbb.org" <*********@greatermd.bbb.org>
Cc: ***** ************ <*************@directbuycolumbia.com>

Ms. *********

I will work with Mr. ****** to ensure that he receives his tablet and $100 Restaurant Gift Card as soon as possible. The tablets have to be ordered and the order is placed overseas. Unfortunately we do not have a stock of these tablets in house. If Mr. ****** calls me directly he can coordinate when to come in and pick his gifts up. Please have him call me directly at XXX XXX XXXX extension 11. He should be able to receive his gifts within 1-2 weeks.

Sincerely

**** *******
Franchise Owner DirectBuy of Columbia
9515 Gerwig Lane Suite 114 Columbia MD XXXXX
TXXX XXX XXXX FXXX XXX XXXX
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Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I would like to pick these items up as soon as possible so i would like the company to contact me either by phone or email and tell me when I can pick these items up. This complaint will not be resolved until I have them in hand. Thank you.

03/13/2014Advertising / Sales Issues
11/12/2013Advertising / Sales Issues

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