Thanks to all the advice I received here and my online research, we decided to not even go near the place. Well, he has my cell phone number. I was busy yesterday and we went out for our anniversary dinner last night. I had my phone on silence and didn't hear it ringing 12 times!
I just got a call from him and I told him we were not going to do it. Of course he questioned me about it. I just told him that with their membership fee and handling charge, it would cost more than the item we are planning to buy even if we paid full retail.
He was very and I mean VERY insistent on knowing how I knew there was a membership fee and what I meant by that. His attitude made me put on my best Southern indignation at that point. I told him I had heard that the membership fee is anywhere from $4,000 to $7,800 and we are not willing to pay that. Couple that with the handling fee and having to pick up the item, it is not worth it to us. We will not be dealing with Direct Buy and please stop calling me.
He hung up on me. I hope I don't hear from him again. If I do, I'll just let him know that I will be reporting him for harrassment. Hopefully, I won't hear from him again.
Thank you again for all your input. Between you lovely ladies and some internet research, I am sufficiently scared to do any type of business with those people.
11-30-2007, 06:51 PM
I had the same reaction -- pushy, pushy, PUSHY salesguys who try to guilt you into giving you $$$. The problem I had is when I asked about product support. The Direct Buy guys get it to their warehouse, and after that, it is your problem. The OTHER issue is that the vendors will not assume any responsibility for the item after it reaches the warehouse. I heard directly from one major kitchen manufacturer that they DO sell through Direct Buy, but don't offer any form of product support because it is now YOUR problem. Which is why it is less expensive. So, if I ordered a kitchen via Direct Buy manufactured by this major kitchen manufacturer (I don't know if I can say their name!!!!), it will be delivered in flat packs only to the Direct Buy warehouse. YOU hire a van to take it home. And if the order is incomplete, TOUGH. If the order is damaged and not by YOU, TOUGH. It you can't fit it together, TOUGH. AND, if you have a subsequent problem, you can't call their shop because as far as they are concerned, you didn't buy retail and are therefore not entitled to retail customer's support. YOU ARE STUCK!!! And Direct Buy (Indirect Answer) WON'T answer your questions about anything. I was told that they would answer ALL my questions quite happily ONCE I SIGNED UP AND GAVE THEM THE MONEY. As IF!!!!
I got thrown out of their showroom because I dared to ask about product support for an expensive cooktop that I was buying. The salesguy said that I could just call up the local retail dealer who would fix it. Earlier that day, I had gone INTO the local retailer as preparation for the Indirect Answer sales pitch, who said that he was under no obligation to provide warranty work for any item not purchased in his store, and that if there was a problem, I would have to contact the original vendor. I found out that the item would be shipped in from Montreal (3 hours away) when I was at Direct Buy. I explained to the Indirect Answer salesman that the local guy wouldn't deal with warranty issues to the salesguy. He called me a LIAR and said "PROVE IT". So I gave him the local business' card and said "JOE GREEN said this to me at noon today. Here is his card. Here is his number. Give him a call and ask him". I was then told to leave the Direct Buy showroom because I clearly wasn't the "caliber of person I would invite to join my shopping club". But I am SURE I was kicked out because other fellow listeners were quite keen on what I was saying, and that I was ruining the chances of him scamming some other innocent people. HONESTLY!!!
Good for you for running!
11-30-2007, 07:00 PM
Wow, I'm so glad I stumbled across this thread! I get calls from Direct Buy all the time!! Thanks to call display I ignore them but I had always wondered about the fees.
Is it really true that it's thousands of dollars?? I had a feeling that the whole thing was outside of my price range. When I saw the commercials and they had couples "bragging" about saving $10,000 or more dollars, I always wondered what did they spend to save that kind of money? I'm looking for a deal where something that is normally $500 is only maybe $300, not with all those zeros on the end.
Now I wonder if I should answer and tell them to bug off so they stop calling or just keep letting them call!
Thanks for the information.
11-30-2007, 08:08 PM
At first I was confused, I really thought it didn't seem like an infomercial scam to me, but now, thans to all you you ladies, I'm sure I will think twice about these things. I'd much rather go ino a well-known established merchant and pay the price for warranty and such than to be treated so unkindly to by rude pushy salespeople. You'd swear that they lost their souls through sales training!
11-30-2007, 08:11 PM
Yup! The way it works is that you have to go to their showroom and sit through a presentation. They won't let you ask questions. You have to listen to the presentation and watch the canned video tape showing "happy customers who have saved THOUSANDS". This lasts at least 1 hour. Ours lasted 1.5 hours, and no one was allowed to ask anything. If you DID ask, they told you to "hold your questions to the end"... but at the end, there is "no time for questions. Just sign up and we will be HAPPY to answer everything then." !!! They will show you pictures from the paper where local businesses sell, for example, a sofa for $1200, and then they will show you that you can buy the EXACT SAME STUFF from them for $500. But don't be fooled -- they don't tell you that it might NOT be the same stuff, or that this is representative.
Anyways, after that, they let you look at their showroom and all of the catalogues that you have access to. All of their shopping is essentially catelogue shopping. You pick out what you want, pay for it, and it is delivered to the Indirect Answer warehouse. YOU have to pick it up from there. Before I went, I priced out all the things I wanted to buy, took the lists in, and checked their catelogues for the same brands. Most weren't carried by them, and those that were only offered a savings of, on average, 15% over the retail cost. When you factor in the cost of hiring a moving company to get this stuff to your home, you are saving only around 10% on average. And the cost to YOU will be absolutely NO customer support whatsoever. And for ME, if I buy a high-ticket item and it goes belly up, I am willing to pay the "premium" for customer support.
Another thing that they misrepresent is that they say that you pay "the manufacturer's price" with no mark-up. This isn't true, because how else does the company make money? Especially since they tell you that the markup on jewellry is 90% (true, but how much jewellry does one person buy, especially without looking at the real thing first????), but when you do the math, even on the jewellry and compare retail vs their cost, you only save 15% overall REGARDLESS of the item. So, where is the other 75%??? In the Indirect Answer owner's hands, not yours.
As for the fees to join you need to know that you are NOT allowed to return, so you HAVE to decide right then and there IF you are going to participate or not. You cannot go and comparison shop and think about it at home. You HAVE to sign up then and there. If you chose NOT to, then you can NEVER join Indirect Answer again. This is where the high pressure sales comes in. They will flash up numbers about how much you can spend on consumer goods, and tell you that for a mere FIVE THOUSAND --yes, $5000 up front investment (OR payments you can make over 3 years) , you TOO can have access to the magical catelogues. They will quickly skip past the part that you have to pay maintenance fees after your first or second year to make your membership "current". SO, it is the up front fee PLUS the annual fee that you have to pay.
They give no refunds, they won't let you quit, and they want you to sign a non-negotiable binding contract RIGHT AWAY. Or else this AMAZING opportunity will SLIP YOU BY.
LET IT GO.
Tell them not to call you anymore, and if you receive any more calls you will phone the police to report harrassment. Then call your local Better Business Bureau and lodge a complaint. If they STILL call, phone your local State's Attorney office (assuming you are american!) because in some jurisdictions, their tactics are illegal.
Hope this helps!