DirectBuy: The Worse Allowed Scam?
By Jigster, An ex-employee of DirectBuy
You may have heard their advertisement as "North America's Best kept Secret" but they may be 'The Worse Allowed Scam' to most People. Allowed by the media due to heavy advertisement, allowed by the government due to indifference, and allowed by the retailers and manufacturers due to naivety.
As an ex-employee, as a Customer Service Ordering Staff, I honestly believe DirectBuy is about 10% real savings and 90% perceptional "savings"; likewise, only about 10% of the members truly benefit to enrich 'heartless' owners who daringly castigate retailers. It then become a responsibility for the Media, the Government, and Manufacturers to understand what they owe the average general public and retailers.
Does DirectBuy have the 'right' to place misleading ads, including painting retailers in negative light? And should the Media investigate and sensitize the public to avoid being victims? The contracts and conditions of DirectBuy 'Allowed' by the government seems as double standard against more honest companies. I will give you a perfect example in a bit.
I have always maintain that this is a world of few good men, fewer evil men, and bunch of followers. Imagine the millions struggling to get the best out of life being bombarded with the heavy ads of DirectBuy. It is normal to visit them for possible savings. Unfortunately, if you visit them they will bombard you with a more powerful video ad and ask you to decide the same day or not to come back for years. They make you feel like they are doing you favor, 'one' time opportunity, and seemingly care about the retailers after they already painted negative. The pressure can make you sign a dangerously dotted line that has an unfair special favor of Government? When I worked as a sales person for a Gas and electricity company, we signed people four or five year term contract. Our customers don't pay us a dime to join and we were obliged to tell them and give them a written paper that they can cancel for ANY reason within 24 hours. The Company told us that it is a government regulation that people have the right to cancel any contract within 24 hours. How come those who will pay thousands of dollars to become members of DirectBuy for ten years contract cannot cancel contracts? Should we investigate if the George Bush family have a share at DirectBuy, since the headquarters seems to be in Texas? If the people still have that right with DirectBuy, why can't we make sure their contracts clearly states that?
DirectBuy so much understands that this is a world of bunch of followers that DirectBuy of Edmonton, and perhaps other centers, have a policy that when a sales deal is sealed, the Sales person should shout "Can I get a New Members Pack" and someone should repeat it --- they believe that is enough to influence the contemplating to Join. Those who don't repeat "new member's pack" or say it low like myself are frown at and not call upon.
After paying up to $6000 to become a member depending on the center, you still have to pay annual fee of up to $299 after the Forth year to the tenth year, you still have to pay "center handling fees" on most merchandise and some other funny fees on some vendors. Now you may think they only 'rob' the rich, after the poor person is pressured to decide on the 'spot' as "favor", they will extend the "favor" to financing the balance, if one deposits a small amount and sign the irretractable dotted lines. If you ever discover the "savings" are not close to what you thought – it becomes a game of cutting your losses or protecting your credit file. Sadly, the center I worked for have a horrible service of endless apologies and presently you can't pay with credit cards for merchandise purchases at many centers. They will accept credit cards for the membership fee but not on merchandise purchases. The excuse, 'we don't make money on purchases' – how about the 8 % center handling fee and renewal fee? Why can't government or members come together to pressure them to be little bit more considerate beyond apologies. Member frustrations and other secrets cannot be revealed now but expect a possible documentary from me on DirectBuy.
Why do I estimate DirectBuy as 90% perceptional "savings"? Some people are foolish enough to calculate the difference in the basic prices of DirectBuy and the suggested retail price as their "savings". They ignore the often added fees and that virtually no retailer sells at the suggested retail price. They ignore possible frustration of waiting and the many convenience retailers have over DirectBuy. Can you see why I say DirectBuy could be the Worse allowed Scam... Allowed by naÃ¯ve manufacturers and retailers? Whereas most directBuy members will grow to appreciate retailers who accept credit cards under 8% profit margin –most of the uninformed may continue to hate retailers until they sign the irretractable dotted line of DirectBuy . Then it become a question of cutting losses which may still be perceptional "savings". A member once ordered through me from a catalog with 3% savings and told me "3% is small but better than nothing..." -- he was so blind to see it was minus 3% plus 8% center handling fee – so he was paying more than retail yet happy through the perceptional "savings".
Why am I a member when I knew or estimate 10% real savings? I know DirectBuy enough to get the best deals if they continue to exist and if I ever become rich within the next ten years. Secondly I got a super discount which was turned down by some sales people who were selling it five times more and by customer service ordering staff who either believe 10% of real savings don't exist at DirectBuy or they don't think they can ever rise in the precarious limited chances of capitalism where the Government and media will spare a company like DirectBuy for taxes and advertisement money.
By 10% real savings I mean about 10% of their affliates are offering up to 50%+ discount. So the 3% discount discussed is factual but there are better discounts that may benefit 5% of the population and 10% their members who need it least. There are somethings fundamentally wrong in our society. Like no human being is perfect, no company is perfect and may have something to hide. The question is our imperfection within tolerable range? DirectBuy is not doing justice to its average members, staff, retailers, and society. Bribing the media with advertisement and government with taxes is not enough. If you want to know more about DirectBuy or why I am indifferent to their downfall, please visit www.mbioc.net and look-out for my documentary. May God Bless Showlove Trinity: Let's learn, let's work, let's have fun.
By Jigster, An ex-employee of DirectBuy
culled from www.mbioc.net