• Report: #133691

Complaint Review: Network Direct Inc. (NDI)

  • Submitted: Fri, March 04, 2005
  • Updated: Sun, May 21, 2006

  • Reported By:Lincoln Nebraska
Network Direct Inc. (NDI)
5320 College Blvd Overland Park, Kansas U.S.A.

Network Direct Inc. (NDI) Aka Executive Merchandising Services Aka Brilliant Choice Aka Global Connections Inc. Shady Practices ripoff through deceptive business practices Overland Park Kansas

*Consumer Comment: NDI Defender

*Consumer Suggestion: I like NDI so far....

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First off, I let me address the issues at hand. NDI is a company that is registered through the BBB and according to the BBB is in good standing dispite prior complaints.

Second, while supporters of NDI will claim that they are doing everything legally...I am not arguing about the legality.

Third, I would like to say that while I do have a choice of what to do with my money and it is my resposibility to make good choices even when it includes contracts....NDI has practices that mislead, deceive, and are unethical in nature that prevent people from making those choices easily.

Here's the full story of NDI. They are like many companies and opperate on two easy targets college students and people who respond to junk mail.

They mail out a bunch of postcards claiming that you are to call a special phone number in 24 hours to claim a prize that you have supposively won or have the chance to win. You call the number and an operator sells you the opportunity to win $25,000, one of two vehicles, a TV, or a vacation voucher. All you have to do is sit in on a presentation. The presentation will tell you about NDI's buying service. They give you numerous examples and explanations on how to save money through them. They talk about what the program offers--diamond buying services, travel services, car buying services, membership to a coupon club, and discounts on "everything" you buy. They finally end up telling you that the program will cost you either $1475 tonight or they can put you on a payment plan of $39 dollars for a period and later up it to $59 until you have paid off the balance plus a little interest. They downplay the interest as much as possible. Finally, they tell you to get started will only cost you $20.

After all this you're pretty much overwhelmed at what this thing is and you are offered many times to contact the BBB about them. Conveniently the BBB in your area is closed at the time of the presentation so you must call the next day. So now they put you on the spot....it's buy now before you leave this room or you'll NEVER I repeat NEVER have this offer again. Well it's true you can buy it later but they jack the price up. Another convenience. They also well at least in my case tell you that you can cancel any time. Some may say you have 3 days to cancel. Others may give you the impression you can cancel once the balance is paid but for the most part they give an illusion of a way out.

Now here's where my complaint comes in.

1. NDI's contract while legal is unethical. Everyone is given a 3 day grace period of cancellation. It doesn't matter what you were originally told because they are unable to have an extra person in the room with the seller. This period is unethical because:
A) you are presented with an plethora of information in an hour's time that even to go through their entire program and test it out in a 3 day period would require the consumer to devote the full 3 days to just that. No work, no sleep, no school. Just to assess the real benefit or hinderance this program will be.

B) you are told things differently in each presentation and have no lawyer with you to assess the truthfulness of the agreement and service being sold. Which is wrong because just to sort through all the stuff that is presented to you takes someone with better knowledge than yourself. I mean we are talking about a company or service that has so many other names that are also listed at similar numbers and addresses if not identical ones that it's difficult to tell who you're really dealing with in the matter.

C) they target college kids. While college kids are legal adults and able to enter into legally binding contracts, NDI expects a college kid with more things on his/her mind than just the information presented to them to not only understand what is being sold but also to sort through the program, assess financial budgets, and decided to cancel within 3 days. Like I said earlier it is not enough time to even begin to understand or figure out what the company is all about.

D) they claim savings throughout their presentation which is known by all the people who work for the company but contradict themselves when they claim that they are unable to guarentee savings...which may or may not be mentioned by the sales agent but is listed in your NDI handbook after you purchase it.

E) they use prizes (in some other reported cases are really worthless) or require additional monetary input in order to receive them. This is also done through the mail on a card that is as vague and elusive as possible.

F) they give the presentation long after your local BBB has closed. They offer you a number in order to avoid some legal conflict later but they know that many people will not call it.

So what are my suggestions:

1) NDI should abolish the 3 day cancellation period as well as the non cancellable lines of their contract and business policy. It doesn't hurt the company any once someone cancels as long as they have no used the service to buy a product. I mean if the claim by my salesman "NDI owns all the tropical resorts," than surely this company can afford to let these cancellations take place whenever a consumer feels the service does not benefit them. I mean aren't they making millions on the rich men and women who frequent their resorts?

2) NDI should stop pressuring people to join instantly. If the product really sells itself than you shouldn't be overbearing and telling college kids that they have 1 hour to decide or even less depending on how much time they would let you sit and think about it. If anyone wants to sit in on a presentation and refuse to leave even if it's been 5 or 6 hours and claim you still need to think about it.

3) NDI should stop selling this product to college kids who have more on their mind than to competently decide and sort through all the information they are presented.

4) NDI should have one of the 3: tape recorded presentations (sales), legal representation and allow legal representation at all presentations (sales), or have another NDI representative present to record or attest to the statements made.

5) NDI should stop awarding prizes to entice people to buy their product. They should instead offer a free meal to those who wish to sit on the presentation or offer nothing but the chance to join the club.

6) NDI should drastically lower the price of the program. There is no need to take a huge fee like the $1475 from students especially when they are unable to know the effectiveness of the program. They should be offered a lower grade program that only costs the $79 or year rate. Bank on their lifetime membership later offering the complete membership at the higher rate.

Consumers: I ask that all of you warn every college student about this club because of it's practices that hinder your sons' or daughters' ability to get out of the club. I also ask that you inform your legislators about the deceptive practices of this company and push for legislation to prevent NDI from using these same tactics. I hope nobody else is suckered like I was by shady practices that according to this site many businesses are currently engaged in.

Lincoln, Nebraska

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/04/2005 12:54 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Network-Direct-Inc-NDI/Overland-Park-Kansas-66211/Network-Direct-Inc-NDI-Aka-Executive-Merchandising-Services-Aka-Brilliant-Choice-Aka-Gl-133691. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

NDI Defender

AUTHOR: Ben - (U.S.A.)

Keep in mind NDI is a travel agency! Not strictly a buying club!!!

I bought into the program a few years back and have saved back the price of my membership in that time by traveling a few times and also buying a few things. So far its been one of the best investments I've ever made. First of all, the company has been around for a long time (1971). Don't you think that if its been around that long there are a lot of people who are more positive about the program than not?

In regards to the buying service, NDI guarantees to have the lowest prices so for those of you that have found they're more expensive they'll GIVE you money back on the item you purchased through them. Everything that I've bought through NDI has been cheaper than anywhere I could find. Except for one time when I bought a digital camera that I found cheaper at cameraworld.com. The coolest thing about the buying service of NDI is that whatever the difference in price is, they'll double it. Originally I bought the camera for $180 which was 20 cheaper than anywhere I could find. About a week later I found my exact camera at cameraworld.com for $160. What NDI does is whatever the difference is they'll double it. They call it, DOUBLE THE DIFFERENCE. After sending in the proper info, I received a check from NDI for $40. So after doing the math, my camera actually cost me $140 which is far less than I found anywhere else.

In regards to the travel portion of the membership, I took a trip to Hawaii last summer. I stayed at the Sea Village resort on Kona(the big Island). It was an awesome vacation. My girlfriend and I stayed in a one bedroom condo. Total I paid $288 for the condo for an entire week, that didn't include airfare obviously. I checked elsewhere for prices which I soon found out I was getting the better deal. The cheapest price I could find was $169/night. Simple math says thats $1183/week. I saved roughly $900. You can only imagine the smile this put on my face. Keep in mind this was a condo with a full kitchen, and living room and a balcony. It was on awesome deal!

Sorry if I've ruffled some feathers but I thought I should clear up some info on the company. I apologize for you people who haven't had a good experience with NDI. However, I mainly use it for traveling.
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

I like NDI so far....

AUTHOR: Magic - (U.S.A.)

I don't have any major complaints about NDI. Sure, the price is very steep at $1500, but it's well worth it if you think long-term rather than short-term. The "normal" price for the program is $5000. I signed up in college with my wife (was my fiance then) sitting next to me. We read over all the paperwork, INCLUDING the interest rate (it was around 5% or less, I still have the paperwork somewhere).

If you're stupid and don't read what you get on paper BEFORE you sign it, then DO NOT get mad at NDI because of YOUR incompetence. That's like people getting mad when they break a 2-year contract that they sign with wireless carriers these days to get a "FREE" phone. It's NOT the wireless carriers' fault that you didn't READ the contract. Just because something says it's "FREE" doesn't mean that it doesn't cost anything. Hence the term "rebate".

They DO guarantee the best prices. I used the service to buy a toddler bed. It was only $35 shipped DIRECTLY to my door. I wish I had gotten the mattress as well from them for $40 (I had spent over $60 on one, and that was the cheapest one I could find around town). They DO stand behind their pricing. I once tried to see how far they would go, so I got tons of different prices for different products I was considering at the time. Within 1-2 business days, they gave me the prices they could ship the products to my door at. I even told them that I found some lower prices at local retail stores, and they MATCHED them or even went lower sometimes.

I think it's people who don't read what they are given or even think about what's being presented to them that think that they're getting "ripped off", but in essense, it's their own incompetence that ripped them off.
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