• Report: #11227

Complaint Review: UCC Total Home (Phx-AZ)

  • Submitted: Thu, January 10, 2002
  • Updated: Sat, July 22, 2006

  • Reported By:scottsdale az
UCC Total Home (Phx-AZ)
4902 E. McDowell Rd. #105 Phoenix, Arizona U.S.A.

UCC Total Home Phoenix Arizona, LOOK OUT or YOU WILL BE SORRY. Total Ripoff

*Consumer Comment: Extreme Rip Off... no savings...just heartache

*Consumer Comment: Extreme Rip Off... no savings...just heartache

*Consumer Comment: Extreme Rip Off... no savings...just heartache

*Consumer Comment: about to join HELP!

*Consumer Suggestion: NOT A SCAM (NOT A MEMBER NOT AN EMPLOYEE)

*Consumer Comment: RE: drastic resolution for those making payments

*Consumer Comment: RE: SOUNDS LIKE JUST ANOTHER ""WHOLESALE"" SCAM!!

*Consumer Comment: Stop Your Whining

*Consumer Comment: SOUNDS LIKE JUST ANOTHER ""WHOLESALE"" SCAM!!

*Consumer Suggestion: 3-DAY RECISION PERIOD

*Consumer Suggestion: drastic resolution for those making payments

*Consumer Comment: Is it Right for Me?

*Consumer Comment: Don't Equate Passion with being an Employee

*Consumer Comment: Employee Rebuttals

*Consumer Comment: Thanx, Kevin from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

*Consumer Comment: Absolutism Gets You Nowhere - Respect Those That are Happy

*Consumer Suggestion: Helpful tips for prepaid plans

*Consumer Comment: The numbers!

*Consumer Comment: Here's what helped us NOT join!

*Consumer Comment: Ripped off By Direct Buy -Scottsdale also

*Consumer Comment: Direct Thieves - Stay Away From Direct Buy

*Consumer Comment: why did you pick ugly cabinets?

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: Direct Thieves. The people who say positive things about this company probably work for the company.

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: Direct Scam, Stay Away

*Consumer Comment: so far so good

*Consumer Comment: Wrong Numbers?

*Consumer Suggestion: To Jane - We Got our Money Back!

*Consumer Comment: Long time user

*Consumer Suggestion: To Jane In Chicago

*Consumer Suggestion: To Jane In Chicago

*Consumer Suggestion: To Jane In Chicago

*Consumer Suggestion: To Jane In Chicago

*Consumer Comment: hurricane trashed everything I have will report on direct buy later

*Consumer Comment: Jason & Darren - Glad to See You're Willing to Investigate Too

*Consumer Comment: Direct Buy - No RipOff!

*Consumer Comment: An honest oppinion i would like to share my wisdom with you.

*UPDATE Employee: NOT BAD ..Your numbers are near correct, however let me explain to you why they are wrong.

*Consumer Suggestion: Keep it Simple they get sued frequently by members

*UPDATE Employee: many people i talk to on a daily basis who pass on the opportunity to come in when they are building 200,000 dollar homes

*Consumer Comment: Does it all add up?

*Consumer Comment: Thanks Kimberly, just get my dander up when someone is a bully

*Consumer Comment: You need to be a smart shopper

*Consumer Comment: Thanks Derrick

*Consumer Comment: Thanks Derrick

*Consumer Comment: Thanks Derrick

*Consumer Comment: Thanks Derrick

*Consumer Comment: Reply to comment from Iva - Merrilville, Indiana

*Consumer Comment: URL Links to More information about Directbuy - UCC Total home

*Consumer Comment: We are happy with the service

*Consumer Comment: We are happy with the service

*Consumer Comment: We are happy with the service

*Consumer Comment: We are happy with the service

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: BIG TIME RIP OFF, They were right there every second until we paid

*Consumer Comment: Member response - good and bad experiences

*Consumer Comment: Member response - good and bad experiences

*Consumer Comment: Member response - good and bad experiences

*UPDATE Employee: IT WORKS FOR ME. I agree that the tatics they use when you sign the contract is a bit crude. However..

*UPDATE Employee: IT WORKS FOR ME. I agree that the tatics they use when you sign the contract is a bit crude. However..

*UPDATE Employee: IT WORKS FOR ME. I agree that the tatics they use when you sign the contract is a bit crude. However..

*UPDATE Employee: IT WORKS FOR ME. I agree that the tatics they use when you sign the contract is a bit crude. However..

*Consumer Comment: Use it or lose it!

*Consumer Comment: UCC (PHOENIX) stay away

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: UCC TOTAL HOME - NOT SO BAD AT ALL!! (A real member)

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: UCC TOTAL HOME - NOT SO BAD AT ALL!! (A real member)

*0:

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I usually research companies and this one was no different. It has been in business for a lot of years and it seems to be a sound company. Everything was fine until I went to their presentation. It is one of those deals that "IT IS NOW OR NEVER".

Against my better judgement we signed on the dotted line and left. In the state of Arizona there is a law that provide consumers with the ability to get out of a contract within 3 business day of signing. Well to start off during the signing of the paperwork this very important section of the contract was never explained and "CONVENIENTLY" shoved under the rest of the papers.

If and when you come to this place, be very careful with what you sign. I am trying to cancel the contract and I have run into a lot of difficulty even though I was well within the allotted time for cancelation. In addition they want to force you into paying handling charges for the merchandise you purchase just because they want them delivered to their warehouse. It stands to reason that if I am paying for the freight, then it is going to be delivered to where I say, meaning my house. The freight company is already charging me handling, so why should I pay handling again? Worse yet, if the item you purchase requires a truck to deliver it. They have freight company that delivers for them at "A SPECIAL RATE TO YOU". It goes back to the old saying,"IF IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE IT PROBABBLY IS". Good luck if you are already in that mess.

John
scottsdale az

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/10/2002 12:00 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/UCC-Total-Home-Phx-AZ/Phoenix-Arizona-85008/UCC-Total-Home-Phoenix-Arizona-LOOK-OUT-or-YOU-WILL-BE-SORRY-Total-Ripoff-11227. 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.

Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report.

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0Author 62Consumer 3Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Extreme Rip Off... no savings...just heartache

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

Dont DO IT
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#2 Consumer Comment

Extreme Rip Off... no savings...just heartache

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

Dont DO IT
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#3 Consumer Comment

Extreme Rip Off... no savings...just heartache

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

Dont DO IT
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#4 Consumer Comment

about to join HELP!

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

Hello, about DB my husband and i just signed to refi our house. Most of the money will be paying off debt. We will be left with 10,000 dollars to remodle the home. In the retail world...it really isn't that much for people who have big ideas.

From what i read most on this report...is you will pretty much only save money when you spend it on the big items. By big items i mean instead of cabinets of 3,000 you still spend 6,000 for the higherend quality at DB. I guess my question is this....

If i want to still by from the lower end quality from DB will i still make a comprable savings? Compaired to what i would save by buying the higher end quality products?

This is the key question for me. Because yes i can get a set 20,000 dollar cabinets for 5,000 dollars with DB...but i still only have 10,000 dollars...so it really wouldn't be worth it to me. (plus once i pay the member fee..we will only have 5,000)

So basically what i want is to be able to buy a decent set of cabinets that are retail for say....3,000 and i want to be able to buy them for 1,500....does that makes sence? Can some one tell me if this is possible? Or are just the high end quality really worth paying for?
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

NOT A SCAM (NOT A MEMBER NOT AN EMPLOYEE)

AUTHOR: Mike - (Canada)

Went to a direct buy meeting last night since I am building a home and will be spending around 200000 on interior finishes

Although the presentation was tacky and a complete waste of time since i already new what direct buy was all about we sat thru it in order that we could check out the catalogues

I am one of the largest blind retailers in Toronto so i checked out the prices direct buy was offering on Levolor and Shadematic products. the discounts offered were identical to the discounts that I, as a miilion dollar account, receive.

We then checked out the prices of appliances.Jenn-air counter top 400 less
LG washer dryer 800 less. direct buy does not offer Miele till December and 2 other high end european brands are not available (Gaggenau, Fisher-Paykel and Liebherr)

We also checked out Kohler and Maax plumbing products. Since we are installing a powder room and 3 full washrooms this was of great interest.
We did exact comparisons on specific Kohler sinks and shower units comparing this to a local plumbing discounter and with direct buy we will save around 12000 on a 30000 total package

Now did i join last night? NO. I just didnt care for the hard sell ( have to join today or NEVER,
cant be a franchisee if you dont join at the first meaning etc) however I will join in 2 months as we get closer to completion.

If you are spending a llot on higher end products this is a perfect place to join (i figure I will save 25000 to 30000 this year alone however someone at direct buy has to rethink the hard sell.I would have joined on the spot if not fo the BS however I will join shortly( I think they were bluffing on the have to join yesterday or never)they dont seem to be a company that will pass up 4 grand

Finally for anyone who thinks I am an employee of Direct Buy my business is called Supershade I'm in Toronto and I am in the phone book.Ask for Mike
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#6 Consumer Comment

RE: drastic resolution for those making payments

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

Direct Buy does indeed go to court. I know two people who have gone. In both cases Direct Buy has won.

Even though they won the full amount, they still compromised and allowed the person to only pay part of the membership fee and drop out of the club.

They are a legitimate business with a real and legitimate contract. Your only complaint is that YOU CHANGED YOUR MIND and YOU had trouble stiffing THEM..

Let's see you purchase a new car and take it back to the dealership.

Let's see you join a gym for a year and then get a full refund.

Let's see you take out a mortgage and then "return" it for full value.

Let's see you purchase a DVD player at circuit city and return it without getting hit with a 15% restocking fee.

Let's see you book a band for your wedding and then cancel a week before the event.

So, it's time to grow-up and do business the way america does business.

Instead of stiffing the company call them and negotiate a settlement.
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#7 Consumer Comment

RE: SOUNDS LIKE JUST ANOTHER ""WHOLESALE"" SCAM!!

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

Mr. Green of New York,

Direct Buy is not a scam its a legitimate national business with thousands of happy members.

As you point out, a person can purchase directly from manufacturers (or distributors) if they are a legitimate business owner within that trade. For example, you can't be a hair dresser and purchase a sofa direct from the manufacturer, but you can get shampoo at cost.

But if you were an interior designer you may be able to get a discount on sofas. Your discount may not be very large because you don't purchase as many sofas as a furniture store or chain.

This is the premise of DirectBuy. DirectBuy is the company that has the buying power (because of its size) and the wholesalers license; so the individual member can get the benefits.

You are incorrect that they "carry" old or out of date stuff. They don't "carry" anything; Nothing! They don't have any of their own products, they don't buy products to resell, they don't have stock or inventory. They ONLY purchase an item when a club member wants it. They pool all their members purchases together to get significant buying power.

The members order direct from the manufacturers catalogs (through DirectBuy). The catalog is supplied by the manufacturer and is the SAME catalog they supply to all the stores that sell their products. If you have shopped at a furniture store you may have seen these catalogs; the sales person takes it out to show you items they can get, but don't have in the showroom.

For example, your local furniture store shows you the Clayton Marcus sofa and tell you it costs $2500. You decide to buy it, the store orders it from the manufacturer and pays them $1200 cost, the store pays to ship it (add $100). The store sells it to you and keeps the $1200 profit. That's how they pay their employees and keep the lights on.

The process is exactly the same for Direct Buy except the the profit to Direct Buy is in membership fees rather than profit on an item.

You pay an upfonrt membership fee and then buy from manufacturers paying the same as a store would (at Cost), plus shipping and handling.

Because the DirectBuy club makes their money on dues, not products, you pocket the $1200 that the store would usually make.

As a potential member, you have to weigh the number of $1200, $500, $2000 savings you may get against the price of a membership. Certainly don't join if you're not expecting to make many large item purchases.

This is a very logical, in fact CLEVER business.

I have been a member for 12 years. I shop in the stores first to get my best price and then go to Direct Buy and get the wholesale price.

It's true that not everything is worth buying through the Direct Buy catalogs; the saving on a $200 stereo may not be worth the wait and the drive to the showroom.

Comparing prices in real stores with real sales I have saved thousands of dollars with these purchases: Diningroom set, patio furniture, engagement ring, gold necklace and bracelet, professional video camera, washer/dryer, swingset, childrens bedroom.

Things I chose not to purchase through Direct Buy included: digital camera, matress, dewalt cordless tools, computers/printers.

I have saved over $10,000 easily and was able to choose better quality items than I would have afforded in retail stores.

It's not for everyone; but no one should knock it just because it's not right for them.
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#8 Consumer Comment

Stop Your Whining

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

I hope people use their smarts when reading these "complaints." So many of them are absolutely meaningless.

How can you say you were ripped off because you purchased something and then changed your mind???

That's not getting ripped-off and it's nothing against the company. It's your own stupidity! You're either stupid for signing up for something you really don't want or you're stupid for trying to break a deal that you actually did want. Either way, you're embarassing yourself by (1) admitting you did something stupid and (2) blaming the club for your stupidity.

So, try to have 1/2 a brain...

1) Do NOT signup for this membership if you can't afford it and if you're not planning on spending a lot of money in the future.

2) Don't whine that you signed up because of "pressure sales." That's like saying you slept with your boyfriend because he kept nagging you or you smoke pot because your friend "made" you. Grow Up!

3) If you do signup and change your mind, then just resind; you have the right to do so. Don't blame the club because YOU changed your mind.

4) If you want to purchase a matress or a nice camera, then find a sale; don't join a wholesale club, that would be stupid.

5) If you have money and plan on making many big purchases for some years, then join the club and you WILL save tons of money.

6) Don't believe the idiots who have not followed their common sense and are all annoyed because they did something stupid and have to blame someone else for it.


There are many people on this thread that have real stories about real savings. There are also people on this thread who are crying because they changed their minds or didn't save enough on a $200 camera.

Use your own brain and decide which person you will be. The club is not for everyone! DO NOT join this club if you can't afford to buy lots of nice things; but if you do join anyway, don't whine about it !

For the rest of us who can afford what we purchase, you will save TONS of money!
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#9 Consumer Comment

SOUNDS LIKE JUST ANOTHER ""WHOLESALE"" SCAM!!

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

What i have been reading sounds like one of many "Wholesale Scams" out here.

This "Wholesale Scams" make money from membership fees in exchange for the promise to offer goods at the lowest price possible.

The truth is you will instantly learn that they actually offer prices that is way above even retail price. The few items they do sell at real wholsale prices are usally worthless, out of date, or have no resale value.

These "Wholesales Scams" companies profit mostly from very expensive membership fees.

NOTE: Most real Wholesellers require you to have a state reseller ID# to do business and they don't charge you a expensive fee. ( alot don't charge any fee.)

And also if you are a legit bussiness owner,(ex: realestate, contract etc: with a license. You will find real distributors.

REAL WHOLESALE OR DISTRIBUTORS ARE MOSTLY NOT AVALIBLE TO THE PUBLIC. YOU WILL MOST LIKELY NEED A DOCUMENTS TO PROVE YOUR BUSINESS.

COSTCO'S SEEMS TO BE THE ONLY CLOSE ENOUGH WHOLESELLER TO THE PUBLIC.
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#10 Consumer Suggestion

3-DAY RECISION PERIOD

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

I went to the Scottsdale DirectBuy on a Thursday night and shelled out the full payment.
Of course, after thinking about what I just did, I went home and logged onto the internet, where I saw various negative comments. Not wishing to be included in the list of disgruntled members, I immediately prepared the cancellation, as allowed within 3 business days. First I sent a certfied letter with a copy og the signed off contract (this was later returned un-delivered but I recommend it anyway), the next day (Saturday) I went to the branch office and hand delivered the contract cancellation, and MADE SURE that I got a copy of the contract with THEIR signature as well. Next I sent e-mails to the national headquarters and my credit card company to make sure that there was an email trail along with all the other trails. You can never have enough documentation when you want to prove a dispute to your credit card company (the last thing you want to do is pay cah or check). DirectBuy wanted to hold back $25, but I got that reversed as well.
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#11 Consumer Suggestion

drastic resolution for those making payments

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

I was also a victim off DirectBuy in Eatontown N.J. I changed my mind later and went to my attourney after recieving several threatening phone calls and letters demanding I pay my membership fee either in full or make payments at some incredibly igh interest rate. His advice to me was to tell tem to "sue me" and hang up the phone. Dont argue, or plead, or poor mouth how you dont have the money. Just "sue me" and hang up. They wont take you to court because of their shady business practices and any thing reported to your credit report is easily disputed and removed. I promise this works and saved me alot of needless worry and sleepless nights. Power to the People!
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#12 Consumer Comment

Is it Right for Me?

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

So many comments about this topic!

Here's a short story that will sum up what's happening here.

We have been Direct Buy members for 12 years or so, we often talk up the benefits to our friends and family as we show them our living room set, patio furniture, bedroom sets, etc. that we purchased through DB and the amazing savings.

One day we got a call from my Mother-in-Law who told us she joined the Direct Buy in her state. I was shocked! My first thought was, why the hell did you do that!? My first impression was right, she was not happy and cut a deal to get out of the membership.

Even though I was very happy, I knew my Mother-in-Law would not be and I would never have recommended it. She's an older woman with a fully furnished home.

So, Direct Buy is perfect and amazing for the right type of person and a waste of money of others. It's like buying a boat, do you live somewhere near the water?? If not, maybe you shouldn't buy one. It's not a bad boat, it was a bad purchase.

Direct Buy is best for people who want to furnish a home. If you're 23 and want to buy a big stereo or 55 and want to buy a new matress, then go find a sale.

I joined at 28, just before getting married and buying a home. I saved tons of money on fine gold jewelry, a Movado watch, a wedding ring, and furnishing the house. We are doing a big home renovation product and I am starting to shop for furniture again; compared to the best retail sales, we will save thousands!

Folks, this is high-end shopping. You have to want to buy the upper-end products and they have to be big ticket items; otherwise, YOU were a foolish consumer for joining; just like my Mother-in-Law.

If you're the right person, you will LOVE this club.
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#13 Consumer Comment

Don't Equate Passion with being an Employee

AUTHOR: Kevin - (Canada)

As suprising as it may be to the previous person posting, regular consumers WILL take 30 minutes to write a detailed response. I type pretty fast, and even though my post was long, I believe it only took 20 minutes to pour out. Don't confuse a passion for DirectBuy as being something only an employee would be capable of. I am merely a regular everyday member.

Why the passion? If I'm a member and not an owner, why would I care? Good question. To be honest, I really don't have the passion I may seem to portray. It is more of a one-time release of a rebuttal. I felt compelled to do it. Because if sour folks get on a web site and start slamming a decision (to join) that I personally made a while back, you're slamming right into my financial decision. I am going to defend myself (my decision). Not so much defending DirectBuy - although I guess I am at the same time. I feel they deserve it.

If you paid a "worthless" $4000 membership fee, then that is your feeling. I cannot argue with that. But I do think that you probably shouldn't have joined in the first place, or went on payment in installments. Whatever the case, you found no use for your membership. For that, I accept that as YOUR case. NOT mine.

I still strongly believe that joining something and not using it is a person's OWN RIPOFF. In other words, you ripped yourself off.

If you join a gym or sports club, and never go to workout or go swimming in their pool, etc - you may become a bitter member, and consider their $500 annual fee a ripoff.

If you visit a theme park and pay the $60 entrance fee for the day, but don't get on ANY rides or roller coasters, and simply walk around the park - you may feel the entrance fee was a ripoff. You may even seek a refund before exiting the park...

And here is my final logic, THE POINT: Therefore one *cannot* go ahead and openly promote that the said gym or theme park is "a ripoff, stay far away, you'll be sorry, don't ever join/go...blah blah". The underlying reality is that the services offered, the benefits available, and the business itself are all great - it was the CONSUMER or CUSTOMER that wasted their membership or entrance fee due to their own non-utilization.

No naysayer on here can deny me that I am happy, and that there are no problems I have experienced, and that I USE my membership exactly what it was designed for. I stick to the opinion "find out for yourselves" and I'm promoting "go to the open house if you are invited, make your own decision". I'm not even encouraging people to join. Some people find the $40 fee to join Costco as prohibitive! I have friends that do! They say "I won't ever PAY to SHOP" I shake my head in disbelief... it's not even worth arguing with them. DirectBuy is simply 'Costco on steroids' because you are buying DIRECT from the manufacturer floor. The membership fee is certainly higher to maintain the DB site. (Costco makes bucks of every product they sell, tens of thousands of items per day, per warehouse) I guarantee, if Costco sold "at cost", their membership fee wouldn't be $40 a year.

So the magic question is: "would you pay $4000 to save $10,000?"

I am the type to answer "yes" to this question. Thus I joined without remorse. When you read the above question, if YOUR heart tells you "no", then you aren't the type that should join DirectBuy. Because you will end up spending $4000 and you WON'T save $10,000. Remember - DB doesn't create the savings FOR you. You have to buy things at cost to "save". YOU control what you save. It has everything to do with what you *would have* bought in a year at retail furniture and home ameneties stores, but as a member you *no longer* buy retail.
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#14 Consumer Comment

Employee Rebuttals

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

It is SO glaringly obvious that these rebuttals have been put together by Direct Buy employees or directors. What consumer, in their right mind, would take 30-60 minutes out of their day to write these comments in favor of a company, obviously pleading with potential (yet skeptical) consumers that they should at least give Direct Buy a chance? Please!!? Even the happiest of consumers would simply say, "It works for me, I'm happy with my decision." What nurse or hurricane victim would have the TIME to give a blow by blow account of all that he/she has spent and saved? Give me a break.
Loosing $4,000 is an emotional experience, perhaps that is why some of the postings are emotional. I'm sure that anyone who has wasted $4,000 of hard earned money on a worthless membership would be upset. I know I am.
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#15 Consumer Comment

Thanx, Kevin from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

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

Thank you Kevin for your comments. You stated things I wanted to after I read the comments but you did it much better than I would have. I loved the Army senerio.

I do have to disagree with your P.S. comment, though. I am a single person and I make less then the $70,000 per year you stated. I just save up my money and buy a high quailty item for the price of inexpense items.

I have been a member since 1997. I have had nothing but good experiences with DirectBuy. At my location the people are very friendly and very helpful. I sometimes have no-one to help me load my item and they are right there to load it up and tie it down. When I email them for a price on an item they return an email quickly. One time an appliance I purchased arrived with a three inch scatch at the lower back side. I was bummed but not too concerned about it. The DirectBuy person wrote up a frieght report and I received a check over a hundred dollars for the damage. Cool, I say.

In the first three years I didn't purchase much of anything just odd items I couldn't purchase in my area. I had NO remodeling to do or a NEW home. I became a member because I knew sometime in the future I would need a few big priced items. The third year I saw a beautiful dining set in a high end department store. I wanted it! I got the sale price from the salesperson, then went to the manufacturer's website to see if there were any other dealers in my area. One, a furniture store. I checked their price, which was higher. Then I went to DirectBuy. DirectBuy beat the department stores sale pice w/taxes enough that I got my membership fee back in one purchase. (That was with taxes, frieght, and handling fee.) The other thing I liked about DirectBuy on this purchase was I was able to customise the dining set more to my liking which wasn't available at the other stores. So I have a one of a kind dining set. (Unless someone selected all the same options I did which I doubt it's likely.)

I have since bought appliances when my old ones needed replacing. I replaced my mattress, and I am currently looking to replace my sofa with a leather one. So with being a remodeler or having a new home I have gotten my membership fee back and then some.

Another reason I became a member is because all the different models to choose from which is not available in most stores. Plus some of the unique items which are not offered in the stores.

I'm sorry that John from the original report couldn't get out of his contract but I don't feel all of the locations operate that way. As far as I know, they are indidually owned. As people are different so are the different locations.

As for the scam part people have stated above like DirectBuy is not the cheapest, I've found better prices else where, I say, so what. I don't beleive DirectBuy stated they would beat everbody's price on everything that DirectBuy offers. (In general they are the cheapest.) I don't run straight to DirectBuy and do my shopping. I shop the area, the internet, etc. If I find it cheaper than DirectBuy I buy from them instead. It's just nice to know I have another place to shop with some unique beneifts you don't get from a store or internet.

Oh, by the way, I don't and never have worked for UCC Total Home/DirectBuy.

Regards,
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#16 Consumer Comment

Absolutism Gets You Nowhere - Respect Those That are Happy

AUTHOR: Kevin - (Canada)

After reading all of the comments to date which have been discussed here for/against DirectBuy, one significant theme shines above all others: Those who are here to slam DirectBuy and have been wronged in some way (some to the point of heading to court) have a total disregard of the genuine underlying NON-SCAM that DirectBuy truly is.

Thus the slam-posts read with total absolutism - like they are truly paradigm of what one would expect. "Beware, stay away, don't ever join, it's a rip-off, save yourself the trouble, scam scam scam."

To be on the "against DirectBuy" side of the fence is to obviously preach the prevention of (hopefully) stopping anyone else from ever taking a membership ever again. There seems to be barely a shard of allowance for "this is MY experience and MY experience alone - just so you know - DirectBuy wasn't right for me". Doesn't seem to be happening here with the naysayers. They seem to want an all-out onslaught, warning what they purport to be a "real underlying scam & secret" that needs to be exposed.

The pro-DB folks simply talk in basic unemotional facts, and seem much more credible - and those reading this report must remember - drama and bad news naturally captures more attention (sometimes even seems more credible!) and whets readers appetites due to the "tabloid" tastiness of it all.

But I have my own warning to potential future members of DirectBuy who may want to attend an Open House - don't be fooled by the drama found here. While some people have been wronged, felt ripped off, have had bad experiences, are going to court, etc - the squeaky wheel always gets the grease.

Bad customer experiences tend to send those same types of folks on a "crusade" and sour emotions can drive a lot of what is said here. My warning is that don't let the negative stories TWIST YOU AWAY.

Take the time to read the member responses closely - not necessarily the people who have jumped ship and sought membership cancellations/refunds. If you wanted to join the US Armed Forces, would one listen to the sour recruits that didn't fit and left boot camp? Or do you listen to fulltime soldiers who have been in the army for 1 to 8 years? Which opinions carry more weight?

Which are less driven by emotion, and more by basic fact? Which reflect on the true nature of the whole organization, rather than pockets of "bad apple" situations? If this DirectBuy story was a blanket issue, I would be the type to jump in and light the torches to kill the company.

This site has plenty of businesses chronicled that are simply BAD across the company, regardless of location. Used car dealership chains, etc. Some are simply set up (even directed internally) to be scams and ripoffs. Those companies know it. Ex-employees have told the tale. But that's used cars. DirectBuy is simply a buying club. It's not rocket science.

I have been a member for a year, and I went through the whole Open House experience. As many times as it has been explained here, I have been amazed at the dramatics that have been injected into the story. Let's get it straight (and prospective members - read closely) - the Open House is casual and simple (at least mine was - maybe they are different in Canada). The staff and owner were there. They are not robots, and I felt no disconnect in talking to them.

We watched the DVD show. We got the message. We got to browse the whole catalog area - we were not restricted. When it came pitch-time, you are simply sitting with your partner at a table with a DB salesperson. The door is 15 feet away. There are no shackles and the DB ladies were (in my opinion) weak as salespeople. There was no pressure I perceived.

Mind you, I am a high-level salesperson at my workplace, so I know all about the art of negotiation. Nobody was going to be pulling wool over my eyes. Out comes the membership fee - THE BIG SHOCKER....um....not really.

I had no idea what the fee was going to be (and the one offered at my branch was only $2400 2 years, $100 per year renew thereafter). To be honest - I GOT IT. At that moment I totally understood and easily justified the membership. It also didn't seem like a high number to me. Maybe our household income is higher than some/most.

The number just didn't shock me. The logic of a household spending $10,000 a year on "stuff" has already been well described above. My household was easily spending $10,000 a year on "stuff". So the whole purpose of joining was to become a member and spend $7,000 per year insetad. POSSIBLE ?

Yup - absolutely. I can vouch that my household probably spends more than $10,000 per year on "stuff". I signed up - and just so people know - YOU DON'T HAVE TO SHELL OUT THE FEE IN ONE BIG CHUNK. Even though I understood the whole concept, I left myself a safety net - to pay for the first two years, OVER THE TWO YEARS.

So we went for the 24-month installment option. (maybe not available at all DB sites?) I had thought "if this is too good to be true, and things go sour 6 months from now, I'll simply stop paying - they can chase me, but they'll never get a red cent more."

Also, Beta Finance Inc. - who did the installments - has no personal credit jurisdiction in Canada. It's a US company. NONETHELESS - the past year has been great, and it works out exactly as presented at the Open House. We moved, and in the new house it was time for new appliances. We always wanted stainless steel premium stuff - so we went with KitchenAid's professional line gas range, fridge, dishwasher.

Looks just like in a home fashin magazine. Elite, beautiful. These models were over $10,000 retail in all the places we could buy them on the east coast of Canada. We paid HALF THAT for the appliances. We conked out the membership fee in the net savings, and now we're in the black - and counting! The staff has been fine. It's like the gals behind the desk at your dentists office - you don't get to know them personally, but you know their names and they are a friendly face you trust. They make orders, and run the place. It's not rocket science. I am one of those believers that half of bad customer experiences are the responsibility of the customers themselves. Remember - the world is made up of "bad customers".

You may not even know you are one. Some folk are simply skeptical, over-expectational, jaded, unempathetic, or confused easily. With the Open House, membership signup, payment plan, and ordering process so easy - reading the naysayers in this Report makes me shake my head wondering why something so simple can get so complicated and heated.

I also don't get why people jump ship within the 3 days (or after) - the only thing I can think of is that they had bank account shock (ie. simply didn't have the income or money to spend so quickly). Whatever the reason, those folk shouldn't have signed up in the first place.

Either you are going to join and use the membership - save thousands a year and stop buying bigger-ticket items in retail stores, OR you walk out that door that is 15 feet away from where you are sitting at the Open House. People who join with no plans to buy anything in the next 12 months - I would want to quit too!!! But why did you join????

There is no dirty scam or revelation that is deliciously being revealed here. None of the naysayers have anything to offer as what you would experience as an active, buying member. No more than slagging on Wal Mart, Best Buy, or Circuit City and telling everybody to "keep away, rip off, boycott at all costs..." just because you a) had damaged merchandise b) had to wait too long for something to come in c) met rude or pressuring staff. Every merchandise business has its bad individuals and bad buying experiences. But does that really reflect on the *true* success or quality of Wal Mart (example) as a buying option to a consumer? No, it doesn't. The majority rules. The majority of the country are happy with Wal Mart. The majority would shop there.

Same goes for DirectBuy. Those who understand, can afford, and join - are happy. I am one of those happy members. Again I say, it's not rocket science. There is no underlying dirt to dig up. There are no smoke & mirrors. I simply walk into a huge room of manufacturers catalogs, with all the secret pricing that THE STORES YOU SUPPORT WILL NOT SHOW YOU, shop "virtual" like you would on the WWW, and make an order. I wait a few weeks. I go pick it up. As a member, I run my own show. The experience is as good as I want to make it. I am in control. Prospective members remember - YOU are in control.

My whole point is that Reports like these if not illustrated properly, will scare prospective members away. ie. they won't even get to the Open House....and that's too bad. I say you DESERVE to go to the Open House. If you were preselected (yes, they screen by income and other things - I asked) then you shouldn't fear going to the Open House. Almost everybody confirms that the presentation is clear and proves the concept - thus you deserve to see it and judge for yourselves. Most people will think (and I did too!) "Is it too good to be true?"

From a career salesperson who wasn't about to get duped or pressured - "IT IS TOO GOOD - AND IT's TRUE !!!"

PS: If your household doesn't bring in at least $70,000 per year, I'd say don't even bother going. The key to being a happy member is disposable income and the NEED to join a wholesale buying club. If you have no budget per year for furniture, electronics, or improvements - DON'T JOIN. Period.

Because if you do, you end up resenting it, panic sets in, fighting to get a refund, sour grapes, you felt duped, you feel it's a ripoff, and then you end up on sites like this telling the world the whole setup is a scam....


Don't fear the Open House - go, and make your own decision. Thanks for reading.
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#17 Consumer Suggestion

Helpful tips for prepaid plans

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

I have no prior interaction with Direct Buy and never plan to. I used to work in retail so I have knowledge of what goes on behind the price tag. I would like to offer some tips based on what I have read in this discussion.

I think this discussion is a great example of what happens when you pay a large sum of money upfront for the possibility of future services. The best example I can think of involves when I worked at Best Buy and the service plans they sold. What you are doing with you purchase that service plan is giving them money upfront and not knowing the chance of needing the service to begin with. So now, Best Buy has your money, and you are completely attached to them when it comes time to fix the product because they have your money already. They have no incentive to offer good customer service, fast turn around times or quality workmanship because where else are you going to go? Homeowner's, automobile and health insurance are different and some are required by law.

This is the same thing I see with Direct Buy. They make all their profit (according to them) on the membership fees. So they profit without offering any type of service in return! This is not how good businesses are done. I would recommend holding onto your money and not getting locked into a single provider of a product or service. There might be a chance for savings, but that seems to be an exception and not the rule.
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#18 Consumer Comment

The numbers!

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

I wrote earlier and wanted to share some more of my information about the great saving (yeah right!) they claim you save. Floors- tiles 1.95per sqft. Direct Buy 2.36 same tile. Windows- window shop-$104.00 Direct buy 121.00 ( reatail price according to DB $193.00..carpet ( oh yeah I would have save) 3.83 per sq ft. Direct buy 3.80 per sq ft. Cabinets (from the representative who shared her plans and prices with us about her new kitchen) $2700...( plus the $100 dollars to sit the someone)$2800.00 our price $3000 but that's including the counter tops, sink and delievery. Saving? Not! They tell you how much you would have saved. I actually check it out while I was there and no saving for me! none.
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#19 Consumer Comment

Here's what helped us NOT join!

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

My husband and I went there today. And while all was very interesting we had some concerns. We are both real estate brokers WITH A CONSTRUCTION COMPANY who just purchased two homes. So this would have been perfect for us,, right? NOT!

Everytime we compared prices, whether it was windows, doors, floors, carpets, (cabinets that's another issue, because we HAVE to sit with someone who is going to charge $100 to draw your cabinet. We do that ourselves! now we have to pay someone to do it.

They lost me when she told me that!) we had a better deals elsewhere. We stayed there from 1:30 to 4:50pm comparing prices, doing the math on how long will it takes us to make our money back from the now $4235 membership price. On prices we was not sure about, we call our friends, (other contractors) who always beat direct buy prices.

So for all those people who saved a ton with direct buy, maybe you did, I couldn't, so I didn't... join that is. Seven years...it is worth the wait and I still have my money. One last advice.....compare the prices before you leave..call OTHER stores, contractors or people who just purchased thing for their house. Don't sign without knowing all the facts.

Even when you are buying a house(biggest investment ever) you have three days to think about it and cancel.

All that bull about why you have to decide before you leave.....THINK PEOPLE!
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#20 Consumer Comment

Ripped off By Direct Buy -Scottsdale also

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

Man I kicking myself for not checking this wedsite brfore I coughed up $3300 I have been a member for 8 months. Hate it!! Hate it!! Hate it!! Very poor customer service. Would not refund me very soon after I signed contract. EVERY ITEM I haved attempted to purchase would only save me a couple dollars or so meaning like 5 or 10 at this rate I will make my money back by the time Im 60!! and Im 23!! AND yes I do have a brand new 3300 square foot home that I furnished and decorated and Direct Buy was useless! The only use I got was a hard lesson. They threatened to throw me out and without a refund if I attempted to share my opinion with there "prospective members" while they are at their orientation. If I call for cust serv they do not call back If I go there they say they will help look for items and then ignore you. My advise shop at retail stores when ther are sales!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If anyone has a comment about the facility in Scottsdale AZ please let me know Id love to hear if you ha any type of compensation.
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#21 Consumer Comment

Direct Thieves - Stay Away From Direct Buy

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

Patty,

I don't know you, and you don't know me.

But if anyone cares to find out the truth, please investigate with the nassau county court clerk. Because I filed a suit against Direct Buy. This is now a matter of public record. Information which anyone can find out for themselves.

I have done alot of business with many companies. And Direct Buy is the only one I have ever had to take to court in my lifetime. This should tell everyone something about Direct Buy.

I would advise everyone to heed my warning before doing business with Direct Buy. They are liars and thieves.
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#22 Consumer Comment

why did you pick ugly cabinets?

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

I am sorry that you had a bad experience with your DB. My DB is DB of the palm beaches in west palm beach florida. By the way I am not an employee, I am a nurse that used to work at the Psyc facility in PSL florida that was demolished by the hurricanes, the psyc hosp closed down but you cant "close down your house" Everyone at my DB has been very supportive and helpful. please bear in mind when your home is almost totaled and everything in it is totaled it is a lot of work and a lot of details. The cabinets are from the Omega Dynasty line and I picked out the design and colors, If you have ugly cabinets why did you pick them out? If you Look up cabinets on consumers reports Omega is the highest rated. Maybe the palm beach DB is better than the one that you use. Which is too bad, I have been going there 2 times a week for the past month. and for several Hrs each because it takes time to do the calculations etc. There are always members in there working on their orders. They are 60 miles from my home and their facility didnt get the hurricanes as bad as I did. (I got a direct hit by frances and jeanne the only relief I had in the storms was when I was in the eye.) If you dont want to replace your stuff with high end stuff, DB is probably not for you. If you do not plan on making large purchases in the near future do not join. I was forced to be in that position because of the hurricanes, I was not forced into a membership.
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#23 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Direct Thieves. The people who say positive things about this company probably work for the company.

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

How can anyone possibly give Direct Buy a good response in this report?

The people who say positive things about this company probably work for the company.

Stay away from Direct Buy.

I had to take Direct Buy to Court.

That right there should tell you something.

If you are considering joing Direct Buy, take you're 3000 dollars and go do something better with it !

When someone offers you a really good deal, chances are they are full of crap!
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#24 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Direct Scam, Stay Away

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

I am a member of Direct Buy.

I have been scammed by this company.

You will not save any money with Direct Buy.

I lost over 8,000 dollars with Direct Buy.

Joining the club 3K+. Plus buying kitchen cabinets which were ugly and worhtless 5K+.

Sad but true.

Take your business elsewhere.
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#25 Consumer Comment

so far so good

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

I posted earlier, I am the one that lost everything in the hurricanes. Insurance is covering replacement of some of what I lost. I ordered a 13 piece bedroom set that retails at saks for 1350 (bedding, comforter.dustruffle, shams, sheet set, 3 decorative pillows, 2 euro pillows.) I even ordered the window treatments to match A very high end set, I got for $299 which will be covered. I would never pay 1350 for a luxury bedding set I would usually settle for the walmart bedinabag for $150ish. I also ordered a 4 piece sectional set for 5400 total including tax delivery etc. I saw this set at bloomingdales (same brand but they couldnt get the double cushion upgrade or the leather finish I wanted)(bloomingdales) They wanted 13000. Ins would pay for the 5400 but never the 13K. The brand of leather I am getting is a brand celebrities get in their gift baskets at the oscars. With out DB I would have to settle for a rooms to go caliber sectional that only has leather where it touches your skin. I am able to get a much much higher quality for the same money. If you dont have a lot of stuff or a high end item it may not pay to join. But so far I have saved about 9K, with is almost triple the cost of membership. The cabinet quote is pending from the manufacturer, their designer came and measured a couple of weeks ago she drew up the design (which is an improvement to the design I have of water saturated particle board) I will keep you all posted.
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#26 Consumer Comment

Wrong Numbers?

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

Jason;
In your post, you seem to be using some kind of "math of convenience". Your numbers are not based in any reality most of us share.
Just like the bizarro world cult like responses that congratulate themselves about being happy members and ridicule the people who were unhappy for not using their membership. Would you actually waste more money on higher priced merchandise from DirectBuy after you have wasted thousands to join specifically to save tons of money? Or settle for a third or fourth choice from the limited selection that DirectBuy has available for the moment? It's called throwing good money after bad and thought to be foolish.

And for those who post that people complain because they don't understand the "concept". That is a standard company line that should make you wonder "what the heck is that supposed to mean?" The concept is to promise consumers that they will save a lot money on a vast selection of merchandise. The membership comes with "first class" customer service and all the amenities of the club(whatever that is).
The realization to many members is that DirectBuy
cannot guarantee any savings or your choice of selection. Members often complain because DirectBuy prices are higher on merchandise they want, or that they found nothing they wished to buy. Or both. Then there are the numerous customer service issues...
What about understanding the "concept" would make those members feel better about spending several thousand dollars to join DirectBuy?

Why doesn't DirectBuy tell the members where the franchises are located who steal from their members. DirectBuy employees have posted about crooked franchisees in forums such as this one, but there has been no effort to help warn DirectBuy members or perspective members about the locations and the names of those criminals. Why not? Does this company thrive on dishonesty?
Friend
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#27 Consumer Suggestion

To Jane - We Got our Money Back!

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

Jane,

Just wanted to give you the update that we successfully got out of our contract. It was TOUGH. They want to make it difficult and they hope you will just give up (from what I have read at this site, many people have given up and written their money off - this seems like Direct Buy's best customer. Pay us thousands and then go away so we never have to waste our time providing any service to you).

I got $3,000 of my $3,500 membership price. I think I could have gotten it all, but I caved in at the end.

I filed with the state attorney general and the better business bureau. The AG complaint really got their attention. If they have violated Consumer Sales laws, then you really should file with the AG, because it's that person's job to investigate those complaints.

Food for thought!
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#28 Consumer Comment

Long time user

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

We have been members for many years, the original membership cost was $1000 for 3 years and now we pay a yearly renewal of roughly $150. There is no doubt about our savings over the years. We are retired now and not spending so much, but it still pays off. Last year we bought a new Ashley sofa and 2 recliners and the savings clearly exceeded the membership fee. Last month some new vinyl flooring at a saving of about $5 per sq. yd. and I didn't even visit the store, just to the flooring wholesale distributor. Now we are shopping for new dining room furniture. I totally agree that if you don't make major purchases or NEVER expect to, then you won't recover the up front costs. In our case, we didn't really buy a lot in the first few years, but when we did start making major purchases, we easily recovered the cost and then saved a lot of money.
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#29 Consumer Suggestion

To Jane In Chicago

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

I think we should all stand up for ourselves. I read through all these comments, and to those of you who are members and have saved, good for you. But it does not change the fact that this company uses deception to try to get everyone and anyone to join. They do not care if they can save one specific person money. If it's been less than two years since you joined, Jane, you can still sue the company for deceptive practices. I am currently trying to get out of my contract for that very reason.I wanted to remodel my kitchen, and in the presentation they showed us that we could save 50% or MORE off retail sales prices. The salesman said, here's the MSRP, here's the sales price at the retail store, and here is the Direct Buy price. It was quite a deal. Unfortunately, when I actually began to price things, I found that the retail prices on all cabinets are discounted by 50% or MORE, so that wittled the discount down to less than nothing (yes, factoring in the chunk of change I already paid the company). So, those of you who said you saved 50-60-70% off cabinets, I ask you, did you really get a quote from the retail stores? I did. My quote on high quality all plywood constructed cabinets at retail was $7,800 and my Direct Buy quote for high-quality cabinets was $10,879. Now, Direct Buy also showed me the "retail comparison" and according to them the retail price would have been over $32,000. Someone find me a retailer selling cabinets for that price!

You know how Progressive says, We'll give you our rates plus the rates . . ." They do that because they are a reputable company and IF they can save you money, they want to earn your business. If they can NOT save you money, they will tell you so honestly and send you on your way. This is all I would ask of the Direct Buy people. If you really offer savings on some stuff (which I ceratinly haven't found in my case), then great. Sell the membership to those who will truly benefit and be honest to those you know you can't help. Wouldn't that be a great day?
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#30 Consumer Suggestion

To Jane In Chicago

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

I think we should all stand up for ourselves. I read through all these comments, and to those of you who are members and have saved, good for you. But it does not change the fact that this company uses deception to try to get everyone and anyone to join. They do not care if they can save one specific person money. If it's been less than two years since you joined, Jane, you can still sue the company for deceptive practices. I am currently trying to get out of my contract for that very reason.I wanted to remodel my kitchen, and in the presentation they showed us that we could save 50% or MORE off retail sales prices. The salesman said, here's the MSRP, here's the sales price at the retail store, and here is the Direct Buy price. It was quite a deal. Unfortunately, when I actually began to price things, I found that the retail prices on all cabinets are discounted by 50% or MORE, so that wittled the discount down to less than nothing (yes, factoring in the chunk of change I already paid the company). So, those of you who said you saved 50-60-70% off cabinets, I ask you, did you really get a quote from the retail stores? I did. My quote on high quality all plywood constructed cabinets at retail was $7,800 and my Direct Buy quote for high-quality cabinets was $10,879. Now, Direct Buy also showed me the "retail comparison" and according to them the retail price would have been over $32,000. Someone find me a retailer selling cabinets for that price!

You know how Progressive says, We'll give you our rates plus the rates . . ." They do that because they are a reputable company and IF they can save you money, they want to earn your business. If they can NOT save you money, they will tell you so honestly and send you on your way. This is all I would ask of the Direct Buy people. If you really offer savings on some stuff (which I ceratinly haven't found in my case), then great. Sell the membership to those who will truly benefit and be honest to those you know you can't help. Wouldn't that be a great day?
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#31 Consumer Suggestion

To Jane In Chicago

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

I think we should all stand up for ourselves. I read through all these comments, and to those of you who are members and have saved, good for you. But it does not change the fact that this company uses deception to try to get everyone and anyone to join. They do not care if they can save one specific person money. If it's been less than two years since you joined, Jane, you can still sue the company for deceptive practices. I am currently trying to get out of my contract for that very reason.I wanted to remodel my kitchen, and in the presentation they showed us that we could save 50% or MORE off retail sales prices. The salesman said, here's the MSRP, here's the sales price at the retail store, and here is the Direct Buy price. It was quite a deal. Unfortunately, when I actually began to price things, I found that the retail prices on all cabinets are discounted by 50% or MORE, so that wittled the discount down to less than nothing (yes, factoring in the chunk of change I already paid the company). So, those of you who said you saved 50-60-70% off cabinets, I ask you, did you really get a quote from the retail stores? I did. My quote on high quality all plywood constructed cabinets at retail was $7,800 and my Direct Buy quote for high-quality cabinets was $10,879. Now, Direct Buy also showed me the "retail comparison" and according to them the retail price would have been over $32,000. Someone find me a retailer selling cabinets for that price!

You know how Progressive says, We'll give you our rates plus the rates . . ." They do that because they are a reputable company and IF they can save you money, they want to earn your business. If they can NOT save you money, they will tell you so honestly and send you on your way. This is all I would ask of the Direct Buy people. If you really offer savings on some stuff (which I ceratinly haven't found in my case), then great. Sell the membership to those who will truly benefit and be honest to those you know you can't help. Wouldn't that be a great day?
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#32 Consumer Suggestion

To Jane In Chicago

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

I think we should all stand up for ourselves. I read through all these comments, and to those of you who are members and have saved, good for you. But it does not change the fact that this company uses deception to try to get everyone and anyone to join. They do not care if they can save one specific person money. If it's been less than two years since you joined, Jane, you can still sue the company for deceptive practices. I am currently trying to get out of my contract for that very reason.I wanted to remodel my kitchen, and in the presentation they showed us that we could save 50% or MORE off retail sales prices. The salesman said, here's the MSRP, here's the sales price at the retail store, and here is the Direct Buy price. It was quite a deal. Unfortunately, when I actually began to price things, I found that the retail prices on all cabinets are discounted by 50% or MORE, so that wittled the discount down to less than nothing (yes, factoring in the chunk of change I already paid the company). So, those of you who said you saved 50-60-70% off cabinets, I ask you, did you really get a quote from the retail stores? I did. My quote on high quality all plywood constructed cabinets at retail was $7,800 and my Direct Buy quote for high-quality cabinets was $10,879. Now, Direct Buy also showed me the "retail comparison" and according to them the retail price would have been over $32,000. Someone find me a retailer selling cabinets for that price!

You know how Progressive says, We'll give you our rates plus the rates . . ." They do that because they are a reputable company and IF they can save you money, they want to earn your business. If they can NOT save you money, they will tell you so honestly and send you on your way. This is all I would ask of the Direct Buy people. If you really offer savings on some stuff (which I ceratinly haven't found in my case), then great. Sell the membership to those who will truly benefit and be honest to those you know you can't help. Wouldn't that be a great day?
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#33 Consumer Comment

hurricane trashed everything I have will report on direct buy later

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

Hurricanes frances and jeanne totally trashed my house and everything in it. I only have a shell needless to say I need alot of stuff and hopefully I will be able to get a fair deal when I replace my stuff. I need kitchen cabinets, the island, bathroom vanity, flooring, lights, you name it I need it. all furniture and major electronics as well as appliances. I need a lot of stuff and need a lot of stuff fast!!!!! (fast being within 6 months.) I will let you all know how it goes. If I can at least get the cabinets that I want in I feel that I will have gotten my moneys worth. I certainly do not want the particle board again. thanks patty
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#34 Consumer Comment

Jason & Darren - Glad to See You're Willing to Investigate Too

AUTHOR: Kimberly - (Canada)

Jason & Darren, thank you for reading my suggestion with an open mind. I agree with Darren when he states that if you aren't planning to purchase larger items or have a new house to furnish the membership money may be more valuable in your pocket. In the last 5 months I have spent roughly $9000 with Direct Buy. My appliances alone we saved $700 and got nicer ones than we would have originally been able to afford through a retail chain.

My rebuttal was mainly to give a hoorah to Direct Buy for offering this alternative shopping solution. It works for me and I can see it works for others in the same situation as I am. Purchasing for a new home. Mine is gorgeous thanks to the savings we've had. I have many people from our new neighbourhood asking to come for a visit because they've heard what we've done.

Enjoy your shopping!
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#35 Consumer Comment

Direct Buy - No RipOff!

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

My husband and I have had our membership fee returned to us many times over. At present we are remodeling our kitchen. The savings to us was to be able to purchase high quality cabinets at 70% off retail price. We did this in our former home as well. I have in the past purchase jewelry at about 40% off, toy box at about 50% off, carpeting at about 60% off retail. I needed to buy blinds for our bedroom, at Direct Buy I was able to purchase 2 sets for the price of one from the discount on-line blind sites. The membership renewal fee is also very low. True, that you can purchase small appliances at retailers for less. Larger appliances are bought at about $200 off retail price. The staff is always courteous and bends over backwards to help us. I am sorry for the unfortunate experience that the complaintant had with the Phoenix branch. But, if he would do the research and look through the catalogs in all the catagories, I know he would realize that he is wrong in his impression. The cabinets we are currently putting in cost less than Home Depots lowest quality cabinet. For that I am a happy camper.
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#36 Consumer Comment

An honest oppinion i would like to share my wisdom with you.

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

Hi. I have been reading this site as well as other sites regarding ucc for a few hours now and am seriously doubting my choice to join directbuy which i did a few months ago. So for all the victims and potential joiners i would like to share my wisdom with you.
First of all, many people have said but i would like to repeat it again, the joining price is very epensive (we paid $4200)and appears to be climbing quickly. Also the tactics are terrible in my oppinion. From the first moment you walk through the door the feeling i had was that it was a fraud trying very hard to charm its way into your pocket. The charming tactics by the way are excellent and the evidence they show you though minimal is very convincing. They pressure you from the first moment to join and threaten that if you walk away without joining the doors to UCC will forever be closed to you and you will be stuck being a consumer subjected to the inflated rediculous prices of retail. They have hundreds of catalogues with so called manufacturers secret prices in full view however they are not keen on allowing you to see any cattalogues unless you sign the contract or have a specific item you want to look up (item name, manufacturer, and the specific item number are required). For people like my fiance and I who went in there really prety uneducated regarding the whole process and did not have specific things we could compare, the sales pitch was the only thing to go buy. We fell for it and signed on the dotted line.
For those of you considering membership id like to share that they try to make you give all your personal information i.e. SS#, bank account #, employeer, etc.. My fiance gave his social and employeer but let them know that legally they are not allowed to require a bank account number. I refused to give my social or any personal information other than my name and address. So for those of you considering going I would strongly suggest walking in there educated and knowing ahead of time if this is for you. I would also suggest you bring a list of the top 10 big purchase items you wish to buy including the best price you were able to find (include shipping and tax) to be able to really make comparisons.
Now we joined because we are in the process of building a house however with our builder our flooring, kitchen, and appliances are already included in the price and so we can not benifit from purchasing those items with ucc. However when we signed we figured we could benifit by purchasing furniture, an outdoor spa, a fireplace, fine china, and a big screen tv. We listed our items to our sales-person and she spent an hour convincing us we would save at least $10k with those items alone. Afterwards i did the research, not quite the 10K she promised but if you read the contract ORAL PROMICES ARE MEANINGLESS. So here is some of my research that i would like to share with you. (Just to let you know we are not poor but we are far from wealthy. The home we are buying is 300K and the things we plan to purchase for the home are very middle class).

Here are some items you dont save enough on to make it worth while:
Diamonds (look online youll be amazed), small electronics, shoes/clothes, miscelaneous jewelry, small appliances, spas, fireplaces, inexpensive furniture, and the list goes on and on...

Items I found the savings on:
Movado wathces ($400 base price) for a watch i was going to buy for $650 with my friends whitehall 20%discount.
Mikasa china: if youre buying an entire set for say 8 people i think the savings were like 30% after all the charges which can really add up with mikasa or other fine china or even swarski crystal.
Large screen tv's: the sony model i was looking at was $2500 delivered and at abtelectronics.com which is in my oppinion one of the best priced stores to buy electronics the same tv was $3500. I mean same model number, size, etc. Another one i compared was also a similar price difference.
Furniture: The better the furniture the more you save from what i see.
Rugs: they try to tell you the difference here is huge i found that you can find nice rugs on sale elsewhere. If however you are buying quality rugs i.e. karastan there is some savings.
Some miscelaneous items we want for our home; an outdoor fireplace i found at an online discount website for $1450 is $950, a hot tub for 7 people that is on sale for $4500 online is $4000 with ucc but only $3000 on ebay with free shipping (brand new including manufacturers warranty). The other thing you must take into consideration is that with online purchasing if you are out-of-state you do not need to pay tax, which you must pay with direct buy along with aother fee all together without shipping in Chicago it adds up to 16%. So after tax and fees the misc. items ended up the same price or more with direct buy.
This has me thinking that some of the price ucc offers me cannot really be the true manufacturers price or how would these other online retailers stay in business?
So what is the conclusion? I dont really know. To be honest with you unless you are planning major major home remodeling including kitchens, flooring, bathrooms, furniture, etc. this is probably not worth it. Although you may save money on certain items you have no returns, a long wait and questionable savings. I wish i knew then what I know now because honestly I would not have joined. THe people i find who gain the most savings are those who have a lot of money and are pretty much building or remodeling their homes from scratch. Plus now with all of the online retailers there are so many deals to be found.
I hope this helps.
P.S. for those of you who have gone through this and broke your contract please let me know how to do that. We are currently on a monthly payment plan (at 19%) and have only payed $300 so far to them. Do you think we would have to go to court if we told them to keep the $300 and cancel our contract?
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#37 UPDATE Employee

NOT BAD ..Your numbers are near correct, however let me explain to you why they are wrong.

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

Dear previo0s respondent,....

Your numbers are near correct, however let me explain to you why they are wrong.

1. When members purchase. Your using a number of members that have joined over 32 years, that sales figure is per year. If you do the math correctly the average member purchase is over 7000 dollars per year. However this doesnt matter. The point that does matter is when members spend the most money which throws your numbers even farther out of wack. 90% of our members join because they are either building or doing large remodeling projects. They spend 80% of what they will spend at direct buy in the space of a few months, so perhaps in anygiven year only 250 000 of those memebrs are actually purchasing, wich drives the amount spent even farther up to around 15 000. This concept is a little too long to explain at this point and im tired of explaining a phenominal opportunity over and over again. The simple fact of the matter is retail stores make money off of you, how much? dpends on the price tag. If your a 300 dollar fridge and ikea cabinet kinda guy. no u will never save money at direct buy. However i have worked there for years and have been sincerely thanked by hubdreds of members and i have watched plenty of people save 20 30 even 40 or 50 thousand dollars
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#38 Consumer Suggestion

Keep it Simple they get sued frequently by members

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

Jason, et al,

A good indication of the value of joining this club would be found in the average yearly purchase $ made by members.

In a 1997 Wall Street journal Article, VP Jack Allen states that UCC/DB has about 500,000 members, he also states that the sales were about $75 million dollars. (An article about several franchisees who got fed up and sued UCC/DB, they get sued frequently by members, franchisees, attorney generals, etc)
If you divide the sales by the number of members, you get the average purchase, $150.

Your vice president basically indicates that members do not buy very much stuff from you. With the average purchase amount being so small, it's clear that most members never recoup their expensive membership fee.

The sales staff has claimed in 2003 that there were over 700,000 members. 1n 2003 Dunn and Bradstreet report that sales was about $113 million. The average member purchase is only around $161. Way to low for most members to ever see any value for the thousands it cost to join.

What's even worse, the incredibly low average purchase is not savings, but the total amout of money spent on the purchase, the amount of savings (if any) are a fraction of the tiny average.

I know that its your job to paint a pretty picture so that unsuspecting consumers will join based on what you tell them, but most members never recoup the money they spent by joining. Look at your average sales numbers. They will tell you!


The kick in the pants for all the members time and money spent is when UCC/DB fails to provide the selection or savings on merchandise as promised in the sales pitch, it's the member who forfeits the several thousand dollars in fees, not the company who failed to provide the services they sell.

When you say in your post "Thoese people easily would have saved 50,000 or more building with us."
You are of course, blowing more smoke in order to sell memberships. UCC/DB can not/will not guarantee any savings or selection and constantly fails to live up to their carefully scripted sales scheme.

Tip: Joining UCC/DB does not guarantee either selection or savings on merchandise. Member do not have an appreciable advantage over non-members when buying merchandise. If the club were as good as promised, why don't members buy more stuff through the club?
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#39 UPDATE Employee

many people i talk to on a daily basis who pass on the opportunity to come in when they are building 200,000 dollar homes

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

Lets start simply. I am a member of direct buy for 5 years, i have been an employee for 2 years.

1. Name Changes. UCC , UCC Total Home, United Consumers Club ,Direct Buy. UCC ACRONYM UNITED CONSUMERS CLUB. No name change, corporate has been called UCC for 32 years and will continue to be so. UCC TOTAL HOME "TOTAL HOME" IS BRANDING, somthing every company does. IT IS NOT THE NAME OF THE COMPANY. Direct Buy, NOT a name change. UCC is bound by a manufactures agreement not to advertise manufacures names or prices in anyway shape or form. 3 years ago that contract was modified to allow certain tv radio and print advertisements, thus DIRECT BUY again "branding" was born. A UCC club had to qualify to become a DirectBuy club, it was Incentive, not a deception tactic.UCC is and always will be listed with the BBB as UCC no name changes have taken effect. Your lack of knowledge in the marketing area caused your misconception, not UCC. This is comthing that every company on the planet does, companies you think you know are owned and operated by other corporations with comepletely different names.

POINT 2 - THE CONTRACT -

The contract is written in very easy to understand terms and is spelled out for you word by word. NOthing is buried or hidden, it cant be. THE WHOLE THING IS 2 pages long. If you did not read what you signed and some how missed the 3 day right of recision clause, then please can we meet? i have a contract for YOU to sign. Theres nothing much more to say about thius point. Its self explanatory.

POINT 3 -- Prices -

Lets start with things like electronics and other small end items being cheaper in stores. Number 1 sotores advertise somthing called loss leader items, they advertise a fridge at 249 to get you in the store. ONce your in they try and sell you the 2249 dollar model. Any business owner understands this concept. IN THE OPEN HOUSE YOU ARE TOLD, YOU MUST COMPARE APPLES TO APPLES. IF you are not talking about the exact same model and manufacturer than your point is mute. Notice i said SMALL electronics, plasma TV's have a HELL of a markup the savings at direct buy in that area is phenominal. Everything is relative, there is a lot more room for markup on a 3000 dollar price tag than 300. If your looking at a 300 dollar item in the store you cant expect to get it for 130, the store ITSELF paid more than that for it. MOst likely around 220. The markup on mid to high end furniture, cabinets, mid to high end bathroom fixtures , windoiw treatments, flooring all ASTRONOMICAL. I can show you 5000 different dining room sets that retail; at over 5000 that the cost is only 2300. Id say thats a hell of a savings. Same thing goes for cabinets easily as high as 60% markeup. Before you open you mouth and insert your foot on that one please MAKE SURE you are talking about quality cabinets, ALL WOOD, no particle board. IKEA does NOT sell quality furniture.....

For the real high end buy, direct buy will save you your membership 2 times on the purchase of a 14 000 dollar dining room set.

The average family who signs with direct buy saves their membership 10 times over within 10 years. If they are building, they save it 10 times over just in that house.

As far as most famlies not being able to afford spending 10 000 dollars in their home...they bought a home and 10 grand is on the low end for most familes purchasing a home. If you could not afford it then you never should have gotten through the door ,we have a screening process for that.

above and beyond pricing direct buy has a selection ( we carry EVERY product line a manufacturer has, not just 2 or 3 like a retail store) you could not browse if you went to every retail store in your state, not to mention almost everything you need. On top of that we have installer for everything we carry, convenience is simply a plus.


The savings is there people, for the smart shopper who understands that direct buy in not about what your going to buy tomorrow, but what your going to buy over aperiod of time.

FInal and last point.

8% handling fee, you have absolutely no idea how much expense directbuy incurs with wrong deliveries, damaged goods, and MEMMBER mistakes. Not to mention it costs money to inspect your merchandise FOR YOU. This 8% handling fee pays for that. Not to mention if you buy a 3700 bedroom set for 2200. you not only save 1500 of the top , you save about what you pay nfor the handling fee just on the TAX difference.

ALSO you keep talking about the OUTRAGEOUS membership price. Buddy, direct buy pays almost 600 dollars just to sell you that membership in franchise fees to corporate. ALSO it costs about 700 dollars per member in advertising costs to bring a member in. Factor in rent and standard business costs, the manpower needed to bring you through the door and your left witha pretty conservative 600 or 700 dollars in profit...


OK..really...last point. We dont use strong arm tactics....go try and view a timeshare THATS strong arming. We simply askyou to make a choice, the directbuy way or the retail way.

PS - the one night decision is part of the manufactures agreement, it was part of their requirements to work with us. Other wise, why would they?

Moral of the story is please know what they hell you are talking about before you start bad mouthing a company just because what they offered may not have fit your needs, maybe you dont buy 5000 dollar dining room sets..hell neither do i, mine was 300 bux at kmart. However there are plenty of people out there who do. I cant tell you how many people i talk to on a daily basis who pass on the opportunity to come in when they are building 200,000 dollar homes because they read a site similar to this one. Thoese people easily would have saved 50,000 or more building with us. They didnt get that chance because of you.

Thank you to those who offered support for us
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#40 Consumer Comment

Does it all add up?

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

Darren, I too sit here with my cup of coffee and look over numbers. These are the numbers you have used.

Spend Save % Savings $ Membership Net
$40,000 10% $4,000 $4,000 $0.00
$20,000 20% $4,000 $4,000 $0.00
$13,000 30% $4,000 $4,000 $0.00

I have been a member for about 3 months now, and I was choked up when I was told how much the membership fee was. But then I was told that this membership was good for 3 years. So essentially, my membership dues are $1125 per year.

So, using your figures above, per year:

Spend Save % Savings $ Membership Net
$11,250 10% $1,125 $0.00
$ 5,625 20% $1,125 $0.00
$ 3,750 30% $1,125 $0.00

Now, do most people spend $11,250 per year on stuff (furniture, appliances, etc...) Not necessarily. Do they spend $3,750 per year on that stuff? Probably. So, hopefully we are getting things at the higher discount. If you can afford $11,250 to purchase watches, or other small items that you will not realize a high discount on, then the membership fee probably isn't a problem for you. But, if you are like me, I want to save a higher percent on stuff that costs more.

Well, so far, it has been my experience that 40% percent more accurately represents my discounts.
My wife and I are going to realize most of our discounts immediately because we are remodeling our house.

Hardwood flooring:

Okrentz (San Antonio) $26,000
Direct Buy affiliate $14,200
--------
$12,200

Kitchen Appliances:

us-appliance.com $18,000 (cheapest retail I could find for appliances)
Direct Buy $10,500
--------
$ 7,500

Total so far: $19,700
- 1,125 yearly membership
-------
$18,575

ROI 1,651% or 16.51 times.

And we aren't done yet. We still have light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, and we are buying all new furniture (really big discount).

Sure, not many people are going to go out and spend over $11,000 in a year, so saving 10% to recoup your investment doesn't look appealing. But, the membership is for at least 3 years. So in actuality, at 10%, you are only spending about $3,700 a year in order to recoup your investment. But, I am fairly confident you will save between 30% - 40% on big-ticket items. (If you are not buying big-ticket items, then a quick math check in your head should have told you that Direct Buy was not for you)

Save 20% of at the retail store. Ok, well there is still 20% - 30% margin there that you are missing, also, I have seen too often where prices were increase a week before in order to reduce later for this big sale. Do yourself a favor (make it a game) whenever you see a sale sticker on top of the old price sticker, peal it back and look at it. I love doing this, because I often find that the sale price is actually same price that was previously on the item, or it is actually higher.

Anyway, this is all about math. If the math adds up for you, it's a no-brainer, if not, then again, a no-brainer. (By the way, a 1,651 ROI is any businessman's dream)

Thank you for your time,
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#41 Consumer Comment

Thanks Kimberly, just get my dander up when someone is a bully

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

Thanks Kimberly.

I am glad to hear that it worked for you. I also liked that you didn't see the need to look down on those that it didn't. I am not a member and never heard of this company before.

I just get my dander up when someone is a bully and I was replying to that rather than whether this company works.

Since I posted this a while ago I was listening to a consumer advocate on the radio and I went to his website and one of the sections he had there was on membership stores. There were the Sam's Clubs and all the others that charge about $45 a year.

He did mention the ones like this place. Where it is basically a catalog retailer. It was his opinion that they weren't worth it.

Sitting here with my cup of coffee and getting the webs out of my head I have to think... if it costs $4,000 over the life of the contract I would have to:
Spend Save % Savings $ Membership Net
$40,000 10% $4,000 $4,000 $0.00
$20,000 20% $4,000 $4,000 $0.00
$13,000 30% $4,000 $4,000 $0.00

Now, remember, I am still on my first cup of coffee, but looking above, I would have to find those kind of deals to just break even after paying the membership fees because the savings of $4,000 is needed just to cover the cost of the membership.

If I got it right... then it would benefit a person that is going to, for example, by $40,000 worth of stuff at at least a 20% discount to earn a real discount of 10%

Since many stores at holidays have 20% sales (which the customer gets the entire 20% without having to cover their membership overhead) throughout the year and very inexpensive delivery charges (or free) it would seem to me the best way to go.

Like I said, this method of purchasing may be good for some... but I don't see it as a valuable help to all the people that they get signed up with their high pressure sales tactics.

Thanks,
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#42 Consumer Comment

You need to be a smart shopper

AUTHOR: Kimberly - (Canada)

I have to start by saying I've been accussed of being a very over organized and anal person. Therefore, I'm an indepth shopper. I will research something for weeks, even months, in advance before spending my hard earned money.

I have purchased a new home (my second and much closer to my dream home) and found that though there are some things we can get more inexpensively at stores, we have saved our initial membership fees already. And I've only actually been purchasing for about 2 weeks.

I understand if you aren't going to take full advantage of shopping with UCC/Direct Buy that you aren't going to see much worth in it. But, for those of us who have a ton of shopping to do, overall it saves a ton of money.

Maybe I just have more time to research and investigate but I do recommend you do the same and you may see the benefit. I have confidently recommended them to close friends and family that I know would benefit and I wouldn't recommend them to those that wouldn't get the full value out of.

After our presentation I have to say we knew what to ask and read the contract thoroughly. Our representative was very upfront regarding the shipping and handling (freight as well) costs that were in addition to the cost prices.

I'm sorry that your experience with them has been so negative but I'm still a big supporter of them. Not sure how much I'll use them in 5 yrs time but I've at least gotten my value so far.
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#43 Consumer Comment

Thanks Derrick

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

Thanks for the less than sincere "Have a nice day." It motivated me to actually go and look at the links rather than just blow this off.

I found the links to be quite informative. I am sure that there was some other "sub-clause" that was CLEARLY (buried) in the contracts that you aren't allowed to read prior to agreeing to join. (Sarcasm is so much fun, isn't it?)

Speaking of facts... where were yours? Oh, the list of things that they DON'T do. I have no problem with that. Is it bulleted or in bold? Which clause? Maybe on a poster on the wall? What about the judge's statement that the requirement to inspect the products before you sign? After you sign for the product you are responsible if there is anything wrong within the package?

Anyway, I am sure that you are one of the people that this paradigm works for. Your attitude
presumes that you are able to afford and use the company in the manner in which it is set up. That is great and more power to you. Why would a company need to force customers to continue a relationship?

Or wait, that is right. No one is forcing them. They are just gonna have to pay $4,000 they were strong armed into. They then have the choice of using the service to (hopefully) recoup the money or write it off. Survival of the fittest. Right?

Relationships between stores and consumers should be based on trust and each one mutually benefitting from the other. Not clauses and sub-clauses in a contract that must be signed that night!

On this website there are always people being told to read the fine print or pay a lawyer to ensure that they know what they are getting into. Where is the opportunity to do that? Why should any shopping require a contract that can't be read by a lawyer?

You belittle and abuse customers that fell victim to high pressure sales tactics (they are very very good, arent they?) probably makes you feel good, huh? A little "holier than though"? Higher up on the food chain? Maybe a little taller?

I love the internet and websites such as this. For years and years the companies have been able to use and abuse consumers because they knew that there wasn't an effective means for injured consumers to do anything to them.I can understand from this perspective why you realy would hate these sites.

If you are tired of people claiming that they are victims... then maybe we should all work to make sure that companies aren't predators.

Darren
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#44 Consumer Comment

Thanks Derrick

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

Thanks for the less than sincere "Have a nice day." It motivated me to actually go and look at the links rather than just blow this off.

I found the links to be quite informative. I am sure that there was some other "sub-clause" that was CLEARLY (buried) in the contracts that you aren't allowed to read prior to agreeing to join. (Sarcasm is so much fun, isn't it?)

Speaking of facts... where were yours? Oh, the list of things that they DON'T do. I have no problem with that. Is it bulleted or in bold? Which clause? Maybe on a poster on the wall? What about the judge's statement that the requirement to inspect the products before you sign? After you sign for the product you are responsible if there is anything wrong within the package?

Anyway, I am sure that you are one of the people that this paradigm works for. Your attitude
presumes that you are able to afford and use the company in the manner in which it is set up. That is great and more power to you. Why would a company need to force customers to continue a relationship?

Or wait, that is right. No one is forcing them. They are just gonna have to pay $4,000 they were strong armed into. They then have the choice of using the service to (hopefully) recoup the money or write it off. Survival of the fittest. Right?

Relationships between stores and consumers should be based on trust and each one mutually benefitting from the other. Not clauses and sub-clauses in a contract that must be signed that night!

On this website there are always people being told to read the fine print or pay a lawyer to ensure that they know what they are getting into. Where is the opportunity to do that? Why should any shopping require a contract that can't be read by a lawyer?

You belittle and abuse customers that fell victim to high pressure sales tactics (they are very very good, arent they?) probably makes you feel good, huh? A little "holier than though"? Higher up on the food chain? Maybe a little taller?

I love the internet and websites such as this. For years and years the companies have been able to use and abuse consumers because they knew that there wasn't an effective means for injured consumers to do anything to them.I can understand from this perspective why you realy would hate these sites.

If you are tired of people claiming that they are victims... then maybe we should all work to make sure that companies aren't predators.

Darren
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#45 Consumer Comment

Thanks Derrick

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

Thanks for the less than sincere "Have a nice day." It motivated me to actually go and look at the links rather than just blow this off.

I found the links to be quite informative. I am sure that there was some other "sub-clause" that was CLEARLY (buried) in the contracts that you aren't allowed to read prior to agreeing to join. (Sarcasm is so much fun, isn't it?)

Speaking of facts... where were yours? Oh, the list of things that they DON'T do. I have no problem with that. Is it bulleted or in bold? Which clause? Maybe on a poster on the wall? What about the judge's statement that the requirement to inspect the products before you sign? After you sign for the product you are responsible if there is anything wrong within the package?

Anyway, I am sure that you are one of the people that this paradigm works for. Your attitude
presumes that you are able to afford and use the company in the manner in which it is set up. That is great and more power to you. Why would a company need to force customers to continue a relationship?

Or wait, that is right. No one is forcing them. They are just gonna have to pay $4,000 they were strong armed into. They then have the choice of using the service to (hopefully) recoup the money or write it off. Survival of the fittest. Right?

Relationships between stores and consumers should be based on trust and each one mutually benefitting from the other. Not clauses and sub-clauses in a contract that must be signed that night!

On this website there are always people being told to read the fine print or pay a lawyer to ensure that they know what they are getting into. Where is the opportunity to do that? Why should any shopping require a contract that can't be read by a lawyer?

You belittle and abuse customers that fell victim to high pressure sales tactics (they are very very good, arent they?) probably makes you feel good, huh? A little "holier than though"? Higher up on the food chain? Maybe a little taller?

I love the internet and websites such as this. For years and years the companies have been able to use and abuse consumers because they knew that there wasn't an effective means for injured consumers to do anything to them.I can understand from this perspective why you realy would hate these sites.

If you are tired of people claiming that they are victims... then maybe we should all work to make sure that companies aren't predators.

Darren
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#46 Consumer Comment

Thanks Derrick

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

Thanks for the less than sincere "Have a nice day." It motivated me to actually go and look at the links rather than just blow this off.

I found the links to be quite informative. I am sure that there was some other "sub-clause" that was CLEARLY (buried) in the contracts that you aren't allowed to read prior to agreeing to join. (Sarcasm is so much fun, isn't it?)

Speaking of facts... where were yours? Oh, the list of things that they DON'T do. I have no problem with that. Is it bulleted or in bold? Which clause? Maybe on a poster on the wall? What about the judge's statement that the requirement to inspect the products before you sign? After you sign for the product you are responsible if there is anything wrong within the package?

Anyway, I am sure that you are one of the people that this paradigm works for. Your attitude
presumes that you are able to afford and use the company in the manner in which it is set up. That is great and more power to you. Why would a company need to force customers to continue a relationship?

Or wait, that is right. No one is forcing them. They are just gonna have to pay $4,000 they were strong armed into. They then have the choice of using the service to (hopefully) recoup the money or write it off. Survival of the fittest. Right?

Relationships between stores and consumers should be based on trust and each one mutually benefitting from the other. Not clauses and sub-clauses in a contract that must be signed that night!

On this website there are always people being told to read the fine print or pay a lawyer to ensure that they know what they are getting into. Where is the opportunity to do that? Why should any shopping require a contract that can't be read by a lawyer?

You belittle and abuse customers that fell victim to high pressure sales tactics (they are very very good, arent they?) probably makes you feel good, huh? A little "holier than though"? Higher up on the food chain? Maybe a little taller?

I love the internet and websites such as this. For years and years the companies have been able to use and abuse consumers because they knew that there wasn't an effective means for injured consumers to do anything to them.I can understand from this perspective why you realy would hate these sites.

If you are tired of people claiming that they are victims... then maybe we should all work to make sure that companies aren't predators.

Darren
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#47 Consumer Comment

Reply to comment from Iva - Merrilville, Indiana

AUTHOR: Derrick - (Canada)

I have read all of your links in your reply and have a few comments.

1. I am happy with Ucc Total Homes/DirectBuy and as a smart consumer, use it as one of my many ways to get the best deals for me.

2. As far as your claim "BEWARE:
The contract specifically states:
There are no merchandise returns.
There are no refunds if not satisfied.
Merchandise is sold without warranty.
There is no after sale support or service." I just had my Braun shave break and had no problem getting the part repaired under warranty, so you are wrong and are telling stories.

3. The next time you cut and paste a whole bunch of links, try reading them all first, fully and completely.

4. Base your comments on facts not B.S.

I am personally disappointed that Ripoff report would let your comments be aired, especially when they had to do so much deleting to your rebuttal.

Have a nice day.
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#48 Consumer Comment

URL Links to More information about Directbuy - UCC Total home

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

Warning! Directbuy is a scam that use to go by the name UCC Totalhome. Before that they were known as United Consumers Club. They are trying to get consumers to buy a non-refundable, non-cancellable "membership" contract costing $3000 or more, payable in advance. You are led into this trap by thinking that by paying $3000 (or more) membership fee (in advance) that you will get better prices - that you will be able to buy at "cost." But there are no guarantees.

The National Post news article got it right when they reported:

"Another fine print stipulation stated: "No oral promises or statements not contained in this agreement shall bind or obligate the club."

News Net 5's expose on what was then UCC Totalhome (now DirectBuy) found out:

"But UCC's contract states: "No oral promises or statements not contained in this membership agreement are binding."

There are no guarantees that you will be buying at "cost" and there are no guarantees of savings whatsoever. Since the "membership" fee is non-refundable and non-cancellable, should you not realize any savings, oh well, too bad - no refunds!

Buyer beware this scam!

Here are some links to more information about them-

http://www.nationalpost.com/financialpost/story.html?id=19E244B1-7DD0-45A2-B66D-7883F94E1DB4

http://www.cbc.ca/consumers/market/files/services/ucc/

http://www.cbc.ca/consumers/market/video/programs%5f2001%5f02/ucc%5fqt%5f020306.html

http://www.newsnet5.com/news/335540/detail.html

http://www.wbz4.com/lyons/local%5fstory%5f063165203.html

http://www.startribune.com/stories/1229/4780642.html

http://archivesearch.wtnh.com/news/ct/ct090497.html

http://formeraboutguides.com/investingcanada/library/weekly/1999a/aa062399.htm

http://formeraboutguides.com/investingcanada/library/weekly/1999b/aa110499.htm

http://formeraboutguides.com/investingcanada/library/weekly/2000b/aa122100a.htm

[DELETED]

A NY court found the membership contract "grossly unconscionable" and that "Club membership is nothing more than a cleverly disguised method of selling nothing but hopes and dreams."

http://www.mlmlaw.com/library/cases/mlm/state/nyniemiec.htm

A Canadian court found the membership agreement untenable and unenforcable because it violated the Consumer Protection Act, the Sales of Goods Act, and The Trade Practice Act. Read this at at paragraphs 13-20 of the ruling.

http://www.provincialcourt.bc.ca/judgments/pc/2002/01/p02%5F0197.htm

Paragraph 8 is where they said they aren't required to give any service after the sale. Yes, see for yourself they used it in court to try to save themselves.

http://www.sconet.state.oh.us./rod/documents/2/2002/2002-ohio-3806.doc

UCC blames the member for the delay in receiving merchandise for over 4 months! Read it for yourself at paragraph number 33!

http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/rod/documents/2/2004/2004-ohio-2426.doc

Lawsuit shows lack of moral and ethical conduct by UCC/TH/DB franchisee Darryn Fossand.

http://www.lawlibrary.state.mn.us/archive/ctapun/0405/opa031376-0511.htm

BEWARE:
The contract specifically states:

There are no merchandise returns.
There are no refunds if not satisfied.
Merchandise is sold without warranty.
There is no after sale support or service.

DIRECTBUY FYI:
[DELETED]

MEMBERSHIP AGREEMENT - READ IT BEFORE YOU GO IN FOR THE PRESENTATION:

[DELETED]
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#49 Consumer Comment

We are happy with the service

AUTHOR: Derrick - (Canada)

I have read the reports on this site and agree that UCC Total Homes/Direct Buy is not for everyone. My wife and I have been members since 2000. We shop for the best price. On some things UCC Total Homes/Direct Buy just cannot be beat. On other things, like electronics, we can get a better deal from the retail stores. Living in Canada and ordering from UCC Total Homes/Direct Buy, we have to make sure that the great buy we are looking at, is not lost because of exchange rates(Canadian to U.S.). I have no problem recommending UCC Total Homes/Direct Buy to anyone. We are happy with the service that we receive from our franchise outlet.
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#50 Consumer Comment

We are happy with the service

AUTHOR: Derrick - (Canada)

I have read the reports on this site and agree that UCC Total Homes/Direct Buy is not for everyone. My wife and I have been members since 2000. We shop for the best price. On some things UCC Total Homes/Direct Buy just cannot be beat. On other things, like electronics, we can get a better deal from the retail stores. Living in Canada and ordering from UCC Total Homes/Direct Buy, we have to make sure that the great buy we are looking at, is not lost because of exchange rates(Canadian to U.S.). I have no problem recommending UCC Total Homes/Direct Buy to anyone. We are happy with the service that we receive from our franchise outlet.
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#51 Consumer Comment

We are happy with the service

AUTHOR: Derrick - (Canada)

I have read the reports on this site and agree that UCC Total Homes/Direct Buy is not for everyone. My wife and I have been members since 2000. We shop for the best price. On some things UCC Total Homes/Direct Buy just cannot be beat. On other things, like electronics, we can get a better deal from the retail stores. Living in Canada and ordering from UCC Total Homes/Direct Buy, we have to make sure that the great buy we are looking at, is not lost because of exchange rates(Canadian to U.S.). I have no problem recommending UCC Total Homes/Direct Buy to anyone. We are happy with the service that we receive from our franchise outlet.
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#52 Consumer Comment

We are happy with the service

AUTHOR: Derrick - (Canada)

I have read the reports on this site and agree that UCC Total Homes/Direct Buy is not for everyone. My wife and I have been members since 2000. We shop for the best price. On some things UCC Total Homes/Direct Buy just cannot be beat. On other things, like electronics, we can get a better deal from the retail stores. Living in Canada and ordering from UCC Total Homes/Direct Buy, we have to make sure that the great buy we are looking at, is not lost because of exchange rates(Canadian to U.S.). I have no problem recommending UCC Total Homes/Direct Buy to anyone. We are happy with the service that we receive from our franchise outlet.
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#53 REBUTTAL Individual responds

BIG TIME RIP OFF, They were right there every second until we paid

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

Everytime we call about buying something no even bothers to call us back. They were right there every second until we joined but now we make call after call and no one seems to want to be bothered. This has got to be the stupidist thing I ever did.
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#54 Consumer Comment

Member response - good and bad experiences

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

We have been a member for two years. We were remodeling and saved a lot of money on the remodel.

The prices are excellent, but the hard sell is crude. If we weren't saving more than the upfront fee, we would not have joined. Service leaves a lot to be desired, but I enjoy the furniture and kitchen cabinets far longer than the memory of the hassle I went through.

Overall, it is worth it, *especially* if you are furnishing a home or remodeling!! We wish we would have done it sooner and saved more.
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#55 Consumer Comment

Member response - good and bad experiences

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

We have been a member for two years. We were remodeling and saved a lot of money on the remodel.

The prices are excellent, but the hard sell is crude. If we weren't saving more than the upfront fee, we would not have joined. Service leaves a lot to be desired, but I enjoy the furniture and kitchen cabinets far longer than the memory of the hassle I went through.

Overall, it is worth it, *especially* if you are furnishing a home or remodeling!! We wish we would have done it sooner and saved more.
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#56 Consumer Comment

Member response - good and bad experiences

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

We have been a member for two years. We were remodeling and saved a lot of money on the remodel.

The prices are excellent, but the hard sell is crude. If we weren't saving more than the upfront fee, we would not have joined. Service leaves a lot to be desired, but I enjoy the furniture and kitchen cabinets far longer than the memory of the hassle I went through.

Overall, it is worth it, *especially* if you are furnishing a home or remodeling!! We wish we would have done it sooner and saved more.
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#57 UPDATE Employee

IT WORKS FOR ME. I agree that the tatics they use when you sign the contract is a bit crude. However..

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

I have been a memeber at UCC for the past ten years. I agree that the tatics they use when you sign the contract is a bit crude. However, I have used my membership and save alot especially on furniture. Before buying I compared the prices on the exact peices at local furniture stores and the saving through the club was significant. I have purchase sets by Universal Furniture, Lea (children furniture) and Pulaski. The transaction didn't always go well and sometimes the service at the club was less that desirable. Overall, the bottom line savings make the whole membership well worth it. This club is definately not for everyone, especially if you are not shopping for major items.
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#58 UPDATE Employee

IT WORKS FOR ME. I agree that the tatics they use when you sign the contract is a bit crude. However..

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

I have been a memeber at UCC for the past ten years. I agree that the tatics they use when you sign the contract is a bit crude. However, I have used my membership and save alot especially on furniture. Before buying I compared the prices on the exact peices at local furniture stores and the saving through the club was significant. I have purchase sets by Universal Furniture, Lea (children furniture) and Pulaski. The transaction didn't always go well and sometimes the service at the club was less that desirable. Overall, the bottom line savings make the whole membership well worth it. This club is definately not for everyone, especially if you are not shopping for major items.
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#59 UPDATE Employee

IT WORKS FOR ME. I agree that the tatics they use when you sign the contract is a bit crude. However..

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

I have been a memeber at UCC for the past ten years. I agree that the tatics they use when you sign the contract is a bit crude. However, I have used my membership and save alot especially on furniture. Before buying I compared the prices on the exact peices at local furniture stores and the saving through the club was significant. I have purchase sets by Universal Furniture, Lea (children furniture) and Pulaski. The transaction didn't always go well and sometimes the service at the club was less that desirable. Overall, the bottom line savings make the whole membership well worth it. This club is definately not for everyone, especially if you are not shopping for major items.
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#60 UPDATE Employee

IT WORKS FOR ME. I agree that the tatics they use when you sign the contract is a bit crude. However..

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

I have been a memeber at UCC for the past ten years. I agree that the tatics they use when you sign the contract is a bit crude. However, I have used my membership and save alot especially on furniture. Before buying I compared the prices on the exact peices at local furniture stores and the saving through the club was significant. I have purchase sets by Universal Furniture, Lea (children furniture) and Pulaski. The transaction didn't always go well and sometimes the service at the club was less that desirable. Overall, the bottom line savings make the whole membership well worth it. This club is definately not for everyone, especially if you are not shopping for major items.
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#61 Consumer Comment

Use it or lose it!

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

My husband and I joind UCC about six months ago and have nearly saved enough money to pay our membership fees already!

When we signed up we agreed that we would use UCC for everything we possibly could. It is great! We have saved so much money...

We bought three car seats for my son for the price of one.

Of course if you don't buy anything, you won't realize any savings and I am sorry to say
THAT IS YOUR FAULT.
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#62 Consumer Comment

UCC (PHOENIX) stay away

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

I have no doubt that UCC as a national club has it's merits and more than likely you will be able to find some of those bargains we all wish we could find. As stated in a previous rebuttal $10,000.00 worth of goods is not something everyone can afford. So I venture to say that the positive experience is more of the exception rather than the rule. Getting back to the original rip-off, I don't know how good or how bad the other franchises are handled or how they operate. My negative experience was specifically in Phoenix club.

The 3 day contract cancelation clause is there for everyone to be protected from shady characters or business practices. I have plenty of proof of the fact that I excercise my right to cancel as stipulated in their contract and they had flat out refuse to honor it.

To this day I am still battling them and their cronies. My advice was and still is for everyone to stay away from the UCC Total Homes of Phoenix Arizona.

Sincerely,
One who was taken advantage of.
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#63 UPDATE EX-employee responds

UCC TOTAL HOME - NOT SO BAD AT ALL!! (A real member)

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

We have been members since 1993 so I hope I can give you some insight.
First, you can save money through the club if you use it as a resource. If you joined and never use it, of course it is not worth it.

When I first joined, I was renting an apartment so I did not need to make significant purchases. So, I ended up buying things like Birthday presents and Christmas presents. I compared things like watches, roller-blades, and fishing rods. I definately saved money on those items, and sometimes, upgraded the quality.

About 6 months ago, we purchased a home. We have had terrific success with UCC. We purchased in excess of over $10,000 of merchandise from the club. Here are a few things we bought...mind you we compared everything in the store first...versus the best sale prices we could find.. and my wife and I are EXCELLENT shoppers.

200 Square Yards of Carpet- Retail- 34.00 sq/yard---- UCC Price(out the door) $17.00-- No way we would have purchased that high end carpet at the store.

Curio Cabinet- Compared at 4 different stores ( Pulaski to be exact)
Retail- $1,700
UCC- $600.00... Same d**n thing! Same model, wood, everything.

Do we buy everything from there? No. But, when we do buy these things, in our eyes, it is much better to know if we are actually getting a deal, even if we find it cheaper at a store. The club just gave us another option. I mean, the mark up in the stores is MUCH higher than you think and we have found the mark-up to be way higher than the initial membership..

Please don't think it has been a perfect experience, but, overall we have been able to buy things we may not have in the stores.

You need to goto many furniture, carpet, lighting, and jewelry store and do some apples vs. apples comparison. The only thing that does not have a major markup is small electronics, although we have saved on a carpet cleaner and Kitchen Aid mixer, and we really compared the prices of those things.

UCC does a good job and we are pretty happy with the service. Again, will the club beat any price, no. We found that out the hard way. But then again, stores have closeouts and typically, it is a lower quality item they advertise in the flyers. I like th option to purchase other things other than what the store has chosen for me to buy. For example, we had no idea RCA made over 40 different models of TVs. I mean, I go to Best Buy and I may see 5 RCAs, at most.

My advice, give it a chance.....We DEFINATELY SAVED THOUSANDS..but you have to use it.

Thanks!
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#64 UPDATE EX-employee responds

UCC TOTAL HOME - NOT SO BAD AT ALL!! (A real member)

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

We have been members since 1993 so I hope I can give you some insight.
First, you can save money through the club if you use it as a resource. If you joined and never use it, of course it is not worth it.

When I first joined, I was renting an apartment so I did not need to make significant purchases. So, I ended up buying things like Birthday presents and Christmas presents. I compared things like watches, roller-blades, and fishing rods. I definately saved money on those items, and sometimes, upgraded the quality.

About 6 months ago, we purchased a home. We have had terrific success with UCC. We purchased in excess of over $10,000 of merchandise from the club. Here are a few things we bought...mind you we compared everything in the store first...versus the best sale prices we could find.. and my wife and I are EXCELLENT shoppers.

200 Square Yards of Carpet- Retail- 34.00 sq/yard---- UCC Price(out the door) $17.00-- No way we would have purchased that high end carpet at the store.

Curio Cabinet- Compared at 4 different stores ( Pulaski to be exact)
Retail- $1,700
UCC- $600.00... Same d**n thing! Same model, wood, everything.

Do we buy everything from there? No. But, when we do buy these things, in our eyes, it is much better to know if we are actually getting a deal, even if we find it cheaper at a store. The club just gave us another option. I mean, the mark up in the stores is MUCH higher than you think and we have found the mark-up to be way higher than the initial membership..

Please don't think it has been a perfect experience, but, overall we have been able to buy things we may not have in the stores.

You need to goto many furniture, carpet, lighting, and jewelry store and do some apples vs. apples comparison. The only thing that does not have a major markup is small electronics, although we have saved on a carpet cleaner and Kitchen Aid mixer, and we really compared the prices of those things.

UCC does a good job and we are pretty happy with the service. Again, will the club beat any price, no. We found that out the hard way. But then again, stores have closeouts and typically, it is a lower quality item they advertise in the flyers. I like th option to purchase other things other than what the store has chosen for me to buy. For example, we had no idea RCA made over 40 different models of TVs. I mean, I go to Best Buy and I may see 5 RCAs, at most.

My advice, give it a chance.....We DEFINATELY SAVED THOUSANDS..but you have to use it.

Thanks!
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#65 0

AUTHOR: - ()

We all know that there are laws in this land of ours to protect us. One of those laws deals with the right to cancel a contract within the time period of 3 'BUSINESS DAYS'. UCC Total Homes have the power to ignore that law and even though that you are on the right side of the law, they will push it to the limit. If you give up you will end up paying on the canceled contract. I am still (4 months later) battling with this rip off artists. In short don't even bother to go to their warehouse, if you do you will live to regret it, I know I have.
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