• Report: #35624

Complaint Review: UCC TotalHome United Consumers Club

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  • Submitted: Tue, November 19, 2002
  • Updated: Wed, March 16, 2011

  • Reported By:Tampa FL
UCC TotalHome United Consumers Club
8450 Broadway Merrillville, IN 46410-6221 Merrillville, Indiana U.S.A.

UCC, TotalHome, United Consumers Club Longstanding Scheme To Defraud consumers ripoff fraud business Merrillville Indiana

*Consumer Comment: UCC / Directbuy is one of the best investments I have ever made

*Consumer Comment: Built my house and saved a ton with UCC

*Consumer Comment: After 14 Years, Still Thrilled with UCC!

*Consumer Comment: Member/Supplier Impressed with UCC

*Consumer Comment: Unhelpful responses

*Consumer Comment: Wow I Messed Up!

*UPDATE Employee: I agree! We as consumers are very used to being "ripped off" it is very hard for us to trust the corporate world anymore and for that I am sorry

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: Thank You for this website. You have saved my time and money and ...

*UPDATE Employee: You are definately as smart as I think you are.

*Consumer Comment: IF you claim lowest prices, why don't you guarantee lowest prices?

*UPDATE Employee: Ignorance is bliss.

*UPDATE Employee: you get what you pay for. If you buy a low end manufacturer you get a low end product.

*Consumer Comment: DBA Direct Buy Now...

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

*Consumer Comment: Very Happy

*Consumer Comment: Ucc not that Bad!

*UPDATE Employee: Get A Life

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United Consumers Club is a private member based consumer buying group. They offer to save members significant saving for items in and around the home. The focus is on furniture, decorating items, flooring, carpet and many other items.

They are a franchise type opperation with locations owned by individual franchisors, and other owned by head office.

Membership fees are in the $2500.00 plus range/plus annual renewals and are paid by members to gain access to the apparent manufactures catalogs.

Membership fees can vary from location to location depending on what the franchisee thinks the market will bear, the length and time of membership, and how the renewal plan is structured.

I am aware of the following related to this organization, based on dealings with the company. The company telephones consumers at random telling them they are 'Finalists' and will win at least two of several gifts for trying a key to a chevy trailblazer, which they are also told they may win to get them to their place of business for a sales pitch.

This is called a 'PR' call, then, a second 'booking' call is made to get the consumer into the showroom to close the sale of a $2,500.00+++ membership for future club benefits.

My concerns are that Americans and Canadians will continue to be damaged as follows:

UCC is involved with intentional and negligent misrepresentations, false advertising, bad faith, breach of contract, tortious conversion and unjust enrichment in response to a longstanding scheme to defraud.

Consumers are being telemarketed with the company name concealed, in violation of many local and nation ordinances.

The company is selling memberships in its buyers service for $2,500.00+++ for future services when it is contemplating bankruptcy, which knowingly may not allow it to complete its contracted obligations. However, the owners, specifically instruct their salesmen to state that 'corporate' will take over the franchise if it fails, when they know this will not happen and they will be left without recourse.

Members do not always receive top quality merchandise, in contradiction to the company sales pitch.

Members do not always pay the manufacturer's invoice price as they are guaranteed. Sometimes UCC marks it up in contradiction to what is told prospective memebers. And advertising and promotional fees from manufacturers are not rebated to the members.

Members' orders are not always timely and expeditiously processed as warranted. UCC is not prompt in responding to and rectifying complaints.

Members are over-charged on 'freight charges'. In many cases, the actual amount UCC is charging members for shipping is greater than the actual shipping charges charged by the carrier which shipped it, in contradiction to its statements to consumers during its sales pitch.

Members do not always receive their merchandise direct from the manufacturer as promised in the sales pitch. Indeed, many manufacturers which are showcased in the Manufacturer's Showroom Library and which members could order from do not know of any relationship with United Consumers Club or any of its affiliates whatsoever.

The entire product line of all manufacturers is not available to all members, and not all product lines are available at all UCC locations as claimed in the sales pitch.

UCC does not have over 800,000 members nationwide as claimed in its open house sales pitch. Direction Magazine, which is sent to every UCC member in Canada and the U.S. only has a total circulation of 210,000, according to documents provided by some of the manufacturers.

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.'

CBC-TV recently did a report on UCC Totalhome's 'astonishing policies' that has blown the lid of the UCC Total home membership scam.

regards

A
Tampa, Florida

Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on United Consumers

Read below why a phone number or link was removed from this Report

The reason why have removed links, e-mail addresses or phone numbers from this report is because people have, in the past, attempted the following, ...all too often.


Posting LINKS & e-mail addresses
Many times links to unknown web sites will cause the Freezing up of your pc and or causing you to get a computer virus, virtually rendering your computer useless. Most of the time, this is the work of the company or individual reported.

Many Government links are no better than BBB and are just a waste of time, giving you false hope. Many government sites (like the BBB) just suck in all information from you the consumer but never make the information available, so consumers will be educated as to what exactly they should be looking out for. On the other hand, many government agencies have and do come to the Rip-off Report for information. We have been assisting many government agencies for some time now, including the FBI and Attorney General offices from around the country..
Now that all these Rip-off Reports are out in the open for everyone to see, in a way, this embarrasses these agencies to now do something when they see so many reports on a company or individual, because they are now out in the open for all to see. Unfortunately, many (not all) Attorney General Office's and government agencies will not move against a rip-off unless there is going to be some sort of publicity on the rip-off. By reporting your experience on the Rip-off Report is the next best thing to getting your story on TV or in a newspaper. Most national TV networks and many local TV stations from all around the country come to the Rip-off Report for information they will not get from the BBB, Attorney Generals office or any other government agency. Rip-off Report has instigated many local and national stories, resulting in help for victims, in one way or another. Most government agencies will never even bother with rip-offs unless it involves $50,000 or more. Now that the government is cutting back even more, this number will even get higher and we can expect even less to get done, by even less people to work on all these rip-offs.

LAWYERS :
We have also struggled with the following for a long time..
The reason why we delete phone numbers, ..all too often unscrupulous lawyers or individuals posing as lawyers are collecting victims information to only further victimize them. Many times, well-meaning consumers think they are going to collect names and get them to a lawyer who will do something. In every case we have allowed other consumers to do this, nothing has ever came of it. Consumers were under the impression that something will be done to get them help. In every case this did nothing but lead the consumer on, further victimizing them, and some consumers were mad at us. We feel it is our responsibility to check the legitimacy of the lawyer before advertising their service on the Rip-off Report.

We will also not allow lawyers to use this web site for free when they will end up taking a large amount of fees, leaving the victim with very little. There are many competent lawyers out there that know how to get the unscrupulous companies or individual who ripped you off, to get their fees be paid by those who victimized you. Those are the lawyers who can post their numbers after checking with us here at the Rip-off Report.

E-mail Address = JUNK MAIL:
And many times, in an attempt to get your contact information, consumers will leave an email address; this is just a scam to sell a product or some other service.

..if they have something to sell, they should place an advertisement with Rip-off Report.com so we can further help consumers.

All advertisements are checked out to the best of our ability before allowing them to be placed on the Rip-off Report. WE have turned down many advertisers to date. Advertisers on the Rip-off Report know, they are not immune from a Rip-off Report being filed on them.

We welcome your feedback on this subject.
Click on the REBUTTAL BOX below and submit a Consumer Comment.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/19/2002 09:57 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/UCC-TotalHome-United-Consumers-Club/Merrillville-Indiana-46410/UCC-TotalHome-United-Consumers-Club-Longstanding-Scheme-To-Defraud-consumers-ripoff-frau-35624. 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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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

UCC / Directbuy is one of the best investments I have ever made

AUTHOR: Brice789 - (United States of America)

I have been a member of the United Consumers Club, now know as DirectBuy since 1993.  I have saved well over $25,000 by purchasing through this club.  I have furnished multiple homes, purchased jewelry, sporting goods, electronics and a variety of items though the club.  Recently I completely renovated my kitchen with new high end cabinets, granite cournter tops, new flooring and new lighting.  I saved at least $7,500 on that project alone.  UCC/DirectBuy is a fantastic organization and is well worth the money if you are at a stage in life where you still accumulating "stuff",  raising kids, or want to decorate that dream home.  I originally belonged to a club in Michigan,  transfered to a club in Illinois and then moved to a different club in Illinois when I moved,  and finally have been a member since 2005 in Tucson, AZ.  Although the internet has probably reduced the value of DirectBuy somewhat as consumers have unbelieveable access to information,  it is still an excellent value and we will continue to renew! 
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#2 Consumer Comment

Built my house and saved a ton with UCC

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

Found the sales pitch pushy, but being in the process of building my home I took a chance. Needed everything, and figured that if they were full of bologna I would do a chargeback on the credit card and be protected ($1500 at the time)
Bought carpeting, all my lighting, tons of furniture, and some power tools. Saved 50% on most things compared to DISCOUNTED prices of identical items at building suppliers.

Thought they could have been less vague at selling time with potential savings. If you don't need a lot of stuff, don't join. You'll never make up the initiation with the savings. Being that they only make money on memberships, they are under pressure to keep signing new people up, and I am sure they hook people that shouldn't be there. Big savings only in certain categories.
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#3 Consumer Comment

After 14 Years, Still Thrilled with UCC!

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

I can see how people who take things out of context can misinterpret many things and cheat themselves out of a wonderful experience. In addition, they so convince themselves that the company is so terrible, they think nothing of deterring other people from deriving benefits as well.

We have belonged to several different UCC franchises, due to our many relocations. Our first was Westchester County, NY, which we joined early in 1992, having just moved into an old house that required renovation. The membership at that time was $1200 for the first TWO YEARS! We were so scared. We really thought we might be making a mistake. The first things we ordered were window treatments and blinds and we saved so much money, even over the deeply discounted prices we got everywhere else, that it more than paid for our two-year membership.

We then graduated to major furniture, oriental rugs, chandoliers, etc. We have furnished five houses through several UCCs and every time we moved, we sold our scratched and/or soiled furniture for more than we paid for it years earlier. I furnished my daughter's apartment while she was in college, and we made money four years later when we sold it all, and it was NOT in great condition.

The reason you have to join on your Open House visit and you can't take a week to think about it is as follows: they don't want you going out to the stores afterwards and telling the merchants that you could join a club where you can buy it for $XXX and try to get them to match your price. Obviously the store cannot match UCCs price and it causes many problems between the retail stores and the manufacturers.

Before we went to our Open House, they told us to do our shopping, get our prices, and check out the catalogues in the showroom. They let us stay as long as we wanted to, to be sure to look at all the catalogues we chose to.

In our latest house, we priced upgraded kitchen cabinets with the builder. What we chose would have cost $39,000 -- just for better doors and drawer fronts! The insides were still going to be white melamine. When we priced our kitchen through UCC, we chose exactly the same cabinets and finish as the builder had, but we got even MORE upgrades. And the cabinets are completely made from wood, with fabulous hardwood drawers and pullouts. Our final cost, delivered to our house, and installed was $15,000. The UCC consultant helped us tremendously. The cabinet manufacturer sent us drawings and suggestions and the experience was fantastic.

As far as their contract goes, it definitely says that oral representations do not form part of the contract. So does every other contract I have ever signed. Try reading an Offer to Purchase real estate, or any other contract. You still have a few days to change your mind.

Businesses are owned and operated by individuals. Mistakes are made. It happens. But I can honestly say that over the 14 years, we have had one major mistake, which they corrected, and maybe one minor mistake that created an inconvenience. We have saved tens of thousands of dollars and have been able to buy higher end items than we could have had we bought from a retail store.

Not one of our friends have joined UCC, even when they were building houses and going to need everything, and even after seeing everything we bought and knew how little we paid. Some people just can't trust something that sounds so good. It is their loss. We have loved it, but you do have to learn how to use it properly. After the first two years, our membership was $95 per year for the next 8 years. Boy, did we get our money's worth!

Good luck to all.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Member/Supplier Impressed with UCC

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

I became a member of UCC about 15 years ago. The membership fee was about $1,000 then. Soon afterwards I bought all my kitchen cabinets. The price I paid for them through UCC was $2,200. The quote I had received the day before from an 84 Lumber store with a "35% off" sale for the same cabinets was $4,400. The price discount listed in the catalogue - supplied by the manufacturer was 65%. The cabinets arrived on time, undamaged and are still in my kitchen. I have since bought jewelry, a surround sound system and few other items. I bought a pearl necklace for $250 (the retail price listed on the manufacturer's website was $750) on 12/15/2005 and received it 12/21/2005. Very quick.

Three years ago, I became a supplier to UCC. My experience as a supplier has been VERY positive. First, I supply all the samples and catalogues. Second, I am required to supply THE SAME SAMPLES, CATALOGUE AND PRICES for every site in the United States. Since I don't currently ship to Canada, my products are not available there yet (I will be offering them in Canada within the year). Third, the prices that I charge UCC for my products are the prices listed in my catalogue. They cannot "jack up" the price without replacing the price list I sent to them (I have visited a few sites, and my price list is the only price list in my brochure). Fourth, I ship the products ordered directly to the local UCC site where the customer ordered the products.

I am unsure where the detractors are getting their information, but very little of it matches my personal experiences in working directly with UCC.

Dan Goodell
President
Panda Surfaces
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#5 Consumer Comment

Unhelpful responses

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

Comments like, "get a life," and "grow up" are not constructive. While the writer may be sincere in his or her belief that UCC is a good company, obviously the claimant has had a bad experience. A more mature response is in order.

I believe that UCC intends to offer discounts. However, the reality for many of us is that we were pressured into a quick decision in an overheated room, late in the evening with promises of percentage discounts. We were not allowed to look at what we were purchasing. I thought I was incapable of being so foolish, but it turns out that heat and exhaustion does the trick...and I paid considerably more than any of you.

In the year that I've been a member of UCC, I've not found a SINGLE item that I couldn't get retail for a better price. Each of these items was represented as being available from UCC at a substantial discount over the lowest available retail price, even after shipping and surcharges. Every item was discussed extensively with the sales person, who gave us ballpark percentage discount for each specific item. None of it has turned out to be true.

The fact that the company is not willing to stand by its claims and offer refunds should tell anyone everything they need to know...and I think I have a life, and am quite mature, thank you.
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#6 Consumer Comment

Wow I Messed Up!

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

I had went to one of these open House and felt that if I didn't get a membership right then and there I would loose out. I live in an apartment and in need of some new things so I thought this would be the best place to save money...After reading all the post here..I am not to sure!

I just started my payments in March & now I feel that I am going to be in debt for this 3500..due to I dont have a house..& I can't get my money back or cancel the contract...A disability income is all I receive..Did I messed up ?
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#7 UPDATE Employee

I agree! We as consumers are very used to being "ripped off" it is very hard for us to trust the corporate world anymore and for that I am sorry

AUTHOR: Lou - (Canada)

I have read your entry and agree with you. Pretty much everything you have written is very true.

You state that when you mentioned that you were not building your house until late September the D/B rep told you that "perhaps this is not a good time for you" (or something like that)There is a good reason for that.

Our memberships do expire unless you decide to renew. (fees for renewal are not the same as the cost of the original membership)
The D/B rep wanted for you to make sure that you got the most out of your membership for the most time possible.

Let's say that you had purchased a membership today but did not use the services until mid to late September, You would have paid for a membership that you would not be using just yet instead of being able to use your membership right away.

If you sign up for a membership when it is needed than YOUR time and money is NOT wasted.
The other D/B rep did offer you the pass because you stated that you WOULD be using it right away.
This makes perfect sense.

Also it stands to reason that other companies, banks, shops and discount outlets would be more than happy to take your money right away.
If you think about it after knowing what I have entered maybe you feel a little differently about the reasons why we did NOT want you to purchase a membership just yet.

There is a reason why our reps are not to give the costs of the memberships or even an approximate cost during trade shows.
There is no denying that yes the memberships are not cheap, if you were to be told the cost of the membership without sitting through one of our open houses of course you would think "screw that man, this doesn't sound right".
We try to inform people as much as possible before they decide if they want a membership or not.

After sitting through an open house you will find it easier to decide if this is for you or not.

Other people DO want your money right away but if this is not for you, or if it seems to our reps that this would not be economic for you than no, we do NOT want your money.

We want our members to be people that can use the services.

It is not acceptable if people buy a membership and not use it.
It is not good business.
Most of our members are business men like yourself, and I think that suggests that they are not naive people.

Lucky yes, but not naive.
Putting us in the same catagory as telephone solicitors is not really fare.
People on the phone are faceless entities which make it easier for people like yourself to not trust.

We would rather you SEE our faces and walk around our showroom and learn as much as you can about us before you make a decission.
We invite you to speak with other members if you wish.

I certainly hope that I have explained that we do not do business for the sake of doing business.

We make it as honest as we possibly can and if that means us NOT accepting your money then well...I guess that says it right there.

We as consumers are very used to being "ripped off" it is very hard for us to trust the corporate world anymore and for that I am sorry.
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#8 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Thank You for this website. You have saved my time and money and ...

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

We are at the early stage of building our dream home and has submitted for town permit just last month. In shopping for home improvement ideas, me and my wife came across Directbuy twice last year at two home shows. Each time they have denied my visitor pass once they learned my house won't be done unitl next September'05. I decided to find out why and go to a different home show in Long Island, New York today. At the Directbuy booth I altered my story and say I need my furniture now and got my visitor pass in a week. But I am still angry and skeptical. I am a professional with high paying job. Companies, banks, shops, and discount outlet chains would love to have me as their consumer or member regardless of when I am going to shop. But why does Directbuy has to pre-qualify me based on do I have an immediate needs or not. Sound so suspicous. At the show, another couple asked the saleswoman what is the approximate membership fee. The saleswoman insisted she would not give out any membership fee info even an approximate figure. What is the secrecy here? Do they have something to hide or one wrong move could spoil their scam?
I have no bias to Directbuy before except a little suspicous and skeptical that could it be another Telemarketing style company. I only come across this website today. It is my wildest dream to learn that there are so many complaints and rebuttals on this subject company. After reading most of these war stories, I have to agree that I cannot trust and risk my hard earned money on this company. There could be success stories to some lucky ones but definitely this company is not for everyone especially the innocent and naive people. I would rather pay that extra money to get reliable customer services, be able to get refund or return of merchandise and still have a happy face to do business with the next time.
Thank you and thank you so much for this website. I also agree the local BBB is useless. Your website is so invaluable that from now on, I will monitor it for every of my project and recommend to many others.
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#9 UPDATE Employee

You are definately as smart as I think you are.

AUTHOR: Lou - (Canada)

You are not giving the readers enough credit. I'm sure that you are aware that all of the people on this site are consumers and therefore know how the business world works.
The readers are aware of the high volume deals. Of course mfr's order product in high volume and you are right when you state that this is how they can offer a low price.

There is STILL a mark-up. WE (as you are well aware) are not a retail outlet and do not keep product in stock. We do not order in high volume because we cannot assume what it is that our member's will order.

Everything in our warehouses are items that have already been sold. Not items that are waiting to be sold. Just like us, you cannot change what the mfr price may be for their product. (just imagine the number of new friends you would have)
Just to back it up a bit, The "forking over" comment is quite amusing.

Let me explain to you once more, Retail outlets make money by purchasing product (at cost) and selling (after mark-up)to the public. I can appreciate that because that is how they do business. (as dishonest as some of it may be sometimes)We make our money by selling memberships. This is business as well. THIS is how we make money.

Our company progresses through new memberships and not by selling product. If our members made no purchases whatsoever we would still be in business because we only make profit on the "forked over" memberships.
The handling fees are what pays my salary. (not gonna work for free!)


Of course there are shipping costs. No mfr is going to ship out product on their dime. (you knew that though 'cause you're really smart)
The comment you made about paying to have product shipped to mbr's homes is um...uh...hmm...not true! (you knew that though)

The only product that is shipped to a mbr's home (from a mfr) are appliances. It is not at a cost of 10 or 15 percent. It is a cost of 10 or 15 dollars. Also a mfr will only deliver within the center's city and not past the perimeter. If a member lives outside the city and they cannot pick-up their order, I arrange a c.o.d. delivery for them.

We do NOT have our own delivery service (that means no profit on delivery). I call trucking companies and have them bid on the job. (that means the lowest price)

As for the non-refundable memberships...Let's say you (because I like you) buy a membership, use our service, order a bunch of stuff, have a kitchen designed for you(for free), and then ask for you money back that you paid for your membership. Does that seem fair? Our member's WILL have their membership refunded if they decide (within 3 days) that this is not for them. Most of our new member's place orders on their first day. This seems pretty reasonable does it not?

The "careful shopping" that you mentioned (if the readers could back up to that comment for a moment please) This does not include your friends or family building your house for a case of beer.

The "experience as a member" comment also leads me to believe that you have used our service. Now unless you have had a bad experience with your first order why do you have such issues with our company? Your "experience as a member" statement? does that mean you were a member for awhile or just for a few days? Have you used our service for awhile and not have your membership refunded. please, I would like to know (as well as some readers)how long you were a member for? YOUR answer will answer some of OUR questions. (a former owner maybe?)

If you were a member for just a few days/months then why do you claim to know so much? (a former employee maybe?)

If you have been a member for longer than a few days/months than that leads me (and some readers) to believe that you HAVE used our service and therefore have justified not being refunded.
Yup, It is painfully obviouse that you ARE either a former owner or employee that has been booted out due to your not being a very honest person.

I (as well as our readers) await your next entry.
I hope it is full of information on how (you claim) this company works.

I think you would sound more credible if you started all of your comments with "I think"
I hope you keep my interest regarding these issues. Please remember, The same comments over and over do get kind of boring.
If your going to make stuff up, make it more colorful.
Hugs and Kisses
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#10 Consumer Comment

IF you claim lowest prices, why don't you guarantee lowest prices?

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

Lou posts "Be honest. price things out yourself. Then come down here and find out the truth. You'll be surprised!"

However DirectBuy and honest seem to be opposite ends of the universe. Look through the DirectBuy sales peoples posts and see just what sort of "honesty" can be found.

Lou says "Nobody is going to sell you anything for less than zero! NOBODY!
Zero mark-up means just that."

Then he doesn't tell you that you prepay the DirectBuy markup the first time by forking over $3500 -$5500 right off the bat.
That's right you prepay all that markup whether you buy anything at all or not. Then you pay more markup with the "handling fees: add another 8%+. Then you pay a third time for markup when you pay for shipping: Add another 10%-15%. Then if you want that large piece of furniture or appliance delivered to your house, add on another markup!

Lou also doesn't want you to know that when stores buy in volume (like 1000 TV's) their cost per TV is much, much lower than DirectBuy (1 TV at a time). Do a search for "volume discounts" and you will see how dishonest Lou is for trying to manipulate people that way. Lou and the other posters who ant you to believe that it will save you money if you are remodeling or building a home are not being honest either. My experience as a member has shown that my careful shopping beat all the DirectBuy prices (apples to apples).

Another way DirectBuy is dishonest is when they deliberately post information they know is not true for the purpose of discredtiting those who point out their failings. Such as in this Rip Off report;
http://badbusinessbureau.com/reports/ripoff59798.htm

Two DirectBuy employees are spinning yarns on that post. One employee lies about how DirectBuy was adding 30-40 new locations last year (didn't happen) and other such things to entice more flies to the web and the other employee repeats the lies about me being a franchise who steals from members. Since I am not one of the franchisees who steals from members, those crooked franchisees may still be out there waiting for more members to fleece.

With such a problem with the truth, no wonder DirectBuy resorts to dishonesty in order to sell more of those non-reundable memberships.

If they want to sell the memberships based on lowest prices, Why don't they guarantee lowest prices? When it comes down to putting their money where their mouth is, DirectBuy skulks away and tries to hide behind the smoke and mirrors of their sales pitch.
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#11 UPDATE Employee

Ignorance is bliss.

AUTHOR: Lou - (Canada)

OK, Here's the deal.
I have been working at DirectBuy (also known as UCC)for about 3 years now.
I fancy myself a pretty honest person and promote the importance of honesty to my kids.
I have left many jobs due to their being elements of dishonesty (which I have no time for)
I have yet to find anything dishonest about my workplace just yet.
If I do have a problem with the way things are done here then I will simply up and leave.
What some (not all) people don't understand is that no matter where you shop or (to some extent) who you know, Nobody is going to sell you anything for less than zero! NOBODY!
Zero mark-up means just that.
DirectBuy makes absolutely no profit on the merchandise that is purchased through the center.
Of course there is a membership fee, this is what we call "business".
No matter how nice it would be, we simply could not be in business if it were not for the memberships.
If the fees are too much, don't join.
What has yet to be mentioned here is that there is no hidden agenda.
People who are invited to any open house presentation for whatever reason should be expected to spend a few hours learning about how things are done. (I'm sure the fellow who initiated this particular conversation has been to a tupperware party or two).
If it is not understood how we do business than how could it possibly be explained in a few minutes?
Of course it will take some time to give prospective members as much information as possible before they decide to join.
I could understand that if it were a 15 minute presentation someone would have many questions. Most questions ARE answered in more detail through the videos.
I will say it as plain as day to whomever may be thinking about becoming members,
This is a great opportinity to save tens of thousands of dollars if you are building a new home or renovating your current home.
If you plan on buying a few things here and there (like a radio or a toothbrush) then don't join.
Don't rely on what it is you read here (my perspective or someone elses).
Go out and find out for yourself.
Shop around at retail outlets, find out the prices of certain items. Be honest to yourself, When you find out what the mark-up is on ALL merchandise you will become very ill.
Our members know the REAL price.
To simplify it...Whatever it costs your favorite retail outlet to buy something before they sell it to you. That's what YOU would pay.
There are handling fees on "some" orders so that guys like me can get paid for doing his job.
I am the warehouse supervisor and I spend everyday making sure that our members are not buying defective merchandise or items that may have mfr flaws. (no scratch and dent sales here buddy, no scratches and dents to begin with!)
My job is to make sure that our members get the most out of the services that we offer. eg: deliveries, warranty issues...
Be honest. price things out yourself. Then come down here and find out the truth. You'll be surprised!
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#12 UPDATE Employee

you get what you pay for. If you buy a low end manufacturer you get a low end product.

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

ok i posted a long ang lengthy explanation in the previous complaint. This one i will keep simple.

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.

last point -

there is no secretive catalog, a direct buy franchise comes with a stanard amount of 750 manufactures per location. Some centers have around 800 or 850. The catalogs in the store are the exact same catalogs a purchasing agent or store owner would buy from. The public does not have access to these, and never will. Even if you managed to some how obtain all thr catalogs for all 750 manufactures, which would total a few thousand different catalogs. YOU WOULDNT BE ABLE TO DO ANYTHING WITH THEM. A manufacturer will not sell to the public, try it..call pensylvania house directly ask to buy some furniture. They will refer you to your local retailer.

as far as not receiving quality merchandise, you get what you pay for. If you buy a low end manufacturer you get a low end product. JUST as you would ina retail store.

please read previous post for more information
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#13 Consumer Comment

DBA Direct Buy Now...

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

I caught this commercial on television a short time ago, and wanted to make others aware that the "club" is also known as "Direct Buy", and is an infomercial now broadcast in the U.S.

Offers the exact same promises, the exact same sales pitch, the secretive meeting location for an open house, the "high-pressure pitch" to get you in, and the same smiling, happy promoters.

Be advised, again, that United Consumers Club is also doing business as "Direct Buy".

ALSO be advised, I will find a way to get my hands on that "secret catalog" they keep talking about, and when I do, I will have it available on the internet post-haste.

Everyone seems so happy to bilk others out of thousands of dollars and leave them poor and destitute. I plan to do something about that.
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#14 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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#15 Consumer Comment

Very Happy

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

I belonged to UCC in the early 80's and just am re joining now. When you buy anything you shop around. Not everything is always at WalMart or Sams etc. Best Buy or Discount tires-so I use UCC as just another source to buy goods for home or business. . they are not always the cheapest, so what-- but when you buy a big ticket item that isn't a promo item from a manufacturer from UCC you always hit a home run. Period !!! Grow up.
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#16 Consumer Comment

Ucc not that Bad!

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

Found your site while searching for the UCC web site. My wife and I paid $1200- $1500 to join, not quite sure as it was probably 5 years ago. The reports I read here sound like they are from someone that has never used the service. I have spent tens of thousands of dollars bought items for 3 new homes etc. and have never had a problem with UCC. I've gotten to know many of the employees over the years, some come and go but all have been very honest, helpful and very pleasant. They have helped me get refunds from manufactures or more often replaced damaged items. I remember having to replace a couple broken Kohler plumbing fixtures and they have returned items that were the wrong color etc.always at someone elses expense, not mine.
Today I bought a Garmin GPS at UCC (now called Direct Buy) for $400 less than the local retailer had it up for sale for. I have never bought a major appliance since the appliance market is so competitive I always chose to buy from someone that delivers and probably for about the same price. My wife and I have bought 100's of items from lamps and rugs to sailboats and Kayaks, and have never been "Ripped Off".
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#17 UPDATE Employee

Get A Life

AUTHOR: Sasha - (Canada)

My name is Sasha McKinnan and i work for UCC Totalhome in Halifax, NS, CAN. I have worked there for four months and have nothing but good things to say about them. I have personally signed up members and i AM NOT interested in ripping them off. Not only that but we do not allow un-quality merchandise to leave the center and our members are quite pleased. Prehaps there were some problems at other centers, i can only speak for my own, but don't you think you're taking this a bit too far. You're just perpetrating the expression "the few ruin it for the many". It's too bad that because of a few "ignorant" people, many may have to miss out on a life-altering oppertunity.
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