• Report: #89779

Complaint Review: United Consumers Club

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  • Submitted: Sat, May 01, 2004
  • Updated: Fri, July 31, 2009

  • Reported By:PARKESBURG Pennsylvania
United Consumers Club
www.ucctotalhome.com/ Nationwide U.S.A.

United Consumers Club (James Gagan) rip-off! They've gotten rich on the backs of needy people. Nationwide

*Consumer Comment: Very happy I signed up

*UPDATE Employee: re: shipping area

*Consumer Comment: Direct Buy(er) Beware

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Directbuy Info Before You Buy

*Consumer Comment: I AM LONG STANDING MEMBER...DIRECT BUY IS A SCAM

*Consumer Comment: I AM LONG STANDING MEMBER...DIRECT BUY IS A SCAM

*Consumer Comment: I AM LONG STANDING MEMBER...DIRECT BUY IS A SCAM

*Consumer Comment: I AM LONG STANDING MEMBER...DIRECT BUY IS A SCAM

*Consumer Comment: Uneducated Responses

*Consumer Comment: Questioning a direct buy rebuttal

*UPDATE Employee: very sad

*Consumer Comment: Minnesota horrible experience

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Direct Buy

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Direct Buy

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Direct Buy

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Direct Buy

*Consumer Comment: UCC can be OK if...

*Consumer Comment: Talk to Members of DirectBuy/UCC Total Home!

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I don't remember when I joined United Consumers Club or where I was living at the time. I have recently been clearing out my files and found a brochure for them and felt the need to vent about them.

My membership was over $700 as I remember. I thought it was going to be something like Sams Club or BJs. I was a single mother and needed any breaks I could find. I was not shown tables full of 3-ring binders of products that could be had at wholesale prices but when I actually got to see what was available in the warehouse, I found nothing I needed. I think I went there a couple of times. I never used the membership. I never got anything out of that terrible waste of money. And, James Gagan has gotten rich on the backs of needy people.

Thank you for having this service available.

Lorraine
PARKESBURG, Pennsylvania
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/01/2004 12:59 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/United-Consumers-Club/nationwide/United-Consumers-Club-James-Gagan-rip-off-Theyve-gotten-rich-on-the-backs-of-needy-pe-89779. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Very happy I signed up

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

After renovating my home, I'm very happy I signed up with Direct Buy. Their representatives have been nothing but friendly and helpful to me and the savings have surpassed their membership fee
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#2 UPDATE Employee

re: shipping area

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

I too work in the shipping area of DB. While the pay isn't what I would make if I went to the Columbia School of Dentistry, the people I work with are pleasant, and you get health care (most working-class jobs will hire you for 39.9 hours to avoid this).

But on to the important matter, the members I interface with are satisfied with their membership. If there is *very minor* damage to a product a touch-up pen will be used, but guess what, the individuals who make it will do this too! (--- --- major appliance company will not throw out a 1,200 leather sofa because there is a scuff on the back of the hind leg, nor would anyone I'd assume) I've seen things go back because of damage so minor I wouldn't care, so people are vigilant. That's the unvarnished truth (a little furniture pun).
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#3 Consumer Comment

Direct Buy(er) Beware

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

I am a member of Direct Buy so I personal experience to speak from. In my experience, I would confirm that Direct Buy has an extremely high-pressure sale pitch. If you don't join the night you get your "invitation" then you are not allowed to join at a later date. The $4300 sign up fee is hefty for the 10yr membership but less than if you take the financing options at 17% interest. Figure you have to buy $25,000 worth of stuff to break even to your membership fee; or find at least $500 of savings each year.
It is hit and miss with the quality of products.

Some categories are good but the catalogs are always 6 months to a year off the retail models. It is a tremendous amount of work to find what you want. The cataloging system and website are slow and archaic. You have to be committed to spending many many hours at the showroom to find what you want. Completely agree with the customer service...very poor. I asked for some help with lighting companies and I was essentially pointed to 10 catalogs to sort through.

We definately wouldn't recommend Direct Buy to anyone. In fact some nights we go to the showroom during the "open house" to discourage people from joining.
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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Directbuy Info Before You Buy

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

Check out "The Secrets of Direct Buy" investigative report:

http://www.bcctv.ca/displayresults.jsp?id=/olsen/stories/2005/11/olsen-20051121.htm

and "One Man's Story" about Directbuy

http://www.bcctv.ca/olsen.jsp?id=/olsen/stories/2005/11/olsen-20051122.htm

In US, a 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

In Canada, a provincial 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

Best thing is to avoid this scam.

http://edumacation.com/DirectBuy
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#5 Consumer Comment

I AM LONG STANDING MEMBER...DIRECT BUY IS A SCAM

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

I find all of this very humorous. For those of you who said that these people don't have a right to complain becuase they are not members...well, I am a member and I agree with every word they are writing! DirectBuy is a scam and I (according to all of you) am a member and can live to tell.

While I have no complaints about the actual membership/sales tactics,their customer service is horrible. I ordered a piece of furniture back in October and still have not recieved it! It is June 23rd.

My phonecalls are not returned and I am constantly getting told different delivery dates by DirectBuy, who is now into the 9th month of my order! I get the run around from the sales representative telling me that it will be here Friday, Friday passes. Then I'm told it will be here in 2 weeks. Two weeks comes and goes, without a phonecall or email from ANYONE at DirectBuy.

I contacted James Gagan directly and he told me that he doesn't "give a f@#k about my order". He said that he is an executive and quite honestly this is not an important issue to him. Nice customer service for someone who has been a long standing member! I am an executive myself and I cannot imagine ever speaking to my customers the way that James Gagan spoke to me. If you don't have your customers, James, you don't have a business! Learn how to ACT like an executive and you will be treated like one. Not rocket science.

I have no furniture, no idea when it will be here (after ordering it over 9 months ago), and now I've been told to leave THEM alone. They claim that I have been "annoying" and "rude" to them, that I have cursed at them, and have called them everyday demanding my furniture. Well, considering that I am in a high profile job myself, I know better than to curse at a vendor. That didn't happen - but nice try! However, YES, I probably have been annoying them and calling them everyday. Wouldn't you? My furniture was supposed to be here in February....it is the end of June!

Ridiculous company. Don't join, don't buy, and definitely don't trust! We'll see if I ever get the items that I have already paid for.
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#6 Consumer Comment

I AM LONG STANDING MEMBER...DIRECT BUY IS A SCAM

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

I find all of this very humorous. For those of you who said that these people don't have a right to complain becuase they are not members...well, I am a member and I agree with every word they are writing! DirectBuy is a scam and I (according to all of you) am a member and can live to tell.

While I have no complaints about the actual membership/sales tactics,their customer service is horrible. I ordered a piece of furniture back in October and still have not recieved it! It is June 23rd.

My phonecalls are not returned and I am constantly getting told different delivery dates by DirectBuy, who is now into the 9th month of my order! I get the run around from the sales representative telling me that it will be here Friday, Friday passes. Then I'm told it will be here in 2 weeks. Two weeks comes and goes, without a phonecall or email from ANYONE at DirectBuy.

I contacted James Gagan directly and he told me that he doesn't "give a f@#k about my order". He said that he is an executive and quite honestly this is not an important issue to him. Nice customer service for someone who has been a long standing member! I am an executive myself and I cannot imagine ever speaking to my customers the way that James Gagan spoke to me. If you don't have your customers, James, you don't have a business! Learn how to ACT like an executive and you will be treated like one. Not rocket science.

I have no furniture, no idea when it will be here (after ordering it over 9 months ago), and now I've been told to leave THEM alone. They claim that I have been "annoying" and "rude" to them, that I have cursed at them, and have called them everyday demanding my furniture. Well, considering that I am in a high profile job myself, I know better than to curse at a vendor. That didn't happen - but nice try! However, YES, I probably have been annoying them and calling them everyday. Wouldn't you? My furniture was supposed to be here in February....it is the end of June!

Ridiculous company. Don't join, don't buy, and definitely don't trust! We'll see if I ever get the items that I have already paid for.
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#7 Consumer Comment

I AM LONG STANDING MEMBER...DIRECT BUY IS A SCAM

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

I find all of this very humorous. For those of you who said that these people don't have a right to complain becuase they are not members...well, I am a member and I agree with every word they are writing! DirectBuy is a scam and I (according to all of you) am a member and can live to tell.

While I have no complaints about the actual membership/sales tactics,their customer service is horrible. I ordered a piece of furniture back in October and still have not recieved it! It is June 23rd.

My phonecalls are not returned and I am constantly getting told different delivery dates by DirectBuy, who is now into the 9th month of my order! I get the run around from the sales representative telling me that it will be here Friday, Friday passes. Then I'm told it will be here in 2 weeks. Two weeks comes and goes, without a phonecall or email from ANYONE at DirectBuy.

I contacted James Gagan directly and he told me that he doesn't "give a f@#k about my order". He said that he is an executive and quite honestly this is not an important issue to him. Nice customer service for someone who has been a long standing member! I am an executive myself and I cannot imagine ever speaking to my customers the way that James Gagan spoke to me. If you don't have your customers, James, you don't have a business! Learn how to ACT like an executive and you will be treated like one. Not rocket science.

I have no furniture, no idea when it will be here (after ordering it over 9 months ago), and now I've been told to leave THEM alone. They claim that I have been "annoying" and "rude" to them, that I have cursed at them, and have called them everyday demanding my furniture. Well, considering that I am in a high profile job myself, I know better than to curse at a vendor. That didn't happen - but nice try! However, YES, I probably have been annoying them and calling them everyday. Wouldn't you? My furniture was supposed to be here in February....it is the end of June!

Ridiculous company. Don't join, don't buy, and definitely don't trust! We'll see if I ever get the items that I have already paid for.
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#8 Consumer Comment

I AM LONG STANDING MEMBER...DIRECT BUY IS A SCAM

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

I find all of this very humorous. For those of you who said that these people don't have a right to complain becuase they are not members...well, I am a member and I agree with every word they are writing! DirectBuy is a scam and I (according to all of you) am a member and can live to tell.

While I have no complaints about the actual membership/sales tactics,their customer service is horrible. I ordered a piece of furniture back in October and still have not recieved it! It is June 23rd.

My phonecalls are not returned and I am constantly getting told different delivery dates by DirectBuy, who is now into the 9th month of my order! I get the run around from the sales representative telling me that it will be here Friday, Friday passes. Then I'm told it will be here in 2 weeks. Two weeks comes and goes, without a phonecall or email from ANYONE at DirectBuy.

I contacted James Gagan directly and he told me that he doesn't "give a f@#k about my order". He said that he is an executive and quite honestly this is not an important issue to him. Nice customer service for someone who has been a long standing member! I am an executive myself and I cannot imagine ever speaking to my customers the way that James Gagan spoke to me. If you don't have your customers, James, you don't have a business! Learn how to ACT like an executive and you will be treated like one. Not rocket science.

I have no furniture, no idea when it will be here (after ordering it over 9 months ago), and now I've been told to leave THEM alone. They claim that I have been "annoying" and "rude" to them, that I have cursed at them, and have called them everyday demanding my furniture. Well, considering that I am in a high profile job myself, I know better than to curse at a vendor. That didn't happen - but nice try! However, YES, I probably have been annoying them and calling them everyday. Wouldn't you? My furniture was supposed to be here in February....it is the end of June!

Ridiculous company. Don't join, don't buy, and definitely don't trust! We'll see if I ever get the items that I have already paid for.
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#9 Consumer Comment

Uneducated Responses

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

I noticed that there are a lot of people posted uneducated negative reports. A lot of people posting these are forgetting about one thing when they talk about the sales tactics. It is just that, a sales tactic. You need to learn to look at the buts and bolts of the sales pitch and decide on that. Most people are turned off by the pushy salepeople and at that point, everything becomes a scam and is a horrible experience, so much for an open mind.

On post regarding no one from a town with a prison has enough money to get into this. Granted, the fees are steep and you must use it in order to save money, but unless you know each and every person and there relatives, you cannot say that no one has the money. You do not know what they have, maybe a relative paid for it for them. Just keep that in mind when you read these reviews.
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#10 Consumer Comment

Questioning a direct buy rebuttal

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

A previous comment commenting favorably on Direct Buy surely appears questionable. The positive comment on Direct Buy is from a person in Lino Lake, Minnesota.

I am familiar with the area, and the only people living in Lino Lakes are prisoners, as Lino Lakes is the location of the state prison!! In other words, a person stating she is from Lino Lakes is equivalent to someone saying she is a resident of Alcatraz or San Quentin!

It is true that there are a few low income residential areas surrounding the prison, but I doubt if anyone living in those poor areas could afford thousands of dollars for a Direct Buy membership.
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#11 UPDATE Employee

very sad

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

Once again a whole gaggle of people who are NOT members. Quite an open mind you had. How do you know the quality of furniture if you are not a member? I really wonder why all of you NON-member always assume it is an employee sticking up for the company.
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#12 Consumer Comment

Minnesota horrible experience

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

A previous posting referred to a "good experience" at Direct Buy in Minnesota. This response just has to come from a masquerading employee of Direct Buy "shilling" for the company.

My wife and I attended an open house in Minnesota, and were "high-pressured" to join on the spot, and told we would not be allowed to join unless we signed on that day. My neighbors warned me about the disreputable tactics of Direct Buy, but my wife and I thought we'd check things out with an open mind. Our neighbors were correct; Direct Buy is a scam.

The previous posting also referred to the quality furniture at Direct Buy... Ha,Ha,Ha!
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#13 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Direct Buy

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

If you plan on building a house, purchasing alot of appliances, or furniture DirectBuy is a pretty good deal. The problem is that some owners can be greedy. They don't pay the people in the shipping area hardly anything. Nor do they provide them with any equipment to load or unload those trucks. Everytime you pull up and pick something up you probably don't give it a second thought.

That guy in the shipping area has alot of jobs. One of them is to get that stuff you are picking up out of there because they don't even have enough space for it. Don't even think about asking to leave it there longer, because it will just be damanaged. Then it will be repaired. Alot of furniture stores repair items and you never notice it. DirectBuy isn't any different. They repair alot of furniture and don't mention it to you. This goes for appliances and everything else. If you notice it the owner could be stuck with it.

So if you buy a membership be sure to look everything over very closely. The contract states that after you pick up your items it's not there problem anymore. They might help you out and take it back but you better mention it right away. The goal of any furniture repair is to get it in the home. Then it's not a problem.

When you go into that warehouse take a look around. There are one or two people moving all of that stuff by hand, and about 20 people selling it. Quantity not quality.
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#14 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Direct Buy

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

If you plan on building a house, purchasing alot of appliances, or furniture DirectBuy is a pretty good deal. The problem is that some owners can be greedy. They don't pay the people in the shipping area hardly anything. Nor do they provide them with any equipment to load or unload those trucks. Everytime you pull up and pick something up you probably don't give it a second thought.

That guy in the shipping area has alot of jobs. One of them is to get that stuff you are picking up out of there because they don't even have enough space for it. Don't even think about asking to leave it there longer, because it will just be damanaged. Then it will be repaired. Alot of furniture stores repair items and you never notice it. DirectBuy isn't any different. They repair alot of furniture and don't mention it to you. This goes for appliances and everything else. If you notice it the owner could be stuck with it.

So if you buy a membership be sure to look everything over very closely. The contract states that after you pick up your items it's not there problem anymore. They might help you out and take it back but you better mention it right away. The goal of any furniture repair is to get it in the home. Then it's not a problem.

When you go into that warehouse take a look around. There are one or two people moving all of that stuff by hand, and about 20 people selling it. Quantity not quality.
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#15 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Direct Buy

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

If you plan on building a house, purchasing alot of appliances, or furniture DirectBuy is a pretty good deal. The problem is that some owners can be greedy. They don't pay the people in the shipping area hardly anything. Nor do they provide them with any equipment to load or unload those trucks. Everytime you pull up and pick something up you probably don't give it a second thought.

That guy in the shipping area has alot of jobs. One of them is to get that stuff you are picking up out of there because they don't even have enough space for it. Don't even think about asking to leave it there longer, because it will just be damanaged. Then it will be repaired. Alot of furniture stores repair items and you never notice it. DirectBuy isn't any different. They repair alot of furniture and don't mention it to you. This goes for appliances and everything else. If you notice it the owner could be stuck with it.

So if you buy a membership be sure to look everything over very closely. The contract states that after you pick up your items it's not there problem anymore. They might help you out and take it back but you better mention it right away. The goal of any furniture repair is to get it in the home. Then it's not a problem.

When you go into that warehouse take a look around. There are one or two people moving all of that stuff by hand, and about 20 people selling it. Quantity not quality.
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#16 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Direct Buy

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

If you plan on building a house, purchasing alot of appliances, or furniture DirectBuy is a pretty good deal. The problem is that some owners can be greedy. They don't pay the people in the shipping area hardly anything. Nor do they provide them with any equipment to load or unload those trucks. Everytime you pull up and pick something up you probably don't give it a second thought.

That guy in the shipping area has alot of jobs. One of them is to get that stuff you are picking up out of there because they don't even have enough space for it. Don't even think about asking to leave it there longer, because it will just be damanaged. Then it will be repaired. Alot of furniture stores repair items and you never notice it. DirectBuy isn't any different. They repair alot of furniture and don't mention it to you. This goes for appliances and everything else. If you notice it the owner could be stuck with it.

So if you buy a membership be sure to look everything over very closely. The contract states that after you pick up your items it's not there problem anymore. They might help you out and take it back but you better mention it right away. The goal of any furniture repair is to get it in the home. Then it's not a problem.

When you go into that warehouse take a look around. There are one or two people moving all of that stuff by hand, and about 20 people selling it. Quantity not quality.
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#17 Consumer Comment

UCC can be OK if...

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

UCC is probably a rip-off for most people but it worked well for me. I joined +/-10 years ago when it was cheap. The amount I saved on my bedroom furniture paid for my membership, but that's not the case for most people. It is a good deal only if you meet the following conditions:

1. It is only a bargain for furniture.
2. You must plan on buying a lot of furniture.
3. You must buy high-end quality furniture.

I bought a house full of furniture and found large discounts for high-end furniture. Lower price stuff can be found at similar prices retqail. I wound up spending the same as I would have had I bought retail, but I bought nicer stuff.
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#18 Consumer Comment

Talk to Members of DirectBuy/UCC Total Home!

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

It is interesting to me to see people easily walk away from $$$$$ savings because they have seen something' on the web. If you consider yourself a smart person you will notice that all of the "complaints" on the web are from people who joined and canceled their membership next day or did not join because they did not like the sales person (is Mercedes a bad car if you do not like a salesman?) because they can not make a decision to save their lives, or they are just retailers that went to a presentation and were upset to see the price lists ONLY THEY can buy from. What did they purchase to compare?? None of the complaints are from Actual DirectBuy/UCC MEMBERS!! You know why? Because we understand why this company has "same day decision" policy, because we see the confidential manufacturers prices everyday, we compare and know how much we SAVE compared to retail (i.e., wholesalers, outlets, North Carolina warehousers, Internet, etc.) and buy from these price lists every day!! The confidentiality is there to protect manufacturers and their relationship they have with the retail stores. It has nothing to do with high pressure, or time-share. Please! I have been a member for many years. I have been buying brand name furniture, carpeting, lighting fixtures, plumbing fixtures, kitchen gadgets, gifts for my family at cost and saved tons of money. I love my membership, I enjoy coming to DirectBuy center, I like their professional service team, I referred many of my friends there and I will keep doing so. So you can either walk on the negative side, or you can go there and make an objective, educated choice for yourself. Don't forget to talk to members!
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