You may remember DirectBuy, a store selling furniture and other items to spiff up your home that promises deep discounts to people who sign up for a pricey membership. This business model is apparently not working out for them, since the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week. [More]
Most Consumerist readers consider themselves savvy and resistant to marketing messages and sales pitches. Even then, be cautious when accepting free stuff or cash in exchange for sitting through a time-share presentation. One couple received such an offer while shopping in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. They say that they were offered $450 to attend a 90-minute presentation, and after 8 hours of sales pitches signed up for a timeshare that they didn’t want. [More]
An ADT salesman had devised (or was at least using) a brilliant tactic: cold-call people and ask them how their ADT systems were working. If they said, “I don’t have ADT,” try to sell them one. What a great idea! How could it possibly go wrong? I mean, other than making people believe that they’ve just been cold-called by a burglar looking for alarm-less homes.
Family members of a developmentally disabled 49-year-old man told 6 News in Indianapolis that two men from Bally Total Fitness showed up at the man’s apartment, drove him to a Bally location at Pike Plaza, and signed him up to a monthly membership. When the man’s family asked Bally to invalidate the agreement, the gym refused.
The sales team at the LA Fitness in
Floral Park New Hyde Park, Long Island, were so pushy to a prospective customer that they basically forced her to take her business elsewhere. Apparently if they actually let a customer redeem one of their free passes, the gym will be sucked into a vortex of non-commission, so they have to deny you access.
When you think of “boutique tea,” you probably don’t associate it with obnoxious upsells and sneaky add-ons. If you do, perhaps you’ve visited the same Teavana outlet as one of our readers. Michael was so annoyed with his recent visit to the Willow Grove, Penn. store that when he realized what had happened, he had to share it with Consumerist over a nice cup of white needle tea.
Kevin abandoned Comcast and switched to FiOS. Since then, his jilted cable/Internet company has made it quite clear how badly they want him back. They can’t believe it when they hear that he won’t see them. Denial is tough to watch.
A Consumerist reader called HP to ask whether they could help him with a broken computer. They couldn’t, of course, but that didn’t stop the CSR from trying to ever-so-politely upsell a brand new HP computer at a low, low price. Thanks for calling HP Total Care for Desktops! What can we do to put you in a new computer today?
Charlie has had it with the sleazy hard sell from a Redzee sales guy—after bugging her daily for a month, he started urging her to log in to “her account” on Redzee so she could see the amazingly valuable traffic he was generating for her site. “He kept saying that he had clients waiting out the door for the opportunity that he was offering us, and I quite bluntly told him that he should then answer their calls and accept their business because I was not interested.” So what the heck is Redzee?
Qwest Sells Woman "Cheaper" Package That Costs More, Has Unmentioned 2-Year Commitment, And Requires New Modem
Matt’s mom, a longtime Qwest customer, called up the company to switch her long distance over from AT&T. The CSR suggested she switch over to a bundled package that would save her $11 a month and offer faster Internet connection speeds. What the CSR didn’t mention was that the new package required a 2-year commitment, that it wouldn’t work with her current DSL modem, and that it actually came out to about $3 more per month.