How do you go from having 411 complaints about your business, many including choice words like ‘scam’, ‘lawsuit’, and ‘prison’…
…to having just 27 “reports”, the most recent of which speaks only of the horrors of a “VERY HAPPY FIANCE”?
DirectBuy, “the #1 way to buy direct for your home”, has somehow managed this remarkable transformation over the course of the last year. They were in the uncomfortable position of having a supposedly uncensored review site, Infomercialscams.com, appearing just behind their official site in Google searches for “DirectBuy”, and the overwhelming sentiment was negative. Here are excerpts from some of the 411 complaints on that site archived from last year:
2/1/2008 – Kenya – “Please contact me if a lawsuit or something will occur. This company lied to me and my spouse.”
1/26/2008 – Derrick – “This is an absolute scam…Why isn’t this company being reported to the Better Buisiness Bureau.more than it has………”
1/25/2008 – Gavin – “Let’s hope that by June these bastards are out of business.”
1/22/2008 – Tia – “they don’t tell you that DB adds on an additional 8% handling fee to nearly every item they sell. Once the item is delivered to DB it is YOUR responsibility to pick-up your merchandise or HIRE a moving company to do it for you!!! If a class action lawsuit is filed COUNT US IN!!!!!! DO NOT FALL FOR THIS SCAM… “
Many of the reports are highly detailed, describing the entire experience of attending a DirectBuy open house, being pressured by unscrupulous salespeople, and then being shown the door after asking too many questions. Those who did sign up for the program found themselves paying unexpected fees with no way to cancel after the third day of membership.
Once the negative reviews piled up, DirectBuy’s lawyers authored a cease and desist notice, demanding that all “defamatory and disparaging remarks” be removed from Infomercialscams.com and affiliated sites. When that didn’t work, they opted for another approach: throwing cash at the review sites to make the complaints go away. After being retained by DirectBuy, the company behind Infomercialcams.com, ICA, conducted what is described as an “autonomous investigation into [DirectBuy’s] organization”. Here’s a portion of the findings from that investigation:
Our ICA investigation gives DirectBuy an affirmative rating. DirectBuy appears to be completely committed to providing the highest level of customer success and satisfaction possible. That is apparent in the evidence that DirectBuy is dramatically improving its business processes and services. DirectBuy is willing to satisfy its customers by correcting problems and resolving misunderstandings. To illustrate their promise to achieve this high level of service, DirectBuy has set up a special email address to respond to complaints made specifically on the Infomercialscams.com website. DirectBuy’s guarantee is to respond to your concerns within 48-72 hours (excluding holidays and weekends). [emphasis added]
There you have it. By setting up a special email address for complaints, DirectBuy has wiped the slate clean in the eyes of this investigative body, and the hundreds of reviews on Infomercialscams.com written prior to 6/2/2008 are erased from memory. Given this transaction, it would seem Infomercialscams.com has a unique interpretation of their own tagline: “uncensored infomercial complaints”.