Oh no! Another scam to watch out for: DirectBuy

On this blog, I’ve successfully started two conversations that steered people from a gigantic Wyndham Vacation Resorts scam and from US Airlines Mailing scam.

Both have record-level hit counts. Just this week, the US Airlines Mailing post has seen upwards of 750 hits. And more people are giving accounts of their experiences. Keep ’em coming.

Well, here’s another one to watch out for from DirectBuy.

See the attached images I received in the mail. At first I thought, I could sit through a hard-sell meeting for a tablet that I could give away for Christmas.

But then I looked it up. And the tablet they offer is a cheap, Chinese piece of poop that you may, or may not get, if you sit through DirectBuy’s multiple hour, hard (hard!) sales presentation.

Notice in the rules below that you must bring your wife or fiancé if you go to the meeting. A “90-minute visitation is required.”

The sales tactics at these “visitations” are hard-sell, up in your face, you must buy now presentations.

If you’re faint of heart or have trouble saying no, DO NOT GO TO THIS PRESENTATION. 

After looking up several sites, including Wikipedia, I came to the conclusion that DirectBuy is likely somewhat legit, but a scam at the same time.

How it works is you pay almost $5,000 to become a DirectBuy member. DirectBuy is:

DirectBuy is a membership buying service with over 130 locations in the United States and Canada. It is headquartered in Merrillville, Indiana.[1] It claims that it is the largest franchiser of members-only consumer buying centers in North America.[2] Members pay a significant fee, which then entitles them to buy merchandise “directly from the manufacturer and its authorized suppliers”.

DirectBuy says that they offer “manufacturer-direct wholesale prices on practically everything you need for your home, both inside and out.”[3] Product categories include home furnishings, home improvement, entertainment & outdoor, flooring, and accessories.[4]

Once you become a member from their hard-sell presentation, many complain that it takes $20,000 or more in purchases to get close to recooping your initial investment. And often, the prices at their site aren’t any better than buying products elsewhere.

I find this to be true at places like CostCo, and certainly the age-old saying “Buyer Beware” comes into play.

But one doesn’t have to go far to find horror stories about DirectBuy. So here’s a google for “DirectBuy Scam“.

Here’s a lovely breakdown, though, at Scam.com for you to consider:

1)Reports of unscrupulous recruiting practices. You will be invited to a information session where they will force you to make a decision: Either you sign up right there or you will be bared from Direct Buy for 3-5 years. And they do not ask this question nicely.

2)You will have choice of the products, but that choice will be limited to what they have at warehouse. So even if you are promised at info(recruiting) session that you can buy that make/model/manufacturer, that does not mean that it will be there.

3)A lot of people complained that their prices are not that good. I guess Direct Buy compare their prices to Manufacturer Suggested Price list prices. But if you shop around, you can find similar price/model in other stores.

4)They have nonrefundable entrance fee of about $5000. So you better buy a lot($25-$30K) to recoup entrance fee.

My overall advice is, do not go to this meeting. You may not get your prize, and my may be pressured into spending $5,000 that you didn’t need to spend.

If you have DirectBuy stories, please share them below.

Here are more links:

http://infomercialratings.com/produc…buy/startNum/0

http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/ripoff175914.htm

http://thesqueakywheel.com/complaint…plaint8282.cfm

http://www.martinsquest.com/personal…_Directbuy.htm

Listening recommendation: “When God Talks Back” to the Evangelical Community on Fresh Air with Terry Gross

Yesterday, Fresh Air’s Terry Gross interviewed anthropologist T.M. Luhrmann, who wrote a book called, When God Talks BackThe book explores how people claim to have a personal

Terry Gross WikiWorld
Terry Gross WikiWorld (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

relationship with God.

Listen to the interview here.

The interview is fascinating, and Luhrmann’s perspective is valuable.

One thing that stuck out was Luhrmann’s apparent disbelief, but fear of admitting it. I think she needs to keep a certain distance from her subjects, while maintaining a closeness.

Tina and I sat listening to the interview while editing yesterday, and we both wanted to listen closer.

Luhrmann discussed how people devote time and even “dates” with God. They go on walks together. Have coffee or tea time. Time spent with God is like having an affair.

The first time I ran into Julie Ferwerda, I found a editorial in which she talked about dating Jesus and posted it here. She wrote (don’t kill me, Julie):

So how do you date Jesus? Here are some ways that work for me, but the sky is the limit for creativity—just like any true dating relationship. The key is to make it spontaneous, personal and a major priority. And then you’ll find that he begins showing up for dates—sometimes with flowers, love notes, and rainbows!

This is the stuff of Luhrmann’s book.

At one point, Terry Gross asked Luhrmann whether the language should be “imagined” God’s voice or “heard it.”

Luhrmann’s answer was surprising. She didn’t say “imagined” was wrong, because there is some evidence that old church leadership agreed that imagining God’s voice is okay. But the negative connotation that surrounds the word makes it hard for Christians to use.

Another interesting part was when Luhrmann told Terry Gross that parents telling kids to give up their invisible friends is not sound advice.

I grew up in an evangelical community, aka The Yeshua Fog. Like many, I thought I heard God’s voice. And when the voice in my head was negative, or sinful, namely with sexual sins, I decided that was Satan’s voice.

Looking back, I know I was sure about it. It was so crystal clear to me. But the more I looked into it, the more I hammered down that there’s NOOO way that God was talking to me. And if he were, how come he didn’t use a powerful voice and how come Satan didn’t use a voice conversion machine that made his sound evil?

I mean, why did the voice always resemble my own? Why did the voice always want what I secretly wanted?

The conversations I had with God, Jesus and Satan were incessant. We’d banter back and forth for hours. My imagination was — and still is — a difficult, fast-paced world of non-stop banter.

All that’s to say, go listen to real people talk about whether God’s voice is real or not. It’s amazing that this is even a valid conversation to have. But it’s worth getting into the mind of your friends to figure out what makes them tick.

Why, if you’ll please excuse me, I just coregasmed all over my bike shorts

Ecstasy.
Ecstasy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Debby Herbenick, co-director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion, and other researchers at Indiana University have found that it’s possible for women to experience an orgasm while exercising, especially their abdominal muscles, climbing poles or ropes, biking/spinning and weight lifting.

The researchers have called this kind of orgasm: Exercise-induced Orgasm (EIO), Exercise-Induced Sexual Pleasure (EISP) or loosely “coregasm”.

Herbenick and her colleagues may put to bed the idea that sexual experiences require sexual activity.

She obviously hasn’t spoken to many 18-year-old boys.

Here are some key findings straight from this article:

  • About 40 percent of women who had experienced EIO and EISP [Exercise-induced Sexual Pleausre] had done so on more than 10 occasions.
  • Most of the women in the EIO group reported feeling some degree of self-consciousness when exercising in public places, with about 20 percent reporting they could not control their experience.
  • Most women reporting EIO said they were not fantasizing sexually or thinking about anyone they were attracted to during their experiences.
  • Diverse types of physical exercise were associated with EIO and EISP. Of the EIO group, 51.4 percent reported experiencing an orgasm in connection with abdominal exercises within the previous 90 days. Others reported experiencing orgasm in connection to such exercises as weight lifting (26.5 percent), yoga (20 percent), bicycling (15.8), running (13.2 percent) and walking/hiking (9.6 percent).
  • In open-ended responses, ab exercises were particularly associated with the “captain’s chair,” which consists of a rack with padded arm rests and back support that allows the legs to hang free. The goal is to repeatedly lift the knees toward the chest or toward a 90-degree angle with the body.
Debby Herbenick
Debby Herbenick (Photo credit: parksam)

More from the article:

Herbenick cautioned that it is not yet known whether such exercises can improve women’s sexual experiences.

“It may be that exercise — which is already known to have significant benefits to health and well-being — has the potential to enhance women’s sexual lives as well.”

The study did not determine how common it is for women to experience exercise-induced orgasm or exercise-induced sexual pleasure. But the authors note that it took only five weeks to recruit the 370 women who experienced the phenomenon, suggesting it is not rare.

I expect a full report from Tina, Xina and Julie Ferwerda, as they’re the regular reading and responding women on this blog. And remember, it’s for science.

This is not an April Fool’s joke.

Via TYWKIWDBI

Diagnosing the Republican Brain

From Mother Jones:

We all know that many American conservatives have issues with Charles Darwin, and the theory of evolution. But Albert Einstein, and the theory of relativity?

If you’re surprised, allow me to introduceConservapedia, the right-wing answer toWikipedia and ground zero for all that is scientifically and factually inaccurate, for political reasons, on the Internet.

Claiming over 285 million page views since its 2006 inception, Conservapedia is the creation of Andrew Schlafly, a lawyer, engineer, homeschooler, and one of six children of Phyllis Schlafly, the anti-feminist and anti-abortion rights activist who successfully battled the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s. In his mother’s heyday, conservative activists were establishing vast mailing lists and newsletters, and rallying the troops. Her son learned that they also had to marshal “truth” to their side, now achieved not through the mail but the Web.

Read on

Thanks to Becky for the Facebook post!

Page Views Tops 300 | Thank You, Boobs and Michio Kaku!

A Blue Footed Booby
A Blue Footed Booby

Bravo to you helping to send Le Café Witteveen’s page views to over 300 since last Saturday. That’s over three hundred in less than a week. I’ve only told four people about this blog, so I’m enthused.

I may have cheated by tagging the word “boobs” a couple times.

Man, that word is popular in search engines. You’d think that pornography would be more popular than it is.

It makes me feel better that “michio kaku” was also a major search engine word.

I might repost the wiki for vagina and see what kind of brilliant surge I can get.

Happy Friday.

Here’s a picture of me and my phone.

IMG_9242_iphone