17 News Investigation: Couple out $1,500 after "Direct Buy" closes

A local couple says they are out $1,500 after "Direct Buy", a local home furnishing store, closed up shop without notice.

A couple says they are out $1,500 after a local home furnishing store closed up shop, without any notice.

Brian Bezdek and his wife had big plans for their new home in southwest Bakersfield. They thought they could save big bucks when they bought a membership with Direct Buy.

"It was about $5,000 for a ten year contract," said Bezdek. 

The home furnishing club promised the couple insider prices on hundreds of top brand names.

"We did look into getting the counter tops done and they have a local person here. You get it at a 30% discount, which is contractor's price, so it would have been a steal," explained Bezdek.

But the couple never got those counter tops. In fact, they never bought anything from Direct Buy. Two weeks after the couple purchased a membership, the store went belly up. Bezdek said he was furious.

After several weeks of trying, he was able to get back $3,500 from the store's corporate headquarters in Chicago. "I was grateful for that, but I'm out my $1,500 down payment which they said I had to go deal with the franchise owner," said Bezdek.

Only problem is, Bezdek can't find owner Larry Fleck and neither could 17 news. We called Direct Buy's headquarters, but we were told the Director of Member Experience was out of the office.

After several more requests, 17 news received an e-mail stating, "We prefer to work directly with Mr. and Mrs. Bezdek to resolve their concerns."

Mr. and Mrs. Bezdek aren't the only people upset with Direct Buy.  17 news found a website that has 116 pages of complaints, from people warning others not to do business with the company.

Bezdek says he plans to take franchise owner, Larry Fleck, to small claims court to try and get back the rest of his money.

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