A reader wrote in to let us know that, like one straight mom, lesbian customers aren't allowed to shop at DirectBuy without their partners. Guess crappy service knows no orientation.
Earlier today we wrote about a woman who was told she couldn't shop at DirectBuy's showroom without her husband. Our tipster told us about a similar experience:
I am a lesbian. They said the same thing to me. They even asked me how old i was on the phone! I said I didn't have a husband, they asked me if I was single. I said I was a lesbian, they said I had to take my partner or I couldn't come. This was the San Jose area store in CA. I was then told also, if I did not buy the membership then at the 'sales pitch' I would be escorted out and never to visit again. I would be banned. I wasn't allowed to look at anything without being escorted and I had to do the sale pitch. I could not look first and then decide.
The woman was so rude, I asked to speak to someone else. I got mad and yelled at her. I never do that. She was the rudest woman and I asked to speak to someone else that wasn't so rude and she said everyone is instructed to be the same way on the phone, if I found her rude then I would find everyone rude. They will never get my money and I hope they go out of business.
So there you have it. As many commenters suggested, this may be less about sexism than about denying customers the "out" of saying they have to talk to their partners. Or, if you like to assume the best, maybe the company just wants to make really sure everyone's on the same page. Whatever the case, it seems like it's time to recognize that people are busy, and not every home improvement decision is a two-partner affair. And maybe get some new phone reps.