On Your Side: Kirby Vacuum Quarrel

By: Jeff Anderson Email
By: Jeff Anderson Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock, May 22, 2007

AIKEN, S.C. -- An Aiken couple says it got a raw deal on what was supposed to be a fantastic vacuum.

And now, the pair is out more than a hundred bucks and the vacuum.

Richard Hydrick and his fiancée thought they were getting a top-of-the-line vacuum.

The price was a little steep, but they sucked it up and bought it--or so they thought.

Richard and his fiancée Brandy like to keep a tidy house.

And when a vacuum sales team came by a few months ago, they were willing to listen.

"They did a demonstration,." he said.

The team was working for a company called Freeman Distributions that sells Kirby Vacuum Cleaners.

The team made promises of a chance at a thousand dollar shopping spree if Richard and Brandy listened to their pitch.

"They cleaned the carpet, the bed and the upholstery," he said.

It sounded good and Richard and brandy decided to buy it after they bargained the price down.

"$3,000. They turned around and said we'll give you a discount of $1600 if you let us have your vacuum," he said.

But not too long after, the company called back and said they had to take the vacuum back because Richard didn't have something they called a business account. He was promised a refund.

"I'm still waiting," he said.

The Kirby vacuum sales business is no stranger to controversy.

A quick Internet search pulls up hundreds of complaints about the sales techniques used by the staff.

Many even say the financing options offered to help defray the hefty cost include huge fees and high interest rates that customers aren't told about.

Back in 2004, the State of Arizona sued two Kirby Vacuum distributors for violating the Arizona Consumers Fraud Act.

Richard says he did get a check for that refund, but it bounced. All he wants now is the 120-dollars he says he was promised.

"It's been almost 3 to 4 months now," he said.

12 On Your Side made numerous phone calls to Freeman Distributors and have not heard back at all.

We also called Kirby Vacuums, but we were told all distributors act independently of the main company and Kirby was not involved.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Yvonne Location: Grovetown on Jan 29, 2010 at 04:47 PM
    I recently had a similar experience with a young man claiming to sell Kirby Vacuum's. He came giving free "dawn detergent samples" and offering to clean one carpet room for the courtesy of a demo. After seeing the $1999 price tag I OBVIOUSLY declined. I asked if you could also review/purchase Kirby cleaners online, referencing his representative #...which he denied. For some reason he could not understand why "one" couldn't afford a $2000 vacuum in this economy?? He continued to vacuuming patches of the room, mattress and upholstery and steaming a small segment of the room, as promised. He then 'seemingly' joked about me buying him Zaksby's in return for the finishing the room...I jokingly agreed, thinking he was making small talk. After finishing the room, the carpet was immaculate and he kindly asked for Zaksby's...or the cash to get it with on the way home! How unprofessional and he was DEAD Serious!!! He continued on and on how he was serious about me buying his dinner!
  • by unknown Location: aiken on May 24, 2007 at 04:19 PM
    i do believe if u give $ 120.00 they come take the vacuum they owe $120.00 to u. they send a check of $120.00 and it bounced and the bank takes it out of your account. then they owe $240.00 and the bank charges. thats just the way of life
  • by bob Location: usa on May 23, 2007 at 05:52 PM
    the reason they picked up the machine is because they ad bad credit.such a lie about the financing thing. the customer is aware about the finance cost because they sign the contract that says it. plus the finance company has to verify with the customer before the deal can be bought. its sad that they are out $120, which is the only really lost here. not the finance company not kirby.
  • by Allyson Location: Grovetown on May 23, 2007 at 02:16 PM
    Unless you go to the store yourself or order it off the website, I'd say stay away from those door-to-door salesmen. They'll say and do and promise anything to make a buck.
  • by ruth Location: graniteville on May 23, 2007 at 08:39 AM
    buyer beware.....any fool would know that anything over three or four hundred dollars is way to much to pay for a sweeper.....
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