9 Oct 2005


I like to think I'm quite the man of the world. That I can tell a hawk from a handsaw. But sometimes...

When Liz said someone was coming to clean our carpets for free, I didn't think much about it. Sure, there was bound to be some kind of sales pitch involved, but since we have two small kids, our carpets can sometimes resemble the Somme, so I figured, why not - we were planning on renting a rug doctor in a week or two anyway.


Absolutely hours this demonstration took. And sure, the Kirby seems to be a pretty effective vacuum cleaner. But the cost?

Four. Thousand. Dollars.

Yep. We sat there for at least a couple of hours, while someone sucked a whole bunch of dirt out of our carpets. And all the time I'm thinking, this price isn't right. They're going to say "You'd expect to pay Four. Thousand. Dollars, but we can sell it to you today for... One thousand!". But no. After the sales turkey spoke to head office - we could have bought this cleaner for only: Three. Thousand. Eight. Hundred. Dollars. And I mean this particular vacuum. Not this model - this exact instance, that has been used as a demo model for who knows how long, sucking junk from carpets all over town. Did I mention that you still needed bags for this beast? And who sold the bags?

The worst part? As part of the demo, the kirby goon collects all the dust in your carpet on small black pads and spreads the whole lot over your carpet, so you can see how much the vacuum picked up. It's all an attempt to turn you into Howard Hughes. But when you use the vacuum, this stuff stays in the bag. When you spread it out on the floor, it goes straight into the air, and from thence to your lungs. That night the whole family was coughing and wheezing.

The whole thing left me so angry I started looking around to see if other people had experienced the weirdness of the Kirby demonstration.

Consumer complaints about Kirby Vacuum Cleaners In-Home Demonstration

Consumer complaints about Kirby Vacuum Cleaners Warranty Service

Consumer complaints about Kirby Vacuum Cleaners

Consumer complaints about Kirby Vacuum Cleaners Preying on the Elderly & Infirm?

Consumer complaints about Kirby UK

Consumer complaints about Kirby Vacuum Cleaners - South Africa

Kirby Vacuum Cleaner Salesman Arrested

Once I'd realised that Kirby were less like a reputable company and more like a cross between the Cosa Nostra and Glengarry Glen Ross, I had a look at vacuums that people really liked and were sold in stores. You know, like a real one. And we ended up buying a Dyson. It's great and does a better job than the Kirby for less than a fifth of the price. Our place has never been cleaner.

Dyson - they suck, in a good way.
Kirby - whole other kind of sucking.

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