Introduction: How to Return a Kirby Vacuum Cleaner or Anything Else That's Too Expensive. (Or Better Yet Refuse to Buy in the First Place!)

Disclaimer:  This is not a knock against Kirby Vacuum Cleaners.  They probably make the best vacuum cleaner in the world, but if you've bought one or your 80 year old mother has bought one and the next morning you decide that a $1945 vacuum was not a good purchase there is something you can do.

Also I not an attorney and am not giving legal advice.  I'm passing along my experience and you should check the laws of your state before you act.

I can only speak of the laws of the state of Texas since that's where I live and where I have my experience.  Your state or country may vary.  Check the laws of returning/buyers remorse before you buy if you can and as soon as you can if you've already bought.

Step 1: Before the Buy.

If you've not bought yet then do some research before making that purchase.  If you plan on buying something to pass down to your children or run a cleaning service maybe you need to spend $2000 on a vacuum cleaner.

But if there are less expensive models, brands or products that will meet your needs then maybe you should make your purchase differently.

Look at reviews of the different products that you are interested in.  A few bad reviews don't mean the product is bad or their service is bad but if you find hundreds or thousands of bad reviews then you should probably look elsewhere.

If you don't know how to do a search go here and ask a question.  You can even ask for an opinion there if you like.

If you find that the high priced item is what you really need then by all means buy that one.

Step 2: How to Avoid the Sales Pitch, and Managing the Home Demonstration.

Lots of times vacuum cleaners are sold door to door.  The sales staff gets their leads by looking for older neighborhoods where the population might be mostly older persons who will have a harder time saying NO.  They offer to clean your carpet for free. Remember that nothing in this world is really free.  They will spend that time trying to sell you a unit. 

If you decide to let them do a home demonstration you need to keep control of the situation.  Salespersons like to come in and take over.  Don't let them in unless you really want to consider the sale.  If you are not interested - JUST SAY NO!  This is the best answer if you are not interested.  If you don't buy it in the first place then you don't have to go thru all the work of returning it in the morning.  If you don't let the salesman in in the first place then you have an easier time of refusing the sale.

Remember- every minute they spend inside your house gets you closer to breaking down and buying something you may regret in the morning.

A good sales person will compare your weak vacuum to his super-duper-pooper-scooper vacuum.  They may pour salt onto your carpet.  Then vacuum "the spot" over and over with your vacuum then one pass with his model and he gets a bag full of salt.  Proving that his is better than your old one.  Just make sure that they vacuum the same place on the carpet.  Your old vac. can't pick up the salt if he's not vacuuming where the salt is.

Another tactic is to make the visit last as long as possible.  This is a wear down ploy and you should not fall for it.  If you feel that the sales call is lasting longer than it should turn on your tv and watch your favorite movie and pay as little attention to him as possible.

Lots of times the offer they give you is a "one-day only deal".  Pass it up.  If they can't give you a day to think about it then it's to limited for you.  You should never have to make an on the spot decision for a high priced item.

Step 3: How to Cancel the Contract

Here is a link to the Texas 3-day Cancellation Law.  Other states should have similar laws on their books also.

Here is a link to the Federal Cooling Off Rule.  The Federal Trade Commission REQUIRES a 3 day right of cancellation in most transactions occurring away from the sellers usual place of business.

If you are trying to get a refund for someone who is unable to pursue the matter on their own, like an elderly parent, relative or friend you must have a "Durable Power Of Attorney".  You can download one for Texas here and it's free.  You will have to have it notarized.   Don't let anyone tell you it's not valid since is was signed AFTER the date of the purchase.

If you've decided on a home demonstration or demo at anywhere other than the salesman's actual business location you have 3 business days to cancel the contract if you decide that the purchase was not in your best interest.

In Texas you have to fill out the "Contract Cancellation" form the the seller is required to give you.  He is also required to give you a contract with his correct business name and address.  You must return the form within 3 business days.  It MUST be post marked by midnight on the third day or the contract is final.

The seller has 10 business days to respond to your cancellation notice.  Within the 10 days he can pickup the equipment to examination and issue you a refund if the equipment is undamaged.

In lots of instances a proper cancellation request will be all that is required.  But often times getting a refund is going to be a test of wills and of your patience.

If the seller waits more than 10 days the seller looses the right to examine the equipment before issuing you a refund.  There is a provision of the law that may in certain circumstances allow you to keep the equipment AND get a full refund if the seller is lax and not responsive to your legal refund request.

Step 4: If You Feel That Your Refund Request Might Be Going Unfulfilled,

Now it's time to get serious.  A reasonable amount of time has gone by and you've not heard from your salesperson.  Call the main office and inquire about his distributor.  That's the person just above your salesperson who is directly responsible for supplying him or her with their supplies, training and items to sell.  Complain to the distributor. 

You should be documenting EVERYTHING about this sale/purchase.  Phone calls, copies of anything written, mailed, faxed.  Copies of all emails etc.

Now call the main office and ask for customer service.  Make an official "refund request" to them.  They will denigh that they have any responsibility in the matter, that it is entirely between you and the direct seller.  Don't you believe it.  They have the final resp. for the sale and may be the wedge that you need to get the ball rolling.

Now file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau that services the area.  Sometimes this can be very successful.  File on the salesperson, the distributor and the home company.  Write a short description of what happened and how you've tried to follow the law in canceling the contract.  Most of these complaints take 20-30 days to become final but within a week they mail out a letter describing your complaint to the person/business you are complaining about and just the threat of getting a bad rating may get you success.

Most states have a state Consumer Protection Division.  They won't fight your case for you but they will put your complaints on file and when a person/ business gets too many negatives they will investigate the company practices.

And there is always the Small Claims Court.  Filing fee in my County is $75 and max you can sue for is $2,000.  If (when) you win you get a judgment on them and the sheriff will collect it if there is anything to collect. 

Step 5: What Next?

Okay, you've complained to the everybody you can think of.  You've protected your rights by documenting what your steps were and sending in your cancellation request.

You should protect the merchandise and not use it.  If it's a car park, it in the garage.  If it's a vacuum put it in a closet.  You want the item to be in the exact same condition that you received it.

Now you just have to wait.  Be patient.  The wheels of commerce sometimes turn very slowly.  It took 62 days from contract to refund check but I was successful and you can be also.

Step 6: In the Event That the Salesperson Won't Leave!

When you've decided that the sales call is over, ask the sales person to leave.  Tell them, "I'm not interested you must leave now".  If they don't start packing up immediately say it to them again.  If they still won't leave call your local police or sheriff and tell them you have a trespasser that refuses to leave.