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.



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    14 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I love Kirbys, but I hate the way they're forcefully sold. My dad used to do it (before being upgraded to being an engineer) and he hated it too, and he was the poor sod having to sell them!!! Kirby uses an archaic system for sales, if you find a brand new, never used (and never refurbished) Kirby for sale in a retail environment, they really do not like it, they buy the machines back and dismiss the dealer(s) who tried to sell them, and that's where they're going wrong. Up to about £/$1000-1200 is what a new one is worth, after that, it's the salesman's cut, so the more they sell them for, the more they earn. Also, you often find that some of the Kirbys sold as new are actually refurbished models, so technically they are selling used goods as new, which is unlawful. Here in the UK, by law you have the right to a refund if you felt pressured into buying something, so you're legally covered, and Kirby should provide a cooling off period after handing over the cash or entering into a credit agreement. My advice, save your money, buy one off ebay instead. Or in the US, a thrift store may have them for hardly anything, though often they need to be cleaned out cos they're donated because they're not picking up, usually caused by the owners not bothering to change the bags (how else do they thing the dirt comes out of the things???), worth a look if you want one... :) And no, they're not the best, they're one of the most multi-functional yes, but it's a case of "jack of all trades, master of none"... :)

    2 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    Can you give me some insight on the direction to go since your dad used to sell Kirby vacuums. I bought one about a year ago and really didnt look at the long haul of payments and the interest since the monthly amount was low. I have since falling behind in payments and tried to pay what I can to get the balance down lower. I have no need for the vacuum and tried to work out returning it but i was no option since it was past 3 days. I keep getting harassed by the finance company at my job and my parents keep getting phone calls from them since they was used as a reference. They keep adding late fee's so it is making it harder to catch up. I am not sure what to do now.


    3 years ago

    My husband is an impulse buyer and he signed a contract with kirby now we have a kirby just sitting there. Ive used it about 5 times since we've bought it. Im so upset with him for buying in the first place. I wanted to return it as soon as the demo guys left. What burden on our shoulders. Well i recently involved in a car accident. My insurance is taking over the payments on out vehical but now we have no car and our insurance rate went up! We really cant afford to be paying for this machine. I'm aware that there is a 3 day return policy. But is there anyway to return it and stop making payments?

    2 replies

    Reply 3 years ago

    Hello - I completely understand your situation . We tried to cancel our contract due to a disability that both my husband and I have. I am looking into free legal help as they denied our cancellation request . Find out if your community has a solicitation license or policy . If they had no legal right to be in your area , you may have grounds to request cancellation . Kirby and most of it's distributors are dishonest and ruthless . I got blocked from their Facebook page for complaining and helping other customers who are in similar situations . We have a Facebook page set up instead with links to consumer reports and news releases . Maybe there is something that will be helpful to you . We are on Facebook under " Kirby Vacuum Cleaners Complaints " . Hope you can get it resolved.


    Reply 2 years ago

    I bought a Kirby almost a year ago. At the time I agreed I felt it was a low monthly amount and really didnt look at the long haul of it with interest and the total cost. I have been behind in payments and this has affected my credit. I have been harassed at my job and my parents have gone thru this to due to them used as a reference. I have tried to work out payment options to pay my balance off but they keep adding on late fee's which is making it higher. I am affraid that I will possibly be taken to court behind this or garnishment of my wages behind a vacuum . Not sure what direction to go since I cant just give it back and cancel the contract.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I read your comment on my case and stumbled over this instructable because while I lived in the US I had one visit from a Kirby sales person. Well, we already had our GE vacuum for 2 years and told the guy we wouldn't need another vacuum. But he didn't want to go away allthough I told him front up I wouldn't buy one. To be nice I did let him in, offered some coffee, too. He did his magic for about 1-2 hrs. Man, it was really hard to get him out of the house again. But still, I couldn't be that rude to just close the door when he rang the bell. But we had some fun :-) Just whatever you do (if you let them in or not), if you're committed not to buy, then don't buy. Our GE vacuum worked well for our 3 year stay and for the price of the Kirby I could have gotten at least 19 vacuums.

    3 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    It's dangerous to let them in unless you can really say NO. Some of them are very persuasive and it's hard to say no over and over. After a while even a strong person starts to think well maybe I do need one of these. I did like your case. It is adaptable to lots of different things and is very protective and attractive at the same time. A great DIY project.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I just love it to say the least. I'm surfing the internet from the couch after I had set up connectify on my laptop. This gives me enough wifi area throughout my condo. I also read a lot on it. I have downloaded some games, too, but the only game that is mostly played is solitaire (the card game) which my wife just loves. Another nice app is one which lets my little one practise maths.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    i dont think either of us has the funds to enjoy it either but i could be mistaken