Kirby Vacuum Salesperson Complaints

More mail about Kirby Vacuum sales. You may wish to read the Introduction to Kirby sales, and Kirby Mail.

Dear Rob,

I'm a student from Italy and also here we have some funny stories about Kirby company. When I discovered your site I couldn't believe all the things are said in, I mean here in Italy is the same shit going on.

I'm studyng at university and last summer I was finding some job to get some money for my studies and not to depend on everything from my family. Just after few days I decided to search for a summer job I receive a call: "Hi, we're Kirby company, we're searching 50 people in the area of Padoa (were I live), are you interested?". I said "wow", it's incredible I'm searching for I job and someone called me.

So I went to the interview where they make me fill a stupid psycological form and didn't ask nothing about my studies, my capacity or experience, I felt lucky the asked my name!! Briefly they didn't tell me nothing, they just told me to appear the next day.

I went the day after and I discovered it was a training lesson. I ask how long it wolud be lasted and they told me 2 hours...but it actuall took 4, they just let us go for a 10 min break and no lunch! The trainer (or boss or teacher or motherf*****) began explain all the complicated system of economic recompensation telling us that we would earn €1000,00 per month plus the sales bonus. Then he told us all the lies about the NASA research for the product and start saying that Kirby would change our life and stuff like this.

The rest of my story is similar to those I read on this web-site. I was told to make some appointment and try to sell the last Kirby vacuum-cleaner. I reached to sell 2 vacuum in 3 days but I stopped after because I coludn't bear the way the demos were held. Stealing people time, using their house, using their phone, being aggressive and try to make them feel guilty because the fake call with the boss.

I didn't receive not even €1 for my sales and I was treated very badly when I told them I don't like their tatics. The boss told I was a loser with my behavoiur!

So to sum up I worked for free for one week, make them sale 2 vacuum of €2200,00 and feeling bad!
The reality is that Kirby sentria can make 12 different things but costs 30 times whatever else is out there.
Kirby is not a vacuum-cleaner is your next wallet-cleaner, it is strange they don't tell you that Kirby can do this too: make disppear €2000 from your money in 1 1/2h demo!

Fortunately I found another summer job and now I began my 3rd year at college.
Sincerely Pablo


My name is Josh. I spent 9 months looking for a job, just to end up working at a dead end low paying job. So when I found the kirby ad, I immediately joined the Kirby team.

In the first 5 weeks I worked there I made 175 dollars, and worked 180 hours. They had suckered me in as a canvasser, and since I have decided to switch to dealer, the have been screwing with me.

I decided 3 weeks ago, but kept getting bullshitted into doing it. Today I am "Sick".

I work my ass off and dont get shit for it.


I just happened on to your site when I was Googling the Kirby Company.  I haven't found any contact info so far.

We were "nice" yesterday and let one of these KIDS (age 19) in to "demonstrate" one of these sweepers so he could get his "credit".  BIG mistake!  He came in on a Sunday (no phone call first or anything) and stayed for 2 1/2 hours.  We told him upfront that we absolutely were NOT going to buy one, no matter what.  But he proceeded to do his thing, taking at least two more hours our time than we planned.

ANYWAY, I want to contact Kirby and tell them what SCUM I think they are!  We were very tolerant of this 19 year old.  But I would never buy anything from this company....EVER.

Middletown OH

I came across your website tonight after dealing with a Kirby "salesman." The experience left me wondering if this was some type of known scam and fearing that my home could be broken into!

I got a knock on my door around 5:30 PM and a young man in one breath handed me a bottle of Kirby stain remover and said "we are giving you a gift, we are trying to win tickets to the Cowboys/Packers game and all we have to do is give you this gift. We are giving them to all your neighbors. I get paid for each one could I come in and give you a quick demonstration what are your high traffic areas?"

At this point I finally realized I was dealing with a vacuum salesman and told him that I had just bought my house a month ago and didn't have any "high traffic" areas yet.  He asked again if he could just give me a short demonstration because he wanted to to win those tickets.  I gave in and decided I could spare a few minutes to help him win a trip to a ball game.

At this point I see a man driving a white SUV and he waves at me makes small talk while the "salesman" gets a couple of boxes and a binder and plastic case out of the back of the SUV.  Once he gets back to the door the SUV leaves which I thought was odd. 

Once the guy gets inside I realized I had made a big mistake.  He starts opening these boxes and pulling out part after part to this vacuum cleaner.  So I figure I will let him talk for a few minutes and politely turn him down because I bought a Eureka vacuum, shampooer, and air purifier a year ago that I am still paying for so there is no way I am buying another vacuum cleaner.  He vacuums several spots on the carpet using the white filter pads and then asks where the bedroom is.  (So I know the whole dust mite, sloughed skin cells spiel is coming and I am not interested and just want him to leave).

I tried to politely steer him from that direction by saying that we couldn't go in the bedroom because it was a mess but I had nodded my head in that direction when he asked so he chuckled under his breath and picked up the vacuum and walked right into my bedroom and proceeded to throw the covers back on my bed and vacuum the bed.  By now I am P**SED so I don't have much to say to him at all.  He seems to pick up on this and finishes up in the bedroom.  He then does the baking soda, vacuum with my vacuum then the Kirby vacuum to which I respond very little.  I finally tell him I am a Hospice nurse and I have to do my paperwork for my patients that I saw today and he said he would finish up real quick he just had to show me 2 more things.  It is now almost 7PM!  He continues vacuuming spot after spot on the carpet and then demonstrates the shampooer.  I remind him that I have work to do and he says he will hurry but he gets paid if he finishes the demonstration.

At some point he uses MY phone to call his boss and leaves what I suspect is a fake message.  I am sure the use of my phone is to get my number from caller ID on the other end.  After a bit more vacuuming he calls his boss again to tell him he is through, then asks me to count how many filter pads he used while he lays them out on the floor!  Which I did NOT.  The boss eventually comes in and  tries to haggle me into buying the vacuum.  I tell him I can't buy it I am paying for one I just bought a year ago.  He asks me if I could take a $500.00 loss and he could get me one.  I say no again.

He asks me when my husband will be home (something the "salesman" did earlier also) and I give a vague non-specific answer, then he asks if my husband had been home to see the demonstration what would he say and I tell him he would say NO!  We just moved and it was very expensive, we can't afford it.  Then he asks me if I want to put it on a credit card!  Again NO!

During this conversation the "salesman" has helped himself to my kitchen sink to empty and rinse out the shampooer...IN MY KITCHEN SINK!!! THAT IS JUST NASTY!! I WON"T BE ABLE TO BLEACH MY SINK ENOUGH!!!

The boss takes his time packing up the boxes using great care to clean the aluminum and not get any fingerprints on it.  (This is the vacuum that the "salesman" claimed was "brand new and never used" and I am sure it will be "brand new and never used" at the next home he invades.)  This salesman also asked me if he could have some water at one point and when I brought him some water (which I did not want to do because I had to let him out of my sight) he had the nerve to ask me if it was cold!  I really feel like my home was invaded and I am truly afraid that they might come back and break into my house!!!  The whole thing left me with a bad feeling...Oh and by the way it was 8PM when they finally left.....My entire evening wasted!  And I never did get my paperwork done!  Gotta explain that one to the boss in the morning when I turn it in late.

I can tell you this...I will NEVER own any Kirby product!!!!  I don't care how much dirt, dead skin & dust mite excrement it picks up!!!!

Thank you, L.A.



My ex husband tried selling for Kirby in MI years ago when we were a young couple.  Back then they offered a free six pack of coke for people to let them demonstrate.  He was promised a minimum of $1000 for the first two weeks as a salary, whether or not he ever made a sale.  He did end up selling one and felt terrible about it because he sold to an elderly lady on welfare who couldn't afford it and had to finance it.  He was actually trained to look for run-down neighborhoods and houses and to try to sell to people with no money (Kirby makes good money on the interest when someone finances).  He quit after the first two weeks and was never paid the money they had promised--he got $100 for the sale, but was too disgusted to fight for the promised $1000--even though they used his sale as a motivational thing for the other salespeople because he had people no-show for his demonstration, but he went next door and sold to their neighbor.

Now, fast-forward ten years to the summer of 2007 when my sister was visiting me.  A lady pulls into my drive and shoves a gift bag at me saying its a gift for homeowners in the area and do I have a minute to talk?  When I said "okay," she runs to the van and pulls out a guy with a box and says he'll talk to me.

"How long will this take?" I ask.

"As long as you want--you can tell him to leave whenever you want."

Two hours later the guy has demonstrated his vacuum's sucking power vs mine (his was better), vacuumed dozens of spots to show me the dirt on the white filters, vacuumed my furniture, consulted his list of instructions 5 dozen times (finally convincing me it really was his first day and felt sorry for him--he was trying so hard), and gotten very sweaty.  After a while, I left him to his cleaning and wandered around the house doing other things, feeling like I was being rude, but not wanting to sit and watch him vacuum for hours.  He was desperately trying to use the number of filters required on his list.  The man borrows my phone to call his people and say he's done with his demonstration.  He uses my bathroom.  He asks for a rubber band and two paper towels (one wet, one dry).

Back come the pretty blond lady and a handsome, tall blond man who try to pressure me into buying.  As soon as they entered, I said I was not going to buy, but they spend a half hour asking me stupid things like "do you love your dirt?"  and "how would you feel if we put all this dirt back onto your carpet?"  When I mentioned that I had rented a rug doctor before, the blond lady with nice, big knockers said, "Oh, the mud doctor" with a knowing look to her pals.  The blond man "guarantees" he will be able to make my old carpet look "like new" if he demonstrates the shampoo feature.  He demonstrates it on one small area and the carpet looks better, but not at all "like new."  They try to pressure me into letting them do my mattress, too, but I say no--I don't want strangers in my bedroom.

They threaten not to pay the demonstrator because he had carefully stacked the white and black filters instead of leaving them where he had actually vacuumed--my sister and I say we had seen him actually vacuum the room (he'd been there over two hours, what else would he have been doing??), so they relent.  They kept telling the demonstrator things like how he'd packed the vacuum wrong and he needed to wipe it off again because he'd gotten a fingerprint on it, etc.

They told us they only wanted to sell us the vacuum so the poor demonstrator could win a vacation and if we didn't buy it, he couldn't win one.  The tall blond guy offered to GIVE me a kirby...big pause...for only $1,000 and no payments until next January.  I kept repeating that I was not going to buy one.  They kept pressuring.  They said they would not pay the demonstrator unless we bought one, then later took it back like it had been a joke.  They kept asking me if I wanted my dirt back and when I said no, saying, "then you'll buy one!"

According to them, the only reason anyone would not buy a kirby was because they loved dirt and squalor.  I finally got feed up and said, "yes, I love my dirt!"  and they took offense and acted like I was being rude to them and started getting ready to leave.

It was a BIG waste of my time, but as I told them start to finish that I wouldn't, I didn't buy the overpriced vacuum!

--Andrea (in MI)

*** Kirby salesman love military communities***

My name is Shannon M., and my husband and I (who are young newlyweds) have become a victim of the sleezy Kirby salesman as well...  It's very embarrassing now that we realize what we signed.

About a month ago we were ripped off.  We received a kind of 'buy one get one free' deal... For 36 payments of $117.00   Almost $4000 when it's all said and done.  I suppose I'm emailing you to ask for your, advice?  We're desperately trying to find any kind of loop hole in the contract where we can give it back and cancel all payments...  Because we were stupid, and now realize that we cannot afford this when we're just starting our lives together.

We now have 2 of the Sentria Kirbys... We're trying to sell the other one on Craig's List, but removed our ad after we saw something that said it was illegal to sell it if you're not a distributor.

Your site explained it all.  The story about your friend's experience with the Kirby salesman was right on.  Have you learned anything else, or have any stories about how they overcame this disaster?

Please write back soon.

I was sucked in!!!!!   My husband can barely use the vacuum, he gets mad every time he looks at it.  We paid $1500 for it.  Stupid.  The whole time the salesperson was in my house, my husband kept asking me, "Are you sure this is how you want to spend this money?  We could go on vacation for the price of this vacuum."  I'm such an idiot.  Do you know of any way I can redeem myself and get rid of this dinosaur vacuum?  -Sad wife


You have probably had a bad day.  you probably are not very smart.  you seem like you are not a very assertive type person.  it seem you have a hard time communicating with people when talking to them. I believe you are a very small individual and you are trying to make yourself feel better and bigger by hurting other people with your words by telling false and untrue stories. 

Dennis Shultz

Hello Rob

I'm Lee Sears and I'm 19 years old. And a private Kirby Distributer mislead me into what I call slave labor (10-13hr days with no lunch break) and then a week ago I was given a ticket for solicitation from the city of Suwanee, and can you believe how they then tell me they're not paying it because I need to "spend money to make money." Then they tell me to lie in a court of law, by going to get a solicitation permit that day and then say that I had just left my permit in the work-van that day. Oh yeah, I forgot that the office provides the transportation to the area of work AT RANDOM! So whats the point in even advising me to get city & county solicitation permits, because if they did, they must say to get one for the whole state of Georgia. Mind you that they never before advised me to get a solicitation permit until I have a ticket for twice that of my paycheck. I was only "hired" a week before the citation was issued, and I already had two sales only amounting to half of the fine that they won't pay for me...I'M BROKE after driving to work...IN DEBT and quickly going further into it; not to mention I'm very pissed for having been suckered like this...ALSO I'M HUMILIATED AND DEPRESSED THAT I BOUGHT INTO THEIR "POSITIVE, CHANGE YOUR LIFE CAREER" talk, only to discover its all a scam.

I am aware that the papers I signed state that I am an independent subcontractor and not an employee of Advance Associates. This obviously limits what I can do at this point and I would like to know if their is any legal counsel I can seek to help me.


Lee Sears

P.S. Please write me back ASAP. Or at least post this so I know I'm heard. Thank YOU Rob.


I just had the most horrific experience with the whole Kirby business, and I feel the need to tell it to hopefully prevent someone else from going through it.

Ive been looking for a job for about 3 months, and it seems that all the jobs I could get are doing door to door work for non profits, which I had done before but had NO interest in doing.  Last week I came across an ad on Craigslist- looking for someone to do customer service, and make $2280 a month.  I called the number, and got an interview for the next day.  When I got there I had to fill out an application, and when I got in the interview, I was genuinely confused.  The guy that was interviewing me was incredible looking, and VERY intimidating.  He told me that I would learn the machine, go on PRE SET APPOINTMENTS, and make money basically.  I was un-easy about it but I needed the money.

Over the next three days, in our 'training class', we were taught how we were going to make money, do the demo, and learn the machine.  During training. we were told to take extensive notes because if they were good, we could get 50 dollars for them on Monday.  The trainer would randomly quiz us on things we had been learning and if we got it right, we got to roll a dice against him, and if we got the higher amount, we won that in cash, and we would get it on Monday.  We were told that over the weekend we had to do demos for friends and family or we wouldn't get paid for training.  Well, my situation didn't allow me to take the machine right away, I had to come back that Saturday and get it- I explained it to the boss, and he said that was fine. The last day of our training, we were showed how to do the demo.  We were told that we had to call BEFORE and AFTER each demo, and then basically let our trainer pressure our friends and family into buying that machine.  Lucky for me I got stuck in the mountains that weekend so I couldn't do the demos.

When I came in on Monday, I got yelled at for something that was beyond my control, told that I would not be doing demos at work until i did them for my family, so during that time I would learn how to be an 'appointment setter'.  I was lead to believe that appointment setters sat in the office all day and made them by phone.  WRONG!  The appointment setter goes door to door, trying to "knock people in".  I quickly learned that there were NO set appointments, it was all cold calling.  So NINE of us drove around in a mini van built for 8, with about 6 machines AND the shampooing equipment for 10 hours.  Very unsafe.   When I asked the girl I was shadowing  why there weren't set appointments , she said because there was no one to run the call center.hmmmmm.

So after this wonderful day, we arrive back at the office (at nine o'clock) in shock. EVERYONE was GONE( after our trainer sat there during our 'classes'  telling us that he worked until about eleven ever day).  The "Veterans"  dropped us off and drove away.  Myself and my classmates assembled and disused.

We came to a conclusion that NONE of us was coming back because it was a scam

*I SHOULD have collected 60 dollars in cash for my notes and the dice roll I won, and I did not.
*I THOUGHT this was a customer service job- NOT DOOR TO DOOR COLD CALLING(which is ILLEGAL in Colorado-and most states- without a PERMIT)
*The girl who I was shadowing ADMITTED that her and everyone else LIES to the potential customers.
*The ONE person in our class who had 6 demos over the weekend didn't make any money that they said he would because all the people had bad credit.
*SUPPOSEDLY we were to do 3 demos a day, 15 a week and 60 a month in order to make money, which turns out to be damn near impossible with the cold calling nonsense.
*KIRBY AND THEIR AFFILIATE (Shoreline Systems) is NOT a legitimate business, because when we all got "hired" NONE of us filled out tax forms.
They claim its because we are "independent contractors". I used to work on a traveling magazine crew, and even though most of the time we ripped people off, the FIRST thing I did when I got there was FILL OUT A 1099 INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR TAX FORM.  I made more money selling over priced magazine subscriptions than I EVER would doing this.

So now, Ive wasted about a week of my time, and I'm right back where I started, I'm mad as hell.  Hopefully someone will read this and learn the mistake before it is made.

Taylor N.

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March 2nd , 2008.  

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