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Description

The Kirby Company is a business unit of The Scott Fetzer Company that manufactures cleaning systems. The cleaning systems are sold through an international network of independent distributors, who provide in-home sales presentations and offer servicing of the products. Consumers with parts or product problems are encouraged to call their local distributor for service. If the distributor is no longer in business or is otherwise inaccessible, consumers may wish to call Kirby Company's customer service center at 800-494-8586 for convenient, local service locations.

BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that The Kirby Company World Headquarters meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.

Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that raised the rating for The Kirby Company World Headquarters include:

  • Length of time business has been operating
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size
  • Response to 15 complaint(s) filed against business
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business


Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

15 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 6 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 1
Billing/Collection Issues 2
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 2
Problems with Product/Service 10
Total Closed Complaints 15

Additional Complaint Information

Complaints for this business reflect activity from The Kirby Company and consist of manufacturing and product issues.  Issues regarding sales practices are processed against the independent distributors that sell the cleaning systems.

On July 5, 2011, BBB notified Kirby of its concerns relating to the volume and nature of complaints involving its distributors. We have requested that Kirby cooperate with a BBB process to track, monitor and reduce complaints involving distributors and their sales and marketing practices. Kirby has indicated to BBB that internal measures have been put in place to address these issues.

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

3 Customer Reviews on The Kirby Company World Headquarters
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 2
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 1
Total Customer Reviews 3

Additional Information

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BBB file opened: January 01, 1961 Business started: 01/01/1914 in OH
Type of Entity

Corporation

Business Management
Mr. Mike Nichols, President, Business Operations Mr. Steve Baden, VP of Business Compliance Ms. Halle Sminchak, Manager, Customer & Public Relations and Business Compliance
Contact Information
Principal: Mr. Mike Nichols, President, Business Operations
Customer Contact: Ms. Halle Sminchak, Manager, Customer & Public Relations and Business Compliance
Business Category

Manufacturers & Producers

Alternate Business Names
The Kirby Company

Additional Locations

  • 1920 W 114th St

    Cleveland, OH 44102 (216) 228-2400 (800) 494-8586

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Professional AffiliationsX
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Types of Complaints Handled by BBB

BBB handles the following types of complaints between businesses and their customers so long as they are not, or have not been, litigated:

  • Advertising or Sales
  • Billing or Collection
  • Problems with Products or Services
  • Delivery
  • Guarantee or Warranty

We do not handle workplace disputes, discrimination claims or claims about the quality of health or legal services.

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BBB Complaint Process

Your complaint will be forwarded to the business within two business days. The business will be asked to respond within 14 days, and if a response is not received, a second request will be made. You will be notified of the business's response when we receive it (or notified that we received no response). Complaints are usually closed within 30 business days.

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Additional Phone Numbers

  • (800) 494-8586(Phone)
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Additional Email Addresses

  • - Customer Service
  • - eQuote
  • - Technical Support
Find a LocationX

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Complaint Detail(s)

1/31/2015 Problems with Product/Service
12/9/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I purchased a Kirby vacuum two years ago from a door to door salesman. He was asking for $1000, but I did not want to spend that much money. I received a call weeks later lowering the price to $600 and I purchased it. From the start it was hard to push and I called. A representative came out and showed me some buttons to adjust the clearance. A month later it would not start and I called again and was told to bring it to Columbia, MO. I brought it to Columbia and was told I was kicking the start button too hard. They kept it two weeks and after I got it back it worked for a while. Now it doesn't vacuum and it's not rolling. It does not want to work.

Desired Settlement: I would like to return it and get 1/3 of my money back.

Business Response: From: ******** ***** <******@kirbywhq.com>
Date: Mon, Dec 8, 2014 at 2:26 PM
Subject: Complaint ********
To: "Info@cleveland.bbb.org" <Info@cleveland.bbb.org>


December 8, 2014
Ms. ******* *****
Better Business Bureau of Northeast Ohio 
info@cleveland.bbb.org
 
RE:      ****** ***********
            Complaint ID #********
 
VIA ELECTRONIC MAIL
 
Dear Ms. *****:
 
Thank you for allowing The Kirby Company (the “Company”) an opportunity to address ****** ***********’s (“Mr. ***********’s”) concerns regarding the Kirby Cleaning system he purchased from ** ************, an authorized, independent distributorship of Kirby products located at **** **** ******** ***** ****, Columbia, MO 65201
                           
The Company manufactures high quality cleaning systems, which it sells to independently owned and operated businesses or “distributorships.”  These distributorships then sell the cleaning systems to consumer end-users via in-home demonstrations.  As such, the Company’s relationship with the distributorships is that of vendor/vendee.
 
Despite this vendor/vendee relationship, the Company takes complaints seriously.  A representative with the Company’s Customer Relations Department contacted Mr. *********** on December 4, 2014 to discuss his concerns. Mr. *********** advised the Company that the brush roller on his Kirby was not spinning due to his belt not being engaged.
 
The Company contacted ** ************ and was advised that a representative would be sent to Mr. ***********’s home to assist him with his belt on December 5, 2014. The Company confirmed with Mr. *********** that a representative came to his home and his machine is now operating properly. Mr. *********** also advised that he is satisfied with the resolution of this matter per our conversation with him on December 8, 20104.
 
If you have any questions, please contact me directly at ******@KirbyWhq.com or ** ************ at ************.  Thank you.
 
Sincerely,
 
 
******** *****
Customer Relations Specialist
The Kirby Company
 
 
 
******** *****

The Kirby Company

Consumer Relations Specialist

11/14/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Complaint Details Unavailable
9/12/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: A part of my $2,500.00 vacuum broke and they want to charge me $50.00 for a replacement when I was told everything was covered. Its as simple as this... A part to my vacuum broke.. something very minimal (a small yet essential part) broke on the hose and all I want is a replacement. Im not asking for a whole new vacuum.. or my money back. I love my vacuum and dont regret purchasing a $2,500.00 vacuum but thats a lot of money for a vacuum and I was told by the akward sales agent who came to my house that EVERYTHING was covered for a lifetime.. which I just found out is correct only if you package all of your kirby items in a box and ship it to their factory for a complete restoration of the vacuum. 1: Its ONE PART THATS BROKE. 2: There is still a fee to do this. 3: I have to pay shipping which I can only imagine how much its going to cost in order to ship my very heavy vacuum from Michigan. Im just annoyed.. the part that broke was clearly not even my fault.. it was a defect and a poorly built part!

Desired Settlement: I just want a new hose or if they could fix it I would even be happy with that. I dont want to mail my entire vacuum in. I dont want to mail the part in... I want to go to a local Kirby place and swap out the hose. Simply. Very very simple. So simply that it shouldnt even be a question to a million dollar company.

Business Response:

September 2, 2014

 

Ms. ***** ******

Better Business Bureau of Northeast Ohio

VIA ELECTRONIC POST

 

RE:      ***** *******  

            Complaint No. ********

 

Dear Ms. ******:

 

Thank your for bringing ***** *******‘s (“Mr.  *******’s”) concerns to the attention of The Kirby Company (the “Company”).  The Company appreciates the opportunity to investigate and respond to this matter.  The Company is unaware of the entities with whom Mr. ******* was speaking for the past year and is anxious to bring his concerns to resolution.   

 

On August 28, 2014, the Company sent Mr. ******* a shipping label so that he could mail his hose to the Company’s World Headquarters at no charge.  As soon as the Company receives the hose, its Engineering Department will inspect it and send a brand new hose to Mr. ******* at no cost to him.  The Company wants the opportunity to inspect the hose as we stand behind our product and want to determine what may have happened to the hose.   

 

If you have any additional questions, please contact me at 216-529-6210 or by email at *********@kirbywhq.com.  Thank you again for the opportunity to resolve this matter.

 

Very truly yours,

 

/s/ ***** ********

 

***** ********

Director, Customer and Public Relations and Business Compliance

4/22/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: The female who took my phone order tried to get my 3 digit security code for my Visa card. This made me suspicious with the rise in identity thef.

Desired Settlement: This employee needs to be reprimanded. The staff at Kirby could be stealing customers credit card data and making purchases with customers cards.

Business Response:

April 9, 2014

 

Ms. ***** ******

Better Business Bureau, Inc.

2800 Euclid Avenue, 4th Floor

Cleveland, Ohio 44115-2408

BBB ID #********

RE: ***** ******

 

Dear Ms. *******

 

            Thank you for allowing The Kirby Company (the “Company”) an opportunity to address ***** ******’s (“Ms. ******’s”) concerns regarding the supply order she placed with our Integrated Marketing Department (“IMD”) at Kirby Headquarters.

 

            The Company takes all complaints seriously. Customer Relations immediately contacted the IMD Supervisor, ****** ******* (“Ms. *******”) and asked her to clarify the reason the three digit security code is requested when a customer places an order with IMD. Ms. ******* stated the customer is asked for their three digit security code as a security precaution to verify the consumer has the credit card in their possession. Once an order is placed, all credit card information is automatically deleted from the system and there is to no way to access it once the transaction is completed.

 

            If you have any questions, please contact me directly at *********@kirbywhq.com.

Thank you,

***** ********

Director, Customer and Public Relations and Business Compliance

3/24/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: On July 06, 2013, my husband and I bought a Kirby Vacuum/shampoo system. Shortly afterwards, my husband, who is on disability, became very ill. He could not use the vacuum or shampooer. I could not use it due to back, muscle problems. We are now having our home professionally cleaned due to our health. In the Kirby brochure, there is the following statement: "Any consumer who, at the time of purchasing a Kirby cleaning system, is at least 67 years old or has a disability (regardless of age)which restricts or prevents the consumer's use of the Kirby system, may cancel and rescind the purchase transaction up to 9 months after the date of purchase." I first contacted the Cleveland office on Jan. 06, 2014, via e mail and phone calls. I was told the NV office was no longer in operation. But since this guarantee came from the Cleveland office, I would assume they would stand behind this cancellation for the consumers' cancellation right called: Golden Ager/disabled Consumer Purchase Cancellation Procedure. I have contacted the Cleveland office and was told they would refund our money for this system due to our inability to operate it. However, each time I call to remind them of their promise, I get excuses and promises they will call back or someone will drop by with our refund and the two appliances they took would be returned. We need for Kirby Co. to stand behind their written promise and stop telling us lie after lie. We are not in good health and do not need this stress and aggravation. We also need our money which we paid in full at the time of sales which was $1,762.00. Our situation has changed drastically since this sale was made. This statement for the cancellation of this product is very important to us and help our present situation. Thank you for anything you can do to contact Kirby Co. to see that they stand behind their advertisement statement.

Desired Settlement: We would like for the Kirby Co. to stand behind their brochure statement and refund our money in full and return our 2 appliances which was a trade in (or something of equal value). A representative from this company has called several weeks ago and told us they would honor this cancellation procedure. However, they have not and have lied to us about calling back time and time again. Thank you for all you can do to help.

Business Response:

 

March 3, 2014

 

 

Ms. ***** ******

Dispute Resolution Specialist

Better Business Bureau

*****@cleveland.bbb.org

 

Re:      ***** ********

Complaint ID# *******

 

Dear Ms. ******:

 

Thank you for allowing The Kirby Company (the “Company’) an opportunity to address ***** ********’s (“Ms. ********’s”) request to cancel her purchase of a Kirby cleaning system under the Company’s Golden Ager/Disabled Consumer Purchase Cancelation Policy (the “Policy”).  

 

As a matter of information, the Company manufactures high quality cleaning systems, which it sells to independently owned and operated businesses or “distributorships.”   These distributorships then sell the cleaning systems to consumer end-users via in-home demonstrations.  As such, the Company’s relationship with the distributorships is that of vendor/vendee.   

 

When Ms. ******** first contacted the Company’s Customer Relations Department to request cancelation under said Policy, the Customer Relations Specialist informed her that TKM Distributing, the distributorship from which she had purchased her machine, no longer was in business.  The Specialist informed Ms. ******** that the Company would mediate her request and determine a way to affect resolution despite TKM Distributing no longer having a relationship with the Company.   

 

The Company continues to work with outside resources to mediate the return of Ms. ********’s Kirby system for a full refund.  We will keep you apprised of our mediation efforts.  Thank you again for allowing the Company the chance to comment.  

 

Sincerely,

 

/s/ ***** ********

 

***** ********

Director, Customer and Public Relations and Business Compliance

Business Response:

Hi *****,

 

I am writing to follow up on The Kirby Company’s initial response to the complaint Ms. ******** filed with your office on February 24, 2014.  We have confirmed with Ms. ******** that she has received a full refund, and the Kirby system has been picked up from her home by FedEx.  Ms. ******** stated she was satisfied with the resolution of this matter.

 

Thank you again for allowing the Company an opportunity to mediate this matter.

 

Sincerely,

*****

12/31/2013 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: About 6 months ago I contacted you about my problem with Kirby to refresh you. We had to sales people from kirby in our home we told them that we could not afford a kirby our son was here from Florida and he said he would buy it for us. They told us thier would be no problem to change the contract over to his name once they got his bank account number anyway they lied about that but did fix it now my son is paying for the kirby. But durning the time it took them to get it changed over we had 3 checks bounce they said they would remburse us for that all we had to do is fax our bank statment to them showing them taking the money and the check bouncing so my husband faxed it over not once but twice that was 5 months ago have not got our money.

Desired Settlement: Would like our money this is crazy we did what they told us it was to be back in our account within 48 hours and it has been 6 months

Business Response:

Ms. ***** ******

Better Business Bureau of Cleveland

2800 Euclid Avenue, Suite #4

Cleveland, Ohio 44115

 

Via Electronic Mail

 

RE: ***** ****** ***

Complaint No. *******

 

Dear Ms. ******:

 

Thank you for bringing the concerns of ***** ****** *** (“Ms. ***”) to the attention of The Kirby Company (the “Company”). The Company appreciates the opportunity to address Ms. ***’s request to be refunded overdraft fees caused by payments attempted to be taken out by United Consumer Financial Services (“UCFS”) for the Kirby system she purchased from Advanced Solutions, an independent, authorized distributor of Kirby products located at 4204 Decker Road, Baytown, TX 77520.

As a matter of information, the Company manufactures high quality cleaning systems, which it sells to independently owned and operated businesses or “distributorships,” such as Advance Solutions. These distributorships then sell the cleaning systems to consumer end-users via in-home demonstrations. As such, the relationship between the Company and the distributorships is that of vendor/vendee.

Upon receipt of Ms. ***’s complaint, Company contacted Ms. *** to discuss her concerns. Ms. *** stated that at the time of her purchase, it was verbally agreed upon with the independent sales representative that the payment for the Kirby would be automatically withdrawn from her son’s account. Ms. *** also advised that her son’s bank account information was not provided to the representative at the time of sale but was forwarded to United Consumer Financial Services for drafting payments. The Company contacted United Consumer Financial Services and Advanced Solution and was advised that the account information that was received for Ms. ***’s son was invalid and they were unable to draft any payments.

Advance Solutions advised the Company that they are willing to refund the customer the amount of $88.50 upon United Consumer Financial Services receiving valid account information for Ms. ***’s son’s account for payments to be drafted. The Company called Ms. *** on December 18 and December 19 to verify this resolution but has been unsuccessful. The Company will continue to mediate this matter for an amicable, fair resolution.

If you have any questions, you may wish to contact Advanced Solutions at 832-695-3088. Thank you again for the opportunity to respond.

Very truly yours,

 

******** *****

Consumer Relations Specialist

The Kirby Company

9/18/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: On August 21 a Kirby door to door saleswoman came to our house and during the 4 hour demonstration she had applied a Kirby cleaner of some kind. And immediately my son started to get a rash and his eye to swell and was removed from the area. I contacted the Kirby Company to acquire a MSDS so I could have the medical information on the product. The next day I was contacted by ***** ******* a Customer relations Senior Specialist who apologize about the inconvenience and hoped my son was better. She gave me the number of InfoTrack so I could get the MSDS myself. On August 22 I responded back that I was disappointed in the response because I pointed out that her company should have the MSDS readily assessable per OSHA requirements. During my conversation with InfoTrack, I was asked if I had removed my children from the area (which happens to be their play room). I was upset with because the representitve was not helpful because I could not give him the right product name. My youngest son has already but prescribed an EPI Pin for his allergies and all I was after was an MSDS so we could have a better understanding of his triggers. And also since the product was sprayed in my house my other son who has Cystic Fibrosis has acquired a bad cough that will not seem to go way. Again all I was after was after was the MSDS information for the health of my family.

Desired Settlement: First I would like the MSDS to better understand the allergic triggers and health information for my family. And second I would like Kirby to improve their training for their sales personal. This is to include a respectful amount of time that they spend in the persons home (not fours hours that goes thought a families dinner and into childrens bed times). And lastly to have their sales people to ask for permission before applying products to things in ones house as that some people might have allergies that maybe triggered by their products even thought the products are all natural. Because remember peanuts are all natural .

Business Response:

                                                                                                                     September 9, 2013

Ms. ***** ******

Better Business Bureau of Cleveland

2800 Euclid Avenue, 4th Floor

Cleveland, Ohio  44115

 

Re:      BBB ID No. *******

Mr. ***** ********

 

Dear Ms. ******:

 

Thank you for allowing The Kirby Company (the “Company”) an opportunity to respond to ***** ********’s (“Mr. ********’s”) concerns regarding a recent demonstration of the Kirby home cleaning system.  

 

As a matter of information, the Company manufactures high quality cleaning systems, which it sells to independently owned and operated businesses or “distributorships.”  These distributorships then sell the cleaning systems to consumer end-users via in-home demonstrations.  The Company contacted all distributorships within 150 miles of Mr. ********’s home, but none of the distributors performed a demonstration at his residence.     

 

The Company has spoken with Mr. ******** and has provided him with material safety data sheets on the shampoos manufactured by the Company.  Unfortunately, since the Company was unable to determine the distributorship represented at Mr. ********’s home, we are unable to determine the specific product the distributorship used.  Mr. ******** indicated he is not certain that the shampoo caused any of the issues in his home and stated if he had any further questions and/or concerns, he would contact the Company’s Customer Relations Department.  The shampoo manufactured by the Company is non-toxic and made ninety percent (90%) of water.

 

Mr. ******** has made no further contact with the Company, and presently, the Company is unable to reach him for general follow up.  The Company remains available should Mr. ******** require any additional assistance. 

 

We appreciate the opportunity to address this matter.  Please call me ************ with any questions.

 

Sincerely,

 

/s/ ***** ********

 

***** ********

Director, Customer and Public Relations and Business Compliance

 

8/2/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I purchased a Kirby Sentria system in 2011. Since then it has broken twice and had to be repaired. Both times I contacted customer relations who only told me that I had 3 days from the purchase date to return it and that they couldn't offer an exchange on the system because the "independent contractor" we had purchased from had since retired so I have no recourse for this obviously defective model. Additionally the only course of action for continued service or repair is to take the system to a dealer during the 3 year limited warrantee that does not include charges for labor (we have paid over $100 in repairs so far). I have been completely dissatisfied with customer relations personnel who have been patronizing and unwilling to offer some sort of remedy or alternate solution especially considering the cost of this product. Additionally, none of the sales personnel disclose that should they go out of business or retire that we would be without any support because all of the distributors are independent and unwilling to help you or back up the product if you didn't purchase it from them, nor is the cost of labor that may be charges to honor the "warrantee" regulated between the different distributors. I would discourage anyone from purchasing this product.

Desired Settlement: I would like a refund/return of the system with all of the respective attachments for the reasonable depreciated value of the machine. The Kirby company should take some ownership for customer satisfaction and performance of their product and should provide a level of oversight and regulation of their distributors as well as some level of cross-responsibility in the event that the distributor you purchase from goes out of business.

Business Response:

July 23, 2013

 

 

Ms. ***** ******

Better Business Bureau of Cleveland

2800 Euclid Avenue, 4th Floor

Cleveland, OH  44115-2408

 

RE:      ******* *******

Complaint ID #*******

 

Dear Ms. ******:

 

Thank you for allowing The Kirby Company (the “Company”) an opportunity to address ******* *******’s (“Ms. *******’s”) concerns regarding the Kirby home cleaning system she purchased from an authorized, independent distributorship of Kirby products on June 27, 2011.

           

On July 12, 2013 and July 16, 2013, a representative with the Company’s Customer Relations Department left Ms. ******* voicemails, asking her to please call back so that the Company could address her concerns.  As Ms. ******* did not respond, the representative called her again on July 17, 2013.  The representative reached Ms. ******* on the 17th, and during that call, Ms. ******* acknowledged that after speaking with Customer Relations in the past, she had taken her Kirby system in for service at a local authorized service center, and her machine was repaired at no cost to her.  As Ms. ******* indicated she still was experiencing problems with her machine, the representative offered to ship her system at the Company’s expense to its World Headquarters for inspection by the Engineering Department.

 

On July 19, 2013, Ms. ******* received a box for shipment of the system.  Once Ms. ******* informs the Company that she has packed the machine, the representative will arrange for FedEx to deliver the machine to Cleveland.    

 

The Company will keep you posted on the resolution of this matter.  If you have any questions in the interim, please contact me directly at **********************.

 

Thank you again for the opportunity to respond.

 

Very truly yours,

 

/s/ ***** ********

 

***** ********

Director, Customer and Public Relations and Business Compliance

7/30/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I purchased a Kirby Vacuum the Sentria on 7-17-2010. I have had many issues with the vacuum after a few months. I have been paying my bill every month. I have in good faith tried to contact Kirby for assistance in replacing my vacuum because I have a warranty that is good for three years. I tried calling the distribution center and all I get is voicemail. I leave a message and no one returns my call. I tried driving to the distribution center and could not find it at all. I even called to get directions and still no answer. I called the sales man who sold it to me and I CANT get in touch with him. The only contact I can get in touch with is the credit area if it means paying my bill. They dont handle the customer service part. I gone onto the website and used the contact number and called the 800 number and again I am put on hold with an automatic machine and after wasting some time I get a voice mail. I sent them a message through the website contact area and I have yet to hear from them. I paid almost 2800 dollars for something that was promised to work to standards for a lifetime and I cant get a hold of any one for customer service. My vacuum is not working well and I want it replaced with the same one or an equal model. I am not paying any more money for a new one or to upgrade. One of Kirby's salesperson came to my home yesterday to try to sell me an upgrade for another 1400 and we said NO. I told him what was going on and all I got was I am sorry, and some excuse for the lack of service. He did test it and tried to see what was wrong and he even said it doesnt work properly. I have all my paperwork(warranty). I have been trying for nearly 2 years to get in contact with them. I have been extremely patient and tolerant. I want this matter resolved and settled. Either I want my money back, or an equal model, brand new that works for what it being paid for. I dont want to pay any money for it. I will be finish paying it off in Sept 2013 and refuse to pay more for something not working well.

Desired Settlement: We have been paying a 36 mth plan of $80 a month that started Oct 2010, but we purchased the vacuum on July 17 2010. I want a full refund for what was paid out of pocket which is about $2500 or a replacement vacuum model of equal value.

Business Response:

June 7, 2013

 

 

 

Ms. ***** ******

BBB of Cleveland

*****@cleveland.bbb.org

 

 

RE:      ****** **********

Complaint ID No. *******

 

Dear Ms. Creter:

 

Thank you for allowing The Kirby Company (the “Company”) an opportunity to address ****** **********’s (“Ms. **********’s”) concerns regarding TNC Enterprises, a former independent distributor of Kirby products.   

 

The Company manufactures high quality cleaning systems, which it sells to independently owned and operated businesses or “distributorships.”  These distributorships then sell the cleaning systems to consumer end-users via in-home demonstrations.  As such, the Company’s relationship with the distributorships is that of vendor/vendee.

 

Ms. ********** requested cancelation of her purchase, which was made on July 17, 2010.  Since the Company was not party to the contract, we were unable to accept her cancelation request. 

 

The Company stands behind its products and would have repaired any manufacturing issues with Ms. **********’s system.  However, Ms. ********** was operating her Kirby system improperly by using an incorrect belt.  She was made aware that she cannot use the buffer system belt with her power nozzle, and she was sent complimentary bags and belts.

 

If you have any questions, please contact me directly at *********@kirbywhq.com.  Thank you.

 

Very truly yours,

 

/s/ ***** ********

 

***** ********

Director, Customer and Public Relations and Business Compliance

 

Consumer Response: I have received phone calls from Kirby representatives finally to help fix the issue with the vacuum. I was not aware that I could not use the belt I had on it now until after the fact I made my complaint when a REPRESENTATIVE FINALLY CONTACTED ME. ***** from Buford Georgia had called me and sent me belts and bags to use. I am going to call him when my work schedule does not conflict with his business hours. He intends to walk me through how to fix my belt on and fix the other problems I am having with this vacuum. I intend to call him between June 11th and the 14th 2013. Because his distribution center is too far for me to get to he said he will talk with me over the phone. I have already received the items. I have also spoken to another representative from Kirby and again I explained what was happeneing and again said they would call me back but never did. I feel that the sale representative need to explain in full detail about the products and how to use them. Even though we have read the manual and seen the dvd. It's good to have hands on. During the entire sale of this product the sales reprepresentaive was more interested in selling the most vacuum so he could win a trip to some island. Just as the other representative who came to our house a few weeks ago. We purchased believing we would get great customer service and a lifetime on the product. That is what we were told by the seller of the vaccum ******* *****. We also thought it was going to be easy to attain all the necessary accessories and service needed for the vacuum because they (kirby) had a distribution center in Newnan. Which was very convienent for use. We will finish paying off our kirby vacuum and get the help from ***** to hopefully fix our vacuum. And I will never buy from Kirby agin, or recommend Kirby to anyone. Their sales representatives need to focus on the customer and explain in better detail what their selling. Instead of caring about winning a trip to some place. I also don't need to be told by the person ringing my door that they will get fifty dollars if they demonstrate the product. That is not how a buisness should run. I am sorry that my husband and I wasted ourtime and money on this over priced product.

Business Response:

July 19, 2013

 

 

Ms. ***** ******

Better Business Bureau of Cleveland

2800 Euclid Avenue, 4th Floor

Cleveland, OH  44115-2408

 

RE:      ****** **********

Complaint ID #*******

 

Dear Ms. Creter:

 

Thank you for allowing The Kirby Company (the “Company”) an opportunity to follow up on ****** **********’s (“Ms. **********’s”) concerns regarding TNC Enterprises, a former independent distributorship of Kirby products.

 

On June 21, 2013, Ms. ********** was provided technical support over the telephone.  During the call, Ms. ********** learned how to assemble the belt correctly on the power nozzle; Ms. ********** was using her Kirby system with an incorrect belt.  Ms. ********** also was made aware that she cannot use the buffer system belt with her power nozzle.

 

On July 1, 2013, Ms. ********** was called again to make sure her system was working, and she stated that her machine was working much better.  Ms. ********** was advised that if she had any problems in the future to call for proper service.

 

If you have any questions, please contact me directly at *********@kirbywhq.com.  Thank you.

 

Sincerely,

 

/s/ ***** ********

 

***** ********

Director, Customer and Public Relations and Business Compliance

 

 

6/24/2013 Guarantee/Warranty Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: We purchased a new Kirby Sentria from a dealer, not used or second hand. The first year and a half we had no carpeting, and only used it to spot vacuum with the tube, or to clean the cars. Once we bought an area rug, I started noticing cuts in the carpet. I couldn't figure out what they were caused by, the rug was melted and marks about 8" long that I eventually found out was caused by the brush from our Kirby. I contacted Kirby and while in correspondence with " customer relations senior specialist" Ms ***** *******, she has sent 2 letters after reviewing the case and has concluded-without careful considerate, or sending a representative out here to review the rug in person, that the rug was sucked into the vacuum or that the vacuum was set upright for a long time while turned on and that caused damage. I disputed the first letter which prompted a second review where they came to the same conclusion without any information requested from me which tells me, she just reworded the past letter and sent it. The rug cannot be pulled into the brushes because it is a thick rug, the marks are a full foot in from the edge of the carpet and we have a sofa on one side of the rug and a heavy 300+lb buffet on the other side which acts as an entertainment center. The rug doesn't budge.

Desired Settlement: I would like them to buy the machine back from us and replace the rug. An associate is welcome to come out to review the scene and conclude that the rug is not sucked into the vacuum. No other way around it. We don't want this machine anymore, as they're not the least bit interested in even looking at the machine to see if there is a tune up they need to do to fix the issue. I'm not going to buy a new rug and have it happen to the new rug as well.

Business Response:

                                                      April 1, 2013

Ms. ***** ******

Better Business Bureau, Inc.

Re:      ***** **** *****

BBB ID *******

Dear Ms. Creter:

Thank you for forwarding ***** **** *****’s (“Mr. *****’s”) concerns regarding alleged damage to his area rug to The Kirby Company (the “Company”).          

Prior to receiving Mr. *****’s complaint from the Better Business Bureau (“BBB”), the Company had been working with Mr. *****’s wife, ***** ***** (“Ms. *****”), on their concerns.  The Company’s Customer Relations Department asked the Company’s Engineering Department (“Engineering”) to review all of the information Ms. ***** provided.  Engineering was able to determine that the damage to the rug was not the result of any defect in the Kirby system.

Engineering determined that the rug was not properly “pinned down.”  As such, the rug either was lifted or pulled up slightly into the brush roll while the Kirby system was being used, or the Kirby system had been left in a stationary position while turned on. 

The Company informed Ms. ***** of Engineering’s conclusion, and she requested that the Company reconsider without providing any additional information.  Per Ms. *****’s request, Engineering reexamined the documentation previously provided but still reached the same conclusion.       

Upon receipt of Mr. *****’s complaint to the BBB, Engineering again reviewed all of the information provided, including Mr. *****’s assertions in his complaint to the BBB.  Engineering again concluded that if the machine had not been left in a stationary position while on, the damage to the rug would have been widespread throughout the entire carpet, not just in a couple of spots. 

Engineering also determined that Ms. ***** had used the Kirby system with the brush roll engaged, which Ms. ***** confirmed.  Page thirteen (13) of the Owner’s Manual for the *****’ Kirby system states that when cleaning hard floors, throw rugs or delicate carpets, straight suction cleaning or the hard floor pad should be used.  When using straight suction mode, the brush roll is not engaged.  The photographs Ms. ***** provided show marks left by the brush roll, therefore substantiating the Company’s position that the damage caused to the carpet was the result of the customer not following proper operating instructions for the Kirby system, e.g., leaving the brush roll engaged.   

Based on the information provided, the Company is unable to accept responsibility for the present condition of the area rug.  Thank you again for allowing the Company the opportunity to respond.

Very truly yours,

/s/ ***** ********

***** ********

Director, Customer and Public Relations and Business Compliance

Business Response:

 

April 15, 2013 l

Ms. ***** *****

** ******** ****** *

Chicopee, MA 01022

Dear Ms. *****: T

I am writing as follow up to the recent dispute you filed with the Better Business Bureau.

The Kirby Company (the “Company") stands by its original findings of improper

use of the Kirby home cleaning system. Nonetheless, as a gesture of goodwill,

the Company is offering a compromise of $159.43, which is the amount you

stated that you paid for the rug in October 2012.

Enclosed are two copies of a Release. If you choose to accept this offer, please

sign one copy of the Release, have it witnessed, and return it in the enclosed

postage-prepaid envelope. Upon receipt of the signed release, a check will be

issued in the amount of $159.43.

If you have any questions, please email ********@kirbywhg.com, or call me at

1-800-494-8586, Monday through Friday 8:00 am — 5:00 pm, EST. Thank you.

 ‘

 

Consumer Response: I would accept the offer of having the Kirby inspected under specific terms.


I have read complaints that deal with the integrity of the company. If I were to ship my vacuum out there, i would like a contact number for someone directly who would overlook this personally. If it gets lost, I would expect full reimbursement.

If the vacuum comes back and is operating properly, then I would settle for the payment for the rug as the guard is optional as being mentioned before and I would invest in one of the guards to avoid this happening in the future.

If the machine is found to be operating Improperly, I would just like to have this taken off my hands, in the aforementioned settlement regarding reimbursement for what we paid. 

I will need a box to ship the machine as we bought the one they used in our house, and the accessories came with a box but not the machine.


Let me know if this works for you all on your end.

Thank you

Business Response:

Hi *****,

 

Thanks for forwarding Mr. Adams’s response to our offer.  We will work on getting the machine picked up from Mr. Adams’s home ASAP, but no sooner than May 15, 2013 per his request.

 

Sincerely,

*****

Business Response:

May 28, 2013

Ms. ***** ******

*****@cleveland.bbb.org

Re: ***** **** *****

 

BBB ID No. *******

Dear Ms. ******:

The Kirby Company (the “Company”) is writing as follow up your letter dated May

24, 2013 regarding ***** **** *****’s (“Mr *****’s”) complaint regarding alleged damage to his area rug.

Upon receipt of Mr. *****'s Kirby system, the Company's Engineering Department examined the machine. The Engineering Department did not find any defects with the system. As such, the Company stands by its original conclusion that the Kirby system was used improperly. Nonetheless, as a gesture of goodwill, the Company is offering a compromise of $159.43 to resolve; this matter in its entirety, which is the amount Mr. ***** paid for the rug in October 2012.

Attached are two copies of a Release. If Mr. ***** chooses to accept this offer, he and his wife, ***** *****, need to sign one copy of the Release, have it witnessed, and return it to the Company, attention ***** *******, at 1920 West 114th Street, Cleveland, OH 44102. Upon receipt of the signed Release, a check will be issued in the amount of $159.43.

Thank you for the opportunity to respond.

Very truly yours,

***** ********

Director, Customer and Public Relations and Business Compliance

Business Response:

Hi Betty,

 

Just writing to update you that we received a signed copy of the release!  We have asked our accounting department to issue the check to Mr. and Mrs. *****. 

 

Thanks,

*****

5/3/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: In the Kirby Owner Care booklet there is a section called "Golden Ager/Disabled Consumer Purchase Cancellation Procedure" which says: "Any consumer who, at the time of purchasing a Kirby cleaning system, is at least sixty-(67) years old or has a disability (regardless of age) which restricts or prevents the consumer's use of the Kirby system, may cancel and rescind the purchase transaction up to nine (9) months after the date of purchase." (I purchased the Kirby on Aug. 24, 2012.)"Upon cancellation of the purchase transaction, the independent Distributor who made the sale will return all deposits, trade-in merchandise and down payments to the consumer. If trade-in merchandise is no longer available, the independent Distributor will return to the consumer merchandise of an equal value and a similar type as that of the trade-in merchandise."Because arthritis in my hands, wrists, back and shoulders make it very difficult to operate the Kirby, I notified Kirby by email on Feb. 21 that I wanted to return the Kirby and receive a refund and return of a vacuum cleaner and carpet shampooer. After going back and forth emailing I received no results. Finally ***** *********, the sales rep's boss, called me from Cleveland and said that if the sales rep doesn't pick up the Kirby to resell it and get my money back, he would send me a check for the purchase price. I asked how long I would have to wait, and he said give it a couple of weeks. I never heard from the sales rep and his phone is now disconnected. I called Mr. ********* on April 9 and he never returned my call. I feel Kirby should stand by their agreement. We're talking about $1898.00 plus my two machines.

Desired Settlement: I would like $1898.00 refunded which is the amount I paid for the Kirby, and also compensation for my vacuum cleaner and carpet shampooer. I was allowed a trade-in allowance of $849 when I purchased the Kirby.

Business Response:

                                                      April 29, 2013

 

 

 

Ms. ***** ******

Dispute Resolution Specialist

Better Business Bureau

2800 Euclid Avenue, 4th Floor

Cleveland, Ohio 44115

 

Re:      ******* ****

Complaint ID# *******

 

Dear Ms. ******:

 

I am writing in response to ******* ****’s (“Ms. ****’s”) request to cancel her purchase of a Kirby home cleaning system.  Ms. **** purchased her Kirby home cleaning system on August 24, 2012 from Chain of Lakes Distributors, LLC (“Chain of Lakes”), a former distributorship of Kirby products located at 2771 Cedar Drive, Plover, WI 54467.   

 

As a matter of information, the Company manufactures high quality cleaning systems, which it sells to independently owned and operated businesses or “distributorships.”  These distributorships then sell the cleaning systems to consumer end-users via in-home demonstrations.  As such, the Company’s relationship with the distributorships is that of vendor/vendee.  Chain of Lakes was terminated as an independent distributor of Kirby products on March 28, 2013.     

 

The Company has informed Ms. **** that a refund check will be sent to her the week of May 7, 2013.  Ms. ****’s Kirby systems will be retrieved and her two trade-ins returned at that time.  

 

The Company will continue to follow to ensure that this matter is resolved to Ms. ****’s satisfaction. 

 

If you have any additional questions, please call me at 216-529-6210.  Thank you for the opportunity to respond. 

 

Very truly yours,

 

 /s/ ***** ********

 

***** ********

Director, Customer and Public Relations and Business Compliance

Consumer Response:

[A default letter is provided here which indicates your acceptance of the business's response.  If you wish, you may update it before sending it.]

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and find that this resolution is satisfactory to me.  I am very satisfied with the replacement machines.  I am expecting my refund in the mail next week.

Regards,

 

******* ****

 

 

 

12/21/2012 Guarantee/Warranty Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I bought a Kirby vacuum system around 2 years ago. About a year after I bought it the hepa bag stop zipping. So I contacted Kirby and they told me to call a local dealer and they would have to help me. Well I could not locate a local dealer. So I have since contacted Kirby multiple times different ways throught email and through phone calls. Then 2 weeks ago a dealer stops by my house trying to sale me a kirby I said no thanks I have one but I need a new bag. She states and I quote "I'm sorry but we don't handle warranty claims you will have to call Kirby and have them send you one." This is something I have done several times with no resolution to my problem. I paid over $2000 for this vacuum because of the promise of we are the best and have the best warranty. I feel I was lied to and should recieve a resolution.

Desired Settlement: I am now to the point that I do not believe they stand behind their products which is why I bought this vacuum to begin with. I feel they should refund my full purchase price back to me and they can come get their vacuum.

Business Response:

                                 December 13, 2012

   

Ms. ***** ******

Dispute Resolution Specialist

Better Business Bureau, Inc.

2800 Euclid Avenue, 4th Floor

Cleveland, OH  44115-2408

 

Re:       BBB ID No. *******

 ***** ********

                       

Dear Ms. ******:

 

I am writing in response to the complaint ***** ******** (“Ms. ********”) filed with the Better Business Bureau regarding the outer bag to her Kirby home cleaning system.

 

The Kirby Company (the “Company”) has left Ms. ******** three (3) voicemails with no response.  The Company has requested to know the serial number of the Kirby cleaning system Ms. ******** purchased as the Company does not have record of Ms. ******** buying the machine from an independent, authorized distributorship of Kirby products.  Nonetheless, as a gesture of goodwill, the Company mailed a complete Sentria system outer bag to Ms. ******** on December 6, 2012.  According to FedEx’s website, the bag was delivered to Ms. ******** on December 11, 2012 at 2:47 p.m.  The Company emailed Ms. ******** on December 11, 2012, asking her to please confirm her satisfaction with the resolution of this matter, but as of today, Ms. ******** has not responded.

 

Thank you for the opportunity to respond.

 

Very truly yours,

 *** ***** ********

 

***** ********

Manager, Customer and Public Relations and Business Compliance

 

7/25/2012 Advertising/Sales Issues | Complaint Details Unavailable
6/21/2012 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I work for the management company that manages ******* ** ********** *****. We are an apartment community that prohibits solicitation. We have on numerous occasions asked and escorted Kirby Sales members off our property. Our residents have placed numerous complaints concerning the aggressive nature of some of the salesmen. We have experienced, without fail, their utter disregard for private property, our management & our residents. I called this morning to speak to their corporate office about resolving this matter. I encountered *** ***** *******. I explained that the property is private property and that we have a no soliciting policy. I requested that her company contact the area retailers and notify them that the community is off limits. She rudely ignored my request and defensively retorted with "So, you speak for ALL of your residents?"I replied by saying, "I speak for the management company hired by the owners of the property. I am enforcing the community No Soliciting policy." Again, she insisted that some of our residents maybe want of her companies services. I replied by saying that if that is the case her company has a well designed web site that step by step takes her customers through the process to schedule a demo. I continued by saying if I can't get this resolved through her company I would file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. *** ******* became very vocal and defensive. She would not let me speak after that point. I asked to speak with someone else and she said I was threatening her. I reiterated that I just want their sales people off my community. She said I could fax a letter from the owners of the property and they would consider it. I explained the letter would come from our management company and she repeated her previous comment this time emphasizing consider it. I found her behavior appalling and extremely unprofessional.

Desired Settlement: I would like for The Kirby Company to advise their retailers in the surrounding area to the policy of our community which is, No Soliciting. I would like for their retailers to respect the community policy and not come into our gated community without an appointment with a specific apartment home.Perhaps, they should mass mail. I realize they would have to pay for such services however, then our residents could contact them when the need applies.

Business Response: Dear *******: Thank you for forwarding a copy of ********* ********** (“*** **********”) complaint regarding solicitations at******* ** ********** ***** ************ an apartment community in ********* **********.   Upon receipt of the complaint, The Kirby Company (the “Company”) immediately started an investigation to determine the responsible distributorship.  The Company determined that dealers with ******* ******** *******, an independent distributorship in ********, recently may have solicited near Hilltop.  ******* ******** ******* is located at ***** ******* ****** **** ** ********* ********** ***** (telephone number ************).  ******* ******** ******* advised the Company that a notice was posted inside the distributorship, reminding salespeople not to solicit at Hilltop.  The Company contacted all independent distributorships of Kirby products in the ******** area and advised them not to solicit at Hilltop.  The Company sent a “do not contact/do not visit” list to all of its independent distributors within 150 miles of Hilltop.  In its communication to the distributors, the Company reminded them to adhere to “no soliciting” signs.  The Company also reminded the distributors that per their agreements with the Company, they are required to operate legally and ethically, including adhering to the wishes of consumers who do not wish to be solicited for in-home demonstrations. While the Company was disappointed to learn of the independent distributorship’s behavior at Hilltop, the Company was equally disappointed to learn of the behavior of one of its Customer Relations Specialists.  I have counseled ***** *******, the Specialist who took *** ********** call, and will continue to monitor her work.  Her behavior was unacceptable, and I have apologized to *** ******** for her experience with the Company’s Customer Relations Department.             Thank you again for the opportunity to assist.  Please do not hesitate to contact me at ************ or ********************** if I may be of assistance.  Very truly yours, /s/ ***** ********  ***** ******** Manager, Customer and Public Relations and Business Compliance