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Sterling Marketing Inc is a Marketing and Advertising agency and an authorized dealer of Kirby Home Care Systems.

BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that Sterling Marketing, Inc 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 16 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that lowered the rating for Sterling Marketing, Inc include:

  • Length of time business has been operating

Factors that raised the rating for Sterling Marketing, Inc include:

  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size.
  • Response to 8 complaint(s) filed against business.
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business.
  • BBB has sufficient background information on this business.

Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

8 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 6 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 2
Billing/Collection Issues 2
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 0
Problems with Product/Service 4
Total Closed Complaints 8

Additional Information

BBB file opened: October 08, 2012 Business started: 02/08/2012 Business started locally: 02/08/2012 Business incorporated: 11/13/2012 in CT
Type of Entity


Business Management
Mr. John S. Petaway, Co-Owner
Contact Information
Principal: Mr. John S. Petaway, Co-Owner
Business Category

Door-to-Door Sales - Cleaning Supplies Vacuum Equipment & Systems Vacuum Cleaners - Household - Dealers

Additional Locations

  • 1 Padanaram Rd

    Danbury, CT 06811 (203) 616-2523

  • 1

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Types of Complaints Handled by BBB

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Complaint Detail(s)

7/28/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: Door bell rings-very nice woman is at my door and hands me a card that says I can have a free room deep cleaning(rug) or 2 pieces of furniture deep cleaned with a preview/presentation of the ****** *. I agree.So she makes a call and than 2 guys knock on my door. Well I listen to this whole spiel about the ***** and all the things it can do. Now I live in a 600 sq ft apt so its not like I need to keep a big house clean. When it becomes obvious to the salesman that I am not going to agree with him about dirt being a "danger" to my health nor was I going to buy a $2600 vacuum, he packed up his stuff and left. Not one mention of my free cleaning. I wasnt rude or anything! I would not have wasted any of my time or his if I had known I wasnt going to get the cleaning. I feel like I was duped and wasted over an hour of my time. I dont like being lied to.

Desired Settlement: I think I should be paid $25 for the hour+ he wasted of my time-thats what I get paid per hour. At the very least I think that they should change the flier to say "free cleaning with purchase" as it was a HUGE lie the way it is written on the current flier.

Business Response: ********
       I did some research and our company ****** ****** was never at **** ******** home. I called A few different ***** offices in CT and found out it was the ***** office in ******* **. The contact information for them is: Sterling Enterprise ** **** ** ******* ** ************* If you can please transfer the complaint to them that would be greatly appreciated. If you need any other help please don't hesitate to ask. Thank you.

My very best,

**** *******   

Business Response:

In response to *** ******** *********, she has a type of flooring that we are not able to do because of the moisture from the machine. In respects to damaging her floor we offer to do a different service, furniture or carpet. Unfortunately she declined any other service we could provide and asked us to leave so we did. We tried to accommodate her as best as we could but in the end she asked us to leave. If you have any further questions please feel free to call ###-###-####.




**** *******

Factory Distributor

Consumer Response:  
Complaint: ********

I am rejecting this response because: First of all , they were supposed to clean the carpet and the furniture-I never discussed cleaning my kitchen flooring.  The deal I made with the woman who came in was to do the carpet.  Second of all, the salesman NEVER offered to clean anything-not before the sales pitch and not after it either.  I was expecting something along the lines of :ok its time to show you how this can clean....   When it became obvious to the salesman that I was not going to purchase anything....he just packed up and left.  For the record I never asked anyone to leave.  Even my 15 yr old was shocked that they didnt clean anything.  Shoddy sales tactics if you ask me.


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

BBB's Final Determination: After reviewing the position of all parties, BBB determined that the business made a reasonable offer to resolve the complaint. However the consumer did not accept the offer.

5/1/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: In March I was sold a ***** vaccuum system by a door-to-door salesman, who I later found out was not authorized to enter my apartment building. The salesman works for Sterling Marketing. After a 3 hour ordeal, I finally agreed to finance the system, and they took my older(yet expensive) ***** vaccuum with them when they left. A month later (April) I was hit with an extremely large amount of medical expenses, after diagnoses of a devastating illness and I have been forced to make some drastic changes in my finances. My payments on the ***** are not scheduled to start until June. I called Sterling Marketing after being told by the financing company that they could only cancel the contract if it was authorized by Sterling. I received a return phone call from someone named Mike Markowitz (and to be candid, he was so unpleasant that I'm not convinced that's even his real name). He has refused to cancel the contract, even though I offered to pay the $500 that he claimed to have already paid out in commissions to his sales team. He then tried to pawn me off to the ***** Consumer Service, who told me that they unfortunately could not authorize a cancellation since Sterling Marketing is an independent distributor. Overall, extremely bad customer service, very unaccomodating, very rude and unwilling to work with me at all. I absolutely hate the vaccuum system, and shouldn't have to spend the next 36 months paying for it when they could easily take it back and re-sell it (it's in perfect condition). Bottom line: it seems like he is refusing to cancel it just out of spite. Terrible business practice.

Desired Settlement: I want the contract cancelled and the equipment removed from my home.

Business Response: In response to Jaclyn Sabol's complaint, I Mike Markiewicz (my real name)  explained to Ms Sabol our cancellation policy which is also on the receipt she signed. We were not rude in any way shape or form however Ms Sabol just didnt get the response and resolution she was hoping for. After explaining whats already on her receipt which she signed Ms sabol followed with a good old fashioned I'm going to sue you, I explained to her she could certainly call our consumer relations 800 number. Not pawning her off to them, thats just what the consumer relations department is for, an unhappy customer.  Unfortunately she didnt call us a day or two later but a month later, the product works perfect and business was conducted as best and perfect as we could which is 100% our end of the agreement. At this point we will not accept the cancelation but we will certainly be more than happy to assist Ms Sabol with the ***** machine now and in the future.  Any questions feel free to call ###-###-####.

Consumer Response:  
Complaint: 10025586

I am rejecting this response because:

This response is absolutely incorrect in saying that Mike was not rude, or unwilling to resolve the problem.  Any business who is unwilling to accomodate a customer (remember the days of the customer being right and treated with respect?) is surely going to receive complaints, and I'm sure that I am not the first and won't be the last to complain about this particular company's lack of customer service.  I was in fact, pawned off to the ***** customer service line.   The rep's exact words were "I have no idea why he told you to call us, we only deal with warranty and technical issues with the product itself", which Mike surely knew when he told me to call them.  I also called him back immediately and left a message but not surprisingly, he never returned my call.  I have never experienced a purchase (especially an expensive purchase!) where you cannot cancel the contract if you are unhappy - there is usually a penalty of course, and understandably - but how is it legal to hold someone in a contract indefinitely for a product that they are unhappy with?  To simply say, "you had 3 days to cancel and you didn't so now you have to spend the next 36 months paying for a product that is impossible to use and that you're unhappy with" is very poor business practice. It's akin to robbery. This company needs to change it's ways of doing business - drastically. I caution everyone considering working with this company to reconsider - when you are not "allowed" to cancel or return a product it is a clear indication that the company doesn't have faith in the quality of their products.  Lesson learned.


Jaclyn Sabol

BBB's Final Determination: After reviewing the position of all parties, BBB determined that the business made a reasonable offer to resolve the complaint. However the consumer did not accept the offer.

3/14/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: When we originally ordered the Kirby vacuum, we traded in a ***** ********* *****Away, which was in excellent condition, ran perfectly, and had all of the accessories. After we cancelled, and after some delay, the salesman came and picked up their Kirby machine, and brought a ***** *********. The ***** they returned to us is not ours. It is banged up and scratched, smells like a chemical factory, was filthy with mud caked up on the inside of all the tubes and the base, the motor sounds like it is on its last legs, and the accessory ring and accessories are missing. We contacted them at the two telephone numbers we have for them two weeks ago. To date we have received no response.

Desired Settlement: We would like the return of our ***** ********* Lift-Away, in excellent condition, running perfectly, and with the accessory ring and all the accessories. In the alternative, we would like a check in the amount of $120 so that we can replace our vacuum. They can take back the one they returned to us.

Business Response:

After Miss Zaccaro cancelled they were not available for us to pick up the kirby for some time, the machine that was traded in was donated based on the laps of time and how old it was. We finally got a hold of her asked if it was ok to bring her a machine that was comparable or better than what she traded in and miss Zaccaro said sure no problem. We brought her another shark in excellent working condition. I personally plugged it in inside her home just to make sure she was satisfied. At this point miss Zaccaro said thank you very much, sorry I couldnt be home at an earlier date, me and my husband are very busy. Few weeks went by and we received a call from Mr Zaccaro asking for a call back because he wasnt happy with the ***** his wife agreed to keep. We called them back several times, left several messages with no response.  We are more than happy to bring different machine. 

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ******** 

After we cancelled the transaction, the business owner contacted me to arrange picking up the Kirby and returning our original ***** vacuum cleaner.   I work 1.2 miles from our office.  It is not true that we were not available "for some time."   I was not available only once due to my work on a particular day.  Other than that, I was available anytime he could make the trip from his office in Shelton to me in New London.  When he did come back to pick up his Kirby and return our vacuum, he showed up without our vacuum.  We had to reschedule its delivery.  A few more weeks passed before he was finally able make the delivery.  He did deliver a ***** vacuum cleaner, but, it was not the exact same vacuum as detailed in my complaint.  He did not plug it in, as he states, but rather, at my insistence, left it in the entranceway where there were no electrical outlets.  I did not have time to inspect it because I had to get back to work.

After my husband called to complain about the return of a replacement that was not ours, neither of us had ever received any calls or messages from the business owner on either of our phone lines, as our phone records would demonstrate.

While the business owner's response is inaccurate in many respects, given that he claims he is unable to return OUR original *****, which was in excellent condition, we will agree to a replacement that is in the same, excellent condition and contains all of the accessories that we originally traded in but never returned.


Diane Zaccaro 

BBB's Final Determination: Consumer accepted resolution offered by the business.

12/27/2013 Billing/Collection Issues | Complaint Details Unavailable
10/1/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues | Complaint Details Unavailable
9/11/2013 Billing/Collection Issues
5/13/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: failure to return vaccuum see below

Desired Settlement: Purchased Kirbey Vaccuum on 4/8/13; per contract have 3 days to return with no finacial obligation. Returned Kirbey on 4/10/13. Contract states sterling Marketing will return vaccuum cleaner that was used as an exchange within 10 business days. Difficulty in getting a return phone call. Spoke with ****** on 4/26/13 stating he would return our vaccuum cleaner and check on monday 4/29/13 between 12 and 1pm. He is passed the 10day return policy in which is stated in Sterling Marketing contract. I am seeking out having my vaccuum cleaner and $100.00 check returned.

Business Response: Business Response /* (1000, 5, 2013/05/09) */ customer is all set.

BBB's Final Determination: Consumer accepted resolution offered by the business.

2/28/2013 Problems with Product/Service