Friday, January 6, 2012

Duped By The Vacuum Salesman

Today showed me that I am NOT as bright as I sometimes think. I was duped by the vacuum salesman.

Today started out pretty normal. The kids and I were early, we took forever getting ready and then as part of our Friday=Funday routine, we went out to lunch (which thankfully went with out any mishaps) and then grocery shopping. We ran some other errands and came home. Everything was going really well.

I had dinner in the oven and was running around trying to pick up the whirlwind of a mess that my house had become when there was a knock at the door. Because I have two boxers and a bulldog that thinks it's a boxer, I had to step outside instead of just opening the door to the woman. Upon shaking her hand, she asks if I'm the lady of the home and when I answer positively, she hands me a jug of Snuggie fabric softener. My "red flags" should have raised at this point. But they didn't. She then proceeds to ask me if I'd be willing to have a free carpet cleaning as part of an advertisement for a new company in the area. They wanted to also advertise by word of mouth. So, upon making sure that it was free, I let them in. Stupid me still hadn't caught on at this point.

The very nice gentleman who would be doing the cleaning began to unpack BOXES of vacuum equipment, explaining the whole time what each part was and asking all kinds of questions. He even had me get my own vacuum and use it on my carpet before he used his. He then explains that his is a Kirby. The name Kirby sounded familiar to me but it didn't occur to me until hours later that Dog the Bounty Hunter used to sell them back in his "pre-bounty" days.

 It still didn't dawn on me that he was trying to sell me the stupid thing. It wasn't until I asked him how much the cleaning services cost did he tell me that it wasn't a service he was selling but the vacuum itself. I'm not gonna lie, this thing was pretty amazing. All the parts were dishwasher safe. It vacuumed out a TON of dirt that my own vacuum didn't. Seriously. I feel wrong using my own vacuum now, knowing that it's not really getting out all the nastiness that's just chilling in my carpet. It also has an attachment to inflate and deflate what ever (when he told me that I could use it to blow up balloons, I thought he was joking). It has duster attachments for curtains, the TV and my ceiling fan. THEN he asked for a pillow from my bed. Actually, he asked if he could use it on my mattress but for some reason, I just felt that was a little weird. So, using some black filters, he vacuumed my pillow and showed me the grossest thing I've ever seen. The amount of dirt that is just chilling in my pillows (and therefor how much is in my mattress) is disgusting. I'm not even going to describe it. Makes me feel funny sleeping in my own bed tonight. However, this is not the end. He then begins to shampoo my carpet (entertaining my children with the bubbles the whole time).

While the suds are settling, he asks me if I'd like to see the price. He explains that financing is available and they're usually very flexible to help work around what the individual can pay. Here we go. I'm sold and I want one. Then he shows me the paper work. $2492. WHAT?!?!?!?! ? You want me to pay WHAT for a vacuum? I thought he was joking. I seriously did. That's outrageous to me. Do I LOOK like I can afford a multi thousand dollar vacuum? I mean, my house and cars are nice and all but give me a break. Then he asks me all kinds of questions like how much would I be willing to put down and what kind of monthly payment am I comfortable with. Then, awkwardness beyond awkwardness, he calls his boss. Right there in front of me. I almost smacked him, as nice as he was. He proceeds to get a run down from his boss, answering in only yes and no. Then he hangs up. He gives me a $1000 dollar discount. I almost laughed again. I got a $492 discount JUST FOR TURNING IN MY OLD VACUUM. And another $500 because I was a stay at home mom. I'm still laughing a little. The silliest things I've ever heard. I said I wouldn't make a large purchase like that without consulting my husband who was still at work. Ugh. Some how, my husband called right then. Cover blown. Thankfully, my husband, although I ranted and raved, is the voice of reason. He didn't even blink an eye. I'm pretty sure he didn't even respond past, "Oh, that's pretty cool."

Although I felt so awful that I had to tell this poor guy (I was his very first attempt on his own), I was kinda glad the whole ordeal was over. With the ability to go in and say my husband wasn't feeling it at the moment, I was able to get the sneaky, albeit kind (and patient with my nosy children), vacuum salesman out of my house. He did a fantastic job cleaning my carpet and he put up with my kids who kept taking his stuff apart (pretty sure my daughter used one of the vacuum heads that had bristles on it to brush her hair) but I am SO bad at telling people no and I get REALLY uncomfortable when a sales pitch just goes on and on. It got awkward while he was packing up and his boss showed up to help him out (and continue the sales pitch) but in the end, I got a free carpet cleaning and shampoo as well as a free jug of fabric softener. I can't complain about that. My kids were entertained for hours while I cleaned up my kitchen and watched the guy clean my carpet. Can't complain about that either. All in all, as weird as it got, being duped by the vacuum salesman wasn't a totally terrible thing.

I'm still amazed at myself though for how badly I fell for the whole scheme. Now I'm a little wiser and know that the next time some one shows up at my door with a jug of fabric softener, to let them know I'm not buying what they're selling but they're more than welcome to clean my carpet if they want.


  1. Kirby salespeople have apparently gotten bad. My parents got one years ago when I was a baby and they still have it, but Hubby and our Best Man had to endure a salespitch. I'll tell you that another time :) Meanwhile, a few weeks ago a lady came to my door and wanted to use my bathroom. Super weird right? I said no and she handed me a flyer and was talking about a new company in the area with discounts, etc. same as they told you. She finally left when I said I'd tell Hubby about it and then called security. They aren't supposed to be in our gated condos and the guard said they keep sneaking in. So yea, Kirby's are great but their tactics give them negative points for any positive of the vacuum.

  2. I didn't even know they still had traveling vacuum salesman! Reading your post, I was SURE you were going to end up with that vacuum at the end. Good for you for not getting too sucked in!

    Congrats on being a vB Featured Member!


  3. I got suckered into a Kirby many years ago. I still have it and it still works great, but it wasn't $2500. More like $1000. Still can't believe I paid that for a vacuum. Good for you for getting out of it without buying the vacuum!

    Congrats on being a vB featured member!

  4. hi. this is a very good story. you impressed me a lot. For me, kirby is a very industrious Vacuum Cleaner and a salesman as well. I think he don't have an intention to tease you. he just want to help you I think.


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