- Report: #446519
Report - Rebuttal - Arbitrate
Complaint Review: Southeast Association - Kirby Vacuum Sales
Southeast Association - Kirby Vacuum Sales2130 Michigan Ave. Kissimmee, Florida United States of America
Southeast Association - Kirby Vacuum Sales, dishonest job dishonest salesman lying Dealers Steve Griffith Elizabeth Kissimmee Florida
*Consumer Comment: Not so nice
*UPDATE Employee: I Agree with the Author
*REBUTTAL Owner of company: So True!!
*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Totally Agree
*UPDATE EX-employee responds: So Sad & So True! STAY AWAY!!!!
*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Southeast Association BUSTED!
*UPDATE EX-employee responds: I hear you. I got scammed too.
*Consumer Comment: AMBER CHECK THIS OUT
*UPDATE EX-employee responds: RE: Tell the truth.....
*Consumer Suggestion: Do NOT Interview with this Company
*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Complete Waist Of Time..
*Consumer Comment: Kirby Vacuum Rip-off
*Consumer Comment: You are right Amber
*Author of original report: RE: Sour Grapes
*UPDATE Employee: "Waste of Time"
*Consumer Comment: Thank You Amber for sharing your experience
*UPDATE Employee: Sour grapes
*Author of original report: RE: Truth is Freedom
*Author of original report: RE: Truth is Freedom
*Author of original report: RE: Truth is Freedom
*UPDATE Employee: Tell the truth...
*UPDATE EX-employee responds: AMBER, THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONSUMER WARNING!!!
*UPDATE Employee: AMBER, THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONSUMER WARNING!!!
First of all, I'm a pretty laid back person. I'm always willing to try anything once and I'm always ALWAYS open to new opportunities. When I saw the ad in the paper about a Customer Service position that paid a salary of 475$ a week, I was ecstatic. I'd been looking for a new job and was in bad need of one. I also, at 20, was and am hoping to move out on my own and under that sort of pay, it made the want more attainable.
Now, I'm a pretty attractive, outgoing, smart individual. I took a friend to apply with me, who needed a job as well. When we got to the office, the first thing you'd notice is that it was a professional, though small establishment set near a day care, hair salon, and small shop that held the sort of stuff you'd find in a gas station. The owner must have rented out two offices. One was for 'Training and Development' and the other was the actual office. Walking inside, there were other attractive women at the front counter, who directed us to a back room to fill out applications. There were several other people in the tiny, cramped meeting room, and the applications were covering the desk messily.
After a while, a woman game in with a cell phone hanging out of her pocket, wearing a long dress and sweater. This was Elizabeth, the HR manager. She seemed very to-the-point, asking us, in turn, about ourselves. She didn't ask about our last jobs, availability, or anything of that sort. She refused to say much about the job as well and simply said she'd call us later that afternoon if we got the job.
About three hours later, my friend and I both learned he had gotten the job and rejoiced, despite the sinking feeling that something wasn't quite right.
The next day, I went to orientation. There were thirty people there and we were all told to sit in the chairs surrounding a stage-like area. Music was blaring from speakers, nothing but the latest dance crazes. Elizabeth drank her coffee while she watched us and bobbed her head slightly, yelling over the music now and then that she 'f***ing loved' this or that song. Once everyone arrived, she started talking about the job.
In between all her cursing (there were more 'f***s' and 'shits' in her vocabulary than actual words..), I got this: We were to meet with 15 clients a week. Any less, and we wouldn't be paid at all. The appointments would be set up FOR us, so all we had to worry about was getting to work. She said we would be riding in company vehicles, and that though we'd be going to client's homes, the police would be informed where we were at all times. They had lawyers everywhere, too.
The appointments were pre-set by our appointment setters which apparently got calls from people who were interested in the product. The manager, then determined which of us would be most helpful to the client and sent us out to help them. Our job was just to be informative and have fun. We didn't have to sell anything to get our salary, that was the sales manager's job, and if he sold, we were to get a 200-600$ commission. Elizabeth was charismatic with an 'I don't give a shit about anything but Kirby and the employees here' attitude. She was positive, encouraging, but pushy at the same time.
This was the first of a few versions, but for now I'll explain how the rest of the day went. We were shown the Kirby. She continuously assured us and convinced us that it was a necessity in the home. She told us that dust mites from our mattress shit in our noses and mouths at night and explained that a dirty carpet and mattress is the cause of why people die in their sleep, and why people have asthma and allergies. She went on about it for hours with a short cigarette break. She assured us that the Kirby was one of a kind - and I believe that's true. The Kirby is likely the best vacuum out there. Note that this report is not on the vacuum itself.
Over the next few days, she introduced the idea of 'moving up' in the company. Becoming managers, etc etc. She said that at our level, we could make between 800-1000$ a week, but moving up could double it. This is when she started referring to us as Dealers, and also explained that we got paid EITHER 475$ salary or our commission. Whichever was HIGHER.
Soon, we learned that we didn't actually work FOR them. We were independent dealers. Our own business. Meaning we are responsible for our own taxes, business licenses, and soliciting permits. Why do you need a soliciting permit? I'll get to that too.
Orientation and Training were unpaid, and took three days. The reason they were unpaid was because they offered a $1000 sign on bonus. As long as you weren't late or absent for the next month. (Several employees told me it wasn't something they EVER made good on). On Friday, she asked us to take home a Kirby and practice with it. Then before we left, that turned into, "Take it home only if they might buy it." Some people I knew, family, were interested in one, so I went ahead and took one to demonstrate it.
They loved it. Absolutely loved it. The problem was that the Kirby is $2395. I could get them a discount to $1300.. if I gave up my commission. Which I was happy to, because of who they were. Elizabeth said she would help make it affordable, but never got back to me. It was Monday before she was any real help. In her defense, she WAS at a manager's convention. Supposedly.
By Monday, my family had second thoughts and called the BBB. Southeast Association has an 'F' rating. That settled their uneasy minds and with an apology, I took the thing back to work and explained why they changed their minds to Elizabeth. She started sounding almost antsy and explained that the BBB got their info wrong, something about employees, and other random excuses. Personally, I disregarded it. Making money is all I really cared about at that point, and honestly, I didn't care about the reasons why they 'could' have failed. They 'did' and that's all that matters.
On Tuesday, I went out with my assigned crew. That was the day I learned all I needed to know and quit.
As a dealer, you are also an 'appointment setter'. They're also called canvassers, I think. Appointment setters were said to get calls and cold call people to pre-set up appointments. This is the first lie. Basically, you are dropped off in a random area and told to go door to door with a 'door pitch'. It goes something like this:
"Hi! You must be the lady of the house! Here you go! (give something/flyer/gift to person). Today we're in the area offering a free carpet dry foam shampoo! The reason we're doing this today is because we're opening a new store in your area. We'll be carrying things to treat your carpet, tile and grout, and upholstered furniture! All we ask is that if you like what you see, you tell your friends and family about us so that we can hope to do business with you in the future! Tell me, which room gets the most traffic in your home and do you have thin or thick carpet?"
You have to be sure to pinch your fingers together too and move your hands a lot to keep them off-balance. Usually, they say they don't know and you, at that point, wipe your feet and step past them into their house. If they DO know, you have to force your way in anyway and proceed to talk about how beautiful their home is while calling the van so they can either bring you a Kirby to do your demo with or bring a dealer (if you aren't one) to do the demo for the manager driving the van.
I have never seen a demo done and during that day, we didn't get anyone to watch one. However, we WERE confronted by the police. Twice. Kicked out of two subdivisions, and ended up in a ghetto-like area where you could easily get mugged or raped or who knows what. No one knew who we were. Especially the police, except for the complaints they'd been receiving over our aggressive soliciting.
I also learned that the manager owns the van you are driven in. Not the company. And from my friend, I've learned that when they negotiate the price, your commission is the first thing to go. That they expect YOU to SELL the vacuum so that when they get there, they can just write up the deal and move on.
During orientation, they play a numbers game to show how much your saving with the Kirby. Well, working for them, here's how much you're earning:
You get 475$ a week (if you make no sales or don't make enough to overtake the salary). 6 days a week. - $79.16 per day. Seems good so far? You work 9-10 or 11 everyday. that's 13 hours or so. - $6.08 per hour
That's under minimum wage by far. Also, as stated, you HAVE to make those 15 demos. The managers take you an hour or two away to other cities and counties. so, out of a 13 hour day, that leaves 9 hours to get them done. This isn't counting the two hour meeting you have in the morning and loading up the vans to go. So that leaves 7 hours.
It take at least one to find someone willing to watch the demo with an average crew. Every demo can easily take two hours if you REALLY do it right and push the product and build that bond they preach about during orientation.
So, you get there at 9am, two hour meeting and loading, that's 11am departure. One-two hours to get to where ever you're manager decides to go. that's 1pm. Seven hours before you have to leave gives you until 8pm.
1-Find demo 2-Do demo 1 3-Do demo 1 4-Find demo 5-Do demo 2 6-Do demo 2 7-Find demo - whoops, you're out of time! Find the manager and get to whoever is doing the last demo and prepare to leave for the main office. 8- Drive home
So you might get two demos a day. that's only 12 demo in 6 days. That's if you have luck getting into people's houses.. and they aren't crazy or anything. This isn't considering the hour I've heard it takes to get the financing done.
Basically, I'm saying the company is a scam. The only people working there are Elizabeth, the clerical workers, and Steve Griffith. You are basically ONLY hired in to go out and sell the vacuums FOR the managers, who make three times your commission. They know you're going to burn out, and that's why they're always hiring. I'm truly angry at myself for being sold like this.
If going door to door illegally, being talked to by police daily, and treated like disposable tissues is your thing, enjoy. If forcing your way into people's homes and basically belittling them until they buy a vacuum is your passion, have fun.
On the flip side, if you're thinking of buying a Kirby vacuum- go to the web site. No pressure, cheaper.. Never let these people into your home.
Amber Kissimmee, Florida
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/25/2009 03:06 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Southeast-Association-Kirby-Vacuum-Sales/Kissimmee-Florida-34744/Southeast-Association-Kirby-Vacuum-Sales-dishonest-job-dishonest-salesman-lying-Dealers-446519. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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