I want to alert, everyone I can about the Kirby Vacuum Sales Scam. On Sunday, January 15, 2012 around 7:15 p.m., a young girl about age 18-20 came to our door with a flier for free carpet cleaning. She told me their company "Quality Carpet Cleaners" was offering a free carpet cleaning for the units in our apartment complex (700+ units) to advertise their service, there was no obligation to contract their service, it was simply to advertise. She also gave me a pitch about their new, "Ultimate Dry Foam Carpet Cleaning." She said it takes 30 minutes and will dry in 30 minutes. She also explained the members of their team earned points towards a trip to either Las Vegas or San Diego with each unit who agreed to their free carpet cleaning. When I asked why they were coming around so late, the girl said they've been working all day and it's just taken until now to get to our area of the complex. I also told her I hadn't vacuumed so my carpet wasn't in the best cleaning condition, to which she told me that "wasn't a problem, it's part of the free service." Thinking our apartment complex authorized it (since our complex has authorized similar promotions in the past), I agreed.
Less than 5 minutes later, two men came in, one carrying the Kirby "carpet cleaner" in the box which turned out to be a Kirby Vacuum. While the younger guy started setting up the machine in our living room, the older guy and I picked the room I wanted cleaned, our bedroom. Then the older guy left and said he'd be back "to check on us in 30 minutes." The guy left behind then asked me to vacuum the bedroom. I asked why because the girl had said that was part of their service tonight and he said it wasn't.
My boyfriend was home with me and highly suspicious the entire time. While I was vacuuming my boyfriend called the phone number on the flier, which turned out to be an invalid phone number. He came in the bedroom to tell me. I instantly thought "this is a scam and they're either going to rob us right now or they are scoping us out to come back and burglar us later." At this point the Kirby guy walked down the hall with his "carpet cleaner" and I asked him why the phone number on the flier is no good. He said he wasn't sure, it was probably because today was a one-time offer and it was to keep
people from trying to cash in the offer after today (yeah right!). So we asked for a business card. He gave it to us but said it was his only one and we couldn't keep it. My boyfriend dialed that number too which also came up invalid. We were smart enough to take a picture of his business card with our cell phone before giving it back to him.
The Kirby guy then started to show us and talk about his Kirby vacuum cleaner (not a dry foam carpet cleaner like was pitched at my front door). He brought out a binder of info for me to look at and was going on and on about this $3,200 vacuum cleaner, how great it was, how much better it was than any
other vacuum on the market. He even did a demo showing me how much dirt was coming up out of the carpet.
At this point, it had been 45 minutes and there was still no carpet cleaning going on so I lost my patience. I told him, "I'm going to stop you right there, you need to leave. This is not what I was promised at the front door 45 minutes ago. I was told free carpet cleaning and instead you're here talking about this stupid vacuum. I don't want a vacuum, I'm not buying anything, I have no money. You just need to leave." We went back and forth a couple times as he tried to argue that he's only been there "5 minutes" and he wants to show me this amazing machine if I just give him a few minutes. Instead of leaving, he called his "superviser" which was the other older guy. He started to tell him there was a "problem" with us, that we "thought it was a scam and wanted him to leave."
Not wanting to continue any further with the whole mess, I went to the living room where all his stuff was and I carried everything out onto our front porch, all his boxes, tools, bags, vacuum accessories, everything. Once everything except his part of the vacuum he had with him was out, I went back in the bedroom and told him "You need to leave right now and don't worry about your s**t, it's already outside waiting for you." He was very upset that I moved his vacuum stuff outside and said "What?! You put a $3,200 vacuum outside on the ground?!!" I told him "I don't care how much your machine costs. I asked you to leave and you're not moving fast enough so I'm helping you leave. Now get the hell out of my house!!!" He reluctantly left, while saying he just wanted a few minutes of our time, blah blah blah. As soon as we shut and locked the door behind him, he yelled the F word at the top of his lungs and stood outside our door screaming all sorts of foul language at us. I then called the police and reported the whole thing and asked that an officer come out and escort them out of the complex. The police arrived after they had picked up all their crap off my porch and left. They drove off in an unmarked white van.
The business card the younger guy gave us states, Kirby/U.C.S.I, 41548 Eastman Drive, Suite C, Murrieta, CA 92562, (951) 304-0042. The card also identifies Mia Cooper, Director of Human Resources and Katie & Wendy, Human Resources.
I do have a police report on file, I alerted our complex's security company and the management company. I also filed a complaint against Kirby with the BBB and DSA.
After some research and talking to people, it seems this is in fact either Kirby's or an affiliate of Kirbys standard sales tactic. However, it is illegal! It's called Bait and Switch and it violates California Business and Professions Code 17500, et al. You cannot advertise one thing and then "switch" to another. When advertising you must be upfront and clear about what you are advertising. Not everyone out there has the guts like I do to literally throw someone and their stuff out of the house. There are many people out there who are bullied, fooled, and coerced into buying an outrageously over priced vacuum they do not need.
I want to get the word out and tell everyone I can do not open your doors to people you do not know, do not fall for the "free service" crap, and do not let them in your home. Has anyone ever tried to press charges, file a lawsuit or a class action suit? Alerting each other is extremely beneficial but until these people are held accountable for their tactics they will continue to victimize everyone they can.