Report: #512006

Complaint Review: Kirby - Lippy And Associates

  • Submitted: Tue, October 20, 2009
  • Updated: Thu, October 29, 2009
  • Reported By: Jess — lewis center Ohio U.S.A.
  • Kirby - Lippy And Associates
    800 Cross Pointe Drive
    Gahanna, Ohio
    United States of America

Kirby - Lippy And Associates Kirby creepy white vans and door knocking Gahanna , Ohio

*Consumer Suggestion: dicussion of Kirby employment

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Ex-"Employee" Independant agent

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

I was so excited when I saw the ad on craigslist. It said 'want to have fun and earn 400+ bucks a week?' so I did what they said in the ad, come to this address and fill out an application. The girl who helped everybody with the applications was really nice, Brittany was her name, blonde bubbly person.
So then she told us we would NOT be knocking on peoples doors, we would have appointments to go to every day. She was really good at NOT saying we would be selling 2000 dollar vacuums to poor little unsuspecting people.
So we went thru 3 days of UNPAID training. It was all about learning how to use this Kirby vacuum, and dont get me wrong it was a SWEET vacuum. But the training was really boring and should have been paid.
Then we went out into the 'field' as they called it. That was a creepy white van with a bunch of weird people smoking cigarettes. But they were nice people. Anyway we drove to millions of different citites and the manager of our 'van' would drop us off and make us knock on doors in 100 degree weather, in DRESS CLOTHES!! I got really tan on my arms though. lol
But then we realized we had to have 10 demos a week and no set appointments. We were always knocking on doors.
Then when you finally got somebody to let you in and 'clean their house' and you tried to use the sales techniques they taught you, the people got mad because is a 2000 dollar vacuum and nobody can afford it.
Then one day we were in circleville ohio and my manager pretty much raped me - his name was nick, and ladies stay away from him cuz he will take advantage of you being not as strong as him. That was the end for me.
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#1 Consumer Suggestion

dicussion of Kirby employment

AUTHOR: mmm - (USA)

I took a couple days of training and decided not to pursue working for the distributor.

I have some tax and business experience and have discovered that their contract withe the dealers is illegal. Both at the state and federal level there is a legal defintion of an employee and an independent contractor. The contract that dealers sign with the distributor is so restrictive that under the law the dealers are defined as employees.

That means that the distributor must withhold federal and state income tax (if your state has income tax. The distributor must also pay their share of medicare and social security tax and federal state unemployment tax.

You should file a complaint with your state department of labor and department of revenue.

If you are classified as an employee the company owes you the minimum wage for the hours you worked or at least 40 hours a week.

If you have filed a tax return as independent contractor you should go the website and download form SS-8, fill it in and send it to the IRS.
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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Ex-"Employee" Independant agent

AUTHOR: pecknor - (USA)

"Where to begin?" would be a better title to this:

I've read now many-many of these complaint reports and I am just compelled to reply to some of these.
I am disgusted to read so many recurring themes; The "hiring" process, the way people are "trained", the guaranteed pay etc.
I personally sold Kirby Home Care Systems for approximately seven years. I witnessed many of these tactics first-hand. I do however, want to clarify some points that should be pointed out (in my opinion).
It should be known that EVERY Kirby Distributor and all who work in one is an INDEPENDANT agent. You file a 1099 tax form so you're not really an employee. Despite the fact that when you are first recruited they approach you as though you're "interviewing for a job." While I personally do not agree with the way distributorships "recruit", I do understand why the approach is used.
When I went in for my "interview", I went through the same things as everyone else has commented/complained about however for me, I wanted to try the "Kirby business". I wanted to get into sales and had always been told, "if you want to see if you can really sell, go sell vacuums, it's the boot-camp of sales." I wanted to learn how to sell from a company that had been in business since 1914. "Hardcore salesmanship" was what I wanted to learn. I was dead-broke and it took me three weeks to make my first sale (with no "training wage"). But again, I knew what I was getting myself into.
I was also VERY fortunate to work for a distributor who was -gulp- an HONEST distributor. There aren't in my opinion very many of those in the Kirby business. He genuinely cared about his dealers and did everything short of selling the machine for me. I SOLD the machine. I did not guilt anyone into buying anything. The Scott 
Fezter Corporation has something known as a "Factory Authorized Demonstration" and that's what I did. I knocked on doors and offered to clean a carpet in any room in the house for exchange of allowing me to "show some of the new features of the Kirby". Most people that I came across at one time or another have had a Kirby or grew up with one or had a family member who had owned one so most of the time people would allow me to do my thing. Not always and not always happily but enough that it turned into the "Law of Averages."
Knock on enough doors, do enough demonstrations and the law of averages led to sales.
I sold machines for a long time and eventually became a "team-leader" and then a recruiter and field-closer. Finally I became what was known as an Area Distributor. I believe now they call it "Distributor In Training."
In my time working with the Kirby Company, I met a LOT of unscrupulous, 
despicable dealers, distributors and Regional Directors. But I also met many honest, genuine and ethical colleagues and yes, I was paid well.
Of course there's a mark-up for the units just as there is a mark-up for anything that is bought and sold in this world. In Kirby, the machine comes from a factory to a Factory Distributor to an agent. For a Hoover or Dirt Devil, it goes from a factory to a factory distributor and to a Warehouse/
Wholesaler, then to a Distribution Center and finally to a store and guess what, there is a mark-up every step of the way. A $300 Hoover at Wal-mart probably has a true cost of around $30 per unit but people are in business to make money and be paid. I personally didn't play "number games" when I sold my machines. I sold them at the price that the factory suggested "MSRP" which is what I believe it's worth and should be paid for. They are not cheap and these don't break after a couple of years either.
I know I'm jumping around but I really just want to make the point that although all of the things I've read on this site are negative regarding Kirby, not ALL of us who have put our blood, sweat and tears into going through this boot-camp of selling, are the pieces of crap to which many of you lump us all into however I do wish there was something the Scott 
Fetzer Corp would do to make the experience much less unpleasant for those of you who've been slighted (and rightly so) and exercise some form of control of the individual distributorships.
Finally, just put yourself into the shoes of a Kirby 
distributor (no suicide jokes now) for just one second. If you want to recruit someone to come and sell Vacuums door-to-door for straight commission with NO guarantee of success or even a sale, how are you going to get someone to even come through the door for an "interview"?
Not one single person (except for a masochist like myself) is going to volunteer to walk into a situation like that and so they try to do anything they can in hopes that maybe just ONE person out of 200 or 300 people decides they're up for the challenge and are willing to do the work to LEARN the business.. Again, Law of Averages.
While I am not a representative of the Scott 
Fetzer Corporation and have no affiliation with Kirby any longer, I sincerely apologize for the horrible ways in which you've been treated and perceive the company as a whole.
I wouldn't trade my experiences for all the gold in the world because I learned through selling Kirby that I can make my own gold and have the tools to make it happen.

I hope this makes sense and that at least you're able to see that the "company" isn't the problem but some of it's 
independent representatives are.

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