I got some mail about a group of Kirby Vacuum salesmen. You may wish to read the Introduction to Kirby sales..
Experience with the Kirby salespeople
We are an old couple, I told the saleswoman and her companion that we couldn't afford anything with our budget. They insisted on a demonstration because they got paid by the demo and it wouldn't cost us anything. The agreement was that we could have a spot anywhere in the house cleaned. On my wife's side of the bed was a bad area, (she has cancer and has had accidents trying to get to the bathroom in time). I thought it would be nice for her to have the area cleaned because she is so apologetic about the problem and I feel bad for her.
They were here for five hours, what you said about their tactics is all true. We pleaded with them to leave at the end, they took food from our refrigerator, helped themselves to the last of our juice, used our bathroom several times. It was a nightmare and we were afraid they were going to rob us. They weren't the nice looking lady and her companion that came to the door, and said they would be back to do the demonstration, they were completely different men with tattoos and beads in their hair. They looked like gang members.
My wife gave them twenty dollars to leave and they wanted more. We had to call our neighbor to help us put the furniture back and clean up. I'm handicapped and couldn't move the furniture so my wife could get to the bed.
Now she is afraid of a home invasion robbery and so am I. We are both frightened because these people know where we live. We really don't have any money, they would kill us for no reason if they did come back.
I tried to contact the Kirby company to tell them and it's impossible. Even when e-mailing, my computer locked up trying to e-mail them. I called their 800 number and talk to a representative who kept questioning me why I didn't have the names of these people. I told her over and over that I asked for their card, they gave me their first names but not their last. Also I was afraid of violence by trying to press for the information. The representative on the phone kept questioning me, saying the sales people are independent of the company, which doesn't make sense to me and she acted as I was lying to her about these people, by insisting I should have obtained their names. It was very frustrating and I finally hung up. I asked the people for a card, they kept telling me they would give me one but never did, finally I stopped asking after several attempts. I still have no idea who these people were.
I've called the police and they said they have had other complaints from our neighborhood. It has been a horrific experience, I saw your website looking for the Kirby company. You were available to e-mail, they weren't. That says a lot right there.
Maybe others will take note, but I'm afraid it will be after they become a victim as well.
Wow! That is terrible! Can I post your story on my website? I can take your name off of there.
What part of the country are you from?
(They are from Southern California. Near Los Angeles).
When we were trying to get them to leave, I had a half hour to get to the store. They were here a little after four and the nearby market closed at nine that night. At eight-thirty when they said they were waiting for the truck to pick them up, I had to leave my wife at the house to walk the block to get groceries, we hadn't had anything to eat and there wasn't anything left to eat in the refrigerator from them helping themselves. It was when I dashed off to get us some spaghetti that they intimidated my wife for what they called a donation. She gave two of them ten dollars each and they wanted more.
When I got back, and I did so quickly, it couldn't have been more than fifteen or twenty minutes, they were gone. My wife was in tears, she told me what had happened and I was so upset for myself to be so damn stupid as to leave her there. When I left they were at the front door waiting, but not outside like I thought, I held the door open for them and didn't want to miss the market. So foolish of me. They must have never left but just made it look they did, keeping the front door open while they were picking up the boxes of Kirby things.
I'll never forgive myself for this. I thought they were helping me and I was helping them, by getting this spot next to my wife's side of the bed cleaned and they getting credit for a demonstration. So foolish of me to be taken in like that. I have read and seen on the news about older people being taken. I thought I was too smart for that. I'm a foolish man, but I can still learn and I don't care if it's the girl scouts in uniform at the door, it's not getting answered.
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June 27th, 2006.