James Carrington Loves His Kirby Vacuum

More mail about Kirby Vacuum sales. You may wish to read the Introduction to Kirby sales, Kirby Mail and the first batch of Kirby Salesperson Complaints

On November 8, 2008, James Carrington wrote to tell me about his love and experience with Kirby Vacuum Cleaners:

Subject: Your misinformed Kirby Vacuum rant

First of all, in November of 1965, my parents purchased a new Kirby, complete with shampooer, knife sharpener, floor polisher accessory, etc., ALL of which worked very well. The original cost then as $350.00. Twenty-five years later, the front motor bearing went bad, the rest of machine was beaten up pretty bad, so my dad, in researching the original paperwork and warranty booklet, discovered that Kirby's LIFETIME warranty will COMPLETELY rebuild the machine, restore it to A-1 condition, and also replace ALL of the attachments (hose, wands, nozzles, etc.,) and the total cost for all of this, exclusively to the ORIGINAL OWNER? $32.50!!

Not really believing much of this sends it up, and two weeks later, we received what we thought was a brand new machine with all new attachments. That was in 1990 or 1991; it is still in constant use, no problems. My grandparents also bought a Kirby years ago, had the same wonderful experience, too. I bought my own first new Kirby in 1981, and after I used it to remodel 4 houses, abused it and basically put it through holy Hell, I sent it up to the factory and, VOILA!! ANOTHER brand-new machine with all new accessories. It is now 27 years old and is still giving me exceptional results. I have had other door-to-door guys try to sell me their expensive vacuum cleaners, but I ususally end up rolling on the floor, laughing, because they have NEVER been able to get any more dirt out of my carpets! All of you Nay-sayers are always forgetting the VALUE of owning a Kirby: Yes, an initial cash outlay of about $1,300.00 (can be made in very small installments!) is fairly high, but when you take the cost of those junky-ass, all-plastic $300.00 Hoover or Kenmores or Dirt Devils or Orecks (take your pick, they're all cheaply manufactured JUNK) add their costs up by figuring a total, new replacement anywhere from between every 2 to 3 years, times the total years that a Kirby actually lasts, giving its owners excellent results 25 years later, THEN figure in the sheer VALUE of the factory rebuild program, which is second to NONE; no one else has a program like this one, with you getting back another "new" machine and accessories for a small fee (mine just cost me $49.50 plus shipping) and I'll use it for another 30 years, while my Kirby finishes paying for itself while doing an EXCELLENT cleaning job. I will NEVER own anything less than a Kirby. You tightwads out there, you just don't get it; buying a Kirby doesn't cost, it can only pay. Wise up, folks. I finally got tired of replacing my expensive Hoovers, Kenmores, and Orecks after only 2 or 3 years, with all their plastic parts snapping and breaking off, motors burning up, etc. (planned obsolescence!) My Kirbys have more than paid for themselves not only with quality and reliability, but with their excellent protection of my carpets; I listed my house last year, with carpet that was over 10 years old, and the agent couldn't believe it. It's only ever had a Kirby used on it, including the dry foam shampoo unit; it has NEVER been "steam" or "wet extraction" cleaned, which ultimately soaks, rots, and ruins carpet and padding! They listed my carpet as 4 years old!! Like it or make fun of it, this is why Kirby is still in business; their machines are of the highest quality of them all, bar none (except, of course, those old, high-powered, all-metal door-to-door tanks of yesteryear, such as Electrolux and Air-Way Sanitizor back in the 30's through the 60's; those were ALSO some excellent units that ran for 30+ years effortlessly.

James Carrington

I didn't write back. Apparently he forgot that he had already written, because he sent another note about 10 months later.

August 8, 2009, a slightly different story. Inconsistencies have been highlighted in blue brackets.

I just don't understand why so many people love to find fault with a good, quality vacuum cleaner like the Kirby. Before I begin, no, I'm NOT a dealer. I'm a lifelong customer. My parents bought their Kirby when I was an infant back in 1968 [1965] for $250.00 [$350.00]. It has served them well, and because it has a lifetime guarantee, which is EXCELLENT, they still have it. They had it completely rebuilt a few years ago for $32.50; it came back literally looking like the day it was bought brand new, and with all new attachments, too. I can't imagine a PLASTIC, pile of shit Hoover lasting that long; ditto for Eureka, Kenmore, Dyson, etc. And then the warranty is only a year. And remember, to get a "good" model, with power drive and decent cleaning performance, you'll usually pay around $300.00. And they last, if you're lucky, about 4 years, while doing a mediocre job at best. JUNK.

I bought my first new Kirby in 1986 [1981]; I still have it, still cleans like new, never a day of trouble with it [ I sent it up to the factory and, VOILA!! ANOTHER brand-new machine with all new accessories]. All of my friends have been through at least 10 top-of-the-line-Hoovers, kenmores, etc., and they have paid far more for their cheap, department store vacuums collectively than I ever did on my one Kirby. 15 years ago, I bought a new house and installed all new carpet; ten years later, when I sold the house [I listed my house last year], the listing agent wanted to list that same carpet as "new"! Of course, I wouldn't allow them to list it as new, but what an endorsement for a vacuum cleaner.

All of the cheapskates out there can say what they want, but I am money ahead with my Kirby, and in fact, it more than paid me back the original purchase price already. Most tightwads just don't appreciate quality, that's all; they're too damned cheap and too busy tripping over the dollars while trying to grab all those worthless pennies.

Jim Carrington

The details of his story changed a bit. Does that make it more likely that it was a made up story? I don't know.

If he isn't a Kirby salesman, why is he so desperate to convince me? Maybe he is still trying to convince himself that a $900 vacuum cleaner must be 6 times better than a $150 one.

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