Kirby

Kirby

Kirby Overview

Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Kirby is a vacuum cleaner company in the multi-level marketing industry. In addition to vacuum cleaners, the company also offers a comprehensive line of biodegradable carpet shampoos and stain removal products. According to its corporate website, Kirby is committed to producing a high-quality home cleaning system that meets rigorous standards in safety, durability, and overall performance. Kirby generates between $1 and $2 billion in global revenue each year.

Rank Chart Our Score User Score
#1 9.9 9.6 Read Review
#2 7.2 8.6 Read Review
#3 6.8 8.5 Read Review
#29 4.5 6.7 Current

The Good

  • Vacuum cleaner model
  • No upfront costs
  • Warranties
  • Refurbishes
  • DSA member

Vacuum Cleaner Model

Kirby only produces one vacuum cleaner model at a time. The current model is called the Kirby Avalir and converts into several different units from the same power base. The complete home care system is made primarily from aluminum and converts into a canister vacuum, an upright vacuum, a floor buffer, a carpet shampoo system, tile cleaner, sander, and an air pump.

No Upfront Costs

Kirby products are exclusively sold door-to-door by independent distributors.The company does not charge any upfront fees to become an independent distributor. Additionally, distributors set their own retail prices and can recruit other independent sales associates to sell products door-to-door as well.

Warranties

Consumers who purchase a Kirby home care system receive a limited three-year manufacturer's warranty, a fire protection plan, and access to the company's Lifetime Rebuild program. The manufacturer's warranty protects against material or workmanship defects and is honored by all independent distributors and authorized service centers. With the Lifetime Rebuild program, customers are given the option to have their purchased cleaning system serviced to an "as new" condition.

Refurbishes

If a customer would like their vacuum cleaner completely refurbished, they can return the unit to the factory for a fee, which varies by model. Having a model refurbished or replaced introduces a new one-year manufacturer's warranty.

DSA Member

Kirby is an upstanding member of the Direct Selling Association and abides fully by its strict code of ethics.

The Bad

  • Questionable sales practices
  • Expensive products
  • Lawsuit

Questionable Sales Practices

The sales and marketing practices employed by Kirby have been publicly criticized in the past. Additionally, the company has been investigated by many consumer protection agencies. These agencies have received numerous complaints regarding the sales practices used by distributors. Many complaints came from older consumers who had difficulty standing up for themselves when distributors came knocking on their doors. The Wall Street Journal listed examples of these scenarios: one couple tried to remove three Kirby salesmen from their home for over five hours and a woman suffering from Alzheimer's disease was found to have been sold two Kirby vacuum cleaners, one of which she paid $1,700 for.

Expensive Products

Kirby's home cleaning systems can be incredibly expensive. Additionally, prices vary from distributor to distributor.

Lawsuit

A federal class-action lawsuit is currently pending against Kirby under the civil action provisions in the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Kirby is allegedly being charged with selling used vacuum cleaners as new ones. The complaint further alleges that the company was fully aware of the practice because it was selling duplicate or replacement "Original Purchaser's Registration Cards."

The Bottom Line

Kirby is a vacuum cleaner company that has over 100 years of experience. The company is a DSA member and does not charge anything to join as an independent distributor. However, Kirby's products are relatively expensive and its distributors have been known to use questionable sales practices. Additionally, the company is currently facing a lawsuit.

9 Kirby Reviews

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  • User Score

    0

    May 19th, 2017

    I got suckered into buying a Kirby over a year ago. A salesperson entered my home and proceeded to vacuum my home. It was a bulky, heavy machine but I wanted my house to be clean. I have pets that are furry and messy. I wanted that top line product to give me piece of mind. The belt broke on the vacuum after three uses. That should have been a sign. Now that I've had it over a year and I still have 700 dollars left on it, it doesn't even clean up dog hair. Fresh bag, new belt, I've cleaned the vacuum itself and this thing won't clean anything up. I bought myself a cheap vacuum for 45 dollars and it cleans my house like I was told the Kirby would but never did. Do yourself a favor and don't even think about spending this kind of money on another useless piece of garbage. Don't even try to use the carpet cleaner attachments either. Instead of cleaning anything it will dump water all over everything within reach. This is the most pathetic excuse for a vacuum and I regret my purchase endlessly. Ugh!

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  • User Score

    0

    May 7th, 2017 Las Vegas, NV

    First of al, don't buy the hype this thing doesn't work better than any other vacuum out there. Secondly heaven help you if you have an issue. I've had one that doesn't work AT ALL for over 4 months. I've tried to call the salesman and his boss who both left fake numbers, their 'company' Prestige Marketing Inc of Las Vegas (702-906-1016) and their customer service number and obviously no one has gotten back to me. I'm out $1,300 over a thing that doesn't work with no means of getting service or a refund. My best advice to anyone... Never even let them in your front door.

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  • User Score

    0

    March 28th, 2017

    Monica that works for customer service upon calling the 1800 number is very rude and unprofessional. So if you want her I.D. number, she has none because she's the only "MONICA" there, located in Cleveland OHIO..so she says. Retrain your customer service associates, and sales person!! This is why Kirby has so many complaints I'm assuming.

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  • User Score

    10

    March 4th, 2017

    i bought my Kirby for $1,000 in 2000. It has worked perfectly for 15+ years. I only recently had to repair the cord. Today the neutral/drive switch broke. I am debating on getting a rebuild vs a repair. I love my Kirby and expect it to last another 15 years.

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  • User Score

    10

    October 24th, 2016 Mooresville, NC

    The salesmen that sold to use was very polite. We have had our Kirby for a year now and love it! It's easy to use and has a lot of neat features. The carpet shampooing system is great as well.

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  • User Score

    10

    August 28th, 2016 Detroit, MI

    I just purchased a Kirby Avalier vacuum system. The sales people that came to our home were not pushy and were very knowledgeable about the product. The product itself is way better then any product you could buy at the store. We love our Kirby Avalier.

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  • User Score

    10

    July 17th, 2016 Peoria, AZ

    I absolutely love my Kirby. It is 16 years old. I don't think the sales person was aggressive.He demonstrated for me how well the product worked and the Kirby sold itself. My mom owned one and I saw how well it was made and performed growing up. No question the cost is the difficult part to overcome. Anytime you have to pay for a vacuum on a payment plan, you're buying an expensive product. But obviously, owning it for as long as I have, it has paid for itself many times over. My husband was against buying from the start because of the price. He had terrible allergies from the time I had met him. After a week or two of using it,I am not kidding, his allergies diminished. He was convinced. My girlfriend was moving out of her condo and borrowed it to clean and shampoo the carpet. The moment she and her husband were able to afford it, they bought one and years later she just posted on FB how much she still loves her Kirby. My sister-in-law bought hers because of seeing mine in action. She traded in her Dyson for it and has not regretted it since. So I don't know about the naysayers, I can only speak for my experience and it has been fantastic. I'm sure that when my daughter is on her own she will buy one too. It is a solid, high quality product that should last for a long time.

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  • User Score

    10

    May 12th, 2016

    The Best Multi Porpose Machine on the Marlet. Best Service ever.

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  • User Score

    10

    April 8th, 2016 Wake Forest, NC

    The "LIFE-TIME warranty" has withstood the test of time. My mom purchased a Kirby when I was near 8 years old, and it performed well through my college and adult life (even the original dirt-bag withstood the test of time). So I purchased one when I got married, but loaned it to my mother-in-law 30 years ago. She is still using it! Meanwhile, I purchased another "brand" whose parts broke and has experienced other signs of age with "no" extended warranty. Therefore, I now own my third Kirby, and it really "sucks dirt" and even has a DVD that shows "how to's". GREAT lifetime vacuum.

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