General chatter - Kirby anyone?!

View Full Version : Kirby anyone?!

net knee
06-11-2008, 01:44 AM
So I am pssssssssed!! My bf just started a job with Kirby. He was first told that it was not selling. Then told that he just had to go to 3 pre-arranged appointments a day M-F and he'll get $425/week. He went to 4 days of orientation for which he DID NOT get paid for. Then started selling on monday... well yesterday he worked 930am and was told he'd be there til 6. Ok... we can deal with was all BULLSHT! He didn't get home until 1230AM!!!!!!!!! Then had to be back in this morning at 830!!! who the hll do these people think they are?!?!?!?!?! I am seriously so fuming mad I could choke the little btch that lied to us in the beginning about this job! He was told 3 appointments a day... well about 7 of them load into a van and get dropped off in a certain area and go KNOCKING on doors!! no pre-set appointments! And they(the group) have to SELL THREE KIRBYS A DAY, not do three appointments a day...and they don't head home til they do!! And my bf said they have to stop knocking at 859pm... bullsht again... they were selling one at 10pm lastnight... oh my gawwd!! my blood is boiling i am seriously homicidal right now!!:club::mad:
I do not see how these people get away with it... my gawd if any of these people have children-- i don't understand how they can do it!? And during the day they are not able to use their cell phones for personal phone calls... well let me f'n tell you what... if he's not able to use HIS CELL that WE PAY FOR for "personal" phone calls then THEY CAN PAY THE F'N BILL!!!!!
*screams* I WANT TO PUNCH SOMEONE!! :bomb:
They con their workers just as much as their customers...
********although i must say the machine is absolutely amazing, and yes, I want one for my own... but won't pay $1700 for a vacuum!!:nono: :tantrum:

Sorry for the really mad rant, but THANK YOU FOR LISTENING!! I feel better already... until i think about it again!

06-11-2008, 07:17 AM
I have to say that what he enrolled for is not what he, in the end, got to do. I seriously think this is ridiculous. It goes beyond the eight-hour-a-day right. By the way is it $425 a week plus commissions or $425 only? If it is $425 only then I suggest he runs for the hills or something. Because it is as if he is working overtime without getting paid for it.

06-11-2008, 08:34 AM
I've known several people who were hired by Kirby, Speedqueen or similar companies (selling knives, vaccuum cleaners, books, home care products) under similar fraudulent circumstances. Two were cousins and one was a close friend of my husband (who now lives in our apartment building). They were all initially told that the vaccuums would "sell themselves," as they only needed x number of appointments to "get started." Family and friends were suggested for your "first" three or four appointments and they stressed your first people didn't have to buy anything, but each was supposed to give you at least three leads (in other words, names and phone numbers of people to harass). Often a "free gift" was promised for listening to the speil, and of course the new hire would ask all of their friends and relations to let them "practice" on them. The free gift was always pretty lame.

As I've said, I've known several people who fell for these kinds of sales shams (both in being hired, and a few saps who either bought product themselves or got friends and family to in order to "help them out"). One cousin nearly alienated every family member (I can only imagine how her friends reacted) by falling for this not once, not twice, but three times. Once for a vaccuum cleaner company, then a kitchen knife company, and finally a book "publisher" of encyclopedias or educational or historical books, something like that. I'm not sure because my parents finally refused on the last one to let her "just try out her sales pitch" on them.

And while I've known people to accept a job with these kinds of companies, I've never known anyone to stay more than a few weeks. One cousin did very, very well the first couple weeks, and he was paid the agreed upon salary (very low), but then he had to decide whether to keep the "training" salary or to (go for door number 2) switch to commission. At the rate in which he was selling the first couple weeks, commission was the obvious choice (well unless you thought ahead about how much harder it was going to be to find new leads, and how strange it was that every appointment the company set up ended in a sale, while nearly none of the ones you set up yourself did). Of course, the company immediately stopped setting up appointments and my cousin was on his own and on his third week, he made not one single sale (and not one single dollar). He quit before the fourth week was out.

I imagine they get away with it, because they never put the terms of employment in writing. Most people just quit, and if anyone does try to sue them, they argue that the person is confused or lying about the agreed upon terms of employment.

06-11-2008, 10:47 AM
Two years ago when Hubby and I lived in an apt, the Kirby sellers came knocking on our door. They said they wanted to show us their great vaccuum/carpet shampooer and if we let them in to see the demonstration they would completely clean one rooms carpet. At the time we had just gotten our puppy and house training wasn't going to well. Our dining room smelled of piss no matter how many times I shampooed the carpet. They said it would get it out and look brand new. I let them in just so I could get that room cleaned.

They vacuumed it and shampooed it and then told us that they wanted to work a deal with us to purchase it. It would only end up costing us $4000 by the time it was paid off. After about 2 hours of me telling them no thank you they still wouldnt leave. We finally got them out the door and recieved calls from them for months after that.

06-11-2008, 11:57 AM
Ugh....I'd tell him to run far away and get a job somewhere else!

I fell for the sales pitch for a vacuum when I was younger. I still have the dratted thing and I hate the salesman still! They use all sorts of guilt etc on you if you tell them no. Blah.

06-11-2008, 01:01 PM
I heard about this job with Kirby a few years ago and thought it sounded fabulous. NO SELLING. That's exactly what they said. What a bunch of bull. Luckily for me, I caught on quickly. I left an hour through the first day of orientation and told those people exactly what I thought of them and their ridiculous company.

06-11-2008, 05:17 PM
When I was in my early twenties, I had a stint where I worked for Filter Queen. I was actually the office lady/secretary for a while, to make ends meet. A friend of mine was the marketing manager...meaning, he was in charge of all of the telemarketers.

I will say this-Kirby, Rainbow, Filter Queen, etc. all have exceptional vaccuum cleaners/sweepers. But...their practices, well...

I don't know how Kirby works exactly, but here is how Filter Queen worked:

~They had a mass hiring/training about once a month. They had ads in the papers, etc. to draw folks in. They had the training, which took 2-3 days, and everyone was pumped up, fed lunches, etc. The whole purpose of the training, was to get a lot of sales at one given time. We always got about 5-10 sales out of each training group. Most new trainees only stayed for a few weeks...maybe selling one or two more after the training. Most quit. However, it wasn't a big deal, because we would have a new training a few weeks later.

Every so often, you would get a couple of guys who LIKED this, though, and they ended up selling well, making money, and ended up owning their own office somewhere years later.

~It is all high pressure sales. Kirby knocks on doors, but Filter Queen had telemarketers who made the appointments ahead of time. Basically, our office had a handful of part time phone callers, who worked for minimum wage. Both, however, used the free gift thing.

~The office makes a HUGE profit on any sale. Back in the early 90's we bought Filter Queens for $500, and the selling price started at around $1700. (I believe it was $1699.) The veteran salespeople knew, as well as the managers, how low we would sell one for. New sellers didn't know...At any given point, if a person was trying to haggle, or a seller was trying to get someone to buy this, the management could go all the way down to $1000-still double the wholesale price. The amount of commission that a salesperson made, depended on how high they sold the machine for.

~Since I was not in the sales area, but in the office area, my job was to keep track of sales, keep track of all of the reports, payroll, etc. and send in all of the contracts to the finance companies. There were even jokes in the office about it...we had contracts that went "first line" (meaning good credit), "second line" which meant decent/okay credit, and HMAC. HMAC was where we had to send contracts for those with bad credit...I had 1st line, 2nd line, and HMAC written on file folders for each sale. Sometimes a veteran salesperson would make a sale, and walk into the office, and exclaim "THIS one is going to go HMAC for sure...."

~The trainees were taught to expose the weaknesses of all other machines. Rrgular vaccuum cleaners were a breeze...but high end ones like Kirby, Rainbow, Electrolux, and others had certain methods.

All in all, the office owner does not CARE about the trainees-not one bit. However, if one trainee does well, and wants to stay...then he is inducted into all of the trickery, secrets, etc.

Our office owner drove a BMW, as a matter of fact, he asked my opinion on which color he should get. He made about $150,000 selling vac paper. (what he called contracts to finance companies for the vac sales...) He laughed about it. He was also a jerk who cheated on his wife on a regular basis, a lot of times with female trainees. :o

My advice-have your partner get OUT now.

06-11-2008, 06:46 PM
I was suckered into the same thing myself with a different company, They told me i would be selling over the phone.. it ended up being door to door, they said i would be making $20 hourly, it was commision only, and they took me to a city two hours away and left me in a strange neighbour hood to knock on doors alone for 3 hours and i didn't get paid a dime. If it seems to good to be true, IT IS!!!

06-11-2008, 07:02 PM
i worked for Kirby for a while and if they go into the house before 9 pm they could still make the sale because they where in the process of the pitch. i would however recomend that he try and find i different job though because it is something that is far from reliable especially with the economy the way it is.

those are just my thought take them how you will.

06-11-2008, 07:52 PM
RASYEALN "Two years ago when Hubby and I lived in an apt, the Kirby sellers came knocking on our door. They said they wanted to show us their great vaccuum/carpet shampooer and if we let them in to see the demonstration they would completely clean one rooms carpet. At the time we had just gotten our puppy and house training wasn't going to well. Our dining room smelled of piss no matter how many times I shampooed the carpet. They said it would get it out and look brand new. I let them in just so I could get that room cleaned."

well you never did tell us, did they get the pee smell out or not :)

net knee
06-12-2008, 05:14 AM
It's so nice to see that I'm not the only one who thinks he should take the kirby and tell them to shove it where it belongs... lol I told him if he wanted he could finish out the week and then he should start looking for a different job... He gets paid 425 a week, and 200 bucks for each vacuum sold. Well needless to say he hasn't sold any yet... He's worked 45 hours in three days... I'm ready to call them and tell them where to shove their kirby!
I hate to be so "controlling" but holy ****... he's being used!! We really need the money but he's better off getting a hourly paid job, if he's gonna work 15 hours a day might as well get a job that pays 8 bucks an hour, that's 120 a day and 600 a week!! more than that pos of a job w/kirby...

btw, all of you are great!! Thanks for the advice and thanks for taking the time to read my rant!!

06-12-2008, 06:48 AM
Another story coming up:

About 12 years ago I took a job with Kirby. Their methods are a little different over here, or they've changed over time, although I guess the actual sales pitch is the same.

I was offered £1000 a month training pay (about $1500 at the then rates of exchange) for the first month, regardless of how many machines I sold, provided I did three appointments a night. If I missed one, I didn't get a penny.

We had to go door to door knocking every afternoon to generate the leads. The offer was to be entered into a draw to receive a free carpet clean. Of course, ALL the people who entered won! They all got telephoned saying they had won this free carpet clean if they consented to having someone come round and demonstrate the machine. That's how the leads were generated. So we got our three leads, we went round and demonstrated the machine, and at the end they got their carpet cleaned whether they bought it or not.

At the end of the month I didn't get paid because I had walked out on one appointment because the customer was incredibly rude to me. I never went back. I did clean all my carpets with my demonstration machine before I gave it back though - lol.

The only good point about the whole experience was that the demonstration is very physical - lots of jumping around for 6 hours every evening, plus walking for hours every afternoon door-knocking - I lost a ton of weight.

06-12-2008, 09:15 AM
My mom bought a Kirby in the early 70's. That thing was the most awsomest vacuum cleaner EVER. It was heavy and cumbersome, but you could vacuum up anything with it and if it didn't like what you vacuumed (such as guitar strings), it either spit it back out or you could pull it out and the vacuum was never damaged. It had such suction power, I think I was vacuuming the basement at the same time as the first floor of my house. Truly awesome machines....Luckily, it was an inheritance to me when my parents sold their house, I got the Kirby...and it was at least 20 years old and only died when my husband broke the handle on it three years ago...we put it in the basement and it was instantly engulfed by mold. So, we put it to the curb and it was swiped up before we got back in the house during our town-wide garbage pick up. I didn't even see the person that took it, it happened that fast!!


I will never buy my own Kirby BECAUSE THEY HAVE SUCH CRAPPY, SHADY SALES TACTICS!! These machines could sell themselves at a store, why do they have to be so pushy as to go door-to-door? I could see them selling like crazy at Sears or something!

I used to date a Kirby sales person (for about a few weeks) and let me tell you...only the lowest, creepiest, taking-advantage-of, predatorial BS artists become truly good Kirby Salesmen. I remember him working late because one person in the van was still working on the last sale of the night and they all had to wait for him/her to finish. It just seemed weird. Anyhow, this guy was so thrilled to be a Kirby Salesman he was about to buy his own Suburban to get his own gaggle of sales people. NOT my kind of guy. I remember thinking, "I'm seriously NOT getting involved with someone that is seriously excited about being a vacuum cleaner salesman."

06-12-2008, 09:19 AM
"let me tell you...only the lowest, creepiest, taking-advantage-of, predatorial BS artists become truly good Kirby Salesmen."

Or Filter Queen salesmen...or any of the other hard selling vac sellers.

Seriously, you just described in exact detail, the owner of the Filter Queen office in my old town. :rofl:

06-12-2008, 09:56 AM
We used our own cars - there was no van or anything. But, yes, the sales pitch was decidedly iffy. But it was a heck of a good machine.

One part of the demonstration involved the guy of the house (if there was one) taking the base part upstairs and vacuuming the bottom foot of the mattress and then you showed them what came out of it - it was seriously gross! And that was just the bottom foot! Imagine what the middle of the mattres was like! The older the mattress the grosser it was. I made one sale on that alone!

Another part involved sprinkling a load of salt in the doorway and having the customer vacuum it up with their own vacuum - over and over again, 100 times or more until they were satisfied it was all gone. Then you would run over it just once with the Kirby, open up the little sample baggie and there would be a big pile of salt!

Hark at me with the sales pitch again!

But I always knew it was a good machine - I just didn't agree with the pitch, or how much the damn thing cost with everyone taking their bit off the top.

06-12-2008, 03:44 PM
It's not just Vac's, knives and such. I got pulled into a mortgage lending co. a few months back. Basically, it was a pyramid disguised as an MLM. Same diff. to me.

I've tried real estate before and mortgage lending, so I liked the idea of helping people, especially with the lending crisis coming up. Well......they wanted me to start with my friends. No, I won't give you people a list of my friends because that is a sure fire way for me to lose my friends. I kept asking anyone around to explain the products we were selling and couldn't get a straight answer. The whole point was to really to get more people to sign on as Reps., not sell mortgages.

Their idea of training was for me to attend weekly "Hallelujah" sessions and then take an experienced Sales Rep to my friend's and family's homes and listen to them pitch while I said "Isn't that Awsome!!" FU!!!!!!

Oh, BTW, we were expressly taught during the "hallelujah" meetings that it wasn't a good idea to sign up anyone with ANY mortgage or lending experience. Seems to me it was harder to con someone with the slightest idea of what they were suckering folks into. I wasn't conned and had enough within two weeks.

Thing is, I feel bad for the ones who tried to sign me up. These are a couple of decent folks who really are just trying to help other folks out. But the Co.'s sales practices are just beyond belief and in the end these decent folks are going to get blamed for screwing over their friends and family when in all reality they are getting screwed over even worse.

net knee
06-12-2008, 06:23 PM
I actually sold Cutco Cutlery myself. I worked for a marketing firm around my area... actually 45 mins away from my house but whatever... I drove my own car up there 3 times a week for "calling hours" or "success" meetings. UGH. I LOVE CUTCO!! The knives are absolutely the highest quality knives I've ever used before in my life!! They're lifetime warranty too... When I worked for cutco you made your own leads. YOU set up appointments with the people you knew and they would offer you other leads. They weren't required. I too was trained to point out the bad points of their "best knives" they brought out to challenge my cutco. But honestly some of them were so true I couldn't believe some of the rusty, swollen wooden handled knives I saw. I would NEVER have a knife in that condition... eww... So either way... I still recommend cutco to everyone i know, they are expensive but are well worth the cost... bc knives on average can cost 15-20 bucks a pop for a higher end walmart choice and they only last about 2 years... so in 10 years you've blown 100 bucks on one knife... spend 80 on this one and you'll never need another one again. It just made sense...

Anywho i guess what i'm trying to say is, I've worked for a marketing company with questionable employee treatment but it wasn't hard pitched sales, or at least I wasn't. I tried to make it a comfortable easy going, laughing at silly things type of demonstration. I even let people "borrow" my knives to try them out for a few days before committing to buying them. I got a lot of sales this way because when I came back they didn't want to give them up so they ordered some or even just one. Either way I was happy and had NO feelings of guilt or feelings that i just scammed someone.

He wants to quit... He said he's finishing out the week so he gets paid for it and then he's DONE! *phew* I'm glad...I mean we might have to survive on ramen noodles for a few weeks or a month whatever but at least he'll be home TO EAT!! argh I've never hated someone else's job more than this before!!

*sorry if this goes from one end to the other... it's one of those days*:dizzy:

06-15-2008, 03:51 PM
RASYEALN "Two years ago when Hubby and I lived in an apt, the Kirby sellers came knocking on our door. They said they wanted to show us their great vaccuum/carpet shampooer and if we let them in to see the demonstration they would completely clean one rooms carpet. At the time we had just gotten our puppy and house training wasn't going to well. Our dining room smelled of piss no matter how many times I shampooed the carpet. They said it would get it out and look brand new. I let them in just so I could get that room cleaned."

well you never did tell us, did they get the pee smell out or not :)

Nope. But it did bring it to the surface so it was a bit of a stronger smell. Hubby ended up deploying a couple months later and I went back home to TX. We had to replace the carpet in that room.

06-15-2008, 05:20 PM
Basically, it was a pyramid disguised as an MLM. Same diff. to me

Isn't MLM just the more polite way of saying "pyramid"?

06-15-2008, 06:35 PM
Isn't MLM just the more polite way of saying "pyramid"?

An MLM is supposed to be more dependant on the product being sold, and you get a bonus if you happen to get more salespeople. But most of your income comes from Selling. Pyramids are completely dependant on signing up the next one under you and them signing more people up and so on. With an MLM, you could stop signing up more people and still make a living on what you are selling.

The difference is slight. It's kind of like the diff. between selling a Kirby which is a very good product (I've had one) and selling carpet cleaning services where your room is left smelling like pee.

If this mortgage co was focused on selling mortgages and not on signing up reps., it would have been an MLM. It's focus was on signing up more reps, that's a pyramid.

06-15-2008, 07:31 PM
If you say so, Operator265. I have absolutely zero interest in getting into being a sales rep, be the operation on the up-and-up, borderline or downright crooked

06-15-2008, 07:54 PM
Yeah, I really stink at sales too. I've tried it with legitimate real estate, mortgages and cars. It really takes someone with a special talent and ability not to take things personally. It also seems to change many people. It would be hard not to compromise your principles when it comes time to put dinner on the table. Although, I'm still at a job I hate for the same reason.