Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
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    Default Kirby vacuum cleaner [problem]

    Now I don't expect for a second that any of you wise people will fall victim to this but I'm hoping that you will spread the word and maybe bear it in mind for any older relatives/friends etc.
    You are at home one day when there is a knock at your door. You open it and someone says something like 'we are a new company in the area, would you like to enter into a free prize draw to win a car? All you have to do is give me your phone number to help build up our database'. If you agree and provide your phone number, you are given a small card with a picture of a car on the front.
    A few days later you receive a phone callicon and the caller says something like 'you have won a free carpet clean/carpet shampoo in our prize draw'. If you agree to receive it, an appointment is made for a later date. If the appointment goes ahead as planned, you will realise that the free carpet clean is really just a chance for a salesman to demonstrate a Kirby vacuum cleaner to you for 2 hours or more, all the while criticising your current vacuum cleaner, asking if you are happy to live in filth, putting the fear of God into you about fires caused by dust build-up etc. If you unfortunately succumb to the high-pressure sales pitch, you will find yourself out of pocket to the tune of at least 1,500 and your statutory right to cancel will be denied.
    Please remember this and tell anyone you think appropriate - more people knowing about this means fewer people falling victim and the company will be forced to either deal honestly or close down.


  2. #2
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    Default Re: Kirby vacuum cleaner [problem]

    This has been running since 1984 - and is hardly new!

    Thr product itself is excellent - well engineered and does what it says on the tin, BUT having something that lasts 40 years is quite useful, you PAY for this longevity, and if every shopkeeper came to your door to demonstrate a product you can imagine it will cost you more tha if you bought something similar online.

    ANYONE coming into your home (to sell) will do all they can to make yu buy - that's what salesmanship is all about. The sad fact is some folk cannot say no and can be easily manipulated - this isn't the fault of Kirby who do (or at least did, offer a good product).

    As always, people need to take responsibilities for their actions - whether double glazing, tarmac laying, fitted bedrooms or vacuum cleaners. 'Just say no' is not difficult to say, neither is 'go away'.


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    Default Re: Kirby vacuum cleaner [problem]

    I beg to differ Buzby, there are vulnerable people who actually do not know how to say 'no' or really know what they are getting in to. I've seen elderly folk conned and what really makes me mad is they feel stupid or foolish! Not everyone had the mental capacity to understand what they are really signing for.


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    Default Re: Kirby vacuum cleaner [problem]

    And your solution is to ban sales calls for the weak-willed?

    I'm not saying that people in these situations should not be protected in some way - but not after-the-event. Damning Kirby by special mention because some members of the community are unable to say 'no' is not going to happen, especially as commerce is not illegal. It would be up to family/social workers to look after those who are unable to take full responsibilities for their actions.

    Expecting exceptions to be made because of THEIR inability to take responsibilities of ther action beggars belief. If the firm fails, they take the rap - but if the customer does, you expect the firm to take the blame for this too...?


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    Default Re: Kirby vacuum cleaner [problem]

    My landlord lives with his mum in a residential home and he is well aware of a lot of dodges, he has quite fun with some of them. Most of the residents in his building ask him to be present if 'salesmen' have tricked them into making an appointment, usually stating he has power of attourneyicon on their funds. Soon sends them scurrying away.


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    Default Re: Kirby vacuum cleaner [problem]

    I was speaking generally rather than being specific to Kirby, but yes, firms should absolutely be responsible for the conduct of their employees and commission-driven salesmen can pressurise into an unwanted sale.

    Some salesmen are very good at targeting the vulnerable, and would not treat an 18 stone on-the-ball bloke the same as an elderly lady for example.

    I did once have my carpets cleaned years ago by Kirby as a demonstration but I wasn't that impressed. The only thing that sticks in my memory was that the salesman was rather attractive and I spent a lovely afternoon having a good old flirt!


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    Default Re: Kirby vacuum cleaner [problem]

    I quite agree that calling it a "[problem]" is misleading but their sales methods do leave something to be desired, especially when they cotton on to someone who doesn't know their rights.

    My tale.

    Kirby rep knocked on my door and offered me a demo with no obligation to buy, so I said ok.

    3 hours later, they were still there and after pressure from them and my ex (wonder why she's my ex) I signed up for credit. Little did I know the credit was with The Associates at stupid rates.

    The quoted sale price of the Kirby was 799 (after discount!) but the total including credit was nearly 1500.

    I didn't get a cooling off period as they delivered the Kirby the next day and I (wrongly) assumed that I was stuck with it.

    All I say is that if you get a visit from them, be strong. If you don't want one, say so. Don't let the pressure selling get to you. I used to be weak willed and I take full responsibility for my actions, but no more.
    anyone comes to my door selling anything gets a short "No Thankyou"

    If you are asked to deal with any matter via private message, PLEASE report it.
    Everything I say is opinion only. If you are unsure on any comment made, you should see a qualified solicitor

    Do you need debt advice? Check this out
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    Default Re: Kirby vacuum cleaner [problem]

    I don't see the scenario above as a sales call. The company state that the person has won a free carpet clean/shampoo. In any situation I don't agree with someone using emotional blackmail or scare tactics to sell a product or service.

    I agree that if you invite sales people into your home you have to be careful and think in advance about what you want and what you are prepared to agree to. If you are easily intimadated or swayed then it's best that you don't agree to home sales calls wherever possible or have someone else with you at the time of the call. However, this was not an agreed sales call.

    Not all vulnerable people have someone looking out for them on a daily basis. Not all of them have or need social workers. Just because you can be easily intimadated/frightened because of your age, etc does not mean you need a social worker.


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    Default Re: Kirby vacuum cleaner [problem]

    Another thing I remember about the sales visit was their insistence of vacuuming my bed. Even after I told them my youngest was having an afternoon nap, the sales girl said that if she didn't do the bed demo, she wouldn't get paid (emotional blackmail methinks)

    She then got a black cloth from her bag and put it over the hole where the dust bag would usually go, vacuumed the bed and showed me the result (not pretty).

    What I didn't cotton on to was that once a dust bag is fitted, the amount of suction would be less due to dust clogging up the paper bag inside.

    Having said all I have, it was a great vacuum and my ex still has it (over 10 years later)

    If you are asked to deal with any matter via private message, PLEASE report it.
    Everything I say is opinion only. If you are unsure on any comment made, you should see a qualified solicitor

    Do you need debt advice? Check this out
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    Default Re: Kirby vacuum cleaner [problem]

    The bedroom scenario is the great one - it puts the cutomer on the back-foot, as this is quivkly followed by the photocopied page of what a X5000 magnified bed bug looks like. By showing you the 'dark' tissue that the Kirby deposits after sucking from your bed, you'd be hard pressed not to - but that's part of the technique.

    I don;t do business on the doorstep, and never have. The Kirby technique is invariably to use referrals from friends - as it gets you the additional discounts. However it isn;t a [problem] (like pyramid selling) which will leave many high and dry.

    As for their finance arrangements - pay cash (better still, buy off ebayicon!) but since you could put it on a credit card for cheaper, taking out their finance deal is silly, but no different to taking a similar arrangement when buying a car... it's just another decision to purchase.

    Slick salesmanship is everywhere, from encyclopaedias to carpet cleaners the hapless consumer needs to keep their wits about them - and trust nobody.


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    Default Re: Kirby vacuum cleaner [problem]

    Quote Originally Posted by silverfox1961 View Post
    ) I signed up for credit. Little did I know the credit was with The Associates at stupid rates.
    So you signed up for credit without knowing the APR and your monthly repayments?

    You might as well have left your wallet open and given him your cash card and PIN.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Kirby vacuum cleaner [problem]

    [problem]s can be doing the rounds years after they originally started.
    We cant assume that every Cagger will be familiar with them.
    The OP is in a position to know more,since their job deals with these things,and its reasonable to therefore assume that they posted this on the basis that it needed airing at this time.

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Kirby vacuum cleaner [problem]

    Although I was under the impression that the Consumer Protection from Unfair Business Practices 2008,incorporates new legislation to address some of the issues here.

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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Kirby vacuum cleaner [problem]

    Just what I was going to say, Martin! When some people say this is just a sales technique and that it's people's own fault, they seem to conveniently ignore that it is in fact a specified unfair term under both "false competition prize" AND "false competitions". Obtaining data under guise of entering people into a prize draw to then only pressurise them in booking a demo (which is NOT the same as having won a free clean/shampoo) is also dishonest, and I'd think a breach of the DPA if they're using the data for another purpose than the one to which the subject agreed.

    Just passing through, don't mind me...!
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Kirby vacuum cleaner [problem]

    Absolutely

    I have a copy of the regs here-I printed them off last year-theres lots of things in there which many people prob are not familiar with.
    The examples that are given are good too-in explaining how they apply.
    I remember the one about doorstep selling -and not being able to say things like "Burglaries in this area have trebled love...." in the case of someone trying to sell you a burglar alarm.

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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Kirby vacuum cleaner [problem]

    So are you agreed that if you are contacted out the blue and told 'you've won a prize', the problem is with the firm for offering, and no blame is attached the the consumer for believing it...?

    What's next - legislation to prevent lying?

    It's much easier to disbelieve everyone, is save a lot of time and on balance is probably better for you.

    If rules are badly drafted - and lets face it a lot of consumer protection and other laws are, only a fool would believe it will actually protect HIM, as the enforcement will still depend on lining up the ducks at the various agencies that need to pay for the prosecution costs, and as we know - there's no money anywhere.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Kirby vacuum cleaner [problem]

    Raymond can you not at least TRY to post constructively....

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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Kirby vacuum cleaner [problem]

    Ermmmm... yes?

    If a company says: "you have won a prize", you have the absolute right to expect to be given a prize, not for someone to try to hard sell you stuff you didn't ask for in the first place.

    Hardly rocket science.

    Just passing through, don't mind me...!
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Kirby vacuum cleaner [problem]

    What's next - legislation to prevent lying?

    Never in a million years.....it would mean politicians never being able to utter another sentence.

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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Kirby vacuum cleaner [problem]

    I thought I WAS being very constructive.

    My web rowser opens with an adver box telling me I have been selected out of XXXX hits to apply for this free game, utensil or software. Or are you both suggesting that I should believe them and accept their invitation? Or is it that face to face promises should be believed, and not those on the Internet?

    As for Martin's politician's synicism - my MP (and MSP) are upstanding citizense, so marking out politicians as greater liars than salesmen/women (of which there are no doubt many more) does;nt hold water.

    Being cautious isn't a gift - being a pillock and believing everything you are told most certainly IS - to the salesman.



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