Complaint / review text:
My so-called "Employer" was Ultimate Technologies located at 5611 Merchant Center Blvd, Knoxville, TN 37912-3460, Owner: James Chosie, Kirby Vacuum - Factory Authorized Reseller
I was out of work and answered a newspaper ad which advertised that I was guaranteed a min. Of $800 every two weeks ($1,600/month min.). I was interviewed in April 2009 and received two days of so-called training from a supposedly former dealer who had been promoted to interviewer and trainer. She claimed to have never needed this promised $800 as she had sold so many vacuums her first two weeks that she had surpassed the $800 bi-weekly (minimum) income level. I was skeptical from the interview but was told I was guaranteed an $800 check on the third Friday of working for them if I had not sold more than enough vacuums to make more than that in commission (at "nearly" 10% of the sale price) and then $800 every two weeks thereafter. I also specifically asked whether I was going to be cold-calling (knocking door to door) and was told absolutely not that all of the demos would be for people who had already been contacted (pre-screened as it was termed) and had expressed an interest in Kirby Vacuums. The fact that the woman who interviewed me was driving a Ford Explorer that was older than my vehicle and was in a lot worse shape should have been a clue in retrospect. Come to find out she had actually been demoted. All during my interview, I kept asking pointed questions and the woman interviewing me was pleasantly evasive about many of the questions and kept stressing the potential for me to easily make $1,00 a week or more. The company was very deceitful in its hiring tactics and I was clearly lied too on nearly every pointed questioned I posed during the interview. I was also told that on average one out of every three Kirby demos resulted in a sale. I was desperate and would up accepting the position which started the following Monday. I was told to be at their office at 8:30. I expected to be asked to fill out a W-9 and my personal information be taken including my SS number and other information. Note that it was only after a weeks worth of 10-12 hour days that I was asked for my drivers license and SS card.
On Monday we had a "team meeting" in which each and every group of dealers/crew leaders announced their previous days demos/sales. This was nothing but a daily "pep talk" after which we usually spent the next 2 hours or more trying to get everyone and everything together in a van to start our day of selling. I was stuck in van with two "seasoned" dealers, the crew leader and his canvasser (which was simply a young pretty girl who had a better chance of getting us in the door of the unsuspecting "potential buyers" homes and two other new people of which both of us had extremely limited knowledge of the product, no knowledge or training of any type of sales pitch, no guidance whatsoever as to how to overcome objections to a purchase or how to handle people who were in bankruptcy, and were given no paperwork/contract/lease, etc. We were simply told that the canvasser would get us in the home and we were only to demo the unit and drop "buy" hints throughout the demo and call the crew leader when we had pulled 100 "dirt pads" and were ready to demo the shampooer. The crew leader however seemed to know what and where we were headed, so off we went. The truth is that he randomly selected an area and the canvasser started knocking on doors offering the "free gift" if we could demo the "total home cleaning system" for them. The doors that were knocked were chosen at random based upon only the year and type vehicles (year/potential for being finance) in their driveway/yard. The majority of my demo's where in single/double wide trailers with older (and mostly questionably financed vehicles)! The innocent home owners where NEVER told we were selling Kirby vacuums. I wound up performing a total of 15 demos in two weeks worth of (6), 12-14 hour work days (-2 days I took off) and did not come close to selling one unit. I looked over the sales board daily and it averaged out to closer to 6-8 units demonstrated actually sold through the Knoxville office. Their big push was on fully paid vacations and monthly "contests" to win various trips and items based upon your monthly sales.
Turns out that despite being told by the other dealers that we had solicitation permits, we were somehow mysteriously unable to sell within the Knox County city limits and had been cited for solicitation countless times (including several incarcerations) in Knox County as well as in Texas, Kentucky and nationwide.
During my two weeks with them, the van I happened to be riding in (which I rode in three different groups during that time) was pulled over (3) separate times by the police and one of the police officers even commented about "that guy - Chosie" being pulled over and cited in that area the prior week for the exact same reason.
As a dealer there was no guarantee of how many demo's you would have per day it depended solely on how many doors where knocked by the canvasser and how many residents actually were allowed in to demo a Kirby. As time passed and I was averaging a demo or two a day I began to question the promised $800 bi-weekly pay and was told that no - you had to demo 30 units in two weeks time in order to qualify for the $800. You do the math, two, 6 day weeks with 1-2 demos a day is less than half of what I needed to get my "guaranteed" pay check.
During my two weeks with them I heard the pitch of three so-called canvassers with their free gift in hand, (which they took back unless we were allowed in peoples homes to demo the vacuum) and each was total B. S. And extremely deceitful. Also of note is that of the people I worked with during my two weeks with the company, the majority was composed of drug users/dealers, ex-cons on probation (and on the run form the police) and dead beats who could would not have even been considered for a real job had their criminal history and/or background been checked.
Bottom line is that this entire company and their method of doing business is deceptive (to put it mildly) and a complete rip-off! They also have total disregard for No Trespassing or No Soliciting signs on personal property. We were asked on many occassions to "get out of their homes" after we had deceived them to gain entrance in the first place, One of their ploys is to offer a free shampoo of one entire room in order to get their sales people in the door. The unit itself is overpriced at a suggested retail" of $2,000 which actually turned out to be more like a cost of around $1,000 each to the company.
Please note that there is a LOT of money being made by this company and I can almost guarantee you that only a fraction of it is actually being reported to the IRS as income by the employees/owner.
All I can say is PLEASE BEWARE of these people!!!
If you for any reason doubt my story, please check out these similar recounts:
Kirby Rip-Off References:
http://usacomplaints.com/searchresults. Asp? Q1=ALL&q2=&q3=&q4=&q5=Kirby&q6=&q7=&submit2=Search! Kirby Vacuum