Visitor Review: Kirby Sentria Disappointment

Kirby Sentria Disappointment

Oh where do I even begin? Well lets see. I had purchused a kirby sentria vacume about 2 weeks ago and let me assure you that it has been nothing but an absolute nightmare between the actual product and its customer service, which they claim they thrive on. But where most businesses say the customer is always right this business says the total opposite.

About a year ago i had my first visit by the kirby company (a family member recommened me) the rep who came out was a very strange man. He was eating the soap from the rug shampooer and continuously kept trying to shake my hand over and over again telling me that if i bought a vacume from him he would win a vacation to florida. I didn’t quite see how that would benefit me in anyway and besides the fact he was in my house for four hours after i repeatedly told him i wasn’t interested in the product.

About 2 weeks ago i received a phone call from the kirby company asking if they could come out for another visit to clean my couch and carpets. I told them i wasn’t interested in buying their product but they kept pushing and said that by law they were only allowed to stay for 60- 90 minutes at the most and i would get a free carpet cleaning so i figured what the hell its christmas time and i had family coming over why not clean it up. When the rep showed up around 4:30 he was very nice and one of the stores managers so i wont say anything bad about that but as he continued with his demo it dragged into dinner time so i began to cook and offered him some food out of kindness and he also helped himself to about 5 beers.

Finally around 8:30 after i felt i was pressured into buying the product he finally left. It’s almost like they dont leave until you agree to buy one. I had used the vac about 2 days later and was very disappointed in how it worked. The smell was horrible, the hose kept falling off and getting clogged, it was extremely hard to push and the belt kept falling off. I called the company and told them these problems and said all i wanted was my money back ( i had 3 days to make a return) i was told that they thrive on their costumer service and wanted me to be happy with their product so they would bring out a brand new vac because the one i was sold was a demo used by numerous reps at other peoples houses and had scratches on it (why was i sold a used vac for $1,000)? and that i would receive and additional 3 days to my return if i was unhappy.

The next day the same rep came out to my home and rebelted the vac and showed me that it worked. He told me if i wasn’t happy with it again to call and i would be taken care of. Well when i tried to use it the next day to shampoo my carpets the whole thing fell apart and blew foam all over and wouldn’t pick any of it up. I tried to reconnect the belt for about 45 mins and watched the demo video but had no luck. This all happened on christmas eve about an hour before guests came over.

So all of my rugs and rooms were soaked and filled with foam. I lost it at that point and was fed up with this product and all of its broken promises that i called the seller again and they basically told me that there was nothing they could do about it but bring me another one, which at this point that was the last thing i wanted. I said that i was given an additional 3 days for my return but the manager then claimed that was never said but indeed it was. I called the main 1-800 telephone # and spoke to a women and she basically told me the same thing that i wasent getting my money back and there was nothing they could do about it and i could try to do whatever i needed to do to get it back but it wouldnt happen.

I was never offered a new vac when the rep came out the second time second but they claimed it was in the car afterwards. So in conclusion i have a $1,000 kirby vacume sitting in the coner of my house unusable because every time i try to use it i have to spend hours trying to put it back together and arguing with customer service.

I would on the other hand recommend the bagless windtunnel which has never let me down and only costs about $200 and i use everyday while my hard earned money goes to waste with the kirby. I also own my own cleaning business which was an even bigger disappointment to this whole situation and i would never recommend this product to any of my customers,family ,friends or anyone in general.

Thank you, sincerely a very disappointed and upset kirby customer.


  1. Samuel D.

    Ethics makes or breaks the experience: From reading all of the stories here, it’s clear that what can make or break the ownership experience is the ethics of the company making the sale.

    Kirby distances itself from the practices of their individual distributors, and that’s a shame. If they policed it better, you’d see far fewer complaints.

    Unfortunately, there’s not too many ways to know if the guy at your door comes from an ethical distributor or not. But, if they say they’ll bring you a new machine later, and not now, while leaving you a demo, that seems to be a common indicator of a lack of ethics.

    Our salesman had his demo, and a van full of new machines. His manager traveled with him. I tried to buy his demo, and we made a deal, until his manager offered me a new-in-box unit for $100 more. We made a good deal, with upright people.

    They had ALL paperwork in hand. Nothing was left with a “we’ll get it to you in a few days”. They left the distributor’s number, and the salesman’s.

    A number of Kirby salesmen go on to start their own distributorships. Many bomb out. I suspect the ones with the poorest ethics are those that vanish.

    If you see something that makes you question the ethics, step back. It’ll save you hassle. It’s okay, because somebody good will step in at some point to sell you a machine you’ll be happy with, and make a deal you’ll like.

    • Rene Schantz

      I bought a Kirby Sentria several years ago on impulse, and it is one big, bulky, heavy, cumbersome POS! It doesn’t hold a candle to my Dyson that I unfortunately gave to my daughter after this tragic mistake. Sure, it claims it does all kinds of stuff, if you are a mechanic you can probably interchange the attachments. I’m not a dumb woman, I have put together many toys, shelves, garden buggies, etc. This is just such a pain in the butt it isn’t worth the bother. Thank God I kept my hard wood floor cleaner, electric sweeper and other equipment this hulking monster was supposed to “replace.” My husband did use the paint sprayer to paint our shutters…..the container holding the paint broke during use and caused my husband to look like a giant Smurf!!
      The belts needed replacing constantly because they would burn up, leaving an awful smell in my house. When I called customer service, I was told that I had the height setting too low. Really? The fully up position is too low. Hmmmm
      My best advice, put a “No Solicitors” sign up and direct the attention of any Kirby representatives to it.

    • Ron

      Have servants sweep instead of you vacuuming and all is solved.

  2. Keith and Kelli

    Sentria Ripoff: You are most assuredly right when you say this vacuum is worthless. We have had ours for a little over 3 months and have had nothing but problems. Their customer service does nothing and they lie when they say there is a lifetime warranty. I say class action lawsuit for fraudulent practices. They have our money and we have nothing. DO NOT BUY ONE OF THESE!!!!! Their customer service is not helpful….traded our generation 4 ( which is great by the way) for this new piece of crap the Sentria. Whatever you do do not purchase this vacuum. We had it not even 1 month and the fan broke. They tell you full lifetime warranty….nope, we paid another 42.00 for that. Now 2 months go by and the belt brakes. In 15 years of owning the generation 4 I think we bought a new belt twice for it. Not to mention the vacuum bags themselves are cheaper. We called Kirby, told them to keep our down payment and our 3 monthly payments all we want is our old vacuum back and they said no way, at this point we just want them to take it back and resale it to the next people they run their line of lies to. They lie about their product and the warranty that goes with it. STAY Away from this!

  3. Anonymous

    Honestly, I’ve taught my five year old on how the to use the Kirby Sentria, I have one and haven’t had one problem. Sounds to me like your not that bright. Its a vacuum, shampooer, canister, it replaces the broom and dust pan, and is a portable, along with a lot of other things. Anyway…I’d rather take a few minutes to switch it from one to the other, then buy 3 different vacuum or ever have Stanley Steemer or a carpet cleaning company come over and ruin my carpet. Sounds to me like you weren’t paying attention when the they were demo ing it for you. Watch the dvd. I haven’t had any problems at all with mine. I don’t mean to be rude, but what I like about it is that it’s very easy, to use and doesn’t take any effort, I’m 50 yrs old. Kirby has been around for 96 years and they’re in 78 countries. I’m guessing there doing something right.

    • KF

      Very….well stated ‘anonymous’….. I have many Kirbys …not one has even remotely resembled what the OP(original poster) described. I feel for him , of course, a bad sales experience can greatly hurt a quality product.

  4. Anonymous

    whatever…paid tooo much: just bought a kirby does vacuum wonderfully but the shampooer is a joke. its nothing more than lavender smelling carpet deodorizer…and does not come off you’re carpet once its put on..yuk..

  5. Judy

    I purchased a Kirby Sentra in 2006. The first problem I noticed after a few times of using it to vacuum my house was that my throat started burning and my nose was plugging up every time I vacuumed. I found that the “vacuum cleaner” smell coming out of the unit almost made it hard for me to breathe. I called the company who sold it to me and all they told me was to try changing the bag. That did help until I had used it a couple of times and found the same thing happening again. If I change the bag every time I vacuum maybe I wouldn’t have any problems with my allergies, but this is a very expensive solution to an unacceptable problem. If you are vacuuming to clean your house, it seems very self defeating that you should at the same time be spewing allergens all over your house. I was lead by the salesman to believe that such a thing as this would never happen with a Kirby. I guess I should have listened to my intuition that it was nothing but sales hype. But it had enough features I really liked that I decided to purchase it anyway, but I regret now that I did. I have an electronic air cleaner on my furnace and I have had to resort to turning on the blower when I vacuum to be able to use it without getting a sore throat and plugged nose.

    I love the idea of being able to plug in a vacuum cleaner and go and not have a hose to trip over as I did in the canister I had to haul around before. I have never had an upright vacuum without a bag, so I don’t know how they would work, but I would not recommend a Kirby to anyone until they do away with the bag.

    Although the vacuum cleaner does have some features I love like the self propulsion, overall, for anyone who deals with environmental allergies like I do, I would DEFINITELY NOT RECOMMEND IT!

    • Kelton

      yes, its been years since this thread was written, but a worthwhile answer could help future owners. ANY vacuum bag or filter/canister by ANY brand…..may stink depending on what your vacuuming up…..AND how long of time that stuff in the bag has been there ( think bacteria from food, crumbs, hair, skin etc). The material of the bag won’t matter either, ultimately. What WILL make a difference on sent….is to use some scented fabric (dryer sheet in your bag) or a dap of essential oil on the bag, or best yet…and more long term….is to use a ‘charcoal’ infused bag because….the charcoal ‘eats’ up the bacteria ( to a point) that cause the smell. A 2nd solution, and I”ve done this, is to purchase charcoal packets, like on Amazon, that you can insert in the outer bag of your vacuum and store it when you aren’t using the vacuum….the amount of charcoal in those is even more than what’s in the charcoal heap bags. They work wonderfully.

      Last suggestion: if you don’t want to do that…or its undesirable and you have pets that just contribute too much hair/smell…. consider purchasing a water based vacuum that never needs bags. Think Rainbow vacuums. You dump the water each time you use it….NEVER any smells. I’ve been there…..and done that…..since 1999.

  6. Anonymous

    Here is some help: If a Windtunnel is what you are comfortable with, sell your Kirby on Ebay or Craigslist.

    But, it sounds like you can’t figure out how to use the attachments. (The vacuum height must be all the way up to change them.) First, when you detach the shampoo attachment or the vacuum attachment the red lines should always be touching while they are off, hook the two fingers on the bottom ledge first, push the attachment against the base, then flip the big latch. After it is securely on, rotate the handle until the Green arrows are touching. Lower the height. While shampooing, reverse is the main direction, not forward, that sucks the foam in better. There is a dial on the soap dispenser to adjust the amount of the foam, keep the height low so the tray spreads the foam out in reverse, go slowly and empty the tray occasionally, if you see wet spots forming on the carpeting, it’s time. Once you have let the foam sit, turn off the dispenser and slowly go over the carpet to clean up the foam, (sometimes the foam piles up on the tray front, use a towel, you had the dial too far open). It takes a day to dry, don’t clean your carpet an hour before your guests arrive. ***If your belt is off, hold it in place with the green arrows touching, holding the belt rotate the handle to the red position (it might be tough to do), that should attach the belt correctly to the attachment. When the attachments are off, they should always be in the red-red position).*** I hope this helps.

  7. Anonymous

    WOW What a SCAM!!!! I opened the door to a bubbly young lady at around 8pm Central time who told me that she worked for a small appliance company who was opening a new location in my town. She said her boss told her the best way to get your name out there is to introduce yourself to the community. So they were signing people up for a raffle (1st lie). WOW…was I suckered in…I never knew what hit me. Of course I let her sign me up (she was supposedly new and was in training). She told me that she would get paid for each “short” presentation she did. I told her that was fine without knowing what she was showing me (stupid on my part). I ended up with 3 sales people in my house and the “boss” on the phone pressuring me to buy this vacuum. I admit, it did pick up dirt that my other vacuum didn’t, but I wonder how many times a person has to say no. The price of the vacuum was $1926 and of course they would take payments or credit cards (which they pushed). Two of the reps would win a trip to Florida for a conference. My 17 year old kept trying to get them to leave and started getting very angry as we passed midnight…yes…midnight and I was crying. They are so lucky my husband is in Afghanistan! I would never buy a Kirby even if it were on clearance for $5 just because of the way those people treated me. The more stories I read online that sound just like mine, it makes me want to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau! How do you people sleep at night!!!

    You couldn’t give me a Kirby after that experience!

  8. Stephanie

    Kirby Sentria: Only like the durability of the Kirby Sentria machine. I do believe it will last forever unless I damage it somehow by water or dropping it down the stairs. It cleans really well only when the bag is less than half full. Replacement bags are expensive. Do not buy from the Kirby store since they are un-reliable and over-priced with high shipping fees. Other shopping web-sites do carry them.

    Attaching the parts in order to use them is a pain. Hose does not extend far enough and cannot easily be used to reach high places. Have tried and failed several times. Hard to push around when not in use. Extremely heavy and hard to carry. Not meant for going up and done the stairs with ease.

    Kirby Sentria vacuums have hepa vacuum bags. Have found that it only contains the dust and smell if the bag is less than half full (in use and not in use). Extremely expensive vacuum, they have payment plans but unless you have good credit… you will be paying them for a long time.

    In general I hate this vacuum and I wish I had never allowed my husband to buy it. Much preferred my previous less expensive upright vacuum with attached hose that was easily able to reach the corner cobwebs. No vacuum bags were required.

  9. Anonymous

    Kirby Is The Best: I Know the Kirby’s are high priced, but they last, sure you will have belt break, but you can replace them yourself, and you half to empty your bags, I bought one back in 1984 It still works great, My mom gave me the one she bought because she took all her carpet out and it works great, I’v bought a Hoover about 2 years ago I thought I would give it a try a more updated flip a button and able to use your wand for vaccumming in hard to reach areas it didn’t have the power and it is already broke

  10. Tracy

    Kirby is great, but expensive, the reasons why: The Kirby is a great machine if you know how to use it. I work for the company and I own one so I know what I’m talking about. And the people who came to your homes pressuring you just so they can go to Florida or get extra cash are stupid idiots, YOU ARE NOT OBLIGATED TO BUY THE MACHINE. Those people are stupid to push you guys into buying one.

    But anyways the Kirby is great has two motors, which gives it more suction and would pick up more dirt than any other vacuum. Has a lot of attachments so you could vacuum under beds, clean walls and ceilings, drapes, ceiling fans,anythings in a high shelf like novelties, lamps. Inflate or deflate mattress, beach balls, blow up balloons. Vacuum your car, and using the spray gun you could spray plants on high places or put pesticide in bottle and spray plants. Using the massage cup you can groom your dog and will pick up fleas and ticks. And the shampooer you can shampoo your carpets yourself instead of paying money for someone to come in and not do that great of a job, because you need the Kirby to pick up all that dirt and then shampoo after vacuuming for one month everyday that way it picks up all dirt. Because if you shampooed your carpet or had someone do it and there is still dirt in the carpet it will turn into mud and then the carpet will wear out and then you would have to pay more money for people to put in new carpet.

    So you see what I’m talking about, you can do many things with this machine, but if you don’t know how to use it it will not work and you will have trouble with it, so if you have any questions about it ask and if those idiots don’t answer your questions right then don’t buy and that will be their fault and their loss for not doing their job correctly, and not treating those kind people with respect in their own home.

  11. p.b.m

    Buying a kirby vacuum in 2011: The kirby sentria 2011 does a great job.The belt tighing and loosing is kind of a hassle but that whats helping to get the dirt up out of the carpet.The vacuuming of the mattress was a real plus I’ve clean my sheets and somtimes could still smell a dusty smell and now I don’t after vacuuming my mattress.The cost is really what everyone wants to know.My panasonic cost 400.00 eight years and the plastic part of the base which hold it upright broke off and they no longer make that part so when I use it with the hoses the back falls down and hits the furniture.(1 strike) so they kind of came to the door at the right time, after the cleaning demo I knew it a good vacuum but I told from the get go they would have to crunch their numbers we went from $1995 to $1695 to $1495 to $1200 I thought to myself this is bullshit.I really like the sweeper so I told them I want a sweeper still in the box not that one,BOY he comes back with a offer to sell me this one at a demo price $960.00 I told him $900.00 out the door right now I’ll write the check.I now own a kirby sentria.I called my girl friend cousin which sold them a vac. forty years ago and he said that a deal. I just took my girl friend have it service. $100 to get the fin thing fix o well at lease I can still get it fixed. I hope this will help the next person wanting to know about kirby. 3/20/2011 cols,ohio

  12. Chris

    Still the best: Had Kirbys for years. Still the best cleaning and most durable machine around.
    The reviews I have read here are made by what sound like total morons with a need for drama and buyers remorse.

    Nobody stays forever and you could call the police if there is someone who won’t leave. The woman who fed and served beer to the rep sounds like there was a bit more like a sexual rejection complaint. Why if you wanted to get away from this guy would you feed him? Maybe she gave in to him and he didn’t call back. Stupid! Who shampoos a rug 45 mins before guest arrive on Christmas eve??

    There are no plastic conections that can’t be replaced! They stand behind the product.

    Invest and you will be Happy.

  13. Anonymous

    What a joke: We were suckered in just like everyone else! Hours and hours of let me show you this feature and lets go over this area of your carpet now. This went on for over five hours! We were very tired and agreed to trade in our Dyson for the Kirby. What a big mistake. It is very difficult to use and all of the parts are ridiculously priced. I miss my easy to use Dyson and am trying to get rid of this stupid Kirby. What a joke!

  14. Darlene

    Sentria: We have had our Kirby Sentria vacuum for about 3 years. It has been the worst vacuum cleaner I have ever had. This vacuuum cleaner goes through belts like they are made of paper. The vacuum also clogs very easily (we have a beagle and a medium haired cat).

    When it is time to change the belt I have to wait for my husband to do it as it is very hard to apply. Not to mention the fact that the bags are expensive and not easy to find. I will be replacing my Kirby soon and I will never be suckered into another one as they are not worth the money they cost.

    • anonymous


      If you’re going through belts….the power nozzle is NOT adjusted correctly to the floor(aka its too low), or brushroll has been adjusted to the wrong height (there are 3 levels of the brushroll to account for normal ‘wear’ of the bristles.

      Clogging? I have have serious doubts of that….ie there’s very few ( and unlikely) areas where it could clog( as opposed to all other non direct suction vacuums ( Kenmore, Oreck, Miele, Simplicity, LG etc). I have seem some Kirbys clogged…that were NEGLECTED. If you vacuum up something thats so big that it could clog ANY VACUUM, you must inspect it after vacuuming ,

      The bags used to be expensive and not easily obtainable I agree, now, they are cheap, good HEPA filtered bags….all available online.

      I’ve got Kirbys, I”m not a salesman, but have become convinced…at how good of a dirt remover from your home these are. Easily serviceable, extremely versatile , and long lasting. I hope this helps someone who is considering purchasing one. (I’d advise buying a used or refurbished one though, new….they are too expensive)

  15. Shawn

    Rock on Kirby: I am a Kirby Dealer and I also own one. I have grew up with Kirbys since I was born. Kirby is the best vaccum… scratch that… Home Care System on the market. I have done my demo up against brand new Rainbows, Dysons, Oreck, Electrolux…. the results are all the same… Kirby is by far the best.. Dont get me wrong the other guys do have some nice features but Kirby CLEANS. About some of you that have been pressured you into buying, Im Sorry for that, thats not how its suppose to be. If they done their job right, you would want one, without ever being asked. Also, it is there resposibility to explain every part on the Kirby to you, and let you do it yourself, so you know. Yes everyone knows… KIRBYS COST MORE..
    Just remember this..

    I hope all better luck

  16. Anonymous

    New Customer: For everyone who trashed this vacuum – – my guess is it was not properly demonstrated to you. We have a Dyson Ball and we were asked to vacuum our floor not once, not twice, but three times. Guess what? The Kirby sucked up so much additional stuff we were dumbfounded! While I admit I’m not sure the shampoo attachment is near as amazing, it’s still MUCH easier than my Hoover cleaner and uses much less water (and from what I could see did about as good of a job.)

    By the way – anyone who paid $1900 is just a plain fool. We paid less than half that amount. We were shown how to use all of the attachments. The attachments and vacuum are extremely durable and well-made. The bags are around $25 per 6 bags, with each bag holding 6-8 pounds of DUST (that’s a lot of dust and hair.) Before you trash a decent product, learn how to use it first…

  17. Anonymous

    Kirby bad: I received a phone call from a Kirby sales representative who asked me a trivia question, which I answered (not knowing all three choices were correct). I was told that I had won a free cleaning of two rooms in my home. It sounded like a scam so I looked up the answers on line. I called the sales rep back to let her know that I did not like being deceived. Her tone immediately changed when she realized I was on to her scam. She became rude and insulting. After reading the reviews, I am glad I did not fall victim to these con artists. It is obvious that the people with complaints had a bad experience. It is even more obvious that the ones vouching for these vacuums are SALES REPRESENTATIVES! I can understand someone with a legitimate complaint trashing a company. I can not see a “satisfied customer” trashing and insulting people who complain about their experience with this company. Nobody is that defensive about their appliances. As far as Kirby sales reps looking for “quality” costumers, they must mean “gullible”. If someone shows up at your home trying to sell you a product and they drop the price from $2,000 to $1,000 it means their intention was to rip you off for $1,000. As for the sales reps who posted on this blog, you should be ashamed of yourselves. I feel sorry for you. But not as much as for the ones you conned. I live in Arizona and the company that called me is Eagle systems. If they call you tell them to not call back.

  18. Anonymous

    Disapointed: Wish I had never seen a Kirby sweeper. The sales people stayed forever. The sweeper lasted less time. I only used it four times and it broke. Bought new bags didn’t help. Took it to a shop told needed a new belt. ha ha. Got another call this time told motor was blown up. This little job would cost us 250 dollars. Now we have a $1000 sweeper with a blowen motor and no one that will help us. I would never recommend this sweeper to any. To any one who says I don’t know what I am talking about I will gladly let you have the sweeper for free.

    • kelly

      Anonymous from nov 7, 2011, I know this is an old thread, my response is to help potentially new owners. Kirby motors don’t ‘blow up’….someone was lying to you if you were told that, and if so, I’m very sorry to hear. The belts do stretch out in time and need replacing (2-3$) but rarely break. If you keep going through belts, there is a serious misalignment of the brushroller. I have several Kirbys ( kinda got into collecting them) and NEVER have had one break. If a smell is occurring while vacuuming, like burning….its the belt. Have a knowledgable Kirby shop show/remind you how to work everything, it’ll be worth it. I would HIGHLY recommend a Kirby to anyone with mostly carpet who isn’t so feeble as to not be able to vacuum or anyone who isn’t disabled. Its a superior cleaning device.

  19. Morgan R Kemp

    This makes me laugh from all of you. I used to sell Kurby and I have used almost all of the kirbies. I think this vacuum is one of the best. I use this vacuum almost everyday, and I have had no problems with it. I bought mine used and refurbished. I will tell you it’s not the product, its the operator. Maybe if all of you would take the time to study the product, and really take the time to work it properly. Instead of you all saying its worthless. This generation is really illiterate, uneducated, and lazy. Take the time to look up the product online and read, like I said before, learn about it, then people like this wont leave uneducated reviews. If non of you can operate a vacuum, then what else are you going to complain about…? I dont know how to pea in a toilet, or I eat. So lets leave a illiterate review so we can feel good about ourselves.


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