Today, most vacuum cleaner manufacturers are focusing on the products they offer rather than on their consumers. Over the years, I’ve heard many stories of people interacting with appliance producers, some hilarious, others “grotesque”. One of my readers came with the idea of comparing the relationship between them and their customers, and thus I’m writing this article, which will take you through a thorough review of the 7 vacuum cleaner companies (Dyson, Shark, Bissell, Hoover, Miele, Oreck, Kirby and Rainbow/Rexair) based solely on their customer service. Now, I know I will piss off a lot of people working at some of these brands, but let me emphasize from the beginning I’m trying to be as impartial as I can. I am grading each company after 4 factors: Staff, Response & Readiness, Customer Feedback and Warranty Options, and I’m making a final ranking at the end of this piece, so if you want to know who’s paying the most care to their customers, make sure you spend 5 minutes reading this story.
Dyson customer care
If you need to quickly get in touch with a rep from Dyson, their US-based help line no. is 866-693-9766 (you can also try 866-277-4649).
Dyson has proved to be efficient when it comes to availing their products to people. Whether you want to buy online or at the retail store, most of the times their staff is courteous and willing to give you free advice. They have a competitive call center, and as soon as you register online for your warranty, they will have most of your details (name, home address, email address). In many cases, their staff is able to solve problems such as replacing missing parts, making step-by-step troubleshooting lists or guiding customers to choosing the best Dyson product for their needs. Several of their clients have shown great satisfaction on various forums, including Consumer Reports, Amazon Reviews, and even on Dyson.com, but we’ll talk more about that in the Customer Feedback section. Dyson’s PR employees are highly specialized, and cluster in specific departments such as “Customer research” or “Product launch” (although they still messed up IMO the Dyson Eye 360 opening). No wonder, Dyson was chosen among the top 50 call centers as the best company in retail business, back in 2009. Since that day things changed a bit, yet in most cases, Dyson’s personnel is still well trained and polite. I am rating Dyson’s staff with 4.5 stars (on a scale of 1 to 5).
Response & Readiness
In case you purchase one of their products and you find it defective, the first step you’ll take is to call their center. They have a toll free phone call service open from 8.00am-8.00pm (Monday – Friday), and 8.00am- 6.00pm (Saturday). Sundays are closed. It may happen to find all the lines busy; don’t worry, in most cases they will call you back. Normally, their readiness to respond to your particular situation depends on the distance to their nearest partner. They have field service engineers who are ready to fix your problem in case it can’t be fixed via a phone call. Because of the huge customer base, their engineers can take up to 72 hours to respond. You can even carry your broken machine to your workplace, and their engineers will come there to fix it. They also offer an online support section which displays step-by-step approaches of fixing common issues. I’ve emailed them once at firstname.lastname@example.org, they replied in less than 1h. On selected products, they may have a live chat service on their site where you can get immediate answers to your questions. Besides that, they have a YouTube support channel and you can also get their help on the social media – Google+, Facebook or Twitter. The details of these social media accounts are also displayed on their products. Overall, they respond well, but it is trivial – your machine won’t get fixed right away. In terms of response, I would say Dyson is pretty good. Thus, I am rating this company with 4.5 stars.
This section mirrors what people say about the company, and more specifically, about the products and their experience with the Customer Support. A few of the people I’ve talked with came to the conclusion that Dyson is “more hype than quality”. While I do agree that some the units are a bit overprices, I still consider Dyson as one of the most loved vacuum cleaner manufacturers. Many like the slick design lines and the usability of their vacuum cleaners. E.g. their absolutely amazing cordless line was very well received by thousands. The newer version promises an even better performance. People genuine appreciate the exterior of Dyson appliances; as for their efficiency, Dyson hasn’t lost the sight of it. Dyson vacuum cleaners are still powerful and customers appreciate this. Not everybody is satisfied though; thus overall, Dyson gets 4 stars at this chapter.
Their warranty covers the repair/replacement of any Dyson machine, in case it is found to be defective because of workmanship or faulty materials within the stipulated period, which is usually 5 years for canisters and uprights, and 2 years for cordless models. I must say, Dyson is one of those companies for which warranty really means warranty. They sacredly respect the contract. Dyson guarantees are transferable with the machine, as long as you provide the required details to your Dyson service center. You can find a list o national service centers here. The replacement parts are quite a lot; thus it’s a good thing they’re always available to any customer directly on Dyson’s website. With this decent warranty policy, Dyson get 4 stars from me.
Shark customer care
Need to get someone from EuroPro/SharkNinja on the phone ASAP? Dial Shark’s customer support number: 800-798-7398.
Shark has a dedicated staff. To the best of my knowledge, their employees are polite and knowledgeable. After reading some customer reviews published on Walmart, Amazon, and on other forums, I’ve found however some inconsistencies. The good thing is that their employees are native English speakers. From what I’ve heard, one of their call centers is located in Saint-Laurent, Montreal, Canada. The bad thing is that a lot of unfortunate events still happen. Parts get misplaced. Units are sent to the wrong addresses. People receive things they didn’t order, or don’t receive things they’ve ordered. But make no mistake, given the huge operation volume, these kind of things are bound to happen every once in a while. Thus Shark scores 4 stars at this chapter.
Response & Readiness
If you encounter a problem with a Shark vacuum, the first thing you should do is to check their online troubleshooting guide. Locate your model and browse through the common issues list. If you still can’t find the answer, you may need to get in touch with their customer support. Clients claim that the staff would often take a couple of minutes before they pick their calls. Most of their customers are generally happy about how the staff gives them solutions whenever they have a problem with Shark machines. They have an online chat service and a toll-free number that enables customers to express their concerns during Shark’s operational hours; 8am—10pm EST (Monday to Friday) and 9am—6pm EST (Saturday and Sunday). Depending on the time of the day, at peak hours, you may have to wait about 5 to 10 minutes to get in touch with a customer service agent via the online chat service. During off-peak hours, the online chat service is very efficient. The same applies to their response to phone calls. Apart from their toll-free number and online chat, Shark offers support through their email service. If you email them an inquiry at email@example.com, you may expect an answer within 1-2 business days. In case you want your machine to be repaired immediately, you’re out of luck, as Shark doesn’t offer emergency repair services. Also, some customers have expressed concerns regarding the time it takes the service team to repair their machines. When it comes to social media, Shark is not very active in relaying back information. They are best at answering your emails, receiving your calls and contacting you online. After some time, I’ve managed to locate Shark’s Twitter account which is under username SharkCleaning. I don’t understand why they aren’t using the username SharkClean, I’m sure this is confusing to so many people. They use the same username for G+ and Facebook. The most active account is the Facebook one. That’s the place where they really take time to reply to each person who is commenting on their page. Shark doesn’t offer a lot of contact options like Dyson, but generally, their feedback is good. When it comes to responding quickly to the customer concerns, it’s fair to give Shark a rating of 3.5 stars.
Generally speaking, they have good reviews on all major online properties. Things however can go south from time to time. The good thing is that they allow reviews on their official site. However, these may be edited, since I couldn’t find any 1-star rating for any of their models. The most common negative points are reliability and accessory connectivity. People also complain about the lengthy time spent by Shark’s team on repairing the broken units. As things are, I am rating SharkNinja’s “Customer Feedback” with 3.5 stars.
This is where Shark gets 4.5 stars. Shark offers 5-year warranties on some of its products, and if bought directly from SharkClean.com, some products can even receive VIP lifetime warranties. However, the warranty is not transferable with the product and it applies only to the original product and the original owner. Shark offers warranty replacements/repairs in case the product purchased becomes defective because of workmanship or because of materials used. In case you get a replacement unit, the warranty offered for this new product lasts only two years (for most models).
Bissell customer care
Need help right away? Get in touch with a Bissell rep directly at 800-237-7691.
Bissell’s products are distributed globally. Their products speak for themselves. Bissell has employed specialized personnel to serve their customers, and their Customer Care center is located in Grand Rapids, MI. This is a good thing, as their representatives are US citizens, a thing which you don’t see in all the companies from this article. They hire persons with Bachelor’s degree, eager to work in a professional environment. They get 4.5 points for running a national Customer Care center.
Response & Readiness
If you have any inquiries related to your order or your Bissell product, you can always contact them over phone from Monday to Friday between 8am and 10pm. Saturdays they start at 9am and finish at 8pm, and Sundays they work between 10am-7pm (ET). Upon purchasing a Bissell product, you will most likely be asked to register the product. Optionally, you can subscribe to a newsletter for general updates, tips, and advice. Besides finding replacement parts and local services center, their customer support page also provides some brief How-to videos, cleaning tutorials and answers to most FAQs. The complete website and the video quality could be improved/updated, but for most of the times, these come in handy. As for their readiness, although I’ve seen/heard about several cases where customers call the Bissell line, they are answered, and then the reps promise to call back with instructions but they don’t actually keep their word, I think Bissell hot line employees generally do a good job. Although they have social media accounts, they are not really that active and they don’t have an online chat service. On their Instagram, FB and Twitter accounts, they post a lot of pet images, given their active relationship with their very own pet foundation (BISSELL Pet Foundation), and their involvement with Partners for Pets and LostPetUSA.net initiatives.
If you need to email them, you can do that by filling out this form (I would have preferred an email address). Just like other vacuum cleaner manufactures, Bissell is a bit slow when responding to clients’ concerns. Upon making an order on their site, it can take up to a week for the item to be delivered to your doorstep. This, however, depends on distance, and you will also enjoy the advantage of not paying any delivery charges (for orders over $40). They don’t do repairs outside their service centers at this can be a great inconvenience to some customers. All being said, I’m rating Bissell with 3.5 stars here.
A nice thing is that Bissell allows people to leave reviews directly on their official website. And by the looks of it, they seem pretty real. People have varying thoughts on Bissell and its customer support. Many opinions vary with the products. E.g. Bissell Big Green is one of the most loved domestic carpet cleaning machines, and thus it gets many 5 star entries. There are however products which are not that successful, such as the Bissell Anna. Most clients attest that Bissell staff is fairly replying to their requests, but occasionally the operators act unprofessionally and sometimes, even rude. Also, some customers have problems with their newsletters. Even after they unsubscribe, they still get tons of emails from Bissell. Another issue is the poor instructions given by the customer service representatives regarding the repair of the products. Although there’s not much to be done over the phone, one should still try to make things work. Most customers with problems attest that the given guidelines aren’t of much help. In terms of customer feedback, Bissell scores 3.5 stars.
Bissell offers warranties starting 3-months and ending 5 years with for some of their machines (e.g. the PowerGlide Pet). They have their own service center and they can offer full machine service for even those machines breaking outside the warranty period. They charge up to $75 for repair services. They will contact a courier service company to collect your machine in case you don’t have time to visit their service center and your machine will be returned within 5-7 business days. Bissell’s warranty periods are generally shorter, compared to the aforementioned companies and normally, they don’t offer a replacement. They get 3.5 stars for their warranty service.
Miele customer care
If you immediately need help with your Miele vacuum cleaner, you can dial 800-463-0260/800-999-1360 during their work hours (see below).
Given the size of the company, Miele has its staff distributed throughout the world. It can be difficult to say something general about the staff because of the scale of their operation. Unlike other companies mentioned here, this company enjoys a good reputation when it comes to their service. It’s hard to come by a client complaining of an arrogant Miele staff member. It would be outrageous, given their prices. But the simple truth is that they usually hire people with College degrees, and pay them well. Their staff is courteous and willing to help where possible. According to a recent survey, Miele employees are proud to say they are working for this company. Most issues raised by customers doesn’t hit directly the staff. Miele staff gets a good 4.5 rating.
Response & Readiness
The support center can be reach from Monday to Friday, starting with 8:30am and ending with 5:00pm EST. Miele has toll free numbers in Australia, USA, UK and Canada. They are fast to respond to phone calls and unlike most of the other companies, their telephone service is not jammed with traffic. So be sure your call will be attended within 5 to 10 minutes. On their Service page you can register your vacuum cleaner, download manuals, read some repair guides and so on. They don’t have an email address for direct contact. Instead, if you wish to email them, you can do that here. They also don’t have a chat, but they are quite active on their Facebook, Twitter and G+ pages. On the downside, they post news about many other products, not just vacuum cleaners, and some complain about the time Miele takes to repair their machines. Miele scores a 3.5 in terms of response.
Miele vacuums have excellent reviews. I am a fan of most of their units as well. IMO, it’s almost impossible to get better reviews, considering the wide range of cleaning needs. Miele’s customer feedback scores a 4.5, only because they don’t maintain a good review section on their official site.
Miele offers three types of warranties: the extended warranty, promotional warranty, and the manufacturer’s warranty. The extended warranty covers your vacuum cleaner for up to 8 years but it’s only applicable to appliances still under guarantee. They offer promotional warranties for 5 years or 10 years from the purchase date depending on the type of the promotion. The manufacturer warranty is usually 5 years long. Miele gets a 5 here.
Hoover customer care
Hoover, Oreck, Dirt Devil and Royal have been acquired by TTI, so it is only natural that Hoover and Oreck to have similarities in their customer care procedures. Nevertheless, I’ll analyze both here. If you need to contact a Hoover representative right this minute, you can dial 800-944-9200 (just make sure you phone them during the working hours listed below).
Some say they’re perfect, some say they’re average. Hoover’s customer care is based in Glenwillow, Ohio. To the best of my knowledge, they don’t use the crème de la crème so to speak, since you need only a High School Diploma to get hired. Previous customer service experience is not even compulsory, and the pay range is about $13/h. However, they do get extra credit for running a national service point. And the selection process might be a bit spartan. So 4 stars here.
Response & Readiness
After purchasing Hoover machines online or at retail stores, you may need to register the unit. With the registration, they’ll also get your phone number, which they will use from time to time to send additional offers. Luckily, those who find this annoying can unsubscribe. Customer support is available Monday – Friday, from 8:00am to 6:00pm EST. As you see, the hotline number doesn’t go through on weekends, so you must make your calls anywhere in the middle of the week. They can also be contacted via chat, or by email. It goes without saying that before purchasing any unit, you will be handled in the best way possible. The problems usually appear when taking your machine back for repairs. When you call Hoover for such matters, expect to be held for about 30 minutes on the line. And if your machine has malfunctioned and needs repairs, expect your machine to stay in their repair shop anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of months. Hoover doesn’t offer any kind of repair services out of their service centers. They have Linkedin, YouTube and Twitter accounts but the personnel managing them are not very active. The most active social media account is the Facebook one. Here people get replies within hours. Hoover scores a 3 in terms of their readiness to attend to repairs. They take quite a long time, usually citing that the replacement parts are still on shipment.
Some of my acquaintances complain about the TTI team dragging their feet. Others however speak in high terms about them. As aforementioned, you may wait for up to 30 minutes to get a feedback on your call, and complains about this situation can be read on various web properties. Fortunately, Hoover has a callback service that allows them to call their customers after the normal business hours. So, if you don’t want to wait for 30 minutes you can request a callback. However, some clients have expressed their concerns about not being called back even after requesting a callback. Like some of the companies presented above, Hoover also offers the opportunity for customers to leave a feedback on their official site. Reviews are mostly good, and some of their products such as e.g. Hoover Linx seem to be pretty successful. Hoover deserves a 3.5 rating when it comes to summing the feedback of their clients.
Hoover offers different types of warranties depending on a product, varying from 1 to 5 years. Nonetheless, they offer a 90-day warranty for replacement of parts in all of their products. The warranties only apply to those products purchased exclusively from the United States. Remember to check on your specific Hoover product the kind of warranty it comes with. The get 4 points here.
Oreck customer care
At the number 800-989-3535 you can interact directly with an Oreck representative.
Not much to say about the staff – the process of employment is similar to what we have at Hoover. With the restructuring, there were some layouts, and like any other big manufacturing company, there are problems with the upper management. Unfortunately, the base payment is pretty low. Many employees prefer to work in sales, because of the bonuses. Given this environment, you can expect Oreck’s customer care employees not to be invested 100% in their work. Considering my experience with them, I’ll rate this aspect with 3.5 stars.
Response & Readiness
The toll-free hotline works from Monday – Friday, from 8am to 6pm CST. You can also contact live chat during these hours. In some cases, customer care takes long to respond to calls and when they respond, in some isolated incidents, they talk to you arrogantly. So if you prefer the old fashioned way, you can email Oreck by filling this form. However, generally speaking, they are quick to attend to clients and they offer full instructions and step-by-step guidelines when need be. In case your vacuum cleaner needs repairs, you can take it to their service centers. If your warranty has expired you may be charged for the repair service. They don’t do repairs out of their service centers. Oreck tries their best to get back to their clients as soon as possible on their Facebook account. The other social media properties are not updated as often. I’ll give Oreck a 3.5 rating here.
Generally speaking, people are satisfied by the Oreck products. They do allow product reviews on their official website, and most are positive. With their latest Magnesium line, they certainly have a specific market share to work with. Oreck get a 4.0 here.
Oreck has a 90-day warranty for their vacuum cleaners but this may differ depending on specific products. Their warranties cover repairs/replacements of parts defective due to workmanship or materials. Customers have had no problems when claiming for warranties though some of them say it’s almost impossible for the company to give you a replacement. Their warranty can be as lengthy as 7 years, and that’s the main reason they deserve a 4 rating.
Kirby customer care
Call Kirby directly at 800-437-7170 if you need help.
Many know the way Kirby trains/hires door-to-door sellers, but how about their customer service employees? Check out this reddit if you want to know more. Suffice to say that their staff is engaged in mixed activities. Being one of the oldest vacuum cleaner companies from US usually reflects in the professionalism of the representatives. unfortunately, not always. Kirby deserves a 3 here.
Response & Readiness
Kirby is well known for their door-to-door salespersons. I’ve talked about getting a Kirby vacuum here, make sure you read this if you want to know more about how these guys work. Kirby personnel can help fix your vacuum over phone from Monday to Friday (8am – 7:30pm EST) and on Saturdays (9am – 5pm). If they can’t, you’ll have to take it to the nearest Kirby’s registered dealer. Their response is fairly good, and because the product is decent, they will get the job done usually pretty soon. They are fairly active on all major social media properties, including Facebook, Twitter and G+. Too bad they don’t use the same user name everywhere. Overall, they deserve a 3.5 rating in this section.
This is where Kirby really suffers. There are a lot of complains not about the product (which unfortunately also has a few flaws IMO), but about how Kirby sells their products. Kirby gets 2 points here.
Kirby offers a 3-year warranty for all their vacuum cleaners. It worth also mentioning the rebuild program. Kirby vacuum warranty does not cover expendable items such as disposable filter bags, belts and light bulbs. Service and labor costs are charged to the owner of the machine. The warranty only applies to the registered owner. Some customers have hard rough time when they wanted replacements but for repairs, most customers are satisfied. A 4.0 rating is appropriate here.
Rainbow/Rexair customer care
Get someone from Rainbow on the phone at 248-643-7222.
Rainbow is one of the manufacturing companies from my list which has an experienced staff. Most of my acquaintances, owners of Rainbow vacuums, attest the Rainbow’s staff etiquette and professionalism. However, in some cases, customers have mentioned how some staff members easily get irritated when bombarded with too many questions. There are still issues with financial aspects, warranties, spare parts and so on, issues that some staff members are either unaware or careless during the selling process, and after. Rainbow staff members deserve a 3.5 rating.
Response & Readiness
You can phone Rainbow toll-free from Monday through Friday, between 9am – 5pm (EST). They receive customer’s calls very fast and you won’t be held in the line for long. Although you can chat live with a Rainbow rep, on their site you can find manuals, FAQ, videos and guides. They also have an online form where you can feed in your information and submit a query, but you’ll wait around 48h for a reply. Some customers claim that Rainbow team takes a significant amount of time before they do repairs. They only use Facebook, and they are not so active. Rainbow scores a 3.0 here.
The customer feedback varies for Rainbow Systems. Many are outraged by the price of the product, the low usability options and the hard-to-use attachments, but praise the filtration efficiency. I’ll give 3 points here.
They offer a 30-day money back guarantee for all their products. They carry out repairs for free and replace any parts without subjecting you to any cost if your machine is still under the warranty period. Rainbow provides to its independent Authorized Rainbow Distributors, a written 4-year warranty on the Rainbow products and attached accessories and an 8-year warranty on the vacuum cleaner motor/electronic controller. When it comes to warranty, customers have had no serious concerns and so Rainbow gets a 4 here.
Final words and ranking
Here’s the final ranking:
|Staff||Response & Readiness||Customer Feedback||Warranty Options||Total|
I would love to know your thoughts on this!