My Vacuum Cleaner

When I first started this blog, I sometimes wrote about creativity and writing, but I also wrote about experiences that I felt had a literary quality about them. But lately, all I’ve been doing is focusing on writing about writing – which is likely monotonous for non-writers, and possibly boring even for other writers. Meanwhile, I’ve discovered some friends are tracking my life through my blog entries and I worry that all this writer’s angst too easily collides with self-absorption and complaint.

So, I’ll tell you about my vacuum cleaner. Which is also a complaint, but hopefully more interesting. And perhaps someone who googles “Eurolab Cyclonic Vacuum Cleaner” and possibly adding “directdeals.com.au” will read this. AND BE WARNED.

It was such a fine idea. My bright new apartment, my first property. I decided to get a nice, new electronic appliance, and needed a vacuum cleaner immediately upon moving in. I did a casual websearch for Sydney stores and “direct deals” came up with a special offer. A bagless vacuum cleaner. I’d seen the gorgeous and expensive Dyson models in stores, and the concept of bagless appealed to me. So, clicked on the photo. Registered retail price $230. Yours now for only $70 (plus $10 postage). Some further surfing revealed that other bagless vacuum cleaners were indeed pricy, and this seemed a bargain – my Asian bargain hunter reflexes made my heart jump all excitedly. I also thought that Eurolab sounded like a sleek name. German perhaps? Scandivian?

When it arrived in the post, it was smaller than I expected, but a fun bright blue, a cool compact shape, and worked OK, albeit the 1400 watt suction wasn’t super strong. I don’t have a big place, so it seemed to do the trick, especially since my IKEA carpet coughed up carpet-balls on a daily basis.

But as the Spanish say: Cheap is Expensive. It doesn’t matter if a vacuum cleaner costs only $70 if after six months something starts to rattle and it smells like burning electrical parts. I surfed the web, and sent an enquiry to www.dealsdirect.com.au. No warranty. Only if dead on arrival. NO WARRANTY? What was I thinking? Didn’t I check that. (No.) A friendly vacuum cleaner repairman told me that the smoke alluded to motor problems and a new motor, and labour to install it would cost: $150. I googled Eurolab and couldn’t find anything (well, actually, a number of European laboratories, but none who produced electronic equipment). I finally found a link which lead me to a conversation on a consumer discussion board that focused on Australian broadband services. Someone complained about receiving the wrong children’s toys, and being unable to return them. This lead into posts of all the problems that people have had with dealsdirect and testimonials that Eurolab is a cheap Chinese manufacturer and that a number of items: coffeemakers mainly, seemed to last about 2 or 3 months before conking out.

So, I should feel lucky I got six months.

I went out immediately to the Breville/Kambrook seconds discount place and got me a 1900 watt bagless Kambrook with a one year warranty. I sprung for the most expensive model in the shop ($120) and the suction is so strong that the paint has started to come off my walls whenever I turn it on. But my ex Michael reminded me to look for the lever on the handle that lets air in (and reduces sucking), my carpet is looking beautifully fuzz free, and my apartment is spotless.

As they say on television (or anywhere these days), “if my story only helps one person to change their life…”

Heh. Remember kids: buy products with warranties. cheap is expensive. deals direct are crooks. eurolab is not european. Words to live by.

(BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE)

Only two days after I posted this, I was notified that there was a comment on my blog. Of course, you could read it in the comments section, but I think it’s much more fun to read it here:

Hi Andy,

I work for DealsDirect.com.au and came across your post this morning. I’m really sorry to hear that you had such a bad run with your Eurolab vacuum cleaner. It’s obviously not a good situation either for you or us.

As I can see you have already purchased another vacuum cleaner elsewhere, if you are able to arrange return postage to us of the vacuum cleaner, I would be happy to arrange a refund in full. I’d also be very sorry to see you never return to DealsDirect.com.au, so would also like to offer a $30 credit on your DealsDirect account in the hope you’ll give us a second chance to make things right with another order in the future.

I’ve also requested that our inventory team flag this vacuum cleaner with our suppliers, to review the warranty terms. This may mean a sacrifice in the price, but from reading your experiences, it may be a preferable option.

I’ll check back on this post in a few days if you wish to reply. Again, I’m genuinely sorry that the wheels fell off so badly on your order and hope we can turn things around.

Leigh
DealsDirect.com.au

*

Imagine my surprise! On the one hand, I imagine that they don’t see many public complaints like this (i.e. bad publicity) and that most people who suffered warranty-less eurolab breakdowns had to suffer in silence. On the other hand, this is my idea of customer service! An apology, a stated intent to actually address the problems, and recompensation. I was so amused I had to recount the entire story to my poor workmate David (who was also impressed and thought that he should lodge a complaint even though he’s never bought anything).

So, I met a friend to see “Science of Sleep” that evening and then rushed home to look to see if my vacuum cleaner was still in the box that I left it in next to the trash. No such luck, and what very bad timing: the trash went out that morning! Ah well. I learned my lesson, Leigh has put $30 credit on my account, and it made a good story, don’t you think?

This entry was posted in Advice, Consumer. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to My Vacuum Cleaner

  1. Leigh says:

    Hi Andy,

    I work for DealsDirect.com.au and came across your post this morning. I’m really sorry to hear that you had such a bad run with your Eurolab vacuum cleaner. It’s obviously not a good situation either for you or us.

    As I can see you have already purchased another vacuum cleaner elsewhere, if you are able to arrange return postage to us of the vacuum cleaner, I would be happy to arrange a refund in full. I’d also be very sorry to see you never return to DealsDirect.com.au, so would also like to offer a $30 credit on your DealsDirect account in the hope you’ll give us a second chance to make things right with another order in the future.

    I’ve also requested that our inventory team flag this vacuum cleaner with our suppliers, to review the warranty terms. This may mean a sacrifice in the price, but from reading your experiences, it may be a preferable option.

    I’ll check back on this post in a few days if you wish to reply. Again, I’m genuinely sorry that the wheels fell off so badly on your order and hope we can turn things around.

    Leigh
    DealsDirect.com.au

  2. aq says:

    Hey Leigh.

    I’m very impressed with your response – it was completely unexpected. The garbage in my apartment went out this morning, so when I got home from work and looked for the vacuum, it was gone. So, I’m out of luck for the full refund – but would be happy to get the $30 credit (or more?) – and I’ll amend my blog entry to reflect your positive response.

    Drop me a line to andy@andyquan.com

    Cheers. Andy

  3. Mike says:

    Hey Andy,

    Great post thanks. My wife and I are currently researching bagless suckers and we too came across the Eurolab – seems it is still for sale at DealsDirect.com.au:

    http://www.dealsdirect.com.au/p/vacuum-cleaner-bagless-cyclonic-hepa-filter-eurolab/?utm_source=dealsnewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=product&utm_campaign=DealsNewsletter20080107

    Needless to say – we’ll be staying away!

  4. Biscuit says:

    Hi Andy!

    Well, what can I say? Had I not read your blog I would probably now be the owner of a brand new, pocket size piece of fun (and garbage)! I receive the Deals Direct Newsletter to my in box this morning (it feels like every 2.45 hours get one) and what was feature there you ask? The Eurolab Vacuum cleaner.

    I went through the same emotions. Wow! only $49.95 for a European bagless vacuum cleaner with a normal recommended retail price of $299!!! Baaaaargain! Fortunately I am pretty internet savvy so I took to Google like a hound on a fox hunt. And that’s when I came across your blog. In the search field all I needed to see was ‘Be Warned’ and I was hooked.

    So, I guess what I am trying to say is thanks!

    I just purchased an Air Purifier for my partner who suffers from allergies. I hope I don’t have the same issue! I’ll keep you posted.

    I love the Breville Factory so any excuse to go there again suits me.

    Thanks again,

    Nicky.

  5. mem says:

    Hi Andy,

    I I have had a similar problem as you. My vacuum works but just when it needs a charge it will find the charger base but just blindly bump into it. I have cleaned the contacts thoroughly but to no avail. I spoke with deals direct and got the same prompt reply “out of your 30 day warranty period”. I will be sending an email to DD rather than just using their chatting system. I shall post a follow up comment to let you know the results.

    What does annoy me is they sell product that is seems (from googling and their own customer feedback) prone to failure. Its a shame because its a very nice product, when working.

  6. mem says:

    Hey again,
    Unfortunately after sending my email and waiting to today I got the same terse response from dealsdirect … 30 day warranty yada yada. No mention of the fact that in Australia there is no specific set warranty period for any device, a reasonable time frame considering nature of goods and value is what DOCEP states. I have noticed in whirlpool forums that one or two dealsdirect employs monitor it for complaints and will respond if any arise. So I shall post my story there as well – follow up with DOCEP and see how things go.

  7. aq says:

    Mem! I think it’s a good idea to post your complaint and make it as public as possible and see what you can get out of them. I didn’t expect a response when I posted my blog, so I was pleased with getting a credit (which I used for an 8 outlet power surge protector which I am still happy with). Good luck!

  8. mem says:

    Thanks for the encouragement aq. I posted it to the whirlpool thread that seems to get a response from DD employees: http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=626281&p=23 . All said and done its a shame the little robot vacuum is dead. Im thinking of giving a roomba 500 a go next, as I have been sold on the idea if not the product.

  9. aq says:

    btw, don’t know where you’re located, but if in sydney, the Breville Kambrook Factory Seconds Outlet on Redfern Street has got a good range of vacuum cleaners and cheap. I got a big bagless one there – a Kambrook Jaguar – probably a size bigger than what I needed but it’s worked fine.

  10. mem says:

    cheers aq, no Im actually over in Perth WA. Still being ignored by dealsdirect unfortunately, I have created a blog to deal with them directly.
    http://eurolab-dealsdirect.blogspot.com

  11. mem says:

    andy sorry to be a pain, here is the new url: http://dealsdirect.blogspot.com/

  12. Naomi says:

    Hi Andy,

    Not so coincidentally it seems, my Eurolab Dual Typhoon Cyclonic Bagless Vacuum Cleaner, $120, did the exact same thing yesterday! So after chatting with Deals Direct and getting the sorry 30 day only reply I did some surfing to see if I could find complaints and low and behold I find your blog. Very well written thank you. My eurolab is 6 months old and started banging loudly and then came the smell of burning plastic or rubber…Deals Direct clearly have no integrity and are scammers. Time will tell. Thanks again for the info. Happy Vacuuming!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Many thanks for posting this, It?s just what I used to be researching for on bing. I?d loads relatively hear opinions from a person, slightly than a company web page, that?s why I like blogs so significantly. Many thanks!

Leave a Reply to Leigh Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *