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Bissell upright Proheat Turbo Deep Cleaner / Inferior quality, poor Customer Service

1 Grand Rapids, MI, United States Review updated:
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Bissell. When they say, “We mean clean”, they mean cleaning out your pockets!

I purchased a Bissell upright Proheat Turbo Deep Cleaner within the last year. The machine's been used no more than six times to remove pet stains in limited areas only.
Attempting a similar "spot cleaning" several days ago I noticed it wasn't spraying any water/solution.

I stepped through all of their Troubleshooting recommendations and still, not functioning.
Believing the cause was merely some obstruction (tangled hair/button/paper clip, etc.) I disassembled the hood surrounding the spray jets/beater bar only to find that the pinion gear that drives the beater bar belt had sheared off its shaft and had become lodged in the pump drive mechanism (in reality it wasn't spraying AND the beater bar wasn't spinning).

As the drive mechanism is integral to the pump, I called Bissell's Customer Service, explained the situation and requested that -- in view of the still-active warranty and the machine's rather limited usage -- that they simply send me a replacement pump, which I would install and all would be well in the Kingdom.

Not so simple. The young lady on the other end said the pump is not a “user serviceable part” and that they didn’t stock those parts. She did however refer me to their “Authorized Service Center” in my area and told me that they could furnish the part.

I quickly called their Service Center. The very nice gentleman there told me they had been a Bissell “Authorized Service Center” for only 10 days and that he was unfamiliar with their service plans. Interestingly enough, he also said he had a similar unit disassembled on his work bench at that very moment with the exact same problem; when I questioned him, he estimated the age of that unit at approximately 6 mos. The next thing I knew the owner of the shop grabbed the phone and said that he had one pump in stock, but that I would have to pay $35.00 for it because Bissell wouldn’t reimburse him if he didn’t diagnose the problem and affect the repair himself.

Back to Bissell. I called C.S. again and asked to speak to a supervisor, surely he/she would have enough sense to understand and remedy the problem. Not so. That guy began reciting language from their “small print” declaring that I voided my warranty when I opened the cleaner’s shell. OK, time to climb to another level. At this point I’m still believing that someone within this organization must have enough intelligence to see that I’m not asking for any form of labor to be performed, but just need to be mailed a small part that was obviously poorly engineered to prematurely fail as it did in the first place.

I asked to speak to his supervisor, and after a long pause on “Hold” I was transferred to a woman who would identify herself only as “Michelle at Corporate”. She only mumbled the same ridiculous rhetoric as her underling. I tried to appeal to her sense of fairness inasmuch as:

1) The ostensibly easy step of unclogging an obstruction did not warrant a trip to a Repair Center.
2) It was only by my examination of the unit that the extent of the problem was identifiable.
3) Clearly the part in question had an inherent design flaw (after all, any interruption of beater bar rotational torque should have resulted in a failed rubber belt, not the shearing off of a steel drive gear shaft.
4) I am ready, willing and able to replace the part myself – no technician required.

This lady was rude to the point of hostility, telling me that I would have to pay for the parts/labor to restore an appliance originally costing $179 and only used a half-dozen times. Further, to document our conversation I asked her for her direct phone number/extension and her last name. She outright refused to provide any of that information.

This entire company is pathetic. They’re designing, marketing and selling inferior products, have inadequate service protocols, and their Customer Service skills are abhorrent. I will never purchase another Bissell product and strongly encourage anyone considering a future appliance purchase to Google other consumers’ similar experiences; they populate the Internet.

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Comments

  • Fr
      7th of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    I have a pro heat protech which as you I have used four or five times, I used it today and after using the main part, I went to use my tools only to discover that the plastic switch which chooses main machine or tools has snapped off and part of it has fallen into the machine. The tools now do not work and the service centre is miles and miles away. Can't say I have had any problems with Bissell before (I have a vacuum cleaner as well), but it certainly is a design fault that something used so rarely breaks so easily.

  • Pk
      25th of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    GUESS WHAT MY BISSELL IS DOING THE SAME EXACT THING TODAY. IT HAS NO WATER COMING OUT OF THE CHAMBER. HELP!!!

  • Sh
      1st of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    I also own a Bissell ProHeat Turbo and have used maybe four times. I purchased maybe a year ago. The roller brush is not rotating. I shampooed my entire living room and was working on a carpet runner when I noticed it was not working. I would have been better off to never have purchased this and hired a carpet cleaning service, or rented a RUG DOCTOR! I will never purchase another Bissell product, and I recommend to other consumers considering a Bissell purchase DON'T WASTE YOUR HARD-EARNED MONEY! S. Dixon, Pocahontas, IL

  • Nl
      22nd of Aug, 2009
    0 Votes

    I purchased a ProHeat September 2007 and in December 2007 I had to take it back to the store and get a new one because the brush was not working. I took the new one home, use it and it was fine. The second time I used it the brush broke again. I was told it was out of warranty and I would have to take it to a Bissell repair shop 30 miles away form my house. I took it in October 2008 and had it repaired. I was told that particular machine had a defect. I took the machine home and did not use it until August 15, 2009. I barely started using it when I discovered that the pump was not working and the brush worked sometimes. I emailed Bissell who informed me I would have to take the machine back to the repair shop and have it fixed. I told them I did not want to have it fixed because it was defective and I would prefer my money back or a machine that did not have these problems. I was told the only thing they would do is fix it. You would think they would pull this model since it obviously has a defective part, but no, they just keep on selling them. I will never purchace another Bissell product. They wern't rude, just not willing to stand behind their products. NLott, Ft Collns, Co

  • Jc
      9th of Nov, 2009
    +1 Votes

    I similarly purchased a Bissell ProHeat model 7920 carpet cleaner during 2007. It has served me well during several uses. The brush similarly stopped working when the toothed pully gear on the pump spindle sheared off despite neither unusual nor extreme use. My model had a "plastic" gear though the replacement part and new models now use a "metal" gear for the brush belt, leading me to conclude Bissell has recognized and attempted to correct the known defect on its later models. I was similarly referred by Bissell to replacement parts companies and told I must purchase an entire replacement pump for $75, though all I need is merely the small slide-on end piece containing the plastic pump pully and attached brush pully metal gear. I was told by the parts supplier this is a common repair complaint, as well as the complaint of being required to purchase an entire plastic pump replacement (when the existing pump is fine), just to acquire the replacement slide-on end pump pulley and brush gear end piece. Given this breakage and complaint history and Bissell's own conversion to a metal gear on new models, this is an obvious legal "DEFECT" known to Bissell. I had hoped Bissell would have a greater pride in its business reputation and moral behaviour and engineering failure to make a voluntary recall and to simply freely provide such replacement gear part when such repairs are required. Perhaps, Bissell is awaiting the state and federal governments to instead force a mandatory recall. There is no question by these reports that such is their mistake and hidden defect, though we are left to assume at our great financial loss for such a small part which would cost Bissell very little to quickly correct their mistake. I firmly believe what goes around, comes around, and I too will be anxious to switch to a competing product and supplier with a greater long-term dedication to service, quality and reputation and who assumes responsibility for their actions rather than playing legal technical avoidance games. J Cooney

  • Sb
      5th of Jun, 2010
    +1 Votes

    Mee too. I purchased the Bissell ProHeat Turbo and it isn't sucking up the water/cleaning fluid and the turbo brush is barely turning. This is my second one, the first one was returned as the turbo brush on the attachment wasnt working either.

  • Ty
      19th of Jun, 2010
    +1 Votes

    I got my Bissell Proheat from my brother because I help him install laminate wood floor in his house. I use it a couple of times. Half way in the second use, I heard a rough sound for the machine then melted plastic pieces are flying out from underneath the cleaner. The brush stop turning.
    I open it up and see that the pump gear melted smooth. Searching for the replacement part on the net only to find out that no one sell the pump pulley tip/gear; they only sell the entire pump. Why, Why, why, ---why, why!!! The pulley tip/gear just pull out from the pump. All I need is that stupid little plastic or now made with metal piece to slide back on. Why won't Bissell sell this part separately??? They assymble the pump and the piece togather; they must have made them separately.
    RIP OFF STRATEGY!

    TCC. Gilroy, CA

  • Ki
      1st of Jul, 2010
    +1 Votes

    I bought a Bissell proheat 9200 and used it once and it worked fine. When I tried to use it the second time, water and soap where not spraying but okay on tools. I called customer service and was told what exactly is written in the manual that comes with the unit. After repeated contacts I was told to take it to a service rep. Since warranty time has lapsed, the service rep told me that the problem with this machine is the pump and it will cost $140 to repair ( mind you, I paid $199 for it) saying I could sell you a Black and Decker unit which has a better design and trade yours for $25. He also said that this problem will happen again. I found out later, that my son and his mother in law has the same problems with their unit. The Bissell Co.(A Michigan Co.) should have recalled these units. They are a piece of J U N K which they are peddling to the consumer. The company's reputation has sank to below zero in my opinion.

    KIS Rochester Hills MI

  • Ch
      4th of Jul, 2010
    +1 Votes

    Wow, my Bissell has been used 4=6 times, and suddenly today there is NO water coming out of it. Followed the instructions in the manual, but I am so glad I stopped to see what others are saying because apparently it could be worse - I could have had water all over and no suction! I think at this point I am going to call it a loss and donate this stupid, poorly engineered machine to someone who can fix it, and I will go out & buy me a Hoover or ANY other brand. Bissell has LOST me as a customer.

  • Tt
      27th of Aug, 2010
    0 Votes

    Ditto! I, too, only need the slide-on pulley that sheared off or melted off or some aliens took it. I could care less if its metal, as was mine, or plastic but after extensive research, obviously all of us should stock up should we find such a treasure. On the remote chance that somewhere in the universe, a Bissell ProHeat exists that doesn't work for any other reason than this malfunctioning, 50-cent part, can I buy the pulley? This machine was used gently only 3 times. The third time, of course, was within 4 days of warranty expiration. Meanwhile, I will substitute with a 5-cent bolt screwed into the end for my toothed belt to ride on and wish I would have bought the Hoover instead!

  • Do
      4th of Sep, 2010
    +1 Votes

    Totally agree. I have only used it a couple of times because of spills. 3 times very gently I used it, it broke with exactly the same result. Same part broken etc. Only mine was out of warranty.

  • Bi
      6th of Dec, 2010
    +1 Votes

    Just got one as an early christmas present, this would be my third pro- heat...It is going back..I too had the same problems, i got pretty good at repairing them. Found two of them at the curb, only to find the same failure of parts...actually used a pulley from another vac. Then had no water out of the cleaning tank. also had the large leaking problem out from underneath the unit. This inferior product will be your very own stress generator...pretty funny, as the suction started to fail i put a 35lb dumbell on it or had my 40lb. son ride on it..whatever happend to good old fashioned products? Please, Please, Please, do not buy this product. You too will feel disapointed...

  • Tw
      31st of Dec, 2010
    0 Votes

    Wish I had read these complaints prior to buying the Bissell Pro-Heat for our home. I brought the first unit back after the pinion gear broke on its second use. Wal-Mart was kind enough to provide me with another machine. We got a little more use from the second machine, but after about 6 sporadic uses this past year, the gear assembly broke from the housing (same problem as the first machine), and we are again stuck with a machine that has no functioning brush. I called Bissell Service. The closest repair facility is 170 miles away, and my unit is not in warranty. Decision made. Scrap pile. Tomorrow, I will rent a Rug Doctor unit from Home Depot. I don't like to disparage products, but this drive gear and belt problem seems to be an unresolved issue with Bissell. We will shop again for other name brands, and I will refer to this site for as a reference check first.

  • Ex
      2nd of Jan, 2011
    0 Votes

    Mine sprays solution from the tool wand but not from under the machine. We would not have bought a bissell, but for the fact that there is almost nothing else, on a consumer level, left on the market. I will have to try gettin it fixed, as it is still under warrantee, but I expect it will only give me the one usage. Dissappointing.

  • Sh
      24th of Jan, 2011
    0 Votes

    my husband bought this unit for me. After 5 times of use it quit squirting water. I called the service cntr and was told how to fix it. It squirted for a couple minutes & quit again. I called the service cntr again & was told to get my pliers and screwdriver back out. I operated on it & couldn't get it to work. I was told it was still under manufacturers warranty & to bring it back to the store for exchange. Walmart told me they wished Bissell would stop telling people they could return it after 60 days cause they won't. The lady at the service counter said she sees ALOT of these coming ack but there's nothing they can do. This machine is a piece of crap.

  • By
      15th of Feb, 2011
    0 Votes

    Caution: For comedic relief in this letter, puns are intentionally used!

    I've been using a Bissell Pro Heat 2x for almost 2 years now. I didn't purchase it, but borrowed it from my mother-in-law a handful of times..., .(maybe 5) Well guess what...it stopped spraying water, which means it's broken. So I did what any person who is mechanically inclined do, and I attempted to repair it myself. After talking to a local repair shop a bit, I thought I would take a stab at the phone diagnosis, and my own thoughts...so I bought a new water pump. ($23) I should mention this fun little fact that as I was entering the store to pick up the part, an older gentleman was picking his same model as mine up, so of course I was all ears...his cleaner's failure was the water line solenoid, which is a fancy word for an electrically controlled switch, which cost him $90. After straining my back and squinting for an hour and a half, I got it together and installed...it is spraying better, but still not consistent!!! Grrrrrr... I may have to replace my solenoid as well. Local shops want $90 to $125 to fix these issues...half the cost of the machine!!! One shop told me that the issue could be clogged spray heads, a clogged or bad heater, (I did take the heater apart, it was spotless minus a dime sized calcium deposit, however I could have used a service manual to test the heater itself, just haven't gotten that far) or the other two issues I previously mentioned. The other repairman I talked to, says he gets a TON of the Bissell cleaners, and a VERY SMALL amount of the Hoovers. He called repairs on the Hoovers "rare", which many times could be attributed to customer abuse or misuse. Also, it was mentioned that you fix it once, chance are it or something else will break again...this is also the theme of reviews I read online!)
    I tried to get my mother-in-law to return it to Sam's and insist on getting her money back, as I'm guessing it's only been used 20 times in the past 2 years, but of course she wants to be the martyr, and just buy another one. I don't believe in sweeping a vacuum company's stifling underperformance under the rug, just to save face or convenience standing in line at the store. A couple little known facts are this...

    1. Sam's club is constantly getting financially "clubbed" themselves by Costco, which has a lifetime satisfaction guarantee on most items except jewelry and electronics, therefore, out of competitions sake, you may get lucky if you stand your ground at Sam's, and threaten to go to Costco if you have to, for them to return Bissell's $200 hat stand. (I was told this under breath by a Sam's employee a while back, things may have changed since then) Of course, Costco should not only take it back, but they should drop this product all together.

    2. If they still won't take it back, no matter where you bought it...then check out to see if your state has a "lemon law". (designed to protect consumers from getting stuck with owning a consistently failing product. Check with a your local friendly lawyer, or look it up yourself for further instruction. I actually got Home Depot to return an $800 power washer that was purchased 2 years prior under this premise.) If they do, you're in luck! It's clear that this product is truly a "lemon", because it really sucks to own one!! Also, from what I have read online, Bissell is not helpful in resolving customer issues either.


    Bottom line recommendation for everyone...Don't buy the Bissell ProHeat...anywhere. Buy a Hoover-it blows the Bissell out of the dirty water that it sits in!! Just read the reviews and compare...heck, just look at the star rating... 4.6 vs. 2.8...lol (or rug Doctor, but it's double the cost...yikes) Buy it at Costco, so if by chance it ever fails, you can return it there. It's worth the $50 membership fee, believe me!! (I have easily burned $50 in time, gas, vacuum parts, and energy trying to fix this thing, and I'm not done yet!!) I have been a member of Costco for years, and they have great products, at usually great prices...just depends on what you buy there. Don't feel guilty for returning it, either...Costco will make their money off you in other ways! Thanks for reading, and I hope it saves you from the heartache that I and many others have experienced!! -Byron from KC

  • Ee
      1st of Jul, 2011
    0 Votes

    I'm so mad reading the above reviews! I too bought a Bissell Proheat (after all it's Bissell right) trusting the company name and its long history. After several uses, the sprayer stopped working. I too went through all the trouble shooting steps to no avail. Called the Service Center. After being hung up on twice, I was able to speak with a rep who was very patient and considerate however after removing the brush bar and cleaning around the jets with a toothbrush I still had intermittent spray. Went online to find a repair shop and found this site. After reading the complaints, I've decided to take it apart myself as it is out of warranty. I will NEVER buy another Bissell. I also had bought their vac around the same time, the one that advertises itself as specific for homes with pets. Worst vacuum I've ever had. Bisssell should be ashamed.

  • Li
      21st of Oct, 2011
    0 Votes

    Please add me to the list of very un-happy Bissell ProHeat customers. I have the same story...no water comes from the pump after owning the piece of junk for less than a year. Unfortunately for me, I can't replace it or fix it and times are tuff here in Las Vegas. Bissell how do you still exist as a company in Michigan? Something needs to be done.

  • Qu
      19th of Feb, 2012
    0 Votes

    My girlfriend's model 8905 plastic pump pulley is done. Cheap crap and most likely a result of corporate "value engineering". Hah!

  • No
      7th of Feb, 2015
    0 Votes

    Had two - first one the turbo brush seized after about 4 uses and since replacing the part(s) was looking to be not much less expensive than replacing the machine, I made the mistake of buying another Bissell Proheat - big mistake!! After two uses, the machine one leaves a trail of dirty water behind one the " freshly cleaned" carpet! Warranty is up and the problem appears to be a common one requiring the tank to be replaced - that is NOT going to happen so ... like the piece of garbage that it is, out it will go with the rest of the garbage and out I will go to buy a Hoover. Henceforward Bissell will be associated in my mind with "Big Mistake"!

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