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Tristar Vacuum Cleaner / total scam!

1 United States Review updated:

I rec'd a phone call telling me I won a $1,000 dollar shopping spree, and to receive it, I would have to listen to a sales-pitch on TriStar Vacuum cleaners. They told me I didn't have to buy anything, just listen to the presentation for 30 minutes, receive my shopping spree card and they'd be out of my hair. The salesman showed up, showed his presentation, which took about 45 minutes, and then asked if we were impressed with the demonstration. I was impressed, but I also knew that it had to be unaffordable for us. He told us the vacuum would cost $2,800 dollars, but because we let him into our home and listened to his presentation, he'd cut us a deal for 1800.00. What! A thousand dollar discount just like that? Ok, at that point, I knew it had to be a scam. I filled out his 10 question survey, and told him flat out that we couldn't afford it at this time, but maybe in the future we'd go to the internet site and check it out. He wouldn't give us a card or brochure-said he didn't have any. He didn't want to hear us when we told him we weren't interested. He started being incredibly rude by saying, "Well, if you want to continue to live in filth, then you go right ahead... this is an unhealthy environment, but if you want to live that way..." For one thing, my house gets cleaned everyday. I have had many people, including real estate agents compliment on how clean my house is. I didn't appreciate being told my home was filthy and unhealthy because I didn't want to spend $1800 on a vacuum cleaner-especially from someone who couldn't even produce a brochure or business card. He proceeded to say how filthy my home was and finally left. It took everything I had not to throw him out physically. I bit my tongue, but found the business phone on my caller ID. I got a hold of his trainer, and asked him if I could give him advise on their sales presentations. I was wanting to let him know that it isn't going to sell if you insult the costumer. He wouldn't even let me say a word. I told him who I was, and he'd heard enough. I told him I couldn't afford their vacuum cleaner, and he said, "yes, you can afford it. We pre-approved you by running your credit. You are wasting my time-if you want to live in filth, that is up to you" At that point, I went off and cussed him out, and hung up. I feel like this is a scam, and I am sooo glad we didn't buy one of these vacuum cleaners. As for the thousand dollar shopping spree, that was a complete joke. It's landed a spot in my trash can. What a waste of time for me and my family. I would recommend these people be turned in to the better business bureau, and if anyone were to ever get a chance to have a presentation at their home, they'd be smart to skip it. I will never let another salesman into my home. I will forever hang up on telemarketing calls after that experience.


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  • Me
      2nd of Aug, 2007
    -2 Votes

    When the salesman stated "You are living in filth" he wasn't stating the physical appearance of your home, but what lays unseen in your furniture and carpet... etc. I actually had a pleasant experience with a tristar vacuum sale, and if the presentation was done properly, you would understand what the man was talking about. As far as the "shopping spree" card goes, I never received one in the mail, but most likely, the thousand dollars was actually intended on savings on the vacuum. The tristar vacuum pays for itself. It has saved furniture and carpet in my home, and I must admit that since My household has obtained the vacuum, our immune systems are stronger, and we don't suffer from allergies like we did before. I truly am sorry you had such a "terrible" experience, but it sounds to me that you are putting yourself on a pedestal about your home being "so clean" Maybe you should take a finer look and get the dustmites out of your carpet and bed.

  • Al
      10th of Aug, 2007
    -2 Votes

    I happen to disagree with your above comment. Being a tristar dealer myself, and setting up and conducting my own appointments, I can't say I've had an unpleasant experience with any of my customers. Granted, the way he worded things may have sounded offensive, but he/she was probably either having a bad day, or it was totally unintentional. I'm sorry that you had a bad fall-out with our representatives. But please don't generalize the whole company of Interstate Enterprise. Tristar Cylonic Action Systems (They are NOT vacumn cleaners) are sold by independent business owners all over the world. How they run their business is their, well, business. Unfortunately you met a dealer who probably wasn't properly trained, but I NEVER will mislead one of my customers.

    Anyways, I just wanted to apologize for their actions, but I assure you, the Tampa office has much friendlier people.


    Allan Gilbert. Tristar dealer of the Tampa Bay area.

  • Ja
      29th of Aug, 2007
    -1 Votes

    I 100% agree with the original post. I was promised a 3-day/2-night vacation just to see the presentation. The salesman, Randy, went through his dog-and-pony show just as described above. We ended up getting the same $1,800 deal. and that vacation? It was just a stupid voucher that you can get pretty much anywhere. I rescinded immediately after, bringing my Tri-Star to Randy's office. I made sure to give them a copy of my recession (as well as a copy to my father as a witness) and I retained the original. The 1st time I went there, they refused to take the recession or the vacuum (it IS a vacuum,) and said that I had to have Randy come and get it. I looked around the office and there was a big sign saying, "Salesmanship begins when the customer says 'NO!'" What a bunch of creeps. I came back later in the day and Randy happened to be there; I delivered my signed recession, but he still wouldn't take the vacuum. He then made appointments on 7 different occasions to come and pick up the tri-star when we were both home, obviously to try and re-sell us. We completely changed our schedules to be home for EVERY one of these appointments, and Randy flaked on ALL of them. He only ever called and gave notice on 1 of them; he apparently got stuck on a sale 'till 10:00 at night. Every time he called to schedule a succeeding appointment we would confront him about missing the last one and the inconvenience to us (because we BOTH have to be there,) and he always stated that he got sent out on another appointment. Anyway, it's been over 20 days now, and we have performed in full our obligations under the recession, and now the vacuum is ours. It's really funny how right after the 20th day, he suddenly didn't care about both of us being there and just wanted to pick it up - we gave him a chance and he STILL flaked! Normally, I'd still give him the option of picking it up, but everything about him and his company and the people in his office was slimy. I'm really glad that I kept a log of the missed appointments and that I kept the recession and had witnesses to it; he's already trying to work it out with his manager to find some failure to perform on our part. Do not do business with Clean air Systems! You can buy Tri-Stars at a zillion different websites and on E-bay and save yourself having to shower to get the ooze off of you.

  • Br
      10th of Sep, 2007
    Best Best Advice +4 Votes

    We bought a TriStar and are unhappy with it as well. It has an odor to it, that generally should not be there with such a high priced product. We feel we spent more money than we should have, and are now stuck with an unsatisfactory product.

  • An
      20th of Oct, 2007
    +1 Votes

    Even worst, I wrote a $2000 check for the vacuum and never got the box or the contract. I hated that I never got the box because I need it to pack the vacuum when the military moves me. And they stole my previous vacuum, without originally telling me it was part of the deal. After they left I found out through this website, that you could get this deal cheaper. some has gotten these cleaners as low as 800 dollars. They came to my house today on the 2o October 07 and will be canceling this check first Monday morning. It is not a scam, the vacuum does work and it does what it says, but after finding out I have been cheated on the price I was furious. They sweared I had the best deal and that was a lie. If they come to your house, get a better deal or just buy it on the internet.

  • Ja
      12th of Dec, 2007
    +3 Votes

    I too was scammed by the salesman. I as told after I had bought it that I would receive a free yearly service for the next 20 years. I received only 1 free yearly service. The following year, I was told they would not honor their service contract as there was obvious water damage to the unit. This was an outright lie on their part to void their guarentee as I know I had never vacuumed anything wet. When I tried to contact the service shop for the following year, they were gone. An internet search for the people gave addresses that were to vacant houses and vacant office shops. So much for their guarentees. The vacumm itself still works, but is no better than the inexpensive ones you can by at Wal-Mart. Don't waste your time or money on this equipment. Don't deal with people who will tell any lie in the book to get you to buy their item. I was gullable and I did. Now I hang up on any salesperson.

  • Re
      21st of Dec, 2007
    +1 Votes

    The "survey" was actually a 2 hr. 45 min. demonstration (12/15/07) of the vaccum cleaner and separate air filtration system. The 'survey' boiled down to: "could you benefit from having the TriStar in your home?". For that, my gift was 2 liters of Coke-Cola.

    The salesman literally read off a script (about 20 lamianated sheets)and interjected several witticisms in a poor attempt at levity. The price was $2000+ and he offered $500 for my 1 year old Hoover. I did feel he tried to embarass me (it did pick up dirt and I thought my house was clean) into the sale--a slight pressure tactic. ALL of his questions were geared to YES answers, another subtle tool to condition you to the eventual sale.

    If TriStar has been around since the 1940's, and is the greatest cleaner on the market with updated technology, why isn't it marketed en mass with a substantially reduced retail price?

    I also said I had no intention of buying when setting the appointment and when he arrived on my doorstep. He did not want to discuss price if I wasn't interested, but did so. After the third NO, he called his manager who tried to 'close' me over the phone! Also, this salesman had no literature nor business cards either--only contracts and referral sheets. Wow!

    I did like the demonstration of the product especially for deep dirt and debris but now that I know I can get the same product over the internet, that is where I will purchase mine in the future.

  • Pa
      5th of Jan, 2008
    +1 Votes

    I see from the posts that many of you had problems. Maybe I am very fortunate. We bought the vacuum from the salesman who was very polite the entire time. We payed 1200.00, and have had zero problems with it. It still cleans terrifically. I think the problem here isn't with the vacuum, it is with the people who sell it. Most are unscrupulous people who will do anything to make a buck. Unfortunately true with many systems these days. However, all of this said, I had no problems with the transaction. An exception to the norm I guess.

  • Bi
      26th of Jan, 2008
    +2 Votes

    They were suppose to be at my house at 10 am, then 11 am, then noon, always stuck in traffic. Then 2:30 pm finally showed up at 3 pm and stayed until 7pm for a 1 hour presentation. Promised a gift certificate, instead gave us a rebate which has to be mailed in. Price was orignially 3795, came down to 2695, then 2200. As others, our house is very clean, but it was suppose to be what is undr the carpet. They used black filters to show the dirt. I used my old small canister euraka with same filter and used it on the same area they cleaned - guress what? got the same thing they did. Next day I took and vacuumed whole house. Cleaned my old vaccum and put in a new bag. It cleaned just as well. Took tristar and then went over same area - surpise didn't do a better job. I have called the company twice with no response - manager is out. My three days are not up. They also took the box. Had an air cleaner also, but no serial/model number available. The spec sheet was there own, so you had to order parts/supplies from them. You could see on the copy of the unit it did have a model number, but acutal unit cover redone. We had same sell pitch about living in a dirty house, but kept saying how nice our home was. Had to buy right now. Glad for the three day cancellation order.

  • Ch
      7th of Feb, 2008
    +1 Votes

    The product itself is okay. Go to ebay where you can purchase a brand new one for $400 or less. This sales tactic is a pyramid scam. $400 goes to the manager, $400 goes to the company and they say it costs around $400 to make it. The only profit the sales person makes is whatever money they can squeeze from the customer afterwards. Most tri-star reps wind up broke and looking for new work. They really get you all pumped up in the beggining. They say when you start the job that its an air purifying unit and that you work for Star Industries that is approved by the Better Business Bureau. They don't say anything in the beggining about the tactics you have to use. For instance they say that you will have appointments set up for you. What you don't know is you have to go out and put Bingo cards in peoples mailboxes. People phone back thinking they one something but its a ploy to get into your house. They tell their sales people that they can't use their own words that they have to follow their script. They'll go on about all this money you make. What you don't know is how you are on call all the time (when an appointment is made you have to go right away to them). In the beggining they say how you make $30/hr but after a few days they try to get you to sign a contract that lists you as a subcontractor. For the amount of hours the salespeople make they don't even make minimum wage. The salespeople with a conscience don't last long. Usually their friends and family they try selling it to tell them the truth. If one of these people show up at your door end the appointment immediately. You'll be lucky to get a $5 gift.

  • Va
      19th of Feb, 2008
    -1 Votes

    This complaint has to do with the people who complain about individuals actions and blame the entire organization! This Tristar Cleaning system is the best on the market. They offer free gifts to consumers to allow them to show you what the product can do for the home. If you don't want them there, don't invite them! If you don't like what you see, ask them to leave! It would be a valid complaint if you asked them to leave and they refused! The product Works, every complaint pretty much confirms this. If you were unhappy with the salesman or independent company that you dealt with then complain about them. Not the product. If you get bad service at one McDonalds, do you go around claiming that all McD's are rotten.

    I have owned my Tristar for 16 years. I have a friend who sales these machines and it is a honorable practice and a Great unit. It is a pricier item but that is the price of quality and dependability.

  • Jo
      25th of Feb, 2008
    0 Votes

    We responded to a free dinner coupon, only to find out it was a mail in rebate requiring your driver license. The salesman missed three appointments (stuck in traffic), then showed up an hour late and lasted for over four hours. It was $3600 for the tristar and the pure air filter, but will give it to you for $2400 with an exchange vacuum. I gave an upright, canister and shampo machine and it was 2330 with tax. Then I checked on the Internet after he left. Cancelleded the next day. He made two separate attempts to return my stuff (10 business days) and pick up his vacuum and air purifier (never showed up). I have now pasted the 20 days so I can do what ever I want, but they are in default on their 10 days of returning anything. So basically I got it for two vacuums, and a shampo machine. The air purifier is distributed out of Layton Utah. Can buy three for $159 each with $47 of filter/light thrown in. I found them for $92 each. I assume tristar gets them for aroung $40 and have their name put on the. They sell it for $495. Everything said about the Sales tatics are true. The machine even threw a screew the second time I used it (is it really put together that well?). My recommendations, if you want one go to e-bay. If you want an air purifier to a google search. Everything is less expensive and you don't have to go though the insults.

  • Da
      29th of Mar, 2008
    0 Votes

    I sold tristar vacuums for eight years off and on.
    I started out as a salesman getting paid on a sliding scale from $150 to $400, the more I sold in a week the more I made in $50 increments. Each week I would start at $150 per first sale. They trained me to gross people out with dirt and filth and dustmites for four days then they require you to "practice" showing to ten friends, neigbors or relatives. They have you use several tricks to show how much better the tristar is 1. They fill it with 20 lbs. of sand and show you through a glass lid how it has "cyclonic action" the sand spins and the bag does not clog. That would be great if your cleaning up the beach but try this with a 3 lb. bag of fine flour (much more like the fine powdery dust in everyones home yes everyone even tristar users) it coats the bag and clogs the airflow immediatly. 2. Next trick use a photo light to show dust is in carpet on couch and blowing out old vacuum, yes even old tristar's, Dust is everywhere even on clean clothes its not easily controlled or contained and 1 dust partical can float around for days, so unless your bubble boy with solid floors, plastic furniture, rubber clothes and clean five times an hour, You will have lots of dust in your home. 3. Run your old vac over a high traffic area 20 times then go back over it once with the tristar to show how much filth the old vac left behind. Yes now run the tristar over that spot twenty times then put new filter paper on and go over it once again with tristar and show tristar left the same amount. Same with any vacuum its a fact people don't change their bags or filters often enough so all vacuums even tristar's, kirbys, dysons, whichever Loose airflow. Suction can lift a bowling ball but can't get the deepdown dirt out of your couch and carpet, it takes airflow which basically means if you buy a $3000 kirby or tristar plan to change the bags every ten minutes or so. If you buy a dysons, orek, or meily change the bags and filters every ten minutes or so to make it work good as new.
    There are many other neat ways to show how one is better than the other. I like the tristar as my favorite machine and I have tried them all. Its metal, light, and very powerful I concider it the best. But I also feel sad for the thousands of people I overcharged. Latter as I grew in the business I found that my boss the independent distributor was getting the machines for $260 from the factory interstate engineering in anihiem CA. I was dumbfounded and dissapointed because more than a few hundred of the tristar's I sold I gave up my commision and made zero while my boss made over $2000. Also a few times people would have bad credit and or scam us and keep the machine for which I was charged full price of $2499.00 which was taken from my pay I should have quit more than once but it was such easy money I stuck it out. Shame on them shame on me.

  • Al
      13th of Apr, 2008
    +2 Votes

    Thank you Dave for that honest look into the world of a tri-star salesperson. My own experience with tri-star began as a child. My dad sold them door to door in the 70's. Our family had 2 machine's and I remember my grandparents having one as well. I grew up using them, so when a salesperson showed up at my door in 1997 (living in a brandnew condo I had just purchased and in desperate need of a new vacuum) I figured I would listen to his pitch. It took way to long, and went horrible wrong when the young man showed me how the tri-star could suck up a bucket full of sand. The machine did the job in a super fast and impressive way, but when it was finished the sales person decided to show me just how powerful the suction was by turning the machine upside down with the lid unlatched. Well, as you can imagine, the lid gave way to gravity after a couple of seconds and whamo my brand new burbur capet is now burried under 3lbs of sand. I was furious and demanded that he stay at my house and vacuum the carpet until every last grain of sand had been suck up. I could tell he was mortified at what had happened and had not expected it anymore than I did. He asked to use my phone and called his supervisor. The just of it was we ended up getting the machine for $1200 which was about half the price he was asking. And in addition we would be able to use a professional carpet cleaner (provided by the destributer) to clean our carpets. In hind sight it was to much for the tri-star and to little for my trouble with the sand, but truth be told the tri-star is a great vacuum. (yes it is only a vacuum!) 11 years later I am in the market for a new vacuum (because I literially burned it up sucking up hot ash from my wood burning stove.) and I find myself looking at the MG2 model currently on the market. I love the versatility of the tri-star. The base unit + attachments allow me to clean any and every surface I could possibly want too; from the kitchen to the bath and beyond.

  • Pc
      23rd of Apr, 2008
    +1 Votes

    We were also duped and ripped off by the Tri-Star "Cleaning System, " which is nothing more than over-priced, average vacuum cleaner. First, we were told we would be giving a product opinion in exchange for a prize. I figured it was a sales pitch, but wanted the prize, so I agreed.

    bottom line: I paid $1800 for this machine. It flips over way easier than my Kenmore, it constantly gets plugged with dirt and hair easily (even though I vacuum almost every day), the machine gets so hot, it burns to the touch, once the extension wand is put on, it loses all that great suction they showed us at the demo, and it produces an electric shock if you touch the carpet piece to do stairs or upholstry.

    we called the distributor, and he told us, well there must be something wrong with it, so he took it in, and SHOCKING!! there was nothing wrong with the machine, it's just a piece of crap. My Kenmore was way better, the finance company is threatening to send our account to a lawyer, because if you read the contract, it states that there is no warranty besides defect.

    I will be filing a complaint with the Better Busines Bureau.

  • Te
      3rd of May, 2008
    +1 Votes

    Its been a month since I left the company. I like the tristar I think its the best product out there. I just dont like the techniques that they made us use. Basically we spent about a week learning the pitch and getting brainwashed into thinking it wasnt a vaccume. It is a vacccume it sucks and cleans, if thats not a vaccume then I must be the stupidest person alive. The sad part was-we had to tell the customers that we were students and we made $25 a show. Big lie. Ok so what we were told was that when you join the company your an indepentant contractor or self employed. To tell you the truth we were employees, the reason I say this is that we we given the supplies to work and we we told what hours to work and where to work. And also if we left the company who we can work for. Maybe I am wrong but just because we had to do our own taxes doesnt mean that we are contractors. So they gave everyone of us an offer at the beginning of training which says that once we do 60 shows in a month then we get $2400 even if we dont sell anything. But only if we do 60 in 30 days. Ok that doesnt sound so bad right 2 shows a day and we work 30 days a month so that should be easy. They also tell us that if we sold any machines that would get docked off of our 2400 so either way u can only make 2400 unless ur a tycoon and sell alot. So I went out and sold the product. The appointments were set up and alot of the time the calls that we got were not interested from the moment we got there. So we had to pretend we never heard the customer and get on with the show the best we could. We were however not allowed to lie about the product but we were encouraged to lie about ourselves. Also we used our own veihcles and the milage for everyday ranged from 200 to 700 A DAY!!! that was stupid we spent more time in our cars geting to the little towns and small cities then we did in peoples homes. I sold a few machines even one week making the hot shot list. There were alot of days out of the entire time that I had to ride with someone else or have someone ride with me. So when the 60 shows we complete it was actually been 31 days and not 30. The manager also refused to pay me whatever the top up was which I am sure it was at leat 1400. I made some money but when we sell the machine we get commission from 50 to 400 but most of time its never more then 200. So yeah i was made. I felt that the company showed me that it was ok to be a heartless ### but at the sometime screwed me over. I hope that whoever reads this learns from my mistake and doesnt buy eveything that they tell you. And also if your going to work for a company that says your a contractor make it clear to the both of you what that means because in the end you can be left homeless, time the most valueable thing in the world was wasted and also your pride.

  • Jo
      14th of May, 2008
    -4 Votes

    I just read over all these comments as i sit in my desk at work ( a Tri-star office ) and i almost fell out of my chair laughing. I have been a manager with tri-star for 6yrs now and all of you people are the same. " NQ " is what we call you, a bunch of losers that sit around and complain as life passes you by. I have 12 people out right now at 8pm selling machines to 1 out of 4 people that they show, and i make $100 in the jeans. I will take your money everytime, so i thank you. Everyone has to eat, right? and there isnt one company out there in the world that dosent involve sales. So just because i will make more money than the last 10 people all together that wrote a comment on this wall in a week, dont get mad. And remeber the next time i am in your house and you think " this is the nicest guy i know " really i dont care because i make $950 everytime you shake my hand. " WRITE ' EM UP " LOL

  • Cl
      18th of May, 2008
    -4 Votes

    I've only read a handful of comments, but I wanted to throw my feelings in as well. A Tristar rep from L&L Systems in Lakewood, CO visited me yesterday. He was very courteous and professional, as well as sensitive to the fact that I have a 6 month old and didn't want to make a bigger mess than was already there when he came in. I know that it is possible because I had another rep try to sell me one 3 or 4 years ago and he wasn't nearly as careful as yesterday's rep was. Bottom line, I didn't buy, mostly because I just got laid off, I have a 6 month old daughter, and I have a 9 month old Dyson. But it wasn't a bad experience at all. It just all depends upon the rep that shows up.

  • No
      7th of Jun, 2008
    +3 Votes

    Thanks to John Walker, because of your comments when a 'nice' rep came to my house I knew exactly what was up and since he didn't want to sell this vacuum for $300 I asked him to leave. And I told some people in my neighbourhood who also got your phony bingo cards not to even bother phoning. Maybe you didn’t already know that the internet is quite popular nowadays and many people use it to look up information on various things (###). If you were half as smart as you make yourself out to be with this...what you call a manager job?(please)... you wouldn’t do anything that could jeopardize future sales, even just one wouldn’t be worth it. If people like you keep it up soon your 25% hit rate could be 15%, then 5%, and then will you be falling out of your chair laughing?!? I understand the “everybody has to make a living” thing, what I don’t understand is how you can sleep at night when your living is at the expense of vulnerable, gullible people. I feel sorry for anyone that does fall for this crap; I guess if money is all you care about it makes sense. For 6 yrs eh?...jeez you have no other skills or aspirations? Hopefully for society’s sake one day you’ll mature (or maybe Karma will have you sucked up by a tornado, HA!)

  • Ka
      12th of Jun, 2008
    +3 Votes

    I have one word for the rude and arrogant sales men that came to our house last night: liars.

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