It doesn't take Scott Loupe long to vacuum his 87-year-old mother's Des Allemands home. It's about 900 square feet, and less than half of that is carpet.
"The living room and her bedroom is carpet, and the living room has so much furniture," Loupe said. He explained it wasn't until recently that he learned his mother bought a brand new vacuum cleaner last year.
"It's an upright vacuum cleaner, and it's gotta weigh at least 25 to 30 pounds," Loupe said. His mother is up in age and has to use a walker to get around the house. "There's no way in the world she can handle a 25-pound vacuum cleaner," Loupe said.
Tucked away in a closet and never opened, Loupe said he wondered how she bought it. "She said, well a guy came knocking at the door. And I was like mama, you let a stranger in your house?" Loupe explained. What shocked him even more is how much his mother, who's on a fixed income, paid for the Kirby brand: more than $2,800.
It turns out, a door-to-door salesman sold her a Kirby Sentria II. According to the company's website, it's more than a vacuum. The website says it's a home care system that you can also use to shampoo your carpet and buff your floors, among other things.
"I couldn't handle it. It was so heavy. I was just looking at 'em. I was by myself all day. I just let 'em come in explain to me where everything was," Carrie Loupe said.
"It just didn't make any sense to me that a salesman is gonna go to a house like that. She's got a wheelchair ramp in the front yard," Scott Loupe said.
Kirby is the manufacturer. They work through distributors, and in this case, Louisiana Cleaning Systems out of Kenner sold the machine. When Loupe tried to get a refund and couldn't, he turned to us.
Within 30 minutes of filling out our online complaint form on www.fox8live.com, Loupe says a FOX 8 Defenders volunteer called him back. Our volunteer then called Kirby's corporate office in Ohio. That same day, Loupe says a Kirby Company representative then reached out to him, and in less than 24 hours he had a full refund in hand from the local distributor.
A spokesperson for the Kirby Company tells FOX 8, "Louisiana Cleaning Systems (an independently owned and operated distributor) did not want Ms. Loupe to own a machine that she did not want or use."
Louisiana Cleaning Systems owner Charlie Nugent says his distributorship prides itself on operating to the highest of ethical standards. He says he sells cleaning systems to consumers who want and will use the machine. "If I learn otherwise, I take action to rectify the situation.. Ms. Loupe's concerns were resolved in less than 24 hours," Nugent said. He also tells FOX 8 the salesperson who sold the Kirby system to Ms. Loupe was no longer affiliated with the local distributor when he learned of the family's concerns.
If you have a consumer complaint, call the FOX 8 Defenders staffed with volunteers from the National Council of Jewish Women at 1-877-670-6397 or fill out our online complaint form.