81-year-old woman Calls For Action after attempts fail to return a $2,800 vacuum

RAYMORE, Mo. - Would you spend nearly $3,000 for a new vacuum cleaner? An 81-year-old Raymore woman did after a door-to-door salesman knocked on her front door.

Josephine Rangel has not used her new Kirby vacuum. She said it is too complicated and too heavy.

"I did not realize that it was too heavy until I had to take it downstairs," Josephine said. 

The 81-year-old said a Kirby salesperson and a supervisor showed up at her home one Sunday, offering to demonstrate the vacuum. Two-and-a-half hours later, Josephine said she agreed to buy the system for a whopping $2,797, partly because she felt pressured by the salesperson. 

"She says, 'Oh please, I've been working here for four months, and I haven't sold anything, yet,'" Josephine said.

Consumers have up to three days to cancel a door-to-door sale. The contract signed by Josephine states that. But she said the salesperson did not explain it to her.

Josephine called the local Kirby dealer twice to cancel, but after the three-day period. Both times she was told no. Her daughter-in-law also called, and was told no.

"They said well she knew exactly what she was doing," Joanna Rangel said.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster told Call For Action his office can take action if someone who is older feels pressured into buying something from a door-to-door salesperson. 

"If a high-pressure case can be made where we can show a door-to-door salesperson is putting undo pressure on a member of the elderly community, we can bring a separate action," Koster said. 

Next, the Rangels contacted Call For Action. Keith King reached the owner of Smyth Enterprises in Independence by phone. He immediately agreed to take back the vacuum, terminate the purchase contract and refund Rangel's money.

"I appreciated the fact that he was right on it and made restitution," Joanna said. 

The owner of Smyth Enterprises said a customer over the age of 76 has up to six months to dispute a purchase and return the vacuum.

"I am so impressed with the affects that your program, your efforts do," Josephine added. "I really do appreciate it."


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