Bissell’s Warranty Replacement For Our Vacuum Is Just Terrible

When they got married, Tim and his wife picked out their new Bissell vacuum cleaner from Consumer Reports’ list of top vacs. It was the most reliable for the money (around $250) and their first few years with it were glorious. Then it developed an inconvenient problem: part of the canister door fell off, and the entire door would always fall into the trash. It was a minor annoyance, but something they shouldn’t have to bother with for an appliance that’s under warranty. Right?

The problem was that fixing that error sucked Tim down a vacuum hose of other problems with the unit. He writes:

The story about the Dyson vacuum reminds me of my recent adventure with a vacuum company. For me it was Bissell. 4 years ago I married my wife and extensively researched a vacuum to put on our wedding registry. I ended up picking the Bissell Healthy Home vacuum after checking out Consumer Reports. The runner up was a Dyson but if I remember correctly, the cost to reliability was a bit better for the Bissell. I believe we paid around $250 for it.

We actually loved the vacuum, as much as you can love a cleaning tool that is. We were always amazed (and disgusted) at how much it would pick up even when we vacuumed every day as my wife liked to do.

My communication with Bissell started back in the end of November when I asked about the trash debris door. The one tab broke off a while back. Anytime you let the trash out of the canister, the door would fall off into the trash. It was an annoyance that we could deal with. Much to my surprise, it was still under warranty so they quickly shipped a replacement part. Once that arrived and I finally put it on I figured I may as well clean the vacuum. So I had it on my workbench and noticed that the hose that goes from the floor brush up to the canister had a crack in it. So I got back in touch with Bissell and they told me that the part can only be replaced at their repair facilities. They sent me a link with locations and the closest place was an hour drive each way. Not wanting to waste 4 hours to fix the vacuum I asked if they could just send the part. It would save me time and them money as they wouldn’t have to pay for the labor to repair it. They said no and instead, I should cut the whole cord off of the vacuum, mail it in and they will send a refurbished vacuum. Thinking that was my best option, I did what they asked. My wife nearly went crazy not being able to vacuum…It didn’t help that she has been home on maternity leave but that is besides the point.

Fast forward 2-3 weeks. The refurbished vacuum shows up and its the newer model. We initially thought, great, it should be better. Boy, were we wrong. This thing is junk. It came with a broken part. The tab that you wrap the cord around was broken off already (see picture below). I should have taken a picture of the tab on the old vacuum. It is much thicker and would be much harder to break. And seriously, how often do those stupid tabs actually last? Anyways, its not just the tabs that they cheaped out on. Everything about the vacuum just feels cheap. The debris canister takes a lot of force to stay in place. The handle feels cheap in your hand. The hose the torn previously looks to be glued on instead of some kind of fitting that they had on the older model. Plus, it looks like it maybe leaking around it as a bunch of small particles of something are all over it. They are definitely using a cheaper motor. Its the same amperage but it is so much louder than before. The true test is the amount of dirt that is being collected. The canister doesn’t have nearly the same amount of debris in there as before. We didn’t suddenly become super clean. I mean, come one, we have a dog and its the middle of winter.

I did contact them about these issues and they sent a replacement cord tab. They basically said they were sorry that we aren’t happy and we should have just wasted our time and driven to their facility.

So, in the end, I’m happy that they were responsive about somethings but super disappointed that they really cheaped out this vacuum. Like I mentioned previously, the vacuum originally retailed around $250 and now it only retails around $179. Prices don’t drop unless they make things with cheaper quality parts. I don’t have a subscription to CR anymore but I wonder where this vacuum falls on the list now.

Long story short, maybe I should have gotten the Dyson.

Maybe. Or maybe combined a trip to the vacuum repair place to another errand in that area, so they could keep the unit they liked: but how were they supposed to know that the replacement would be inferior?

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