My husband bought a $1300 Kirby a year or so before we met, and the curse has now passed from his ex to me. The thing sucks, and I didn't mean that as a joke.
I had just started using it shortly after we met, thinking "Oh, $1300 this thing must be magical!" It was extremely hard to push, and I complained to James about it. He asked me if it was in "drive" or "neutral." What? The darn thing has GEARS? I must have overlooked the gear shift.... So he shows me that when it's unplugged, you put it in neutral so you can move it from room to room. When it's plugged in, you put it in drive to activate the self-propelling mechanism. Oookay......
It also has a carpet shampooer on the sucker. So some months later I decided to try that. I have James explain to me how it works, change the heads, put the soap and water in, blah blah. So he goes out to the back yard, leaving me unsupervised. I get the water, check. Pour in some soap, check. PUT IT IN DRIVE, check. Turn it on. It suds up and runs smoothly, so I'm pretty psyched.
Then the thing starts regurgitating bubbles. LOTS of bubbles. I mean coming out of the head, tray and wheels. I think maybe it's in super duper cleaning mode, so I check for a lever to turn it down a notch. None. By now a whole three feet of carpet is bubble-covered, so I switch it off and go get James. He asks me what the hell is going on. I tell him I don't know. He asks how much soap I put in the tray. I say "Well, I just kinda poured some in there. Probably like half a cup." He shakes his head. "You're only supposed to put two CAP-FULS, dear."
So the months pass and James gets deployed and leaves me REALLY alone with the confounded contraption. I'm vaccuuming along, and the darned thing starts burning. Well, something is burning. Taryn thinks I'm building a camp fire in the kids' room and walks in. "I bet you have to change the belt." Okay, that makes sense.
Now James had attempted to show me how this is done one or two times before. So I struggle and huff and puff and finally get the head off. Have you ever seen a dismantled vaccuum cleaner head? IT'S NASTY. I know I've cleaned up puke and poop and all that, but this was disgusting. Taryn sure as heck wasn't touching it, so I had to dig around and get the swivel rod thingy out. Then I put the belt on. Then I push it back into place. Then I try to put the head back on. No go.
So I take it off and try again. And try. AND TRY. I figure you just reverse the order of steps you took to get the darn thing off to get it back on, right? I guess not. We get the manual out, which is skimpier than it should be considering all the obvious problems customers can have with the machine. I see we are doing the same steps the manual shows. Hmm.
After much cursing, I get it back on and start vaccuuming up the mess I made trying to fix the vaccuum. Now it won't suck! Oh my gosh, I'm about to barf. But I can't leave the mounds of dirt and dust on the floor cause it's gross and the He-child will probably eat it, so I dismantle the thing again. And remantle it.
I still have to run over stuff several times for the vaccuum to suck it up, but I'm not messing with it any more until July, when James comes home. Stupid machine.