EXCLUSIVE: Deceptive vacuum cleaner sales alleged

EXCLUSIVE: Deceptive vacuum cleaner sales alleged

AIEA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Carol Gilbert of Aiea thought she was going to be interviewed for a consumer survey when a man showed up her doorstep back in July. But the 70-year-old retiree said the man hoodwinked her into signing a contract for a $3,100 vacuum cleaner that she didn't even need.

"Talk about a scam. Paying $3,100 for for something you don't even know how to use," she said

Gilbert said the man told her to sign papers, which she thought was for the survey. But Gilbert said those papers turned out to be a sales contract for a Rainbow vacuum cleaner.

"I finally opened this up and I'm going what, oh my gosh! oh my gosh! I can't believe this," she said.

The salesman worked for a company called Aqua Dynamics. According to state records, several other consumers have filed similar complaints against the company and its sister company Aqua Systems over the past few years.

Hawaii News Now attempted to contact the salesman and Aqua but they couldn't be reached. We visited their offices at Sand Island but the company had closed its doors.

"The high pressure door-to-door sales, it's still a very common complaint," said Lisa Nakao, director of operations at the Hawaii Better Business Bureau.

Nakao said that under Hawaii law, a consumer has three days to cancel the sale. But Gilbert said that after the second day, the salesman stopped answering her numerous calls.

"I go to bed at night looking at that vacuum and it really upsets me," she said.

"And then I wake up at 4, 4:30 in the morning just like this morning and that's the first thing on my mind for a whole month. How am I going to pay this?"

Gilbert said she recently dipped into savings to pay off the whole amount after a financing company began to hound her.

"I'm on social security and a small pension," she said. "I'll tell you why I paid the $3,141 …It’s not just that I didn’t want to pay the interest. This my house and I don’t have any family whatsoever. So I if I lose this house, you’re going to see me out there with the homeless."

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