INdiana Systemic Thinking

December 6, 2007

Rainbow Vacuum Sucks for Couple with DD

As mental health providers, we are often faced with ethical questions in our business practices.  In fact, in Indiana, all licensed providers must have at least one hour of ethics training each year.  Too bad the same isnt required for those in the business community.  From Frank Gray’s column in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette comes this story that is just bad business at best and unethical at worst.

“Anthony and Stacey Quinones are a couple with developmental disabilities who live in a small house in Bluffton where they take care of each other, with help from their family and social service agencies.”

Then a door to door vacuum cleaner salesman showed up.

“The salesman was selling Rainbow vacuum cleaners, an expensive brand that is supposed to clean the air as well as vacuum dust and dirt. By the time the salesman had left, Anthony and Stacey had bought a model and signed a contract financing the cleaner at almost 22 percent interest over four years.

Now, the couple are on the hook for a $3,100 vacuum cleaner, which came complete with attachments for cleaning hardwood floors, even though they don’t have hardwood floors in their home.

Since then, Stacey, Anthony and their family and even Bi-County Services [the agency which manages their case] have been trying to get the contract canceled.

We called the company that sold them the equipment, Rain Tech in Auburn. We were told that Stacey had confirmed that she wanted the vacuum cleaner and it was her mother-in-law who wanted to cancel the deal. Besides, the deal was out of the company’s hands now. It was now in the hands of a finance company in Minnesota. If Rain Tech were to take the vacuum cleaner back and cancel the contract, it would cost them $1,000 in finance charges.

Stacey Quinones, though, tells a somewhat different story. She says she felt pressured to sign the contract to buy the vacuum cleaner. That was on a Saturday. Two days later, she said, she called a telephone number she was given and said she didn’t want the vacuum cleaner.

“But they said it had already been shipped,” that it was too late, Stacey Quinones says. “We’ve been trying to stop it ever since.”

Nannie Quinones did call the Rainbow distributor and say her son and daughter-in-law didn’t want the vacuum and couldn’t afford it. She says she was told no, don’t send the contract back. She wrote cancel on it anyway and mailed it back to the company. People have three business days to cancel contracts signed in their homes, but the canceled contract wasn’t postmarked until 2 a.m. on Oct. 18, two hours too late.

….

The couple’s program manager has also weighed in. The manager says she discussed the contract with Anthony and Stacey. She says they didn’t understand the contract, they didn’t understand that they were paying 21.99 percent annual interest, that they didn’t understand the contract was for more than $3,000, and that they didn’t understand it was for 48 months.

Anyone who would have spent five minutes in the couple’s home would have recognized they have issues, she said. She has written the finance company, arguing that the couple didn’t understand the entire transaction. But to no avail.

The family is now appealing to the Indiana attorney general’s consumer protection division, trying to find a solution.

Officials with Adult Protective Services in Allen County said the best route for the couple to take is to simply ship the vacuum back to the company. But they can’t do that because whoever delivered the vacuum took the box.

Nice work Rainbow.  Lets see here, you wanted to make a buck.  Fine, free country…your allowed to make money.  But now you have a complaint to the Attorney General’s Office, Really bad press, Adult Protective Services involved, and this Blog picking up the story for more bad press.  Hope whatever money you made was worth it.  Forget about all the possible legal and ethical issues, don’t you think the smart, let alone the right, thing to do would be to just give these people their money back.  Now your going to be known as the company who takes advantage of people with developmental disablities.  Bet your marketing department will love putting that on your business cards!

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24 Comments »

  1. I was glad to see your comments about this fiasco. I have been trying to contact this company in Auburn to let them know how disgusted I am with them. Any ideas about what else can I do to help these people get justice from this company? JW

    Comment by J Weigold — December 9, 2007 @ 11:21 am | Reply

    • 5755220012 That’s the number of their human resources office in Las Cruces. They are called Oregon Mountain Air there.

      Comment by Job Scammed — January 9, 2013 @ 5:30 pm | Reply

      • @Job Scammed: Seeking legal help can work out in your favor to some extent.

        Comment by Syed — January 9, 2013 @ 7:52 pm

  2. The only thing I can suggest is contacting Frank Gray (who wrote the original article) at the Journal Gazette. When I was writing the post I did a google search for the company. I was going to tell them I was going to post on this, as well as tell them they needed to make this right. I could’nt find any telephone number or address. If you do find something out, such as a telephone number or email, let me know and I’ll make sure it gets posted!

    Comment by kurtglmft — December 9, 2007 @ 12:54 pm | Reply

  3. i would like you to go to this site
    http://www.rainbowsystem.com
    send an E-mail to the company and they will solve the issue right away
    dont wait just do it
    leave yur name , adress. phone.e-mail
    and tell the story in short detail and be reanable in your explnation
    good luck

    Comment by sam william — January 4, 2008 @ 10:16 pm | Reply

    • Sam, its useless. Rainbow company does not do anything other than providing the email ids of people to contact. You think people are selling $50.00 machine for $4000.00 without any support??? What is the word for this kind of business….

      Comment by Syed Ali — June 15, 2010 @ 10:05 pm | Reply

  4. Let me start by saying: I am a retired Rainbow Vacuum Representative, I sold vacuum cleaners – Full Time for 25 years, 15 years with Rainbow.

    The Federal Goverment passed a law that requires every financial contract to include whats called the “Financial Disclosure Box” This is a Very Large Box on the Front Page fo the contract where it is required to disclose the Interest Rate, the Total Amount of Interest, the Amount you are Financing and the Total of Payments including your Down Payment.

    This box is a very large box, it would be very difficult for anyone to claim they did not know these facts about any contract if they truly signed this document and were of sound mind! Federal Law allows anyone that purchases any product outside of the sellers office 3 business days, not including Sundays & Holidays, to return the product however the procedure would be to mail the signed Cancellation Notice to the disclosed address within the dates allowed.

    When I was in the business I never required my customers follow this procedure. If I was contacted via phone, email, fax whatever within the 3 business days I would refund the customers money however, after the 3 day recession period I did not refund their money.

    When you purchase an item at some point that purchase is final:

    A car – the day you drive off the lot the sale is final.
    Some airline tickets the purchase is final.
    Walmart you can take back most products however at some point the sale becomes final.

    With In-Home sales the purchase becomes final after the 3rd Business Day – Simple.

    Rainbow is one of the very finest products you can invest in, before you make a judgement Open Your Door the the Rainbow Show and see for yourself what 2qts of water can do – You may never invest in a Rainbow but I guarantee you will be Amazed!

    God Bless

    Comment by Tim Tario — October 22, 2008 @ 7:58 pm | Reply

  5. I’m going to have to agree with Tim on this one. I am currently a Rainbow sales person and I, also OWN a Rainbow, so I’m a very happy Rainbow user as well.

    All of the information is on the contract and it’s hard to miss, plus when I sell them I go over every piece of paperwork word for word. There are ZERO questions about anything when I’m done with the paperwork. I also go over the cancellation policy very clearly. I’ve only had one cancellation mind you and I didn’t make them sign anything and send it back….I merely went back to their house 2 days later and picked everything up. Simple as that.

    Do I think there are shady sales folks out there selling Rainbows? Sure..there are shady sales folks out there selling EVERYTHING. But please don’t give the entire RAINBOW product and the Rexair company a bad name because you got caught up with a slimeball salesperson and an ever bigger slimeball distributor.

    There ARE good people out there selling Rainbow and it’s because it’s an awesome product. I, too, also think you should call REXAIR themselves….if anything smells funny I bet they will take care of it.

    Best of luck,

    Carey in Pennsylvania

    Comment by Carey — January 16, 2009 @ 5:46 pm | Reply

  6. Dear Sir,

    Reply me back to escape_meee@hotmail.com in order to give you info about the Ritello Vacuum cleaner with digital screen. This machine offers the highest technology with the lowest price.

    Regards

    Comment by Had — March 27, 2009 @ 5:34 am | Reply

  7. My friend called and asked me to have a rainbow vacuum demo which was good. My husband decided to buy it The next day less then 24 hours we decided to cancel salesman picked it up told us we would have our deposit and other vacuum back within 10 days that was 5 months ago called main office salesman called me yesterday his response was he did not have the money someone stole his vacuum cleaners however he has a few deals comming up in the next couple of weeks then maybe he could give me my money back. What happened to the policy of Rainbow money back within 10 days still waiting no vacuum no money this is after I talked to Rainbow customer service

    Comment by Maria — January 23, 2010 @ 1:02 pm | Reply

  8. I have to agree with Carey. I wouldn’t stereotype the Rexair Co. or the Rainbow Product just because of other shady individuals. However I’ve never sold Rainbow vacs before but I am a proud consumer and so is my mother and grandmother for years. It is a fantastic System, it not only cleans your air for a dust & allergen free home, it’s also the best thing to clean all hard floors & carpet and sucks up water too. I’ve done my research on the best home cleaning system to have and the Rainbow System is the best because there are no filters on it, the water is the filter. Other vacs, even the higher end ones have filters that clog and blow germs and bacteria out of the exhaust back in your air that you and your family breathe. Does that make any sense to even turn one of those on in your home ? A good friend referred me to a wonderful Rainbow Distributor (Gene or Tina w/Aqua Air Enterprises, in Lakeland Florida)for them to come and show me and my husband the newest Rainbow System. It was an enjoyable experience, they are just a small husband wife team with no young shady kids working for them. Gene was very honest and explained details and answered all my questions clearly. I would recommend at least, if your in the central florida area, to set an appointment to take a look at a Rainbow System and see for yourself.

    Comment by Ms. Rose — February 27, 2010 @ 2:22 pm | Reply

  9. Rainbow system is not that “Super-vaccum” machine. It has lots of problems beside poor marketting method. The only good thing this machine has it the 4hp machine that provides an awsome suction power and thats about it. Other canister vacuums are more efficient than this machine. They call it “Rainbow Clean System” instead of a vacuum cleaner and this machine does not clean a cubic meter let alone 3000 sqft.

    I am considering a lawsuit and any help is appreciated.

    Comment by Syed Ali — March 12, 2010 @ 9:12 pm | Reply

  10. LoL@Had

    Comment by bethebear — June 15, 2010 @ 7:18 pm | Reply

  11. There is certainly a legal issue which involves parties with developmental disabilities signing a contract. Unfortunately, the courts would have to decide the extent of the contract legality.

    The more disturbing issue is one of integrity, ethics, and morality. A couple with DD, who are apparently under some type of assistance from a social services agency, are being taken advantage of by an unscrupulous salesperson. This is the most despicable of situations. To me, the salesperson and Rainbow are both responsible for contemptible actions.

    Comment by Law,Phd. — July 13, 2010 @ 10:30 am | Reply

  12. I’m A sales man for Rainbow for more than 20 years and I have every day issues with my distributor they are a wealthy family but the have decided that no one could be successful in this tipe of work my regional distributor victor peralta is loosing all his best sales man do to this fact most of my life I work for Hector Maldonado he was a distributor with more than 30 years in the business and responsible for distribute more than 1200 Rainbows each year and he was force to quit because under a big resetion that we all face Peraltas wife Jaquie decided that he wasn’t selling like he before. Now they pic on the little people ho are trying to earn a honest buck Mr Reinaldo Torrez is trying very hard to put me out of business but ho can fight him with all the money that he hass I still don’t understand how I could be a threat to his organization I hardly sell 5 to 10 equipments every month
    but I only have love in my heart and I forgive them I’m sorry for any problems that anybody face with this company but I’m going to be real if they do this kind of stuff to their own think on watt they will do to others there are no rules no polices no company this is a fraud company that lies to their costumer and employs you have to be rich to be part of this company and you have to fool people to make it that’s watt they train and I am ashamed to say that Rainbow Vacuum use to be the best but now is joust a self destructive state that is willing to do anything for a dollar so be very care full and putting god in front we will have justice

    Comment by un simple vendedor — October 12, 2010 @ 1:27 am | Reply

  13. I would agree that the product of the Rainbow E2 vacuum is a fine machine, but the unscrupulous sales people pulled a bait and switch. Rainbow and Rexair need to see who they are in bed with. I understand that they just want to sell vacuums but they are working with thieves. We signed a contract with specific terms, everything was alright, we were going to work with that. However they changed the terms of the financing increasing the rate by 50% and changed the monthly payment extremely high. So what we bought was a contract at X% and they financed a contract at 1.5X%. When we discovered this we offered to cancel the contract, they said that cancellation was not an option and we are now stuck with an outrageous consumer contract.

    Tracy

    Comment by Tracy R — February 10, 2011 @ 10:37 pm | Reply

  14. I was prowling the web doing some research and stumbled upon this page quite by accident. First, I am very sorry to hear about the above situation and sincerely hope that the people get quick resolution to this problem.

    My main thought afterward, is that I have been a Rainbow owner for 20+ years. I still have the D4 model that I bought for my late wife many years ago. It has never let me down in any way shape or form. It was certainly worth the investment to say the least. I have over the years, probably “sold” a fair number of Rainbow machines just by showing it to friends and neighbors. I should have gone to work for them because I would have been paid for all of those sales. I never really thought about it, until recently.

    Now, I have been introduced to the Ritello Cleaning System and I must say that it is far superior to the Rainbow in any way that I can discern. I was just investigating becoming a Rainbow representative and instead, have chosen to go with the Ritello. Yes, they ARE similar in most senses. Being a machinist and mechanic for years I am convinced that the Ritello is built to higher standards and the long term investment is lower than the Rainbow. Both are fine products, but, in my opinion I am trading my very reliable old friend in for a new Ritello and going with that company. I find the sales presentation is less like a used car pitch than that presented by the Rainbow people who I have encountered and I believe this company will not tolerate ANY shifty sales people as seems to be the case here.

    As wonderful a product as the Rainbow is, I would strongly suggest that anyone who might be even slightly interested investigate the Ritello. Once you have seen one in action. Afterward, there is no turning back.

    Last, I have not been able to find even ONE negative comment about the Ritello System or any of their representatives/dealers. Not one!

    Steve

    Comment by Stephen Forbes — April 15, 2011 @ 1:30 pm | Reply

  15. It’s sad to hear that these people were cheated on purchasing a Rainbow Vacuum. It shouldn’t turn them off to the brand hopefully I have my Rainbow Vacuum for over 10 years now and hasn’t had any problems. They are great vacuums it just sad that people have to go out and over charge with a high interest rate.

    Comment by Greddy Vacoom — June 8, 2011 @ 9:43 am | Reply

  16. I used to sell Rainbows and switched to Ritello as well because of politics, ethics, and it just makes more financial sense to sell a better product to someone. It feels great to change a family’s life through better health, however that should never happen if you hurt them financially. We as salespeople don’t always know someone’s finances, but we do know what is right and what is clearly what is WRONG and unfortunately they were WRONG! My finance companies won’t pay us if the customer calls them within the 3 day return period so in the future for anyone dealing with a shady distributor– when in doubt call the finance company!
    God Bless

    Comment by Jason Robinson — December 9, 2011 @ 6:26 pm | Reply

  17. It is a great machine – this coming from a clean freak & it will last you decades if taken care of……….But I will agree that the sales tactics leave a LOT to be desired sometimes…….Unfortunately………I called a distributor six years ago and just purchased mine (without even a demo) because my grandma had one & I knew how long they lasted & how well they worked. Even still, when I told the lady I just wanted to buy one, she insisted I have a demo anyway! I told her I already know ALL about this machine & everything it does. I had to talk her OUT of a demo? I thought that was strange. I ended up just buying it. Fantastic machine & built to last but the way they are sold causes the price to skyrocket! Just be careful

    Comment by Mark — December 24, 2011 @ 8:06 pm | Reply

  18. I have read so many articles or reviews about the blogger
    lovers except this post is in fact a nice piece of writing, keep it up.

    Comment by Shad — January 1, 2013 @ 8:23 am | Reply

  19. you cant blame the dealer for following proceedger.. if someone is saying yes to the questions he is asking, he assumes they understand him and want the vacuum it is a long process and many points a customer can say no. I have sold these for 33 years they are the best. I highly recommend the rainbow as it is the only solution to getting extreme fine dust out of the air and out of the furniture and rugs. like everything these days they are expensive and a contract has interest most times beyond a dealers control cash is the best way to buy but contracts work for most people to make small monthly payments and still enjoy the rainbow right away in their home. Having said that. if you can prove that the person who bought it has non capacity to understand what they were signing then go direct to the finance company cause after 3 days the dealer is not in control. most contracts are are recourse and the dealer will take the machine back and or sell it on consignment for the person minis resell fees but at least you get some of your money back and out of the contract. I will say when in my business somebody is that close to the 3 day time i would just stop the contract my self and he could have but. shame on him I hope you got this taken care of if not enjoy the benefits of the rainbow it will last a long time and do a excellent job.
    John

    Comment by John hoblit — November 17, 2013 @ 5:20 am | Reply

  20. So is that mean I can undo the contract if the sales person did not give me the right information about the rainbow vacuum? I had to call the corporate for a complaint

    Comment by Katherine — February 5, 2014 @ 8:20 am | Reply

  21. “”I would like to speak to someone higher up as I’ve stressed to you the last few times you have called to try discuss more payment arrangements than the ones pre discussed in late November. I have made previous payment arrangements to best suite my current and personal financial situation of not having work until recently. The payment arrangements were as DISCUSSED WITH “S. DESAI” in late November were : December 22, payment of $50.00, January 22 payment of $50.00 and February 1 payment of the remaining balance. And so forth on would be REGULAR monthly payments of the vaccume. Since then, you have without consent, tried to take out more money than discussed or arranged from my bank account sending me into overdraft and bank fees. As well as harassing me with unnecessary phone calls asking for more money and threatening me to collections and legal consequences if I don’t pay more than what we had previously arranged. I am at a loss for what to do now and have given up any communication with MISS S. DESAI as every time I try to talk and understand more the situation at hand, she returns back to me yelling and bullying me for more money with NO reasoning or explaining or understanding what so ever. EVERY TIME I try to ask a question or respond to what she says, she instantly talks over me with attitude and raises her voice. This goes on until either her or myself hangs up. I am going to get some legal advice. Until then I would appreciate if someone other than MISS S. DESAI contact me.””

    I need some legal advice and help please!

    Comment by bex — January 20, 2015 @ 9:51 pm | Reply


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