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30 May 2006

100% suckers all the time

Dyson's motto is "100% suction all the time" or "The vacuum that doesn't lose suction".

The consumers' association's verdict in the June 2006 Which?, however, is:

It is bad news for Dyson as for the seventh year in a row it has come bottom of our reliability survey for upright cleaners. This year a scary 31% of Dyson vacs up to six years old needed a repair

More serious is the fact that Dysons are also prone to breakdowns because of problems with power and suction - nearly twice as many as other cleaners, in fact.

Dyson. The cleaner that doesn't lose suction. Well, except when it has a problem with suction. Or power. Also, except when it's broken down, and also except when it's been chucked in the bin as ours was earlier in the year. Ours lost suction when the intake of the barrel started to get filled up with dust (even though the barrel was nearly empty).

The respondents of the Which? survey indicate that Dyson has over 50% of the vacuum cleaner market. Are we 100% suckers all of the time, ready to shell out for an expensive gimmick that is bottom of the table for reliability?

James Dyson was famous for the thousands of prototypes he went through before we got the vacuum with (ahem) no loss of suction (except when it's broken down, etc). Given the above, maybe it's time for a few more prototypes - for someone worth a few hundred million pounds, it's surprising someone with his intellect hasn't already sorted it. Maybe he's too busy writing another book on how to be a successful entrepreneur. Straight out of the Bill Gates school of success - build an unreliable product and with enough marketing you can dominate the market even though the quality (like emptying a Dyson into the bin and getting a face full of a dust cloud) leaves something to be desired.

If you manage to fix the reliability issue, maybe the next autobiography could be James Dyson: Against the odds, discovering the reliable vacuum cleaner.


Anonymous said...

I own a Dyson. The breakdowns may be more an issue with their quality control than the design of the dyson. I've owned 2 other bagless vacuums, and neither worked as well as my dyson.

One failed when it's narrow rubber suction hose got clogged with hair. When I tried to clean it out, the hose teared. The vacuum itself had continuous problems with stuff getting wrapped around the beater bar.

The Dyson hose is about 50% wider, and I haven't had it clog yet. If the vaccum doesn't get clogged, the Dyson has several easy access ports to make removing blockages a breeze. My previous vacs, I had to tear them down with a screwdriver.

I have no complaints. Maybe people think the Dyson is some kind of uber-vac, and are pushing it beyond it's design limits. I don't know. But mine works like a charm.

Oh, and while it doesn't have powered wheels, the large wheels on the Dyson make it the easiest one I've ever pushed.

Anonymous said...

We bought one, a Dyson I mean. It sucked. Not in a good way, in a bad way. Total junk wrapped in some spiffy marketing BS. We took it back to Sears immediately.

We bought a Simplicity upright with a bag that's fantastic.

--Steve (

Shawn Medero said...

I've got a Dyson and I am not having any of the issues your post has described. We've got a ton of pet hair in our house so I'd like to think the vacuum gets quite a workout...

I think the product is overhyped and the comericials incredibly goofy but in the end it is the best vacumm I've ever owned.

Anonymous said...

Hurray for some of these comments! The only thing 'sycloning' around my house when I switch my dyson on is my head!!! To add insult to our injuries we are reminded just how much we have been ripped off and brainwashed by the slogan "Never loses suction...." As if! I have only owned the thing for a couple of months, ive cleaned the filters out, which yes, are very convenient to get too but still no joy. I am glad they have somewhat shortened the slogan and taken off the "ever".... they should replace it with .... "never loses suction... (sometimes)", got familiar with the Descriptions Act Mr Dyson???

Anonymous said...

I own a Dyson. I have had it for about 2 years and it is the best vacuum I've ever used. My mother has one, my neighbor, my sister in law, and we all love it...YES..we have actually talked Dyson.
I recommend it to my friends and family.

Anonymous said...

I have seen my parents go through vacuum after vacuum and never get one worth while. I bought one myself a hoover bagless and it was horable. I had to replace belts in the first year and always needed to clean out the rollers. It would shoot dust right into the air. It was hoarable, so my next vacuum was a Dyson. While I would agree at times it does lose suction its not a huge deal. Its always a hose or something minor to clean then its back and working right away. Now the Hoover I had, well to get it working again meant fiddling with a screwdriver, replacing belts, filters... Then it still didn't get as much dirt out of the carpet. How do I know, I vacuumed the whole house then used the Dyson and filled the canister after vacuuming with the Hoover. So say all you want about the vacuum its worth it.

Unknown said...

Bought a D17 3 1/2 years ago. Gets maximum use & abuse. Canister after canister of dog hair, dust, dirt, bird feathers. Had to replace the switch (cheap part) a few months ago. Still has the original belt. And I wouldn't trade it for any other vacuum. I LOVE MY DYSON!!!

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