The big search for a new vacuum cleaner

  • It's quarantine, we're in Argentina, and our Dyson vacuum cleaner died on us. The electrical socket where we used to plug it twice a week decided it didn't want Dyson no more and a with a sudden discharge fried our Dyson motor. The death was sudden and harmless.

    After a quick search on Mercadolibre, we quickly learned that the only Dyson sold here are those smuggled from the States, smaller and handheld, while the full sized model could be imported on request, for over 200,000 pesos (1600 USD on the blue market). It's half a used car. Except it may need a transformer.

    So we had to look elsewhere. I had set my eyes on Kärcher VC3 imported from Germany. Except that it is sold out and the various stores we called talk about 20 to 60 days of wait... which could become FOREVER with the quarantine restrictions being further in July.

    After three hours of researches, we shortlisted 5 models:

    Aspiradora Black+Decker Power Pro Cyclonic VCBD8090 3L

    Aspiradora Electrolux Eas31 Sin Bolsa 1,8l

    Aspiradora Samsung Vc20cc Rojo

    Aspiradora Philips Powerpro Fc9350/51 1800w

    And finally we decided that 2000 W was enough for us, and we wanted something compact, as well. the winner is....

    Aspiradora Black+decker Vcbd8530 2000w 2.5 Lts Filtro Hepa

    with trineo suction system (no idea of what it is)

    We haven't yet ordered it, and I'd wanted to run by the forum the choice. If you have any experience, please share them by Monday.

    *Yes, the winner was not among the shortlisted products, because that's exactly how online shopping works. :rolleyes:


  • You are the best-informed shopper I know, serafina . Do you have any idea why your Dyson was fried? Is that something likely to happen again?

    According to an electrician who visited our home, since electrical sockets here are polarized, the cables inside of the socket should be connected so that there is no current circulating when there is no load (appliance being plugged it / light bulb connected etc.). However, in our home some electrical sockets are correctly cabled and some are not.

    We never had any issue so we decided to do it when the exchange rate was going to be more favorable, then the quarantine began...

    I don't have the patience to do it.

  • I am not sure Serafina will be so brave. She was pretty cool when we were using our older vacuum (cool but alert) and I guess it is going to take a while before she is comfortable around the new one (different noise and noise level).

    It was extremely frustrating to shop for a vacuum cleaner in Argentina. It seems there is no store, either online or offline, with a decent selection. Those who have a brand, just have on or two models of that brand and not the whole range.

    RODO was the one with the largest selection, but nobody was answering the phone on a Saturday afternoon. They only have to stores open to the public (Boedo and Palermo) Mon to Fri, they have suspended online sales and moved to phone order... but nobody picks up the phone.

    At Coto they had the bigger model of the Black and Decker, so we tried to call the biggest Coto near us to know if they had one in stock (we wanted to see how big it was and how much it weighted) since it was available for online sale. We called both stores, and again no answer. So we went to the big Coto on Santa Fe in front of the Jardín Botánico. We parked in their underground parking lot and it was 120 ARS per hour unless you spent at least 800 ARS. There was also a 15' grace period, so we rushed upstairs to inquire for the vacuum cleaner (obviously, it was not there) and went downstairs after 14' ready to leave. Phew!

    In Almagro they had one available (on screen, also Palermo had one available... except it was not true) but we didn't want to rush again to avoid paying for parking or having to spend 800 ARS just to see if they had it. They should really pick up their phone.

  • Don't forget where we are.

    Some stores have stopped online sales after the 1-17 July restrictions were announced, because they wouldn't be able to dispatch orders.

  • How frustrating! That tendency of stores to seem they don’t really want to sell their inventory seems to have become worse In these days when you would expect them to be happy to make a sale!

    I’m curious about the “stay home” aspect of Argentina’s lockdown. Are you still allowed to walk only to the closest stores? If you’d walked on down Scalabrini Ortiz to that big Coto on Santa Fe, would you have been in violation? In other words, in order to get out, are you better off going by car than walking? Do police stop people on the street?

  • Don't forget where we are.

    Some stores have stopped online sales after the 1-17 July restrictions were announced, because they wouldn't be able to dispatch orders.

    That doesn't make any sense at all, especially since motorcycle courier services are considered essential, not to mention Mercadolibre capitalising on this stay at home situation.

    They are simply shooting themselves in the foot.

  • How frustrating! That tendency of stores to seem they don’t really want to sell their inventory seems to have become worse In these days when you would expect them to be happy to make a sale!

    In some cases is that and in some cases is a real concern for angry customers. In Argentina, many customers file complaints with Defensoría del consumidor and that's a PITA for the seller.

    Plus, Argentinian are quite belligerent by nature, and it takes very little to make them incredibly angry and aggressive.

    They may have the couriers dispatching products but maybe their employees won't be able to go to work.

    Also the knitting stores on Córdoba y Scalabrini have stopped online sales. There has always been a long queue outside during the quarantine!

  • But I can see why a customer would be pissed: you buy something and you don't get it for 20 days. In the meanwhile, you have spent the money for that product/service you could have used for something else.

    I bought a pack of 3 beauty sessions in February (3200 pesos). I had one session and then covid struck. Besides, it is a laser treatment so regularity was important... I don't even know if the place will exist after a 5-month stop, and it will be one of the latest businesses to re-open.

    I bought a pack of 4 massages in February for my stiff neck and backache due to sitting in front of the computer for too many hours. I had two sessions and when in mid March covid had arrived also in Argentina, the last Monday before the lockdown (Thursday) I called off my session. The guy said "Well, okay, but I'll keep your price for 2 more weeks only" (not sure what he meant by that... I had already paid. Maybe he meant he was no longer applying the returning customer price?). I can't remember how much I gave him, I think $1600, and it won't affect me losing half of it or the whole of it, but the reaction I got was childish.

  • Customer service here is non-existent in many places and the attitude is, if you don't like it, well, tough luck.

    On the other hand, Adri ordered a gaming mouse over a weekend for my birthday and I was pleasantly surprised to have it arrive on the Thursday.

    I very rarely order something of value here online, such as this mouse, which cost AR$6000, but we had no choice because the shop is closed and only does deliveries. But at least they do that.

    Some PC shops are open though and I always collect personally wherever possible. Having said that, I knew the Corsair M65 mouse to be top quality so I wasn't that concerned.

  • We'd like to pick up, too, not just to save on the delivery fee (which is minimal) but to be able to check the product on the spot and make sure it will be handled with care.

    Speaking on which, yesterday my husband called a store for a specific item, they said to come pick it up. When he arrived there, after a 25' minutes drive, the lady that was in the shop said they don't have that brand but offered a different one. They were unable to say in what other office they had in stock the correct model, and couldn't explain why on the phone (both calling and whatsapping) we were told to come pick it up.

    As gesture, they gave us one item of the other brand... I was surprised because I was never given anything for free in a store here, but I am still pissed because my husband rushed to the store for nothing and we still don't have the correct item. On Mercadolibre it nows says that the delivery is on July 15. My husband had a hunch that they may not have that product in stock at all.

    Interaction with sellers in Argentina is very odd to me. It seems impossible to get clear answers to basic questions.