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"This product is not designed to be used at an angle" VAX
on 19 April 2012
The only reason I award one star is because no stars is not an option.
I ordered this a few days ago on free delivery and, as ever, Amazon excelled and it arrived this morning.
I had high hopes, not least because of the very favourable reviews hereon. I decided to try it out on our Ikea chair pads with white cotton covers. The result: after a lot of gurgling and spitting and some steam, not a steam-cleaned pad but a sodden pad, looking beige instead of white.
The steamer comes with a label asking that those with a problem phone VAX before returning; it's the first time I've seen such a sticker on an appliance. So, I phoned VAX and explained the problem. What I really wanted to know is this: did I have a faulty steamer and should I seek a replacement from Amazon? The answer I got from VAX astounded me: "The product is not designed to be used at an angle because the heating element is in the base." VAX didn't need to explain the technicalities, since I understood immediately: you lose steam power when you tilt the steamer and end up with a mixture of steam and gurgling water (and sodden chair pads!)
Amazon's photos show the steamer being used at an angle and Amazon's description states "1 × Matress (sic) / Upholstery tool". By contrast, VAX told me: "the machine is not designed to do this", despite VAX's User Guide, on page 5, containing a drawing of the steamer being used at an angle of 45 degrees to clean the arm of a sofa!
When I pointed out to VAX that the Mattress / Upholstery tool, when attached to the steamer, sits at an angle of 45 degrees, thereby making it impossible to steam the bottom of a chair without tilting the steamer itself 45 degrees, they still advised that the steamer is not designed to be tilted: "it must be held straight". (It also strikes me that if I wanted to steam-clean a dress hanging up, I'd need to tilt the steamer 45 degrees backwards with the same loss of steam.)
The lady I spoke with spoke with her manager and she certainly understood my point - she advised me to return the steamer to Amazon for a refund. I'll be taking her advice.
If Amazon read this and want the call reference, if they email me I'll send it to them. VAX have taped the call and I'm happy for Amazon to have the details. In any case, if what VAX told me is true then Amazon should change their product description.
I rather like VAX as a company and am looking forward to the arrival, from Amazon, of a VAX floor steamer. Please read this review in conjunction with all the very positive ones. I had hoped that VAX would have suggested I seek a replacement from Amazon - but, no, VAX state that the steamer is designed to be used straight, not angled - in which case VAX's inclusion of a Mattress / Upholstery tool is pointless.