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Company accused of “hostage-taking” door-to-door sales has “F” rating

A Quad City-area company that sells Kirby vacuum cleaners door-to-door is being accused of “hostage-taking” like practices and has an “F” rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Midwest Elite in Davenport was given the “F” rating by the Better Business Bureau over its sales practices, customer service, billing issues and refund policies.

“It has an ‘F’ rating. That’s the worst. The Better Business Bureau has received about 20 complaints over the past three years with this company, seven of them have been over the past 12 months,” said Jamie McKenzie with the BBB in Bettendorf.

East Moline Police were called Thursday, April 17, 2014 by the family of an 87-year-old woman who says three strange men selling the vacuums stayed uninvited in her home for at least three hours. She says she told them at least twice to pack up and leave, but they stayed until a van picked them up.

She said at one point, one of the men left to go into her bedroom and started vacuuming her mattress.

“It’s like she’s being held hostage. She wanted them to leave and they don’t leave.  I’m furious,” said Chris Baker, the elderly woman’s daughter.

The BBB says Midwest Elite has operated under several different names, including Hawkeye QCK; QCK, Inc. and River City Associates.

“In total, we’re looking at six names.It kind of sends up red flags,” said McKenzie.

Several WQAD viewers and online customers posted similar experiences after being approached by Midwest Elite sales crews.

Manager Dustin DelPivo says he can’t speak about the way the company sells door-to-door.  Company owner Nate Ramker said he would answer questions at a later date in written form.