Thread Number: 20809
Disappointed with latest VAX machines
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Post# 232953   5/17/2013 at 07:33 (2,013 days old) by madabouthoovers ()        

Having purchased a few new Vax models recently I have been initially impressed with their performance and design, but now it seems that one model in particular has been a let down, with more serious flaws becoming apparent.

This model is the Mach Air Reach of which was recently reduced in Argos to 99.99.
The first problems were that the hoses came out of the sockets which they are supposed to be permanently fixed into. They seemed to have been screwed in and secured with very poor glue. I had to use an epoxy resin glue to fix them in permanently.
Then I found that the brushroll motor abort did not work properly when the brushroll became jammed with the cats fleece blanket - the motor did not cut off but tried to carry on working producing a burning smell, so I had to quickly turn the machine off.
Then I found that the filter at the top of the bin was getting clogged, along with all the cyclones, and this was a serious problem, that was last seen on the American marketed DC17, caused by the rubber seal at the base of the inner dust tube where it meets the bottom trapdoor of the bin, failing to create a seal.
The entire cyclone assembly appears to lift up inside the bin when the vac is running, and lifts the rubber seal away from the base of the bin, so allowing the dirt to enter the dust tube in the reverse direction, and reverse clogging the cyclones.
To solve this problem I have had to cut out some plastic from a carrier bag and place it over the end of the dust tube, and push the rubber seal back over it.
In addition I had to grease the pivots between the main head and the handle as they were stiff, and as a consequence I am not impressed with this vac now.
It seems that the quality control is lacking in modern Vax cleaners and its not good. Many people have commented on reviews about shoddy materials being used on Vax cleaners now - I know they are cheaper than Dysons as they are made in China, but this Mach Air is now not fit for purpose.
Ringing Vax I have to pay for the call and get held in endless queues, never getting through.

Has anyone else had problems with Vax cleaners lately, or did I just get a Friday afternoon model?
Following these problems I took the other Mach Air back to Argos I got for future use, just within the 30 day warranty period - but I'm stuck with the other defective one now as Argos say I have to deal direct with Vax due to me having it longer than 30 days.
Says something though that I have now brought the Kirby Heritage down again for daily driver use - the dependable and well made 32 year old Kirby reigns supreme over a brand new state of the art Vax!

Post# 232954 , Reply# 1   5/17/2013 at 07:43 (2,013 days old) by Ultimatevacman ( Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK)        

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My next door neighbour has the Vax Mach Air, and she says that it's been nothing but trouble since she bought it. Like you said, the weak glue became loose where the hose connects, and the filter get clogged every time it's used.

It's a shame really, because the old Vax's like the 101 121 etc. were great machines, yet you get these terrible cheaply made vacuums made today branded as Vax.


Post# 232957 , Reply# 2   5/17/2013 at 08:00 (2,013 days old) by madabouthoovers ()        

Its a great shame that the quality has gone downhill with Vax, as I love the design of the Mach Air, and when they work properly they are great to use. I cant believe that what is usually priced at 250 is so poor with so many defects now coming to light. The blocking of the cyclones is the most serious problem, as I can now see a visible gap between the bottom of the bin and the rubber seal on the central dust collector tube, which defeats the function of the cyclones, by sucking in all the dust and fluff from the bottom of the bin in reverse up the cyclone tubes, so clogging them, and the top filter.
So many people have reviewed these vacs on Argos website, but the problem with the cyclone clogging doesn't start straight away - I think its due to the cheap quality foam ring seal between the top of the bin and the removeable lid - it distorts and allows the cyclone assembly to lift up slightly inside the bin housing, thus breaking the seal at the bottom just enough to start drawing dust and fluff in the wrong way.
Vax could have a big problem with this model if more of them start doing this, as they have sold tons of them to unsuspecting buyers. Dyson had exactly the same problem a few years back in the USA with the DC17 doing just this same problem.

Post# 232958 , Reply# 3   5/17/2013 at 08:41 (2,013 days old) by ultraperformer (Derbyshire, UK, Europe)        

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How's your Mach 9 by comparison? I saw them on offer for 49.99 and was tempted. I'm still happy with my Mach Air cylinder but its not had much use tbh!


Post# 232962 , Reply# 4   5/17/2013 at 09:11 (2,013 days old) by madabouthoovers ()        

The Mach 9 is an uncommon model, and not sold as the Mach 9 in most places, including Currys - merely as the Mach Pets U88-T4-P. This is the same model as the Mach 9, but does a very good job, and is a very attractively designed vac. It has a dial at the back to select between the hose or the floorhead - last seen on the old Hoover Dialamatic. A most pleasing vac to use as well, and has a power switch actually on the handle which is good to operate - instead of the stupid foot switches on the other Vax Power models.
For the price, the Mach 9 is a very good vac, and follows the more conventional foot design, using the same motor for the suction and the brushroll.
The bin design is very similar to the Dyson DC14, with the filter and cage being a very similar copy to the Dyson.
No problems have surfaced with this one yet, but time will tell. So far I would rate the mach 9 as 9/10. The best design feature is the selector dial for the hose.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO madabouthoovers's LINK

Post# 232975 , Reply# 5   5/17/2013 at 10:59 (2,013 days old) by dysondestijl (east midlands, UK)        

I've been looking at the vax Mach 9. It's bloody tiny!!!
In my local household shop they have it for a massive 99.99!!! And they have this HUGE vax upright for 99.99 too, it is MASSIVE, I mean it doesn't look big but everything on it is huge! I don't get why this monster is the same price as the tiny Mach nine! Here is the beast:

Post# 232986 , Reply# 6   5/17/2013 at 11:39 (2,013 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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Ive never had a problem with my original Vax Mach Air hose - but then I was on machine No.2 after the first one's floor head refused to stay flat and Vax changed the upright by sending out a new one.

Never heard of filter problems either until now.

Post# 232994 , Reply# 7   5/17/2013 at 12:02 (2,013 days old) by ultraperformer (Derbyshire, UK, Europe)        

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Did you get a pic of the Mach 9 George? I've never seen one out of the box?

Post# 232998 , Reply# 8   5/17/2013 at 13:03 (2,013 days old) by dysondestijl (east midlands, UK)        

No, but I will when I next go in dan:)

Post# 233002 , Reply# 9   5/17/2013 at 13:22 (2,013 days old) by FantomVacuumFan (St.Petersburg, Florida)        
I have had...

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The same hose problem with the US model, the Hoover Windtunnel Air. If you contact Vax, I would assume they would do the same thing that Hoover did for me, which was send me a replacement hose at no charge. However, other than that issue, I have had none of the other problems you mentioned. Everything works beautifully, and I am very happy with it.

Post# 233004 , Reply# 10   5/17/2013 at 13:34 (2,013 days old) by ultraperformer (Derbyshire, UK, Europe)        
Mach 9 pic

ultraperformer's profile picture
Cheers George :)

Post# 233031 , Reply# 11   5/17/2013 at 15:09 (2,013 days old) by parwaz786 ( )        

My Auntie's VAX bagless pet cylinder V096 needed emptying after every room as the filter clogged, 4 years later, Auntie got a Henry, she likes it,

My um had a VAX 6140 pet in 2008/ 9 ish I think and it was fragile, couldnt wash carpets properly either, and now she has a DC04 silver lime, she still loves it :D

Post# 233058 , Reply# 12   5/17/2013 at 21:02 (2,013 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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I guess even with multicyclonics you still have to wash the filter at some point - which inevitably means more dusty clothes or the constant honk of dirt; its why I really don't mind paying out for dust bags and the filters (if required).

Post# 233081 , Reply# 13   5/18/2013 at 02:43 (2,012 days old) by spiraclean (UK)        

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Although it can be a pain trying to get through on the helpline number, I think it's worth persevering in this case. The cleaner does come with a six year warranty, and to give up on trying effectively relieves Vax of their obligations to you. What's the point in choosing a cleaner with a long guarantee (that is one of it's selling points, and built into the purchase price) if you're not going to make them follow through on it?

For what it's worth, I've had good luck contacting Vax through email. That's just how I prefer to do things, but it does have the advantage of bypassing the phone system entirely. Plus you have everything in writing should there be any dispute later.

I know the one thing Vax does insist on is proper filter maintenance. A cleaner with dirty or blocked filters will automatically have any warranty claim denied, which to me is reasonable. Other than that, I always find they're very helpful and accommodating. In your case however it sounds as though the filters are clogging due to a fault with the cleaner, so I'd make them aware of this and ask them to take the cleaner in for inspection and repair.

Post# 233088 , Reply# 14   5/18/2013 at 03:38 (2,012 days old) by madabouthoovers ()        

I may well try the email route, but the Mach Air Reach was 0nly 99.99, so there must be a reason why Argos are selling them at that price - i.e., they are riddled with defects and the cheaper the item is, the less likely the customer will be to make a stink if the item breaks down or becomes faulty.
Most companies try every means to blame the customer for "abusing" the item anyway and wont do anything - the only exception I found was Miele when I complained that my turbo brush on the S6 had lost some bristles from the brushroll, they sent me a new turbo brush free of charge - but it seems that VAX are that overrun with callers trying to complain, you can never get through.
It just means one thing to me - I wont ever buy Vax again - and I have bought a fair few vacs in my time

Post# 233176 , Reply# 15   5/18/2013 at 18:14 (2,012 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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Well, with my experience Vax said that if I sent back the Vax Mach Air model 1 with a dirty filter they would charge me 35 extra. But they never said it would invalidate the warranty. Infact, I didn't even bother phoning their cust services - I emailed them and they phoned me.

They initially suggested that I spray 3 in 1 oil on the hinge that was sticking to avoid the floor head from not sitting down on carpet properly - but when I pointed out that it quite clearly states that work like this done by the owner could invalidate the warranty, they changed their tune straight away conceding that the Vax was at fault and they would happily change it for a new one.

Steve - the only reason Vax vacuums are falling in price is either because of demand and if a new model is coming out - in this case the new swivel version of the Vax Mach Air is now. Also Argos buy a ship load of vacuums from brands like Vax and often have to drop them in price accordingly if the brand bring out a new model.

Post# 233182 , Reply# 16   5/18/2013 at 21:35 (2,011 days old) by spiraclean (UK)        

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I'd agree that the drop in retail price doesn't necessarily mean there are issues, or that retailers are desperately trying to get rid of them. To be honest, when a new cleaner comes out, it is usually priced at the maximum amount they think the market will bear, and after a while it soon comes down to a more realistic level. The price it eventually "settles" at will be dictated by sales volumes and competition from other models and other brands. In cases such as this, retailers will usually apply for a retroactive discount from the manufacturer, so as to maintain their profit margin on the stock they have already bought in.

Anyway, having re-read your initial post, I see you mention that you bought the Vax recently. As a matter of interest, how recent would this be? Always remember that the Argos 30 day returns window is *in addition* to your statutory rights, and does not mean they are off the hook once this time has elapsed. They may suggest you take the matter up with Vax directly, but you are well within your rights to refuse, as your contract is with the retailer and not the manufacturer. I'd suggest acting quickly, because requesting a repair or refund is easier during the first six months - after this time, the onus is on you to prove that the fault is due to a manufacturing defect.

Link below explains the basic ins and outs of the Sale of Goods Act, but if you're not sure, just ask and we'll help you through what to do next. I know your experience has probably soured you on this product for good, so insist on a repair or replacement, that way you can sell it on in good conscience and put the whole thing behind you. But, whatever you do, don't give up and get stuck with a product that is broken down for fear that it would be too much hassle to deal with!


Post# 233451 , Reply# 17   5/21/2013 at 09:06 (2,009 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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Sorry, are you referring to "madabouthoovers" or me? I already had mine replaced by Vax and have had no problems since. Vax also re-initiated a fresh new warranty, so no probs there either with cust services etc and infact quite impressed.

Post# 233457 , Reply# 18   5/21/2013 at 09:48 (2,009 days old) by spiraclean (UK)        

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Sorry, that was directed to MAH.

Agree that Vax are normally very helpful, and I know of many instances where they have simply agreed to swap a machine rather than go down the repair route. They never used to be like that, but their customer service has improved vastly in recent years.

Post# 233463 , Reply# 19   5/21/2013 at 11:12 (2,009 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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I think it has a lot to do with the fact that they are owned by a large company - a lot of brands do have generally good customer services but others have been disappointing.

Post# 233940 , Reply# 20   5/25/2013 at 05:59 (2,005 days old) by uksausage (eastbourne east sussex UK)        
mach air issues

i have both the mach air pet and the mach air 3 total home
The mach air pet is a brilliant little machine, it copes well with 6 cats and the dog all shedding hair at the same time, i did upload a vid of it on you tube with a very full tank and it still picked up, ive never had the filter prob with the mach air pet, and i use shake n vac all the time, i have had the hose issue with the both the short hose and the additional long hose,(which i keep attached all the time ) and had the stiffness problem asd well turned out the screws were over tightned.
Now on to the Air3 what a pile of CRAP, this machine is awfull in almost every way, this machine has the filter issue badly, i can only do half the lounge and i have to take it out and clean it, vax sent me a new cyclone setup and new filters but this did not help,the hose is useless it doesnt always stay attached to the main vacuum head, because of the clip on it some of the accsessories dont stay attached as the have no lip on them,when using the handle on the hose it frequently comes away from the hose end as the clip doesnt hold it in place and when using the two in one dusting tool the drush always pushes up so its just the crevice nozzle you are using (this has scratched the tv in our bedroom) as the brush doesnt lock in properly.
while vacuuming the handle does sometimes release itself,as you puxh the vacuum forward it bends slightly in the middle (the plastic is crap) so the lock for the handle moves slightly so when you pull it back you have a handle but no vacuum as its laying on the floor,
the vacuum head looks as though it has the american windtunnel design this is also useless on this machine (i have an american windtunnel machine that doesnt clog) as the the sections end up clogged with pet hair.
the only good thing about is the brush roll the bristles are a lot stiffer than the ordinary Mach Air so it pulls the pile up better,
also the swivel feature is not easy to use the bulk of the machine is very heavy and im finding it increasingly more difficult to use heavy machines as i dont have the strength in my arms anymore ( i have M.S ) so steering the machine is no an easy task at all
The build quality is not half as good as the original Mach Air its flimsy and weak the handle is is uncomfortable and is made of thin plastic the machine itself is weak as the plastic bends while in use not like the original Mach Air that seems quite solid for a plastivac
now for the last thing, i had phoned vax on numerous occasions because when switching on the vacuum there was bloody great spark that came from the motor,so great it shone through the plastic, vax kept telling me to carry on using it and that there was nothing wrong well i did this only to have the damn thing catch fire and melt a section of my lounge carpet, the flames came out the vacuum head and from the motor housing i raced for the plug pulled it out and threw it in the garden still smoking and melting.
i rang vax they gave the choice to claim the carpet on my contents insurance and they would replace the vacuum or do a claim through them. i claimed through them, they sent an assesor to look at the carpet he was quite shocked that a vacuum could do that, he did his report and said the carpet needs replacing as the damage is right in the walk way and cant be hidden.
in this time the dustmen turned up and as i thrown the vacuum out in the garden it landed by my bins and looked like a strange piece of modern art with hardened plastic drips hanging off it and being melted so much it was leaning to the side. the dustmen took my vacuum,
Now vax will not replace the machine as i dont have the old one to sendf in for them to look at it what can they tell me that i dont already know it caught fire and melted, they have the record of the phone calls i made stating it was sparking and the problems with the filters etc, but as the dustmen took it i dont haver a leg to stand on.
trading standards said i need to quote the sale of goods act 1979 and something else i cant remember im going to put this in an email and hope i can get this sorted as trading standards said they should replace the machine because the insurance came out and reported the damage etc
up untill this issue ive never had a problem with vax customer service ive done a lot of buisness with vax and had various machines replaced or repaired
my personal advice is dont buy a Mach Air 3 i know of a couple more that have had all the same problems and caught fire
they are not a good machine when compared to the original Mach Air

Sorry im rambling again


Post# 233941 , Reply# 21   5/25/2013 at 06:01 (2,005 days old) by uksausage (eastbourne east sussex UK)        
the mach air pet video

just a short one of the mach air pet
sorry the quality is not all that


Post# 233945 , Reply# 22   5/25/2013 at 06:26 (2,005 days old) by madabouthoovers ()        

My Vax Mach Air 3 does the same thing - flashing through the motor housing when switching on. I had to take the thing apart as the cable grommet had come out of the housing, and needed the cord grip re-seating again. I had to lube the rear wheels on this as they were stiff to push around.
Keep your eye on the filter on the Mach Air, as the internal lower rubber grommet in the base of the bin can start to lift away from the base and the dust etc will get past it and reverse block the cyclones.
I will bear in mind what you say about the Mach air 3 motor, as I myself had thought that the initial arc from the brushes on the motor glowing through the casing of the motor was a bit worrying, but it always seems to do this since new.
Will keep an eye on the cyclones too for blocking but so far they seem ok.
My hose end on the air 3 wont stay on the handle either without keeping coming off, and its useless if trying to use it with a turbo tool as it wont stay connected at all, as its too loose a fit.

WHat you say goes to re-inforce what I said about Vax's quality control. Its really getting a joke now - cheap rubbish made cheaply in China, and that's maybe why so many vax's are now being sold at cut prices whereas Dysons are not discounted any where near as much.

Post# 233996 , Reply# 23   5/25/2013 at 14:15 (2,005 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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Well I wouldn't say all Vax products are bad. I saw a Vax bagged cylinder vacuum in a charity shop the other day that has been on sale for some time It looks quite promising and I've always wanted to try the one that TTi/Dirt Devil and even at one point Wertheim had as their own. Goes under the name of Vax Maxima C91-MX-B-C.

It looks like a Miele S5000 canister from a distance and goes to the point of having a similar flip up lid for tools on the top. However, I was instantly put off by the weight - claimed to be 7.5kg - but I'd have said more like 9kg with the sheer bulk and weight of it - but still, its well made. Pity it only has a 2.5 litre dust bag capacity though - I'd have expected a lot larger given the sheer size of it.

Post# 234023 , Reply# 24   5/25/2013 at 21:28 (2,004 days old) by spiraclean (UK)        

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MAH, any luck in pursuing a repair or replacement yet?

Post# 234027 , Reply# 25   5/25/2013 at 22:32 (2,004 days old) by madabouthoovers ()        

No - and I am not going to bother either - Vax just wont get any more business off me in the future. If they continue to produce rubbish that is not fit for purpose, they will end up going bust, and that will be punishment enough for greedy bosses who put greed and profit above satisfied customers and produce their goods in the Far East to exploit cheap labour over there instead of making Vax's in this country - Like Dyson USED to do before he got the Greedy bug.

Post# 234029 , Reply# 26   5/25/2013 at 23:21 (2,004 days old) by spiraclean (UK)        

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Oh well, it's up to you. From your first post I thought you were looking for a way to get the problem resolved, one way or another, but maybe I misunderstood. The info in the link I posted above tells you all you need to know, and requires minimal action on your part. All I know is I wouldn't take a loss on something like that.

Post# 234031 , Reply# 27   5/25/2013 at 23:50 (2,004 days old) by parwaz786 ( )        

Just curious Steve, but what's your main vacuum? I am currently using a DC07 standard, I think the Dysons are the best brand for my home 

Post# 234034 , Reply# 28   5/26/2013 at 00:16 (2,004 days old) by madabouthoovers ()        

At present Parwaz786, I use the Kirby Heritage, and the Miele canister for when I need above floor cleaning done. I don't use the Dysons much now - they are part of the collection and are fairly old and fragile now except for the DC07 which is just too noisy for everyday use. The Kirby cleans the carpets the best - the rest are nice ornaments in my Vacuum room.

Post# 234066 , Reply# 29   5/26/2013 at 12:38 (2,004 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        
Oh please stop with the Chinese slant...

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Steve, please don't take offence to this but sometimes I really wonder where your knowledge of economy lies - the UK does not offer cheap manufacturing - if it did, you can bet Henry vacuums would cost 50 instead of double the price. You can also ignore the fact that whatever PC you're on, half of it has probably been produced in Asia or China.

I think it is also foolish to ignore the fact that your vacuum cleaner is within the warranty period and can be repaired by Vax effectively free of charge. I agree with Spira here - at least you have the time period in which this vacuum cleaner can actually be repaired.

Whilst I agree to a certain point that brands like Dyson and Vax have shifted to Asia for cheaper cost production Vax and Dyson are very different in their actual retail prices - as we have already seen, Vax products can be bought for below 100 whereas Dyson can't unless it is second hand or refurbished from third parties.

Frankly I don't think Vax would be able to offer the largest array of appliances AND low prices if they were manufactured here in the UK, let alone offer an extended 6 year guarantee on their multicyclonic products.

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