Reply from Dyson on design defects

I posted a video on YouTube back in Feb 2012 in which I presented a review of our new Dyson DC39 vacuum cleaner, in which I pointed out a few design flaws which I? was disappointed about. That video can be found here, and embedded at the bottom of this post:

The video has had quite a few viewers, and some of the commenters said that it was useful and the points raised were real issues. So I wrote a letter to Dyson highlighting the main points. I include below my letter and the swift response received from Dyson.

I am very impressed with the speed they cam back with a reply. I do think that they did acknowledge the problems although I think it was kind of “we knew about the static, we advise to use anti-static wipes”, “don’t worry about the flimsyness, we test everything”, “if your model is having a problem sounds like you need to get in touch with us”. So no real comments and apprechiations from the design team. I’ll write more about this when I have had a chance to think.

The letter to Dyson (also in pdf dysonresponse):






Dyson Ltd.
Tetbury Hill
SN16 0RP


16th October 2012

Dear Sir/Madam,

I wanted to write to you to give feedback on our new Dyson vacuum cleaner the Dyson DC39 Animal which we bought in February this year, and to see if some of the things I have found have also been a concern to your design team and to find out ways that these problems are being addressed.

This is our second Dyson vacuum, our previous model was the DC05 Motorhead cylinder which lasted about 5 years, and we were very happy with that model. Unfortunately we feel that the new model is a retrograde step from our previous model, and the design flaws outlined below really do make this premium appliance extremely unappealing to use:


  • The way the wand expands seems to leave a film of hair and dust on the outside of the wand. I understand that the expanding wand mixed with static electricity might be to blame here, but the problem seems much worse than with our old model. It tends to make vacuuming with the DC39 a dirty job – not all dirt is taken away, you end up with dirt stored on the outside of the cleaner and on your hands and clothes. I think it is a design floor with indentations on the wand and absence of a close-fitting sleeve.
  • The bin hopper has a couple of problems. I like the idea of the bottom opening bin but in practice the catch that opens the bottom of the hopper is very difficult to open, and the plastic catch that secures the bottom of the bin appears to be very flimsy. It does not extrude the quality that this premium product should. It hasn’t broken on me yet but the way it is molded would require a whole new bin which seems wasteful. Again because this is a difficult part of the design, in order to concentrate on opening the bin and then closing it, you tend to end up with dirt all over yourself.
  • There are two other minor points. I find that the pneumatic motorised head sometimes difficult to get spinning and I also lost to how this model can boast that it features a ball when in fact it seems to run on wheels.

I have uploaded a Youtube video review (shortened link – which demonstrates these points in a constructive way, and judging by the number of viewers (17,500) and commenters these concerns are shared by other consumers. I was really happy with my old model that seemed much sturdier with more attention on good delivery of performance rather than aesthetic design. It worries me that all of the top Dyson models have the same flaws.

I really like Dyson. As an asthma and allergy sufferer I feel particularly thankful for the attention Dyson had brought to things such as HEPA filters, making these products accessible to everybody. I also like the way that Dyson operates it’s after-sales service, providing easy to order spares and operating a network of engineers that goes against ‘throw-away society’. But I really do feel let down by this top-of-the-range model that I had hoped to get many years of satisfaction from using, but in fact on each use I am reminded of it’s failings.

It would be very interesting to hear a response from your team on these points.

Yours faithfully

Will Moindrot



 Dyson’s response (also in pdf letterfromdyson):


20th November 2012 Ref:
Dear Mr Moindrot

Thank you for your letter received on 1 6th November 201 2.

I am sorry to learn that you feel there are some particular design issues on the DC39 which you feel could be changed however it is good to hear that you like the aftersales service and ease of ordering parts. I will try to answer most of your points in the letter.

First, in regards to the dust sticking to the outside of the machine, you are right in saying that this is static charge causing this to happen. This does not happen to every machine but when it does we recommend using an anti-static cloth to wipe over the machine occasionally as this will stop it from happening.

The bin should not be difficult to open therefore there may be an issue here. It should be a simple press of the button which will allow the red catch to push it open. If this issue continues I would recommend contacting the Helpline about this on the number below. In regards to the flimsiness of the plastic catch I would not worry too much about this. Please be assured that the individual plastic parts are fully tested before a vacuum cleaner is launched. The entire vacuum cleaner is also tested at Dyson on a computerised rig that accurately simulates vacuuming at its most vigorous. As well as this we complete extensive home trials to replicate normal domestic use. In conclusion, the plastics used to manufacture Dyson vacuum cleaners have consistently proven to be durable and strong.

You mention that the machine runs on wheels instead of the actual ball however I can confirm that the main body runs on a ball and the front carriage where the hose clips on runs on a wheel otherwise it would drag along the floor.

FAX 01666 827299
FAX 01666 827298
We are continually looking to improve our products and service and your suggestions are extremely valuable in helping with this process. Your comments are greatly appreciated and we do have a feedback system. Thank you once again for taking the time to contact us.

If you require any further advice or assistance please do not hesitate to contact our customer Helpline on telephone number 0800 298 0298 between the hours of 7am to 10pm, seven Hel days a week.
Yours sincerely
Gemma Topley Customer Liaison




The original video:

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