A friend recently mentioned the Shark Navigator Lift Away vacuum cleaner to me. I had not come across it in my earlier research, but it looked great! After reading quite a bit about it, I was almost sold. The vacuum cleaner is a sealed system and says that it offers HEPA filtration. I never got a reply from Shark about whether or not they are RoHS certified (which would mean they regulate PBDEs used in the vacuum cleaner). I did see in the FAQs that the vacuum cleaner is made of ABS plastic and PP (I assume this is polypropylene), which is great. There are plenty of great reviews and people very impressed with the amount of dirt that this vacuum cleaner pulls up.
The one thing holding me up was the fact that there were sooo many complaints about Shark's customer service. Their facebook page is a mess of accusations and minimal very lame responses from Shark. Then, while reading a review on Amazon, I came across this fact: The Shark Navigator Lift Away vacuum cleaners do not all have HEPA filtration. Only the direct purchase model does. I think that is absolutely shady. I was planning to purchase a Shark Navigator from Bed Bath and Beyond because I have read that they have a great return policy. Purchasing directly from Shark means I would have to deal with their terrible customer service if something does not work right with my vacuum cleaner.
Sigh. I had high hopes for the Shark Navigator. They have two strikes against themselves now though - shady advertising and poor customer service. I think I'll stay away.
Update: I called their 800 number and talked with someone in another country who assured me that "you can find HEPA filtration on store models". This was after me telling him six times that I didn't want to create an account and just wanted to ask a question. The email address given on their phone line did not work for me. I then had a chat with their online support:
James: Thank you for contacting Shark, how may I assist you today?
you: Hi, just a quick question for you...
you: Does the Shark Navigator Lift-Away have HEPA filtration?
James: Yes it does. However, you can only obtain a version with Hepa filtration if ordered directly through Shark
you: So only the direct purchase models come with a HEPA filter?
you: What else is different about the models purchased directly vs the models found in stores?
James: As far as I knew, that was the only difference.
you: I'm sorry, but that seems pretty shady to me.
James: Certain accessories may not come with the store models, but the machines are practically I dentical. (We will also offer better warranties)
you: Also, I just called customer service a minute ago, and the guy told me that I can find HEPA filters on the store models. So which is it?
James: Hepa filters are only available in direct Shark purchases. I verified this last week, myslef
you: Ok, thanks. I still think its shady.
you: and your call center has the wrong info...
James: Thank you for using our live chat service and have a nice day.
Chat session has been terminated by the site operator.