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Weimboyz | Posted in General Discussion on

Hello Everyone;

I just don’t know if this is typical or if I just had bad luck with dealers. 

I have been interested in machine embroidery for about 2 years and have been sewing (simple items- hobby) for over 10 yrs.  I purchased my first embroidery machine about 2 yrs ago from the only Brother local dealer in my area.  From everything I read on various sites and talking to people; everyone suggested it was better to buy it from a local dealer rather than the internet.  To make a long story short.. The closest dealer was 50 miles away.  I took 2 classes from them and figured out the rest on my Brother PC8500D on my own.  The dealer never followed up, never called me to ask me if I was doing ok.   Now it turns out the dealer is no longer in business, I drove for 50 miles and found out from other retailers they had closed. 

I was ready for a new machine about 1-1/2 months ago. Went to the local Viking dealer (20 miles).  Very nice, she spent about 2 hrs demonstrating, etc.   I also visited the Bernina Dealer. Loved them!!!  However, I liked the Viking machine better. So I went back to Viking and made sure I had lessons, support, etc.  All of the answers were yes, yes, yes.  Bought the Designer 1 USB with software.  So far, have had NO lessons and NO software.  I call about every 2 weeks to ask about my software and the last time I heard it was backordered.  My lessons.. no sign of that either. 

Everytime I sit to sew on the Viking machne I have my handy-dandy Instruciton book, which has been a life saver!!  I haven’t started to embroider on the Viking yet; I am still a bit intimidated; so I use by Brother for that.

Has anyone else encountered this problem?  Or is it just me? 

Because I am in Customer Service and go out of my way to give my customers exceptional C.S. I sometimes expect the same; but in this case I’ve had NO  C.S. as of yet.  At times I have felt I should of saved some money on both occasions and bought the machines via Internet; I am figuring out stuff on my own anyway.

Any suggestions or ideas would be greatly appreciated.



  1. lilah | | #1

    Yes weimboyz, I've seen much the same thing here where I live.  I bought two very expensive machines from two different dealers.  Neither of them gave the expected CS, no lessons, no support.  That was partly because Pfaff was struggling to stay alive and the dealers weren't getting support from Pfaff company.  Both dealers went out of business. 

    I worked briefly for one of them, and I got a great deal on my embroidery machine.  He had wanted me to be the one to organize and lead the Pfaff club, but expected me to do it all on my own, uncluding investing money to stock threads and supplies!  This was another SM dealer who did not understand his SM customers.  He concentrated on the vacuum sales and repairs and couldn't see the big picture of SMs.  There's a local shop here that has sold Bernina for many years.  The owner is a good mechanic, but he is rude and CS from him is truly awful.  The woman who handles the classes and such is a sweetheart and very knowlwdgeable.  She has done a great job in teaching about using the machines, but they are going to lose that because another lacal dealer is being given the Bernina line. 

    This shop is constantly expanding and they always have classes going on.  Service is phenomenal.  This seems to be a true rarity nowadays.  When I read about the old Singer stores and all of the classes they had, I wish the SM shops today would do that.  This shop is the only one I know of that comes close.   I regret that I didn't get my machine from this dealer, but I don't really plan to buy another machine because I love the ones I have.     

  2. MaryinColorado | | #2

    I love my Viking machines!  I am so sorry that you have encountered so many dealer problems!  I have had very good experience with mine.  I call them anytime I have questions.  The classes are so important with these new computerized machines.  I did have to wait for a class on the embroidery unit which was frustrating.  I remember being afraid I would break it.  Now I wish I had just gone to the shop again and had them just show me how to put it on and off the machine correctly and push "go". lol  As I already knew how to hoop and such.

    I always buy the large manual with three ring binder.  It has a wealth of information about the machine and you can go step by step through all the different chapters.  It also has information on the feet and how to use them.  Includes pictures which is really helpful to me as I am a visual learner.  The binder folds in a way that you can use it close to the machine as it stands up on its own.  You can also get these seperately. 

    If you go online to Husq/Viking's website, go to education and check there.  Also you can download information and free projects and instructions.  Also thier Zig Zag magazine is helpful.  If you look under machine accessories, click on feet, you can print out sheets that tell you how to use these also.  They also have all the information about upgrading your machine and software and how to do it online.  I have mine done at the shop but you may want to see about doing it yourself.

    Some dealerships lose thier permission to sell specific brands because they do not live up to the requirements that they agree to in the beginning.  Is this a new dealer?  Also it could be a problem with the particular employee, this happened to me and several other customers and employees at a wonderful shop with great owners but they were loyal to that one employee for some reason and lost lots of customers and some employees over it.  It was very sad to see this happen.  The owners are sweet wonderful people and we all were so loyal to them until this person took over.

    Good luck with your new machine!  I am sure you will just love it in spite of the rough start with the dealer.  Be persistant in calling them with questions and on the classes they made a commitment to.  Mary

  3. Weimboyz | | #3

    Thank you.. I guess there are good and not so good dealers everywhere.    I am hoping things get better and I at least receive some lesson in embroidery.  I will check out the large minder manual.  That sounds right up my alley.

    Mary you are in Colorado?  My parents are in Aurora; near their home there is a GREAT dealer!!  I stocked up on several things last tiem I went to visit them.  I am in NC

    Thanks again!!! -  Weimboyz

    1. KarenW | | #4

      I think you hit the nail on the head, there are good and not so good dealers everywhere, just as there are in any business... and as in any business there are some people who are more aware of what good service is and others who are not, some who are better business people and therefore able to afford to offer more, others who aren't.  When I bought a new machine 10 years ago after battling with one that really made sewing unfun, I investigated how long they'd been in business (though you never know when someone can close the doors or as someone else said have their dealership pulled by the manufacturer), but when they said there were free classes I wanted to see the schedule - they had a printed schedule showing many class days/times in their various stores, so they already existed.  I wanted to have my machine serviced there, not sent out, and could see the repair area on site.   I guess there are still no guarantees, but they were still getting parts and such and offering a full class schedule even when Pfaff was having financial difficulties.  Unfortunately as with any small business it's impossible to know who'll be here today, gone tomorrow, but if in the market for another machine I'd ask around, ask friends, customers leaving the store, ASG members, etc. what kind of service, instruction, etc. they've gotten and if they'd buy there again.  I have, over and over... and now have been working there almost two years!   There's another brand dealer just as close to my home and they couldn't show me any of the things (i.e. class schedule, repair area, etc.) or even as many features on the machines as this one (and once when I went in the one person there only knew vaccuums...) so in addition to being really pushy and condescending, it was a no brainer where my money's been going.  Who knows, maybe I'd like the brand they carry better, but I will not do business with them.  Amazing how they're still around...  I get horror stories about them from customers or associates all the time.


    2. MaryinColorado | | #6

      Dh grew up in Aurora!  My brother lives there.  It is fairly close to here.  If you are ever out here when there is a sewing or quilting show, let me know if you would like to go togeather.  I went to the first National Denver Quilt Show this year, it was fun.  There are several throughout the year.  Also look up the Denver Merchandise Mart, they have something going on throughout the year.  They have a website that tells about the venues.

      Did you get the video with your Viking?  That is helpful too, but limited info.  Mary

      1. Weimboyz | | #7

        Great!  I will let you now next time I go visit my parents in Aurora.  No, I didn't get a video. I should call my dealer and talk to them about the book and the video.

        Have a great day!!


        1. MaryinColorado | | #8

          Hi!  With the economy the way it has been I wonder if the dealers are cutting way back on inventory.  I wouldn't be surprised with all the fabric stores that have closed.  It still seems like 1 1/2 months is a long time to wait for the software after buying the machine!

          DH bought my first embroidery machine, Viking Rose, for Christmas years ago.  It is a great little machine too.  (My grand daughter's now)  The dealer lost thier Viking dealership right afterwards, leaving me in the lurch. Thier quilting store is still open but you couldn't pay me to walk in the door!   Luckily another dealer took me under thier wing and treated me extremely well.

          I hope your software arrives soon and that this dealer will turn out to be great in other ways.  Have you talked to the lady that you liked in the beginning?   Good luck! In the meantime, have fun with all the bells and whistles.  Can you believe how wide the decorative stitches are?  I was so pleasantly surprised! 

          I bought a specialty bobbin case for my D1 for the thicker threads like candlelight and perle crown rayon.  Check out Bonnie McCaffery's web site if you are interested in bobbinwork, it has instructions on this and other fun techniques.  I have bought items from her website, now they really have great customer service.  You can email her too.  Mary

  4. user-167104 | | #5

    I just sent this message on the thread "favorite sewing machine" and it began a discussion about dealers....(sorry, I would have linked the message to that thread if I could figure out how, so I just copied it from there)

    ....so much input on this thread, I didn't know where to start, but I do want to re-emphasize how important a good dealer is. I depend on mine for everything and they have a great policy of taking care of their customers like few in any retail business do. They also clean and service the machine for 5 years free. Make sure you get some sort of service when you buy a machine. You won't get that at Walmart, or many other places that are not a machine dealer/retailer. They are in KY and not convenient for probably anyone but me, but just check out their website to see how helpful they are with machine's, classes, etc. http://www.thomassewingcenter,com Just an example of what you want to find in your area to get the best out of your machine and know there's help when you need it.

    I have a Janome, my second, and love it. I would go to a different brand, but it would be difficult. It's an embroidery machine, and I've made some pretty important things in my life with it, (baby quilts, clothing, etc) which makes you grow attached to it when you've worked so much together.


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