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Thread: Be careful where you take your machines for service......

  1. #1
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    I went to pick up a few parts for a project I am working on today. I went to one of the 2 sewing repair shops in my area and they are the biggest of the two. The fellow was having a hard time finding what I needed so he asked if I wanted to come back there and see if I could help him find what I was looking for........ :roll:

    While I was back there I saw at least 130 or so machines lined up on shelves that needed to be worked on (industrials, vintage, and newer ones) then behind that was where the 2 employees were working repairing the machines. In the very back was the "Boneyard" as such and I was watching this one girl in particular. She took a part off of a machine and blew it off put it on the machine and asked if she should charge full price or not. The guy waiting on me I guess was her supervisor said "sure we always charge the new price".

    After that I was asking him questions and he told me that they do not have a lot of new parts, they just take the parts off of the parts machines and use them. "We are not into restorations"

    I am sorry here folks but if I sent a machine in to have a new part put on I want a NEW part and not a new to the machine part. :evil:

    Then he was asking if I would be interested in working there repairing machines. I told him number one you could not afford me and number two I do not half @*& anything I do!!

    I told him that under no circumstances would I steal money from the customer like that and it will be a cold day in Hell before I would ever step foot in that shop again! And I walked out.

    What chaps me is the fact that there is probably some lady on a fixed income (SSI) and she is paying a ton of money to these guys for a band aid job and is clueless about it.

    So if you take a machine in to be service ask to go back in the repair area and look around at how they do things. If they wont let you go back there to see the work in progress then they are hiding something and go somewhere else!


    Billy

  2. #2
    Super Member sweet's Avatar
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    Good Post!

  3. #3
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Thank you for this information. Now we know to ask if the parts will be new, or "new" to the machine :D:D:D

  4. #4
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Wow. That's quite an eye opener.

  5. #5
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    Wow, that is horrible. What a shady organization.

  6. #6
    Super Member Quilter7x's Avatar
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    Awesome advice Billy. I'm sad and glad that happened to you. Sad because it's awful to do business like that, but glad because now you know how they do business.

    I absolutely trust John who has serviced my machines for the last 15 years. But if I ever had to go somewhere else, I know to check them out thoroughly first.

    THANKS!

  7. #7
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    Their idea of cleaning a machine is blowing it out with compressed air and after a few drops of oil.....ta-da it is miraculously clean!! :x

    They so called cleaned a couple of machines while I was there in a 15 minute period. The guy told me that they would finish over half of the machine today just in for "tune ups".

    And they charge $75 a pop for that and if they find something wrong and if you want to have the repair done they will stick it to you again for parts, and labor.

    Billy

  8. #8
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I agree with you! It's fine to use perfectly good machine parts but be honest and give the customer a choice! And the employee to think it's okay to cheat customers like that? What a bunch of losers. I feel sorry for their families to have someone like them in it.

  9. #9
    Super Member Tink's Mom's Avatar
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    I completely agree with you about new parts or new to this machine.

    But, on some machines that have parts that are no longer available, it is wonderful if they can get a part off of a graveyard machine. BUT charge a USED part price.....It is a real shame that some dealers take advantage of the customers that way.

  10. #10

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    the place where I take my machine is heaven. He repairs the machines right out in the middle of the store and you can sit right beside him as he works and he tells you how each part works and what it is.

  11. #11
    a regular here hazeljane's Avatar
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    I was single for a long long time. As with car repairmen- if someone charges me for a new part, I want to see the NEW part and the OLD part when I pick it up. And that new part better be NEW.

    When I first moved to OK, I went to the "viking" shop here. They charged me twice to fix the same problem, before letting me talk to the repairman, who didn't speak English (which is not an implication he didn't know what he was doing, though he didn't seem to) and then telling me that they would have to send it somewhere in Arkansas. WTF?

    Never again. the place I go to has been in business for 35 years and the man who runs it knows his stuff.

  12. #12
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    THANKS for the heads up.... I took my machine in for repair, got it back it wasn't right , took it back and you are correct they blew air in it , sprayed some oil into and tried to tell me it was fixed :hunf:

    I called the manufacture as this machine IS NOT to be oiled

  13. #13
    Pam
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    Thanks for the heads up. I will ask to see and talk to the repairs guy! After all it is MY machine and MY money! My Bernina is about 17 years old and I do not expect that they are still making the parts for it, but they do need to be fair.

  14. #14
    Super Member ScubaK's Avatar
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    This shop needs to be reported to the Better Business Bureau or the State Attorney General.
    K

  15. #15
    Super Member Kathy N's Avatar
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    You can ask for the packaging of the new part just like you would with the mechanic that fixes your car. That way they have to show you the box or bag that is marked with the exact part. Make sure and say that up front. Most service centers do not stock "new" parts because hardly anyone brings a "new" machine in for service and there isn't a ready supply of aftermarket parts for sewing machines. So over the years they accumulate the bone yard to help keep all of our wonderful vintage machines up and running. I serviced machines for 5 years and we always asked our customers if it was ok to use a used part and most agreed and were just happy to get their machines back home in working condition. However charging a new price for an old part is illegal. It would have taken me about 2 seconds to ask for the owner and complain loudly.

  16. #16
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    Oh Billy, you are so right. My SIL and her friend both took their machines at the same time into a "well-known" fabric store that also does repairs.

    My SIL has a short in her foot pedal. When she got it back $100.00 later it would not reach the floor. She uses a hat box and bought a new machine. NOT THERE!

    Her friend brought hers in for a tune-up. Approximately $130.00 later, she picked it up and when she opened it at home the tension assembly fell out. They had broken it and never told her. They offered to refund $50.00 back to her.

    She couldn't get replacement parts so also ended up buying a new machine.

  17. #17
    Power Poster dkabasketlady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1jan
    Oh Billy, you are so right. My SIL and her friend both took their machines at the same time into a "well-known" fabric store that also does repairs.

    My SIL has a short in her foot pedal. When she got it back $100.00 later it would not reach the floor. She uses a hat box and bought a new machine. NOT THERE!

    Her friend brought hers in for a tune-up. Approximately $130.00 later, she picked it up and when she opened it at home the tension assembly fell out. They had broken it and never told her. They offered to refund $50.00 back to her.

    She couldn't get replacement parts so also ended up buying a new machine.


    I'd think thaat place would have been buying me the NEW machine or there's be H..L t pay!!
    Any time I've had my machine repaired, I've tried it out before I leave the store!!! I learned the hard way too!

  18. #18
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Our car mechanic shop is owned by our neighbor, we know where he lives. LOL His wife and parents would skin him alive if there were any rumors of cheating a customer at his shop. He has more business then he has room for. He had to hire four new mechanics to keep up with the work one year after he opened his shop. Word got out he was honest and could be trusted. He is building a bigger shop! Honest and fair are still the keys to a successful business.

  19. #19
    JJs
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    All these new fancy-dancy machines that do everything but wash the dishes are great - electronic wonders - they embroider, they sew, they do fancy footwork....
    They cost thousands of dollars...
    They have plastic gears
    they have fryable motherboards

    I have two - A Singer XL1000 and a Brother 2003D - altho both of them are really getting long in the tooth -

    And then there are the old vintage machines - metal gears, steel rods, heavy duty bodies, cams for fancy stitches
    You can pick them up for a song - just need a good cleaning and some tender loving care.

    I use a Singer 319 right now for piecing....
    I'm so glad I have the vintage machines - clean the gunk off, oil and lube and you're good to go! LOL

  20. #20
    Super Member Minda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJs
    All these new fancy-dancy machines that do everything but wash the dishes are great - electronic wonders - they embroider, they sew, they do fancy footwork....
    They cost thousands of dollars...
    They have plastic gears
    they have fryable motherboards

    I have two - A Singer XL1000 and a Brother 2003D - altho both of them are really getting long in the tooth -

    And then there are the old vintage machines - metal gears, steel rods, heavy duty bodies, cams for fancy stitches
    You can pick them up for a song - just need a good cleaning and some tender loving care.

    I use a Singer 319 right now for piecing....
    I'm so glad I have the vintage machines - clean the gunk off, oil and lube and you're good to go! LOL
    They do not all have plastic gears. That's why some cost more than others. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using old or antique machines (I love my Featherweight), but there is also nothing wrong with using new electronic wonders (I love my Bernina and Janome). :-)

  21. #21
    Senior Member pam1966's Avatar
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    I would really be interested in knowing where this was at, since I have to take my machine to Memphis now to get it serviced.

  22. #22
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    Wow, what a great post. Somepeople just are NOT honest, and it IS sad that so many people with out much money are being taken! Kind of why its nice that you're showing us how to do some of this on our own!

  23. #23
    Super Member sewjoyce's Avatar
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    It is so sad when repair shops are not honest -- whether it's fixing your car or your sewing machine....and most of the time, we just have to trust that repairman as we don't know what's wrong, how to fix it or what a "fair" charge would be. And don't get me started on people who have to come into your home to fix an appliance or a leaky roof, etc. :D

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1jan
    Oh Billy, you are so right. My SIL and her friend both took their machines at the same time into a "well-known" fabric store that also does repairs.

    My SIL has a short in her foot pedal. When she got it back $100.00 later it would not reach the floor. She uses a hat box and bought a new machine. NOT THERE!

    Her friend brought hers in for a tune-up. Approximately $130.00 later, she picked it up and when she opened it at home the tension assembly fell out. They had broken it and never told her. They offered to refund $50.00 back to her.

    She couldn't get replacement parts so also ended up buying a new machine.
    Jan I service the older machines, and what I do for a service is over and above what the two shops here in town does.

    I take the machine apart and thoroughly clean the mechanics, I inspect the wiring and make sure the connections are tight (if it is electrical), thoroughly oil the machine, put it back together, check the tension both on the bobbin and the topside, run it at high speed for a few minutes to make sure the machine is oiled and running smoothly. Afterward I will give the machine a good old fashion polish and have it looking like it just left the factory!!

    If it needs any parts then I will contact the owner and let them know what it needs and 9 times out of 10 they still make the parts and I go get them put it in and I put the old part in a zip loc baggie for them to see what it was.

    Then I will take a price of broadcloth folded and ironed and will sew a sample of every stitch to make sure it is in proper order. Then I leave the piece of cloth in the machine to show the customer that it is functioning properly.

    All of this for $65

    Which is about $10 to $20 less than what the other shops here charge for blowing it out and a few drops of oil.

    Billy

  25. #25
    Super Member wvdek's Avatar
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    Billy,

    If I lived closer to you, I would like you to service my machines not only for the price, but for the service and I bet you guarantee yur work.

    Thanks for the heads up.

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