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Thread: The sewing machine debacle

  1. #1
    Super Member mimee4's Avatar
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    Or how I almost spent Christmas eve in the slammer
    I had two machines that needed cleaning and one of them also needed repair. As I did not know where to take them, I found a place about 30 minutes away on yellowpages.com. The man assured me that he worked on all sewing machines. So I took them in on Dec 17.

    I should have walked right out. The place was also a vacuum repair shop and they sold sofas, mattresses and bunk beds, too.
    I explained what I needed to have done and the owner told me they would both be done by Wednesday Dec 22. Of course neither were ready when I called. He did tell me there was something wrong with the one that only needed cleaning. We argued back and forth and I went to the shop the next morning to see for myself. Obviously he didnít know what he was talking about and I paid his huge cleaning bill and brought that machine home. Of course, it hadnít been cleaned. By now I was steaming. I wanted my money back and the other machine, too. I called one more time and said Iíd be back on the day before Christmas. Never should have warned him.
    The owner wasnít there when I got to the shop and the ďin-shop-manĒ said I was not getting any money back. My other machine was not in the shop but elsewhere. I asked to talk to the owner and he put me through on their phone. I demanded my machine and my money back.
    The owner said he absolutely wouldn't refund any money and he would have my machine back in the shop in an hour or so. AND I'd have to pay a work bench fee. AND he didn't care if I called the police or what (though I didn't suggest that I would call the police.) I am naive and not very courageous but this had my dander up (can you tell Iím 70 years old?) So I called the police. Unfortunately they said, this is a civil case and they couldnít do anything about it. I hung around in the shop a short while, trying to convince the in-shop-guy to give me my money back. Funny, though, in about 5 minutes, the owner called the shop guy and the conversation went like: Yes, she's still here. Yes, she called the police. Ok, I'll tell her. So now I was the bad guy! THEY were going to call the police and get me for trespass. Gee, I didn't want to go to jail on Christmas Eve, so I did leave. Now I don't know if I'll ever get my machine back!
    Iíve never run across such unscrupulous people before and Iím embarrassed that I was taken in. Yes, I will be contacting a lawyer as well as the Better Business Bureau in Williamsport PA about Swopes. If you live in or near there, run from that place and never ever take anything there or deal with them. :evil:

  2. #2
    Super Member Leota's Avatar
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    WOW... I'm soo sorry this happened to you...
    Do get you a good lawyer... this is very unethical on the shops part...

  3. #3
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    they were right, it is a civil matter. I would take them to small claims court if they charged you for something they did not do. I don't think a lawyer is necessary or would even be willing to take on a case like this, unless you have one in the family, which is always handy!

  4. #4
    Super Member oatw13's Avatar
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    I am so sorry for your horrible experience. It is a shame that there are people out there like that who will take advantage of people. Unfortunately, it is a civil situation and there isn't really anything the police can do to help.

    Do you have a local TV network with a consumer advocate? Our local networks have them and they will help people with problems like this for no cost. They usually get good results because they publish the stories.

    I hope you get this resolved quickly.

  5. #5
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    Wow! Hope you get your other machine back! I gather you're planning on taking the lawyer with you when you go back?

  6. #6
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    I think that letting everyone you know in on your story will be your best revenge. Small businesses often rely on word of mouth.

    I also want to say that I sent a machine in once because I I had trouble with the feed dogs not dropping. I picked it up the next day and they told me they had cleaned for me. Yeah, right!! I could tell it hadn't been touched. Sad how easily people will lie to you.

  7. #7
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    What an awful experience! Good of you to warn others. I'd go back there with a bunch of men with you, like 4+, maybe some suits. Don't say who they are. The unknown is scarier. If that doesn't work, get on your local news, like "the fixer". Ripping off senior ladies is so scummy. When you shine a light on roaches, they scatter.

  8. #8
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    2 words. Judge Judy.

  9. #9
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    That is so horrible. Hope all works out for you.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by oatw13
    I am so sorry for your horrible experience. It is a shame that there are people out there like that who will take advantage of people. Unfortunately, it is a civil situation and there isn't really anything the police can do to help.

    Do you have a local TV network with a consumer advocate? Our local networks have them and they will help people with problems like this for no cost. They usually get good results because they publish the stories.

    I hope you get this resolved quickly.
    We have a local news channel here that investigates things like this. It would make a very interesting story. Wish I lived close by to see this on the news! Good Luck and I hope you do something and not let the skunk get away with cheating people.

  11. #11

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    I'm so sorry to hear about your experience. This is one reason I like to pay by credit card. Some card companies are great about stopping payment if services aren't rendered. You don't need to "ask" for your money back. Good luck getting the machine, and I also recommend the local news for help!

  12. #12
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    They've got her machine. This is a hostage situation!

  13. #13
    Super Member mimisharon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maia B
    They've got her machine. This is a hostage situation!
    EXACTLY!!!

    The police should be able to get your machine back with the receipt tag. THAT they can do, especially with the mismanaged cleaning of the first machine and the ill will of the establishment.

  14. #14
    Super Member Maride's Avatar
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    You should have stayed and wait for him to call the police. Number one, they would have laughed at him for accusing you of trespassing, when you hold a receipt and he is holding an item that belongs to you. If he refuses to return it, he is the one going to jail, not you.

    When you know the shop is open, go back. Drive around or go to the nearest police precint. Ask a cop if he would go in with you because he refuses to return your machine and you are afraid to go in if fear of your safety. Once you tell them this, they can not refuse you protection. It may be a civil case but once your safety is compromised it isn't anymore. You will see the machine show up. You may have to give in and pay the fee to prove that you mean peace. All he can do to you is to tell you never to go back, but I don't think you would do that anyways.

  15. #15
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Yuck so sorry to hear you had to deal with this. So wrong!

  16. #16
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    Let all your friends know. If you belong to a local club, warn them. If you or family belong to a local Senior's club, warn them. Don't worry, once word gets rolling it will pick up steam and cover an amazing amount of the town.

    When you return, take some big guy with you with a video camera..cameras scare the heck out of the less honest!! Be polite, write out your problem on paper and learn it by heart,
    then give your speech and don't argue with him. Speak up plainly and make it obvious you are talking to the camera.

  17. #17
    Super Member mimee4's Avatar
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    To each of you, thank you for your ideas. I'll let you know the results.

  18. #18
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    Well, mimee4, I pray you get your machine & $$ back with the least possible hassle. This is horrifying. Do keep us posted. PA quilters, be prepared to stage a machine rescue operation!

  19. #19
    Senior Member bgullett's Avatar
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    Sorry for your ordeal. I just don't understand how business owners think they can do this to people. I would let it be well known what type of business this is and how they are running it by way local television news people or the local newspaper.

  20. #20
    Cyn
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    Super Member Cyn's Avatar
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    Sorry for your experience. I hate when people do that and get away with it!

  21. #21
    Super Member maryb119's Avatar
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    contact the Better Business Bureau. I contacted them when the computer shop tried to cheat me. They took care of the problem and I got a new computer.

  22. #22
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    There are two sewing machine "repair people" in the town where I live. One is capable of doing very good work but usually dumps it off to some new employee and you can't get it back for three months, so I won't take it to him any more. The other is a 40-ish person who really means well but lacks experience and he cleaned my machine and it came back all oily and the zig zag and fancy stitches wouldn't change width. I drove 50 miles to the next nearest place and got a pretty young man and thought, great another one with no experience, but to my surprise he did a wonderful job and he now has the Pfaff to adjust the famcy stitches and adjust the needle threader. Hate to drive 100 mile round trip but it's worth it to save the hassle!

  23. #23
    Super Member mimee4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maryb119
    contact the Better Business Bureau. I contacted them when the computer shop tried to cheat me. They took care of the problem and I got a new computer.
    This is reassuring. I've heard from one other person whom these people cheated!

  24. #24
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I am so sorry you're having this problem. I feel fortunate that I bought my machine from a shop with a great reputation, and they have never let me down. I hope this works out well for you, despite the aggravation.

  25. #25
    Power Poster dkabasketlady's Avatar
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    So sorry for your trouble with not ONE but TWO machines!! What a nightmare! Please do keep us informed and I hope it all works out for the best!!!

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