Monday, September 10, 2012

A Really Long Story About My New Baby!

Well not THAT kind of baby

 I'm waay past that. I got a new sewing machine! It's a brand new Baby Lock Ellure Plus. I love this new machine ~ of course I also loved my old machine too.... What I don't love is how I came to get this new machine.

 This is quite a story so make your self comfortable while I tell you my tale of woe..

So this summer the family and I took a trip down to Florida. We saw family and friends and actually had a few touristy days in there as well.  Visited some attractions as well as beaches etc. A great trip for the most part.

 While planning for this vacation I also planned on taking my sewing machine in for servicing while we were gone. I didn't know of any local Baby Lock dealers  here so I decided that I would take my machine in to the shop in Ormond Beach, FL on the way down (Tues) and pick it up on the way back home (Sat).  I called the shop and told them what I wanted to do and they said it would work for them because their tech comes in to work on the machines on Friday. Great!

Packed up the car (over packed really!) and headed south. Will tell you more about our vacation in another post another day but for the sake of this one, lets just move along shall we? Drop the machine off at the shop, which I will not name here ~ but it's a Baby Lock dealer in Ormond Beach, not too difficult to figure out... anyway, I digress... explained the situation again to the very very sweet person working that day. She said it would not be a problem but that they didn't have any other machines at their location that needed servicing so they may send it to their other shop to be serviced if that was okay. I was fine with that because it was also on our way back and I had never been at their other store which was about 20 miles north. I did some fabric shopping and continued on our drive south.

The shop called me on Friday to let me know my machine was cleaned and all ready to go. That it would in fact, be at the Ormond Beach shop for pick up. I verified that they are open until 5:00 on Saturday ~ "yep" and said I would see them the next day on my way back to Virginia.
On Saturday we stopped in Rockledge, picked up the kids and headed for Ormond Beach. Although I didn't think it necessary, Richard called the shop just to verify that the machine was there, ready and someone would be there until 5:00. Again, "yep."

 Well I'm sure you can see where this is heading... We get to the shop at 4:00 on the dot and guess what ~ NO ONE IS THERE!!! The shop is closed. Checked the doors, looked in the windows, called the phone inside ~ nope! I also happened to know that the owner lives about the shop and so I went up there and knocked ~ no one there either. What to do? Got a bright idea and called the security company. They have signs in the window for a number to call in case of emergency and in my mind, this was definitely an emergency!!! Good thing it really wasn't though cause I had to call the company 7 times before I finally got someone to answer ... and when they did they really weren't sure where to find a number to call. They finally did give me a cell phone number but no name, which turned out to be the owners' cell. Unfortunately she didn't answer that either!

We waiting outside the shop until 5:00 thinking maybe they had to run out for a bit or whatever. Kids were soooo not happy with me but I wanted my machine back NOW! But at 5:00 I gave up the ghost and we got back on the road for home.

 I finally heard from the owner on Sunday afternoon. I'm thinking the first thing out of her mouth should have been an apology but what I got were excuses. This one didn't tell this one, that one went home early ... WHATEVER! I had spoken to four different people over the course of the week and they all knew the situation. I told her I needed the machine shipped back to me in VA ~ at her expense and she agreed.

She ended up shipping it Fed Ex ground on Tues and it got to me on Friday I think. I was happy to have it back and decided to open it up and check it out. Took it out of the box, plugged it in and THUD! Thud is the noise it made before doing absolutely NOTHING. The machine light is not working, the needle is bent, the threader is missing and the wheel crank seems to be at an odd angle. I called her immediately to tell her what happened. Guess what, she didn't answer my call. I called again and texted, and called again.... finally I got through to her.

 Again, more excuses. She gave the machine to her husband to ship. He took it to Fed Ex but they were supposed to pack it but they didn't... but at least they insured it. She suggested I take it somewhere local to have it fixed and she would reimburse me for the costs (Duh!). I found a shop about 45 minutes away and took it there, explaining the situation. He was kind enough and curious enough to put my machine at the front of the pile for servicing. Several days later he called to tell me that it wasn't good but he'd fixed it as well as he could ~ to the tune of $250. which I paid him. He said that my machine had to have been either dropped from pretty high up or thrown to do this much damage. That the metal inside the machine was actually bent.

 I called the shop owner in Fla (taking me several more tries to get in touch with her) and she whined and complained about the cost but agreed to reimburse me. It did take several weeks to get her check. In the mean time I could sew with my machine but the tension was off, the led light was funked up and it really wasn't sewing as well as it should, making weird noises and such.
 I decided that this was not an acceptable situation and told the shop owner that since she had insured this machine for a couple of thousand dollars (her words), she should really send me a new machine and file a claim with the shipping company for damaging the machine. Well push comes to shove and it actually wasn't insured!

 Now she ships machines all the time. Who doesn't pack correctly and insure a machine that costs that much money? No one! I was beginning to have some idea of what had probably actually occurred. I think she or someone at the shop actually dropped my machine BEFORE it got shipped back, didn't pack it correctly  and that's why Fed Ex wouldn't insure it. Also the shipping box was in perfect condition. Wouldn't it show signs of being dropped if it happened in transit.

Well her big idea now is for me to bring it to the dealer here, let him repack it and then send it to Baby Lock to be worked on there. It will be at least a month now before I will see my machine again.
At this point I decide ~ no more! This is where it pays to have friends.

 I actually worked at a Baby Lock dealer in Tampa ~ Keep Me In Stitches ~ and they are awesome. I called the owner Melissa and asked her if I could get the number of their rep from Baby Lock who I'd met several times while working there. Not only did she give me her number, she asked me to wait a few minutes to give her time to call Rose first and let her know I was calling and to help me. Well I was beyond thrilled. I called Rose and she had actually just heard from the shop in Ormond Beach... something about a machine damaged in shipping ~ so I told her the whole story and my suspicions. She said to let her do some checking and she would get back to me.

 The next morning I got a call from a very unhappy shop in Ormond Beach, telling me thatTHEY had decided to send me a new machine rather than hassle with the other one. But I needed to send my old machine back to them with ALL the original parts or they were going to take them out of my new machine! Blah blah blah... I called Rose to thank her for the call I just got and she said "that better have been a call telling you that they are sending you a new machine!"

 Not only did Baby Lock send me a new machine ~ they sent me an upgraded version of the new machine. My new baby is amazing and awesome and a dream to sew on. I've always loved Baby Lock over all the other machines I've sewn on ~ and I've sewn all almost all of them including Bernina. I have recommended them to so many friends and will continue to do so.

 Not only is the machine itself wonderful ~ the employees who stand behind them are fantastic as well. I don't think I'll be going to the shop in Ormond Beach again ~ but I have now know where I can take my machine here to be serviced. They unfortunately don't sell fabric but that's probably a good thing!


Michele said...

Sorry about your tale of woe, but glad you've got a new machine. The people I know that have Babylocks just love them. And was the repair shop the one in Ellicott City? They have a good reputation, and come to our quilt show every year, loan our service projects machines to sew on during the show.

Sandra :) said...

I hate Baby Locks - my Decorator's Choice has been a PITA since it was about 2 years old, and the dealer that sold it to me, was never able to fix it properly. Apparently I'm the only person in the world that got a lemon Baby Lock (yours wasn't a lemon - it was damaged by that shop - of that I'm certain!). I'd never in a million years buy another one. I'm glad your story ended well - I was expecting to read that you had to fork over a LOT of money for yours, so I'm glad you didn't have to - you should register a complaint with the Better Business Bureau!

Jeanne said...

Barb, your story made me so mad at that shop owner. They were being sneaky! They were hoping you would just let it go. Good for you to go to the length that you did!! I live on the west coast, so I don't know about your area, but I would verbally tell anyone I could about what kind of dealership they are.

I'm so thrilled you were given a better machine! I wonder what they did with your old one? I wonder why it was so important that they got all the parts? Were they going to file a claim and try and get some money back for it? Something is up there.

I agree that they probably dropped it and tried to make it look like FedEx Ground did it. Shame on them.