Thursday, September 27, 2012

Just Say NO To Baby Lock

I feel the need to rant again. I've been doing that a lot lately. However, I don't think it's me getting unreasonably frustrated with other people. I think everyone else just needs to quit pissing me off.

Today's rant is about my 22 year old sewing machine. I know, I know, I could get a brand new one with tons more features for under $100 at Wal Mart. But I don't want a brand new cheap sewing machine. I want my awesome old one fixed. The problem is that I want it fixed for free. Or partially free anyway.

It's not that I'm against paying for repairs. Heck, I'd even spend more than what that cheap Wal Mart machine costs just to get this one fixed if I had to. But see...I don't think I should have to.

Here is the warranty that I received with my machine 22 years ago. I also have the official proof of purchase certificate that came with it. And yes, I do realize how bizarre it is that I still have these things.

The way I read it, if anything on my machine proves to be defective within 25 years, except for the electrical stuff and the expendable parts listed, then Baby Lock will repair or replace them.

This little machine has run like a dream until just recently when these issues popped up. They seem to be pretty minor to me, in fact I'm pretty sure I could repair all of them myself if I had the right parts but no one will sell them to me and none of the online sewing machine places have the parts I need.

Here's my issues:

The plastic hand wheel knob thingie broke off and needs to be replaced.
The stitch reverse lever no longer works.
The feed dog lever will lower the feed dogs but will not raise them back up.

I might be willing to concede that the plastic knob falls under that normal wear and tear category that isn't covered under the warranty. And that's a big concession on my part since up until recently I used this machine maybe 4 times a year. Just drove it to church and back. The other problems are mechanical and the machine should function for at least 25 years, right? If they stop working before the warranty term is up and they are not victims of wear and tear then they must be defective. The feed dog lever is definitely defective since I just found it and used it for the first time a few days ago.

A service center would surely be able to see that my machine is still in practically new condition if I could actually get a service center to look at it. I called one of my local centers and told them about the broken knob. I said I felt sure I could stick a replacement knob on there myself if I had one and asked them if they would order it for me. The woman I spoke to recommended that I bring in the machine so they could do their $65 diagnostic service on it since the broken knob could be a sign of a more significant internal problem. I will take my machine to them as soon as I become a complete idiot.

I called another center and explained my minor problems to them. This place refused to even look at the machine since I didn't buy it there...even though they are an authorized repair center.

Instead of calling my last 2 local authorized centers, I called Baby Lock directly. I explained my situation to the woman on the phone who repeatedly told me that my machine's issues are not covered under the warranty since their machines now have only a 10 year warranty. I don't care if their new machines have a 10 minute warranty. Mine has a 25 year warranty which I now see was nothing more than a marketing ploy to sell machines.

This afternoon I spoke to a different woman at corporate headquarters. Baby Lock is owned by the Tacony Corporation, in case you ever need to know that. After going through the whole song and dance again she asked me to email her a scan of my warranty. I did so and and asked her to call me after she'd had time to look it over.

Instead she sent me an email that said, "When was the last time your machine was serviced? We recommend annual cleaning and oiling for all Baby Lock machines".


What does that have to do with anything?!! Is she trying to suggest that I have neglected my machine which would therefore void the warranty? Is she really that desperate to find a way to get out of covering my maybe $50 repairs?? This company sells computerized sewing machines and sergers that cost thousands of dollars. Do yourself a favor and don't ever, EVER buy one. If they will jump through these kinds of hoops to get out of paying for a lever that didn't work the first time it was ever used, I can only imagine what they would do if a CPU went out.

I replied (amazingly civilly) to this gal's email and told her that my machine has never been serviced. They may recommend annual service on their machines now, but 22 years ago they did not. I know this because I still have the original manual that came with my machine and there is no mention whatsoever of any kind of annual servicing. In fact, the only maintenance they mention is cleaning the lint from under the face plate which I have done many times. As for oiling it, my manual says in bold letters NOT to oil the shuttle hook or shuttle race. Whatever those are.

I fully expect to hear from her again tomorrow and wouldn't be surprised if she asked if I've ever spilled a Coke in my machine or used it in the bath tub.

On the upside, I did find email addresses for all of Tacony's executive officers on their website. I sent a nice long email (complete with visual aids) explaining all the details of my dilemma to the CEO, the COO, the Senior Vice President of Sewing Products and the Executive Vice President. If the janitor had an email address I would have sent it to him too. I will be up bright and early tomorrow morning waiting for my phone to ring. If it doesn't ring by 10 a.m., Tacony's phone will be ringing and will continue to ring on a daily basis until they get so tired of dealing with me that they'll take care of this just to get rid of me.

I will be like a pre-prom night cold sore.

Like an oozing zit on picture day.

I'll be a rash that makes the thought of poison ivy seem soothing.

I will be the non-stop loop of "It's A Small World" running through their brains day and night.

I will make them run to the 24-hour dentist office in the strip mall and beg for a root canal.

And if that doesn't work I might have to get a little annoying.


CraftyLoops said...

Yippee.....look Shannon.....Im stalking you.....Opps, I mean following your blog now too as well as YT. You are so funny Shannon, this post had me in stitches. I think our sense of humours must be very similar. I hope you got this all sorted out. The company is really fighting repairing your machine. Considering its not that big a job, you'd think they'd just fix it. You can only hope to keep annoying them so much that they give in and fix your machine, teehee. Here's hoping you can annoy them enough, lol. Good luck. Let us know how you get on. Lee x (Crafty Loops on YT)

Anonymous said...

My kinda gal! I can't stand it when companies don't do what they're supposed to!

By the way, I loved your folio tuts...made mine right along with you and it turned out great!

Anonymous said...

By the way, I'm not your mom, I just don't know how to change that!


cjsrq said...

You go girl!!!!! I want you on my side the next time I need to deal with corporate America! Your sense of humor is awesome. I hope that someday you put your blogs/comments on YouTube into book form. Christie

Shannon Green said...

That's okay CraftyLoops, I'll just stalk ya right back!

Nancy, that cracked me up! I thought OMG my mother knows about my blog??!! Crap, can't talk about her anymore.

Christie, I hate confrontation of any kind so if I can find something funny about it, that helps!

Anonymous said...

Shannon, I just started reading your blog today, and skimmed through some of it. I hope I'm not repeating something that has been posted, but I have a question for you. Did you know that the feed dogs won't come back up, after you use the lever to drop them? You need to put the lever in the feed dogs "up" position, and start sewing. They will then raise back up.

Shutterbugg said...

I remember good ol' Cloth World! My mom used to take me there when I was younger! Good times, good times