Losing Trust in My Dealer

The last six months I’ve had some issues with my Husqvarna Viking Topaz 20 that have caused me to visit my dealer more than usual.


The first main issue was the uptake lever that I had worked on in September 2012 when it also received its first full cleaning. They added a little modification to the uptake lever so that the thread would stop popping off of it. The modification still only works about 85% of the time.

Issue #1: When I took it to the dealer to request the uptake lever modification they had no idea what I was talking about.

In my opinion, when you have a line of sewing machines with a known issue that requires a warranty modification to be installed your employees should know about it. I don’t care if you employ 15 different people on the floor that work different days – they should all be knowledgeable about the machines you carry and what issues older models might have.

I had to bring in a print out with the information I gathered off of a Yahoo Group for Topaz machines where those ladies informed me of the modification that was available for the uptake lever and another modification that was usually performed on the tension discs.

Thankfully the repair guy knew what the modification was and did it on my machine. He also says he cleaned and tuned it up but now I’m not so sure that happened.

Issue #2: I bring my machine back in for a thread tension problem, repair guy claims he cleaned and inspected the tension discs and I get home to find this in my machine:


I haven’t used brown embroidery thread in weeks.

That thread nest is located in the bottom loop between the tension disks and uptake lever as the top thread is put through the machine. I had no idea there was an access door I could easily remove to see back there and find if anything was caught. I didn’t know this until I brought it in for repair and saw the Dealer rep working the floor that day remove it to look at it before she put it in the back for the repair guy.

The angle she had the machine didn’t allow me to see what she saw unfortunately or I’d have spotted that huge thread nest immediately and taken my machine back home.

I tested it last night with my regular Aurifil piecing thread and got that to work okay once I turned the tension up and then I began to embroider a patch. The thread kept breaking so I took the access panel off to find that brown thread nest.

So I’m guessing the repair guy likely just tested out stitches on my machine and never opened it to look at the tension discs at all. I didn’t get charged for it but I wasn’t really worried about that – I just want my machine to work properly. I’d have been happy to pay for a diagnostic fee as long as I knew my machine was actually looked at.

I know the issue with the repair person isn’t exactly a dealer problem but it reflects poorly on them. Not to mention when I showed up to pick my machine up the rep assigned to the sewing machine floor that night was nowhere to be found for about 10 minutes. She apparently was out shopping for a large Christmas decoration for her daughter in other parts of JoAnn Fabrics while I waited from what she told me.

So I’m a bit soured on my Dealer right now. I still like my machine very much I just wish the support after the purchase was like it was when I first got it. Last year the staff were much more knowledgeable and helpful. Now it seems every time I go in I get someone that doesn’t know anything or isn’t very friendly at all.

If I could trade it in for a Pfaff right now I totally would.


  1. I totally agree with you Katie. After sale support is so incredibly important. The service person in our area is brand new and, while he is friendly, I am nervous about him touching my machine. My only other choice is to drive out of town for service but, until I hear he is making my other friends happy, I’m reluctant to use my machine as his test bed. We invest a ton of money in our machines and the thought that a service person could wreck that is frightening.

  2. shelly grappe says:

    Tell them nicely you feel you must contact the company and complain. Then tell the company your issues and disappoints with the machine. Also tell them you run a podcast, teach classes,go to message boards and yahoo groups. Let them know you go to these media sites to ask questions and make comments on the machine you have and it’s problem. I just went through this with a major company….and they did the fix, sent the correct item, paid for shipping on the return item and gave me a $100.00 in spending cash on there site. It was the message boards and the fact that I am teacher and a big mouth that got their attention. Fight for what is right. If the machine is less than one year old, ask for 90% of value on a new machine of your choice. shelly beth Fight the good fight and always ask to speak to the head of customer relations…speak the harsh speak nicely and professionally. Your opinion matters to the sewist of the world let them know this!

  3. Been there done that, and I feel for you. After all my Viking trouble, my dealer actually gave me 100% credit towards a new machine as long as I “upgraded”. My new “upgrade” doesn’t really seem to be an upgrade at all. I does half of what my old machine did and has a bunch of weird quirks that I haven’t gotten used to. I ended up giving this new machine to my daughter (mostly because in the nearly 9 months it took them to try to fix my old machine, I had gone out and bought a Janome). She is just learning to sew and it seems to be working alright for her basic needs. BUT, I would have liked to have avoided the whole mess in the first place.

  4. Wasn’t there a Podcast by Brye Lynn about Vikings that was bad as well?
    OK no new Vikings. That is what happened to Singer years ago. BAD PRODUCT and BAD SERVICE.
    I say we stand up and fight. I have heard some wisperings about Bernina machines lately in my area of southern California.
    These machines are way to expensive for these problems and should be taken care of right away.

    • Brye Lynn had Janome troubles: Here’s her post on it

      Dealers should offer better service and support.

      • Janomes and Viking. Well looks like a trend for all of these fancy new machines.
        I have an Elna and have not had any trouble except that the repairman scratched the plastic outside casing while working on it.

      • I love machine embroidery so I’ll always have a combo machine I just wish I could find a decent dealer. Thankfully I have a good repair person I can turn to. She fixes the older machines and did a good job on my basic Janome repair. I like that she comes to my house to do the repairs too.

  5. That is great the she comes to your house. In our area you have to drop off the machine, hope they do not hurt it and then wait for them to call you. It could be weeks.

  6. I also think you should tell the parent company, the highest up email address you can find. Even if they don’t do anything it will make you feel better. Nothing worse than crappy customer service, best thing to do is fire them and go somewhere else.

  7. A long time ago, before children, I worked retail management. I can tell you that a huge problem that management has is not being able to be everywhere in the store and know all the problems customers (and employees) are having. As bad as it sounds, we quite often have to rely on customers to complain about an employee before we get wind of the problem (employees are typically reluctant to tell management about a bad employee for fear of reprisal by other employees).

    So…PLEASE let management know of the problem. Without that knowledge they can’t fix it. Perhaps the repair guy has too many machines to repair and an impossible deadline (set either by customers or management)…..perhaps he’s incompetent….perhaps he just had a bad day. But management can’t assess and find a remedy if they don’t know.

    Frankly….I would suggest that you send Joanns and Husvarna/Viking a copy of this blog post…..except for the needed detail of which branch of Joanns, it has everything they need, including photos!! to step up and take care of this. And your last line should have H/V clammoring for Joanns to resolve the issue immediately and to do some quality checks before other machines go out the door for a while to be sure it was either an unfortunate isolated incident or that the deficiency is permanently resolved. PLEASE do not feel that you are “bothering” them or even worry that an employee might get in trouble……they need to know so they can fix this and if the employee isn’t doing their job, well…….

  8. Contact Viking and tell them your issues! Don’t let this company get away with poor quality machinery or bad customer service. Find ANOTHER Viking dealer and see if they will “accommodate” you. It may just be that particular dealer that has issues.
    The Janome/Viking dealer (that is now out of business) here that I went to about my Janome was rude and condescending. I took it to someone else (not a Janome dealer) and they were very helpful.
    Stand your ground. Tell the business owner your issues with them. They may not know it is happening when they aren’t there (may be an employee issue).

  9. I have had a Topaz 30 for three years and I have had no problems with mine at all. I have a wonderful dealer who has given me many, many hours of support and I was shown different tips to keep my machine clean and also about the access door on my first lesson, besides all my hours of instruction. Contact Husqvarna Viking and Joann Fabrics and explain your situation. I am very satisfied with my machine. Hope your problem is resolved. It’s so frustrating.

  10. I completely agree with Carol. Send them this post. That’s not acceptable and they should know about it.
    I had my Janome for 23 yrs and had my first malfunction with the back stitch a couple of years ago. This year it went again so my husband treated me to a new Janome. It doesn’t feel like it has the weight of my old one…and my old one wasn’t hi-tech but so far I’m loving it.

  11. You certainly have an issue that I hope would be taken care of by the store. I agree with Carol getting your voice heard. Guess when we spend this much $$$$ we hope the dealer will stand behind product and not just out for the sale. Sometimes I wonder if it’s the old “girl/women” problem where we are NOT taken seriously when we do voice an issue.

    I have an Pfaff sewing machine and my sister has Baby Lock. We both have Elan sergers. Both of us are happy with machines. I bought my Pfaff 2nd one because of the dealer in my area. So far have had good service.

    Since my Pfaff sewing machine is not new I wish you would go to Pfaff and then I could listen to you talk per podcast and blog and maybe be tempted to purchase a newer model.

    • If I could afford to trade it in for a new Pfaff I totally would. Probably won’t be able to upgrade for another 3-4 years I think. I’d like to make this one last at least that long.

      It’s great to hear you love your Pfaff though!

  12. I have the Viking Diamond and I have had nothing but trouble with it. If I had it to do over again, I would not buy a Viking anything. I had Vikings in the past that were excellent that’s why I purchased the brand again. I don’t think the quality is there any more, and regret buying it. My dealer has done all the repair work with exceptional service, but I am losing the desire to sew because I have an issue with the machine on nearly every project. I have sewing for 40 years!

    • Oh that is awful to hear. The Diamond looked like a nice machine. You’re lucky you had a great dealer to work with through all those issues! It’s a shame you don’t want to sew anymore because of the machine problems.

  13. One more thing I am interested in what interest you in looking at Pfaff ?

    • I’ve sewn on a few Pfaff machines and I like how smoothly they sew and quilt. I love the IDT feature too. When I was shopping for a computerized machine to upgrade I didn’t think they’d be in my price range so I didn’t even bother looking. I probably should have called to see if the dealer had anything available. Now I know better! My next machine will definitely be a Pfaff.

  14. Shelley Meyers says:

    I had a viking sapphire and it would not work right so I took it back to the dealer I bought it from and he said to bad!! Would not look at, fix, or trade, so I contacted the better business bureau and the viking main office. I ended up with a full refund. I got a pfaff, and it was pretty good a few problems I did like the IDT and the FMQ. The owner of the shop I bought it from was really rude and mean. I recently bought 2 baby locks, one for piecing and one for FMQ and so far I love love love them both. Goood Luck!!!

  15. That is such a shame. I have an older Viking and I love it to pieces, better than my Bernina. But I had the greatest dealer in the world in Phoenix, and the repair person also serviced my longarm, at my house. It’s time to take it in here for a cleaning and I’m hoping the dealer here is as good. I see that your solution was a Pfaff, and there’s a great dealer here with Pfaffs, too. I hope the new machine works out wonderfully for you.

  16. Lis Martion says:

    OMG!!! They really have put you through the ringer…I feel really pissed off and it hasn’t happened to me, but to you. I think I would have really gone off my head at them…

  17. Pfaff, VIking and Singer are all owned by the same umbrella company now. I wouldn’t touch any of those three anymore after what I went though with my Designer Diamond Deluxe-Pfaff used to be EXCELLENT…I don’t know anymore. This is why switched to Bernina. A family owned company. You have a question & can call or email them and they’ll happily help you out and they respond pretty quickly. Call Viking, they put you on hold for a half hour.they don’t want to know you after they get your money.


  1. […] on the ticket said the repair person cleaned the tension discs. I beg to differ (see post “Losing Trust in my Dealer” with photographic proof of a thread nest near the tension discs that wasn’t cleaned […]