Home » Sewing Machines » Viking Sapphire 855 » Why I will never again purchase or recommend Husqvarna Viking sewing machines

Why I will never again purchase or recommend Husqvarna Viking sewing machines

Update: My machine was returned on February 2nd, 2013. See my “Final Thoughts on Husqvarna Viking” post for more info. I hope this is the end of the repair saga. It seems the part is still scarce so I have no idea how they found one for my machine.

2nd Update: See Tampa Bay Sewing Center’s response to my Better Business Bureau complaint here where they call me a liar.


I suppose I’ll begin at the beginning. For those that don’t want to read this entire post I’ll sum up my recommendations for you:

Rethink your purchase from a Husqvarna Viking dealer unless it has a good reputation for maintenance and customer service. Corporate won’t deal with you if it is a privately owned branch.

The combo machines (embroidery/sewing) have documented tension problems, especially the early models. 

If the person selling you the machine doesn’t know how to work it you need to leave, immediately. The dealer my Topaz 20 was purchased from had inexperienced people on the floor selling machines they had no idea how to use. 

I give companies the benefit of the doubt.  I don’t review products before they are tested and I won’t badmouth a company unless they refuse to fix a known issue in a timely manner. I understand sometimes things go wrong but what I don’t understand is bad customer service both from the Dealer level and the Corporate level.  Here is my story.



Viking Sapphire 855February 26, 2011 - Purchased Viking Sapphire 855 from Tampa Bay Sewing Center located inside JoAnn Fabrics. - This was my first experience with Viking machines. I did tons of research before my purchase and this model had all the features I wanted. It worked great, sewed great and quilted great. I had a wonderful purchase experience with the floor rep at the dealer. I don’t think she works there anymore.

September 10, 2011 - Purchase Viking Topaz 20 – I gave my Sapphire 855 to a friend and did several quilt commissions to pay for this machine after she decided to give it to me shortly after she purchased it.  It is important to note that once my friend decided to swap machines with me we both spoke to representatives at the dealer requesting our information to be updated in their computer system. The first rep told us that shouldn’t be a problem. We were later told it wasn’t possible to do but that if we ever needed service we could just bring the machines in and they would look them up under the original names and service them accordingly.

Shredding and needle breakage Begins

January 2012 – Thread Shredding and Breakage begins – I began learning machine embroidery on the Topaz in January of 2012. I noticed that my thread would break and shred during certain stitch outs. At the time I was rather inexperienced and I didn’t understand why it was happening. I blamed it on the thread or the design.  It was sporadic and there wasn’t much I could do to fix it other than rethread the machine and hope for the best when I started the design again.

I tried various fixes to solve this inconsistent problem. Nothing fixed it long term. I tried different thread brands, needles, thread conditioner, stabilizers, bobbin thread, designs and speeds on the machine.

I began observing my machine to see what was going on with the thread as it was stitching. I quickly figured out my thread popped off the uptake lever arm and would shred under the needle after it popped off. The uptake lever had a design flaw where there was nothing preventing the thread from popping off of it or slipping out when sewing at high speeds. Even at low speeds this began occurring. Using a thread net didn’t prevent this from happening either.

I called my dealer to find out if anyone had heard of this problem before I brought the machine in for it’s first annual service in September 2012. The floor rep working that day had never heard of it the problem. So I did some more research. Yahoo Groups has a Viking Topaz group and I read through several posts there. I found that there are two modifications covered under warranty that I was not notified about. One was an uptake lever modification to fix the exact problem I was having with the thread popping off. I didn’t understand why Viking wouldn’t notify owners of the machine of the available modification.

Corgi stickerSeptember 10, 2012 - Viking Topaz Brought in for 1st Annual Service, cleaning and Uptake Lever Modification - I had to bring a printout that I got from the Yahoo Groups page explaining the modification I was requesting since the floor rep had never heard of it and didn’t know if the repair person would know about it. This was a major red flag for me and foreshadowed problems to come.

The modification was done on my machine and it was supposedly cleaned and serviced. I say supposedly for a reason which I’ll get to in a minute.

At the end of October 2012 I began having tension issues. They were sporadic and were typically fixed by turning the machine on and off or leaving the machine off for a while before trying to sew again. I was having tension issues while sewing and while doing embroidery.

November 24, 2012 – I take the machine back to the dealer for thread tension problems.  I reached my breaking point in trying to get the machine to cooperate. It was happening more and more. I visited my dealer and dropped the machine off for service.

November 28, 2012 – Machine comes back. Dealer reports nothing is wrong with it. Dealer said repair person tested it and said nothing was wrong. The note 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 out after service).

December 2, 2012 - I take my machine back to the dealer to sew with the manager We manage to replicate the problem once while doing embroidery and a few times while sewing with regular thread and Aurifil thread. The manager made some adjustments to the bobbin case and then completely replaced the bobbin case thinking that would fix it. It worked at the store. I sewed normally and we tested the embroidery unit. I decided to take the machine home to see if that fixed the problem.

December 3, 2012 – Tension problems get worse. After I got home they got even worse than before. I called the manager and told her I’d be bringing the machine in on Saturday, December the 8th. 

December 8, 2012 – Dropped off machine with the dealer for service. I spoke with the store manager about the machine and told her I didn’t want it back until the problem was fixed.

December 18, 2012 – Called dealer for update.  – I called the dealer to find out what was going on since I hadn’t heard anything. The floor rep told me they’d replaced the motherboard but that didn’t fix it so now they wanted to replace the tension assembly. They had to wait on the part to come in.

December 27, 2012 – Left message to find out status of repair. – I have a strange conversation with the floor rep who calls the manager at home about my problem. The manager informs her that I apparently had a conversation with her when she informed me about the part needed to fix it. They claim they offered me a used version or a new version and I picked the new version because I wanted it done right.  This conversation never occurred. I had to call to find out what was going on, they never called me. She then informs the floor rep the part is on indefinite backorder and she has no idea when it will be available.

I called Viking Corporate. Left a message for the regional manager. Asked for him to call me. He has never called. He finally called me on January 31, 2013 after this was posted. 

January 4, 2013 – Call to find out status of part and complain about length of time it is taking. Manager informs me she is going to call Viking the following week to try and find out when the part will be available. Last time she tried to call she said she was on hold too long and didn’t want to wait.

January 8, 2013 - Manager informs me part will not be available until Mid-February.  She finally offers a loaner machine. I ask why I haven’t been offered a loaner machine or a replacement since it is taking this long. She told me they normally didn’t do loaners since they don’t really have any machines to loan other than floor models. I told her a loaner wouldn’t do me any good at this point, I really needed a replacement since it was going to be another month. She didn’t acknowledge the request.

At this point I’ve given up. They are holding my $2,800 machine hostage.

January 20, 2013 – I speak to manager of other branch of Tampa Bay Sewing Center. She offers to help find out what is going on with the part and see what she can do about a possible replacement. I explain the situation to her and express my disappointment with the brand and customer service that I’ve had so far. She apologizes and says she will call me back.

January 21, 2013 – Other manager notifies me that the part is still on backorder but that it might be available sooner than they thought. She said she will let me know what she finds out soon. No mention of a replacement.


If you’re horrified about this leave a comment. If you’ve had a similar experience with the same brand or a different one leave a comment. If you are going to share this story with a friend that is currently shopping for a new sewing machine please leave a comment. Let’s show Husqvarna Viking and other sewing machine brands that treatment like this is not acceptable. 

I cling to my last bit of hope that I might get my machine back after three or four months of it collecting dust in a repair shop.


Updates:

January 29, 2013Called dealer manager again to get update. She was surprised no one had called me yet to let me know Corporate has been alerted to my problem and has been working on resolving it quickly. She said I should expect a call soon. She told me they estimate a part for my machine to come in by February 8, 2013.

January 31, 2013Regional Manager calls me personally. Informs me they had part issues and my replacement part was in a shipment that was rejected by Viking due to quality assurance issues. They had to wait on a new batch of parts to be manufactured. They estimate my machine might be returned to me on February 2, 2013. I requested they please test it and ensure the tension is working properly before I make the trip out to the store which is 40 minutes from my home one way. He ensures it will be tested in the shop and again at the dealer.

February 2, 2013 – Pick up fixed machine from dealer. Machine was tested by employees in the store throughout the day and I also sewed on it for about 45 minutes before taking it home. Hopefully it’s now fixed.

My machine was in the repair shop for 56 days.

A portion of that was time before and during Christmas – probably the most critical time of the year for most people including myself.  My dealer didn’t offer me a loaner machine until January 8, 2013 – a month after it had been sitting in the shop and well after Christmas.

Followup:

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104 Comments

  1. I used to work at a Viking Dealership inside a Joann’s. I also worked in a Pfaff dealership in a quilt shop. I will say strictly from my own experience and opnion that each line of machines have their good models and their less than desirable models. I have a Viking Lisa, which is an electronic limited edition machine they only had for a limited time. It is a hybrid of two machines from their regular line at the time and it works OK. I much prefer to use my industrial machine and use the viking for anything that requires a zig zag machine (buttonholes, etc.) or machine quilting. Any issues I’ve had had more to do with using the right needle for the project. My main complaint is the feed is pretty weak. Again, that could be the settings I may or may not adjust correctly for the right project…or it could be the feed dogs. For this reason, I wish I had waited and bought a pfaff with the built in feed dogs, but I wasn’t aware of their machines at the time. At any rate, the dealer really should be on your side. I’m sorry you’ve had a such a terrible experience – it may just be this model that has shown issues and they should be aware of that – you definitely shouldn’t have to bring in something from the yahoo forums to educate them. They should be willing to exchange or do SOMETHING. I hope you can find resolution soon!

  2. About the pfaff, I meant to say built in walking foot, not built in feed dogs…all machines have built in feed dogs – DOH!

  3. Well stated and well documented. You’ve been patient beyond what most people would be. Husqvarna Viking has failed you in every possible way in their treatment of you. I’ll be happy to share this story. I was seriously considering buying a HV Megastitcher, but will not do that now.

  4. Hi Katie,
    I shared this on both twitter and facebook. As I’ve told you before, I might’ve one day considered buying this brand, and possibly at a Joann’s since I’m there so often, but not now. When you began sharing your experience, I started to take note that there are similarities at my local store…machine department not well staffed, employees are not knowledgeable etc.
    I find it horrendous that a product of such high cost isn’t given any more care than one I picked up at walmart. Treating customers so poorly is inexcusable, both on the part of viking and this dealer. I’m glad you moved on to another dealer and shared your story.

  5. I purchased a very basic sewing maching from the HV store in a Joann’s. I wanted a back-up for w hen my main machine was being serviced, the purchase being prompted by a 2-4 week service window during a period of time when I needed to do a lot of sewing. I was THRILLED with my Singer Confidence for about 9 months. When it started having issues, however, I received nothing but grief.

    To my shame, I dropped the issue and my Singer sits collecting dust because I didn’t push it further. I agree with you that sales can be great. I know my training on my Singer was fantastic. But service post-sale is, in my opinion, non-existent. I wish you luck in getting the attention of someone who can properly resolve this issue for you. To spend several thousand dollars with no quality service after the sale is sad indeed and definitely does not speak well for the dealer or the manufacturer who authorizes sales by the dealer.

  6. I bought a viking and it messed up bad, I went to the dealer with it messed up and he said he would not fix it or refund me. I contacted the better business bureau (BBB) and they called the company and the dealer. I was offered a full refund and took it.

    Good luck!!!!

  7. Katie, maybe you need to do what Shelley mentioned and call the BBB. There are also local news stations that sometimes will help out with these issues and try to get resolution for you. Finally, there is the District Attorney’s office who I believe might be able to help.

    Keep us posted. I hope you are emailing this post to the company. I have a Sapphire 875 and I hope I don’t ever have the same issues if the company won’t stand behind their product.

    Sandi

    • my sapphire 875 is sitting in a shop in chattanogga tennessee right now with the same part on back order said it will be the end of febuary before it is in. I bought it march 8, 2012. I wouldn’t advise anybody to buy one if they couldn’t fix it in a few weeks then they should have replaced it.

      • Wow!! For them to make you wait on a broken machine that is still under full warranty surprises me. I thought they’d replace that! Mine is just older than the full warranty which is why I assumed they’re making me wait.

  8. I am so sorry about your experiences! It makes me not want to shop at JoAnn’s at all, but I don’t have a Hobby Lobby near me and our Michael’s is very small. And I definitely do NOT want to ever even look at a Viking after reading this. (Out of my price range anyway.)
    I would love to hear comments from people who buy machines who get wonderful customer service and well made machines! This Viking thing is good to know, but what machines are awesome?
    I have nothing but good things to say about my Brother machine (no embroidery) and the local dealer where I bought it (Leabu Sewing Center, Ann Arbor, MI).

    • You know, I think sometimes it has more to do with the dealer than the actual machine Gretchen.

      • I agree with you.
        I bought a HV Opal from a dealer in Denmark and had no issues at all.
        He is a very experienced professional and was at my service any time i needed.

        I believe that if the staff in the shop don’t know what they are selling (doesn’t matter what), you should look for another place because if you need any help in the future you will get none!

    • Viking dealer is actually independent of joanns, they just rent a space and are actually not affiliated with joanns at all just to let the person know that said they would stop shopping at joanns because of this

    • JoAnn doesn’t sell Vikings, they sell Singers. The HV dealers, both corporate and independent are a tenant of JoAnn. Space is rented from the store. Frequently they have carpet to differentiate the two stores. I know it’s sometimes confusing, but the two corporate entities worked it out. If there is no Viking Gallery Store inside JoAnn’s then the JoAnn sells the Singers. If there is a Gallery store inside JoAnn, then JoAnn sells no machines, HV sells them all.

  9. I have 2 very modest Vikings that my mother gave me – no problems with those and *my* independent dealer has a very good, experienced repairman.

    My step dad has a 955E that went in for a cleaning at another dealer (a Viking-run dealer) with an inexperienced repairman and came back not working correctly. After two more tries at fixing the problem, the dealer decided it needed a new motherboard, Viking sent the wrong one – 3 times! So, the dealer sent the machine to corporate. Finally, about 10 months later, my step dad got his embroidery machine back in the proper working order. To my knowledge he was never offered a loaner either.

  10. What a horror story! I’ve been following the saga from the beginning and can’t believe that neither the dealer nor the corporate office is willing to give you a replacement. The old marketing adage is true: when a customer gets good service, he tells one person. When he gets bad service he tells ten. The sewing community is very connected and I’m sure this story will go far and wide. I have a twenty year old Viking that’s a workhorse. My heart really belongs to the older Pfaffs that were made in Germany (like the 7570), but since they were bought out by Husqvarna/Viking I’ve switched to Brother/Babylock machines and have had only good experiences with them. Good luck Katie and keep us posted on what happens.

  11. I am sorry that you had so much problems. I saved up for a Sapphire 835. I love it. I bought my from an independent dealer. They are so friendly and helpful. However, it did have a problem. The thread would jump off the uptake lever. Luckily, I had a 1 year warranty. They fixed it for free. It made all of the difference. I couldn’t sew or FMQ. I went out of town and she went to the sewing machine doctor. It came back with a black sleeve(?) on the uptake lever. Now, I don’t have a problem with anything. I can sew and FMQ which thrills me.

    • I also had that modification done during my 1 year full warranty period. I had to request it though after researching online on how to fix the problem of the thread popping off. My dealer hadn’t heard of the modification before and I wasn’t notified it was available.

      It irks me that a known design flaw is acknowledged and a modification is created but the owners of the machines are not notified. I think it’s so they hope you don’t get it done during the warranty period so they make money on the repair bill.

  12. Found this posting after “liking” the HV page. I have a Viking Emerald 183… Which at 3 yrs. is considered obsolete. I starting looking into a Topaz 20 @ my local HV inside Joann’s…..but maybe I should wait and check into Bernina or Janome. Thank you for posting your experience…

  13. Hi Katie, my heart goes out to you, and I think it is a good thing that you are getting the story out. everybody should go to the Husquervana FB page and say that we are disgusted. They do not like potential customers reading negative comments. i am going there now. sometimes there is no way to leave a comment then I will send a message. Not that i sew by macnhine muc, usually hand, although I have a Bernina embroidery machine and they were very helpful when I had a problem. best wishes for getting the machine back in working order.

  14. Katie if you can get your machine back, Terry is fantastic with all brands. Maybe he could do something. You might also ask Tess to contact her local rep with Pfaff to see if he can get in touch with someone at Viking. They are owned by the same company. Tess is a Supreme dealer so maybe that would carry some weight with the company. Good Luck and this really stinks for you!

    • Thanks Lisa. After reading some of the posts on the Husqvarna Viking page it seems I’m not the only one waiting on this part. Other owners have been waiting for this part and others since December. It sounds like Viking has a manufacturing problem. Because it’s still under warranty I’m hesitant to take it somewhere else right now and possibly void what warranty is left. If my efforts directly with Viking and the BBB don’t pan out I will ask if Tess has any contacts with the company I can speak to.

      • I just thought I’d mention something here for those who are just now reading along. I had until now been considering purchasing a HV 875. I was gonna sell my juki f600 to get it…glad I didn’t!

        Of particular note is this: Husqvarna Viking machines are designed in Sweden, but they and their parts are now manufactured in CHINA. this explains all the trouble you and everyone else has had. It seems machines that were manufactured in Sweden (old ones) are still great machines. But having your manufacturing company across a continent and speaking a foreign language evidently has major drawbacks. I think I’ll just stick with the Japanese made machines. After all, Juki and Toyota have been making machines nearly forever, and JUKI makes machines for Babylock, Bernina, and others….but NOT for Husqvarna Viking. Those are made in China.

  15. I have three Viking machines, an Sapphire 855, Lilly 545, & a Designer. The first one I bought was after a n experience similiar to yours with Pfaff. After hiring a lawyer they fixed the darn machine and I dumped it for the Viking. Have never had any problems with my Vikings and am a devoted owner. I do have a great repair person who doesn’t put up with stupid uncooperative home offices. LOL!

  16. Thanks for the heads up on the Viking Brand. I will never darken the doorstep of a Viking Dealer. I only buy Top of the lone machines and will not take a chance with this brand. shelly beth

  17. I have been reading your post and all i can say is you have the patience of a saint, if it had been me i’m afraid i would have lost my temper long before now,
    Is there no where you can go to complain about the standard and quality of service after all it’s a lot of money that you’ve spent and not got anything for,
    As i see it when you buy something it MUST do the job it was intended for and if not must be replaced or repaired, there is an organization here in the UK that you can report the company too but for the life of me i can’t remember what it is, {senior moment},
    I hope it’s sorted soon but if i was you i’d bombard them with calls and demand a new one, ot your money back, this has gone on long enough

    • There is similar/same type of organization in the US…….the better Business Bureau.

      Trading miseries is not going to resolve the issue with the dealer.

      • I’ve filed with the BBB and I’m waiting to hear if they’re able to get anything going on a replacement.

        It’s a waiting game at this point to see who blinks first.

  18. I’m no expert quilter, but I am a stickler for service (unusual in the UK!!), and there’s NO WAY that I would be satisfied with this treatment if I were you. I’d be jumping up and down, and screaming at the CEO of the company for a REPLACEMENT NEW machine! Go to the man at the top, you’ve been fobbed off for long enough.

    Judi in the UK

  19. Disgusting. Like we all have 3 grand to toss away. I am going to share with all my quilting message boards and facebook. I hope you either get a new machine from them, or credit to get something else. Although, i would not want to deal with them ever again. I personally have had a Juki and 2 Janomes, no problems with any of them over a 10 year span. My dealer was always will to sit with me and show me stitches i was having trouble with, in other words, teaching me about my machine and what i can accomplish with all the bells and whistles. Good luck and i would think your next step is to get a hold of a local tv station, that is will to delve into your issue with the machine and the dealer..a consumer complaint dept.
    Here in the Detroit area, we have the “hall of shame” tv reporter and other types of consumer advocates on the other local stations. Good Luck. Kim

  20. Viking has done this before. When the Sapphire line was released, initial reports were generally positive, so I bought a Sapphire 850. I traded in a Viking Lily 545 that worked beautifully.

    The Sapphire sewed beautifully, but free motion quilting was a nightmare of broken needles. The dealer claimed it was operator error, but didn’t offer classes or any support. I had it in a few times, finally just gave up. I did write to Viking Corporate but never received an answer.

    Shortly after I bought the Sapphire, the reviews I read turned harshly negative so I wasn’t the only one experiencing difficulties. Instead of contacting machine owners about possible fixes, they revised the machine and came out with the Sapphire 835-855-875. Nice, huh?

    This is why I currently own a Bernina.

  21. I’m very disappointed that your Viking has caused so much difficulty. I first bought a 400 from a dealer before there were any in JoAnn’s. A year later, I traded up to a 500, and I’m still sewing on that all these years later. I had a Rose, too, and it was wonderful, but I sold it because I didn’t really get that excited about the embroidery part, and the sewing machine part was the same basic machine as the 500. I had fabulous service at the original dealer, and the dealer in San Antonio where I had it cleaned. I’ve never had a single problem that wasn’t fixed immediately. I haven’t even had any problems since the first year, when there was a small one. I prefer this machine to all my others, and it has traveled all around this country with me, in the 5th wheel, and to conferences. If something happened to it, I would feel like my right arm was gone. If this is what the new machines are like, and the service, then I’ll stick with this one forever!

  22. I sent them a link to this post, who knows they may or may not read it. They owe you a refund. The whole thing is ridiculous.

  23. I have had a designer 1, an SE and a Diamond, along with a Viking serger. Haven’t really had problems with the machines but will say that the Viking company response is less than stellar. I’m still waiting for a return call regarding an issue I had at the dealer’s several years ago. (After buying all of those machines and software, he informed me I wasn’t a customer and didn’t deserve to get answers regarding an issue I had with the software I bought from him- for a mere $600). Said dealership has managed to corner the market in this area, and no one else can sell Vikings. However, I can say due to his attitude and their response, it won’t be a problem for me as I won’t buy another.

  24. Hi Katie-
    I always thought that Vikings suck but that’s mainly because I am a Packer fan! Seriously, though, I am horrified by the treatment you have received, both from the dealer and the corporation. I hope this gets fixed in a way that satisfies you. Best of luck!

  25. Thanks for the review Katie! I only have a machine that was gifted to me, but someday I will be able to buy a new one and I am glad to know what not to buy! :)

  26. I am so sorry you are having all those problems. I looked at one of those machine at a time…they just gave me a bad gut feeling and opted for a Singer embroidery machine instead. I hope you somehow recover your money.

  27. Hi Katie, I am a avid listener to your podcasts and read your blog. I do hope you will register on Pattern Review and write up a sewing machine review on that Topaz. I did post a link to this blog on the sewing machine messageboard.

    I would file a BBB complaint against the dealer and Viking. Even if it cost a fee. Also, if Angie’s list has a category that fits that dealer, I’d write a review there. Please enjoy your Pfaff. I sew with a Pfaff and have had previous experience with Janome and have been very satisfied with the machines. I did have an issue with my previous Janome dealer so I stopped purchasing from him (overcharging etc). I went to a guy 3 hours away instead who was happy to give me much more favorable terms.

    • Last week I pulled the trigger on my BBB complaint so I’m waiting to hear from them.

      I hadn’t thought to do a review over at Pattern Review – I guess I should do that eh?

  28. What an awful experience! I’m so sorry! I have just about every brand of sewing machine (Bernina, Pfaff, Baby Lock, Brother, Kenmore, Singer). If I ever get tempted to add a Viking, I’ll remember this and NOT. The only acceptable remedies IMO are a full refund or replacement with a new WORKING machine.

  29. I’m researching sewing machines currently, plan to buy a new one within a month or so, and am willing to spend a decent amount of money for a good one (3,000 or so). Having read your story, I will give the Vikings in my local JoAnn’s a wide berth!

    So sorry you are going through this….. :(

    I have an old Viking (22 years) and it has never been a problem at all. But, that is what I read all over the place – the older ones were built well. Mine is a heavy beast! But, I need a machine with some additional capabilities, hence the search for a new SM.

  30. You know, I went to a local Joann’s to test out the Diamond Deluxe and after reading this story, I have decided to go with a Bernina. This is my hobby for pleasure not frustration. I am very sorry that you are going through this.

  31. I’m sorry for all you’ve gone through and can’t believe how patient you are. I know you didn’t want to go public but Viking left you with no other choice. Hope you get some satisfaction.

    I will never buy a Viking based on your experience.

  32. Hi Katie, I have listened to your podcast about your HV troubles. It is horrible that we cannot get good courteous customer service anymore. It troubles me to here that your can spend that much money on a machine and the company that actually manufactures the machine does not stand behind their product. This type machine is way out of my budget so really would not ever be on my list. But, if it were, I will remember this review and the sewing machine review over at Sew*Stitch* Create for a long long time. I wish you good luck for the best possible outcome Katie.

  33. Thanks Katie, for informative post and podcast. I have heard for years what you are stating about the sewing machine shops inside JoAnn. I remember the lady who I “paid to quilt” my quilt telling me not to even think of getting a Viking, she had heard too many problems from other clients. Sending good thoughts this dilemma works out for you. I know this is not something you jumped into, you gave your Viking dealer more time then I would have to correct the issue.

  34. Katie,
    Thank you very much for sharing this information. I am very interested in this and will definitely be taking this into consideration as I consider my next sewing machine purchase. And good luck — I very much hope they somehow still manage to turn this around for you.

  35. I hope you get this resolved soon. I will be looking to upgrade my machine sometime in the near future so I am glad to get this information so can look to other brands when that time comes. Good luck!

  36. Thanks for sharing this unfortunate story. I appreciate your honesty and am so sorry that you’ve had to go through that. Your experience has convinced me that I will never buy a sewing machine from this company!

  37. I think you nailed it when discussing this issue in your podcast when you said that a fixable problem is one thing, but the way this has been handled by your dealer, the managers and the brand is terribly disappointing, inconvenient, unprofessional, and to a twenty-something quilter like myself, it just plain sucks!

    A sympathetic and helpful point of contact who kept you up to date and offered a loaner or whatever they could to minimise the disruption of not having your machine for months could have been the difference between a regrettable but positive experience, and the horror that it has turned out to be.

    At this point I’d be asking for a straight out refund, especially if the quoted time frame for the parts to arrive comes and goes and no progress is made. You shouldn’t have to deal with them any longer or with the hassle of trying to sell even a brand new replacement machine to recoup your costs (and whose new owner would possibly go through the same trouble down the track).

    Your story has been heard here in Oz and will be talked about!

  38. Katie, between my two daughters and me, we own 9 Husqvarna Viking sewing/embroidery/serger machines. ALL of them were made in Sweden. My eldest daughter worked for HQ for a time, and learned an awful lot of inside info. Since HQ, Singer, and Pfaff have merged into one company, all machines are manufactured in one factory in China. Parts are mixed and matched, and the quality of the machines has nose-dived. Corporate has moved from Cleveland, OH, to TN. Nothing is as it used to be. We have had no problems with any of our machines. However, were I to purchase a new machine now, knowing what I know, I would NOT purchase another Viking. Nor would I purchase a Singer nor a Pfaff, nor even a Brother. I would purchase a Bernina and be done with it. The incredible sewers I know who use Berninas cannot say enough good about them! Bernina has maintained its quality and reputation. If you asked me, I would recommend you get every penney back of HQ and head in another direction for a good machine. Like purchasing a car, you maintain it, and expect it to perform well for you. Good luck, and God bless. E. Hansen, Chester County, PA

  39. Katie, thanks for posting this. After reading this and hearing your podcast, I will scratch the Viking Ruby deLuxe off my list of potential purchases. Since I’m in the market for a new machine in the next six weeks, and I was seriously considering the Ruby deLuxe, I guess I’m lucky to have found this information. I will stick with the Brother brand (three machines so far, and every one wonderful!). Good luck getting this all worked out. :-)

  40. well at least you and i are in the same boat, we have been so cheated mine is still sitting somewhere in chattanogga, tn on a shelf waiting for a part that is on a slow boat from china. I would love to have a machine now

  41. What a sad tail of a good firm gone bad. I used to work at one of those Viking New Business Development Stores – lol. Over the years, as they have been bought out and merged with other firms, their dedication to their customers and to quality products has fallen drastically.

    I am sure someone may have already made this suggestion- but have you tried using a topstitch needle? My Pfaff Embroidery machine has issues with certain types of thread shedding and breaking. I can eliminate the problem with a topstitch needle which has a different shape and length eye and a longer grove. .

    Good luck – I will keep watching this to see how you make out.

  42. I am sorry to read about the terrible service that you recieved. I am currently not in the market for a new machine, but I will remember this information when I do get a new machine. I will also share your post with anyone who asks me about machine brands.

  43. I’m very sorry you’ve had so many problems with your machine. Rest assured this is the exception to the rule. My wife and I own a sewing machine store and I am a certified Husqvarna (and other brands) tech. There are at least 4 technical bulletins put out by Husqvarna on the very issue you are complaining about so there’s no mystery. Husqvarna’s policy is that the warranty is with the dealer so corporate would probably not address this directly with the customer. I would advise that you find another dealer with a good reputation and a good technician. It may cost a bit but it will pay off in the long run.

    • I’m selling the machine because there aren’t any good dealers in my area and I’m happier with my Pfaff.

      Can you explain what a technical bulletin does for a Husqvarna tech? Are the bulletins addressing the thread tension issue or the part scarcity?

      • The Technical Bulletin draws attention to a specific problem such as with inconsistant feed on the tension discs or anything else that has been reported by dealer techs over a period of time. The manufacturer takes these reports and works on creating a fix which is then passed on to the dealers as a technical bulletin. So when a machine comes in again and again for the same problem the servicing tech should check to see if there is a bulletin on that problem.

        If there is a problem that can’t be fixed locally the tech has access to the company’s techs who spend their time dealing with very difficult problems and passing the info to the dealers. If a dealer’s tech has trouble fixing a machine (we sometimes do) he can call the company’s techs for assistance. So there are options available when dealing with problem machines.

        I know many people who have Sapphire’s and don’t have any problems at all, it’s a good machine. I suspect it’s a dealer problem or perhaps a communication thing.

        Pfaff makes a good machine, Pfaff is owned by the same company as Husqvarna so many features are the same. Good wishes for your future projects!

    • Peter, where is your shop? I have a White 8910 made by Viking that needs repair. Willing to ship to get it up and going again and don’t want to chance taking it somewhere, where they don’t know what they’re doing.
      Thanks.
      Joe

      • Hi Joe,

        We are located in Comox, British Columbia which is on Vancouver Island. I would recommend you find someone locally. If there are problems you can deal with your tech personally. But thanks for the email!

        Peter

  44. I have an Elna Quilters Dream that I love but you do need to be careful about who you take it to for service. My locale elna dealer that I bought the machine from used to be great but they must have a new service person. My machine was squeeling and they did not fix it. I had to open it and oil it myself. I will be taking it to someone else for service in the San Diego area.
    FIGHT ON GIRL. You deserve to have your problem addressed and fixed. Nothing less than a new machine or a full refund.

  45. Most unfortunately, all the premium manufacturers(Pfaff, Bernina and Husqvarna) relocated their manufacturing operations from Germany(later, Brno in the Czech Republic), Switzerland and Sweden, respectively, to…China. I purchased a Pfaff Tiptronic 2020, made in Germany, for my mother back in 2000 or so, but it was destroyed in a house fire in 2005. It was superb, with its “walking foot”, and a great loss. Afterwards, I bought her a computerized Husqvarna Scandanavia 200, made in Sweden. Later, I scrambled and luckily found for her a top-of-the-line, all-mechanical Pfaff Select 1548, with the “walking foot”, made in the Czech Republic, and as a consolation for the loss of the first one. Pfaff’s manufacturing transition from Germany to what was once the Sudetenland, and what is now the western portion of the Czech Republic, had not affected its manufacturing integrity in the slightest, in my opinion. My mother goes from one to the other, happily, enjoying the combined features of both. Shortly afterwards, I chanced upon an all-mechanical Husqvarna Scandanavia 100, made in Sweden, for myself and as a collectible, given said relocations which began towards the end of the first decade of the new millenium.

    China produces excellent silk, electronics, bicycles, shoes and clothing; however, of finer things mechanical, such as old-world watchmaking and sewing machines, fine lenses in addition(I’m an amateur astronomer), expertise in the latter leaves much to be desired; although they are improving, albeit at a snail’s pace.

    There’s only one thing to do at this point…BUY USED.

    Cheers!

  46. First of all, I’m so sorry you have to deal with all of this! You should have been offered a loaner at the very least and a new machine when the repair didn’t happen in a timely fashion. Secondly, I just brought home this very same machine, I purchased at a Viking store inside JoAnns. I’ve had it running for the past 2 days, and no problems (YET!) If it does, I will go back and get my money back. I can be as loud and obnoxious as the next gal and that is way too much money to get yanked around for close to a year! Here’s hoping your issue is fixed, and you are back up and running in no time.

    • Good luck with your machine Patti – I hope you don’t have the issues I did. I got the part finally replaced and sold it. I didn’t want to have to set foot in that dealership ever again.

  47. In my opinion, Viking went downhill when they stopped making all metal machines. I have an old 6020 (all metal) that my mother purchased in 1972 and is still my favorite machine to sew on. I can’t imagine giving it up and its been a workhorse ever since it was bought. I bought a Viking Rose when they were out, and while I like it for the embroidery, it sews like crap. Straight stitches aren’t straight or even, and it keeps stopping to tell me the thread has broken when it hasn’t. I really hope my 6020 lasts as long as I do because I don’t think any machine could live up to it.

  48. Found your post after typing in “husqvarna viking sucks”. I paid $1500 for a sewing embroidery machine and another $1400 for software. The embroidery software required a dongle to operate. They took away the first dongle and gave me a new one. I have loaded my software onto a new PC but guess what…my dongle works but not with my card reader/writer. That requires the old dongle first, which they took away and I cannot get them to give me a link to the software I would need to make my (husqvarna proprietary hardware) work. Their solution – pay about $2,000 to replace my software. Oh wait, that still won’t make my card reader work so then I’d need to spend another $2-5,000 to replace the sewing machine. I am very pissed and not impressed. They need to support their software for the life of their machines, just like they should support their machines. Problems all around. I’m never buying from them again because their customer service, even when you ask for help on their FB pages is the rudest and horrid. Seriously – how hard would it be to get me a link to a download for a problem they caused by making me give back my original software (or they wouldn’t give me the upgrades!!). I will post on my blogs again and really sound the horn. I went through this a year ago and have been looking for a solution since then and no one is willing to help.

  49. Thanks Katie. Its pretty disheartening to be the victim of thousands of dollars of bad service caused by the company that sells the product. There should be lemon laws everywhere! (We’d like the ‘vehicle lemon law’ California has in Canada but luckily we haven’t been a victim there. Just think its a good idea to make manufacturers stand behind what they sell.) I will post again this year as I continue to pull out my hair in bits and pieces to try and find a solution. I wish I could just buy it off someone but alas no one will sell me just that bit of software.

  50. Thanks for all of the information about Viking – I was considering purchasing one, but will not now – will not even seriously look at them. Thanks for saving me!!!

  51. I have owned HQ Viking machines for over 25 years with no problems at all. I have a #1, bought in 1990, sewed on it hard for years and it is still going strong and had an older model before that a 990 ( 35 years old), I think, which my niece says is still sewing beautifully. I bought a Designer SE, used, 5 years ago and I love it. I live in a very damp climate and have had the first glitch ever on any of my machines with the Designer SE and it is not terribly serious. The automatic foot sensor that raises and lowers the foot has developed a mind of its own but the machine is 7 or 8 years old and operates in pretty rugged conditions in the mountains of Panama in a very rainy and then very windy and dusty climate with extremely variable electricity or rather voltage. I bought a Viking Sapphire 850 with some trepidation because it was made in China but I absolutely love it. I also have about 15 old, old Vikings in my quilting classroom and they are everybody’s favorite machines. Problem is here in Panama you cannot get any service on any of the top of the line machines no matter what the maker. But I have made wedding dresses, quilts, clothes, fleece outer wear, purses, you name it, I have probably made it. I do not like embroidery at all so the Designer SE was a bit over the top but I found that out after I bought everything you could need for embroidery except the software. I now teach quilting and have lots of converts here to older used Viking machines. They are great machines with solid construction and sew beautifully. I probably could have switched to Bernina or Janome but I have all those feet and attachments and well, I love my Vikings.

  52. I LOVE my HV sewing machines. Have the Serger 905, Designer SE, and now the Sapphire 875. All work great!!! It appears the Topaz line had the design flaw. Do not cast negativity on all the HV machines based on one experience with one machine.

    • If you read the article and comments you’ll see that it’s not just the Topaz that has tension issues. HV used the Topaz as a base model for the Ruby and Diamond machines and they all have documented tension problems.

  53. All I can say is I love my Designer 1. I haven’t had a minutes trouble with it. I bought it used off Craigslist, knowing I was taking a chance, but. I am glad. I did! This machine does everything.

    • I lost my registration number for my $2000 3D software for ,my Designer SE and I’m told I’m out of luck…The computer it was on decided to die. Can anyone help? I just bout the Janome 15000…awesome so far.

  54. I have a Topaz 30. I’ve had it for 3 years. The tension is an issue for some designs. so my rule of thumb is to raise the tension to 3.2 (it defaults to 2.8). The designs are flawless. I also have a Pfaff Creative Sensation. I love it. On either machine if the thread frays I change the needle and also and most importantly..clean the bobbin area. Most people forget. I use a pipe cleaner to carefully clean under the bobbin area. Both machines sew like a dream. I have had, on occasion, both running at the same time. I love my machines.

    • I want to thank Marianne Brown and Pauline Granstrom for their positive comments. I have three HV’s. My experience at our dealer was not good one in learning how to use my serger. I actually had to sit at my computer on HV website and create my own manual in order to understand how to use the machine. As far as my Topaz 30 goes, I am one of the few that have bought this from the dealer in our area. Everyone else has bought the Ruby or the Designer Diamond. Unfortunately for me, the sales reps do not know how to use the Topaz so it is ‘trial and error’ whenever I ask a question. I also have a ‘cheap’ Husky Star ($400) sewing machine and this machine is actually the reason that I bought the Topaz 30. The ‘cheap’ sewing machine sews quilts – including the top stitching – like a champ WITHOUT the need to use a walking foot. The Diamond wasn’t in my budget thus I bought the Topaz 30. I went into this knowing the staff at my dealership do not have training skills. Unfortunately, the Topaz did not have a video tutorial so I am trying to learn via YouTube and other internet sites how to use this machine.

      • Linda, there are some things you won’t find in the book. I too had the same problem. The gal that was showing me how to use the 30 was learning with me. My biggest issue was getting back to the designs on the USB. Then one day I was messing with the buttons, mind you, I’ve had the machine for 3 years, and discovered that if you push the first button of the set of 3, the button next to the Fonts buttons, it sends you to the designs on the USB. I showed my husband. I was so excited I was beside myself. I love the Topaz 30 It will never leave me unless it dies. My Creative Sensation, now that’s another story. I originally said I love it and I did. It’s in the shop and with any luck they will offer me a third one. Not gonna happen! Getting a baby lock elisimo 2. fed up with Pfaff. have fun with your Topaz.

  55. I worked managing a corporate owned Gallery store (inside JoAnn) and I spent as much time as I could learning all about the machines and how to do simple repairs myself instead of sending the machines out to repair. By the time I left HV, I was one of nine people who trained all of the new employees all over the country.

    I made sure all of my store employees got good training on the sewing machines and sergers, and if there was down time, I encouraged them to sew….make a sample for the store. The only “rule” I had was that they had to use different machines than they had already used. I wanted them to know all of the machines and the differences between them.

    I did have one troublesome repair once. The Designer 2 was sent in for it’s first anniversary cleaning. UPS lost the machine. It was delivered to another HV Gallery store and the manager there called me. I picked it up and brought it back to the store. When I opened the box, (carefully packed with original packing and air bags) the tension assembly fell off in my hand. I gave the owner a new Designer 2. I didn’t feel like I could do anything else.

    I also scheduled lots of new owner classes. Mechanical machines on one track and computerized machines on another. All computerized machines started in class, and as we reached the end of their particular machines, they would drop out of class. Two classes for fairly basic machines with minimal decorative stitches, three classes for machines with lots of deco stitches, and four classes for embroidery.

    I own four Vikings, a Designer 1, a Lily 555, a 6440, and a VS-10. All of them were manufactured and assembled in Sweden. Sad to say, I think I’ve bought my last Viking. When working for HV, we had nothing but trouble with every machine made in China, even the Huskystars which were entry level machines designed by Viking. And the problems weren’t complicated. They were simple, stupid things that would have been discovered if someone had test sewn on the machine….or in the case of the Huskystars, test sewn on ONE machine off the line.

    I don’t know if there is another sewing machine in my future, but if there is, it will probably come from Japan. Definitely not China.

  56. Picked up my Viking sewing machine from an authorized dealer in Springfield, Ga on October 10 because they had it since July. Called Viking and was shamed for using my machine, in my house, for resell purposes. Diane did notmcaremthat itmwas also used to make gifts. She was the customer rep I spoke with. Never mind the fact that my machine is still not working. Texted the regional rep. He texted back that he would call me at 3. Did he call? No. I will NEVER purchase another Viking product. Run fast from anyone trying to sell you a Viking machine. There customer service is abysmal. I just hate that I now own a machine that has had less than 50 hours on it, sitting in my craft room floor. What should I do?

  57. Sorry for the typos. I am on my IPad and sometimes the n gets in when I hit the space bar. But seriously. Check out warranty, complaints, and breakage of these machines. The experience after the purchase is horrid.

  58. So which is the best embrodiery machine for $5,000.00 or less?

  59. Comments on service noted. I will pass this on to anyone asking. I do have a Plantinum 770. It’s good most of the time but sometimes I have to shut off and reset. Also have tension issues at times which I attributed to bad needles etc. It’s interesting to note that I”m in the Canadian Maritimes and most of the dealers here have been put out of business. I get the impression that Corporate isn’t even supportive of their own independent dealers. With these local companies out of business, there are no licensed service reps and even supplies like bobbins are impossible to find.

  60. Hmmm I just bought a topaz today through a dealer at joann….. I’m a little nervous and reconsidering now…..

  61. On Oct.23, 2013 I purchased a Viking Opal 670 for the feature of the thread cutter. Once I returned home I opened the box, set up and started sewing. The machine sounded like a Mack Truck changing gears and the top thread kept bunching up under the bobbin. Then the cutter didn’t work.

    I called the Rep. at Joann’s where I bought it in Orlando FL and had her listen on the phone. Her reaction was to bring it in. Took it back the next day. The Viking rep. gave me another new machine and we test it before I left the store.

    The next day I set it up and yep, same thing. Instead of driving 50 miles back to Orlando I found out we have a Viking repair person close by.

    Never had the opportunity to sew on this Opal 670 because it’s in the repair shop.

    A friend bought the Viking Diamond brought it home, set it up and it was making the same noise and the thread cutter was not working. The dealer she bought it from wanted to charge her $100.00 to bring it in for them to look at. She only had it a couple of days.

    Is Viking sewing machines made in China now? We both expected better quality from Viking. My 12 year old Kenmore can run circles around the Opal and it has never been serviced. Yes I clean it after every project.

  62. Have had a Viking machine for 36 years and it’s been awesome! It’s only needed serviced twice in all those years, the last time was recent. I was informed that Viking parts are only made for machines up to 20 years, mine’s 35! My repairman was eventually able to find a used part and fix my machine ( that I love). Unfortunately if it breaks again I may not be so lucky, therefore I am looking for a new machine. went to the dealer inside my local Joanne’s and was told the new machines are now made in China, WHAT!!!! This company HAD a great reputation in years past, now Is a very scary time to buy from them. To bad the dodn’t want to pay a living wage to the people who assembled them in Sweden.
    China is a nightmare for everything produced there! If a company won’t stand behind their products why would you even consider buying one? I’m very disappointed since I was looking foward to a new Ruby with the addition of embroidery. Guess I’ll be going to the Brother dealer in my area.
    P.S. – Consumer reports rates Brother higher by quite a bit and they’re much cheaper!

    Kaiser’sMom

  63. Pfaff, Singer and Viking are all owned by the same parent company and made in Taiwan. The technology is still Swedish.
    I have sewn on Janome, Brother, Bernina, Singer and Viking. I just purchased my second HV, the Designer Diamond DeLuxe, at this level machine they are all comparable in price. I had the Rose before, well I still have it, and I had some issues. The biggest problem being that when I took it to the recommend service person inside Joann’s they glued the part back together after telling me it was backordered. Joann’s contracts out their service so I had to wait 2 weeks to get it back when it wasn’t fixed. I called HV and told them it wasn’t working right and they paid for me to take it to a local quilt shop that fixed it. Truthfully it has never worked the same since but it does the basics. My advice to anyone is to go to a local shop and not a Joanns if you plan on buying anything more than a simple machine. And if you have trouble with the company, keep calling until you get the answer you want, they know the biggest form of advertising is word of mouth.

  64. For years I have driven 2.5 hours to a HV dealership in Springfield, MO called Sewing Machine Express as Linda stands with her customers if there is a problem. Her staff is very knowledgeable about what they sell and do not try to sell you something you don’t need. I own a Designer 1 that other than yearly cleaning has required no repairs. Have looked at some of the new models out now, but decided to stay with my older trusted machine as it does what I need. Considering the new 6D program software as mine is outdated. What it comes down to is the dealer no matter what brand you buy.

    • Joy I agree. I have read many unsatisfied customers on here, and most have purchased their machines from JoAnn’s. So sorry. I have a quilt shop and sell Husqvarna Viking machines for over 8 years now, and the machines are great. I have had very minimal problems with the machines. I teach the ladies how to use their machine, maintain their machine, and bring them back for their yearly service. Most issues that come in are operator error. Any embroidery machine takes some time to learn the machine. You have to be attentive and be sure that you have threaded properly, use good needles and thread. (throw all your old thread out that you bought at Walmart for 99 cents a spool. If you have an old 1960 Kenmore or singer, then go ahead and sew with it, other than that throw it away.) Good thread and needles make a world of difference. One of the biggest operator errors in threading the machine with the pressure foot in the down position. It ALWAYS has to be in the up position in order the tension disks to be open for the thread to get in them properly. Next some threads just don’t talk to each other. Education on thread is a biggie as well. Superior threads has a great web site and good education on thread. There is so many brands of thread out there, and the quality of the thread differs greatly. I don’t know why, but some threads just don’t work well in some machines. ????? I had an issue with a brand of thread breaking in my long arm. Did lots of research on the thread, (good quality), but it just kept breaking. Called my rep for the machine and that thread was her favorite and stitched great in her machine. For some reason my machine just didn’t like it. I quit using that thread, and have found one that stitches great and have had 0 issues. You have to find what your machine likes. It is like buying a new oven. Your old one baked wonderfully at 350* you get a new one and you are burning your product at the same temp. So you adjust for that oven. Your sewing machine is the same…..you have to find what works for you and your machine. Next is using an embroidery thread with a cotton bobbin. or vise versa. Use the same thread in top and bottom. Needles is another biggie. Good needle, and change often. especially when embroidering. The high speed of thread running through that needle and the many times that that needle is running through your fabric wears them down. I can do one embroidery and lay down more stitches in a hour than my grandmother did on her machine sewing for a year. (are you getting the picture) When your machine is tested in the factory, they use a specific needle and specific thread. They set and adjust that machine to that thread and needle. When you start putting in different needles and different threads, you have now changed the variables of that machines output. You have to get educated on the threads, needles, and types of fabric. Let me put this in another way. You can’t put a hand quilting thread through a size 11 needle for knits sewing on denim fabric. You aren’t going to get good results. It doesn’t mean your machine is bad or it needs to be fixed. You are sewing with the wrong stuff in many ways. Next bobbin casings. This is another issue for thread breaking, shredding and poor stitches. With all the different types of threads out there, you have to be adjusting your machine for such. If you don’t have good tension between the top and bottom threads then you are going to get breaking, shredding, and bad stitches. Then you take your machine into the dealer and say it isn’t working properly. (not saying that there can’t be some mechanical issues or computer issues, but I have found that to be the case in less that 5%of the “machine” issues that come in for repair.) If you aren’t comfortable with adjusting your bobbin casing, then get more than one casing for each kind of thread that you stitch. Have your shop adjust the thread for that casing and then only run that type of thread through that casing. The technology in the machines and in software is not different than the computer world. They become outdated. That is why new machines are being put out yearly. To keep up with the technology. Just take a good look at computers and cell phones, people are updating their phones yearly, at a retail cost of $400-$800 dollars a phone. (crazy) Those older embroidery machines that take the reader cards and transfer boxes are just out dated for the technology that is out there. You can’t run todays software on a windows 98 computer. I really hope this helps some of you. Husqvarna Viking is a great machine. Yes there is going to be a lemon put out once in a while, that is the joy of machines. But……with any brand of machine you need to find a good dealer with a good repair department. When you go into JoAnn’s, you get what you get with them. Sorry! I will leave you with one word….”Education” Get educated on your machine, and all of the different threads, needles, and fabric that is out there. Happy sewing!

  65. I surely wish that I would have found this site before I purchased my Topaz 20 from Luke’s Sewing Machine & Vacs in the Cincinnati area (Elsmere, KY) These people are crooks!!!! I went into their store requesting demo on the new Janome. I had a Janome 9500 and had always loved it and wanted to upgrade. The begin to tell me that my beloved machine was crap ( it was only 4 years old) and that they would give me $1,000 off a new machine. (It only cost $500 new so that made me excited) I got talked into a new Topaz 20 that was supposed to be sooo much better than my Janome with more features……it was not. The new machine was $3,500. It sews. It does embroider…..but does not have all the features that I was used to ….certainly not the upgraded features I wanted. They promised me classes, and freebees and I’ve gotten nothing.

    Every time I call with a question or problem, I get the cold shoulder. After the sale – you are no body to them.

  66. Follow up to my June post. Well I got my Platinum Plus (which I love by the way!) up and running in June of last year with embroidery. The machine is fantastic and I don’t want to give it up, the embroidery is phenomenal and much larger than others in its original price range. The software (3D) is great. What I hate is Husqvarna’s attitude towards providing drivers and small bits of help that would go a long way to making people spending $4,000 on a machine and software happy. I won’t buy another Husky product even though they have everything that I want and need. Anyway, I spent three days and $300 in June buying a PC netbook that would still run Windows XP (before they were all gone and the Windows 8 format came in). I set up XP and spent hours on line tracing dongle software. I finally found it all and we were happy. I found a copy of Customizing Plus on line for another 100$. Because in order to run my d-card reader/writer I had to have the original software I purchased but that Husqvarna made me give back when they sent out an update. I actually had to hand the dongle in to the dealer before he’d give me the new one. Too bad Husqvarna were so bad at their software that they didn’t add in a fix so that the old dongle wouldn’t be required. It all worked for a while then XP got its final updates and the friggin’ d-card reader wouldn’t work anymore. Can Husqvarna not put a link to drivers for this stuff? I can find drivers for my Dell Inspiron 8000 that’s 12 years old!! And it cost me less money. Anyway, I have just spent three days all over the internet, rebuilding my computer, reinstalling XP with Service Pack three, finding all the XP drivers again, installing Customizing Plus, finding a fixed driver for that bloody dongle, finding fixed drivers for the second bloody dongle. Should we have to go through this when we pay $4,000 for hardware and software? Should the drivers not be made available ongoing? Its a link to a 48 mb program!! I am still fuming and angry, seven months later. I have spent 80 hours over this time fixing everything when Husky could have made the drivers available. I had carefully saved two copies of all updates, software on both a USB flash drive and the original discs. There is absolutely no reason for it to be this hard. Since they are still creating hardware and software, could they not make a replacement to the d-card reader that would work with the older machines? If it was priced at $100 I would have bought it in a second! And they would have been making money off me as I would then have the incentive to upgrade to the 4D and 5D software. But not offering a replacement or driver to the d-card reader has cost this company thousands from just one customer. And ill will forever.

    By the way, if you have similar problems, and fix them, turn off the automatic update on Windows, no matter how much it bugs you to keep Auto Update on. The updates after Service Pack 3 (SP3) will not recognize the dongles.

    Thanks for listening. I suspect that for most on this forum, I’m preaching to the converted.

  67. I’m glad I found this site. I drove over an hour to look at a designer ll. They waited until I arrived to inform me I would have to buy the embroidery how to book.

    They were nice but certainly did not want to show me how the machines worked. I had to ask a thousand questions. It finally became apparent that they were just trying to work me up to the most expensive machine in the store. Then they tell me GE finances and if I did not like the high interest rate then wait until I had 3-4 payments left and pay it off. With that stupid statement I bought some thread and left. I doubt if I will ever buy a Husq machine.

    Just so all you know: Singer, Pfaff, and Husqvarna are all owned by a corporation. Good luck trying to find out who. I think our Congressmen need to be contacted about these three companies. All three of these machine makes have the same issues.

  68. Back again. Here is why dealing with these three companies are a pain.

    VSM Group AB (Viking Sewing Machines), previously named Husqvarna Sewing Machines is a company based in Huskvarna, Sweden.
    In February 2006 VSM Group was bought by Kohlberg & Co., who already owned the brand Singer. Singer and VSM Group have been merged into a company named SVP Worldwide, with headquarters in Hamilton, Bermuda, where the initials are reflecting the brands Singer, Viking and Pfaff.
    Pfaff is now owned by SVP Worldwide, the company that also owns Singer and Husqvarna Viking. Even though the company has changed hands, Pfaff machines continue to be known for their high quality and precision.

    I think the Pfaff has not fallen as far as the other two yet. They have fixed my machine each time I needed it fixed and it is an old one.

  69. I’ll state it again. The company is in deep money trouble. The reason the support for parts and service is so poor is the credit hold situation with the suppliers. Trust me, it’s not going to go away and soon the IRS will be on their trail for cooking the numbers which they do to avoid paying taxes. Sweden made a great unit when it was part of Husqavarna but when they sold it off to Kohlberg to rename it as SVP products and then moved everything over to China and Taiwan so now your getting a cheap product with a brand name. Same with Pfaff. They’re junk units but they hope they can fool you because of name recognition. It take practically 4-6 months to get parts and pieces from China/Taiwan so do you really want to wait this long? Their now owned by a holding company not by a valued leadership ingrained in the sewing business concerned about your needs. They really don’t care about you so don’t let the cheap talk fool you. You’re noting but a quick way to make profit. You’ll notice more downsizing and high turnover in the coming months. The place is falling apart.

    BTW – No kidding. Even the Taiwanese companies have put them on credit hold for lack of payment. How bad can it get?

  70. I bought a Topaz 20 with 5D in October 2011 from the dealer with JoAnn’s in Mason, Ohio. My rep is extremely knowledgeable and makes wedding gowns and accessories independently. She offers great classes and when I thought I needed a Ruby, she walkd me through a software upgarde instead of into a new machine. When I had a few issues in the beginning, I realized it was operator error and not the machine. I needed more training. Once I had training, I was on my way. I have never needed mine serviced. It runs like a champ. Sorry you’ve had such a hard time but I haven’t had an ounce of trouble. I think you just got a lemon machine, which can happen. Viking is a good machine. Their reputation proceeds them. Dealers do make all the difference. My mother bought a machine from Luke’s Sewing in KY which deals in Viking machines. They were terrible to her and to me. I went to the dealer in Mason and was treated like gold and sold the right machine for me. I may even upgrade next year and keep my old Topaz for an employee to use.

  71. I found your site on Pinterest. I have had a 1979 Husqvarna 6570 for over 30 years that needed few repairs until 3 years years when I decided to buy the topaz30. Since my embroidering machine is fairly new I was corious why you were boycotting Husqvarna. Wow, I am so sorry you have had to deal with a dealer and especially a corporportion that didn’t put customer service first and foremost. I am very fortunate that my local dealer, here in Eastern Wa, is knowledgable and very helpful. They have serviced my older machine for over 30 years. But since I haven’t used my topaz30 to its full potential it’s nice to have the heads up info just in case I should have issues down the road when I start working on more projects. Thanks so much for sharing your story, it will at least give people something to think about when they spend over 2800.00 on something that should be giving them joy not frustration. I will be reposting your link on Pinterest. Thanks again and Take care.

  72. I stumbled on this via Pinterest and while I’m sorry you’ve been through the wringer…I had a very similar experience with their Designer Diamond Deluxe. It was one problem after another right out of the box, dealer had it in her who more than I had it in my house & refused to send it back saying it was a lemon. Last time I got it back from her she said there was “NOTHING wrong with it, it is a perfectly running machine” SO I told her I hoped she stood behind that for the next person because I’m including her business card in the box when I sell it and I did. Apparently the machine didn’t like me as it’s working fine for the new owner. Had a 25 year history with Viking, sold EVERYTHING and moved over to Bernina. Got the 830 LE and have never been happier in my life. I wouldn’t touch a Viking if they GAVE it to me and-the machines are not rugged not do they have the quality they once did.

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