Monday, July 23, 2012

An open letter to Husqvarna Viking

TO READ THE RESPONSE TO THIS LETTER, CLICK HERE.

TO READ ABOUT MY NEW SEWING MACHINES, CLICK HERE.

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As you all know, I've had issues with Vera forever. I drafted this letter to Viking Corporate and sent it off on Sunday. This is information many of you have asked for and I want to be open with you about my struggles. I will keep you all apprised to what happens from here. Thank you all so much for sticking with me even though I've been inconstant in my makes.


To Whom It May Concern:

I purchased a Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 835 in May 2011 from the Viking dealer #2075 inside the Jo-Ann Crafts store in Gilbert, AZ, USA. When I purchased the machine, I was seven months pregnant and still working full-time. I knew I would not be sewing much until after the baby was born, but was up-front with Clarrisa, the manager and person who sold me the machine, that I would be an everyday sewer once the baby arrived. I needed a machine that could handle piecing and quilting and possibly garment sewing on a regular basis. I would not be someone to only take out the machine for the occasional hem or mend. She told me the Sapphire 835 would be my best choice. I tried a few machines out on the sales floor, settling on the Sapphire she recommended, and purchased it that day.

I was working with a local group of quilters here called Comfort Quilters, making quilts for people undergoing treatment for cancer. Our goal is to bring people hope and love with our quilts, and if nothing else, keep them warm as they receive their freezing chemo treatments. As you might imagine, time is of the essence when making for people who are dying, and since my old machine’s foot pedal had broken, I was very excited to get started with my new Sapphire! A few days after my purchase, I pulled it out to work on one of the quilts but I noticed some major tension problems. I remembered Clarrisa telling me there were classes on how to use the machine, so I packed it up, had someone else take my quilts to finish, and signed up for the in-store class. I wanted to learn my machine before I dove in.

A month or so later, I attended the introductory class. I learned quite a lot from that experience and greatly appreciate that Viking offers these classes for sewists! Clarrisa is truly a whiz with these machines!

A couple weeks later, I delivered my first baby. My sewing machine, which up to this point had only been used in the introductory class, remained boxed up until my daughter turned three months old and I found time to sew. In short, for six months, my machine sat all but unused.

The machine worked miserably, having tension problems, forcing me to unpick many-a-seam. Numerous times I drove up to the store to have my machine looked at, every time being told the issue was “Operator Error”. I believed the Viking employees for a while. I would come home in puzzlement, wondering what I could be doing wrong since the employees could never actually tell me what it was this operator was doing to cause all those tension errors. I knew I wasn’t stupid. I am a sewing blogger. I sew constantly, whether for online bees, swaps, series, blog features, or for family and myself. What could I be doing wrong? I also sew with the manual close at hand, something I picked up from my grandmother when she taught me to sew. If ever in doubt, I refer to my manual. But the tension problems persisted leading to many more trips up to the store.

Looking back, I wish I would have documented every time I went to have my machine looked at. In my machine’s first year, I can modestly say I took it to the store a dozen times, not including the numerous phone calls. I was told I needed to buy different thread two separate times, leaving me “unable” to use Coats and Clark or Gutermann. Even Mettler was causing issues. I am currently trying Aurifil, a beautiful thread that should make any machine sing. I was also told I couldn’t buy large spools because my machine clearly couldn’t handle them. I was told I needed to purchase a tabletop thread holder because the thread holder on my machine was too close to the thread intake and THAT was the culprit of all these tension issues. You can imagine my frustration. Why should I need to purchase auxiliary tools so my $1,000 machine can perform the most basic of functions? I purchased the tabletop thread holder. My machine still had tension issues. I was also unable to use the spring action free-motion quilt foot and, as Clarrisa put it, I should just use the “R” foot instead. I purchased the spring action free motion foot separately from my machine specifically so I could free motion quilt. How frustrating that when I WANT to purchase an ancillary, it too will not work with the machine.

I got to the point of being very firm with the employees at this store: I sew every day. I sew long hours. I need a reliable machine and this clearly is not it. I wanted my machine sent out to be serviced while it was still within the first year warranty time frame. Clarrisa assured me that since I have had continued problems with this machine, warranty or not, she would make sure my machine was properly fixed. They finally sent it out, kindly giving me a loaner in the interim, and my machine was returned to me a couple days later. Now, the clunking noise it had been making and the garbled top thread underneath the fabric had been replaced by a high pitched but soft squealing noise toward the top of the machine. I mentioned it to the employee on duty and she told me it was because it had just been serviced and the noise would subside. It didn’t, but the machine seemed to be working, so I took it home. I had project deadlines that I needed to meet.

A couple days into using my newly fixed machine, it began having tension problems again. Frustrated, I called the store to speak with Clarrisa. I left a message for her to return my call and borrowed a friend’s machine to complete my pending projects. I even went so far as to purchase a new foot pedal off Ebay for my old machine so I could use it while my Viking sat on a shelf, waiting to be worked on yet again.

I didn’t hear back from Clarrisa. I don’t know if she never got the message or if she found herself too busy to return my call. I phoned a couple more times, hoping to get my machine into the shop again to be fixed, this time, hopefully, for good. Eventually, I was told I could bring in the Sapphire. I did not recognize the employee but she told me she would have it sent in, gave me a loaner machine, and would let Clarrisa know I was in yet again. About a week later my machine was returned. Another new employee was at the store to give my machine back to me. She told me they fixed my tension issues and that there was a pin found down in the feed dogs. While I do not believe the pin was mine (I am extremely careful about removing pins before they approach the needle) I cannot prove that it wasn’t and will take responsibility for it. I know I was not having any troubles with the feed dogs or bobbin, only the tension, squeal, and loud clunks the machine had made prior to the first time I had it sent out for work. After the employee returned my machine to me, she handed me a bill for the work completed. Apparently I was past my one-year warranty by a couple days, which may not have happened had Clarrisa returned one of my many calls. I did not pay the bill for a couple reasons, the first being that I was not told there would be a charge when I dropped off the machine and second being that Clarrisa had told me they would fix my machine regardless of warranty. I told her if my not paying was an issue for management to have Clarrisa call me and we could discuss, since she was the one who had originally told me not to worry about whether I was within the warranty time frame. I never heard back from her.

Because I am no longer within the one year warranty time frame and any repairs will cost me, I have not taken my machine back in. I have not sewed on it much in the past couple months and it still is making the high-pitched squealing sound.

The issues this machine has presented have caused me to miss deadlines for blog related projects. I have been unable to free-motion quilt and because of the many tension issues, have been forced to send out some of my personal quilts to a long-arm quilter at a high cost to me. My confidence in taking on new projects has been shaken, not my confidence in my skill but my confidence in my machine.

I asked to return the machine after the second or third time I took the Sapphire into the store for repair, but because it had sat for six months while I was pregnant and learning to be a mom, I was past the point for return. I asked to trade in my machine for a new one of the same type since mine was clearly a lemon. I was told no yet again. I asked to upgrade my machine, to use it as a trade-in for the value I paid and I would pay the difference for another machine in the shop. This time I was told I could but they would only give me a miniscule amount for my machine and the cost difference to the next machine up was more than I paid for my machine to begin with.

I get asked on a regular basis which machine I have. Do I like it? Would I recommend it to someone looking for a new machine? Would I do a blog post review of my machine? Would I post about my machine in my “About Me” section on my blog so anyone can easily see about my machine? As I’ve blogged, I have casually mentioned here and there about Vera (the name I have given my machine) and her many issues, but not wanting to have constant negative posts, I have tried to be less forthcoming with my sewing machine problems. I do, however, have a wide following through the blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Flickr, to name a few, who know I have had nothing but trouble with my sewing machine. I have a couple blog friends who have this machine, and when I originally was looking for a new machine, I contacted them to tell me about their experience with the Viking Sapphire. One of the three Sapphire owners I contacted told me she had tension issues with her machine but that she sent it in once and the issues were remedied. Mine, however, were not. I cannot in good conscience give a glowing recommendation for this sewing machine.

I am at a loss. I feel I am stuck with a worthless machine, as it can only perform simple tasks (and not even very well) that I could have gotten from a cheap, $100 Brother machine. I feel that I have exhausted the resources and patience of the employees at the Viking store I purchased this machine from and am looking to see if there are any other options for me at a corporate level. In my optimal scenario, I would like to either swap my machine for the same model, either new or used, but one that works, or I would like to be refunded my full payment amount so I can purchase another machine that will suit my needs. I don’t know what you are capable of doing for me, but I appreciate you considering my problems and my requests.

Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.


Danny

79 comments:

  1. Well written letter, Danny, and I for one would seriously avoid purchasing this brand having read your evaluation of your machine. Not that it had issues but that those issues were never resolved. I find it mindbendingly irritating when a company can't stand behind its product and ensure that the consumer gets what they paid for.

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  2. That's terrible! I would not consider buying a Husqvarna machine now that I've read your problems. I hope the company does the right thing by you.

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  3. Well said! I am more than happy with my Janome and even my old Brother, noisy and cheap never gave me problems. If I never need to replace mine, I think Husquvarna are off my list!

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  4. Well written. I'm sorry this happened. I hope you are compensated well.

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  5. What a disaster! Because of the issues you've had, I will never consider buying Husqvarna. It is obvious that they do not stand behind their product. Your machine should have been replaced long ago. Good luck on the outcome.

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  6. Yikes! I was already avoiding them because of the price (plus I'm very happy with Big Brother), but this puts the tin lid on it! I'm off to do my usual hug and kiss to Big Brother that he always gets after I read one of these types of posts...

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  7. danny - I have a Viking Sapphire 975 Quilt and whilst I don't have so many problems as you, I have "issues" about the tension. First of all, I tried using my R foot to FMQ and was told it was "too thick" and I needed the special spring action foot, which was an extra 50 euros (Like you, I wondered why they call it "quilt" if you can't quilt withoug buying extras). The tension is fine most of the time, but when I sew thicker material, say for a quilt, it goes to rat shit! I do use just a cheap thread that I buy locally, and most of the time it works fine, but it suddenly decides it won't work properly. I still have to send it for it's first service. I would seriously tell people not to buy this machine, and wish I'd gone for the Pfaff quilt expresstion.
    to summarise, I sympathise! I just find it difficult to complain too strongly in czech!

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  8. Good for you ~ terrific letter! I've used Viking and Bernina machines for years and have mostly had good luck with both brands. What I have found, is that it goes back to what type of service is provided by the dealer ~ some have wonderful customer service and others are beyond terrible. A couple of years ago, my DH purchased the (cost as much as a car) Bernina 830 with all the software upgrades, embroidery module, doo dads,rolling carts ~ all the stuff. It was an over the top Christmas gift, to say the least. Well, this beauty gave me nothing but problems for months ~ took it in for service ~ same problems or new ones popped up now and then. I'm very fortunate to have other machines so I could continue on with my projects but the fact that Big Mama was so unreliable was a major cause of concern! Finally we decided this was a Big Lemon and once again hauled it over to the dealer. No Problem...they took it and gave me a NEW machine! Now that's service (even if it did take a year)!!!
    IMO ~ Viking should have replaced your machine long ago and hopefully they will NOW do just that ~ or maybe you would rather have a refund and go find another brand!
    I wish you luck and keep us posted on this ugly matter!

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  9. Wow I really hope you get a good outcome from that. It's a real shocker the way you have been treated by the people at the store and them claiming it's something you're doing wrong.

    The same thing happened to me when I had my other machine. It broke and the store took it back to fix only for it to break again twice after that. They claimed it was my fault for using it too much with the wrong thread and fabric and refused to give me a refund. They gave me a new machine, but I haven't used it encase it breaks again and this time they cant replace it as my warranty is up.

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  10. I'm interested to see what happens here--very intriguing. I have a Viking also and so I won't go into my dealings with it. Like you, when someone asks, I always give the good and the bad...
    And to all you Viking employees--IT'S NOT THE THREAD. I'M USING AURIFIL! RROOOAAARRR!!!!

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  11. I really hope that you get a new machine that works! I can't imagine that they would ignore such a well written letter. Good luck!

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  12. I can't wait to hear what happens as I seem to be in a similar situation with my Viking. Good luck!

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  13. Good luck! I hope they will help you, but I doubt they won't, since your letter will be hard to ignore. I look forward to reading what happens.

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  14. Fingers crossed that this does the trick. Otherwise we could spread the word on all our blogs - I imagine if you threatened this they might just move.

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  15. Great letter Danny and I really hope they give you a new machine. It's shocking that you can spend good money on something and they give you awful service afterwards. I am sure your readers would look more favourably on Vikings if they would supply you with a working machine!! With all the technology in the world you think sewing machine manufacturers could sort out tension issues, really!!?

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  16. I have a tendency to wind up with whatever lemon is being sold. It doesn't have to be a sewing machine, any electrical appliance will do! I had a Janome (exact same one my gma had) and had nothing but issues with it. I now bought a Viking Husquavarna Diamond and have had better luck with it than the Janome, but it has an automatic thread cutter which cuts thread but then seems to pull the thread under so I must sweep my scissors under the foot each time I use the cutter or it will pull my fabric under when I start sewing. It has been in several times too. There are some tension issues...a month or so ago I got a Singer Featherweight...this is the BEST MACHINE I have ever sewn on (machine seven) and I forsee many happy years with it. Hope you get a satisfactory answer out them!

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  17. Brilliant letter Danny, I really hope it gets sorted quickly.

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  18. Hi Danny-I'm a retired Home Economics teacher who has worked with Viking Sewing Machines for 40 years and I recently came across your letter. I was disappointed that it hasn't been resolved to your satisfaction and mentioned that I read about your situation on the Internet when I dropped one of my machines to have it serviced today. The young man suggested you email John@villagesewing.com who is a factory authorized dealer to see if he can shed some light on how to go about finding a solution for you. I recently found out that just because a person has their own business repairing machines and even working on ones at the community college, they don't know everything there is to know about sewing machines, especially Vikings. So this is the second time in six months that I have tried to get my machine repaired, but I have more confidence in a factory authorized dealer than a fabric store that sells sewing machines(& is really more interested in the sale than service) or even someone who has their own business! When you buy a machine it is best to purchase it from an factory authorized dealer who is in touch with the factory/company for the latest updates and knows the "ins" and "outs" of the machine you've purchased. I have 2 Viking machines, my mechanical one purchased many years ago and a "newer" electronic one that I have been equally happy with its performance. It is difficult to find factory authorized dealers these days as I had to drive 2 hours to take my machine for servicing and then I will have to make a return trip to pick it up. Fortunately my sister, who also has 2 Viking machines which she loves, also took one of her machines for servicing and we will ride together to retrieve them. I hope you'll email John with your letter and perhaps you can "talk" to see if something can be done to resolve your problems with your Viking machine. Please let me know how this works out for you.

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    1. I just started to work for Viking but I've been sewing since I was a teenager and have been sewing with Viking machins the whole time. I have 5 of them ......starting with the emerald and a couple of opals and a serger , and ruby deluxe. Most of the time its the user and if there is a problem and is in the repair shop for to long we give them a new machine. I work for the company Viking inside Jo anns. Most of the time I can solve there problems because I've been sewing on them for a long time. Even though we give owner classes it might not be enough. We invite them to come in until they are good with there machine. Before I started working for Viking I bought the ruby. I read the manual and played with it. I could of went in for a lesson and in fact a couple weeks later I started working at night for them, couple days a week. Vikings are hard working machines and make me money !

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  19. Fab letter! I hope this is resolved. . go get em!

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  20. Wow, I hope I am not on the same path. Just bought the same machine and it was a trade up machine. I live in Scottsdale, AZ. I'm hoping it isn't your machine! First off, I bought it the end of July and didn't get a chance to work with it until mid-August. I've sewn all my life on an old Pfaff which is just a straight/zig-zag machine. Was looking forward to the embroidery stitches. The needle threader never worked and the machine kept having tension problems so it was sent in for repair. The needle threader was replaced and works fine now. But, I still can't sew more than a few inches before the upper thread breaks. I too am on the path to using better threads including what the Viking dealers sell to no avail! I've got to take my machine in for more servicing. Your story is making me nervous!

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  21. Wow, I thought I was the only one with such problems. I purchased a Topaz 20 3 years ago and began having problems with it about 6 months later. I had thread shredding and breaking, loud clanging and banging and once this started I could not resolve it. The store I bought it from first told me they could not recreate the problem nothing was wrong and over the years it morphed into buy correct needles, thread, maybe its your surge protector at home. I should mention that they do not properly document on their repair invoices and I have two that don't even show the problem or what work they did to resolve it. Basically blank invoices. They also kept my machine once for a month and still the problem continued until, of course, it was out of warranty. They did service it once after the warranty was up because knew what I went through and wanted to give me a break, but now because the problem still continues they have dropped me flat. Now they want $125 for service fees (because they didn't charge me before) and up to $100 to ship it to Viking. By the way, this is within the stores' 90 day service warranty period but they are not going to honor that warranty now because I didn't pay a service fee! Long story short, I have referred the problem to the regional Viking manager for Dayton, OH, but the store manager told me he has already talked to the regional manager at Viking and he pretty well knows he won't help me.....I am so frustrated. This is a $3000 machine and it looks like I won't be getting any help so I sympathize with you.

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    1. I forgot to mention, I too sew sporadically, mostly for Christmas bazaars at the end of the year, so I had periods of 6 months without repairs being done. I was also told by the store manager that all the time I spent with the ladies in the store working on the machine to recreate the problem didn't count because they weren't "repair people."

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  22. I am going through this same issue right now with my Viking Topaz 20. I will be taking my machine back for the third time in two weeks on Saturday and I'm so sick of dealing with this and being told it is my fault.

    My dealer didn't even know what Aurifil was when I brought it in to test sew with it on Sunday! She hinted that a thread so "fine" and "thin" might cause issues. PLEASE.

    I'm going to have to read more of your blog to see what happened but this is not encouraging. I'm thinking of getting it fixed and just ebaying it.

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  23. I just bought a viking 835 the fmqf is so noise tension are terrible fixed twice will be taking in again can't free motion quilt to loud patti. Crete illi ios

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    1. your not using it right. U need owners classes.

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  24. HI...I'm rather late getting to this...I have a Sapphire 830 and it's amazing...It took me awhile to get used to it....my free-motion tension problems were solved by lowering my top tension setting to 0....also I have the free-motion quilting foot,(the open-toe spring action one). It did not work well at all....but I modified it per Leah Day by bending back the bar at the top and placing a rubber band at the top. The quilting was then great. Just today I learned something else...instead of setting it up "for free motion quilting" per the manual, I changed the pivot setting to 5 and my fabric floats so much better under the presser foot....feed dogs still down. I bought this machine refurbished off ebay for $750. I didn't read the reviews before I bought it----I was looking for a machine with a large harp space. If I had read them I probably wouldn't have bought one---I'm glad I didn't. Having said all this, my needle threader did break---that's been the only problem. I'm so sorry for all your troubles and hope by now you've gotten some satisfaction. I think you did just get a lemon---like a brand new Ford Focus I once bought. Within the first year we replaced the started 4 times.

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  25. ...that should have been "starter" .... :)

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  26. My machine and local embroidery shop's are both Topaz 30, not 20 as stated below:

    We bought our Topaz 20 at a quilt show in Pomona CA from an AZ dealer in January 2010. We had exceeded the capabilities of our 1972 Kenmore (actually still going strong) and were impressed with the projects produced at the show attributed to that Topaz 20. We had trouble with it immediately, though I could nurse it along by very carefully regulating its speed. Our friends (Bernina owners) strongly suggested careful thread selection and frequent needle replacement. Did lots of that with some success, but still got relatively unpredictable birds nest failures. Also was promised some hoops that had been with the machine at the show, and some accessories that should have been, so called the AZ shop; THEY WERE EXCELLENT IN THEIR RESPONSE and met all our needs. We took the Topaz to the local CA Viking dealer when we kept having problems; THEY WERE EXCELLENT in giving us the prescribed VH lessons, and tried very hard to duplicate our problems – machine refused to misbehave so we eventually concluded it was our fault. Next pass through Phoenix we visited the dealer with the same results – THEY WERE VERY CONCERNED AND HELPFUL, but again machine only fails in our hands when no pros are watching.

    We gave up and have for three years been quilting on the ’72 Kenmore and one of my many Singers, a 1960s Golden Touch-N-Sew. Just this last weekend, I ran the VH through its paces with good results after aggressively blowing out the bobbin area and tension discs after Sue had a failure that showed loose loops on the bobbin side of the fabric. Now it was failing with any thread other than black Gutterman – THEN!!! It failed with that too while I was simply raising the bobbin thread! And I saw the loop escape the take up hook just as you did. My thoughts: Poor design! Impossible to believe that VH doesn’t know about it! Very upset about 3 years of frustration and blaming ourselves.

    All my Singers and our Kenmore have closed eye on takeup arm so I wrapped a wire around the lever, threaded through the eye and sewed perfectly for the rest of the day, including all grades of thread from cheap Coats and Clark to the high grade Guterman. NO FAILURES, perfect stitches, including some of the fancy ones. Removed wire – instant birds nest. Took a piece of insulation from 14 ga house wire and slipped it (friction fit) on the wire of the takeup lever until it made an interference fit when threading (thread normally but snaps past the fix point). Visited the local VH rep shop where she had a Topaz 20 on display and allowed me to look at the takeup lever – very different bends and much tighter gap! Lots of sewing the rest of the weekend using Coats And Clark Walmart thread – all functions normal. We see no reason to trust the machine to the experts and will never buy VH again. Poor design and very irresponsible corporate attitudes and policies.

    For the first time, we are going to take the embroidery unit out of the box and try to learn to embrioder. Local rep is going to tutor us.

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  27. DBBarry-I have three Viking machines, and I can honestly say I love them all. I will agree with your thoughts on the thread take-up arm, however. Bad design. But my 20 year old Kenmore had the same design, too. I learned on that one that the first thing to check is the thread take-up arm. I learned to sew on an early 1960's Singer Touch & Sew, where there was a hole the thread went through on the take up arm. Never had that problem with that machine. I think that they made the slotted take up arms to make threading "easy". I'd swap "easy" for the extra three seconds it takes to put the thread through a hole (that it couldn't come out of). However, I've not seen any modern machines that have just a hole on the take up lever, they all have some kind of slit.

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  28. DBBarry-I have three Viking machines, and I can honestly say I love them all. I will agree with your thoughts on the thread take-up arm, however. Bad design. But my 20 year old Kenmore had the same design, too. I learned on that one that the first thing to check is the thread take-up arm. I learned to sew on an early 1960's Singer Touch & Sew, where there was a hole the thread went through on the take up arm. Never had that problem with that machine. I think that they made the slotted take up arms to make threading "easy". I'd swap "easy" for the extra three seconds it takes to put the thread through a hole (that it couldn't come out of). However, I've not seen any modern machines that have just a hole on the take up lever, they all have some kind of slit.

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  29. I've had problems with my hv also and when it sews,it has has a beautiful stitch. Got so dang frustrated with it last week, I went to Target and bought a $150.00 Singer Brilliance just so I could finish up some projects while I was on vacation. I have to do some SERIOUS soul searching to decide whether or not to take the HV in for service/repair. Would the price of the repair be worth it?? Doubtful...but it's not in my nature to get rid of an expensive machine w/o at least getting an estimate. It irks me because I bought many different feet for the HV which don't fit the Singer...sigh.

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  30. Wow, I'm sorry you've had such problems with your Saphire. I have the same one and I love it, all my feet work, even the extra ones I've purchased. I got mine from a factory authorized dealer and they've provided very good service. I was having some minor tension issues when I started FMQ(more of the top thread was showing through the bottom than I wanted since I was using two diff colors) , but I took a sample quilt sandwhich into the store and they showed me how to properly adjust the tension. I have not at all been impressed with the people at joanns. They don't even know their own products. I would try finding and talking to a different dealer.

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  31. I purchased a sapphire almost a year ago and it's wonderful I use almost everyday and have NEVER had any problems. My mother got a designer topaz and it was having problems and try just gave her a while new machine and I think Husqvarna is AMAZING and really you should call the main distributer and ask them for a new machine and they are VERY nice and will treat you with respect. ( in my experience)

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  32. Wow! I am sorry you are having these problems! I have the same machine AND the same problems exactly! was told it was operator error until I was well past the warrenty period. I spent many days just in tears wishing I hadnt sold my old Kenmore for $50.... I have had a Viking before ad loved it, but this machine is terrible! I too thought mine was a lemon- but now I think its just a very poor design Never again.

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  33. I am just considering buying the Topaz 50, anyone have any experience with it???? All these comments are getting me a little worried :/ it's such a large investment!!

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    1. a great machine and just below a ruby. Get owner classes

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  35. this really sounds more like a dealer issue and whoever they use to repair, than a Husqvarna issue. Generally speaking they are fantastic workhorse machines and require very little other than normal maintenance. However, if they do require repair or re-adjustment only Husqvarna trained operative are qualified to carry out the work and a 2 or three day turn around doesn't sound right to me. If your dealer was half way decent she would have replaced the machine considering the hassle you'd had and regardless of the warranty/guarantee period you still have statutory rights and the fact that it had been in and out and you had made so many complaints is sufficient evidence that the machine was faulty and not fit for purpose.

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  36. I have the same problem with my sapphire 830
    . I finally took it to an independant repairman. Turns out this is a design problem. Newer models have a clip on the take up arm to prevent the thread from bouncing off the arm. I was able to order the clip and its now being installed on my machine. Hopefully thus will work so I can sell this machine! I've akready bought a brother that I'm very happt with....

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  37. I have an 855 that I bougt in 2009 when I was pregnant with my daughter. This is my 3rd viking (and my first that wasn't a used late 70s / early 80s model). That d@mn uptake arm about did me in. I've learned to hold the thread for the first 2-3 stitches so it wouldn't go flying (this is my first machine that has the uptake arm hidden behind the case). That little bit of tug has saved my sanity. Beyond that my only issues have been fluff behind the bobbin case (and getting it put back together correctly).

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  38. While searching the internet for posts, blogs or anyone having similar problems with their husqvarna machine, I found this. The exact same issues I am having with a machine less than a year old. This is my exact situation, I have been told the same things by employees and now with a broken loaner I am to the point of just them wiping my debt clean and moving on. I was told the husqvarna ruby would be a good match for my etsy shop and would be able to keep not. Not the case at all!
    I am glad I am not the only one.

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  39. While searching the internet for posts, blogs or anyone having similar problems with their husqvarna machine, I found this. The exact same issues I am having with a machine less than a year old. This is my exact situation, I have been told the same things by employees and now with a broken loaner I am to the point of just them wiping my debt clean and moving on. I was told the husqvarna ruby would be a good match for my etsy shop and would be able to keep not. Not the case at all!
    I am glad I am not the only one.

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  40. I am curious. Was this ever resolved?

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    1. I have added the links to the response and resolution at the top of this page. Click the links to see how it was resolved. Thank you for bringing to my attention the fact that I had not already added these links to this page.

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  41. Well said! Danny, I hope it gets sorted quickly.

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  42. I live in Australia. Bought the sewing machine with the intention of using it rarely, shortening hems. adjusting blouses etc. The machine gave me nothing but trouble. Tension problems. Not performing as promised when bought. ie can use on jeans also after resting in my wardrobe for months, I went pick it up to use it only to find that the spool holder was broken, on its own! So could not use yet again. Now I cannot find a dealer that I can ask for help. The dealer I bought the machine from has closed down and so two others in my area. Wish I had kept my good reliable SINGER!

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  43. I live in Australia. Bought the sewing machine with the intention of using it rarely, shortening hems. adjusting blouses etc. The machine gave me nothing but trouble. Tension problems. Not performing as promised when bought. ie can use on jeans also after resting in my wardrobe for months, I went pick it up to use it only to find that the spool holder was broken, on its own! So could not use yet again. Now I cannot find a dealer that I can ask for help. The dealer I bought the machine from has closed down and so two others in my area. Wish I had kept my good reliable SINGER!

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  44. Thank you so much. I appreciate your comments. I was going to make a purchase tomorrow for a sapphire 930. I am picking up sewing after 20 years. I will stick with my initial intuition and purchase a Bernina. Thank you so much !

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  45. I am so sorry that all of you have had such bad "luck" with your Viking. I have owned 3 Viking sewing machines, the latest is the Sapphire 830. I have not had any of the problems you mentioned nor any of my friends that have Viking machines have complained so it is sad to hear that there are "lemons" out there even in the Viking world.

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  46. I have a Viking Designer Topaz 20. It had some tension issues the first time I used, which happened to be an owner's class at the store I purchases the Topaz from. They fixed it and this machine has been a dream since! I've mostly used it for FSL embroidery but have recently started quilting. I've had good luck at the Viking Sewing Gallery places in JoAnn. I'd recommend Viking machines.

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  47. Found your article/rant whilst searching out free patterns online. Was very concerned about the warranty situation you described. I am a sometimes sewer. Dreams of embroidering and quilting...someday.
    Was concerned when my new Topaz did not have the little bobbin tray in the accessory arm box. Took it back to the store for full refund. If they can't even get all the parts into the box at the factory, don't want to find myself SOL for waiting so long to use/test it, with the busy life our family has.
    Besides, the newer, less expensive Sony A65, which I wanted more than the Topaz, will get way more use.
    Thanks for your detailed report.

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  48. I'm looking for a new sewing machine, better lighting and bigger throat than 5.5". Almost walked out with Janome Horizon, $3,000.... Ouch. Then I've considered Juki Exceed 600 for $1,049 from sew/vac shop. Now my niece is telling me that she and her mom own Husqvarna I think Saffire. from quilt shop, not as convenient. Then decide to just do a bit more sewing on my Kenmore and think about it some more. It's a big purchase and hard to decide.

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    1. the Vikings have a large throat and I have 5 of them. I use the opals as my work horse.

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  49. I have 5 Vikings there's nothing like them. I've been sewing since I was a teenager. My first was an emerald and I now have two opals a serger ,and ruby deluxe.. I'm 57 and I make apparel. But that's not all I do. I work with leather a lot and have found that my Vikings work awesome with leather. I find that I make more money with my embroidery machine then the apparel lol I even did a pontoon boat cushions with marine vinyl. lol and did covers for boats. I learned how to sew when my 5 children were small. I made a lot of them. When my girls got older I made them there prom gowns and homecoming apparel . Now I do adulterations and embroidery and yes I put new zippers on leather jackets and my Viking is awesome I made myself a leather Jacket with bobcat fur on the collar. As with all machines there could be a defect but I haven't found any yet in mine. Most of the time its the user. I made 4 quilts and still had no problems. I now take orders for tee shirt quilts. lol My Vikings make me money and they are well worth the price !!

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  50. I love doing the free standing lace projects and have success with both types of wss stabilizer. The key is using the correct needle (use a new one) I use size 11 embroidery needle..If the design has been poorly digitized then you will have no success no matter what...Rely on a good digitizer..Emb library is THE BEST!!! Make sure you hoop your stabilizer tight as a drum, and also use the same thread in the bobbin as you do on the top..no need for 70 weight bobbin thread for FSL designs...so to sum it all up use good products...needles thread and by all means a good digitized design..

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  51. I have tried handstitching with rayon embroidery thread, if its for machine embroidery, then it is extremely slippery and not very fun to work with

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  52. Please contact me if you still have this machine, I worked for the very company your talking about but at the San Tan Store. I know a few things that most do not about these machines and amount others I own the 835 as well. My cell phone is 602-618-7749 just send me a text and I would be happy to help you!

    Mari

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    1. Mari, do you have tips for Viking owners with tension problems? I have the same issues Danny is having with my Sapphire from the JoAnn's at Desert Ridge.
      --Annie

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  53. I bought an 830 from a dealer that I knew well. It isn't so much the machine, but the dealer that makes a sale/service work. The H-V dealer closed and retired over a year ago. Whatever problems I have had have been taken care of; last service was a year ago. Since my fave shop closed, I drive well out of my way to Austin, TX to get my machine serviced. I am not talked down to or treated like a child there. Go out of your way to go to the people who treat you with respect. Life is too short; time is precious.

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  54. I brought the new topaz 40 and first time I tried free motion sewing with it it thread tangled under fabric and just didn't work. Like you I pretty much use the machine for quilting.. Frustratin.. I had always had baby lock and first week with Viking and this. While looking for answers on line I came across your letter.
    I called the dealer.. I am lucky that my dealer is fantastic and there is a sewing machine mechanic and teacher right there.
    I brought the machine in. The mechanic found out the presses foot was not adjusted correctly by the factory so the foot could not maintain the correct tension no matter how you adjusted it or what kind of thread you use. He had to correct the problem with a computer he uses: a few minutes later I was on my way machine working perfect. If you still have your machine ask them to try this I hope it works... We all know the frustration of not being able to use our machines when we need them.

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  55. I HATE my viking sapphire. Same problems as you and repeated trips to get it serviced at Joann's (I'm in AZ also but I go to the Desert Ridge one). This last time it was serviced, the "crunchy" noise that used to be minor is now embarrassingly loud and people comment on it when I bring it to sewing classes. I also have had major tension issues, nonstop pretty much. Many many many broken needles. It doesn't even sew through thick fabric well. I got a cheapie Brother machine at Walmart, and though I hate the limitations in stitches and inability to move needle left or right for sewing zippers, it works great! I never have issues with it! So ridiculous that my $2000 machine constantly has issues and my $80 one works like a charm.

    I will not buy another Viking. I might venture into Janome or Bernina territory next.

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  56. Yikes!! I was just getting ready to buy the Sapphire 930 from my local Joann's. I hope that I am not getting into a real mess!! I own my own business and sew for hours and hours every day! Believe it or not - I've done all my sewing projects on the Singer Curvy!!! Yep - a 300.00 (or less on sale) sewing machine!! It's not great at some things - but it's been reliable! Now I'm concerned about spending 1500.00 on a new machine!!!

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  57. Yikes!! I was just getting ready to buy the Sapphire 930 from my local Joann's. I hope that I am not getting into a real mess!! I own my own business and sew for hours and hours every day! Believe it or not - I've done all my sewing projects on the Singer Curvy!!! Yep - a 300.00 (or less on sale) sewing machine!! It's not great at some things - but it's been reliable! Now I'm concerned about spending 1500.00 on a new machine!!!

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  58. I just bought the Topaz 40 and I love the machine! I'm looking to upgrade to the Epic!

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  59. I just got my Epic! I love this machine! It is worth every penny!

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  60. My Husqvarna Viking Interlude 445 (one of the ones made in Sweden) was a champ. I recently took it in for cleaning and the guy broke the computer inside! Grrrr... I was thinking of getting a new Viking, but now I am second guessing my choice.

    Thank you for posting your experience!

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  61. after reading your story, i will NOT ever buy this machine! I am looking at another brand at this point. thank you for your well written letter.

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  62. I purchased a Designer 1 in 2006. From the first day it was obvious it was a lemon. After taking it back for repair for the third time after being given various excuses such as "oh, you must have bumped the hoop" which were all bs, I finally gave them an ultimatum: Fix it right, refund my money or give me a new machine. Funny, all of a sudden they found that the machine had a bad motherboard that they replaced. I will say that, other than routine maintenance, I haven't had any other issues with the machine itself, but I have had problems with the staff at Joann. I purchased additional hoops, but was never told that the machine had to be upgraded in order to use them, even though they show up on the machine screen. I now find out that the only store where I purchase supplies (which is a nearly 100 mile round trip) is closing and I will now have to travel nearly 100 miles one way to get replacement bobbins, etc. Luckily, there is a very good repair shop near me, but they can't do the upgrades because Viking won't let them have the parts.

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  63. you know...after reading this i might trade my designer se in for a babylock destiny..or a bernina

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  64. I purchased a Designer Diamond Royale 6 months and 7 days ago...It was a trade in with 15 hrs of use on it. I paid about $6000 for it..and yes, it does amazing things. The embroidery quality is unsurpassed by anything I have ever seen. It has sewing features that will take this 40 yr sewing veteran years to learn..but it has now failed to do the most basic thing..which is to hold the needle in place. It started on Sunday, I took to my dealer on Monday, the owner said it was the screw. He replaced it and sent me on my way. 24 hrs later..its doing the same thing.
    So now I have to load it all up again and drive 40 minutes back to the shop and this time he says I have to leave it.
    A machine that costs as much as this..should not have issues with basic operation. It's ridiculous. In 40 years of sewing, I have never had this problem.
    Buyer beware...I will never buy Husqvarna Viking again!
    My plan is to dispute the charges with my credit card if the problem is not solved this time.

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  65. I was thinking of buying my first viking, now I will run away, fast!

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  66. I truly believe the biggest lesson out of this is to not to buy a machine from JoAnns. They are just sellers (although they claim different). I had nearly the same scenario, because of JoAnns. Then they closed the sewing department! I was forced to (finally) take it to a true mechanic and it came back sewing like a champ and has every since! I don't know if I would buy another Viking but remember....Many brands are owned by these conglomerates. The Viking is the same as Pfaff...and they are made in Taiwan. All of us need to buy the SERVICE...not the machine. If you love the people in the store and you trust them...thats when to buy.

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  67. The following is my opinion only. I have been repairing sewing machines full time for 35 years. I have been an authorized dealer for many brands including Pfaff, Janome and Elna and was a Viking dealer for many years. When the Designer I came out, there were serious problems from day one. Four out of ten machines had significant problems right out of the box. Viking's policy was that if the machine was in the dealer's possession under 30 days, we could send it back to Viking and they would (supposedly) repair it. If it were over 30 days, it was up to the dealer to make it work. This was a nightmare because I believe the engineering of these machines was very substandard and had lots of bugs that Viking couldn't even fix. I remained a viking dealer to sell certain models but couldn't afford to sell Designer I, Designer II, etc. because of returns, warranty repair time and dissatisfied customers.
    All these years later I still see the same problems over and over with the same response from Viking: ignore the situation and the pesky customer will eventually go away. I sincerely believe that Viking has only their financial investors in mind. They use low quality materials, sloppy workmanship and old technology wherever possible. They put zero money and effort into addressing well known issues, charge top dollar and once they have your money, they will keep using unreliable replacement parts and/or brush you off until you stop trying. I personally consider Viking to be extremely unethical. It's too bad because, when the machines work, they have great features and do exquisite embroidery. Caveat emptor!

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    1. Great insight... so what machine for garment sewing would you advise?

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    2. Hi catgirljourney! I don't know if you are asking me or the other commenter, so I'll tell you what I use and maybe they will tell you what they use. I still use my Juki HZL-F600 for my garment sewing. It has a free arm and multiple stitches, making it versatile. I also have a Juki serger that I haven't opened yet (I've been so busy!) but I have used a friend's and loved it (hence the reason I bought one of my own). I make a few Comicon costumes each year and make little things like skirts and dresses for my girls. I haven't made many clothes for myself because making clothes for my daughters is just so much more fun! I use the overlocking stitch or do French seams for my garment seams, and I use the stretch stitch (zig zag) when working with knits. Hope that helps!

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  68. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  69. very nice post :) i like its very helpful to users thanks for sharing ;)

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  70. Isn't it sad that the big Viking company combined with Singer and Pfaff? Then they moved their assembly lines to the far east, whether Taiwan or China. Everything went to hell!!! Then they quit with customer service. THe machines are not as strong as they used to be and they are pretty much crap.

    Besides that, the class you take with a new machine is worthless. And I have watched local stores in Joanns sell embroidery machines with NO SOFTWARE!!!!

    THe company went to hell in a handbasket!

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