Tuesday, November 20, 2007

What An Adventure!

I first started this Blog to document my "quilting adventure"---boy has it been one the last couple of weeks. As you have read, I purchased my first Longarm!!!! Excited isn't the word for how I felt. From the very beginning I had problems with "Harriet"---first I couldn't get the tension right AND I was breaking needles in the process. I thought the tension and needle problems was going hand in hand and that the tension was causing the problem with the needles. Anyway, I finally got the tension right (I might add the written support materials for the Premier are severely lacking, but that is another post), but the needle problem continued. I was communicating with the Dealer all along and getting telephone consultation. Finally after 30 needles were broken, the Dealer's husband came to look at the machine (he is the repair person and operations expert). Anyway, he says that a piece is broken and it looks like it was shipped from the factory that way. He takes my machine and after three weeks it comes back---Okay, the tension is okay (the company put on another threading system), no broken needles and I am a happy camper----then, I am loading a quilt yesterday and the laser light is hanging out---WHAT!!!! I look and it appears to be glued in although there are threads on a the part which to me means it should have been screwed in---but the threads are stripped. Coincidentally, Gammill had called me to ask me how I liked the machine so I called them back and tell them my story. I think I should have a new machine and tell them so. In addition to the broken part from the factory, the laser light, there is also a screw missing from the back of the machine and the front handle is scarred up. I am asked to send digital pictures, which I do. Anyway after talking back and forth all day, I find out that all of the laser lights are in fact glued in! I am also assured that this has never happened before (all the more I think why I should have a new machine since this is the second time something has happened that has NEVER happened again). At any rate, the company doesn't agree with me and say they will fix the part but will not replace the machine. I say give me my money back and take the machine. I am referred back to the dealer and this is where it gets dicey! He flips out when my husband asked for some type of receipt that says he has taken my machine and will refund the money in a check to come within the next week. He eventually hangs up in my husband's face after he has said "take it up with Gammill".

SOOOOOOOO, I call Gammill and after talking with a very nice lady, agree to keep the machine, glue in the part myself, and she is sending me a screw. But I insist on another dealer and she agrees. Why do you ask do I go through all this just to keep the machine? I really like the Gammill----and the lady was really nice to me---when she said she is a quilter, I was hooked. The moral of this story is a person who is nice, is honest in their responses ("Gammill will not replace a machine if something is wrong that can be repaired, however if you continue to have problems, replacement will seriously be considered"), listens and doesn't place blame AND understands your position--is everything!!!!!! If anyone is reading this and is in customer service please take note. On my part, I was honest, clear and tried to not be unreasonable. The new dealer has already called me and introduced herself (another GREAT customer service activity) and helped me with a problem already. If I ever buy another machine (and I think I will definitely upgrade), I am going to really interview dealers as I try out machines. This dealer, had he (and his wife who NEVER talked to me) been nicer, and listened, even empathizing a bit, I wouldn't have felt so abandoned. That is really why I said take the machine back in the first place.

So the adventure continues!


The quilting nurse said...

It is wonderful to know that there are more people out there like me who love to quilt and help deliver babies. Can life get any better. Enjoyed your blog. I haven't broken down yet to purchase a long arm, but it is in the future plans.

Teri said...

I am another lurker who enjoys reading your blog. Congratulations on your Longarm. I have thought long and hard about buying one. Right now I have an HQ Sixteen, which is plenty for me, and expensive enough. I can't imagine the expense of a new Gammill and then having to put up with what you have. It would just make me sick. You are so right about good customer service. With the way the economy is, they should be happy anyone even bought an expensive machine from them. You would think it would be important to them to make their customer happy. I hope that it all works out for you!