Yes, it is difficult to justify buying a new sewing machine when my finances have been tight and I am not making the money I once was. But, I am proud to say that I did not purchase her on credit. It took almost a year to save the money before I was able to take her home and I am so in love with her. And for those who need a formal introduction, this is the Janome Horizon 7700. When I did my research on this machine, she came very highly recommended and I've wanted one for the longest time.
Warning! The rest of this blog post is about the negative experience I had with the sewing machine dealership I purchased her from. It does have a lesson learned and a happy ending but if you choose not to continue reading, that's ok. Like all moms, I want to talk about the labor and the birthing process so here goes...
When I was first shopping for the Janome Horizon, I decided that I could not afford this machine brand new. I was not in a hurry to get one as I already have a couple of great machines. A friend of mine (I'll call her F for Friend) also worked at a sewing machine dealership and she told me that a customer had recently traded up her Janome 7700 for another model. The machine was only a few months old so I could probably negotiate a good price for it.
F had a sewing class at the dealership on a particular Friday night so I went with her and played around with the machine while she attended class. I did not receive any one-on-one instruction or attention from the salesperson (Ill call her N for No Help). I pretty much just played around with it until F was done with her class.
I decided to put the machine on lay-away and plunked down a down payment. I was provided a receipt for the down payment. Through the next few months, I made payments as much as I could. Finally, the day came when I could finally pay her off. I called N and told her I was coming on a Monday afternoon to pick her up. N told me the machine would be ready.
I showed up on Monday afternoon and they were packing up the machine from the sales floor as I arrived. N was not around but another sales person I'll call S ( for Snooty) was there. I was very surprised and unhappy to learn that the machine had been sitting on the sales floor for a year while I was making payments on it. Additionally, it was dusty and had not been serviced prior to my arrival.
I spoke to the owner and told him how unhappy I was that the machine remained a floor model. He explained that floor models were hardly used because most shoppers would only use the machine for 15 minutes at the most and that I paid a very good price. The sewing machine technician was not around that day but they would tune up and clean the machine for me and I could either come back and drop off my machine for service or leave it there and come pick it up in 3 days.
I reluctantly agreed and went ahead and paid for the balance of the machine. At this time S was helping me and I asked her to show me a few basic things such as threading the machine and such and she said "I'm surprised you want instruction as N had already spent 2 hours with you on a Friday night". First of all, that was last year and second, I explained to her that N did not show me the features of the machine. S proceeded to argue with me about how she remembers me because I came and shopped on a Friday night after the store had closed and N worked overtime to assist me. I explained to her (again) that N had not assisted me and the store was open because there was a class, not because of me. S was aggravating me more and more by the minute and I was already annoyed that:
a) the machine I was making payments on remained on the sales floor the entire time I was paying for it
b) N knew I was coming to pick up the machine and did not bother to have it cleaned and tuned up before I came to pick it up
c) S was insisting that I kept the store open for 2 hours after closing time last year so that I could shop
d) S was insisting N already provided me instruction on how to use the machine
e) I had to drive back in 3 days to come pick up the machine (the store is nowhere close to where I live or work)
I got in my car and was close to tears because of anger and frustration. I couldn't believe I made such a major investment and was treated so poorly! I also thought about how I saved for a year and all the hard work to make extra money for this machine only to have such a negative experience. I didn't know if I could get over it. Every time I'd look at the machine, I'm sure I'd remember this bad experience all over again. And since they already had my money, I wan't sure what kind of recourse I had.
Then I looked at the receipt from a year ago for the down payment and looked at the receipt I was just issued for making the final payment. The SERIAL NUMBERS on both the receipts DID NOT MATCH! I was livid! I marched back into the store and spoke to the owner. I was not going to take home a machine which was not the one I originally purchased. That would be like dropping your car off for an oil change and driving home with another car!
The owner resolved this by providing me with a brand new machine (still in the box). Yipee! I was very glad and off I went with S to amend the paperwork and ensure that my receipt now reflected the new serial number. S was still as snooty and after the paperwork was done, she and said goodbye. Umm, hold on just a second. I need someone to carry this 40 lb machine to my car. She informed me she couldn't possibly lift this machine because of her bad back. Well then, find me someone who can!!! Even the supermarket offers assistance to your car. Why wouldn't this stupid &*%$# store?
I will not disclose the name of this store because at the end of the day, the owner did the right thing. However, you can bet your bottom dollar, I am NEVER coming back to this store and I am NEVER recommending this store to my friends. So, the moral of the story is: always check the serial number of your machine. If putting a machine on lay-away, ask if it will remain on the sales floor.