Husqvarna Viking sewing machine repair problems, the ongoing saga

As I said in my last post about my Viking sewing machine repair ridiculousness, I was wishing to have my machine back after more than two months of waiting for parts. At first, I meant I was hoping to get it back repaired, and then I lowered my expectations and hoped to get it back as it was when I brought it to the repair shop. Well…

Before I even touch on how tired I am of this entire process, or how frustrated I am with the Viking business as a whole, I think I’ll just voice my suggestions for Husqvarna Viking that might help avoid all the problems I’ve had:

1) Sell the sewing machines directly from the Viking company. Post them on the Husqvarna Viking web site with set prices that everyone can see. Allow customers to purchase them online, directly from the Viking web site, or allow them to purchase sewing machines through dealers who take their orders, send them to the company, and have the machines sent directly to the customers from the company. That way, dealers can still get a commission, and there is no intrigue as to whether or not a warranty is valid or a dealer is “authorized”. There is no wondering if a machine has been tampered with or refurbished. There is no room for price gouging. It’s a cut-and-dried transaction. Staples does it. You can go in to Staples, look at a desk, have someone there order it for you, and it comes to your house. Easy.

2) Post the complete warranty conditions on the Viking web site. No making it up as you go along.

3) Allow customers to have the option to send machines in for repair, directly to the company, where they have people specifically trained to work on their machines. Post set prices for cleaning, repair, and servicing directly on the Viking web site, with instructions on how to send your machine to them. Again, there is no room for price gouging, and there is no burden on the customer to ascertain if their local repair person/Viking dealer is honest or qualified to repair their machine. Allow customers to go to dealers for repair if they choose, but have the option available to them to mail their machines directly to the company, if they choose.

I think that would solve a lot of the problems with this company that I have been through so far. At any rate, I’ve got my Platinum 775 back, and it’s in worse shape since the trip to the authorized Viking dealer’s repair shop. I was afraid this would be the case, but I didn’t want to say that in my last post, out of hope that it wouldn’t be true. I have no choice now, but to report this to the original seller who agreed to fix my machine. He has his own warranty on the machine, for defective parts. I think the parts should have been covered, but now the waters have been muddied. I’m hoping he will still replace them.

I had a choice of of going to one of two authorized dealers that were within a reasonable driving distance from me. The other was one that I had misgivings about before, when I tried to buy my machine. At the time, she had a half-off sale on all her discontinued models, and I asked to try one. Then I noticed another, the same model I have now, that hadn’t been marked with a price. She told me she had completely forgotten about that one, since no one ever looked at it, and everyone who came in wanted the newer models instead. It was an older, discontinued, used floor model, but once she saw I was interested in it, she refused to sell it to me for half off. She decided to stick close to he price point of the other fancier model, that came new in the box, that I had looked at, assuming, I guess, that that was how much she could get me to spend. That really turned me off. I liked that model though, and after calling the other local dealer to find out they didn’t have it, I found it online instead, brand new. Really liked the sewing machine. No problems until now.

So, I went to the only other local authorized dealer for repair. As I said before, the price for repair more than doubled, without anyone notifying me, over the course of the two plus months I waited to get it back. I left out of my last post that in between the repair man telling me were were already “up to $700″ and his agreeing not to charge me, there was a lot of negotiating, which my dad stepped in to help with. I felt like I was being taken advantage of.

The NC dealer I went to also told me he thought the machine had been worked on before, that it had major damage, and that “whatever gremlins got in there must have had a party.” It’s all been very confusing and upsetting. I personally don’t believe in gremlins, and even if I did, I can’t imagine how they’d get inside the machine without an authorized dealer to open it up. I used my eBay-bought copy of the service manual to get into service mode to check the clock on how much use the machine had had, in case it really was a well-disguised used machine. There have been only 33 hours and 12 minutes that it’s been on at all, and only 11 hours and 53 minutes that it’s actually sewed. I did most of my sewing on my other machine, and saved this one for detailing. I also unplugged it between use, and kept it on a surge protector. There have been a lot of insinuations by the Viking company and their dealer, about my machine and the person who sold it to me, but I don’t know who to believe. Right now, I’m wishing I had just sent it to the original seller to fix in the first place. It hasn’t been repaired, and no one I’ve dealt with so far has behaved in a businesslike manner.

This has all been much more complicated than necessary and I still have no idea how this is going to go. Contrary to what Viking has been pushing at me, I don’t wish that I had bought my machine from one of the local dealers. I feel like I would have just paid more for the machine and received the same poor service I’ve gotten so far. Viking used to be a good company, from what I’ve heard, and although I really liked my machine while it was still working, I’m very disgusted with the company.

I hope to be able to just get back to my sewing, on my older Sarah, my other Viking sewing machine, without having to think about this nonsense every day. It’s been very distracting and disheartening, not just for myself but for my family. Since we work together, there have been projects piling up that haven’t been gotten to because of this.

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23 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    Posted February 26, 2010 at 1:57 am | Permalink

    I bought my sapphire 1 and 1/2 years ago and it has been in the repair shop twice with the same problem but now worse as a metal piece fell off and will not feed the fabric through while sewing. They may or may not be able to get a part and coming from China. They also no longer make this model anymore. I want the machine replaced but am told that it will not happen, he is going to do his best to fix the problem. I do not blame the retailer but when I bought the machine there was a lot that was left out re:warranty. Very Very unhappy with this product, would I buy anouther Husqvarna? NO!! Also the frame work of this particular model happens to collect a lot of lint inside, I vacuum it on an ongoing basis, the repair man said that it was full of dust and there is no way that you can get it clean as the way the machine is built.

  2. Felicity
    Posted March 9, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Dear Elizabeth! I'm so sorry about your machine – I could sense your frustration and upset about it all and can only sympathise. I'm writing this from London and my very first machine was a Husqvarna and was just thinking of getting another. I'm not so sure now!!! I do hope it gets resolved soon, regards, Felicity,

  3. Mary
    Posted October 16, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Viking has incompetent, inept, lazy people working for them. I had my Designer 1 bobbin winder replaced a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, I also own a 500 and #1+ so when it was returned to me I didn’t check it. Guess what? The bobbin winder doesn’t work, it’s not even installed correctly. How intelligent do you need to be to replace a bobbin winder? Their “factory authorized” repair people couldn’t find their butts with both hands, a flashlight, and a GPS system. They are at best, pathetic. And this crap about, “you are required to have a tuneup” everytime you need a repair is bull. It’s just another way for them to scam you with Viking’s blessing. No, don’t EVER purchase a Viking; they lost their edge and superiority a long, long time ago. Find an old, any brand machine at a yard sale and you’ll be better off.

  4. Joanne Lennstrom
    Posted February 3, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    I read your post with interest because my Viking 6030 needs a little work. I have had it for 38 years! My local authorized Viking dealer, repair shop is a sleazey, creepy place. So I want to fix and do a tune up myself, but I could use a “Technical Briefing” publication or an oem service manual to help me.
    You mentioned in your post that you found an eBay-bought copy of the service manual. Did you find it helpful? I see a similar one on CD format for sale on Ebay for Models in the 6000 series. I think I can do this repair as I am fairly mechanical, but a manual would keep me from guessing on how all the moving parts fit together. (My decorator cam unseats).
    I agree with you on your ideas for improvement in the Viking business culture. They shlould learn that we are increasingly empowered by the Internet to help one another instead of depending on service that is unreliable and opaque as to cost and time.
    I hope you were able to finally get your machine up and running.
    Joanne

  5. Posted February 3, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for your comments, to each of you who have left them for me. I appreciate the commiseration and well wishes, and I’m so sorry you all had problems too. Unfortunately, no, my poor machine never did get fixed properly, after two trips across the country. It was not picked up the second time, by the former dealer, who sold it to me and had promised to have it fixed, and it was destroyed in transit back to me. It took over a year just to get to that point, with all the difficulties I had getting a response, or any help from anyone involved. I finally got some insurance money from the Post Office, but they decided to “depreciate” my machine, based on an arbitrary percentage they applied, in spite of my providing them with my receipt and current listings for the same machine, even used, that cost more. It was all a terrible, stressful ordeal. I also reported the seller to the Department of Consumer Affairs in his state. They were able to get him on the phone, and he agreed to pay the difference. Then he never sent the check.

    Joanne, I did find a repair manual on eBay, but could not get inside the machine myself. They had special tools which, I imagine, only the dealers have, that you use to open up the machine. So, that went nowhere. In future, I am only buying a machine that I can at least open and clean myself, even if I can not repair it myself. Both Janome and Bernina have ways of at least opening the sides of their machines to clean the lint out. I hope you can get your machine up and running without any problems. All the best to each of you!

  6. SewCrazy
    Posted February 26, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    There is a feature on the Viking sewing machines that makes the machine sew backwards. Perhaps that was accidently engaged and since the repairman is not a Viking repairman, he just didn’t catch that.

  7. Posted February 26, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, SewCrazy. The cause of the sewing-backwards problem was that there were two faulty step motors in the machine. Both repairman who worked on my machine were authorized Viking repairmen. I took the machine to an authorized repairman myself first, and then the seller took the machine to another. The first had no idea what the problem was, and the second had seen the same issue in multiple machines. According to the second repairman, there were faulty step motors put in many machines, during a certain time period, and he’d had them come through his shop for repair. There was no recall on the machines, apparently, and apparently no notice to authorized dealers and repairmen, since my local repairman hadn’t heard of it. By the way, the first, local repairman had the same model in his shop at the same time mine came in, with the same problem.

  8. Posted June 19, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Elizabeth – so sorry you are having such a time with your machine. To Joanne with the 6030 model – there is a pre-1980’s model Yahoo group for Viking sewing machines – http://groups.yahoo.com/group/vikingsewingmachinespre1980/. You may have some luck finding answers here. I own a 1978 model 5710 and have found this group very helpful. It does seem the modern machines are all pretty worthless once they break. Too bad. The tension went out on my 5710 just before the 20 yr warranty was expired, and I had to contact Husvarna corporate and threaten to get nasty on the internet to finally get some movement – they located a tension wheel (said “there are only 5 in the whole world”) and had it installed for me. So far, knock on wood, I have gotten another 16 yrs out of this machine! I just purchased a refurbished cheap-o Chinese Brother on Overstock.com as a back up (I was actually impressed – it sewed through 12 layers of light denim, no problem as a try out), and am trolling eBay for a refurbished circa 75-80 Viking. That is MY method. Good luck and happy sewing!

  9. Elaine Nadeau
    Posted September 3, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Okay girls, I hear about the Platinum, but what about the Husqvarna Viking Designer 1 and Designer SE? I exchanged the Designer 1 because I was having problems with it, and thought that if I exchanged it for the Designer SE, everything would be all right!!!! But it will still cost me about 100.00 CND every six months for the same problems, over and over again, if I use my machine.

    The screen gets out of focus about every 15 minutes of use. So I’ve got to realign it, and if I forget, it gets very hard to go to the realignment commands.

    When I asked the technician, he answered me that they all do that! This was a 8000.00$CND investment!!! Anyone have any comments on that???

    I’m French Canadian, from Québec, and I was wondering if I was the only one having a bad deal…on the embrodery machines.

    Thanks and hope to hear from somebody!!!!

  10. Anna Bontrager
    Posted September 20, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    I am a new FACS teacher and somehow the prior teacher was able to purchase a Viking Designer I embroidery machine. I tried it out and it worked fine and one minute later, the floopy reader is not working – trust me, its not working. I would like to replace the drive – I am pretty computer savvy and I know I can do this, but I can’t find the part. Better yet, I would like to upgrade it to a USB – can I do that? Any help on the part?

  11. Posted September 25, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for your comments. As Adrienne mentioned, you may have some luck in the Yahoo Groups, finding information about your specific models. You can search Yahoo Groups here: http://groups.yahoo.com/ There seem to be a couple dedicated to the Designer models. I wish I could help with advice on parts and repair, but maybe someone there would know.

  12. Carol
    Posted October 13, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    The touch screen just went out on my D1. It’s costing me $339.95 to have it replaced, the machine cleaned, and the bobbin hook polished. It’s the model with the floppy disk. If I have any more problems with this machine, I’m going to buy a Babylock or Brother machine. That’s what I traded in and I miss it.

  13. Diane Reid
    Posted October 17, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    To Elaine Nadea

    I have a Designer SE LE and now it sits here as a paperweight. I have an on going issue with the belt falling off. Long story with the dealer I purchased it from (no longer a dealer) who tried to rip me off. Husqvarna stepped in and were very good. Picked up my machine, got home, did some embroidery for 2 days, and here I go again! The machine was already gone for 6 weeks and now it’s been a week sitting here while I wait for Husqvarna to get back to me. NOT buying another. LOVE the machine when it works. Does beautiful embroidery and sewing but it is totally unreliable.

  14. Amelia
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    So sad about what’s happened to Viking! I have a Viking Lily 555 which has been a great machine! And I have have a Viking dealer in MN who is quite dependable. From what I understand, there are now only a few companies who own all the others. I believe for example that White, Viking and Janome are all owned by the same parent company and nearly all sewing machines are now made in China. Seems like our only hope is to do good research before we buy, and never assume that brand names mean anything. Any experienced sewer probably knows better than to buy a machine from a big box store. I used to work at a large sewing and craft store and the singers we sold were returned at an alarming rate. I taught sewing classes there so I had the opportunity to look inside some of those machines. Some of the metal parts were rough and unpolished, clearly put together with minimum effort! No wonder they were unreliable. It’s all rather discouraging.

  15. Bev
    Posted March 16, 2013 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    I totally agree. I had a Viking 6460 and loved it! Then I bought the D1 and have had nothing but problems and now they have told me it’s the computer screen. It seems to be defective but Viking won’t do a thing, the company says they are NOT defective. You don’t see postings about defective products if they aren’t and the girls at Viking’s store in JoAnns are telling me the same thing. Totally disappointed I am a widow and can’t keep replacing machines!!!

  16. Wendy Cummings
    Posted April 14, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Another very frustrating Sunday afternoon. I received my Husqvarna Designer Diamond a couple of years ago as a gift from my mom and stepdad. I know – fantastic, generous gift. Unfortunately, it’s been nothing but a great big pain. When I think about the amount of money they spent on the machine and I spent on software, hoops, and thread, I could cry. I’m constantly having trouble with thread coming unthreaded, and that leads to problems with stitch quality. I can’t get much help at the local dealer since the machine was purchased for me on a business trip out of state. I’ve sent it back to the purchase dealer who worked on the thread uptake thingy but it still happens. Oh, the disappointment.

  17. Jeannie
    Posted April 19, 2013 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    My Designer 1 is 7 years old. Have had pretty good luck with it, BUT the store closed where I bought it. Now the closest repair is 150 miles one way. If I have to leave it, that’s a 600 mile drive. I do not want to mail it. I will never buy another machine that is so difficult to find a repair person. I regret my purchase. I paid $4,500 for the Designer 1 and got a break on my serger. Do not buy unless you can get it worked on. I am getting my 25 year old Necchi tuned up and going.

  18. Posted April 19, 2013 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    I’m so sorry so many of you are having problems. No, Jeannie, I would not mail my machine anywhere. Mine was destroyed in transit. There is no such thing as “fragile” treatment with shipping companies anymore, from what I have heard. Mine had to have been dropped from a significant height to fall apart in the box the way it did. Wishing the best for each of you.

  19. Pam Davis
    Posted May 22, 2013 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    I too have a Husqvarna Viking Designer 1 and it goes to the repair shop every time I use it. Now every time I put the embroidery unit on, the pop-up message comes on to the remove the hoop, and no hoop is on it. I answer okay, but it stays stuck in that mode. So, the embroidery unit is useless until I get it to the repair shop again. I will never buy a Husqvarna Viking product again, as the authorized repairman sent it back and never fixed the problem. So I found a local man who has been a godsend. He is getting tired of working on Husqvarna Viking sewing products. As he put it, they are the most expensive and they always need repairing.

  20. Sandra Gauthier
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    I am absolutely amazed at the fact that Husqvarna Viking stays in business. I will never buy another machine, and you are all correct, the customer service is horrible at best! I would love to shout it from the rooftop that no one should buy a Husqvarna Viking sewing machine.

  21. Glenn Bryant
    Posted July 5, 2013 at 4:44 am | Permalink

    Hello everyone,

    I stumbled your upon this site and have been moved by your comments of frustration with Husqvarna Viking machines.

    I am a service technician with certifications from Viking on all of the models mentioned in the posts. The first model of Viking I was trained on was a 6690, the first computer machine Viking made, and picked up training certificates over my career on most all models since. (Designer Diamond was my last.) I have also been certified on Janome, Babylock, Elna and Juki as well, and I have to say of the thousands of machines I have worked on over the years the Vikings are still my favorite. The fit and finish of the component parts are still the best.

    If anyone needs my advice or has questions, please email me. I will do my best to help. I am also one of the very few on the recommended repair list for the Viking pre-1980 yahoo group. I hope to help those of you who need it, and keep folks happy with they’re Vikings.

    Happy stitches! Glenn Bryant (glennsew@yahoo.com)

  22. Janine
    Posted November 19, 2013 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    MY ON GOING SAGA…… LETTER

    Attn: Consumer Affairs Mgr.
    SVP Worldwide
    1224 Heil Quaker Blvd.
    La Vergne TN. 307086

    Please help!

    I’m not sure what to do! To start with, I own a Husqvarna Viking Designer 1 USB. When I purchased it, I thought I would never exceed its capabilities and that it would be the only machine I would have for the next 25 years! I realize that seems like a long time but my Mother has had her Viking since the 70’s.

    I have since had it regularly serviced and it has had only minor issues. I do use my machine for work (and I believe this machine to be a work horse). I am primarily a sewer although I did not want to be limited and like the option to do some embroidery.

    I sent my machine in on March of 2013 for service for a bobbin sensor that was not working and a few other issues. After waiting for over a month without a loaner, it finally came back damaged from UPS only to go back again! (During that time I purchased a Singer Heavy Duty 4423, that by the way, works better than my Viking and only cost a little more than what I pay for service on my Viking.) I have since called several times (5) and spoken with Diane, who by the way is very sweet. Although she does her best to forward my messages and tries to get anyone to contact me, NOBODY has!!

    My machine has no button guide or ruler decal as before on the bottom base, making my button sensor foot useless to me, and the bobbin sensor still does not work! The presser feet sometimes do not retract up to move fabric. I have taken it in and the ladies at the Viking at Joanns (Lora Lee and another employee) have also witnessed this. Apparently, it is an intermittent issue, because they sent it back saying nothing was wrong and it worked fine! Also, the same embroidery designs I use to do look nothing like before. I have damaged two of my husband’s work shirts, and choose to not even try to embroider again, not trusting my machine, thinking it will ruin anything else. I have also turned away work. My stitching also seems very close and not to scale like it use to be. A 3.0 stitch length looks more like a 2.0.

    I’m not sure what to do to get this issue resolved. I’m very upset. I love my machine and just want it to work like it use to. I have taken good care of it and have had it serviced regularly. It’s embarrassing to have to use the Singer to do jobs my expensive Viking can’t do anymore, as I have a lot of people coming through my sewing room. I know that sounds stupid and I really hate to say it like that.

    I’m afraid to send it out again. I’m hoping you can help me. Please…

    Sincerely,

    Janine

  23. DeAnne
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 2:40 am | Permalink

    I got my machine from an “authorized” viking dealer in California in 2002. There were problems with it AND with THE DEALER! I complained bitterly to Viking. I finally got to speak with a live person at Viking. Her response to my complaints about the dealer was, “He did more good than harm!” I was singularly APPALLED! I won’t go into the shop! I teach sewing to both kids and adults and I leave this shop’s name off ALL my resource handouts! The dealer, I learned, at one time, had actually lost his Bernina
    authorization, but then they gave it back to him. Used car dealer is what comes to mind when I think if his incredibly unethical behavior. It cost me over $150 (years ago) to repair the damage he had done to my machine when I had taken it in for a “well baby checkup!” Viking should really do business differently. I hope this is all behind you now!

2 Trackbacks

  • By Return of the Platinum 775 on April 22, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    […] guess who came home today? My Viking Platinum 775, which has been MIA for almost six months now, showed up with the UPS man. I couldn’t help […]

  • By My Viking Platinum sewing machine lowdown on May 29, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    […] still maintain that if Husqvarna Viking would just sell machines directly, in a way that is fair to consumers, as I was suggesting in one of my previous posts, none of this cloak and dagger secret nonsense would have happened. This is all because they have […]

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