Monday, November 24, 2008

Saturday, I was able to get to the Janome dealer and take a look and "test drive" of the Janome Jem 760 Platinum. I am pleased with what I saw. First, because it is designed to be so, it is lightweight and portable. It comes standard with a start/stop button where it is optional on the Bernina 230 and, I believe, not available on the Bernette 82c. While having one isn't required, after using one during the test drive, I see where it enhances the sewing experience. It comes with a needle up/down option and, what I think is cool, a push button bind-off feature. The sales rep who assisted me (who was very nice) put together several strips of fabric to show me the machine will handle thickness without missing a beat, it is a powerful machine. The Janome isn't as quiet or smooth as the Bernina, but, for now, that is not important. My one complaint is it is a little convoluted to make a stitch selection, however, since my main stitch will be straight stitch and the machine defaults to that when turned on that too is not a real issue. I think the Janome is the machine for me. I may want a Bernina next year but I would rather buy this machine and find out I'm not too keen on sewing instead of making an investment on the Bernina and coming to the conclusion sewing is not for me. The Janome is at the right price point where I wouldn't feel I was throwing money away if I upgraded to a Bernina, plus, because it is made as a portable machine, I can take it with me on trips and to classes.

Now we come to why I will not be buying it from the dealer where I did the test drive. This can be summed up to poor customer service. There was another sales assistant who acted like she just couldn't be bothered with me. When I walked in, she was on the phone. I understand that she was in a conversation and probably could not end the call but there was no acknowledgement whatsoever. She didn't look at me, she looked through me, turned around and walked out of the room. But, I wasn't quite ready to give up on it mainly because of the sales assistant who came to show me all the features. I got fed up today when I called the shop to inquire about the price and availability of the machine. The woman I spoke to, and I think it was the same one because I would hate to think they had two rude people working at the shop, treated me like it was a waste of her time to speak to me on the phone. Now I am considering either purchasing the machine from another Janome dealer that is about 45 minutes away or buying the Bernina which is twice as much as the Janome but the SA was nice.

To any yarn or sewing or crafting shop I would say this:
Forty to fifty years ago, sewing and knitting was a necessity. Women had to know how to do these things to clothe their families and decorate their homes. Now, women -- and some men -- do it as a way to relax and express themselves. In other words, it is not a necessity. We are in the middle of a recession and the first things to go will be what is not necessary. If we decide to spend money on our pasttimes we take a long hard look at who we give that money to. So, the next time I walk into your shop, I'm not saying you have to bow at my feet, look at me and act like you want me to spend my money at your establishment. A little customer service and respect goes a long way.

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