Wednesday, June 27, 2007

 

An Opportunity Missed

My sewing machine is in for repair. It's a Kenmore and I bought it in 1995, if I remember correctly. My zigzag stitch decided to quit working, which definitely warranted the repair. I can't stand the idea of replacing an item if there's only a little something wrong. Kenmore is handled by Sears, so I took it in. They told me that the person doing the repairs would call ahead and let me know how much it would cost so I could decide whether it was worth it. The repairman called me and told me that the machine needed a good cleaning and that a small part unrelated to the zigzag needed to be replaced. Then he scolded me for using a metal bobbin, rather than the plastic ones that came with the machine.

This is a man who doesn't understand how sewing machines are really used. Most fiber artists have owned more than one sewing machine in their lives and the old bobbins tend to migrate to the new machine. You can never have too many bobbins. It should be noted that I have never had a problem with the metal bobbins, although I once bought new plastic ones (you can never have too many bobbins) and they didn't fit. So much for doing what the manufacturer recommends.

Kenmore and other sewing machine manufacturers are missing a great opportunity here. When machines come in for repair, if they pay attention to how people really use them, they could design their machines around our use, rather than what's convenient for them. Knowing that bobbins migrate between machines might give them the idea that they should build their machines for either metal or plastic bobbins. They could also make bobbins standard between different brands of machines.

Here's something else that repairman could have noticed. I put a piece of tape across the sewing surface to mark a 2-inch seam. Machines don't mark for seams wider than an inch. Well, sometimes I need a seam that's wider than an inch and there's definitely room on the machine to mark wider seams, so why don't sewing machine manufacturer's do it? I'll bet that when I get the machine back, the repair guy took off my piece of tape.

Now, if they'd just call to tell me it's done. I believe it was supposed to be done last week, but no call yet.

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