How Viking Broke my Machine!

by Dian Chapman, Founder/Artist
K9 Hero Pillow Project
dian@mousetrax.com
http://www.mousetrax.com
https://www.facebook.com/K9HeroPillows/

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In December 2015, we purchased my first Viking Epic. I had four other sewing machines, including a Viking Sapphire sewing machine and had been sewing since I was a kid (I'm now in my 60s). But this was my first embroidery machine.

A few weeks into using it, some threads got wrapped up inside a roller, so I brought it back to have it fixed.

They fixed that problem, but soon after I got it back, I started having NEW problems with the threads jamming up under the plate. The cutter wasn't working properly and thread that should have been cut and cleared were wrapping around a little hook and would eventually rip the fabric and stop the machine.

Over the next several months I had to bring the machine in for repair for this major problem of the auto cutting device not working properly and causing threads to become locked up under the plate and jamming the machine. This was a constant problem. Repair techs often wanted to know what threads I was using and how I was using the machine…assuming *I* or something I was using was the problem. I had to wonder, too, since I was new to embroidery. But I was buying GOOD/expensive threads...THE SAME ONES VIKING WAS SELLING!

Below are just a FEW photos of the constant problem that first machine had. (I have TONS of additional photos of this same problem, since it happened so often after they returned my machine to me!)

By July 2016, the Viking reps decided to give me a new, replacement machine, since no one was able to properly fix the cutting device problem on the first/original machine and I was constantly bringing it back in for repairs complaining of the same problem. (A problem that they, obviously, did not know how to fix!)

So now I had a new machine. And from July 2016 until July 2018, it was working PERFECTLY! I had no problems with it and have not had to bring it in for repairs once.

I used it nearly every day and most of my projects were LARGE embroidery projects, making K9 Hero images from digitized photos. Most average over 150,000 stitches and all use the auto cutting feature. That causes the cutter to operate HUNDREDS of times for each image…and many thousands of times a week over the last two years…all without a single problem! I have made over 125 of these K9 embroidery images using this machine, as well as many other embroidery projects…WITH NO CUTTING/JAMMING  PROBLEMS!

Here are just two, but you can see all the K9 images that this second machine has successfully made on my web site at MouseTrax.com.

Then on July 23, 2018, this second machine experienced its first problem…it did not stop running when the thread broke. I was making one of the hundreds of key fobs I'd been working on (with NO problems)...when I noticed that the needle had punched through without stopping to tell me the thread was broken.

This was a major issue! So I was forced to bring this machine in for repairs on 8/24/18. I needed the thread break sensor fixed and also asked to have the machine cleaned as well as fix two other items that broke over the years…the front plastic plate snapped off and was taped on and a tiny piece of Velcro that was at the location where the upper thread comes out of the machine had fallen out. The Velcro helps keep the thread stabilized while sewing.

However, when this Epic was returned to me, "apparently fixed," on July 31, 2018, I discovered that it had not been cleaned as requested! And the second piece of Velcro was also not replaced as I’d requested. The plastic front panel was replaced and the thread break sensor was fixed. So they only did two of the four required fixes.

But WORSE...they (Viking repair) had now (AGAIN) broken this second machine...which had been working PERFECTLY until they messed with it. Now...that same cutting device issue had returned. My beautifully working machine was NO LONGER WORKING PROPERLY…the damn auto cutting device was now broken on THIS MACHINE!

This is PROOF that the problem was not being caused by anything I did…because this machine never had that problem until AFTER IT WAS RETURNED FROM THE VIKING REPAIR SHOP! So, whoever fixed the machine also did something to cause the cutting device to now not work properly.

And...it is clear they don't even know what the hell they are doing because they have been unable to fix it! They again, are asking ME what thread I use and how I use the machine. I'M USING THE SAME THREAD AND DOING THE SAME THINGS I'VE DONE FOR OVER 24 Million stitches over the last two years with NO problem!

This is SO INFURIATING to me! They can't figure out how to fix it and continue to turn the problem around to ME...that it must be something that *I* am doing. I've had to return it several times and they have tried to fix it...returning it and they SAY that it works just fine for them. But as soon as I get it back from repair (after driving 1.5 hrs one way to bring it to their store)...the same problem is still there!

Just prior to the machine being broken, I made MANY key fobs to donate to a Police K9 event. I had NO problems making any of these prior to taking this machine in for its first visit to the Viking repair shop. All done with the same threads, high quality needles and stabilizer and using the cutting device...WITH NO PROBLEMS!

The day I brought my Epic home after being “repaired (and broken!),” I ATTEMPTED to continue making more key fobs, using the EXACT SAME Robison-Anton Rayon 40 embroidery thread I was using and have used for the last several years, as well as the same high-quality polyester bobbin thread and the exact same marine vinyl and same stabilizer as used successfully for all the above key fobs.

But NOW I was unsuccessful due to the fact that whoever attempted to repair my Epic did something to cause the auto cutting feature to not work properly. It will make a few cuts, but the threads get tangled up on the “little metal hook on the right” and after a few cuts, the threads are jammed up and cause the fabric to become ripped and jammed into the plate. I need to use an exacto knife to slide under the hoop in order to cut the fabric and threads away to try to clear the machine. Turning the machine off/on causes the device to temporarily clear, but soon after it will jam up again. These are photos of the results of my attempts to use my machine AFTER it was returned to me from Viking repair services!

(You can see how bad this problem is by watching a video I've posted on YouTube at this link. I can't even create a simple pouch without the machine trashing the project! https://youtu.be/uNkHco9R4a8)

Each of these attempts were a total waste of time, thread, stabilizer and vinyl!

The two key fobs above in the image below were done BEFORE I took my Epic in for repair. The one in the hoop is the chewed-up results I get now AFTER I took my Epic in for repair!

I had several orders for key fobs, but now the ONLY way I can get the job done is to turn off the cutter. This means that I have to manually cut all those jump threads! This is a $15,000 machine that we purchased BECAUSE it had a cutting device so I wouldn't have to manually cut threads!

Even MORE infuriating...the genius repair folks suggest I not use the cutter on vinyl, even though this person admits they don't know much about sewing. So I shouldn't use a main feature of a $15,000 machine? That's like buying an expensive car and learning that it has a problem when you go fast...and the maker just tells you, "so don't go fast!" *head desk*

They have also tried to suggest that I not use the cutter for the K9 pillows, which I CANNOT do! It is hard enough cutting key fob jump threads, but K9 images have THOUSANDS of jump threads to be cut! Below is a screen shot of one K9 image. Each T marker is a Trim command. That means the cutter should cut/trim the upper thread at that point before it jumps to the next location where this same color needs to be stitched. There is NO WAY I can embroider a K9 image without the cutter working...as it has for the last two years and over 125 other K9 images. Everything was fine...UNTIL VIKING BROKE MY MACHINE!

And if that wasn't enough, they also broke my bobbin winder! It never had a problem, but they apparently broke it and shoved it back on. It will often pop off now, so I have to babysit it while it winds a new bobbin or it comes out lopsided. The two on the right are bobbins it wound BEFORE Viking touched my machine. The one on the left is what I get now if I don't control the winding by moving the thread back and forth with my finger! SIGH!

And that's STILL not the end of the issues with this machine NOW! It is also showing me the wrong thread colors! As you can see in this image, the color that IS working is yellow (has a square around it), but the colors at the bottom, the ones that should be the SAME, shows the green is running and next is black. But those colors have already run! It doesn't know what it SHOULD be doing half the time. Glad *I* know and can modify the colors by clicking on the one that should stitch out next!

Bottom line...I CANNOT trust this machine! They can't fix it and they deny there even is a problem. So we contacted Viking Corporate, who asked the same "what do you use" stupid questions. They want to have the machine sent to their main repair shop in TN and tell me it will take at least six weeks.

And as you can see in the image below, I'm NOT the only one who has had this problem! I know of two friends who fought with Viking to fix the same cutter problem on their machines. So I posted in an embroidery group, and sure enough...someone else chimed in with this same, constant problem!

So THEY break my machine, deny it is broken, I can't trust to use it and now it'll be gone for at least 6 weeks and I don't even know if it'll be returned working properly or if this will continue to be a major problem for more months. I WANT A MACHINE THAT WORKS!

Until I do get a machine that works properly, I can no longer...VERY SADLY...make any K9 Hero Pillows. So the thing that I LOVE doing and give my time freely to do...only charging a bit for cost and shipping...can no longer be done until Viking honors this customer with a machine that WORKS!

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