The Sewing Place

Dealer says Pfaff aren't good any more. Should I believe him?

Giotto

Dealer says Pfaff aren't good any more. Should I believe him?
« on: November 09, 2018, 22:30:10 PM »
 I took my aged, but much loved, Pfaff Creative 1471 to my nearest Pfaff dealer, about 40 minutes drive away from me, for a service.   I bought this machine about 1983 or 1984 and I love it.  I have heard that the motherboard can suddenly die and I live in dread of that happening. 

Anyway, the dealer/repair man checked my machine out when I left it in with him, while I was still there, and the first thing he said was that it was running very slow.  That may well be true and perhaps I have just got used to it over the years.  He rang me up after a couple of days to say that he had the machine “stripped down” but thought that the motor was probably on its last legs.  I asked what he could do about that and he said that it wouldn’t be worth doing anything about the motor on such an old machine, especially considering the wonderful new machines available nowadays.  I said for him to complete the service anyway as even if I might need to get a new machine I’d still want to be able to use my existing one while I would decide what to do.

When I went to collect the machine today he said, “Look, that’s as fast as I can get your machine to go.”  And he proceeded to demonstrate a Janome MC8200QCP.  I said I loved my Pfaff and would probably want to replace it with another Pfaff.  He said that the only thing I would miss about the Pfaff would be the IDT (which in the 1980s was called IDF – integrated dual feed) and that Janome have the equivalent in something called Accufeed (sp?).  He said that Pfaff are ‘on the way out’ and that they’re not getting any new customers – only old, loyal customers like me who’ve had a good, original, German made Pfaff for years and think they can get a newer version of the same thing if they stick with Pfaff, but according to him they won’t.   Although his shop is supposed to be a Singer and Pfaff stockist practically all the machines I saw there are Janomes. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, the Janome he showed me looked lovely and has some great touches which my old Pfaff certainly doesn’t have but Pfaff’s IDT is built in to the machine whereas, if I understood it correctly, the Accufeed is a separate foot that you have to put on – I’m not absolutely sure about that.

After he’d spoken to me when I left my machine in for its service I had begun to do a bit of research but only looked at Pfaffs.  I know there are some new models just out but I had discovered something called a Performance 5.2 which seems to be a sewing machine, with some embroidery stitches, rather than a super fancy embroidery machine, which I don’t really need since my sewing is mostly of the garment or home décor variety.  I can buy a Pfaff Performance 5.2 for £1169 online and get it posted to me from England to where I live in Northern Ireland.  I think perhaps this is a reduced price because of the new models that will be replacing it.   The dealer would sell me the Janome MC8200QCP for £1349.  I think, if I really pushed him, he would be able to get me a Pfaff but it would likely be much dearer than the online price, although I would actually have a shop to go back to if I had problems.  I’m not sure how customer service works if I buy a machine online and it gives me problems – I suppose I’d have to ask the store in England about that.

Anyway, to get to the real point of my question:  is it true that Pfaffs are “going nowhere” and that if you have trouble with a new Pfaff machine Pfaff are hard to deal with or get satisfaction from?  Or does the dealer just want me to buy a Janome since that’s mostly what he sells?  He did say that there has to be a reason why The Great British Sewing Bee uses Janome machines and not Pfaffs!

Advice and opinions welcome, please, and apologies for my longwindedness!

Greybird

Re: Dealer says Pfaff aren't good any more. Should I believe him?
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2018, 22:36:29 PM »
Sorry, I don't know anything at all about the machines in question, but I should think the reason that the GB Sewing Bee uses Janome machines is probably because Janome provide them for free? It would be good advertising for them.

Acorn

Re: Dealer says Pfaff aren't good any more. Should I believe him?
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2018, 22:39:44 PM »
I was about to say precisely what Greybird has just said!

I love my Pfaff (Classicstyle 2027) but it is certainly at least 10 years old, probably more.  There are a good few people on here who know a great deal about all sorts of machines, so hopefully they will pop up with some advice.
I might look as though I'm talking to you, but inside my head I'm sewing.

Lachica

Re: Dealer says Pfaff aren't good any more. Should I believe him?
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2018, 23:08:36 PM »
I have a Creative 3 with the embroidery unit. It's 3 years old now, I love it, I've used it for all sorts and never even had to adjust tension. The dealer I bought it from also does servicing but I haven't yet had it serviced as dealer says with a 5 year warranty he doesn't expect it to need a service before then, even with hard use. It sounds as though your dealer prefers Janome (a higher margin)? I also think GBSB uses Janome because there's a commercial tie up. Maybe ring some other dealers and ask them if Pfaff is going nowhere? On their stand at the Sewing show at Ally Pally they were showing off a new model & doing business.
Mary
2019 stash used so far: about 10m stash added:5m

Stitches

Re: Dealer says Pfaff aren't good any more. Should I believe him?
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2018, 07:32:36 AM »
I have the  Pfaff Performance 5 I have had it for about 2 years and love it . the sewing group i run there is about 5 pfaff users and they all love their machines 
sewing in sunny Norfolk

Ploshkin

Re: Dealer says Pfaff aren't good any more. Should I believe him?
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2018, 07:55:12 AM »
I also have a Pfaff, just a few years old and am more than happy with it.  The owner of the sewing machine shop that I use recommends Pfaffs very highly (he sells other machines as well) and he is an elderly gentleman who has worked with sewing machines most of his life.
Life's too short for ironing.

Efemera

Re: Dealer says Pfaff aren't good any more. Should I believe him?
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2018, 08:06:33 AM »
I have a Pfaff QE4... it’s had tension troubles from day one or so I thought until I tried the same model in Hobkirk’s 6 months ago.. the tension was the same so I’m assuming that’s just how it is so now I adjust it every time I use the machine.I’ve had Pfaffs for over 30 years and just love the IDT. I would probably buy another.
I have found that nothing stitches quite as well as an old Singer.

Iminei

Re: Dealer says Pfaff aren't good any more. Should I believe him?
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2018, 08:51:36 AM »
It sounds to me, Giotto, very much like your dealer is pressurising you to buy a Janome for whatever reason known to him ... higher mark up, sales incentive, because he's gone over to Janome ... who knows but it is disgraceful!

Im glad you had the nouse to insist he complete the service and rescue your beloved machine .

Its running slow ... is it running too slow for you???
I suspect not, you took it in for a routine service not because you were having problems.

The motors on its last legs ?? Really? Did you notice that last time you sewed??

Its not worth replacing? maybe not to him ...
But it can be replaced if you wanted it to (there are bods on here who can help you far better than I can with that)
A machine of that age and quality will have replaceable parts, a bit like a Dualit toaster (or Triggers broom)

I am a Janome girl, having started with an entry level machine and worked my way up to the Ateliers. I now have the Atelier 7 which has the IDT, (which is indeed requires a different foot attached, which is very similar to a regular walking foot, and you then press a button to engage it) Its good but so is a walking foot which I still regularly use on The Splurgess.

Stick with your guns Giotto, I think you have been the target of some heavy handed sales pressure.
The Imperfect Perfectionist sews again

BrendaP

Re: Dealer says Pfaff aren't good any more. Should I believe him?
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2018, 10:21:20 AM »
Pfaff are now part of the SVP group - Singer Viking Pfaff and certainly Singers and Vikings are not what they used to be.   

I think that Iminie is right, the dealer you spoke to sells Janome and gets better mark up on those machines and so he is trying hard to sell you a Janome.

I have an elderly, early computerised Husqvarna (Viking) which although it has quite a lot of plastic in it is generally reckoned to be a good workhorse, although I only use it now if I need zig-zag or other utility stitches.  I am aware that if the motherboard dies it will be the end of it and if/when that happens from what I've read in various dicussions I think I would be looking at Bernina or Juki for the replacement.  There's nothing particularly wrong with Janome, but if you do decide on one I would be inclined to shop elsewhere than with the dealer who has been trying to pressure sell.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2018, 10:22:55 AM by BrendaP »
Brenda.  My machines are: Caroline a Singer 201K-3 born 1940, Thirza a Featherweight 221K born 1949, Azilia a Singer 201K born 1957 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.uk/

wrenkins

Re: Dealer says Pfaff aren't good any more. Should I believe him?
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2018, 11:07:28 AM »
Our problem here in Norn Iron is that he (I'm guessing the one in Ballymena) is the only one we have. Literally! THE ONLY ONE.

There was another little Singer man near where I work, and from whom I bought my first machine, but he retired last year.

@Giotto I'm afraid if you think it was heavy handed salesmanship, you'll have to bite the bullet and go online. Phone a few places and see what they say about after sales. I'm sure other folk here (NI) have the same problems. There must be someone willing to take us on.  :[ We're a delight!!! 0_0
Fashion fades, style is forever!

Gernella

Re: Dealer says Pfaff aren't good any more. Should I believe him?
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2018, 12:15:10 PM »
I've got a 9 year old Expression 2 and a Select 4, which I think is 3 years old.  Never had any trouble with the Expression and it is my go to machine.  I'm not interested in embroidery so never use the other stitches so can't really help there.  I think if the Expression did die I would probably get another Pfaff, although I have considered a Janome (even though I am not buying now I still look, can't help it).

It is a major decision and pressure from the dealer puts you off a bit, although I've only ever bought on line and never had a 'feel' before, so I suppose I've been lucky.  Nearest dealer to me, 5 miles, as far as I can see only sells Janome.

The IDT is wonderful and it is lovely not to mess around with a clunky foot on the Bernina I have, so I can understand why you don't want to lose that.  I suspect the Great British Sewing Bee will use the machines they can get for practically nothing and who ever pays them to advertise.

To be brutally truthful I have never yet had a machine serviced.  I take the view that I don't see the recommendation in the book, only to clean out etc., so that will do.
 
Stash extension 2019 - 26  meters
Daren't put used, too pitiful but I am keeping count

Lowena

Re: Dealer says Pfaff aren't good any more. Should I believe him?
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2018, 13:34:07 PM »
I always buy Brother machines. They have an integrated dual feed which you don't need a different foot for.
The shop I bought from ( 2016 ) recommended Janomes ( his Mum has one ) and Brother but said the problem with Pfaffs is that their customer service isn't very good. He said it takes them ages to get replacement parts but otherwise they were ok....  just not as good as Janome ( which he pushed ) or Brother ( which he knew I liked )
Triumph of hope over experience :D

Giotto

Re: Dealer says Pfaff aren't good any more. Should I believe him?
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2018, 14:30:41 PM »
Thank you to everyone who has replied so far.  I'm having an extremely busy Saturday and will have more time to reply tomorrow.

coffeeandcake

Re: Dealer says Pfaff aren't good any more. Should I believe him?
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2018, 18:22:30 PM »
I've had a Pfaff Ambition 2 for a couple of years and love it. The IDT is great to use and the stitch quality is absolutely fine, (though my 201k produces fabulous stitches). I've been looking at the Performance 5.2 for a few weeks as it offers some extra features that the Ambition doesn't have but I'd definitely use.

Ohsewsimple

Re: Dealer says Pfaff aren't good any more. Should I believe him?
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2018, 19:46:58 PM »
I'm pretty sure the reason GBSB used Janomes is as people have said, certainly not because they're the best machines.  The ones they used certainly weren't.  But they are relatively easy to use. 

The newer Pfaffs are nice machines as long as they aren't the bottom range, like a lot of companies.  But as Lowena said, the SVP group has appalling customer service and getting any parts is a nightmare.  I'm a Husqvarna and older Pfaff owner but when either of my machines die I will not be able to get them fixed as they are no longer supported by the companies.  My Husqvarna is only about 9 years old if that and there are no boards available for it.  For a £3,500 machine I'm not impressed.   I seriously don't know what I'd buy nowadays.