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Ferret

Festival of Quilts 2009

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Ferret,

Your post is heartbreaking, but it needed saying.

I'm based in the state of Georgia here in the states. My only hesitation in buying Miss Maggie Gray (my millie) was the lack of reps here in GA. Our area is covered up in Gammill owners - partly because there is a local rep. I refused to buy until the APQS rep for GA, Patty who is based in FL, found me a Millie owner so that I could do more test driving. Lucky me - the closest owner is 20 minutes away and happens to be the very generous Doodlebug:)

As a point of cost comparison, I did pay the $500 for Patty to spend the day with me to set up the machine and to get me going. The money was a good investment. I was also blessed, in terms of finances and time, to be able to go to Iowa this summer for classes with Dawn and Amy. Like others who have posted, I feel much more comfortable now about opening my machine and making adjustments as needed. It would seem that such classes need to be available at one or more sites in Europe, Australia, and any other place APQS has multiple machines.

I know that with the economic downturn, there was at least a temporary reduction in staff at the APQS factory. I don't know how this has translated into workloads for everyone remaining with the company. But I suspect that many are overloaded.

Still, this is no excuse for your experience. I hope that you and the international representatives are able to use your post(s) as a foundation for building a coherent international business plan/model for APQS. If that happens, you will have helped turn a 'sow's ear' experience into a silk purse which benefits all involved. Changes like that don't occur unless someone is willing to speak up - and usually willing to be part of the solution.

Your initial and subsequent posts indicate that you still believe in the product. Good luck to you, Linzi, and the rest of our international family. You are amazing artists who need/deserve fully functional equipment.

Lynn


Lynn Founatin

Fountain Fiber Arts, LLC

fountainfiber@bellsouth.net

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All of us in the States are wishing all of you the best with regard to a solution. I think you all discussed this in such a professional way. It's these things that gives company's reason to strive for excellance or improvement. Stick together as I'm sure there is a solution for this. I put myself in your shoes and can completely understand your feelings. We are all routing for you...

Best wishes and keep us posted.

Grammie


Tammie Baggett

aka Grammie Tammie

926 Stephens Dr

Westcliffe, Colorado 81252

grammietammie2014@gmail.com

 

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Hello Ferret and All,

Ferret, firstly congratulations on the success of your special exhibit at the 2009 Festival of Quilts. I have heard directly from many attendees that is was a huge success! Best wishes for the future.

Secondly, thank you for taking the time to share your heartfelt thoughts and concerns. It is through dialogues such as this one, and with input from customers and artists like yourself who have the courage to speak up on this forum that enable APQS to grow and improve as a company.

I extend to you, my sincere apologies for your bad experiences at the FOC and your machine issues. Our two main goals at APQS are always to build by hand the world's best quilting machines and provide the best aftersale customer service possible. Having said that, we are human and sometimes make mistakes. Again, my apologies.

The decision not to exhibit at the FOC was mine and mine alone. As you know, in the days and weeks leading up to the FOC, APQS was preoccupied with terminating our former APQS UK dealer and working to get Linzi Upton set-up as our new UK dealer. This was not an easy process but something that had to be done. Again it was my decision to miss the FOC this year. This decision did not come easily. We have been a regular exhibitor at the FOC for many years. At the end of the day, I did not feel that we had the time and resources to attend the festival in a correct and professional manner. I have personally exhibited at the FOC and have had a wonderful experience. The Twisted Threads company who produces the Festival of Quilts is a very professional group and one with whom APQS has a good and long-standing relationship. We greatly appreciate your offers to promote APQS, but because we chose not to rent booth space, we just did not feel right in promoting APQS through your special exhibit. Quilt Festivals and shows such as the FOC earn a large part of their revenue from exhibitors renting booth space. We would not have felt right promoting APQS from your special exhibit. We will be exhibiting at the Festival of Quilts 2010 with Linzi Upton representing us in the APQS booth. We have all the confidence in the world in Linzi. If you give her a chance as the new APQS UK rep, I promise you, you will not be disappointed.

I also apologize that your brand-new quilting head arrived at your studio scuffed and dented. That was certainly not our intent. Shipping quilting machines around the world is not an easy task. We are constantly working at better and safer boxing methods to assure your machine arrives safely.

Of the three largest quilting machines companies today (APQS, Gammill, and Handi-Quilter), we are the only company that that has been able to remain family-owned and operated. In this very competitive environment, it is critical that we strive to improve ourselves daily.

I spoke with Mark Caraher this morning about improving APQS's service and technical education in the UK. Beginning now, every time that Mark is teaching maintenance classes at our European sales and training center in Germany, he will make arrangements to visit the UK and teach similar classes there. Mark and Linzi will work together to determine where these classes will be held. Chances are, they will rotate from area to area around the UK.

Lastly, I would like to use this dialogue as an opportunity to solicit customers from the UK and anywhere else who have an unresolved maintenance issue. Please contact me directly via email or telephone. We will work hard to fix your issues and keep you quilting:D

Keep quilting and please keep using this wonderful open and public forum. The more dialogues we have like this one, the better APQS becomes as a company!

Gone quilting,

Jim Langland

jlangland@apqs.com

mobile/handynummer- 641-777-3212

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I applaud Jim for a thorough and positive response to this debate. :cool:

I look forward to working closely with APQS and the UK longarmers to provide an excellent service for those who already have machines and to many more new customers!

I think I'd better start planning the booth at FOQ 2010 now...!


7A774332713D834EE7DD0C4A611AD48F.png

LINZI in Scotland x

APQS Sales Rep and Educator for the UK

Linzi's website is

www.thequiltquine.com

see more pics!...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sewlinzi/

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I would also like to applaud Jim, for such a great response to the European APQS owners. It is very comforting to know thay APQS will be working with Linzi, to make this happen in the UK

Thank you to Ferret for addressing this matter, and thank you to Linzi in advance for all the hard work she will be doing to make owning a APQS machine in the UK a pleasant one.


Happy owner of my newly Blissed 09 Lenni, with new friend Intelliquilter ClasiQ

FCF5C84CD6D4F7A87DB5FBE50FDA5592.png

http://kathsquiltingdiary.blogspot.com/

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Double excitement.

Bettys arriving tomorrow and Mark is coming to the UK. Where do I sign up?

Thank you Jim for addressing this matter with the greatest of speed. Thank you Ferret for highlighting what many were thinking and Linzi, thank you in advance for all the help you are going to be giving me. I have changed my family and friends nos to include yours:D

Tracy G


Tracy G

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Hi Jim,

It's a great deal you are offering machine owners in UK. And the maintenance offer at Claudia's in Krefeld every January is superb. I hope we can do something likewise in Norway and Denmark. Please look into it with Mark ( or Tony or Amy ??) and give me a respond.

Here are 14 APQS machines in Norway and Denmark sold from 2004/2005 when I started as a dealer. I guess some would like to get a professional service on their machine in not very long;)

This Summer I needed a new circuit board for my Lenni. It took TWO days!! from Amy sent it till I had it in my mailbox in Norway. That is not bad!! Though I had to wait a week for APQS to produce more CE circuit boards;) Then I was just happy to have my Millie:P

But I see it can be smart to also have a circuit board in the spare part box........

Regards,


Janne Torsvik

jtorsvik@apqs.com

Jannes Quiltestudio

www.quiltestudio.no

Cellphone: +47 48244126

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I've been thinking about this while I am putting together a kit. What parts would you like to be held in your country? This line of thinking started with wheels. Machines ship in the hold of an aircraft which is low pressure and can cause some wheels to unseal and leak grease. Good news, it's an easy fix, put on a new wheel. Bad news, if the replacement is posted it will probably come in the hold again. So I was wondering if when someone is visiting from the factory if they could sling a few wheels in their hand luggage. Problem solved and shipping saved.

I suspect there are other things it would be really good for local reps to stock. personal experience would suggest fuses (or a place in the country where they can be ordered) bobbin cases, maybe a hook assembly. I'm sure others can offer other suggestions. I am thinking of the things that are small, ideally not too expensive (as I am guessing the rep will have to buy them!) and can make the difference between a longarmer working or being held up by the machine.

What do you think? If we could come up with a useful list it might be something APQS could give to a new rep to help get them started.

Ferret

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Small stuff: needles, alu bobbins, bobbin cases, thread, wadding ...??

Fun Stuff: edgeriders, quiltazoids, big bases, books, rulers ...

Perhaps someone should start a mail order business based in the UK

At the very least I would like to compile a list of longarm friendly suppliers and try to source as much as possible within Europe to reduce shipping


7A774332713D834EE7DD0C4A611AD48F.png

LINZI in Scotland x

APQS Sales Rep and Educator for the UK

Linzi's website is

www.thequiltquine.com

see more pics!...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sewlinzi/

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Hi Euro Friends/quilters. I've not responded because I didn't know how. I'm very glad to hear the whole situation has gone, at this time, from troubling, discouraging and upsetting, to encouraging.

I really have no idea how large various countries in Europe are, how travel works, costs, time involved, but surely, they are finding ways to travel with what they need, and not suffering long delays on broken tracks and 4 mph vehicles, storm washed crossings, etc..

I pray the love of your machine stays with you, that you all receive the service I feel we paid for, and

have good solutions in the near future.

RitaR

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This is so exciting to read. Congratulations to all of you and the best of everything with your strategies. We'll look forward to a fantastic 2010 FOQ!


Boni

Statler

http://nabqc.com/

http://nabqc.blogspot.com/

http://picasaweb.google.com/bonniesews

"Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content." Helen Keller

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Hi again,

First I will say Thanks to Jim who responded directly to me at once. Scandinavians; We are few, but not forgotten;)

Ferret:

I bought a spare part kit from APQS years ago. The kit was put together by APQS. There are fuses, different screws, thread pig tales, light bulb, bobbin cases, needles, wheels, grease, stitch regulator, circuit board. Yes, it is a cost to keep a spare part kit, but it saves time when the "accident" is there. And sometimes Time is money!

Parts that are on warranty will be replaced by APQS after sending in the old one.

Linzi:

I will recommend you to go to the Dealer Only forum and share experiences with other reps:D


Janne Torsvik

jtorsvik@apqs.com

Jannes Quiltestudio

www.quiltestudio.no

Cellphone: +47 48244126

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Can I chime in here?

First, I do not own an APQS, but another (minor) brand, so this is not personal.

As I have posted before, DH is self employed. He sells and services 'commercial' fitness equipment for big storefront gyms as well as individuals who have commercial equipment in their homes. When a customer has a warranty issue, the manufacturer contacts DH to take care of the problem.

Logistics is always an issue, identifying the issue, the parts needed, travel time, scheduling....all come into play. They try to troubleshoot with the customer to ID the problem to avoid 2 trips by the tech. (Imagine DH's response when they sent him to a max security prison!!!! More issues!!! More time !!! Time is money! The manufacturer pays 'x' amount for mileage, 'x' amt for time, provides parts and gets them on site. We invoice the mfg for his part and the customer for his part (if it is not warranty and/or for example, customer wants to upgrade while the tech is already there).

What I am saying here is 'Does APQS not have contacts (not reps of their company but technicians) in Europe who can provide the service for them? This is a big sewing machine with some electronics. To sell a machine in a region or country where support is not available seems irresponsible.

Also, from the APQS standpoint; they are a relatively small business. Having been in the manufacturing industry for years I realize the expense of maintaining these machines and trade show expenses are steep; freaking unbelievable when you have to ship in large equipment. Those companies who do this staging charge hundreds of $$$ per hour to receive, store, assemble, and reverse the process. Just to have them receive a small box that you have shipped to the convention center has a min 1 hr. expense! Most of the shows won't just receive the stuff and allow you to assemble due to liability insurance issues. My guess is that for APQS to provide a frame for the show would have cost them thousands and they obviously did not realize the potential of this show, or of Ferret.

Once again, young lady, you have impressed me. I very much admire you're bringing this issue out and your talent - well.....that speaks for itself! Congrats on the show and your book. I'll be here cheering you on!

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It's not just a European problem. I live 5+ hours -- by jet -- from my nearest APQS rep. The only good sewing machine repair man is on the verge of retirement. He's 2 hours away, but promised to look at it if necessary, even though he's never even seen a longarm machine (still hasn't). With that promise, I took the leap. I have not regretted the decision, but I live in fear. Frustration also, because I am such a poor mechanic that most of my repairs & tweaks take much longer than they should. As far as I can tell, I am the only person doing longarming as a business, with an APQS machine, in all of Polynesia. So, I did not expect to get help, I have not been disappointed, and I am glad that the phone and e-mail response is as good as it is. My machine head arrived with the box in shreds, but fortunately the machine itself seemed undamaged.

That said, everybody has to change planes in Honolulu sometime, & I hope that if APQS does send someone to Australia, that they stop by here. There are other APQS owners in Hawaii, as well as a few Gammill owners who I assume to be in the same boat, & I think we'd happily chip in for an occasional hands-on service. Plus, free coffee. Make a nice vacation of it. Jim, I hope you're still listening.

Ferret, you go girl!! It took courage to bring up a sensitive subject, & I hope APQS and all of us will be better for it.


Puakea Farm Quilt Studio

http://catherinewynnequilts.com/

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Quite right for reminding us about Scandinavia, Janne!

You are probably closer to me in Norway than the other European countries... I can fly direct to Norway from Aberdeen!

(bet it's not cheap - that's the problem with being at the centre of North Sea Oil production)

I have been reading Dealer posts too and trying to make sure that I know what is going on.

Thank you for suggesting a kit of spares to save some time if there is a crisis like a quilt deadline


7A774332713D834EE7DD0C4A611AD48F.png

LINZI in Scotland x

APQS Sales Rep and Educator for the UK

Linzi's website is

www.thequiltquine.com

see more pics!...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sewlinzi/

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So, just how many APQS machines are there in the UK? Are we talking 10 or 100? Without knowing that it is impossible to work out if its worth getting bulk supplies of bits from the US. To be a commercial eneterprise you have to be able to buy wholesale, add a mark up and pay import duty etc and hope that its cheaper than individuals bringing in their own stuff ( when they often get away with not paying duty and vat on small parcels).

I have a spare bits kit given to me by APQS as part of the machine maintenance class at Claudias. Needles I buy from an industrial machine supplier over here approx £20 per 100. I'm sure we could source bobbins from them too


Yvette Ness

Millenium owner

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...that I love this thread?;)

And I´m having some spare parts at the APQS Showroom as well!

Janne.....nice to see you active online again......:-) How are you?

Claudia


Best wishes from over the ocean...


Quilt &Co.
tel.:0049 2151 773851
post@quilt-und-co.de
http://www.quilt-und-co.de
EA8FACCEFE3428138CCD7022F3E91D1B.png
http:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8g_pe2Kyos

//community.webshots.com/user/claudiapfeil

http://www.photoshow.net/quiltundco/quilts

Claudia Pfeil designs for Download:

http://www.longarmpatterns.com/

APQS-Millennium

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Originally posted by Jim Langland

......We will work hard to fix your issues and keep you quilting:D

Keep quilting and please keep using this wonderful open and public forum. The more dialogues we have like this one, the better APQS becomes as a company!

Gone quilting,

Jim Langland

Wonderful!

I love happy endings! :) :)


"Of all the things a woman's hands have made---The quilt so lightly thrown across her bed---The quilt that keeps her loved ones warm---Is woven of her love and dreams and thread." excerpt from The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt by Carrie A. Hall
 

:rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes: 

Shana in North Pole, Alaska ---- The Farthest North APQS Sales Rep  
 Always quilting with her faithful friend, Mademoiselle Madeleine Millennium, Bliss-fully skating gracefully...and having lots of fun with IntelliQuilter

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Hi everyone

This has been a very interesting thread and it was great to read Jim's response and his invitation to anyone who has unresolved issues to contact him - also the fact that we have this forum, which is uncensored, shows a commitment to quality of products and its customers.

The news for the UK is looking really good with the energetic Linzi keen to get things sorted out - way to go Linzi - you will do a great job.

Among the countries mentioned in this thread is Australia. I'd just like to clarify that when a machine is sold in Australia, every customer is offered FREE set-up and training onsite. Steve and I feel that it is important to provide this service to our customers as soon as they receive their machines so that they are reassured that everything is working as it should be. When we visit we go through basic maintenance and quilting techniques. Its a lot to learn in one day so we are available 7 days per week by email or phone and of course there is always support available from APQS and this great forum.

I'm sure we would all like to have a factory trained dealer on our doorstep, but logistics and cost of training and retaining such a person make this impossible.

One thing APQS does BADLY is promote how with every new version of the machines, they make maintenance and repair easier (less or no technical skills required now that most parts simply unplug) and its cheaper than calling someone out.

I think, for most of us, the first time we have to take a screwdriver to our machines, the majority of us think, I don't know/ won't be able to do this. However, with the excellent instructions, colour and text, that come with the machines and APQS tech support, its doable for nearly everyone who wants to do it.

I'd say for anyone in any country, who has technical issues with their machine, ring your dealer and make a telephone appointment for the dealer to be on the phone when you are fixing your machine, and let them talk you through what to do. It is the best feeling to fix your machine yourself and it saves on down time. Whats the worst that can happen if you try to fix it yourself, you'll have to call in a sewing machine repair person!

Best wishes

Sue in Australia


sue in australia

APQS Australia

CQ Australia

613 9769 0248

smorris@comcen.com.au

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Hi Catherine

Last time I was in Hawaii was a week before you got your machine - bad timing for sure - the kids are nagging for us all to go back - I hope we can soon. If I came to service your machine, do you think the taxman would consider it a valid business trip:P

sue in australia


sue in australia

APQS Australia

CQ Australia

613 9769 0248

smorris@comcen.com.au

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