Monday, January 31, 2011


My top of the line (when I bought it about 10 years ago)Elna 925 surger started acting up in early 2010. Of course the dealer has gone out of business and there is not another Elna dealer in South Mississippi. So I took it in to a generic shop in Mobile, Al. The repairman got it running, however within a day or two the pedal stopped working. I assumed (I know what you're thinking about assuming) that I needed to replace the foot pedal since the machine was working otherwise. My research and just let me say, I don't remember who I called but I was told that that pedal was on longer available and I would need to buy a Phaff pedal to use on the machine. So I go on line and purchase one (new). It worked for several months then the problem started all over again. Finally, I decided to drive 65 miles to Mobile, AL to have the thing checked out by the authorized Elna dealer. Just like going to the Doctor it worked and worked and worked while I was in the shop. The shop owner was anything but pleasant so I just took the thing back home. Naturally when I tried to use it the problem was still there. The next closest dealer was in New Orleans and I just didn't want to drive 95 miles for a repair. I called Elna who advised that customers could not send their machines directly to them and I would need to get a dealer to send it. As much as I hated to go back to the little shop in Mobile, AL, I wanted to get my machine repaired so I went back and the owner agreed to send it to Elna and would call me to let me know what the cost to repair it would be. A month passed and I called her and was told that Elna closed for two weeks for Christmas and it should just be a matter of days. I Called again two weeks later and was told she expected to hear from Elna soon. By this time I was doing hong kong seam bindings and whatever else to get by. Lots of extra work. After 7-1/2 weeks I got a call around noon today and was informed that my surger had been repaired and I could pick it up. I asked the price and almost fainted when she said $303 plus tax (10% in Mobile). $100 for service, 63 for shipping and $140. for a new pedal. It took everything I had not to loose my mind but I held on and made the decision to go pick it up because if I did not I'm sure they would have sold it as I paid over $1,000 when I purchased it 10 years ago.

During the hour and twenty minute drive I decided that I would not purchase the pedal and would just get the machine. Arrived at the shop and asked to speak with the owner. She came from the back room and went on to tell me that it was the pedal that was causing my problem. So I said just let me try it before I take it home. Well as fate would have it the door to the front of the machine would not close enough for the surger to engage. She took it to the back room and I followed. She tried it again and it did not work so she opened the bottom and a 10 years of lent literally fell from the machine. She was livid. She said this is an indication that this machine had not been properly serviced. She went to the phone and called Elna's customer service department to complain. After being placed on hold and transferred three or four times someone said they would call her back. I told her that I could not wait. She took the front door off and readjusted it and oiled the machine and tried it again. It worked this time. She wanted me to leave it and send it back and make them perform a proper service on the machine. I declined and told her that I would pay the shipping charge and pay for the new pedal. She agreed and I paid @217.00. I could have purchased a new basic surger for a few dollars more.

Needless to say my frustration level was extremely high, but I pat myself on the back for not acting out or being rude. After a few deep breaths I got into my car and drove back to Biloxi. I will not attempt to sew tonight because I just cannot take another crises. As Scarlet O'Hara said in "Gone With The Wind"....I'll think about it tomorrow".

I'm positive I'll be in a better mood tomorrow and I'll start on that red dress to go with the black and white houndstooth jacket.


  1. Forgot to tell you all about the end of this drama. My son-in-law Byron was over changing out the breaker so I asked him to see if he could dislodge the tiny little bulb from the socket on the serger. After a few tries he said, "Let me go out to my truck and get my TOOLS because I could unscrew the two little screws thats holding the THING to the inside of the machine". TOOLS!... UNSCREW!.... THING!......OMG!!!! When he went to his truck I moved like a bolt of lightining, turned the serger upside down and saw a small space that just maybe I could gently pry the bulb out. Quickly reached for my tiny little screwdriver and gently wedged it between the bulb and the socket and the little bulb popped right out. WHEW!.... When he returned tool box in hand, I explained that I had gotten it out and how I did it. He seemed disappointed that he did not get to use his TOOLS on my serger. I guess it is really true that necessity is the mother of invention. I was in an absolute panic because I vaguely remembered that my daughter said her husband was just like Cliff Huxtable from the Cosby show; and in those few seconds I was able to save the surger from perhaps an unintentional disaster. He probably will never see this blog. LOL

  2. Hello,
    I'm from Mobile. Did this poor repair occur at American Sew and Vac on Springhill Avenue Extension? They are notorious for overcharging - then trying to convince you to leave your old machine and buy a new machine.