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Message Board > Sewing Machines > BL Mastery Classes ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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BL Mastery Classes
what is available in other areas
SandiMacD
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SandiMacD  Friend of PR
Intermediate
FL USA
Member since 2/8/09
Posts: 2209
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Date: 3/25/13 11:15 AM

I wanted to start my BabyLock Mastery Classes last summer with our Dealer but her business was going through a major change because she got approved by Bernina to also be a Bernina Dealer.

I quite understood about her growing pains with carrying 2 brands. She runs 2 local stores and everyone I talked to said she was a fantastic person so I figured it would settle down. Plus she has a Platinum Dealer rating on the BL website. And I really liked her when I was deciding on my purchase.

Anyway, in Sept I followed up again on the Mastery Classes but learned that she doesn't offer them in the Fall- they restart in Jan each year and go through Aug. She did tell me about her paid classes which I could take to learn various techniques. She has quite a few of those as well as lots of popular workshops and seminars (very popular & crowded).

In early Jan, her Calendar still wasn't out so I called and was told it would be Feb. Great! I signed up for 2 of the Mastery Classes a week apart in Feb.

A few days later I got a voice message that I was in the first class (Basics) but not the second class (Feet). I called back and was told there was a problem with the second class and to check on it with the owner when I came to the Basics Class.

So I did and learned it was against Store Policy to take more than one Mastery (free) class a month. I have never of that. Is it a common practice to Babylock or to other dealers or other areas?

So I thought, no problem I will take the Feet Class in Mar. But when I went to sign up it was a night class. I was told that they rotate Mastery Classes- one month they are all daytime and the next month they are all night time. OK that makes sense.

I don't drive at night or in busy 5PM downtown traffic so I figured I would take the April daytime class. I have been checking the online calendar because I had to make travel plans to see my Dad out of state in April. So I stopped by last week. They told me nothing was scheduled yet but most likely would be early April. So I made plans to leave on April 12th.

I called today and was told they would call me back but if they have one in April, it is most likely the 15th. But they are having a Retreat in April so that cuts into the Class Calendar times so nothing is decided yet. So it might be in May.

This is really getting confusing and frustrating. Since last year I have had plans to visit my kids and grandkids in MT from mid May to mid Aug. Then it will be Fall which means I can't take a Mastery Class until they restart them in Jan/Feb of 2014.

So is this unusual? Does it really take years sometimes to get the Free Dealer Mastery Classes?

Yes I know I can go online and that is fine but I also wanted something more personalized (in person) and to be able to get the Dealer Class discounts to buy my accessories and notions and just feel closer to my Dealer and what she offers. So this is becoming a real turn off to me.

And it wasn't just me. There were 4 or 5 others in our Jan class that got their Ellisimo machines between May and August of 2012 and had to wait until Jan 2013 for their first Dealer Mastery Class. And 2 of them I am in touch with are still waiting to take the second Mastery Class.

Its hard to encourage folks to buy locally and get dealer support when things like this happen. I left Bernina for BL in 2010 due to a poor Bernina Dealer experience. That time I had to wait nearly 4 months to get into the Mastery Class and it only lasted 2 hours. It took me years to figure out how to use it. I was overwhelmed with posts from other Bernina users saying how unusual it was. I suspect this is also unusual from a BL dealer. (At least this is a very user-friendly machine that I love.) So it looks like I am just not very fortunate in getting into Mastery Classes.

enough ranting for now...

------
sewing brings joy and meaning to my life...

NonieA1
NonieA1  Friend of PR
Advanced
FL USA
Member since 11/3/10
Posts: 121
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 3/26/13 6:22 AM

If this were me, I would contact the higher ups in BL and let them know your frustration. Make a statement on BL Facebook page describing your frustration and the dealer. Trust me, you will see some action. My daughter was frustrated regarding our car and where we had to go to get it services and the outrageous charges. She went on the Facebook page and vented. The next day a higher up contacted her and got results for a big discount on the charges. It pays to be a squeaky wheel when you want to support local businesses and do not receive the service that was expected and not received. I am a firm believer in supporting local business and making myself heard when service is not extended. As my DH puts it, "Send a silver bullet" his description of my letters of dissatisfaction. 9 times out of 10, I get results. It never hurts and you know at least you tried and in the process, you have let others know. Granted it takes effort, but it is worth it.

SandiMacD
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SandiMacD  Friend of PR
Intermediate
FL USA
Member since 2/8/09
Posts: 2209
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Date: 3/26/13 10:08 AM

I think I will talk this over with the other 2 and the 3 of us may sit down with the owner.
As much as I woud like the classes, what I wanted was a good relationship with the dealer. I am not sure venting to BL HQ is the best way to go about it.
So back to my main question- how are BL Mastery Classes handled atnother dealerships? Are they weeks or months apart? Are there waiting lists to get in?

------
sewing brings joy and meaning to my life...

Doris W. in TN
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Doris W. in TN  Friend of PR
Intermediate
TN USA
Member since 2/9/04
Posts: 7458
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In reply to SandiMacD <<


Date: 3/26/13 10:45 AM

I don't own a BL but I think that something like this may be left up to the discretion of the dealer.
Your dealer's scheduling and rationale are not serving the customers and your frustration is very justified. One should not have to wait almost a year for a Mastery Class on feet.

My Bernina dealer offers all levels of the Master Classes on a quarterly basis, but they sell a lot of machines, so the classes always "make". They are a very good dealership.

Your dealer could be doing a better job, IMO, if they want customer retention and loyalty.
Try talking with the owner, first. If that doesn't get you anywhere, then do not hesitate to contact someone on a corporate level. The squeaky wheel gets the oil.

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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OH USA
Member since 12/3/06
Posts: 6846
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 3/26/13 11:13 AM

I would forget the whole thing and use the videos at Sewing with Nancy to learn how to use the various accessories.

------
I dont give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think its Hell. Harry Truman

"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

JanyceR

JanyceR  Friend of PR
CO USA
Member since 2/3/07
Posts: 1457
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In reply to SandiMacD <<


Date: 3/26/13 11:15 AM

I don't own a Babylock, but the local Babylock dealer is also the Pfaff dealer, and was the Bernina dealer several years ago too. They offer machine classes 3-4 times a year at the most. This seems to be true for all brands. They do have more Babylock classes than Pfaff. I don't know if there are waiting lists or not. I could not make the Pfaff classes they had scheduled in January (bought my Pfaff in October). They had Babylock in January as well. No new classes sheduled yet for either brand

------
Pfaff Creative Sensation Pro, Bernina 780,
B350SE,other Berninas, Pfaff Performance 5, several vintage - multiple manufacturers.
Love all my machines!

Michele Lommasson
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Michele Lommasson  Friend of PR
Advanced
NM USA
Member since 7/23/07
Posts: 881
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Date: 3/26/13 2:29 PM

The dealer I work for was first a Bernina dealer, then added Babylock.
We teach the first mastery class for both machines at the beginning of every month, morning and evening. Eqch month the other classes are offered either in the morning or the evening only. We have masteries 1,2,3 & 4. Also a separate mastery for the Bernina stitch regulator. Each class is 2 1/2 hours long.
I don't know what BabyLock's policy is on mastery.

------
Michele Lommasson

Michele Lommasson
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Michele Lommasson  Friend of PR
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NM USA
Member since 7/23/07
Posts: 881
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Date: 3/26/13 2:29 PM

Oops, double post!
-- Edited on 3/26/13 2:30 PM --

------
Michele Lommasson

Steffie
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Steffie
Intermediate
MI USA
Member since 11/6/04
Posts: 872
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Date: 3/26/13 4:06 PM

I have never heard of a Babylock Mastery Class. What are they? I used to have a Ellageo and now have an Ellisimo and Enlighten.

JanyceR

JanyceR  Friend of PR
CO USA
Member since 2/3/07
Posts: 1457
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In reply to Michele Lommasson <<


Date: 3/26/13 5:38 PM

Wow! I want your dealer! No one within 100 mile radius of me offers evening classes, let alone every month. At one time there was a dealer 100 miles away that did some of the classes every other quarter on a Saturday. For the most part, in this area, you are out of luck if can't attend mastery classes on a weekday, in the daytime.

------
Pfaff Creative Sensation Pro, Bernina 780,
B350SE,other Berninas, Pfaff Performance 5, several vintage - multiple manufacturers.
Love all my machines!

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