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Friday
Jun182010

Janome Horizon 7700 Review (entry 122)

Hi all, so the last couple of weeks I've been consumed with my new machine.  Grab a cappu and get ready for a good story....

So it all started May long weekend when Jeff and I went to Kelowna on a spur of the moment camping weekend.  One of my favourite shops in Kelowna is Linda's Quilt Shop/Jims Vacuum Shop and as we were driving by they were having a huge tent sale on sewing machines...do we dare stop :)

So after stopping and spending over 3 hours questioning and trying the Janome Horizon 7700, I decided to take the plunge and buy it.  Thanks so much to Jim for all of his time and such a great deal.

Fast forward a week.... The machine arrived in the mail and I spent the next several days working with it and figuring out all the stuff I like and dislike.  As many of you know, I've always been a Husqvarna girl (Lily 555 was my 1st and Platinum 770 my 2nd) and so far I have to say there are quite a few differences between the machines.

I'll start with the likes between this machine and my Husqy. 

  • Thread cutter - love it.
  • Stitch memory and recall the last stitch - you can set the stitch length and width and save it for next time you turn on your machine, in my case the 1/4" needle position and length of stitch - love it!! Also, because this is the most popular stitch I use everytime I turn my machine on it goes to that stitch automatically.
  • So much quieter which is great for those long night watching TV and sewing.
  • The throat area is almost 11" it's amazing.
  • All the feet that I need came with it including the Accufeed Walking foot system - awesome as you don't have to attached a walking foot contraption to the machine, you just add the special foot and connect the lever to the foot.

Dislikes:

  • 1/4" foot guide came bent.
  • The precision of the sewing isn't what I'm used to, I cannot control the foot pedal to sew nice and slow and continuous, the foot control isn't as responsive as my Husqy. 
  • The feet when connected to the shaft are a very wiggly, this was something that truly bothered me ALOT so my hubby sat with me and added a piece of tape to the side of the shaft to add some padding now the feet fit nice and snug, phew.
  • My needle threader came broken, the needle in the machine was also bent.
  • Don't like the tension on the presser foot, it's so tight even on the lightest setting.
  • Dealing with Janome Canada Ltd. has been a nightmare !!!!!

So phoned the dealership in Kelowna where I purchased it from (Jims Sewing Centre) and discussed the questions with my machine with Jim Findlay like I've listed above as well as the broken threader. He said for me to take it to Sewing World here in Calgary and talk to them as they are a certified dealer. The warranty did I mention is for 17 years!! Amazing right? Well according to Steve Rice of Sewing World in Calgary the warranty is with the shop not the machine. So called Jim back in Kelowna and he says...no no the warranty is with the machine he said he would cover any costs that might be incurred with Sewing World in Calgary and people move all the time, bla, bla, bla so I decide to call Janome directly to find out exactly - BIG MISTAKE!!

"Oh, by the way, I did take my machine to Steve at Sewing World here in Calgary and he did check out and adjust the needle threader for me at no charge so thanks to Steve for that. He did explain again to me that the warranty is with the shop as Janome doesn't reimburse for labour costs to the dealer even though the warranty card states that all parts and warrant are covered for the 1st 2 years."

Anyway, it's the end of the day last Friday and Lynn from Janome answers the phone, I kind of give her a run down of my situation and ask about the warranty card.  She preceded to tell me that she would be mad if she was Sewing World in Calgary and that she wouldn't help me since I bought the machine from somewhere else! As you can imagine I was quite surprise by her response.  I said that people move all the time and need to get their machines serviced.  She told me that was not that type of situation... I told her that the warranty card says that I can go to any authorized dealer for warranty issues and questions.  She was so rude, and said that this was not the case and she didn't have a warranty card in front of he, so she can't comment.  I was so surprised by her lack of professionalism and rudeness... and because it was the end of the day there wasn't anyone else there for me to speak to.  She said she couldn't help me and that she would have someone contact me this week.  I also called the warranty number (assuming it went to the same office as Lynn's) and left a message asking for someone to contact me from their warranty dept... it's now Thursday and I haven't heard a thing as of yet.

When I talked to Jim in Kelowna I was feeling so discouraged.  It has been such a bad experiance with Janome Canada Ltd (particularly Lynn) I'm considering sending my machine back just because of all of the discrepancies and contradictions with the warranty...they have a no return policy, of course!

I've been sewing on it a bit more this week and getting used to it - I do like it BUT I haven't heard from anyone at Janome regarding either message about my questions and concerns... so frustrating!!

Have any of you purchased the Horizon 7700, do you like it?  Did you switch from another machine like Bernina or Husqvarna I'm curious to know what you think, likes and dislikes. I would also like to know if any of you out there has had a similar problem with warranty?

Thank so much for taking the time to read through this and leaving any advice or comments!!

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Reader Comments (32)

Maybe you can call Janome in New York, or is it New Jersey, just to find out the truth behind the warrenty. I have the 6600 and have gotten no help from Janome. Although I love my machine, I wish now I had bought a Bernina. I wouldn't have gotten as much for the price, but the support may have been worth it.

June 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDana

You need to contact a fellow blogger, Pat, at http://alittleofthisandalittleofpat.blogspot.com/ . She had the same issues with hers and did finally get a resolution. Good luck.

June 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMary

I used to have a Pfaff, and I couldn't stand it. I bought a Janome 6500. I LOVE IT! It is such a high quality machine, and I've never had the kinds of problems you are talking about. I've never had anything go wrong with it. I am so sorry to hear about the problems you've had. I have a few thoughts...I've moved several times, and new dealers have been happy to help me with service, etc. However, I've never had to do warranty work before. I have heard people talking about how it's a bad idea to buy new sewing machines on eBay for this exact reason. That is, that you don't always get good service later. However, I would expect that warranty work can be done anywhere. We just had warranty work done on our Toyota car, and it was not at the dealer where we bought it (we have moved). They didn't bat an eyelash at it. My suggestion is that you go above Lynne with Janome and talk to them about what a negative experience you've had and how you were treated. I think her manager should know about this. There is no excuse for poor service when you spend this kind of money on a sewing machine. Your feet should not be wobbly. Mine aren't. I think they should take the machine back and send you a brand new one. My humble opinion and thoughts. Sorry this is happening. I hope you get a positive resolution.

June 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

Oh, yes.......go right to the CEO of Janome. I think it is their headquarters for this hemisphere in Mahwah, NJ. Once I sent a letter to HIM, I got immediate response. The only problem is....only ONE authorized Janome dealer in my area and now SHE is bent out of shape as it was HER I was complaining about when I went to Janome. Good luck with this....and don't let them wear you down about it, either!!!

June 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPat

Oh Val, that just sucks! I have a Janome, but it's 20 years old and was a higher end entry level machine. It's been a wonderful machine to me and only in the last couple of years have I had trouble with it. I can sew a straight line so I can still quilt, but I need a new machine and I'll be going with Bernina when I have saved up the money.

I agree, you need to go above Lynn's head. That's the most asinine thing I have ever heard respecting a warranty. Rarely do people stay in the same place; often they buy from somewhere they don't live. To have a company not honor warranties because it's not taken the shop of purchase is ridiculous.

Channel your inner squeaky wheel so you get the grease you need here.

June 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

Try finding an online forum or group for your machine ...that's the first thing I do before buying a new machine !!! So many people with info about a particular model.I like yahoo groups for this kind of thing.

June 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterElke

Val, I'm sorry you're having so much trouble. When it came time for me to buy a machine, I went with a Bernina based on reviews, the dealer, and the ease of changing the feet (I find screws too fiddly). Pat's experience with her Janome also influenced me. I also think you need to go well above and beyond Lynn's head. Her conversation with you is evidence that Janome is not doing what they should in the customer service arena. Take it further.

June 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJackie

Hello Val and fellow bloger's.
My name is Jim Findlay, I own Linda's Quilt Shoppe with my wife Linda Findlay in Kelowna BC. I have just read you blog Val and thought that I should say a few words. It was a pleasure spending 3 hours with you in my store going over the Janome 7700 with you. As with any customer we spend as much time that is needed going through machines with customers to make sure that they are buying the right machine. The Janome Horizon 7700 has been a huge success for us as while as janome canada. We have sold over 40 of these machines since they have been launched with very little concerns. I have been in this business for many years and our family has been selling Janome for over 30 years. Janome has always been the most friendly and understanding company we have ever dealt with (and we have dealt with lots). I will have someone get ahold of you soon.

I know it must be hard going from one brand to another as all machines do sew different. When you get use to a feature of a machine and you go to another brand and it dosen't have it, it can be frustrating. All brands have to be different. There are so many incredable features that the Janome Horizon has over other companys that no other company can match it, in this price range.

As for Steven Rice from sewing WORLD we thank him for taking the time to adjust your needle threader and offer you free lessons. They have been in business for many years and are one of the top dealers in canada so we have the confidence that they will look after any concerns you might have.

If there is any thing that we can do Val to make this situation feel more comfortable please let me know. I hope you received the 1/4" accufil seam foot that i sent you.

In ending I should say that it would probably be best for a consumer to buy from a dealer in your own town so they may really take the time needed to make the right decision.

Always a pleasure talking to you Val. Feel free to contact me any time. I will be back from mexico on June 29th.
Hope to see you next time you are in town.
Jim Findlay
Linda's Quilt Shoppe
Kelowna BC
250-491-9770

June 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJim Findlay

Hmmm, Well....that is a comment huh? I do NOT agree with Mr Jim Findlay, his advice to buy only from the `local quilt shop' is
`garbage' that would leave TONS of lovely quilters ~ out on the cold. Their are not ~LOCAL~`quilt shops' at every corner. DUH.
I am encolsing a link to a well traveled, intelligent, author & quilter who researched her quilting machine & where to purchase & the problems we all encounter. I REALLY get annoyed when `someone' trys to literally accuse us that it is almost our fault in our purchase place or our use ability or another from a list of things that can easily be overcome~~~ if they would just then be what they should be in the 1st place & rise to the level of the top of constumer service & service the problem that is WRONG. Instead of being rude & redirecting you around & reading a warranty manual. Deal with the problem that they KNOW is wrong. FIX & REPLACE. What is a fw minutes on the phone or reading a blog? the few minuted will get them SOOOO much more GOOD & GREAT press passed along VS this bad press that will get passed along & along forever..... :)

http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2009/02/today-in-charlotte.html

June 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteranna lee

I am so sorry to hear about your experience with your Horizon 7700. I have had 3 Janome's now and the dealer makes all the difference. One of the machines I returned and got a full refund. Janome machines are such great sewing machines and it sounds like you got a lemon. Jim (the machine dealer) should have replaced your machine with a brand new one. You should not have to deal with these issues. I hope you get your issues resolved - actually if your dealer was a good dealer he would have replace your machine immediately.

July 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Working my way up the totem pole at the Janome HQ in NJ, USA, was fruitless, to put it mildly. My husband is in the Army & we move every couple of years. I'm SO tired of hearing the Janome warranty is good only at the shop where it was purchased. Even Singer doesn't pull such stunts! Nobody at Janome has been able to give me a sound reason WHY the warranty isn't transferable! Keep at it; you'll have a lot of support from those of us who either despise their local Janome dealer's attitude and/or can't make sense of the limited warranty business!

August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPatty

I hate to hear the negative reviews on the Janome Horizon as I'm just getting ready to buy one. Now I'm wondering if I should. I'm currently using my Viking Rose for quilting and it is a pain as it doesn't have a thread cutter and it isn't quilt user friendly....it is best for embroidery.
I really need a new sewing machine and would love to get recommendatoins. My friend has a babylock and loves it.
Thanks!

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCindy

Like other folks commenting, I need to switch from my beloved Viking Designer 1 to another machine. My D1 has pretty much worn out and I'm loathe to spend a wad of money again on a machine that I don't use half the features on (I don't embroider, use the embroidery arm, or any of the bells and whistles). I sew primarily garments and some home dec and need a great basic machine PLUS a few bells and whistles like lockstitch and automatic cutting at the end of the seam. My local dealer here in Alaska recommended the 7700, but I've always had Vikings, so I'm sort of hesitant. The issues with getting work done on the machine under the warranty really make me think since the very reason I'm having to dump my D1 is all the repairs....

August 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkrist

I was looking at buying the Janome 7700 or the Bernina QE440. I ended up going with the Bernina QE440 because of the support and classes that I got with the machine. I just felt like for that kind of money I wanted to be able to call and get answers. They have been great so far and the Bernina has not disappointed me...it works like a gem!!!

Although there were many features about the Janome 7700 that I liked...no one was able to sit down and show me the machine. I looked at several places. I also did not like the way the shaft attached. I felt like the space to remove the screw was extremely tight.

I hope you have gotten a resolution to your issues with your 7700. Right now I'm feeling thankful that I stuck with the Bernina.

September 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPaula W.

Thanks for this very helpful information. I am on vacation in Peterborough, ON. I wandered into a sewing shop and eyed the Janome Horizon as I am shopping for a new sewing machine. It is on sale, the machine looks amazing, but I live in London, Ontario, so I have learned from reading your very insightful information and comments that I should wait and look closer to home. I have learned that there are a number of dealers closer to home.

Thanks so much for the very helpful info.

Weird. I bought my 6500 and 6600 from a "local" dealer. Well, that local dealer closed up shop. I took the 6600 in to the next closest dealer for servicing. While I was there I asked about warranty work due to the local dealer closing. New dealer assured me he would honour the warranty. I ended up spending time in the shop and purchased the 7700. I have had no problems (so far) with it except it did not like invisible thread. The new dealer has won me over as a permanent customer even if I have to drive a ways to get to his shop.....

October 4, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterteri

Appreciated reading all these posts. I have a Husqvarna Lily 550 too Valerie, and was wondering if I should get the new Janome Horizon. Most of my Husqvarna feet are easy snap on, except walking foot and free motion foot which are screwed in. What is making me hold off though is the Horizon would not fit into my current sewing talble, so there would be the additional expense of a sewing table. I should get my local dealer to give me a demo using invisable thread. Someone mentioned that the Horizon does not handle it well.
So ..... maybe I will hold off for another year? My Lily is now 12 years old but still working just fine (tune-ups ever couple of years now)

October 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterQuilter

Hi, my wife is a die hard Janome quilter... however we don't use Janome dealers to service her machines, ha, that speaks for itself. However, becuase janome is the maching of choice I am looking for a Horizon... if you are having a tough time and just want out, I'd be willing to by your used one from you... email me at scurvdog@gmail.com and we can discuss options. Again, we have a great service guy who is certified but not a dealer for Janome, lol, he always in jest tries to sell us his brands but Janome is the pick my wife sticks with... just not their people. Email as I would entertain taking this problem off your hands before Christmas.

cheers

Neo

November 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLooking

Janome--you need to give this lady a full refund as well as an apology! I just bought this machine and may not take it out of the box after hearing about this horrendous customer service. What do people do if they have to move to maintain employment? Do all dealers post signs and put a warning on their receipts that the product can only be serviced where purchased? Obviously, they should. I will be phoning my dealer first thing tomorrow to ascertain if I can get service on my new machine if I move, and be returning it if that is the case. I have never had a problem getting service for my old Elna, and have moved across Canada with it!

December 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEllen

I hope by now that you have had some satisfaction from Janome. I purchased a Husqvarna Rose, then a Des. 1 and then a Des. SE, {as well as a new serger}, from A Great Notion. The Des. 1 needed servicing after I moved to Princeton. I returned to the store, had the servicing done and returned home where I discovered another problem.. Keith, from A Great Notion, contacted a store in Kelowna to have them do the repair for me. I was going there the next week anyway so it was convenient. I was going to be without my machine for a while and Carol, the Kelowna store owner, lent me her Des. 1 to use. She also took my machine to Vancouver to be repaired, on warranty I might add. Keith picked the machine up and sent it to me. Another time, a problem with the bobbin winder was repaired by Carol. I was so impressed by Carol that I started shopping in her store every time I went to Kelowna. Unfortunately for her customers, Carol has left the business.
Janome should accept your warranty, regardless of where you purchased the machine or where you go for servicing! Keep going to Janome, write/call whoever is above this Lynn you talked to and if that doesn't work, again go above the chain of command until you get satisfaction. And while you are doing that, report the rudeness. Don't let them get away with it.

January 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMyrna

Just received my new Janome 7700 last Sat. I have a Husqvarna Designer SE, paid 6,000.00 for it and also my trade in which was a Designner 1 . Of course, I am having fits about some of the stuff on the Janome but all in all, I love it. I bought it mostly to quilt on and the large harp is awesome. Its really great for freemotion quilting and I doubt I will do much else with it.I am fortunate to have my SE as it has every bell and whistle I could ask for.I think anyone considering the 7700 would be happy with it, may take some learning . I have had 8 new machines in the last 30 years and only one husband for 55. I maintain breaking in a new sewing machine is like breaking in a hubby; you need to find out which buttons to pushbefore things go well. Fortunately, I haven't had to do that with my husband!!!!Good luck all, its a nice machine.

July 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaxine Kjos

I wrote a whole blog post on the topic of the dealer system used by sewing machine companies! Unfortunately it is true that warranties are tied to dealers, not machines, so good luck if you move, or your dealer goes out of business. Note that warranties are only valid for the first owner...once the machine is sold the original warranty expires.
http://greenwich-8.blogspot.com/2010/02/short-history-how-i-bought-sewing.html

I no longer buy new machines from sewing machine dealers. I do a lot of research, read lots of reviews (patternreview.com has tons), buy used, and have found a fabulous independent sewing machine tech who services my machines. Shop techs can be hit or miss.

I think sewing machine companies have little respect for their customers, a hold-over from the old days when men controlled family budgets and women were rarely able to make large discretionary purchases, and were easily intimidated. Hence the dependence on the high pressure sales experience, and loophole ridden warranties. They used to sell cars like this! But not any more...someday I hope the sewing machine industry arrives at the 21st century: they could start by openly advertising prices!!

I was actually pleased when the Horizon came out...finally a reasonably priced machine with a good suite of features. I thought that this machine might attract a new generation; the last thing we need as sewists is another luxe $12,000 behemoth. Leah Day at Leah Day Designs has written about her experiences with this machine:
http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.com/search/label/janome%20horizon%207700

From what I hear, a properly serviced Horizon is a very nice machine, and while it needs a couple of tweaks ie. after market presser feet, or changing the speed dial on your machine, you should be quite happy with your purchase.

October 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWesternWilson

I'm so sorry you've had to learn the ins & outs of warranties in this way.

I work for a sewing machine dealer in the Vancouver area. We sell 4 different brands of machines, and as you've now learned, the warranty resides with the dealer and only the original owner. Returns are not accepted, because there is no longer a valid warranty ( all purchases are registered with the machine company), although we do have a 30-day trade-up option.

We make sure the customer is aware of the warranty specifications, and have turned down sales from out-of-towners, recommending instead their local dealer. It's too bad Jim in Kelowna did not do this.

We have recently picked up a brand when the local dealer closed shop, and we are honouring warranties even though it may cost us money to do so -- the good will this generates is worth it in the long run!

BTW, I have the Elna 740, equal to the Janome Horizon -- I have loved it from day 1! There have been a couple of minor issues in the 6 months I've had it, and the tech has rectified them quickly.

November 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJean

Jean, that is really good of your shop owner, taking on warranties from a retired dealer. I have to say, I feel almost as sorry for dealers as I do their customers: dealers are expected to buy at least one of every machine in the line they represent, and **at their own expense** attend new machine release seminars/training at regional or national head office. Here in Canada, that often means a one or two week trip to a US destination. I honestly do not know how they make money on machines, particularly the TOL machines, given the expenses piled on them for the honour of selling a line. I would guess the thing that makes machine sales worthwhile is the aftermarket sales of accessories...feet, notions etc. All in all, I think sewing machine companies have used and abused their dealers and their customers. We need to take a lesson from the car dealers, and have this industry openly advertise prices, offer truly competitive machines, not just bloated TOL's, actively court a new generation of sewists, and offer financing on new machines. And the warranties, if they are offered at all, MUST reside with the machine to have any meaning.

November 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWesternWilson

Val I am sorry to hear of your troubles. I also live in Alberta and have bought 2 machines from Findlays. I found them excellent to deal with and their price was better than I could find locally. I was fortunate enough not to need warranty as I was not aware that it went with the store and not the machine. Janome needs to man up and take responsibility for the product they manufacture and sell. Long gone are the $200.00 sewing machines. We bought our first 10001 brand new when it first came out and have never had issues. When we needed a MB4 we again went direct to Findlays and again got a great deal. We purchased our 2nd MB4 locally and it has been trouble sum but our local dealer has been very good at looking after our needs. Janome needs to check their hiring procedure as customer satisfaction needs to be #1. We have spent close to #15,000 on Janome machines is the past which is the price of a small car who would, by the way,have honored their warranty.

December 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTeresa Young

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