Sewing Machine Scam
I have been scammed! I feel so stupid! I don't hold out much hope of getting my money back or getting a machine that works, BUT I can make life difficult for the scammers out there, and I don't want YOU to be the next victim.
I do not know how to sew, but my young daughter wants to learn (and I thought it would be fun to learn together). Normally, I research the heck out products before purchasing, but for some reason I didn't this time. Hindsight is 20/20.
I saw an ad for "School Model Singer Sewing Machine One Day Only Sale" and did as the ad directed: took the clipped ad to the appointed location where, I, along with about 20 other people, crowded around a young man demonstrating three models of Singer sewing machines for $129, $199, and $299. I asked advice from people in the crowd --- all seasoned seamstresses --- and watched people hand over their money and walk out with the new, still-in-the-box sewing machine of their choice. I telephoned a friend who sews to ask her advice on which of the three machines I should get, then I handed over my debit card and walked out with the $199 machine. I signed the receipt that stated I had 3 business days to cancel the sale.
Confident that all was well, I waited until my friend was available to assist me with setting up the machine --- that would be 10 days after the sale. First, she met me at the fabric store where I purchased material and supplies to make a simple valance for the kitchen window. So excited! We cut the fabric, got the machine out of the box, she threaded the bobbin, and then threaded the machine. We were all set to practice sew! But the machine would not sew. The motor made a straining noise, but the needle would not go up and down. She double-checked her work, re-threaded everything, and still, nothing.
When I called the phone number on the receipt, I got an outgoing message saying they were on vacation. When we called a sewing machine repair shop and described the problem and the straining sound, they said the motor was bad.
The next week I tried MANY times to reach a person at the phone number on the receipt. All I ever got was an outgoing message stating the business hours and that if I was calling regarding the sewing machine sale, a demonstrator would be available there.
Getting that scammed feeling, I checked out the GW sewing forum and also Googled "Sewing Machine Scams" where my fears were realized.
According to my GPS, the address on the receipt is real (it is in a town about 3 hours from me). However, I do not know for certain it is a legitimate sewing machine business. (The satelite picture makes it look like an abandoned gas station!)
Not surprisingly, my credit union says I have no recourse for getting my money back since I signed the receipt stating I had three days to cancel the sale. Meanwhile, I am working my way up the chain of command at the Singer Corporation, at the place of business that hosted the "sale," and next I intend to contact the police department and the owner of the newspaper that ran the ad. I will probably also contact the Attorney General for my state.
Again, I don't hold much hope of getting my money back -- or getting a working machine --- but I do want to get the word out to others: DON'T FALL FOR THIS DEAL! I can't believe I did! I wouldn't dream of purchasing anything being sold out of a truck in a parking lot, but essentially, that's just what I did! The newspaper ad, the Singer name, and the host store name gave this scam an air of legitimacy, and squelched that voice in my head that told me it was too good to be true!