Two weeks ago my serger broke (long story in and of itself), and so I had to do my first solo machine repair mission. The last time I had a broken machine was almost a decade ago, before I could drive and my mother took care of that kind of stuff.
First off, I of course took the machine to JoAnn's which is where I originally bought it. The lady at the Viking/Husquevarna station was very helpful, but to my dismay she told me the baseline price would be $99.99, plus any parts repair. I gritted my teeth. I needed my serger for work... I would have to do whatever it took to get it repaired.
Well, we'd gotten the ticket filled out with my info when the sales lady decided to call the repair guy and... I'm not sure, get an estimate on how long it would take? Turns out it's a good thing she did, because their repairman no longer works on Singers, having a full quota of Viking and Husquevarnas.
That was a low point. However the lady directed me to another repair shop that did all machines, and later that week I drove over (half hour drive) to get it looked at. That was rather nerve wracking as well, as the guy looked over my machine, had a worried look on his face, and asked me to leave the manual, which apparently they never do but my machine is... unique.
"Yikes!" I thought. What if they can't fix it?
I tried not to worry and focus on sewing the pieces I could do with my regular machine. The one upside was the lower price quote I'd gotten at the second place... $50-$70 unless something was really wrong. So that was reassuring as I spent the next ten days serger-less.
Finally yesterday we got word that it was complete, and I was able to drive over and get it. The guy said my machine was in great condition, and the problem had been with the looper timing which they were able to fix - and they charged me $59.99 which was definitely a better price than I had been hoping for at that point.
I still had to spend 16 days without a serger, which is NOT a good situation when you sew for a living, but I made it work.