I purchased an HQ Avante last summer during an out-of-town quilt show. Part of the deal was an additional $500 worth of Avante supplies for free. And, yes, it was written in the contract. I've since used about $300 of the deal - purchased some items when the in-house instructor came to my house for my start up lessons.
Well, redeeming the rest has proven to be a nightmare. I went to the quilt show in Sharonville in September with the specific purpose of meeting with the shop owner at their booth to obtain the rest of my supplies. He wrote down the request since he didn't have the items there with him and promised to get back to me. When I didn't hear back, I phoned and left several messages. Once, I actually got to talk with the shop owner who assured me the shop had every intention of honoring their promise to me. Still, no action.
I e-mailed the shop around Thanksgiving. A few days later, I received part of my order - a stylus. Still no sign of the groovy boards I wanted. E-mailed again and the response was the HQ company is having difficulties with the groovy board manufacturer, the shop owner had dropped the ball, the company had forgotten about it too, etc. BUT, he wanted to assure me that I was not forgotten. This was three weeks before Christmas.
I still have no groovy boards.
Any suggestions? I'm about ready to drop the whole thing and order groovy boards straight from HQ to see if I was being fed a "line". But that means I have to pay for something I was already promised.
This whole situation has definitely made me think twice before doing business with a brick and mortar store. It's tons easier with my work schedule to feed my quilting addiction over the internet and the customer service I've received from various sites has been superb, including HQ. I like supporting small local businesses, don't get me wrong. But when they cannot meet their promises after repeated opportunities, they're losing more than one customer - they're losing their reputation.
P.S. I love my Avante!