Fifty years ago, while her husband was in the military and stationed in Japan, Lance’s grandmother bought a lovely Brother sewing machine. She has now handed it down to Lance’s wife. The nice thing is that she still had the manual, but that manual is only in Japanese, since the machine was only sold on the Japanese market. The machine has all kinds of advanced features that Mrs. Lance can’t access, because she can’t read Japanese. Maybe, Lance thought, Brother has the manual available for purchase, or even in digital form.
That’s when he encountered the difference between Brother USA and Brother International. The former didn’t seem to even read his email, and the latter was able to supply exactly what he was looking for.
Recently my Grandmother gave my wife her sewing machine because my wife was interested in working on quilting. The problem was that my grandmother purchased this Brother sewing machine in Japan, while my grandfather was stationed there in 1963, and the manual was in Japanese. No one in my family speaks Japanese and this meant that my wife could not use some of the advanced features. I contacted the customer service site for the US, thinking that they may be able to help with an English version of the manual. I filled out there request form and explained the situation and included the product number. They emailed back requesting the product number. Undaunted I replied, emphasizing the product number, manufacture date and serial number. This was the response I received:
Dear Brother Customer,
Thank you for your recent inquiry regarding our products.
The model number provided is an invalid U.S.A. model number.
To find information about Brother International globally, or to locate
one of our subsidiaries, dealers and/or distributors in your area you
may visit our website http://www.brother.com.
Feel free to contact us, toll free at 1-877-552-6255, Mon-Fri from
9:00am to 5:45pm ET, if you have any questions and/or concerns.
Thank you for your inquiry.
Thank-you for being a Brother Customer.
We appreciate your business.
Consumer Sales Dept.
Brother International Corporation
The robotic sounding email felt like no one even read my explanation and did not care to help me. I knew it was a Japanese product number. So I decided to try the international web site, since the US subsidiary did not want to help and that is apparently what “To find information about Brother International globally” was telling me to do.
I emailed the international customer service and gave them the same information. I received this email:
Thank you very much for your inquiry.
We have only Japanese manual for ZZ2-B701 here in Japan.
Therefore we would like to find out if there is any similar model to
this machine in US models.
Please understand that we need a few more days to reply back to you.
Today I received an email which had a PDF of a similar model that was sold in the US as my sewing machine. I totally did not expect anything, especially after my initial US customer service experience, so I am quite impressed that the international customer service took the time to research which model would have been similar to my 50 year old sewing machine and then send me a scanned copy of it. I am certainly impressed with Brother International. Brother USA, however, could have at least forwarded my email to international or included a link to the customer request page, which I had to find myself. Not to mention, the translated Japanese emails sounded more professional and courteous than the robotic and impersonal US ones. Next time I think I will go straight to the international web site.