I bought my Glowforge in January of 2016 as part of their pre-order campaign. I waited literal years to get my laser cutter. For those not in the know, Glowforge began shipping to the US first, followed by other countries. My country, Canada, had the Basic and Plus models approved for shipping late in 2018. The Pro model that I had paid for was not in the list. They did not explain to the customers why this was the case but we were all left waiting. After having my ‘estimated shipping date’ change from December 2018 to May 31st, 2019 I decided I had enough and contacted the Glowforge customer support to downgrade to a model that would ship ‘now’. This is where the absolute most frustrating customer service experience started.
-January 18th, 2019: I send my first email to the Glowforge support team (they do not have a phone number to call so you are at the mercy of email support for any issues). I tell them I have ordered a Pro and would like information on what my options are for downgrading my laser.
-January 23rd, 2019: I get an email back from their support team with my options for downgrading. That same day, a few hours later, I inform them I would like to downgrade to the basic.
This is where frustration really starts.
-January 28th 2019, I email again, asking for an update. No response.
-January 31st 2019, I email again, 13 days (6 business days) and still no response.
-February 6th, 2019, I email again, begging for help. It has been 19 days since my first email. At this time I also send messages on twitter, their official facebook page, their forums. I FINALLY get a response after that, I assume because I sent them messages using several different platforms and eventually got the ear of their CEO, Dan.
From there I go through the downgrade process (their accounting department was a delight to work with and was quick to respond at all times) and then provide my address for shipping the laser itself.
From there I went and ordered some proofgrade materials from their store. They do not ship outside the US so I had them shipped to a friend who lives in Connecticut. The store was pretty painless. The one issue I had there is that out of my order, one of the items was not in stock. I did not find out on the website while ordering but actually found out via email when they removed it from my order and refunded me the amount. No stock info gets displayed on their site so you just need to hope that the product is in when you order. I believe they just completely remove the listing when they sell out of something. Ordering using my friend’s shipping address I noticed my entire glowforge.com account was changed to his info. I had to change that back. I emailed support on the off chance that my glowforge would accidentally be shipped to him as well on February 11th, 2019. I got a positive response on February 13th, 2019 saying that the materials and the glowforge itself will still be going to the right place.
Until this point I have not had any info on WHEN my Glowforge would actually ship. On February 22nd, 2019, I get a call from Fedex at the border to clear a large package. I do some paperwork and FINALLY get a tracking number when I ask the Fedex employee for one. My Glowforge will be delivered on February 28th, 2019. And it was.
Most folks would think this would be where my journey would end. I’d get to play with a laser that got great reviews and add that extra bit of production power to my small business… that would be where kick in the stomach number two (three? four?) comes in. Glowforge ships two or three packages depending on where you are and what you ordered. The laser itself, A pack of proofgrade materials, the crumb tray and accessories like the power cable and vent hose. I did not receive my crumb tray or vent hose. I got the Glowforge, a power cable and some materials. There were no signs of the rest of the stuff I needed to get started and fedex did not have a record of them. I email support mid day on February 28th, 2019.
Surprisingly enough, I get an email back 5 hours later. That was way better than the multi day waiting game I had to play before. They say they would be in touch with a tracking number for the replacement soon.
-March 4th 2019, I email asking if there is a tracking number.
-March 6th 2019, I get an email back with a tracking number. It had shipped on Monday the 4th but I did not get a message with it until I asked for one.
-March 7th 2019, I check my fedex tracking to find an exception ‘Improper or missing paperwork - Inadequate descriptions - Contact customer service’. I call fedex to see if there is something I need to provide. They say no, that I need to contact the customer support of the seller because they did not provide any documentation at all with the package and it was unable to clear customs as is. That same day I email support and tell them what is up. I email support using the same ticket I had opened previously and let them know. I get a response back same day.
-March 11th 2019, I email asking if there is any update. No response
-March 12th 2019, I email again, saying I am extremely upset and would like the issue escalated. I had just got another delivery exception with the same descriptor as the one on March 7th. I CC CEO Dan on the message and basically begged for someone to help. That same day I get a response back from Dan saying that the team has updated them and that they are doing all they can.
-March 13th 2019, I get a message from fedex saying they are returning the package to sender because they has still not provided information. I email the team back and inform them that has happened.
-March 14th, I get a response back from a new customer service rep. They have relayed the info to their logistics team and will reach out with updates.
-March 15th, I get an email update saying they will be sending out a new package before the ‘return to sender’ one gets back to them. They will reach out with a tracking number when they have one. They ask for my shipping address (which is odd, where that information is on my account). I reply with my address and I get a response thanking me and they will reach out with the tracking info when they have it.
-March 18th 2019, I reach out looking for info on the tracking number
-March 20th 2019, I reach out again, this time begging for any kind of response.
-March 22nd 2019, Today. still no response
I am a fairly easy going guy but this experience has been absolute garbage. I would hate to see what the process is if something actually broke on my laser instead of just a shipping error. I’d probably be continuing this saga on until the eventual heat death of the universe.