Customer Support can't tell me what $859.02 for "parts and labor" is for. Do you know?

***Update now included below the original post.

My workplace owns 3 Glowforge Pros. One of them stopped working recently. Glowforge recommended I send it in for inspection. $200 in shipping costs and a week later they sent a bill with as little detail as possible. Here’s the entire body of the invoice:

Glowforge Parts and Labor × 1 $859.02

Subtotal $859.02

Shipping $0.00

Total $938.48 USD

I asked for more info so that I can make sure to care for our other units and prevent this type of damage in the future, but they let me know info isn’t shared out from the repair facility. This doesn’t sound right and doesn’t make sense. Why would a repair facility provide a cost total without mentioning parts replaced? What can I do to prevent this issue from happening again?

I’d like to know if anyone’s been charged this amount, $859.02, and what may have led up to their printer not working. For ours, it was stuck on “Focusing.” I confirmed all wires were properly seated, machine was fully cleaned, lenses wiped, and crumb tray cleaned/removed/replaced. I don’t use magnets to secure material. The logs reported a calibration error during focusing. I could also hear the lens click 4 times in a row, pause, then do it again shortly upon starting up.

***Update after waiting 8 days from the time of this post. My post was closed 24 hours after I opened it. A moderator, like the email support staff, told me they would follow up by email “if I can get more specific answers for you.” I’ve reached out to the moderator twice without any response.

I don’t understand why my post was closed when it was only open a day and I was getting meaningful responses. I’m surprised this is the way my request for more information is being handled. The charge for $859.02 was just for the “Parts and labor” line item. If I include taxes and shipping charges, that’s $1,138.48 and I have no idea what it’s for. With two other units, how can I prevent this happening again?

Glowforge, please provide me with more information about my repair, or point me to any another manufacturer that gets away with charging this amount without providing any explanation whatsoever.

*** Final Update *** On Friday, 11/1/19 , we heard back from Glowforge support with a tiny bit of additional info to describe the repairs. “Thank you for your patience. Our technicians will replace the glass lid and repair the laser system in your unit. They’ll also perform a full diagnostic test to confirm complete functionality and inspect it thoroughly.” We will now pay for the repair.


That part is normal. It’s the stepper motors calibrating.

The bad news is…from all other reports on the forum, they don’t have the information from the repair facility for detailed breakouts. Trying to guess what caused it would have no value at all, and might lead to doing the wrong thing with your other machines. Anything that we could suggest would be a wild-assed guess.

Sorry to hear that it was that expensive though. (And I also hope whatever it was is a very unusual problem.) :neutral_face:

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This is an odd way of handling repairs. Some information is passed from the repair facility to Customer Support, otherwise they wouldn’t know what to charge.

If others have also had my focusing error and have been charged the same for “parts and labor” then we could start to narrow down on a cause. I’m hoping we can narrow down from a wild-ass guess to at least a guesstimate :wink:


There is a valid reason for this, but knowing that doesn’t help customers.


Really strange, I couldn’t imagine having my car repaired and not having a detailed list of what they did. With a total of that nature, I’d assume they replaced the laser tube among other things, and the rest is labor. This kind of sucks, so hopefully you’re able to get a little more info for it!


One of four categories encompassing repairs with a cost associated with each is less detail than I would expect from someone relating why what cost so much.
You can bet that the company is tracking exactly what is what for failure assessment of their new product.
Why they are reluctant to describe the details eludes me. This company (in my perception) has been very transparent, willing to put up a “Problems and Support” to air their laundry in public, so the apparent inability to provide billing details seems odd.


It seems that the repair facility bills GF and GF bills us. Big. Black. Box.


I’m wondering what the company does with units that are repaired under warranty?
GF the company is not doing the repairs but is outsourcing. GF pays the entire cost. Seems to be a very bad business decision if a detailed repair invoice is not provided for each unit. Would be a classic recipe for third party fraud. Fix and trust?


I was thinking about that for warranty stuff when it was first mentioned that things were billed grouped in three or four categories with fixed amounts. No wonder there was a huge incentive for them to start sending the black cables out to users if they were paying around $900 per black box repair.


If that’s the case, it provides a massive incentive to guarantee cheating by the repair facility. And also zero feedback loop to improve the product and reduce repair costs.


Maybe. Maybe not. It depends on how the contract is structured.

If it’s structured in a way that the repair facility is paid “book hours” for each repair, absolutely ripe for abuse.

If it’s structured as a flat repair plan where Glowforge is providing all of the parts, and they are paying a flat annual fee to the facility, they should have no incentive to cheat. In other words, we will pay you $1 million a year for repair/refurb services, which pays for 4 full-time employees and we will provide all of the parts. The employees are paid on salary for the contract length, rather than the job/repairs performed.


Have others posted about these repair categories before? I’m having trouble finding those posts.

That link isn’t working for me and I can’t see any posts titled “this cant be good.” Can you please check the link?

I think that one might have been a private discussion. :slightly_smiling_face:

The upshot of it was that no one really has the information that breaks the individual repairs down right now.


This is a poor customer experience.


That can’t be true. Somebody has the information. Now let’s get it to the customer.


@Jules may have meant that no one at GF has the information. The repair facility has the info, but GF does not. Otherwise, yes, I completely agree with you. :slight_smile:


My bad with that link. Just a mindless effort to help - I’m just going to back away from the keyboard now.


One more and you’ll catch up to me. :smile:


@ escalante Thank you for your feedback about your repair experience. I’m chasing this down to see what happened here. We are working to make this process better and if I can get more specific answers for you I’ll follow up with you via email.

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