Congratulations on landing a UK retail partner!
Hope they do better than here in our little village called Atlanta. The stock of supplies is pitiful and nobody in the stores has any clue how to use the machine.
I don’t really understand the Michaels partnership any more either. They’re not keeping the materials stocked, what stock they do have is all mixed up and not in the right places, and it’s sitting under a shell of a Glowforge with no explanation of what it is or why it’s there. Without a print head, it doesn’t look like a printer/cutter to me.
Also, Glowforge products are excluded from their coupons, so they’re even more ridiculously expensive to buy in store than to have them shipped direct.
I am talking about Joann, who have a fancy display and a machine. Nobody there knows how to use it. Michaels told me explicitly nothing was available in-store.
Edit - I have been into the store three times and called twice, as a local owner was having issues and I thought they could rent time on that machine. They were happy to tell me the cost, but had no clue how to access it. They said “just plug it in”…
…and perfect way to store materials so they can all end up being warped.
What little materials they did have (you can see in pic) were all messed up.
My stack sits on a flat surface and I had to place a sheet of acrylic I bought there under my stack to get it straight. That’s the only time I bought material for the GF there. I do buy fabric and such a lot, though.
As a somewhat experienced user it’s sad to see, but it’s worse considering the image this projects on the company.
Thanks as always for the update.
The Hobbycraft launch is most certainly a positive step in the progression and growth of Glowforge in the UK.
You may or may not be aware that I run the Facebook group: Glowforge UK and have been supporting fellow UK based makers and encouraging the growth of Glowforge here for over a year now.
The group has grown steadily; approaching 900 carefully vetted members, and I have strived to maintain a professional, reliable platform for all UK based Glowforge enthusiasts like me!
However, recently, rumours have been doing the rounds on other Glowforge groups about changes happening within Glowforge that may potentially have an adverse impact on UK based Glowforge owners and this has inevitably caused a bit of a panic among some members.
I don’t deal in speculation and rumour and only choose to share factual, evidence based information with my members, as I say, to maintain a professional platform, so I would appreciate it if I could garner some clarity as to what exactly these supposed changes are and how they will affect existing Glowforge owners and potential buyers moving forward.
So far, I’ve had great support from Benoit, Ryan and Laurie, who ran the UK support team but now it seems things in this area may well be changing.
I’m being bombarded with messages from my members asking questions about some seemingly leaked rumours regarding the loss of UK support and apparently no longer being able to order online via a referral link -these are rumours that have come from another group (I don’t know which as I don’t associate myself with them) and I feel at a loss as to what to tell people in order to calm things down.
What I’d like to know is:
What exactly are these changes (if any) and if so, are any of these potential changes going to impact UK Glowforge owners (both existing and potential) in a negative and/or positive way?
I read from your update, that the dedicated email for UK support remains but is this now simply a case of UK customer’s enquiries being diverted to US based support staff as opposed to initially being dealt with by staff based in the UK or EU, meaning that the time difference wasn’t such a negative factor?
Also with the recent Hobbycraft launch, does that mean that a UK based enthusiast will only be able to purchase a machine through Hobbycraft’s bricks and mortar or online stores or will customers still be able to order online as has been the case so far, via a referral link?
In relation to this, rumours also cropped up that UK customers who don’t want to buy via Hobbycraft will have to order via Glowforge online using the old import process which makes no sense given that you have a hub in Buckinghamshire for stock which I also assume is where Hobbycraft will also purchase their stock from!
I do want to ensure I have all the correct detail before I update my group members and after reaching out to Ryan on these matters, I was advised to voice my concerns and garner clarification via this method of delivery.
I am fully aware that I warrant no special treatment and that certain information can only be shared at certain times but these rumours came from somewhere and may well have been misconstrued, spreading misinformation that has caused a bit of a panic here.
Situations like this can lead to complaints from existing members - I spend a lot of time trying to quell these issues before sending members to the support team and they can also lead to folk deciding not to make a purchase due to the fear that sufficient ongoing support will not be available.
I love my Glowforge and that enthusiasm for the machine and the brand has lead to the growth of my group, many sales for Glowforge and of course, thankfully, some helpful referral income for me - it is my main source of income as I spend so much time supporting other owners, I don’t have as much time to make and sell my products - it’s been very important to me, hence why I also strive for professionalism and positivity - so any advice and information that you can pass on will be very much appreciated - I want to put my members’ minds at ease with some factual information to subvert the hearsay and rumour that so easily causes panic and negativity.
p.s. please accept my apologies for my rambling style and bear with me if anything I have stated is misunderstood - being autistic, I am aware that this can happen at times but I hope I you get the gist of my message! Please feel free to reach out to me for any clarification necessary.
The one near me has been honoring coupons for some of the PG material
Thanks for the great questions, @artistrobfuller!
We’ve been improving customer support to make sure everyone gets a fast, complete resolution. The email hasn’t changed, but now the first available representative will be able to help. As of our latest numbers, that means most help requests are solved - not just replied, but completely solved! - in less than 24 hours. Working as a single customer service team makes that possible.
You’re correct - UK customers can buy on the Hobbycraft website or in person. There’s no longer an option to buy on the Glowforge website. That was proving to be a less popular choice than retail for UK Glowforge owners, so we decided to focus on our partnership where most of our Glowforge owners were buying anyway.
I really appreciate the thoughtful questions, and everything you do for the Glowforge community!
Thanks for the reply and it’s good to know the customer service turnaround is improved which will give my members peace of mind.
However, I have to admit the statement you made that buying online -
“was proving to be a less popular choice than retail for UK Glowforge owners, so we decided to focus on our partnership where most of our Glowforge owners were buying anyway”
is confusing, given that Hobbycraft has only been selling the Glowforge in the UK for a matter of weeks.
Perhaps I misunderstand the situation.
It most certainly sounds like the Glowforge market in the UK for existing owners who have referral links is now defunct and I’d like solid clarification on that, please.
Should I tell the members of my group who currently own a Glowforge and have a referral link, that their link is now useless?
good stuff right here
So what does that mean for our backer giftcards? Are those of us located outside the US finally able to use it without paying the incredibly steep shipping fees? Or are we still locked down on the US store for that one?
I’d love to use PG materials, but it’s not been worth it because of the shipping.
And also: When do we see some materials in the EU, so we can avoid the cumbersome customs?
I was just in our local Joann’s . nothing glowforge any place in there that I saw.
Glowforge has only ever been in a small number of Joann locations. (I only know of four or five in all of Southern California, where there are dozens of Joann locations without Glowforge.)
It’s not in all here - I’ve only seen it in the one closest to me, but I haven’t gone searching. The management here are clueless anyway and I have no use for a machine in a store.
Wow just wow your post was incredibly written and it flowed so nicely. I really enjoyed reading your post!!
Are you an famous English author?
I live in Knoxville Tennessee which is located in southern part of the United States. Can I join your Facebook group?
No fame here and I genuinely can’t tell if you’re making a joke! but indeed, you are welcome to join Glowforge UK - it’s aimed at UK based ‘forgers’ but all are welcome to enjoy the resources and community interactions.
I absolutely love to joke around and laugh —-that is my personality —-but I was not joking with your writing!!!
Your entire post flowed so nicely and it was so easy to understand.
I enjoy your writing style because for me it was effortless to read.
Many times when someone writes a long post — it can be quite challenging to read. Your post was absolute perfection!!
I was joking around with the famous part but I was not joking around with the author part.
I will see you at your Facebook group and looking very forward to reading your posts!
Love and Hugs,
I see, well thank you, I try hard to make sense when often I struggle to communicate clearly - to me, what I type or speak says what my brain wants to say but it doesn’t always come out that way to others apparently so it’s always a bonus when it works!
Thanks for the feedback!