GF Customer Service is the BEST at being the worst

Tell me how this company expects you to pay almost 7k for a machine and they don’t feel the need to have PROPER customer service?

customer service should NOT take DAYS to get back to a customer (man they were SO quick to answer my questions when I inquired about buying one in february! but apparently when you have an issue with said machine you purchased they thinks it’s ok to keep you in limbo for days on end) it’s 2019- you should be able to respond to a customer within 24 hrs. There is no excuse good enough- HIRE MORE PEOPLE.

I was supposed to be shipped a new lid cable, which seems like apparently 99% of users eventually have to replace (so you would think maybe they should supple that $20 cable in the shop? there’s a genius idea) and they told me EIGHT days ago they would notify me when it gets in the mail. No notification so clearly not in the mail. You would think that when I send a follow up email asking approx. when it would BE IN THE MAIL they would respond back. But no. 8 days I have been waiting. Utterly ridiculous. like, I’m disgusted.

I run my business a little differently apparently. See, I have customers (over 30) who have already given me their money. It has already been deposited into my bank account (much like GF!) so I feel like I OWE them an explanation as to why their orders aren’t in the mail- I mean, I would hate for them to think I’m ignoring them (much UNLIKE GF.)

They must know that the VAST majority of their customers are business owners- right? That it’s really not ok to keep us in the dark because we have our own businesses to run? How can I let my customers know what’s going on when even I don’t know? GF making me look like amateur hour over here.

It’s sad to think if I would have just ordered a new machine it would have been here already in the time since my very first email went out to them 2 weeks ago.

And don’t even get me started on the fact that they think it’s kinda funny they don’t have someone answering their phones “if you want to listen to our voicemail you can call…” WHAT BUSINESS DOESN’T HAVE SOMEONE REAL TO TALK TO ON THE PHONE. This is NOT ok.

I leave the country next week. I can’t even begin to tell you how frustrating it is that I’m dealing with all of this BS instead of getting ready for my trip. Am I going to be able to get my orders out before I go? I’m not holding my breath. Which means I will have to refund 30 people because lord knows in the age of prime delivery people won’t wait until the end of september to get the products they ordered- AND I DON’T BLAME THEM.

Shame on you GF.

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I am also a small business owner, use my GF for business, and provide customer service for a consumer product, so I experience both sides of the issue. While I understand your frustration, I would like to remind you of a couple of things.

Glowforge is not responsible for your business or deadlines. That falls only on you. This goes for every piece of equipment. If your business relies on the equipment to the point that you can’t operate if it is down, you MUST have an alternative. Either a second machine, a service you can outsource to, or a plan for your customers. Hardware failures happen and sometimes you can’t get parts as quickly as you want, for reasons that might not be in anyone’s control. I provide 3D printing as a service and have printers go down from time to time. As a result, I have eight printers, at least two each of each brand, as my primary backup plan. In the event that a printer goes down that can’t be brought up again and I can’t move the job to a different printer, I explain to the customer what the problem is, what my time estimate is to resolve the issue, and provide them with the option to cancel or wait. Most of the customers just wait for me to resolve the issue. I have had less than 10% of my customers choose to cancel. Also note that you are providing a product that isn’t as common as you might think and your customers should recognize that and be willing to wait.

GF can’t be responsible for your business because they can’t afford to keep the level of customer service required for that while still keeping the price where you are willing to pay for the machine. That level of service would come with an order of magnitude increase in the price, at least. Customer service is expensive, and while I don’t personally agree with eight days without a response, I also know that it is possible that their response has been sorted to your SPAM or another folder, or they just missed your email. They may also be waiting on cables and since they don’t have an ETA they aren’t updating you. This is common with GF; they will not give you an update until they know something. Check your SPAM folder, have a cup of tea, and be patient. I may not agree with the no update policy, but I also understand how they have chosen it, especially with the number of customer requests they have to handle daily.

Take this time to look at your business, look at your options, and determine what your backup plan is going to be. This isn’t the first time you will see this challenge and to have the plan in place will save you some stress.

Good luck with the repair, and also look at the fix that is listed here on the forum to prevent the black cable from wearing out again.

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While I do agree with many of your points- my main issue is being kept in the dark and feeling ignored. I just have never dealt with a business that has handles customer service this way.

As far as my business goes- my GF items don’t make up the biggest part of my business so investing in another GF machine isn’t wise at this time (maybe in the future who knows) the other part of my business relies solely on my hands, literally.

I just spent an hour of my day keeping in touch with my customers so they know as much as I know at this point and I feel like that isn’t asking for much. I would appreciate the same courtesy. And you are correct- none want a refund, as of right now. But that isn’t to say if they are waiting until the end of September they won’t.

And you are right, GF isn’t responsible for my business and it’s deadlines- but there has to be some accountability on their part, no? All I’m asking for is an email. Or a proper phone number. Their emails do not go to my SPAM.

If GF had to order the cable from somewhere else then they should have been more thorough in letting me know- I order from GF all the time. Their shipping timeline is great as far as I’m concerned. I received my machine in 2 weeks and any proof grade order I have received has been in the mail sometime next day and I have received the order in the same week. That’s amazing! So as this was my first warranty issue- maybe they should give people a heads up that they could be waiting approx a month.

I wouldn’t be so wound up if there was better communication, is all. And I DO think that is an issue they need to address. Even waiting 3 days is unnecessary in 2019. And that is just how I feel.

I appreciate that you’re frustrated. But Glowforge doesn’t make life-saving devices or anything of “real importance.” 24/7 customer service for a piece of equipment like this? I wouldn’t expect that in a million years. Same as I wouldn’t expect Kenmore to have 24/7 customer service when my dryer’s heating element gave out. To that, if I was in the business of drying clothes, I’d absolutely make sure I have a spare dryer.

I hope your issue gets resolved quickly. Meanwhile, to reduce your business impact, you can probably find another owner if your area that can help you out cheaply or even completely free. Might want to ask in one of the other categories.

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Yes but Kenmore has a number you can call and talk to a real human being. Even if they can’t solve your issue within 24 hours- it makes a HUGE deal to speak to someone when you have an issue. And if the standard of customer service is “it’s not a life saving machine”- then what is the point of customer service? I’m not the first to say that GF customer service is lacking. I have dealt with tons of companies that I have had issues with and I can honestly say I can’t remember a time where I have waited SO long to be helped. It’s unacceptable. There is no way around that.

Wait… You’re right in Bethlehem? Dude… You’re 25 minutes from me. Come use my machine. I don’t care. Just bring your own materials and have a love of animals.

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To be blunt, this is the way they have chosen to do business, so you have to deal with it. Also, keep in mind that in opening this topic under Problems and Support you have created a duplicate ticket which will take even more time for them to analyze, which will delay a response further.

I used to provide phone support. After two years my mental health was so poor that I had to stop. Just think of someone ranting as you have above in your ear, and making it personal. Not saying you did or will, but a huge number of people will. I am not surprised they don’t offer phone support. Use the chat function, follow up by email, and be patient.

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haha get out! I mean I wouldn’t be opposed to it…

when are you available? Evening works better for me…and I love animals (3 dogs here)

I have been trying to get all of my computer work done for the orders I have right now so I might be ready with the bulk of my orders in a couple days?

In general, people tend to think phone support is good. But I’ve NEVER found that to be true. In my experience a ticket system like Glowforge is using is the most-efficient way to help people. If I’m on the phone with User1, I’m focusing on User1. If I’m NOT on the phone at all, I’m working on User1’s problem, User2’s problem, User3’s problem, and maybe even User4, and User5… all at once.

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well yeah, obviously I have to deal with it. And I am. Just not well. I’m originally from NJ so my temper leaves something to be desired. The chat function is never available for me when I check so…?

I’m in Pottstown. Depends on the day. If you definitely need to do it, let me know when you need it. Just PM me and we can work out the details. If you’re using Proofgrade materials I generally have a bit on-hand. May save quite a bit of time if you just send me the files and I run them off. And you can just come pick them up. This way we’re not sitting around awkwardly making small-talk while the jobs run.

Alternatively, we have a 9’ x 18’ above-ground pool and a trampoline, on an acre of land to keep you occupied. We also have 1 dog, 3 cats, 2 guinea pigs, 3 rats, 1 gerbil, and a partridge in a pear tree.

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IMO, phone support is good to make customers less upset sometimes and good for customers to feel validated when they take their temper out on the poor person at the other end of the line.

For solving technical issues it should be reserved for the tech to schedule, not for customers to abuse.

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Then you’re in luck. Chat is available now (12:20pm PST, 19:21 UTC)…

Don’t know about the chat function; I have never had to use it.

I’M ON IT!:fist_right:

I am forming a more complex opinion on Glowforge’s customer support at this time.

In general, I think that a three day turn-around is a long time to wait. I temper that with some sympathy for the conundrum of the economics of a support infrastructure. Needs to be overbuilt for a young enterprise, but then might needs expanding as machines get sent into the wild.

That they have advertised a “Pro” model and endorsed its use for a professional or commercial operation seems to endorse a higher level of up time for their machines. Knowing what I know now about the whole Glowforge ecosystem, if I had any business commitments that depended on a working Glowforge, I would at least have two. Then of course you get into the question of, is it cheaper in the end to get an commercial laser and of that decision I don’t have any experience, other than it seems that you are talking way more than $14,000 in the end.

There is the fact that Glowforge has a very active community forum and does allow all these trouble-shooting posts to go public. That’s a lot of potential dirty laundry. But the seem to make it right in the end. Just on their own time schedule.

It seems to me that the most constant source of frustration is a communication lag or misses. Notifications not getting out in timely manners, lack of responses, or sometimes support requests just getting totally missed by the queue.

I can understand the feeling that for you at this time Glowforge is the absolute worst in customer service that you have experienced. Especially since a solution seems to have been identified and then not completed.

I’d say that in general, they have been pretty good at taking care of folks and getting good, functional machines out in the wild.

I have two experiences of poorer customer service. One is MakerGeeks filament that went nuclear last year at Christmas time. I lost $270 to them. No direct communication.

And I ordered new rollers and bars for a Kelsey letterpress. I got the trucks and the ink and the tympan, but no rollers and bars. That is a couple hundred and the guy still won’t answer me.

I hope you can take up @Tom_A’s offer for assistance. He’s been an amazing part of the who community from way back.

In fact, I think there are a lot more Glowforge owners out there who can help out in a pinch and wouldn’t mind at all. I’d certainly offer if I were closer.

I do hope your issue gets resolved.

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@holly.buczek I’m truly sorry for the poor communication. I see that you’ve emailed us, and I’ve just followed up there. I’m going to close this thread.

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