Repair Process - Happy?

So i’ve had two of these machines fail with very low hours on them and i’m pretty frustrated with their desire to stand behind their product.

Link to my original post just because, Problem cutting, File Check Please

I have a few questions for those who have had issues with their machines.

About how many hours did your machine have before it failed?

Did you have them repair it outside of warranty?
if so, Please share your experience and cost.

I was just informed of a new repair process that doesn’t exactly seem like a deal for the end users even though they’re trying their hardest to spin it into a positive by sending you a “refurbished” machine.

Below are the two emails i’ve received from glowforge for having my machine repaired, the first one was from Jan and the second one was from yesterday.

Email from January when i asked about the repair process

Here’s how the repair process works:

  1. We’d send you an invoice for shipping costs ($200 within the US and Canada). This would cover sending your machine to our repair facility and shipping it back to you, along with the inspection. No replacement parts or labor are included in this cost.
  2. If our technicians determine that it’s possible to repair your machine, we’ll send you a repair quote. If you authorize the repair, we’d invoice you for the costs, complete the repair, and ship your unit back to you.
  3. We’re not able to remotely identify how many parts would need to be replaced to guarantee that the problem is fixed. Unfortunately, that means we can’t provide an estimate of the repair costs until our technicians physically inspect your unit.
  4. There’s currently a small backlog, so if your machine arrived today, the repair would likely be completed two weeks from now. That number changes from week to week depending on the problem diagnosis and the backlog when your machine arrives. That estimate also does not include shipping time.

If you’d like to proceed, just let me know, and I’ll email your shipping invoice.

Warm regards,

Reply from yesterday after asking to proceed with the repair process from the Jan email.

We’ve made some changes to our repair operations since we last chatted. Fortunately, we have a solution that I think you’ll love!

A speedy solution
Rather than waiting for repairs, we’d like to send you a newly refurbished Glowforge right away for just the cost of what the repair would have been.

Why the free upgrade?
We are upgrading to an expanded repair facility. That transition will take a while, and so rather than make you wait, we’re providing newly refurbished replacement printers.
Our main goal is taking care of you with a Glowforge that you can use and enjoy as soon as possible.

With the refurbished printer, you’ll get

  • Back to printing quickly – I’ll put in the order for your replacement printer as soon as you say “yes, please,” so you can get back to printing your designs.
  • Inspected and tested for quality and function – Your Glowforge will pass the same tests that a brand-new printer passes to make sure that it will print well and live up to your needs and expectations. Our technicians take lightly used printers and replace worn parts, perform a 36-point quality inspection, and do full diagnostic testing to confirm complete functionality.
  • Great value - Refurbished printers cost more than this repair. If that sounds like a really good deal, and that it must be expensive for us, you’re right, but we think you’re worth it!
  • 90-day guarantee - You’ll get a 90-day guarantee on your new printer.

How much does it cost?

I’ve reviewed the photos, logs, and test prints for your Glowforge and it appears that the issue is with the laser system. Repairing this system requires systems diagnostics, disassembly, testing, parts replacement, quality verification, and labor, and costs typically range from $489 to $850, plus shipping. To get the replacement printer, we’ll invoice you the estimated repair cost, plus round-trip shipping - and I’m able to discount the shipping charges by half.

Summary of costs

  • Newly refurbished Glowforge: $489 (based on the lowest estimated cost for repair of your current printer)
  • Shipping for the replacement printer to you, and your original Glowforge back to us: $200 (discounted from the standard $498).
  • Taxes will be added to both shipping and the replacement cost.

Will you be doing this forever?
No. This option will expire once we have our new repair process in place.

How does it work?
We’d like to ship your refurbished Glowforge out right away. If you’d like that too, please follow these steps, and we’ll get working.

To get your newly refurbished Glowforge

  1. Within 30 days, reply to this email and copy/paste this info (and anything else you want to say/ask) into the message.

Copy/paste this

“Please send me a newly refurbished Glowforge now to replace mine that needs repair. I agree to return my old Glowforge within two weeks after my replacement arrives. I understand the newly refurbished Glowforge that you send me comes with a 90 day guarantee (the same guarantee that a repair would have).”

  1. Verify the shipping address where you’d like your Glowforge sent to.
  2. Once we receive your go-ahead and updated address, we will send you an invoice. When you get it, send your payment.
  3. When we receive payment, we’ll send your replacement printer and shipping labels and instructions on how to pack and return your original Glowforge.
  4. When you receive the shipping labels and instructions, ship your original Glowforge back to us.

Shall we send your replacement printer?

Best,

This appears to be sort of a poll for opinions, so I am moving it to the ‘everything else’ catagory since it is not directly related to needing support.

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I don’t track hours but I’m coming up on 3 years of regular usage

~$750 to a guaranteed to work machine to be shipped right away sounds like a total steal when compared to a possible repair cost of >$1100 and at minimum a 2 week delay before shipping, but that’s me.

Their hope seems to be that once they get into their new repair facility they’ll be able to get actual repair invoices with details as opposed to the black box they’re getting now - so maybe in the future it’ll make more sense to wait.

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It seems to me the estimate would be $489 to $850 plus shipping and taxes.

Hi Justin,

My basic failed with the x-axis ribbon not connecting and the infamous orange light coming on. I live in Canada and also got the repair response by GF providing the option of the refurbished one. When I read that they will send the refurbished one right away, I was excited. However, it’s been a week (Oct 22nd) and there still hasn’t been anything sent to me about my refurbished my machine.

So I am not sure what “right away” means because it sure wasn’t right away to my understanding.

My machine failed just a month shy from its 1st year anni. I ended up purchasing a GF pro right now as well to fulfill my orders but I am nervous and anxious that they won’t make it in time for me to complete my orders. At some point, perhaps my frantic self talking that I should’ve bought another laser cutter instead. I love the working GF but when it fails, one can only feel helpless as communicating with support is like talking to someone on a distant planet with a day or 2 delay.

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Why are they now able to give me an estimate but before they couldn’t do so?

That seems like “total steal” to you because your machine has worked. With very little use the two machines i’ve had have not worked. It’s very frustrating spending that kind of money and only being able using it a handful of times. I have no faith that the next one will be any better in quality.

I didn’t as it was “out of warranty” starting the day I got it. It didn’t matter as I had no need of it.

It has been almost 2 years now and I got a bit careless about the Black cable and am now trying to install a new one that has been sitting for a week. With several years hindsight I could have pointed out a few weaknesses in the design, but that would be like telling NASA they should have paid more attention to o-ring limitations and Tile Cement.

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They did just move/change facilities is maybe it was a complete company change too and the new one will give estimates where the old one wouldn’t? Just a guess.

The information they keep to themselves bother me, the fact they don’t share the hour count or any kind of real error logs tells me either they really have no idea what’s going on with the hardware or it’s the same thing for most of the machines and they don’t want that getting out because that implies everyone will have the issue at some point.
But really, I just want a machine that will last more than a couple cuts.

You have full access to the logs that the laser creates:

Learning to read them is harder.

You should absolutely have a machine that cuts flawlessly, and their warranty process is excellent because this is their goal. We see so many people post about “I’ve had this problem but I just ignored it and now I’m out of warranty” and it’s painful because there’s so much less they can do to help once it’s out of warranty. I mean, they can do all the same repairs/exchanges, but it’s on your dime instead of theirs. This may be preaching to the choir but if you have a problem with your machine, get it looked at while you’re still under warranty!

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Wonder why this wasn’t offered to me before? I’ve had a number of email conversations with them.

Have you used their warranty process? or is that your first machine you’re using that’s lasted you three years? As i’ve mentioned, I’ve already had two go bad within a short period of time.

I’m obviously bitter with them since i have yet to be able to use it with any sort of reliability, lets not forget how shitty their interface was when it was first released. Good luck lining anything up if you need to go back and add something to a piece.

They have not been any help with solving my issues, it’s broke send it to us.
Since it’s out of warranty, why not tell me what’s wrong with it and allow me to fix it?

If you have an example of a log file i would love to view it.

Go get your own. Instructions are in the linked thread three posts above.

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Yup, full replacement about 3 months into ownership.

Honestly I thought it was pretty damn good. I figured out exactly how many clicks each direction (9 up, 6 left) I needed to move my designs after centering them visually and that worked just fine - when I stopped having to use the clicks it just saved me a step.

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I’m not unpacking my broken machine, to hook it up hoping for some irrelevant logs (my assumption) . With her comment about learning how to read them i also assumed she may have some on hand from her past experiences.

I’m glad you were able to get it working well for you, I know i’m not the only one with every complaint i’ve expressed.

3 months into ownership sounds familiar, i think that’s about how long mine lasted. i had maybe 10 jobs on my new one before it stopped cutting and here we are today.

Sadly I do not, I was always happy to have them read them from their end. Usually those instructions only come up if your machine hasn’t been able to connect to their servers so they can’t read them from their end.

Heh - in my case, hindsight being 2020, it was all on my end.
A neighbor had literally cut our data line so the router in the front had been reset and during that process the :glowforge: lost its connection, but since the new setup used the same name/password it also wouldn’t reset. A factory reset would have fixed it, but at the time we didn’t know that and it wasn’t presenting like the normal “can’t find the network” issue.

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