Reposting "A realization about my refurbished unit" from support

Reposting here since it was closed in the support forum, and I was actually looking for user input…

In an attempt to head off any confusion, I sent a note to glowforge asking for some clarifications. I didn’t want to be disappointed.

One question was on the laser tube I’d be sent… I asked them to verify that the refurb would have a laser tube of a similar lifetime as the tube in my machine.

response: “I’m afraid I don’t have a way to access specific details, like laser tube usage, about the refurbished unit that will be sent to you.”

as a result, I feel like I’m taking my car, with 5000 miles on it in for a new backup camera and performance tuneup, and I’m being giving back someone else’s car, with 60000 miles on with a promise that they will make me a deal on a new engine if this one craps out (they will even tell me how to install it myself.)

and yes, it’s possible they used low mileage tube, but they might have also used a high mileage tube. According to support, they have no way of knowing. :confused:

btw, the cost is $489 for the refurb, 200.00 for shipping, and 45 tax.

All I really want is my system repaired…crappy camera, re-calibrated so cuts are consistent across the board. If they determine that the tube is bad (with probably well less than 200 hours if I was going to guess), I would pay 500$ for a new tube.… Instead, I feel like I’m paying 700$ (includes shipping) and getting an unknown quantity.

Just curious how all of this has worked out for others, and what they did to not be bothered by the “we’re giving you a lightly used tube, except we can’t quantify what we mean by lightly used.”

This isn’t really meant to be a complaint… I’m just worried about having spent over $4790, Plus a set of lenses and mirrors, and feeling like I’m possibly trading down on the tube… that said, almost antyhing they send me will likely be better than inconsistency I’ve gotten out of the current system (and will hopefully provide a camera that can focus).


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I know I’ve seen them say the refurbished units will be comparable to the unit being replaced, but I can’t point to where I saw it, at the moment.

I think what the person who emailed you might have been saying was that, literally, they don’t have access to info about the specific machine you will be getting – that’s because the facility sending out replacements is separate from customer service and they simply don’t have access to the information.

I’m hoping you will get clarification and it will echo my assumptions. I can definitely assure you that although communication is still problematic, and we all really hope they will get that fixed soon, Glowforge has always treated me right, and I’m confident they will do the same for you.


Unfortunately, nobody here can answer with any authority, and there are no “official terms” you can reference. People have opened support tickets on just-received refurbished machines - but they have on brand new ones as well.

It’s a crap shoot…

To be fair, they have noted they don’t track data on those machines… this is odd to me because they could… we all have to submit jobs through their system so they could track the time on any machine and tube…and even if the tube moved between machines. it’s because they don’t have I’m experience anxiety about this process.

they have been very nice about it and the support person is definitely doing what she can. she’s noted that it comes with a 90 day guarantee…that doesn’t really help much since i don’t use it that frequently. in 90 days, I may only put a few more hours on it.

as eflyguy pointed out, it’s a crapshoot. but i don’t think I’ve ever had $700 on the craps table at vegas… hmmm. maybe…but I think it’s topped out closer to $400. :wink:


My unit is more than 3 years old now. It seems to be operating just fine, but as we know the tubes eventually wear out. Honestly I would also have concern that should my unit need to be replaced that the repair facility would pull my tube, check it against the specs, and should it pass drop it in a refurb machine to be distributed as needed. Seems like some parts should be guaranteed to be near new for any refurb unit.


Suggests they don’t/can’t track individual ownership, and in an effort to cut turn-around time refurbished units ready for shipment are sent, so if I were to send my machine for a new tube, it’s unlikely I would get the same one back.
Maybe that’s the issue with not being able to repair modded machines.

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I asked the same question wrt a warranty replacement on my original basic. Same answer that you were given. Obviously my case is different, but 2+ years later, the refurb is still going strong. YMMV, but I would trust them to resolve the issue. There is no business case to be made for making your situation worse.


I suppose you’re right…but I’d still rather have the option of having them just fix my camera and then install a new tube at cost + the diagnostic fee. then at least I’d know what I was getting.

I am still having a good conversation with support, but I’d rather not summarize until I understand the process better to avoid incorrectly representing things. I think they are making an effort to help me understand… when I’ve sorted it out, I’ll post, to the best of my ability, an objective assessment.


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