Shipping Issues - Curious

Ordered Dec 14, 2020 - quoted ship date Jan 8.

  1. First communication of delay 1/8/2021:

Last week, we updated you on your Glowforge Pro delivery to let you know that delivery would be delayed. Unfortunately, our shipping provider has just notified us that, as a result of their holiday and pandemic shipping challenges, the printers did not arrive at the distribution facility on time. As a result, the delay will be longer than we expected.

Your printer will ship the week of the 18th. We’ll pay to expedite it so it could arrive within a day or two of when it’s shipped. I don’t have an exact date yet, but I’ll send you your tracking information just as soon as it’s created.

  1. Second communication of delay (after asking for tracking number): 1/21/2020

Thanks for checking in! While I don’t have your tracking information today, I have confirmed that we’ve prioritized your order with our fulfillment center, and we’ll send your Glowforge to you the moment it’s ready to ship, which should be by the end of this week.

  1. Third communication of delay (after again asking for tracking number): 1/22/2020

I’ve been tracking your shipment closely, and was expecting to have your Glowforge Pro shipped today. Unfortunately, due to a loading problem at the factory, the shipment that just arrived from our factory had only Glowforge Plus units. The Pro units are scheduled to arrive from the factory next week, where we can expedite them to you for immediate delivery.

I am deeply frustrated for you. I wish I could solve this for you today. Your printer is in the next batch of Pro printers that we receive, and will go out as soon as it’s delivered to our warehouse.

My apologies. I’ll send you tracking information immediately when we have it available.

At this point, all I can say is I don’t believe any of these messages are true. If the response was either - sorry we honestly don’t know when it will get to you because things are crazy on our end OR you aren’t going to get it until June because of X YZ - I would be WAY more satisfied, than this constant assurance that it’s being fast-tracked and coming definitely by next week.

I am an incredibly patient and understanding customer when dealt with honestly, but I can’t help but feel angry and disappointed at what feels like a “dog ate my homework” series of responses. I am only now taking this to the forums, because I’m curious if anyone else has gotten the excuse that the wrong batch of printers were shipped because I would assume such a fundamental mistake in communication between the manufacturer and distributor bodes of bigger issues.

Thank you if you’ve read this far.

TL/DR: WTF?! Where is our Glowforge??

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Based on what I have read , I suspect that every one of these responses was absolutely honest. The support agent you heard from was providing the very best information available to them at the time.

The Glowforge units are manufactured in batches; they will run a number of Basic models, then a number of Plus models, and then a number of Pro models. Then they are shipped to a warehouse where they are processed for distribution to either resellers or out to customers. This means that delivery of a unit can take several months if the order comes in while the factory is making one of the other models. Because of the popularity of the unit, especially over the holiday season, the warehouse doesn’t have a lot of stock on hand. This, plus reduced personnel due to COVID-19 precautions, have made supply chains a challenge for nearly every manufacturer.

Yours is the first I have heard of this specific occurrence. Mistakes happen and I suspect that the support agent was attempting to ease your mind by actually telling you why they had to change the estimated delivery instead of keeping you in the dark, especially because nearly everyone else has complained about being kept in the dark.

You will get your Glowforge and they will support it and stand behind it under warranty terms.

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Apologies I definitely didn’t mean to imply the CS reps were lying. I think the information they are given is based on best case scenarios or something along those lines. My issue is to be given answers that sound so definitive, yet prove to be wrong. So the source of their information is what I’m taking issue with.

The representatives are giving you the best information they have available. There may be further delays, We are in the middle of a massive upheaval that affects everyone. Mistakes happen normally; when you have fewer people available to get the work done, mistakes will happen more often.

Have you never told anyone something that you later found out was wrong? It happens. Doesn’t mean anyone is trying to scam you or cause problems. It just means something changed between one update and the next.

I hear you and as I mentioned it’s been several times now that the information was incorrect. Please understand my frustration stems from actions we have taken on our end with regards to getting the space ready, money on materials, getting an additional filter, taking time off the week we were told it would absolutely ship for me to get to this point.

This last time I would have preferred an answer of, as soon as we see yours and we’re shipping it out we will let you know. Instead Ive had to proactively chase down information every time the date passed. This is me providing what I hope to be constructive feedback based on my situation. I apologize if this is coming across as me being overly harsh.


If you plan to use this machine to support a business, which I am inferring from your reply, please take this time to make a backup plan for when it goes down. Every mechanical system will fail at some point; be aware that this is a hobby level machine with corresponding support. It will take weeks to get a repair when the machine goes down for the same reasons that you are seeing delays now.

Keep in mind that you probably won’t get a lot of notice before it ships when it does ship. I got the tracking number the day after mine was delivered. I have heard a lot of people report the same experience.

They basically told you three times that they will tell you when it is ready to ship. They were also able to provide you an estimate of that ship date, which turned out to be affected by things beyond their control. So you already have what you asked for, times three. The last communication to you pretty much said exactly what you just said you would have preferred.

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Nope getting it for hobby purposes.

Thank you for taking the time for your thoughtful responses. I’m still very much looking forward to its arrival!

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The frustration is understandable, especially when there is anticipation and excitement.
Many original owners here know exactly how that feels, we paid in full and waited 2 years for our lasers. (it was worth the wait!)
My use is hobby level, although the machine has paid for itself twice over! I predict you will have a wonderful adventure when it is finally in its new home. :sunglasses:
Welcome to the forum - which by the way is the best accessory for your new laser!


I am interested in the comment this is a hobby machine. Take a look at all of Glowforge YouTube marketing videos. They all promote small businesses.

They are being used for a lot of small businesses. Folk often buy more Glowforges as the business supports getting another. If you spend the price of ten pro’s you can get a nice industrial machine that will take more understanding than necessary to run Glowforge and it will do things a Glowforge will not. there will also technical assistance that can fly in and straiten out your problems if necessary.

There is one of our number that started out with one Glowforge and was so successful he now has several industrial machines and had to hire help to meet the demand, but he did not start there.

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Yes, they do, however, the support is for hobby users. There is no phone support, only email support. They do not have adequate staff to maintain consistent response times of less than 4 hours. They do not have parts and machines on hand to replace machines that go down. This is the different between business level support and hobby level support. With business level support the provider will take responsibility to get your machine back up in a certain amount of time. With a hobby level machine you will get it back up but it will be on their schedule.

The difference is a huge expense. For Glowforge to offer business level support I suspect the sale price of their machines would go up by 2x to 3x and they would lose money on some clients.

This doesn’t mean you can’t use the Glowforge for a business, but you have to be prepared to cover the time it takes to repair the machine as Glowforge cannot do that for you. This means you have to have the backup plan in place and you have to be ready for 4-6 weeks of downtime. Your backup plan will be different depending on your specific situation, but you must have one.


I suspect they often do anyway as misused machines get replaced frequently, as do many that nothing is wrong, but the user is missing correct information. I created a lot of damage not knowing that magnets could result in the damage that happened. Now there is a sensor that will prevent that damage, But they still replaced the machine,

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I wonder if that could be a new revenue stream. Offer business support plans at an additional cost (2-3 times the cost of the machine). Then the people who purchase the support package would be able to get what they need. And if it is too expensive, the hobbyists won’t get it it and the actual number of clients may not be that many.

How long before the support number gets out and then the cheap entitled Karens, kens, and chads cause a kerfuffle over deserving support for their business too without wanting to pay because obviously they paid enough thousands for the machine in the first place.


I understand that will happen. Apple has exactly this, 1 year hardware warranty and 90 days phone support. If you buy AppleCare you get 2-3 years of hardware coverage (depends on device) and the equivalent amount of phone support. When you call in, you give them the serial number and if it doesn’t have AppleCare, they explain that they can help them for $29 per issue. So a reasonable amount of phone calls to determine the issue and come to a resolution. Which is why I buy AppleCare. They would need to increase staffing, and there would be other costs. But if they don’t have the plan, they are told they will need use the forum for help. It works for them, and trust me, there are more computer challenged people for phone support than GF will have. Again, it’s a thought, that’s all.

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Right, but i also don’t pay for 4 phones worth of $$$ to get it.

And we see these types already causing a headache for support without there being a high cost business type plan crying about how they paid thousands for this machine and people think that they’d not cry louder and harder about being charged thousands more for support?

I get what you’re saying and the biggest issue isn’t with the idea, it’s with most of the individuals that would cry about it and there’s not a thing one can do about them so does GF put themselves in that position of asking for more headaches?

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I completely understand what you are saying. In the Apple stores we weren’t allowed to answer issues when customers called on the phone. That’s why there is AppleCare. And I am not sure that it would seriously cause more heartache, since they are already spending lots of time via email to answer these peoples questions. So how much it would add is an unknown element for me. I do know when people are told I can help you but there will be a charge of $XX. Would you like to provide a credit card so we can proceed?” Apple computers aren’t that much differently priced than the glowforge, and if you are a business person it is a tax write-off and you get faster service. So I don’t know. Just my 2 cents. They already deal with irritated and self important customers, this way, they could charge for it. Granted apple has its genius bars, but right now many of the stores are closed. And I have dealt with many self important customers, like one who said he is a $1000 an hour man (quote) and he couldn’t be bothered to wait his turn in the queue. There’s no winning for losing when you’re a company. Just the cost of doing business.

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I also question how many of these business people are legal businesses. Cant write it off if you’re not legit.


So true, but that’s another ball of wax.

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They don’t even want to pay the 50$ a month now!!