Support

Once in full production, what kind of support can we expect from the company? Do you know what support hours will be? Do you know where support will be located? Do you know what forms of communication there will be for that support?

Obviously these forums will be great for peer-to-peer, and that’ll probably be the best place to start. But I’m talking real support issues.

Thanks!

  • Tom
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How it has worked so far for me: I email support@glowforge.com. I get an automatic receipt letting me know that they have received the email and the issue has been given a ticket.

This is just me as having pre-release Glowforge and may not at all indicate what people might expect.

I then have been contacted by someone individually by email to continue the discussion. The time of the personal follow up has varied. I can say that they work late hours, weekends and holidays. I can also say that they do take time off at this point as the responses I send out at 3:00 AM may not be answered till later in the morning. Although they surprise me.

Every issue I have had, they have been able to handle. Sometimes I have to have the Glowforge powered on for them to do the work, other times it’s just an issue that I can handle.

There really haven’t been too many problems. Just two major ones happened, one after the SSL cert problem and the other after a power loss.

I’ve thought about this question. Given the nature of the cloud operation, 24/7 support will have to be part of the game. I know they must be working like heck to have to avoid support questions at all.

My experience is that every detail about the Glowforge user experience has had careful attention. Support to me is one of the key pillars of success. Only full production and delivery is going to be able to answer this completely. Perhaps another aspect of this topic is for the user community to respond what their expectations are of support.

What I expect: 24/7 attention. I would like an immediate solution, but am not sure if I should expect a 12 hour turnaround for support. What do people think is reasonable?

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On a number of occasions Dan has mentioned Inventables. That’s the same company mentioned wrt material vouchers. Honestly I believe Inventables has some of the best support personnel I have ever talked to, but to be fair I only had to use their support for replacement parts and warranty, not generic help. Support is reached via phone and email but the office hours are only 9-5 CST. The limited hours would certainly create problems for folks trying to run a business during the day in Australia, effectively trying to call support in the middle of the night.

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You delve so deeply into thoughts that many, if not all, of us certainly have when we think about our future ownership of a Glowforge. Thank you so much for your in depth ponderings…and your very organized way of outlining each topic.

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We haven’t made any commitments yet on the support front. At a minimum we’re aiming for support during business hours PST via email. I know @rita aspires to do better on both hours and options for contacting us - but we’ll make sure we’re nailing the basics before expanding.

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Since it’s an international product, directly marketed to people all across the globe, the standard US hours of support operation aren’t really fair to those who live in the other 21 time zones. I think you’re right - 24x7 is what I’d expect since they sold it to people who will be fast asleep during all of their awake time.

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Those of us who live an alternate schedule or live far outside of the time zones of businesses we choose to purchase goods or services from, are always going to be left feeling that we’re getting the short end of the stick when it comes to “normal” customer service practices. The seeming instantaneousness of the internet has spoiled a lot of people on what they assume should be “proper” business practices.

(Insert obligatory rant about what we had to endure “back in our day”)

I’m sure :glowforge: will make an effort to accomodate the bulk of their users. :relaxed:

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9_9

Thanks for sharing! Good to hear. Yeah, that’s why I was curious about full production. I figure things will change pretty dramatically from now to then.

It’s a US -based company. “Normal business hours” for something like this seems quite reasonable. I mean, it’s not a security or emergency response company. If I bought something like this from another country I’d have 0 expectation of service beyond their normal hours of operation.

Yeah, but that’s internal. If their service goes down they should be automatically notified and somebody will act on that immediately. That notification will (should!) happen without any user having to contact anybody. And at that point there should be a status notification on this site. That’s just monitoring 101. I’m sure they have or will have monitoring in place.

  • Tom
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Other issues will be language, cultural customs and communication means.

Wireless and internet routing issues will be different off continent also.

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given how the internet is structured, it’s entirely possible that a region could be inaccessible without them knowing. they’re going to have to maintain some degree of support for stuff like this; other questions can obviously be handled over email during other hours.

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That’s one point of view.

I think there’s a difference between something I can buy from a foreign country vs something that is actively marketed to customers in foreign countries. If I’m buying something that is being provided internationally as an accommodation I agree with you. If you come to my country (even electronically) to sell to me, then I expect my country’s normal support hours.

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I’ve found sometimes that having support in a different time zone can be better if the problem is one that doesn’t have an immediate solution. If I have something that goes wrong at night, I can email someone on the other side of the globe and have an answer in the morning. Maybe GF should establish a support office with regular hours on each continent and just route stuff as needed…

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I’d be pretty pleased with a 12-hour turnaround solution to basic issues, though complex ones could be expected to take a few days, especially if part replacement was involved. I do expect that there will be phone support. That’s important for the really simple problems.

I would like max 8-hour personal first response to email requests. To be clear, an automatic “We got your request…” does not qualify as a first response. I really hate when companies try to pull that crap as “adhering to the SLA.”

  • Tom
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@dan

This topic was started a year ago and I wonder if you could offer a follow up on this discussion now that deliveries are underway. I don’t have a unit yet, but I am guessing I will within about a month or so. Do you have any plans to add direct phone support and/or publish support hours? From what I’ve seen, your staff is answering questions at all hours of the day. That’s great and it says a lot about their commitment. Still, when it comes to technical issues with hardware/software, I have always been a fan of having an interactive discussion. It can be extremely frustrating to have to go through multiple steps to resolve an issue over a forum or with staggered emails. That’s just my opinion. Any updates to your support services that you could share would be appreciated.

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We do answer questions at all (well, most) hours of the day, and the team is hiring as fast as we can to keep up with all of the new users we’re adding! We haven’t announced any other forthcoming changes at this time.

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Just for the record (err…hopper), a “live chat” option would also be a great option.

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Hoppered! :slight_smile:

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I’m invested in your success. If you want to be a real company you are going to need phone support.

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