Telephone support

Clearly you don’t remember the year of whining we all had to endure every time a Glowforge was delivered 30 milliseconds before someone with a more entitled sense of existence.


It is hard to judge based on the information we have if there are enough technicians. Three days sucks, yes. My 5 days was bad. I wonder though if the ones that wait longer are possibly where a tech sees the ticket, looks it over, and doesn’t see an immediate need for a return. The tech then leverages the community to see if a solution comes up, assigning the ticket a lower priority than tickets that require a return. As we have seen, some users need Glowforge to call them to arrange the return even before the Glowforge is delivered in order to be happy, so I assume DOA units are highest priority.
I also suspect that they are either training additional techs or are attempting to work through the current rush. The company environment I see from available information is that GF likes to get and keep good people whenever possible and it may be that they don’t want to cherry pick or risk getting someone who isn’t good. I can tell you from experience it is hard to find good techs and they are expensive to train.

I always prefer techs who can think for themselves. “Techs” who simply read from a script are the worst, but they’re considerably easier to get up-to-speed, of course. I can’t tell if Glowforge is using a combination of both at this time or not.

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I am of the belief that phone support would not work in the case of a Glowforge, at least not in the current state of manufacturing and delivering. Trying to get a machine talking to the Wifi would be a phone support benefit, but is it worth it without the rest?

A phone support group is going to have their list of 20 question responses to roll through. Once that is done with no success, you would be passed on to a better knowledge source. For us that would probably entail one of the tech’s. I like to think they have their hands full just doing their job and am willing to bet the forum responses here are already done well beyond normal working hours (no evidence other than having worked with energetic techs before).

There is also the proofgrade concept that they adhere to. Smart move there.
With so many materials out there that could (and also some that shouldn’t) be placed into the machine, they are only supporting the tried and true Proofgrade brand. A large part of the forums today are Beyond The Manual for Goofgrade support (love that term) just for this reason. So no phone help there, but a metric ton of fellow user support and suggestions on the forum.

Moving into the myriad art and cad programs, and the peculiarities of each is way way beyond any phone help, since it is not their job to flatten the learning curve for your art program of choice. Almost beyond the forums from time to time until someone pauses their current endeavors to poke at it and figure out why it is breaking.

So your best bet with phone support is going to be those 20 questions and they are pretty much answered already here in the forum from past query responses.
Here is an often repeated response, which will probably be Phone Support Response #2 (response #1 is always = ‘Check If Plugged In’).

Use Proofgrade™ materials
Enter the thickness of the material if it’s not Proofgrade
Use material that is not warped or tilted
Place your design near the center of the bed
Clean the area underneath your crumb tray, particularly the four indentations on the floor
Reboot the machine if you see the alignment drifting

Sorry for the ramble.


I think you’ve a good point there, and immediately jumped to the idea of a FAQ section.
Where is it ?

Well, sort of.
But most FAQ’s that I’ve visited (and that’s quite a few) are really for the brain dead, who do need to be led by the hand, and I suspect that we have our share on the forum, from what I observe.

I don’t want to go too deeply into this, it was just an idea from our side of the fence, and the Support’s Troubleshooting FAQ’s definitely seem to be seen from 'their ‘side.
No, I’m thinking more along the lines of the sort of repetitive questions that are mostly answered by forum members (you know who you are!) who give up valuable cutting time to answer the same or similar questions that crop up so often.
There is so much wonderful info spread across the pages of the forum, but I believe a lot of newcomers don’t have the experience to make good use of the search tool, and a ‘go to’ page might at least reduce that load a bit.
Just my 2 old pennies’ worth.

Given the range of experience from folks having it for over a year to those like myself that barely got it in the door there are plenty of folk with different levels of knowledge that I could be helped by almost anyone as they all have at least set up their machine, to more sophisticated issues that I am not yet able to imagine but I can help with Blender, AutoCAD, Gimp and a bit now with Inkscape.

The technical problem is a system that the one helping opens the conversation and phone # are masked but can volunteer as there time allows.

Yes, absolutely.
I think my idea of the FAQ’s would be a first point of reference, so hopefully reducing the load on a telephone support system, and that it might be more favourably considered by Support.

That reminds me…it’s been a few months since the item we don’t speak of was last mentioned. Guess all the irate people who stared at it with envy finally got theirs.


I had waited 7 months so I presume folks who waited over 2 years have gotten theirs

sometimes I call verizon customer support to complain, and we don’t even have verizon in canada…
but it feels good and I hear they deserve it.

I just would mention that if you have issues printing you can probably get good answers right on this forum from memebers, many of whom generously spends a huge amount of time trying to help.


This is true, but yesterday somebody posted a problem where their glowforge is not printing perfect squares. As of now there has been no official response. This is a pretty serious problem and it would be great to get somebody very quickly. The fact that they have to wait days to hear from a rep is a problem. But the issue will not be solved right away. They will probably come back with the usual questions and have them print out something on proof grade. This could be handled with a call. Perhaps this problem is a known problem and it must be fixed in the factory. They could start the process right away.


Very likely but that is bonkers. It should cut square on any material, not just proof grade.

Seems like a design problem to me. There doesn’t seem to be anything to force it to be square other than the wheels. How many people test their machines for squareness?

thats also why i founded a startup in this area. We are developing a smart chatbot based on augmented reality and machine learning (enough buzz words in one sentence) . maybe you see this oneday when you have a glowforge problem :wink:

I have had good experiences with the live chat feature on different sites, where support can interact with multiple individuals simultaneously.


In my experience telephone support is far less efficient and is a difficult medium to diagnose and relay information through. A simple in application messaging system would work wonderfully in this situation. It could easily keep track of the context, automatically grab diagnostics, and satisfies peoples need to know they are heard while giving the support staff time to properly diagnose the issue and respond in more detail. It seems like the main issues people have with the current situation is that they feel like they are not being heard.


Totally agree… it would lock in the time//date, account, etc.

BUT, a glaring issue with that is the solo experience. I have not made many mistakes that I probably would have because I followed someones issue here on the forum.
Doing a on-on-one within the GUI defeats the ability for others to avoid the same problems (assuming, as is the case a lot of the time, it was less than a busted machine).


There’s a lot of smart points in this thread. The short reason we don’t offer phone support is:

  1. We’re hiring great support people as fast as we can find them
  2. We’re very picky, so that’s not very fast
  3. With the people we have, we’re slow on email
  4. Phone is much, much more time consuming than email, so…
  5. If we started doing phone support, it would be multi-hour hold times, AND email would get even slower.

That doesn’t sound like a recipe for improvement, so we’re going to focus on improving our email support for now.

Having spent a lot of time looking at overdue ticket postmortems, we sometimes just mess up (e.g. a ticket gets miss-assigned), but usually slow answers are new problems that require a number of people to puzzle over them (or a new twist to an old problem which means our previous answers don’t apply). I know the square squares question is in that category.