Terms of Service/Privacy Policy

Some folks think there is not much interesting going on in the forum. I guess that is a matter of perspective. I definitely don’t want to stir the pot, but it just might be an opportune time to discuss the Terms of Service and other legal statements. I don’t recall a topic about this before. At this stage in the game, we should all be fairly aware of the relationship we have entered into with Glowforge. I, for one, had not read the TOS and privacy policy before. As I read it, I was not surprised at much of anything. Seems standard enough. It touches on some very relevant and timely issues in liability, indemnity, and privacy and all sorts of good stuff.
The Pre-Sale TOS is very specific. Then another normal TOS for the delivered machine and use of the cloud, etc. One of the few points I note is that we agree to arbitration and waive class action possibilities. Then some very clear points about how privacy is getting protected even as we use the cloud. Any other thoughts and opinions?


Hmm, don’t like this one:

Transfer of Risk and Title. Risk of loss of the Product passes to you on Glowforge’s delivery of the product to the carrier, and you are responsible for any loss or damage to the Product from that point. Claims against a carrier for damage during shipping are your responsibility.

Glowforge are employing the carrier, not me, so it I don’t see how I could make a claim against them. As the carriage charges are sky high I would expect it to be fully insured shipping and I would expect Glowforge to make the claim on the carrier.


I would agree with said statement if Glowforge would let me choose the handler.

There are a lot of things that we as customers would have issues with. Much of it is the standard “protect the company” verbiage that all of us ignore when we install software or purchase equipment. But Glowforge is a unique product developed in a unique way.

The inability to sue as a Class Action is the single biggest issue. If for instance the company should have an unfortunate “SkyDog” or “Revolv” scenario, Glowforge or the new owners could profit greatly. We can’t sue as a community, can only go to arbitration, one person at a time, and there is other language that we can’t recoup anything for the loss of service, essentially bricking the product. A new owner could profit greatly but we can’t recoup anything. A Class Action would be our only real leverage.

There is NO language indicating the firmware will be provided or whether we have rights to it, but there is language that says no promises, express or implied, are valid unless they are part of the Terms or Warranty document yet to be published. Dan’s word in this forum is not legally binding.

Glowforge can terminate the service at it’s discretion without any liability.

I’ll leave it to you to read the fine print to find several other potential issues. Will point them out if you wish but I’m not trying to pile on. Now again, much of this is not uncommon but it does leave us completely exposed and swinging without any safety net what so ever.

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Every company prefers arbitration to the court room and they write the contract. A company making a product that can potentially burn your eyes out with an invisible beam even more so. As there is no method of negotiating away that clause I wonder if it would stand up against a quality attorney in a truly egregious case.

The times they are a changing, but enough that loss of cloud service, or glowforge being bought and shutdown, would earn any sympathy from the courts to me is doubtful. While I agree with rpegg that the potential of a class action provides power to the consumer, in my negative reality the class action law firms are out to negotiate a settlement for themselves while the class is left with the crumbs. There are some judges refusing to sign-off on the worst of these “settlements”, but class actions are expensive and the sponsoring firms are unlikely to have as their goal restoration of a service instead of cash for their time. Either way I lose. But it’s a good topic. It lets glowforge take the temperature of their customers.

Don’t disagree. We’ve known that there is a risk that the Glowforge service could be shut down. The only problem I have is there is no penalty, no risk, and lots of reward for the investors and potential future buyers if they want to walk away. It almost encourages a future sale. There are whole industries that revolve around buying and selling off intellectual property.

The problem is that unless you appoint and pay for the shipping yourself you don’t have a contract with the courier. In my experience if there is a problem with shipping the sender has to sort it out. The courier won’t deal with the recipient.

I expect a lot of these terms contradict consumer law so are probably not valid anyway.

This is a standard Freight-On-Board (FOB) statement. It is used to distinguish when the ownership of the product transfers from the seller to the buyer. Buyers want FOB at delivery to them, while sellers want it at shipment.
You are paying the shipping cost, so you are employing the carrier, not Glowforge. Glowforge is just facilitating the shipment.


I’m not quite sure why you think that. These seem like standard terms.
Is there anything you see that makes you think they contradicted a law? If so, they should probably get there money back from their lawyers.

Well how can I reasonably be responsible for loss or damage to the product before I receive it when Glowforge have appointed the courier? It doesn’t make sense.

I ship things worth around $700 all over the world myself. If anything is lost of damaged I replace it at my own cost. The shipping rate I charge includes a small amount for insurance to cover losses. Nothing like the amount the couriers would charge to insure it.

The amount Glowforge are charging for shipping it must include full insurance. It couldn’t possibly be that expensive otherwise.

It is essentially a transfer of liability.
Having run a contract delivery service for 30 years, I can assure you it is standard practice to file a claim with the carrier. Their nickle, they damaged it, not Glowforge.
It hinges on the signature legally. When the Glowforge left the factory, the carrier assumes responsibility for any subsequent damage incured.
When you sign as “received”, you are stating your merchandise arrived as expected.

My work was with high-end goods for the interior design industry, with a single item often worth more than my 5 ton box truck. I never signed the warehouse paperwork until I had inspected every inch of the item(s).
The warehouse never signed as recieved from the carrier until they had completely unboxed and inspected the shipment. Once I sign from the warehouse, I accept responsibility and release them.
The carrier has no choice but to wait for the signature. They have a schedule to keep, so they might not be thrilled to wait for you to inspect it, but it is your right - and when you sign, you release them from liability.
Believe me, the waiting game is not new to them even if they act like you are being totally unreasonable while they tap their foot waiting. (In reality it tells them you are not as stupid as you look)

In some cases there are provisions for concealed damage, but your best practice is to inspect for physical damage thoroughly - and that begins with the box.
A lot of expensive/fragile items will have an impact indicator somewhere inside. A little sticker with a capillary tube of dye that will rupture or some other mechanism to indicate if the box experienced an impact above a certain threshold. You can tell at a glance if the shipment suffered rough handling.

The old school method is to take note of any damage to the box, like a dented side, pushed in top or crushed corner. That’s going to tell you where to especially focus your attention. I caution against just signing off in your enthusiasm, but if the box is crisp, chances are it’s fine. Crack the box and dig far enough to confirm the glass lid and the laser tube are intact.
Then you can sign, thank the carrier and put that shot of adrenaline you got when he pulled up to work carrying your baby to its new home!


Thanks so much for sharing your experience and perspective. This is the type of info I was hoping to glean from this discussion. I felt almost like it was going to be trolling post, but honestly, I thought we should discuss this since it is a significant issue. Reminding me to simply inspect the box for damage right off the bat is good practice. Since I don’t get too much stuff shipped, and I have never had any problem with shipping damage, I just would have seen this as a minor issue. With 10,000 units and world-wide shipping, I expect there will be some damage along the way. The legal points us in the right direction for possible redress.

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No laser expertise to offer, but I have delivered millions worth of merchandise and I know that drill inside out!
If any damage is noted, document it in detail on the form you sign, regardless of the carriers attitude. A broken tube or lid wouldn’t stop me from taking delivery on it knowing liability has been established, and replacement of them is a relatively minor issue.

That travertine table with the rusted steel base? I needed a base for that piece of stone because my helper chipped a corner. Being the business owner, that top became my very own!
Funny thing about it is I would never have spent the $900 (cost of the stone) on a table like that, but it has since become a prized piece!

In my experience if anything goes missing, or is damaged, the carrier will not deal with a claim from the recipient, even if they are liable, it has to be claimed by the sender who has the contract with them.

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Yes, it has to work its way back through the food chain, but the point is the recipient is not liable as long as any discrepancy was noted at delivery.
It’s not like you are responsible for any problems after it leaves the manufacturer. You don’t have to file a claim unless you sign off on it and then discover damage after the fact.

Edit; poor choice of words on my part @palmercr.

You don’t file a claim, a claim is filed.

Just to be clear, the contract exists between Glowforge or their manufacturer and the carrier. It left in good condition but got to you damaged. The shipper, either Glowforge or their designated Shipping company file the claim with the carrier.
A claim from you only comes into play if you sign as received in good condition, and later discover concealed damage.
The moral is it is important for your own protection to establish the condition of your shipment prior to signing.

No. Glowforge’s position is that it left in good condition, and Bob accepted responsibility for it. Your position is that the item didn’t arrive in good condition. That puts Bob in the position of proving he didn’t damage it. You bear no responsibility - unless you sign off on the carrier’s paperwork without noting the damage.
(I wouldn’t be bashful about calling the company in the driver’s presence to ask their proceedure for the circumstance)

Damage happens everyday, and is a fact of life for common carriers. Glowforge will satisfy their customer, and recoup from the carrier’s insurance.The dance is routine.
Unless it is blatent that the packaging was inadequate, the carrier will acknowledge responsibility and satisfy their obligation in an effort to maintain a working relationship with a valuable customer.

Of course, Glowforge could opt to wait for the reimbursement from insurance, but that is practically unheard of from a reputable company, since it was none of their customer’s doing, punishing the customer for a carrier’s negligence is not an avenue Dan would allow - and I would bet my Glowforge on it.

According to the warranty;

“If your machine is defective when you receive it, we’ll make it right immediately.”

I would take that to mean if I had a damaged machine due to shipment, they will fix it. But I’m a pessimistic optimist. :grin:

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I think that’s exactly what it means.
Damage happens everyday, and I know the way Dan has his ducks in a row that the event is anticipated.
I also know it pays manufactures back in spades to spend a few more bucks on premium packaging than to deal with a cascade of shipping failures.
For all the ways for something to go sideways, to have it happen in the final step between you and a happy customer is one of the most painful for all concerned.
Dan knows that too.

For that reason, Glowforge will ensure their carrier is world class, and not “Bob’s delivery service”.
Too much at stake.


I am more concerned with how they distinguish between this first sentence of their Privacy Policy

“If you submit a document or photo, it becomes Glowforge property. If you submit photos to us in any social media context, you thereby grant us permission to use that photo in print or online/electronically for any lawful purposes. Note that if you share information with us on a public social media site, that information may be seen by the general public and any other person or entity might collect and keep that information for their own purposes.”

and the files we will be uploading to be processed on our machines.

Is there a separate privacy policy that protects the documents we are not sharing but are required to upload to use their service?

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