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View Full Version : What's happening at Epilog?



Bill Cunningham
03-24-2012, 10:45 AM
When service is great, information on that service 'should' be lauded.
In the same light, when service has failed, is lacking, or substantially changed it should also be noted ..
In light of this, something has changed at Epilog!
In January, I had to replace the failing display/control panel on my machine. I ordered a new one, and it took three days to arrive which is quite strange for Epilog. Last week, the new display failed. This was still under warranty so no problem. I sent a email to Epilog, which usually gets a response with-in a very short time.. After an hour with no reply, I went on line and filled out a service ticket. And waited...till the next day, no response. I sent another email, asking "are you shipping me a new display"...two hours later I received a phone call for my credit card info for the core deposit, then a email telling me they where phoning for that information. No problem... I sent back a email asking this:
"Can you answer something for me.. In the past, when I had a problem warranty or otherwise, If I got in touch with Epilog by noon, I almost always had the part in my hands the following day, and my machine was back up in about 24 hours.. The last time it took 3 days to get the part, and this time it's taking 6-7 days! What happened?"
I received This response: "We apologize for the delays in service and difficulty in reaching us the last few weeks. We had a few Technician leave us in the last two months and are new ones up to speed. We havenít been able to provide the level of service that our customers are accustomed too and truly wish that wasnít the case. Again, we apologize for the inconvenience and rest assured, we will be back to providing the same level of service, in the same timely manner, very soon. "
OK stuff happens... I sent a email and asked for a tracking number for the shipment.. No response...The next morning I send another email asking 'please' send me a tracking number.. Got a email with a tracking number but for what carrier? Sent another email.. The response was UPS sorry.....
Then, i get a call from UPS.. it would seem Epilog sent my warranty replacement part by 'Standard' ups 6 day service and not marked as a warranty replacement which means I get hit with duty(maybe) & Taxes, and a $56.00 brokerage fee . Warranty replacements have always came express the next day, and were never subject to duty/taxes /brokerage fees. I sent a email to Epilog asking if I would be reimbursed for these costs..Got no response.. Sent a email saying It might be better for them to recall this ups shipment, and send me another display EXPRESS, so I would receive it Monday, without the import costs and hassles..I have never received a response to either of my last two emails.. And that's where it currently stands.. My machine will have been down for a week waiting for parts, that is if the parts arrive next Tuesday on schedule..
This is an incredible drop in service standards for Epilog. Using the lowest rated service standard for international shipping, and the most aggravating part, is lack of response or even acknowledgment of emails. My machine is 8 years old, and will need replacement soon. Service is a LARGE part of the decision regarding what that replacement will be. I like my machine, and Epilog's service has always been outstanding. But something has definitely gone wrong at Epilog recently, and they better fix it soon. Having a machine, and all it's generated income go down for 6 days due to incredible poor shipping methods and response times is simply not acceptable. If you have a Epilog problem. Forewarned is forearmed

Tim Bateson
03-24-2012, 11:23 AM
Yikes! I sure hope your problems are an anomaly! Every day I brag about the fantasic service provided by Epilog. Like you said, that is their edge and without it....

Neil Pabia
03-24-2012, 12:45 PM
You may want to contact Mike Dean and let him know what is happening, he has always been easy to deal with and cares about the customers.

Steve Clarkson
03-24-2012, 1:23 PM
Bill,

I feel your pain.......my laser was going down weekly for almost a year, so I completely understand your frustration. Although it took a LONG time to figure out the problem, Epilog was fantastic at responding and sending out replacement parts. However, I ALWAYS call them on the phone rather than contacting them via e-mail. Since I haven't callled them in over a month, I haven't noticed a degradation in service recently. I wonder who left........I've called them so many times over the past two years that they're almost like family now......

And they really need a visable presence on here.......I know they read the threads, but it was nice when someone like Peck Sidera would chime in every once in awhile.

Martin Boekers
03-24-2012, 2:10 PM
I sure hope it wasn't Brian or Ian that left. These guys were the best, even with the trickiest of problems.
It surprizes me anyone left as Epilog is always in the list of best places to work in Colorado.

Service is what makes companies like Epilog & ULS stand out. Hopefully they'll be back up to speed before
to long.

Scott Shepherd
03-24-2012, 2:52 PM
I feel your pain.......my laser was going down weekly for almost a year, so I completely understand your frustration. Although it took a LONG time to figure out the problem, Epilog was fantastic at responding and sending out replacement parts.

So your laser was down weekly for a year and their service was fantastic? I wouldn't call sending me parts out quickly for a year to solve a problem "fantastic" anything.

Bill Cunningham
03-24-2012, 3:15 PM
I sure hope it wasn't Brian or Ian that left. These guys were the best, even with the trickiest of problems.
It surprizes me anyone left as Epilog is always in the list of best places to work in Colorado.

Service is what makes companies like Epilog & ULS stand out. Hopefully they'll be back up to speed before
to long.

It was Brian DeNileon who sent me the "We apologize" message, and also the contact who is yet to reply to my last messages.. Hopefully all this will be sorted out shortly and Epilog gets back up to speed! I also want to make sure I'm reimbursed for these extra costs. Perhaps they have a new shipper, unfamiliar with international shipping of warrantied products? It's usually Dan who handles my problems, and in the past it was Peck, but if they have moved on, hopefully the new ones will be trained up to previous standards soon

Larry Bratton
03-24-2012, 3:46 PM
It wasn't Ian. I talked to him late yesterday afternoon. I had installed a new lense I got from them (none warranty item, paid 2nd day air) and I had put the O ring in the wrong place, was throwing the focus off and affecting cutting 1/4 acrylic. (FYI the O ring goes on top of the curved part of the lense, not under the lense.) I had sent an e-mail earlier in the afternoon also with no response. I finally decided to call and got Ian on the first try. He looked up the e-mail and solved the problem straight away. I did notice that when I ordered the lense and a mirror and sent an e-mail, I didn't get a response, so I ended up calling. Prior, I have had excellant service with e-mail with the response time being very short.

I sure hope it wasn't Brian or Ian that left. These guys were the best, even with the trickiest of problems.
It surprizes me anyone left as Epilog is always in the list of best places to work in Colorado.

Service is what makes companies like Epilog & ULS stand out. Hopefully they'll be back up to speed before
to long.

Barry Clark
03-24-2012, 6:13 PM
It might be a regional thing. When I was in the market for a machine I sent several requests to the rep for this area.
Never got a call back so I went with universal..

These guys have been awesome to deal with when the rare problem pops up.

Bill Cunningham
03-26-2012, 11:23 AM
Update;
I have just received a email from Brian at Epilog, and he has assured me that my extra costs for customs brokers/ups charges would be reembursed.. I had no doubt that they would make things right, I just wish it had been shipped in the normal fashion and my machine would be up and running properly now, instead of maybe sometime tomorrow.. Hopefully they have a handle on this to prevent future problems.. No one wants to lose multi-days of operation and resulting customer back logs because of shipping and communication problems.. Now, I just have to wait for the display panel to arrive..

Dee Gallo
03-26-2012, 8:20 PM
Glad to hear it, Bill. I was worried that Epilog had undergone a permanent change that could seriously damage their rep and record. Peck used to monitor this forum, but we have not heard from him in a long time. They should really assign someone to stay in touch with their most loyal customers here at the Creek!

I hope it all works out well for you soon, dee

Larry Bratton
03-27-2012, 2:33 PM
I was talking with Ian yesterday and asked him about this. He said they had lost some techs (including Dan) but had 3 new ones on board. Just takes a little time to get them up to speed he said. I am about to invest in my 2nd tube in 5 years. The first one was covered under warranty, but this one is 3 years old and I have gone through all of the troubleshooting exercises with Ian and he recommends a tube replacement. Am pulling out the tube today and getting it ready to ship.

Glad to hear it, Bill. I was worried that Epilog had undergone a permanent change that could seriously damage their rep and record. Peck used to monitor this forum, but we have not heard from him in a long time. They should really assign someone to stay in touch with their most loyal customers here at the Creek!

I hope it all works out well for you soon, dee

Bill Cunningham
03-28-2012, 10:28 PM
The replacement display came in, I installed it, but it had a problem. The screen was very dark. I emailed Brian, and he got back to me immediately, and sent another one Express. The first unit although very dark, the data is visible, the old one was totally blank. I wonder if it got a good ole UPS thump somewhere on route? At least until the second replacement arrives tomorrow, I can eliminate some of my backlog.

Bill Cunningham
03-29-2012, 10:15 PM
Still waiting for the replacement part for the replacement part. According to UPS it was again not marked as a warranty part, so I'm seeing if 'my' broker can clear it without the extra-extra charges, so hopefully it will be here tomorrow...I won't be able to install it until the weekend anyway, I have a load of glassware from China that just got cleared and is arriving tomorrow as well..The glass was supposed to arrive today on a straight truck, but they sent it on a 60' transport truck and there is no room in my yard to unload it..It's been one of those weeks!

Larry Bratton
03-30-2012, 1:59 PM
Continuation - I had to purchase a new tube this week. I started the process on Tuesday after going through all the troubleshooting procedures with Ian at Epilog, he recommended a new tube (my current one was 3 years old). OK..so how much? Well $1395.00 plus the core charge deposit (heart in throat). Joe Pelonio had posted that if you send the tube prior to them shipping the new tube, they will waive the core charge. So, it turns out this is a great way to do it. First of all, it drops the price of the tube by $200 to $1195 for what they now call a Model A tube but you have to pay the shipping. So I pulled the tube, packed it up and shipped it second day air. I supplied Ian with the tracking number for the old tube. I assumed they would not ship until they received the old tube...nope..they would ship now with payment. OK, it's now Wednesday, I finalize the order and they tell me it will ship 2 day UPS (my account) and I will get it today (Friday). Yesterday morning, I do not have a tracking number and the money has not been taken from my account...hummm...so I call. Now this is what I liked, seems the tube HAD NOT GONE OUT because they had some processing problems with their system for payment. Solution- they shipped it NEXT DAY AIR at NO CHARGE! It is supposed to be here today as planned. Invoiced me for the $1195 and no more.
Sometimes companies have problems. This happens, but how they react to solve the problem is what counts. I have owned an Epilog machine for almost 5 years now and they are still the best in my book when it comes to tech support and service.

Jeff DeVore
04-09-2012, 12:26 AM
I had major problems with ordering parts a couple of weeks ago. First time waited 15 minutes to get through. Next time sent me directly to voice mail without the option of holding. Left voice mail and 24 hours latter no response. Sent email also with no response. Called order number again and sent directly to voice mail and left message with no return call in 24 hours. Called again and got on hold. I was determined to stay on the line until a tecnician answer. After 15 minutes on hold I was transferred to voice mail. My wife could hear me yell at the other end of the house. I called back 2 hours later and finally got through to a tecnician. Buy then I was a trite bit mad but he was very professional and calmed me down and took my order and I received it fast. He told me that they had been breaking in new techs and apologized. I have always had great service from them in the past. Tomorrow I have to order a new tube and not looking forward to the hassle. I wonder if this is the same Peck Sidara: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Asian-Cajun/179533142101452?sk=info

Jeff DeVore
04-09-2012, 2:14 PM
Just an update. I got right through to order my tube today and I think it was Eric did a great job, Jeff.

Keith Outten
04-09-2012, 8:22 PM
I wonder how much training it takes for a new technician or anyone else for that matter to be able to answer the phone?
.

Martin Boekers
04-09-2012, 8:30 PM
I wonder how much training it takes for a new technician or anyone else for that matter to be able to answer the phone?
.

The problem is what they say when they answer the phone. :)

In the old days when copier companies sent people out to repair it always seemed
that they sent someone out to fiddle around with it, I called him the "delay guy"
as long as someone was there most companies didn't complain. It always seemed
about an hour later another guy came and in minutes we were up and running again!
"the Closer!" :)

Shoot if Epilog wasn't so far away I'd apply for the job!

Larry Bratton
04-09-2012, 10:57 PM
Continuation - I had to purchase a new tube this week. I started the process on Tuesday after going through all the troubleshooting procedures with Ian at Epilog, he recommended a new tube (my current one was 3 years old). OK..so how much? Well $1395.00 plus the core charge deposit (heart in throat). Joe Pelonio had posted that if you send the tube prior to them shipping the new tube, they will waive the core charge. So, it turns out this is a great way to do it. First of all, it drops the price of the tube by $200 to $1195 for what they now call a Model A tube but you have to pay the shipping. So I pulled the tube, packed it up and shipped it second day air. I supplied Ian with the tracking number for the old tube. I assumed they would not ship until they received the old tube...nope..they would ship now with payment. OK, it's now Wednesday, I finalize the order and they tell me it will ship 2 day UPS (my account) and I will get it today (Friday). Yesterday morning, I do not have a tracking number and the money has not been taken from my account...hummm...so I call. Now this is what I liked, seems the tube HAD NOT GONE OUT because they had some processing problems with their system for payment. Solution- they shipped it NEXT DAY AIR at NO CHARGE! It is supposed to be here today as planned. Invoiced me for the $1195 and no more.
Sometimes companies have problems. This happens, but how they react to solve the problem is what counts. I have owned an Epilog machine for almost 5 years now and they are still the best in my book when it comes to tech support and service.

Continuation: Well I am sorry to report that this did not turn out as previously stated. When UPS came on Friday, I was expecting my tube as promised. UPS driver did not have it. OK, I really really need this tube, so I call to see what happened. As it turns out, instead of the tube being shipped by next day the shipping failed to be changed and it shipped 2nd day air. Brian DeNelion got involved at this point and came through like a champ...HE SHIPPED ANOTHER TUBE, OVERNIGHT, Saturday delivery on them. I had to drive 30 miles to a UPS store in order to get it Saturday, but that part worked out. Get home, open the box, guess what, no fans. So, I'm still dead in the water. Ian failed to tell me to keep the fans off the old tube, and since it is not written anywhere, I shipped what he told me. So, this is Monday now, I call, they have my fans, so they ship them overnight. Got them Tuesday.

Time to install and align. Since we don't do alignments too often, I always call tech support for help but I said I think I can do it. So, I worked with it for a couple of hours and still could not get it right, so I called tech support. I get Joe, who I have never heard of and we started doing the alignment. Went through the procedure as he dictated. Now, catch this, after an hour and half on the phone, the machine will not cut a lick. He says, we can't resolve this today, as it was after 6 his time, and he would call me back first thing tomorrow. I went to sleep thinking about what was going wrong. I dug around until I found a set of written instructions and started at instruction #1. I discovered that the tech had failed to align the burn to the center of the hole where the beam enters the periscope. This is done with mirror #1 on the EXT. After I did that, I got it working perfectly. Guess it just goes to show that IF ALL ELSE FAILS, READ THE DIRECTIONS! By the way, Joe never called back or followed up. Not too good.

Tim Bateson
04-10-2012, 9:22 AM
I talked to our local (other end of the state) Epilog rep the other day. I wanted to order a 1.5 lens. It's odd he doesn't have his own URL or email - still using AOL. Great for my mom or a non-techie sister, but seriously??? I have trouble taking ANY business serious that can't spend a couple dollars for their own URL (.com/.net/...). Maybe I'm a techie snob, but I doubt I'm the only one who feels this way. Just doesn't feel professional. Then to top it off, he ONLY excepts cash or checks. I haven't had to write a real check in several years. In fact my bank has changed owner twice & I don't even have current checks. Now I have to buy checks for 1 item or drive across the state to pay cash. Can I use a different rep?

Martin Boekers
04-10-2012, 10:51 AM
[QUOTE=Larry Bratton;1909181]Continuation:
Time to install and align. Since we don't do alignments too often, I always call tech support for help but I said I think I can do it. QUOTE]

It bothers me that Epilog is having issues, Brian and Ian have always been the best support for me
through the years. I know their time right now is frustrating for them until this "ship" is righted.
I wonder if the influx of cheaper lasers has anything to do with some issues they may be facing?
The competition is getting greater and keeping a full staff may not be as easy or profitable.

That being said the do provide fine equipment, but many of us buy and continue to buy because
of their service through the years.

One thing would be nice, just not Epilog but ALL manufacturers is to produce a quick video for standard
procedures such as, alignment, replacing motors, encoder strips etc. Now that would be a big help!
That goes for all manufactures. If you are listening....take heed! :)

Tim Bateson
04-10-2012, 12:37 PM
Correction to my post - Epilog sent my an old email address of my rep. Thanks Kellie.

Bill Cunningham
04-10-2012, 10:58 PM
I don't use a rep, I go directly to Epilog.. They got my two cores back today, the original bad one, and the replacement for the replacement. My machine is working just fine now. Brian has promised to credit me with all my extra costs.. They have issued one credit for the import costs on the first shipment, now they just have the import costs on the second replacement which I put through my broker rather than paying the UPS rip-off custom clearing charges, and the return shipping for the old parts. We'll see how it goes..My total costs including the credit they have already issued were around $130.00, because nothing was marked 'warranty replacement'.. I sure hope their back up to speed soon!

Bill Cunningham
04-18-2012, 11:43 PM
Got a apology email from Epilog today, along with credit notes for my full out of pocket expenses.. It's unfortunate when 'stuff' happens, but it's nice to know that when your dealing with a good company, things they can control always eventually get sorted out. I'm sure the staff newbie problems will be temporary as they come up to speed ..I'm still a satisfied customer:p

Tom Buzz Bernard
04-20-2012, 6:18 PM
I have trouble taking ANY business serious that can't spend a couple dollars for their own URL (.com/.net/...). Maybe I'm a techie snob, but I doubt I'm the only one who feels this way. Just doesn't feel professional.

Tim I mean this with humor and humility.

I am guilty! I do have several URL's, more than a dozen company email addresses, BUT I still use my AOL account to do my replies. Just not that big a deal for me, I am comfortable, but I am told at the office everyone else hates AOL :confused:

We have spent the money, but I still use AOL, do I have to change :rolleyes: