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View Full Version : Buying our first laser, Trotec/Universal



Robert . Payne
07-04-2014, 11:01 AM
Hi SMC,

I've lurked around for about a month and half reading up on dozens of reviews and sorts. My partner and I located down in New Zealand are going to be purchasing a new laser in the next month or two so I thought I'd sign up and drop a few questions and see if anyone can answer them.

We're currently looking at a Universal VLS6.60 60w or a Trotec Speedy 100/300 60w. We're still waiting for quotes on the Trotec and might try for on a 80w laser for it if we can as we've seen really great things around here about that setup.

Trotec came off as extremely sales orientated, I have no idea if it's just our local rep or not but it was like an hour of non stop heavy bashing of the competitors on every single angle. They couldn't give us anything more than an extremely rough quote without any sort of specifications on the spot and we've yet to hear back from them on detailed requests which is a bit of a shame. Is this common? I already had to chase them up quite a bit to get the scheduled viewing arranged and it seems pretty poor to toute how great your after sales support is when your before sales is lacking?

Universal on the other hand was extremely helpful, able to provide pretty good rough quotes on the spots and followed up detailed quotes while we were driving from their show room to Trotecs.


We're a bit torn, we really like the Trotec machine but the vibe from our local reps seems off. Should we be concerned about this or is there any other way to obtain a Trotec machine that is not through your local rep?

Thanks,
Robert

Scott Shepherd
07-04-2014, 12:12 PM
Robert, I wouldn't begin to try and spend your money for you, but having bought 3 lasers now, and numerous other pieces of equipment, I have learned that sales reps mean very little. Sadly, the number of awesome sales rep's that "get it" is very low. Our first laser purchase, we were thrilled with the rep. He was fantastic, friendly, and took all the time we needed. We felt great about the transaction. Then about 6 weeks in, we started having some machine issues. We were kindly redirected to call the factory for support, not them, and it was done in a way we thought made sense, because after all, he was our "new friend", right?

When we were looking at it, he told us that he came through our town multiple times a month, some times multiple times a week, and he'd be stopping in from time to time to check on us.

As time went on, our problems got larger, and we weren't getting the support we needed to get the issues resolved. We called him again, asked for help, asked him if he could stop by. Then he stopped answering the phone when we called, never stopped by, never once helped us resolve our issues. After fighting with the machine for 8 months or so, we finally complained enough that they bought the machine back. He came to pickup the machine and looked at the samples we had issues with and said "Wow, there's something wrong with this machine". Well, DUUUUHHHHHHH.....that's what we'd be trying to get help with. If he would have stopped by in the previous 7 months just one time, he might have been able to help us get the issues resolved and we might still own his machine.

Next laser- sales guy gave us a prepared speech, and any time we asked a question, it was turned back into the script. It was very robotic and we weren't impressed with the sales rep at all. However, the machine was impressive and it didn't have the bad traits that our last laser had. We talked about it the entire ride home and decided we didn't care about the sales rep, because all they did was refer you to the factory anyway, so we bought it. However, we couldn't have been any more wrong. That rep turned out to be a good friend, as well as one of the best reps we've ever had. He WOULD stop by, he would check things on the machine to make sure everything was running right, he would come in and help with any maintenance we were doing. He did see issues on our machine and go to bat for us with the factory to get them resolved. He was fantastic.

In the end, the factory is going to answer your tech support calls, send you replacement parts, and resolve any issues. You'll be lucky to ever see the sales rep ever again, unless you're buying something or you see him at a trade show, at which time he probably won't remember your name or who you are.

Buy the machine that fits your needs, not the one that has the best sales rep.

That's my story.

Bill George
07-04-2014, 2:14 PM
A Salesman's job is to make friends. Then sell to his friends. Frankly the best sales advice is right here on this Forum. IF I were to purchase another laser someday, it more than likely would be a Trotec Speedy from what I have learned here.

Mike Null
07-04-2014, 2:37 PM
The machine is the important thing. Don't expect the rep to be your pal--you'll probably never hear from him again.

If and when I can afford it I'll go with Trotec again.

Michael Hunter
07-04-2014, 2:45 PM
I guess that there won't be a big depot for either make in NZ.

If you are free to contact the USA or Austria direct for spares and advice, then the salesman doesn't matter a bit.
If your are forced (because of the distributorship terms*) to go through the NZ office for everything, the salesman is probably a big voice in that office so you need to think carefully.

* If I email Epilog in the States, they just bounce my email back to the UK distributors.
Not a problem now, but it was when the current distributors first took over the franchise.

Guy Hilliard
07-04-2014, 6:55 PM
Robert;

Both machines are good solid and dependable (I've owned a Universal X660 and currently own a Trotec 400).
While my personal bias with the machines is leaning slightly in favor of the Trotec I would have no problems with purchasing another Universal. As to the Trotec salesman I would question the value of his spiel and the value of his product if all he had to offer was how poorly he thought of the competitor's product.

Nicolas Silva
07-04-2014, 8:26 PM
hello. I've had my Universal M300 since 2001. It is a workhorse. I've only ever had one problem with it some 10 years ago where the safety switch needed replacing.
I've replaced a worn out tube only once (it's about due again), and use it most every day. I've used the ULS tech service a couple of time and always got the answers I needed.
When the time comes, I will order another Universal. When something works for me, I tend to stick with it. Cheers!

Robert . Payne
07-04-2014, 10:32 PM
Thanks everyone for the feedback, it's good to see perspectives in the after sales support stories seems like it can be hit and miss. We'll wait for the quotes from Trotec and see what we can negotiate on either end and what we end up with!

Robert Tepper
07-04-2014, 11:41 PM
Spend your money wisely. Salesman make a commission. My salesman calls me frequently just to say hello and ask how things are with business and the machine. Never pressures me to make a second purchase. My laser has been the most important investment I have made in 36 years in business.

I own a Trotec and will be purchasing a second one by the end of the year. Several reasons. The machine has never let me down, it has far exceeded what I expected, customer service is fantastic, I never feel rushed when I have called in the few times in 2 years.

Best of luck on your investment,
Robert

Keith Colson
07-05-2014, 1:35 AM
Robert,

Where in New Zealand are you? If you are in Auckland I have a VLS 6.60 in my garage you can have a look at. It's a great toy to have. Don't forget you need to buy quite a bit more than just a laser machine. e.g. I have a compressed air dryer, dedicated PC, air extraction system/ducting and a stinky smell filter en-route. I do really like the machine.

Cheers
Keith