View Full Version : choosing a laser. Machine v Supplier

Ian Windross
07-01-2006, 11:24 PM
Hi to everyone,
I'm new to this site but I wish I had come here before I bought my laser 2 years ago, it might have determined WHERE I bought it from.
Having spent the past 15 years woodturning I decided to get into something a bit different so I choose to buy a Laser. I looked around at different machines and decided to buy a Laserpro Explorer 75watt from a from a distributor here in Australia. I thought I had made the right choice of machine but it wasn't until I needed backup and service that I began to doubt my choice. I still have faith in the machine it is the supplier that I have serious issues with.
After 4 months of use it appeared to have lost all power. When the technician came out (eventually) he found that one of the mirrors was comepletely black, burned to a crisp! he said that he had never seen one so badly burnt on a 10 year old machine. After making a phone call to check if they had them in stock he then told me that it would cost $300 because it was a consumable and there was only a 3 month warranty on consumables. This, I pointed out was grossly unacceptable and protested sufficiently for them to waiver the charge.
Just recently the machine has malfunctioned again, it stopped half way through a job and the smartguard fire alarm activation message appeared on the display, a bit suprising I thought since there isn't one fitted.
I rang the distributor twice a day for a week before I got a response, the next day an outsourced service technichian turned up and couldn't find what the problem was and duly left. I rang the distributor again and he said that he would send an Email to GCC to get a answer.
He later rang me back saying that it was the motherboard and it would have to be replaced and it would cost.....wait for it.... $3000 !!!!
I asked him how and why would this happen and his response was .."I don't know ..but that's electronics for you" .
After a large brandy to recover from the shock I decided to ring GCC in taiwan and ask how and why the motherboard would fail. They said that they would raise the question the engineers there and get back to me via my distributor. The next day I rang GCC again and asked why I had not received an answer. They said that they had been in touch with my distributor and he would be in contact with me. He didn't have the decency to ring me back but he did send me an email asking if I wanted to proceed with the installation of a new motherboard. Still wanting to charge me $3000 dollars.
It was at this point I deceided to ring a distributor of the same brand in the US it was actually pinnacle I assumed that they all come from the same factory in taiwan anyway (I have subsequently been in touch with laserpro in the US and had a response offering technical assistance).
The gentleman at Pinnacle was as helpful as he could be given the fact that I was not one of his customers and I was on the other side of the world. He the told me that he has the same motherboard in stock and I could purchse it for.... US$550 !!!!!! thats about $750 AUS.
I need not go into the outrage I am currently directing towards my distributor, perhaps I should not use the word distributor, one may think that encompasses supply, service, backup and support of which he only qualifies for one.
I could've bought any one of the machine currently on the market from a variety of dealers here in Australia and I made my choice of machine based on its attributes, but I strongly suggest to anyone not to base their choice of machine only on glossy brochures and sales pitches.
I will not be using my distributor anymore and if I should encounter anymore technical or service difficulties I will contact GCC Dealers in the US, where, it would appear integrity and service are as important as sales figures.
If you have read all of this , thanks for your time and as I said at the beginning of this posting, I wish I had come to this forum before I purchased my machine and digested information from other laser users who may have had similar experiences.
Best regards to all,
Ian Windross

Mitchell Andrus
07-02-2006, 8:01 AM
Proving once again, look before you leap.


Ian Windross
07-03-2006, 2:09 AM
Your dead right Mitch and it would appear I'm not the only one to be "stung" by this distributor. For the price I was quoted for a new motherboard I could have bought a ticket to the US, bought a motherboard and had a short stay holiday !
We live and learn.

Rodne Gold
07-03-2006, 2:53 AM
I cannot understand how a mirror can burn if daily and weekly maintenance is followed , in fact can't really understand how a mirror can burn as its a polished steel disc that is gold plated (unless it got coated with residue and that burnt). Surely power was dropping over a period of time , not instantaneously?

What is the warrantee on your machine ? Our 3 Explorers came with a 3 yr warrantee on the machine and either a 15 or 18 month warrantee on the source - the MB should have been replaced under warrantee. At the very least the tech should have tried to sort out the smartguard issue , there is a plug on the MB for the smartguard board which I would have had a look at or tried to short out to fix this problem , if the MB was "blown" trying this would have been no problem.

At the end of it all , you can choose your distributor well , but circumstances can scupper theta choice , we have in the last 6 months recieved what can only be called disgusting service from ours , the owner of the co passed away prior to that and it has been left to total incompetents to run.