View Full Version : Other forums

Nigel Morgan
06-29-2007, 6:38 PM
Hi all,

Could anyone send me some links to other forums so I can report the failings of Epilog.


Mitchell Andrus
06-29-2007, 7:53 PM

We'd rather help you fix your problems, not help you rant about them.

Scott Shepherd
06-29-2007, 10:13 PM
I don't see Nigel's posts as rants, I see them as someone who's quite uphappy with the customer service they are getting from Epilog and feels like he's got no where else to turn. I have a simliar issue to Nigel. The service and concern from Epilog's senior management seems to be non-existant. I have remained silent for several months now, but my patience is about worn out.

I have a machine that was brand new in Feb. and by April they had sent about $6,000 worth of parts for a Helix that had less than 50 hours of run time on it. You'd think sending $6000 worth of parts out for a machine that's got 50 hours or less on it, that's two months old would raise a red flag at Epilog and someone from senior management would get involved. Nope.

None of the parts resolved the issues, and I finally engineered my own solution for one of the problems. About that time Peck PM'd me and called me, and had some additional parts sent, which helped one of the problems. Helped, not solved.

At this point I've had to just about stop running anything at 100% speed. I've been told to run things about 60-70% to work around my issues. I've been told to do things to work around the issues, things that do nothing but slow my jobs down by as much as 50%. I've lost work because of this. No question.

At two months old, I replaced the y-axis motor, the encoder cable, the entire I-Beam, the cable to the controller board, the controller board, and the actual laser tube itself.

I've spend well over $150 in material for "testing", and I've spent well over 80 hours "testing" and replacing parts and dealing with phone calls on it all. You'd think with all of that SOMEONE in senior management would grab hold of this case and do what it takes to make it right. Yet, all I get is an occasional phone call to tell me one of two things- they are working on it, or I need to do some additional testing and send the results. I'm all tested out. When I say that I have problems and send examples or multiple materials with the problem in it, then I'm told to try it in some other material. Well, no disrespect, but if I'm having a problem in several materials, I can't very well tell my customer that he shouldn't be using acrylic, and he should be using brass. I have also been told that they have duplicated my exact issues on their machines in house.

I do believe Tech Support has done their job well. Dan has been working with me from day one on it and I think he's done an excellent job. They have no problem sending parts and trying to get problems resolved. I'll never fault Epliog for their tech support, but I'll be first in line to say their ability to grab a problem machine and work through it is horrible from the senior management level. I don't wish to call anyone out, but I do think it's unacceptable to have a brand new machine, and have $6000 worth of parts sent out and the service manager or engineering manager or someone who can make an executive decision can't pick up the phone and at least acknowledge they understand there is a serious issue and layout a plan of action for resolving it with a time line.

At this point, we run our machine at reduced speeds to work around the issues. I hardly think telling a customer to reduce their speeds 30-40% and letting the issues stay out there for months is an acceptable level of service from any manufacturer. Service like this is what leads people like Nigel to come on forums and basically beg for some help.

I don't see it as ranting, I see it as someone who feels like there's no other way to get the issues resolved. That's about where I'm at. I'll give them another week or so and then, after 3 months, my patience will have run out.

Nigel Morgan
06-29-2007, 11:44 PM
Hi Scott,

I think in cases when a machine has incurred so many problems Epilog should just change it for a complete new one, it could be one of so many little things causing the problem it takes many hours of your own time trying out different things to rectify the problem. If I lived in the US I would make sure the reseller or manufacturer lived locally so I could ring their necks!! if they did'nt fix the problem. All this bad publicity must be costing them sales, I rarely read of other Lasers having problems, just Epilog. There again no doubt there are happy customers.



Keith Outten
06-30-2007, 7:47 AM
There has been at least one Epilog that was exchanged, one of our Members was successful getting Epilog to upgrade his machine to another model. I don't know all the details but it has happened.

When I purchased my laser engraver I put a substantial amount of the purchase price on a credit card. The reason I did it that way is the same reason I always finance new cars at least for the length of the warranty. Anytime you have a problem that a vendor refuses to correct you have major leverage on your side by just contacting the finance company and providing them the details...then tell them you will be bringing the machine/automobile to them with the payment book. Give them all the contact information when you call them and you will be surprised how quick your problem is solved.

We need a lemon law for laser engravers. After a reasonable number of repair cycles have been executed a new machine should be provided.
Owners should be compensated for the hours spent working on, testing or repairing manufacturers machines that are under warranty. Auto dealers provide the labor and parts for warranty repairs why shouldn't laser engraving manufacturers be expected to provide the same. They could put a technician on a plane and bare the costs that way if they prefer or pay for the machine to be shipped back to their factory but they shouldn't receive free labor during a warranty period.

In all fairness Epilog is not the only company that experiences problems with their machines, there are others. The direction any company takes when they have to deal with serious problems effects how they are measured in the marketplace. This is why when someone asks which laser engraver should I purchase you always see people giving them advice to consider tech support and corporate support above the price.

I will give Xenetech a major plug here. The President of Xenetech is available to their customers, any Xenetech employee will provide his phone number upon request. I have personally talked to Guy three times so I know this to be true first hand.


Mike Null
06-30-2007, 9:19 AM
I have resisted commenting on these problems with Epilog but I have to say that when I was ready for a new machine last year I studied very hard on all the forums. Since I had operated my ULS for 8 years with very minor problems I knew I had a good base from which to decide. (in 8 years I replaced the tube--in warranty, the rf unit--lightning-- and nothing else.)

Anyway, after reading, studying and talking to a number of people one of my conclusions was that Epilog had a couple of ongoing problems that they didn't seem to be addressing. One was with X axis motors. The replacement on this appeared to be extremely high. Keep in mind my judgments were based on the forums so not nearly all were reported. And there seemed to be a continuing situation with encoder strips causing problems.

I eliminated manufacturers one by one until I came down to Xenetech and Trotec and I purchased the Trotec. To date I have encountered no problems which weren't self-inflicted. The tech support has been superb.

Mark Winlund
06-30-2007, 12:01 PM
I think that all of the major manufacturers have had similar problems. I myself have had very similar problems with ULS... resulting in the inability to vector cut at speed over 7%! The problem has never been resolved, and after numerous complaints, I finally gave up. The machine works, just not at high speeds. My machine was purchased in early 2003.

When I got the machine, the general attitude was "it's amazing that it does what it does!" Performance wasn't a large issue, primarily because there wasn't anything to compare it to. Now that the market has matured, and the makers of these machines are selling thousands of them, it would seem that they would be willing to improve their performance a little, and address the problems that many owners are having. I can only assume that they are selling so many of them that it isn't neccessary to pay much attention to the buyers that are having problems. It just isn't a priority for them. Too busy depositing money into the bank, I guess.

I think that once the market starts shaking out, and the manufacturers start having real competition, efforts will be made to improve reliability and performance. Perhaps it is a good thing that the Chinese are entering the market. If you are going to get bad performance and indifferent customer service anyway, why not buy Chinese and save some bucks in the beginning. If the Chinese improve their machines and get the support thing working properly, most of the american manufacturers will be out of business.... crying in their beer about "those rotten chinese" and "unfair trade".

Regards, Mark

Scott Shepherd
06-30-2007, 6:27 PM
We selected Epilog because we have a Xenetech rotary and I decided to not give them a chance for our business due to the way they treated my father when he bought his machine.

He bought the machine and the 32 bit version was available. They recommended he get the 16 bit version. Why? I have no idea. Well, in getting it and having problems with the software, he's dumped into the "$45 for 15 minutes of tech support" catagory. Let's see, there's a bug in YOUR software and I have to pay you to talk about it? Strike one.

The solution given to him? Upgrade to the 32 bit system (6 months after buying his machine). Upgrade cost- about $500. He never should have been sold the old 16 bit system. Period. Strike two.

Well, several years pass of limping along with it as a part time home based business, and we look at upgrading. Well, you can't get a new computer because the old 16 bit software won't run on the new systems. So, he's stuck in Windows 95 land. Yeah, that's good.

To get it so it'll work with a new computer- but new computer, buy new 32 bit software, and a $3000 controller unit. All in all, the quote was $6000 to upgrade it. Strike three. They NEVER should have sold him and recommended to him that he buy a 16 bit system when their 32 bit was already out and running. Why would you do that? They had to know it was going to be expensive to upgrade by going that path. Had they sold him the right equipment at the time, he could have easily upgraded his computer system over the years and never had any real costs, other than the computer. However, he listened to them (because he didn't know anything about it all), and in taking their advice, he ended up stuck with an outdated model before it even arrived in the truck. Nice. Way to take care of a customer. Sell them old, out of date equipment, and then charge them money when they have problems with the software (which the software was full of).

We were so excited about Epilog and their great service. Just didn't know they'd be willing to send you every part to make a new machine 2 months into a new purchase without anyone in senior management ever stepping in and quickly coming up with a solution.

I don't know if it's growing pains or if they just don't understand customer service at all. Had I sold someone a $20,000 + machine and they were having issues, I'd be bending over backwards to make that customer see how hard I was working to make them happy. If it required swapping machines, models, or taking it back completely, that's what I would be doing.

I don't want to give my Epilog back, I just want it to work as described in their literature and by the salesmen who sold it to us. We specifically took examples with us when we looked at it, and we were told there would be no problems doing what we wanted to do. After buying it, it's more like "well, it doesn't do that very well, you'll need to slow it down 40%" (from Tech support, not the salesmen). Knowing that bit of information prior to buying it would have drastically changed our plans for business as well as our laser supplier.

In my opinion, in this thread alone there are two phone calls the President of Epilog needs to make Monday morning. One to Nigel, one to me. There needs to be a positive solution to both situations. He needs to send Nigel the required parts- no charge, and he needs to get involved in our case and bring it to a solution where the machine does what it's supposed to do without us having to reduce speeds or use techniques that are unacceptable as long term fixes.

Solve my problems and I'll get back on board recommending Epilog machines to others. Until then, I can't say I'd recommend them to anyone looking for a laser. We could be telling everyone how great we were treated and how much effort would that take from them? Not much.

I honestly don't get it. It's just so simple to grab these situations and handle them in a way that makes the customers happy. I have 20+ years in manufacturing. Mostly in very high speed machinery. I've seen customer issues many times over my working career, and not once have I ever thought the right path was to have customers unhappy with your company. Customers, in my experience, are very patient people as long as they know you are working as hard as you possibly can to make them happy. Calling someone and telling them "I didn't have a chance to look at it this week, but I'll look at it next week" doesn't provide the feeling that all stops are being pulled out to resolve the issues.

Larry Bratton
06-30-2007, 8:42 PM
Just an observation. I notice Nigels machine is a Helix model and so is yours Scott. Seems I have seen some other posts also related to the Helix machines. As you know, mine is an Ext and I have had no problems. Is it possible that the problems are isolated to the Helix models?

Nigel Morgan
06-30-2007, 9:14 PM
Perhaps it is just the Helix models, maybe Epilog could confirm this. When I replaced the complete I beam on mine the one which I removed from the Laser had some name in black marker written on the underside "Lay or Roy", it was hard to read, its my theory it had been previously owned and reconditioned as there is nothing written in pen on the replacement.

Rob Bosworth
07-02-2007, 12:55 PM
Scott, where are you located, geographically?

I am going to get in trouble with this.

I do not see where your problem is the same as Nigel's problem, other than you both are targeting Epilog. Scott, your machine is a couple or three months old. It is under warranty and it will get fixed. (That is my prediction based on history.) If it is not working, and just ruining material, why not send it back to Epilog and have them go through it? If it is not working, and driving you crazy, send it back to them and have them fix it. Depending on where you are located, I would think it would only be gone for two weeks. You bought the machine through a rep or distributor. Where is he during all of this frustration? Epilog is a fairly responsible manufacture that would rather have your machine running, than not.

Good luck. If you need any help from us, please feel free to contact us at any time.