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stevie.d

Have I made a huge mistake?

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Get Ultimaker kit on the 11th, on the 13th during build discover teflon plug end for the Bowden tube is missing, search everywhere several times, wonder if this part is not obsolete 'cause wiki doesn't get updated very fast I notice.

Post on forum, told I definetley do need piece, so then after exploring all these avenues contact Ultimaker, get a vague non committal mail asking have I perhaps "misplaced" piece myself , if not, mail back and they will sort it out for me.

Mail back assuring them that I have most defineltey not "misplaced" part and explain other avenues taken before contacting them,I am that sure, ask in mail could they please let me know what course of action will be taken, and when I might get replacement.

24 hours after mail still no reply so ,I contact them asking for the courtesy of reply to my previous mail, questioning how serious they are taking this issue and are they accepting responsibility, get very petulant reply telling me to have patience that piece has been sent , tracking number included in the reply.

Reply pointing out that all that needed to be done was simple aknowledgement of my issue which is normal operating procedure when dealing with other customer service representatives in similar situations and politely reminding them that this a buisness transaction .

Acknowlegement that perhaps they should have contacted me to assure me they were dealing with issue but in a "nice" business way.

Now on the 18th there is no tracking information on DHL website, call them up asking if there is a problem with their site or perhaps there is some sort of delay with shipping relaying them the number I was given,

They inform me that this package only collected today and was being sent by road which will take up to 3 business days at best Friday the 21st, email support again and ask to justify why they sent out piece only today and via the slow route reminding them that they left me short this piece and I had expected better.

Late this afternoon I get a sarcasticly tinged reply quoting different tracking number than the one issued last week and stating that package was in Dublin.

When I go to check DHL with new number it reports that package has been delivered and signed for by somone who doesn't live in my building and has no association with the seperate billing address on my account. Reply reports that this must discussed with other colleagues now and at close of business they've left, they can't see information on DHL for original tracking number they supplied, obviously unaware that I told them in an email this morning that I had spoken to DHL and they had explained why the tracking number is not showing.

so this evening I have no idea what is going on, what is my tracking no. and why do I have to wait until Friday.

Now, through out all of this I have to keep reminding myself that is a startup company, errors will occur and I must be patient and show some consideration.

I try to be considerate and appreciate how busy they might be and, what pressures there must be especially when you witness the size of the bubble that is forming in this market.

What aids consideration and sympathy from me, the customer, is, prompt, clear,communication, acknowledging clear and concise understanding of the issue and clearly advising on solutions being explored to remedy it.

What is not acceptable, and, no customer should have to aploogise for complaining about, not replying, not answering questions asked, vague,non-comittal answers,but, worst of all is having to tolerate during a business transcation with customer service reps are emails with intonations akin to a surly teenager who has been chided for not tidying his room, especially when responding to criticisms about their lapse in approach to customer service.

I chose to buy an Ultimaker because of recommendations by people locally (who have been supportive in trying to rectify this issue over the last week) and there seems to be a good community on the forums and the groups.

But, when you consider all of this on top of other niggly bits, melted end stop cable by soldering iron, and ironic qc stamp on front panel of Lasercut pieces = poor quality control, but had let slide because I can work around these issues.

But, I despair now, and, whether I get this piece and even then, the time to get this project finished before the holidays I'm really indifferent to and disappointed over all by the whole experience now.I had planned to be doing demos for some folk this week which I've had to defer.

So can someone tell me Is this as good as it gets normally with UM and have I made a huge mistake, or I have just caught a bad break here, I'm talking to two other manufacturers one of whom suplies prebuilts for simlar price as kit and full garaunteed so I'm questioning should I just cut my losses now and unload this as I now know what 's under the hood and even so there is great build support on the other rep rap forums, because don't see why I should have to deal with this level of frustration and try again over yonder. Ultimaker is not the only show in town??????

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bear in mind that it takes alot longer for items to arrive in the post this time of year so be patient. Yes there are other options for you to chose but seeing as youve already chosen one of if not THE best, it would be a case of jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. Stick with it and you will be rewarded.

Paul

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Their processes and customer support are definitely not even close to polished yet. I had very similar experiences to yours.

Every time I ordered parts, they would take my money and after a few days, I would have to remind them that I ordered the parts and magically, I'd get a ship notification the very next day. It's like nobody keeps track of anything other than printer orders. I shouldn't have to remind them to ship the parts I already paid for.

When contacting support, I would explain in great detail exactly what was happening, and what I had tried in order to correct the problem. The first reply I always received was, "you must have assembled it wrong." I'd point out that it wasn't assembled wrong and the next reply I got was telling me to try the things I had already told them I tried in my first email. So, I'd email back and tell them AGAIN that I had tried those things. Next, I'd get an email asking me to double check the assembly wiki because I must have assembled it wrong. I double checked it and found that the wiki hadn't been updated for the parts they shipped me. I was so desperate that I started hacking up the hardware to try to fix the problem. After I had done a bunch of hacks trying to fix my problems, they asked me for pictures. I sent pictures, and explained that I had already made a lot of changes trying to fix the problem. As a reply, they pointed at the changes in the pictures and told me that those new changes must have caused the original problem. (Say what?!?!? Apparently, I can time travel.) In a nutshell, they don't actually read long emails where you go into great detail about what you already tried in order to fix the problem and they always make multiple attempts to blame you for your problems. Email exchanges with Ultimaker were so frustrating that I was literally at the point of selling the printer for parts or burning it just for the satisfaction.

Thankfully, the other users on the forums helped me where Ultimaker failed. Thanks entirely to them, I figured out that the wiki instructions I followed did not match the parts I received in the box. When in doubt about which part to use, I followed the wiki. The wiki was wrong. That caused a month of problems and cost me $600 in purchases of replacement parts and shipping. I was finally able to get the printer working after a month of messing with it all day every day. In the process of solving all the issues I've had, I know this printer inside out. It is definitely not mass market ready. I'd call it more of a prototype device for hobbyists who want to spend countless hours tweaking it, fixing it, and babysitting it.

I've already replaced some of the parts with more dependable upgrades I found online. I changed the micro fan header out for a standard PC fan header so that I could connect a fan with higher output and less noise. I dumped the origami fan shroud and printed one from Thingiverse to use while I work on my own design. I ditched their filament spool holder and designed my own double-width ball bearing based roller cradle for filament. Nuts kept vibrating loose all over the machine, so I have started replacing all of the regular nuts with nylock nuts. (They should ship it with 100% nylock nuts from the start.) My next upgrade will be a redesign of the bed leveling system. As it is now, I have to recalibrate the print bed on every other print and every time I change filament.

Has this been a completely pleasant experience dealing with obvious professionals? Hell no. If not for their forums, I might have set lawyers on them due to the incredible frustration, long delays, and vast expense of dealing with them. Worst of all, I really hated having them treat me like I was a moron, when their out-of-date wiki instructions caused all of my issues. Their default view that it's always the customer's fault just reeks of amateur hour management. Their documentation is just a mess, requiring tons of searching, because it's organized in an irrational manner. It's nearly always out of date with what they're actually shipping. Just try finding the calibration instructions in the online manual. Or try finding the instructions for assembling the filament spool. Their user community is the only thing saving this company right now.

Have I come to like the printer after all that trouble? Even though I'm now having trouble with the Ulticontroller crashing, I must admit, I have grown fond of using my printer. Perhaps I'm just in love with 3-D printing in general. I'm printing nearly 24/7. My ideas and designs come too fast for the printer to keep up, so I'm now researching another printer to buy. It probably won't be an Ultimaker. It's just too much work to keep it printing accurately. It's also too damn expensive to buy from the Netherlands when you live in the U.S. I've spent over $3000 on this printer thanks to the poor exchange rate and horrible DHL shipping charges. I could have purchased a more reliable MakerBot Replicator 2 for that and still had money left over. I could have purchased TWO Type A Machines printers for that money. Both come pre-assembled and this one didn't. Hindsight is 20/20.

So, to answer your question:

Whether you made a huge mistake depends on what you thought you were buying. If you thought you were buying a reliable printer from a professional company with a reputation of excellent, timely, customer support and prompt order processing, then you were definitely wrong based on my own experience. If you thought you were buying a fast printer with the capability of really high quality with constant tweaking, purchased from a poorly-organized start up company that relies on the user community to support their products, you chose correctly. In other words, it's a trade off. You potentially get high quality prints at high print speeds with the cost being frustrating company interactions and constant tweaking to keep the printer working properly.

EDIT: I just read elsewhere on the forums that Ultimaker only ships items out on Wednesday and Friday. So, parts I ordered on a Saturday were always delayed until the following Wednesday. Tuesday is when I would finally remind them about the parts because I hadn't received a shipping notice, yet. With 20ish employees, you'd think they would have hired a cheap shipping clerk to send stuff out every day. They take our money every day but don't ship every day. Nice priorities.

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EDIT: I just read elsewhere on the forums that Ultimaker only ships items out on Wednesday and Friday. So, parts I ordered on a Saturday were always delayed until the following Wednesday. Tuesday is when I would finally remind them about the parts because I hadn't received a shipping notice, yet. With 20ish employees, you'd think they would have hired a cheap shipping clerk to send stuff out every day. They take our money every day but don't ship every day. Nice priorities.

Old info. We ship daily, and we have about 15ish employees, most of them part-time. (Especially those in packaging&shipping)

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EDIT: I just read elsewhere on the forums that Ultimaker only ships items out on Wednesday and Friday. So, parts I ordered on a Saturday were always delayed until the following Wednesday. Tuesday is when I would finally remind them about the parts because I hadn't received a shipping notice, yet. With 20ish employees, you'd think they would have hired a cheap shipping clerk to send stuff out every day. They take our money every day but don't ship every day. Nice priorities.

Old info. We ship daily, and we have about 15ish employees, most of them part-time. (Especially those in packaging&shipping)

Thanks for the clarification.

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