It is terrible to say it, but Makerbots really are not the most reliable machines. As I have mentioned before, every machine has its own personality and most of the time if I’m not fixing a jam, I’m probably on the phone with Makerbot about something else. Since April, Dr. Wan and I have had to repackage and send back two printers. In a few days, we will be packing up six extruders and one of our Makerbot Replicator Minis to send back as well. The amount of time I have spent on the phone with Makerbot Customer Support and MakerCare has be so extraneous that I have actually gotten to know one of the customer service representatives, Kerry. However, I can gladly say that MakerBot has some of the greatest support teams and customer service representatives that I have ever had the need to work with.
With Dr. Wan’s personal printer, a FlashForge, there is a label printed on the front stating “For customer service, contact Mr. Tang,” followed by a very odd email address. With Makerbot, there is 24/7 customer service and extra MakerCare can be purchased for each machine. Their headquarters are in New York, which means that the customer service representatives are all somewhat locally based. No matter how much I trash talk the Makerbots’ abilities and bipolar personalities, I can always count on a friendly New York or Jersey native to “toawk” me through my Makerbot problems. The customer service representatives at Makerbot are always prepared to help and never start the conversation with, “Did you try turning it off and on again?” They offer solutions clearly and simplistically without sounding impatient or agitated with my ignorance. They use vocabulary any average citizen could comprehend, avoiding long, drawn-out sentences that could make them sound arrogant or superior. In the rare case that they do not have the answer I need, they can send me to someone who does, and I always get an email afterwards that details the steps I was given over the phone. When I still cannot solve a problem, no one blames me or tells me that the it just cannot be fixed. Instead, Makerbot will gladly replace parts and machines for any reasonable issue. Every time something has had to be shipped back, the shipping information is quickly available and new parts and machines arrive within the next week. The best part to me, though, is that I don’t have to put the phone on speaker and dance around to elevator music for forty-five minutes; calls are always answered in a timely manner. The longest I have ever been on hold with Makerbot Customer Support was about three and a half minutes. I doubt anyone could even say that about a phone call to the local Wal-Mart.
If you are someone who likes having the option of calling customer service at two in the morning or if you often find yourself need quick and helpful responses, Makerbot definitely offers what you need. Their readiness to assist and ability to give effective solutions practically eliminates my negative feelings towards their products’ dependability because the problems can always be solved.