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IndustryArena Forum > MetalWorking Machines > Tormach Personal CNC Mill > Sick of Tormach's poor customer service
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  1. #1
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    Angry Sick of Tormach's poor customer service

    We have been running 2 1100's for about 8 years now, the CS from Tormach has bee steadily going down hill.
    The last straw was last week, kept getting an error on startup, not only can you not talk to anybody - email only - they also refuse to answer any trouble shooting questions unless you change to their latest software.
    Software has nothing to do with the error or parts to fix the problem. Took 3 days of downtime, and research - tracking down and going back to the mfg of the parts.
    We will be actively looking for replacement machines, hate to do it but not going to support a company that tries to coerce you to buy something just for the sake of stealing your $$

  2. #2
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    Re: Sick of Tormach's poor customer service

    Quote Originally Posted by toothandnail View Post
    We will be actively looking for replacement machines, hate to do it but not going to support a company that tries to coerce you to buy something just for the sake of stealing your $$
    Perhaps I misunderstand your issue but are you referring to "purchasing" PathPilot? Tormach software upgrades have always been free. In my 8 or so years I've only paid for the Mesa card and the cost of the USB drive for the upgrade to PathPilot 2.0 from PP v1.xx. If you are running two machines then spending $25 to get the pair current seems a rather small price to pay. You say that your machines are 8 years old. Have you paid for 7 years of annual maintenance contracts times two? Get a maintenance quote from Haas before you jump!

  3. #3
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    Re: Sick of Tormach's poor customer service

    Switching to PathPilot is the best thing thats happened as far as software is concerned.

    CS is fine here, I called expecting the worst, and they called back in an hour or so and the problem was resolved, they are working from home now and thats a real inconvenience I would imagine.
    mike sr

  4. #4

    Re: Sick of Tormach's poor customer service

    Having to upgrade software in order to get help from support is bs . If they sold the machines with that software then thats the machine they need to help with . Count yourself lucky they even bothered to answer you

    When I was considering buying machines I emailed a couple questions , the next day support called me . After buying the machines the only way I got answers from support was by complaining to the sales rep who sold me the machines . One question was replied to a month after I asked . This was long before covid so there are no excuses . I am not at all impressed with support . Supports knowledge of the software they sell is also questionable . I asked if g52 is functional since it is in linuxcnc , the answer was a flat no , First thing I tried on firing up my mill was g52 , sure enough it works .

    I like my tormach machines and I'll buy more . Sales is fast at sending parts , I can troubleshoot my own problems and I have zero use for those pecker heads in support .

    Problem is support is crap for most machine manufacturers unless a guy gets into the big buck Jap machines . Haas support sucks , at least it does locally

    My novakon was down so I placed an order ,. Nearly a week later I contacted them by phone to ask what was happening with my order , he said "what order" , he never even looked at it . Then I was informed that it would be at least a month before he'd have access to his parts . That turned into months .
    For the most part depending on who you deal with things can only get worse , unless you have really deep pockets

  5. #5
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    Re: Sick of Tormach's poor customer service

    Quote Originally Posted by metalmayhem View Post
    Having to upgrade software in order to get help from support is bs . If they sold the machines with that software then thats the machine they need to help with .
    Your comment is silly and I assume that you are joking. In 2002 I bought a Dell desktop with Windows XP installed and still runs XP. Do you think that Dell should still handle support calls on it? Many of their support staff were wearing diapers when it was sold. BTW, it runs 24/7 and is still working fine after 18 years!

  6. #6

    Re: Sick of Tormach's poor customer service

    wtf is so silly . tormach used mach up to a couple yrs ago , I'm assuming that the op's software is mach since I don't know of tormach using any other software . But , hey I don't doubt support was in diapers then , I'm sure half still are

    Since the op wasn't clear on what the issue is then it's easy to assume it is mach , otherwise they'd have suggested buying a new computer vs upgrading software

  7. #7
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    Re: Sick of Tormach's poor customer service

    Quote Originally Posted by metalmayhem View Post
    wtf is so silly . tormach used mach up to a couple yrs ago ,
    Your idea of "a couple of years" differs from mine. I just checked my records and I received PP1.0 + Mesa 5i25 on 17 Feb 2015 or almost 6 years ago. Most CNC software vendors require a maintenance contract costing mucho dollars to even provide support for a year old product..

  8. #8

    Re: Sick of Tormach's poor customer service

    fine nit pick it , more than a couple yrs , I'd be willing to bet that the bulk of their sold machines are still running mach

    I never seen a maintenance contract offered when I bought my mills . Obviously tormach has no obligation after the 1 year warranty is up . Good support equals repeat customers , it's just good business . I have numerous people who bought my products second hand and I give them support , even on discontinued products . Why ? it's good business and they usually come back to buy new products .
    It's no skin off tormachs ass to answer a few questions for the guy even if it doesn't help , I had problems after roughly a month and they wouldn't reply to numerous emails so obviously they feel no obligations at all after a sale , yet they have support guys

  9. #9
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    Re: Sick of Tormach's poor customer service

    I could understand if it was a software issue, it wasn't, it was electrical. Requiring a software purchase before answering a couple of questions to diagnose a problem is BS
    Maybe we're running our business all wrong, guess I should require a monthly "service" fee with every firearm we build, or part we make.

  10. #10
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    This has not remotely been my experience with Tormach.

    Recently had a Drive burn off the connector (common issue), called and had two spares in route Next Day that afternoon.

    gary
    Quote Originally Posted by toothandnail View Post
    I could understand if it was a software issue, it wasn't, it was electrical. Requiring a software purchase before answering a couple of questions to diagnose a problem is BS
    Maybe we're running our business all wrong, guess I should require a monthly "service" fee with every firearm we build, or part we make.

  11. #11

    Re: Sick of Tormach's poor customer service

    Quote Originally Posted by nitewatchman View Post

    Recently had a Drive burn off the connector (common issue), called and had two spares in route Next Day that afternoon.
    I've had the same thing when ordering parts and they were super fast . Getting warranty parts through support was another story , it took weeks and when I complained to the right person I had new parts on my doorstep the next day if memory serves me correct , otherwise it was the following day . I'm not keen on their support but the rest of the company is on the ball

  12. #12
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    Re: Sick of Tormach's poor customer service

    Years ago when I was getting ready to buy my first machine. The deciding factor on what to buy was shown to me right here on cnczone.
    It was easy to see there were a number of vary active users of this tool system right here and all were willing to help with a problem. I often make stuff on weekends and late at night.
    Knowing this I figured tech support was not going to be around. And even if it was available. I found phone/email tech support to be hard to follow and resolve issues anyway.
    On the other hand doing some basic research here. I concluded these were good machines and there were active everyday users here to answer questions with problems. the key is "everyday user"
    I don't know if Tormach understands the value in this format of support, but I do. A quick search here often returns a number of threads about almost any problem you could have.
    True there were a number of people on these forums for one reason or another trying to misinform or argue about silly things like wd40 or mrr.
    But for the most part you can get some good info here to identify the problem then call Tormach for parts.

    Imho Tormach should create and manage a private user support forum for people to ask and find answers about the machines and tools.
    Many companies have them to help users maintain their product.
    Makes it easy for a user to search for and find answers to a problem and or post a question and not rely on tech support to repeat the same info over and over when you do get them on the phone.

    What say you?

  13. #13
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    Re: Sick of Tormach's poor customer service

    Quote Originally Posted by mountaindew View Post
    Years ago when I was getting ready to buy my first machine. The deciding factor on what to buy was shown to me right here on cnczone.
    It was easy to see there were a number of vary active users of this tool system right here and all were willing to help with a problem. I often make stuff on weekends and late at night.
    Knowing this I figured tech support was not going to be around. And even if it was available. I found phone/email tech support to be hard to follow and resolve issues anyway.
    On the other hand doing some basic research here. I concluded these were good machines and there were active everyday users here to answer questions with problems. the key is "everyday user"
    I don't know if Tormach understands the value in this format of support, but I do. A quick search here often returns a number of threads about almost any problem you could have.
    True there were a number of people on these forums for one reason or another trying to misinform or argue about silly things like wd40 or mrr.
    But for the most part you can get some good info here to identify the problem then call Tormach for parts.

    Imho Tormach should create and manage a private user support forum for people to ask and find answers about the machines and tools.
    Many companies have them to help users maintain their product.
    Makes it easy for a user to search for and find answers to a problem and or post a question and not rely on tech support to repeat the same info over and over when you do get them on the phone.

    What say you?
    Agreed! The dilution of the knowledge base here coupled with the extremely poor search capabilities is why I am saddened by the establishment and apparent success of several Facebook groups. Perhaps a Tormach sanctioned group could reverse this undesirable trend. Such a forum would have to be open to all postings including those from whiners who are disappointed that their new machine can't hold 0.000001 tolerances. If a Tormach person frequented the forum with answers they could both reduce their support costs and get a better feel for what users want and their problems.

  14. #14
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    Re: Sick of Tormach's poor customer service

    Quote Originally Posted by kstrauss View Post
    Agreed! The dilution of the knowledge base here coupled with the extremely poor search capabilities is why I am saddened by the establishment and apparent success of several Facebook groups. Perhaps a Tormach sanctioned group could reverse this undesirable trend. Such a forum would have to be open to all postings including those from whiners who are disappointed that their new machine can't hold 0.000001 tolerances. If a Tormach person frequented the forum with answers they could both reduce their support costs and get a better feel for what users want and their problems.
    I also agree. For a model of what such a forum might be, look at https://forum.pjrc.com/forums/3-Tech...-amp-Questions.

  15. #15
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    Re: Sick of Tormach's poor customer service

    Looks good but the easiest approach would be to simply use CNCzone and ensure that Tormach people are openly present (at least one currently monitors this forum). By using CNCzone things would seem more vendor neutral and many Tormach users are already aware of this site.

    Thanks for the link. It provided an answer to a Teensy question that had been puzzling me!

  16. #16

    Re: Sick of Tormach's poor customer service

    it's easy to create a forum and it's cheap if not free to add to an existing domain . Simple machines forum is clean and professional looking . It also has numerous plugins including a low cost spam filter that keeps out most bots . I've been using it for yrs and it's trouble free
    Facebook groups are killing most forums these days , but the problem with facebook it is is not necessarily private .

    On a forum a guy can use any name , I've been a member of this site since 2005 but you wouldn't know it by looking at the date under my name . Facebook on the other hand allows for people to see your profile and what you are doing in everyday life (if your a poster) . A profile can be made private but most people don't want to make a profile private just to join a group . I've looked at the 440 user group and could have contributed many times but I don't exactly need guys who may be starving for possible business opportunities to see what I do for a living . I could create a fake profile but thats more trouble than it's worth .

    Cnczone is great for info but as mentioned too much is diluted and the search is terrible . I'm not aware of tormach support using this forum and maybe they do or don't , but if they don't then I can't see them bothering with their own forum , otherwise they'd have done so already

  17. #17
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    Re: Sick of Tormach's poor customer service

    Quote Originally Posted by metalmayhem View Post
    i
    Cnczone is great for info but as mentioned too much is diluted and the search is terrible . I'm not aware of tormach support using this forum and maybe they do or don't , but if they don't then I can't see them bothering with their own forum , otherwise they'd have done so already
    I agree with everything that you wrote about Facebook and I almost never participate in the Tormach related groups there.

    In my opinion the CNCzone search is not great but it is vastly better than Facebook's search. Based on private email conversations (names omitted to protect the guilty) at least two Tormach people regularly read this forum but insofar as I know they never contribute.

  18. #18

    Re: Sick of Tormach's poor customer service

    a user group I have use for because theres going to be a vast amount of users who may have experienced similar problems , or did certain mods etc . The problem I've faced with searching the zone for a 440 is that no matter how careful I am with the key words I'll get results for the other tormach mills and g0704's skyfire and some dude who cut his finger on 440 ss etc etc

    Tormach is no help in anything remotely close to what they consider a mod . I wanted to connect a 4th axis to one of my 440's , all I wanted was verification that I was correct on the connection , simple yes or no . I was told sorry can't help with modifications but someone on cnczone may be able to help . It was only a couple of wires . Adding a 4th isn't exactly a mod and they didn't have one available , but it's just as well since I came up with a better plug and play method while waiting for a reply .Theres nothing wrong with saying sure it will work but your responsible for any issues you create .
    Things like this would be great for a dedicated tormach only user group

  19. #19
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    Re: Sick of Tormach's poor customer service

    The possible problem with a group fully controlled by Tormach is that they would be highly motivated to suppress reports of problems with their products. With an independent vendor such as CNCzone I'm reasonably confident that here I'll see both the good and the bad.

  20. #20
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    Re: Sick of Tormach's poor customer service

    Centroid uses a forum very successfully to support their products. I'm betting that Tormach has answered some of the same questions hundreds if not thousands of times. Prusa 3d also has a similar forum.
    Even Verizon (almost always at the bottom of customer service surveys) has a support forum which seems to be staffed almost entirely with "volunteers".

    I understand not supporting mods for both liability and financial reasons, but they certainly could be covered in a sub-forum not monitored by the company but still a repository of knowledge.

    Personally, I think Tormach has missed several opportunities - 1. Not organizing community support and therefore not fully creating a community around their products. 2. Service, not call in or warranty, but a contract or arrangement with a national service company which could offer PMs, service and more importantly commissioning of their products for interested individuals and companies. Imagine what Haas or Fadal would be if they didn't offer or include commissioning with machine installation?

    All that said, I think it's a testament to Tormach and it's machines that they have been successful despite a wide range of users, abilities and installations.

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