There’s a bit of controversy surrounding US-based filament producer Maker Geeks.
The company was founded several years ago as one of the first dedicated 3D print filament true manufacturing lines in the US. Most filament you see on sale is actually manufactured by others behind the scenes, often in Asia. That’s not the case with Maker Geeks, who set up their own production lines.
Today it seems that they have at least four extrusion lines, capable of producing more than a tonne of finished filament per day. They were and maybe are one of the larger suppliers of 3D printer filament in the region.
But there seems to be some controversy regarding the company recently. A report from Springfield, Missouri-based KY3 news suggests many clients are having issues obtaining products or refunds from Maker Geeks:
“The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has issued a consumer alert about Maker Geeks, a local 3D printing product company.”
They reached out to Maker Geeks, who provided KY3 with this statement:
“We are taking this very seriously and have been working hard to respond to any complaints that the BBB and our clients have. We had our biggest Black Friday/ Holiday season yet and that coupled with some equipment issues led to us falling behind and not getting our orders shipped out on time.”
And KY3 added:
“[The] Founder of Maker Geeks, Joshua Smith, says they are working with a professional customer service agency. They are also offering refunds and sending out missing product.”
Our look at the BBB entry for Maker Geeks was quite revealing. There were, at time of writing, 146 reviews and a stark “F” rating for the company. Some of the comments were quite startling:
“Placed an order with MakerGeeks for PLA filament for 3D printing over six weeks ago. I have not received the product. MakerGeeks does not respond to e-mail queries to status. Although this product is available online elsewhere for immediate shipment, I was willing to wait to support a US based company. Warning customers to stay away from the company along with the others posting here.”
“An order I placed on November 1st was changed to “Fulfilled” on December 11th like most others. First they told me they would correct it, then they ignored my second e-mail, finally responded that it was changed back. I attempted to log in and they DELETED my account. Back to ignoring me. How is this not FRAUD?”
There are dozens and dozens of similar complaints listed on the BBB page, and it doesn’t sound very good.
We checked the Twitter feed to see what others were saying about the company, and found these responses:
There are plenty of comments similar to these.
From what we read, it appears that Maker Geeks does have a good product, but that their customer service is flawed. Deleting customer accounts is never a good idea, yet there seems to be evidence of this happening multiple times.
It could be that Maker Geeks may have simply had catastrophic equipment issues that were generating delays in shipments, but on the other hand, deleting accounts isn’t an appropriate response. There are many ways a manufacturing company can get itself into trouble, but what counts is how they get themselves out of that trouble.
It’s good to hear that Maker Geeks is working with a “professional customer service agency”, but intentions count less than actions, and I am pretty certain that their customers who have been complaining would prefer to see fulfillment, refunds and responsiveness. If that is Maker Geeks’ intention, then we shall see how the market receives their new approach.