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Miller Welder warranty....

JoeE.

Titanium
Joined
Aug 31, 2006
Location
Kansas
Hey, I called and spoke to a guy at Miller who deals with warranty issues.
After I explained what I had going on, he agreed with me that the situation I found myself in was not right, but unfortunately it was the system the company had thrust upon their dealers.
He said that in a perfect world, if a machine had sat unsold with the warranty clock ticking.. the dealer should inform the customer of this, and then would feel compelled to adjust the price downward to reflect the lack of warranty coverage. The customer would have some leverage in the negotiations with this knowledge. He says the distributors probably have no interest in doing things that way... it would affect their profit margin.

He goes on to say that if I would take some photos of the machine to show what shape it's in (pristine), a photo of the original bill of sale showing the machine S/N and a photo of the manufacturers data plate on the back of the machine showing a matching serial number, he said he'd take that information and go to bat for me and try to get them to make this right.
 

mikeylikesit

Plastic
Joined
Sep 1, 2022
im sure you dont need anyone to say that testing the machine before handing over the money would of been a good idea.
its possible it did work perfectly fine the day before and you just ran into some bad luck.
welder machine prices are beyond stupid and only getting worse. less than 2yr ago the 211 was $1300 at every online store but now approaching $2k its simply a ripoff for that machine if you ask me.
with so many of the modern machines full of questionable qaulity china components , its hard to know where to spend your money.
had you inquired here about welding machines ahead of time ,i would of pointed you to the transteel 2200. it cost a few bucks more but will blow the doors off the 211 and 215.
hopefully it all ends up in your favor my freind
 

BT Fabrication

Stainless
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
im sure you dont need anyone to say that testing the machine before handing over the money would of been a good idea.
its possible it did work perfectly fine the day before and you just ran into some bad luck.
welder machine prices are beyond stupid and only getting worse. less than 2yr ago the 211 was $1300 at every online store but now approaching $2k its simply a ripoff for that machine if you ask me.
with so many of the modern machines full of questionable qaulity china components , its hard to know where to spend your money.
had you inquired here about welding machines ahead of time ,i would of pointed you to the transteel 2200. it cost a few bucks more but will blow the doors off the 211 and 215.
hopefully it all ends up in your favor my freind
ya the new inverters are more power efficient, I have heard that a local shop ordered a few brand new millers and cut there power bill from 75 thousand a month down to 39 thousand just by switching welders.
but that being said, the older transformer welders still exist because they are robust enough to survive. have my older 211 transformer machine before they changed it and wouldn't ever want to sell it.
Bought it in the range of $1100 back in 2010 and can't imagine paying $2000 for one now with $100 in electrictronics in it.
 

BT Fabrication

Stainless
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Hey, I called and spoke to a guy at Miller who deals with warranty issues.
After I explained what I had going on, he agreed with me that the situation I found myself in was not right, but unfortunately it was the system the company had thrust upon their dealers.
He said that in a perfect world, if a machine had sat unsold with the warranty clock ticking.. the dealer should inform the customer of this, and then would feel compelled to adjust the price downward to reflect the lack of warranty coverage. The customer would have some leverage in the negotiations with this knowledge. He says the distributors probably have no interest in doing things that way... it would affect their profit margin.

He goes on to say that if I would take some photos of the machine to show what shape it's in (pristine), a photo of the original bill of sale showing the machine S/N and a photo of the manufacturers data plate on the back of the machine showing a matching serial number, he said he'd take that information and go to bat for me and try to get them to make this right.
Have you taken the covers off to see the damage to it? ususally in a high power machine like a welder there is always a large melted piece somewhere when they fail like that. Sometimes you get lucky and can replace a $1 part and gets up and running without it being a money hole for a new board.
 

DrHook

Hot Rolled
Joined
Oct 8, 2013
Location
Pierre
Once upon a time, I fried a circuit board on a 3 month old $4200.00 Thermal Dynamics plasma cutter. (I had it and a wire feed welder grounded one to the bench, and the other to a piece of equipment, and cross-fed the welder ground thru the plasma....)(and no warranty) Anyhoo, I sent it in, and was told "It is a discontinued model", and "If we had a replacement board, it would be $1900, if we had a rebuild board, it would be $900, but we have neither."
My rep suggested I let him take it to a Vo-tech where they did electronics training, and would fix things for the cost of the parts. A week later, he shows up at my shop with the machine repaired at a cost of $2.35. It was one small fried resistor of some sort. That was in 1995. I still have and use the plasma. If Miller doesn't help you out, find a school.
 

johfoster

Cast Iron
Joined
Dec 15, 2016
He says the distributors probably have no interest in doing things that way... it would affect their profit margin.


So "in a perfect world" Miller sells products for full value, never has stand behind them, and someone else eats all the failures and warranty issues? Affect their profit margin....talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

I am curious to hear if they do anything for you, so please do report back. Also did you look into your consumer protection laws?

There is so much goop covering a new miller board you can hardly tell what it is. Probably not gonna find someone to fix it. The electronics are at a point where it is not as possible to repair boards at a component level like you could 30 years ago. The authorized Miller welder repair shop two doors down was in business for 3 generations, and closed up a few years ago in large part to the irreparability of new machines. They do not want this machine to be fixed.

What did someone else already say earlier in the thread, was it "true blue fxxx you"... I like that haha.
 

mister honey

Stainless
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Location
eastern blowville heights, ohio
Hey, I called and spoke to a guy at Miller who deals with warranty issues.
After I explained what I had going on, he agreed with me that the situation I found myself in was not right, but unfortunately it was the system the company had thrust upon their dealers.
He said that in a perfect world, if a machine had sat unsold with the warranty clock ticking.. the dealer should inform the customer of this, and then would feel compelled to adjust the price downward to reflect the lack of warranty coverage. The customer would have some leverage in the negotiations with this knowledge. He says the distributors probably have no interest in doing things that way... it would affect their profit margin.

He goes on to say that if I would take some photos of the machine to show what shape it's in (pristine), a photo of the original bill of sale showing the machine S/N and a photo of the manufacturers data plate on the back of the machine showing a matching serial number, he said he'd take that information and go to bat for me and try to get them to make this right.
This is only marginally related, but I have an early Miller Digital Elite welding helmet in which the auto dark lens assembly died; a known issue with the early helmets, according to the welding forums.
It was out of warranty, but I had primarily used it during two 40 hour welding classes, so it had maybe 100 hours of use.
I contacted Miller and they sent a replacement lens assembly at no charge and that unit is still working well some ten years later.
I expect that Miller will take care of your issue as they are a stand up company, in my experience.

Mike
 

William Payne

Aluminum
Joined
May 29, 2016
Miller are great if you deal directly with them.

On the topic of weird welder failures. I brought a very old used ESAB mig years back. The seller showed it working however on gasless wire as thats all he had and how he ran it. I got it home and set it up for gas mig and first weld it blew up every single capacitor in the capacitor bank and fried the cable that connected to the bank within the machine.

I took the capacitor specs and went looking for replacements online and could find equivalents but they didn't mount the same way and would have requirement extensive modifications to mount them.

I contacted the manufacturer of the original capacitors in Germany and asked if they knew where to find some. By share luck they had 7 of them so I brought them all NOS and had them shipped from Germany to me in New Zealand.

I quite enjoyed that experience as even though it was very annoying it allowed me the experience of repairing it.
 

jccaclimber

Hot Rolled
Joined
Nov 22, 2015
Location
San Francisco
Hey, I called and spoke to a guy at Miller who deals with warranty issues.
<snip>
He said that in a perfect world, if a machine had sat unsold with the warranty clock ticking.. the dealer should inform the customer of this, and then would feel compelled to adjust the price downward to reflect the lack of warranty coverage.<snip>
Yep, I'll bet Miller would love to absolve all responsibility once it leaves their door too.
One of my side gigs used to be distributing a widget that had ~20% margin in a field that normally has 30% margin, but I put up with it because it was a great product and my customers occasionally wanted them. A couple times per year they would call us up and let us know we were allowed to discount their stuff by 15% (think Black Friday sale). Of course the wholesale price would only go down by 5%, so now it's a 10% margin, before the cost of actually getting them in from the wholesaler. At some point I ran the numbers and realized with repair issues I was barely breaking even. On the plus side, unlike Miller they did have great warranty support. I somewhat regularly got free replacement parts sent for things well out of warranty if they agreed it was an usual failure, or simply shouldn't have happened.
 

JoeE.

Titanium
Joined
Aug 31, 2006
Location
Kansas
Well, I got an email from the Miller rep. He says they will authorize the local repair shop to fix my machine. He also tells me that basically, it's just this one time... that as far as they are concerned, the warranty IS expired.
He tells me to have the repair shop get ahold of Miller, Inc., and that he has put a note in their system authorizing the repair.
 

DDoug

Diamond
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
NW Pa
Well, I got an email from the Miller rep. He says they will authorize the local repair shop to fix my machine. He also tells me that basically, it's just this one time... that as far as they are concerned, the warranty IS expired.
He tells me to have the repair shop get ahold of Miller, Inc., and that he has put a note in their system authorizing the repair.
Pretty damn pathetic company , what with you having to beg for a repair, and then get told "just this once".
 

JoeE.

Titanium
Joined
Aug 31, 2006
Location
Kansas
I'm glad they're doing this, no doubt. Otherwise, this thing was going to be a $1600 paperweight.
Now, I'll be leery of it failing again... I've read posts on other "welding" sites of these machines failing (pc boards) soon after being repaired, although those guys' machines were still under warranty, so they had positive outcomes.
I'm under the impression that these pc boards are the weak link in the system... fragile.... subject to transient voltage spikes, or something like that.

Reading on those other sites about failures... one guy described the exact same scenario as I experienced: The machine had been running flux core wire, and right after he changed it over to solid wire and shielding gas, the machine failed first thing.
The only thing it shows to change when swapping welding wire types is the electrode polarity. I didn't know I was supposed to do that, and only learned that after the machine failed.. I did swap the connections then, but it was too late. I don't know why the PC board would be affected after doing that, and I suspect my failure to swap polarity had nothing to do with the board failure.
 
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BT Fabrication

Stainless
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
could have just been a poor design on the board allowing current flow to jump a gap when on one mode and not another due to transistors being on or off. jump the wrong way and it fries things that shouldn't be. who knows, hard to say without seeing the design on the board.
 

ncjeeper

Cast Iron
Joined
Jan 20, 2015
Location
SW Virginia
Well that is some good news that Miller will at least fix it. Sucks that they are basically writing you off as a future customer.
 

Big B

Diamond
Joined
Jun 26, 2009
Location
Michigan, USA
This Miller welder story reminds me of our dishwasher story from this week.

Our Maytag dishwasher that is about 10 years old stopped spraying water. It would still fill and drain but wouldn't run the spray pump.

After doing some basic checks I figured it was either the pump or the control board and didn't know how to check them independently without taking it all apart and putting 120 volts to the motor if I could even figure out which wires it was so I called a repair service to have them diagnose the problem.

A youngish guy showed up and took a look at it. He said that it was likely the pump but that it could also be the board. I told him that I had that much figured out already and wanted to know which was the problem. He told me that he had no idea which one it was but that for around $550 for the motor plus labor he could replace the motor. I asked him "what if it isn't the motor" and he said if it isn't then it is the board and he would replace it for JUST the cost of the board which was over $400. I told him that for the price of the motor I was a long ways towards a new dishwasher and he agreed. He got paid $90 for telling me something that I already knew but at least I tried.

The main reason that I called the repair company is because several years ago our refrigerator stopped working and I couldn't figure out what the problem was so I called them and the guy opened the door and turned a screwdriver into a small plastic hole and it started right up. He said it was the defrost timer and they go bad all the time but you can manually activate it. He said that I sounded like a handy guy and if I wanted him to fix it he could stop by with the part which was around $90 plus labor or he could give me the part # and I could replace it myself. I ended up buying a new one from ebay for less than $20 and it took about 20 minutes to replace it.

Yesterday I ordered a brand new Whirlpool dishwasher for just under $800 with stainless steel drum. There probably won't be any new Maytag appliances in our home in the near future.
 

mikeylikesit

Plastic
Joined
Sep 1, 2022
if my math is correct. best case ,the original owner had one year of warranty. worst case ,it was already expired when he got it.
after reading this thread i checked warranty on all my stuff and its 3yr from the exact date of my purchase ,verified by warranty certificates i recieved. although it wont apply in my case ,im going to see if theres any fine print nonsense ,out of curiousity
 

dana gear

Hot Rolled
Joined
Feb 27, 2013
Location
Northern califorina, usa
I was going to stay out of this one, that said , Miller electric has always been beyond excellent to my business on warranty problems if they appear. Most now has a 3 year warrenty that begins at the time of purchase and as far as I am aware always has. Your Miller dealer has a lot of latatude with Miller electric in regards to out of warrenty problems. My operation has had a number of times that Miller has came through on out of warrenty equipment, not years later of corse, But if they believe it to be a fault of there design then yes.
 








 
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