Cutera Lasers: The old bull & the young bull

twobulls.jpgSome of Cutera's customers seem less than thrilled with the level of service and hospitality they're receiveing:

From the thread on Is any Cutera technology worth buying? 

"What a nightmare! The folks at Cutera have seemingly gone mad. I imagine that business is slow for them lately, and it shows. I agree with the person who said service contracts must be how they're cashing in these days. I am stunned at how virtually impossible it seems to avoid the exorbitant fees Cutera is asking for what I have experienced as substandard service. I have had too many "surprises" when it comes to their seemingly ever-changing service arrangements and hidden costs (I never know I'd be paying another $6800 for a "replacement" Prowave a little over 1 yr after I spent $25K to "buy" it!). Service contract information was never properly explained to me and I feel like I am being extorted for cash. My only options are to spend $16,000 (yes, $16,000!) for a 1-year service warranty (of course this does not cover Titan when it runs out of shots), or spend $6800 for a new Prowave (still paying off the $25K lease!)! I have spoken to more docs lately who deal with Cutera and it seems we are all told different things or left with different impressions about the longevity of the handpeices, service warranties, handpeice replacement and contracts. I get the feeling that whatever needs to be conveyed to make the sale is what is conveyed! Then once you buy, you are stuck! And of course they know they have a captive audience of customers who rely on the technology and have no other means of servicing the equipment. And of course all of this is as clear as mud when you are first being wheeled and dealed. It seems very short-sighted of Cutera to anger and frustrate their current client base and think they'll continue to get new business.

I admit, I enjoy the safety and efficacy of the 1064, Titan and Prowave, especially in the darker population we serve, but I am no longer convinced it's worth it. I would not purchase another item from Cutera, not because of the technology but because of the inferior service and what I consider to be unfair business practices. I feel misled and misinformed, which is very unsettling given that the business relies upon this technology!
Any attorneys out there??" - SkinHealthMD

And Dermadoc's not far behind:

"SkinHealth MD sounds like one of the Dermacare franchisees that got roped into a 'required' equipment package with Cutera. We were told they had the premier technology for all the applications necessary for a successful clinic. I'm glad you are pleased with the Titan, but I think you are in the minority there. I don't have any issues with the ProWave, LP560 or 1064Yag, but then again, we didn't have nearly as much information available for comparisons as there is now. If we did, I probably would have made other equipment choices also. I am definitely with you in that we won't be buying any more Cutera equipment." - Dermadoc

It looks from the comments that Cutera's lasers aren't the problem (although the Titan and Pearl don't fare well) it's the strong-arm tactics around support and after purchase services that are so irritating.

Cutera's rapidly developed a customer service problem for themselves. In the old days that wasn't something to be feared since the plastic surgeons and dermatologists weren't sharing much information about what they used. Certainly that legacy of keep everything hush-hush is alive and well locally, but these days a single bad experience can poison the entire well. Cutera's management (and Palomars) would do well to understand this.

It's like the story from the move Colors that Robert Duval says to Shawn Penn:

There's two bulls up on the hill looking down at a bunch of cows. The young bull says to the old bull, "Hey Dad, lets run down this hill and &%*# that cow!" The old bull turns to the young bull and says, "Son, lets walk down the hill, and (&%)# them all."

Now perhaps this is harsh, but Cutera seems to be that young bull.

It shouldn't be the goal to sell you a laser, it should be the goal to sell you a dozen lasers.