We purchased our medium sizes freeze dryer about 3 years ago. I'd like to split this review into 2 parts; 1. The product and 2. The service.
1. The product works, we love using the dryer and how easy it is to use. That said, there are a few areas that could improve. For the cost, there are a few very inexpensive parts that seem to be common failure points. From cable connections to temp switch to circuit relays. Some of these are easy to troubleshoot, but why are they failing. Another issue is temperature around the dryer. Ours reports that the room temp is high, so the batch will take longer. Ours is in the garage where the temp is never over 68F. So we run fans near the dryer to help circulate air. Also, the dryer starting failing about 3 months after the first year of service. It took over a year to finally get to the correct part that was failing.
2. Service, the service from Harvest Right isn't bad, bad there are areas that could improve. There are 2 levels of service. One positive of their service is they are quick to respond and their service is US based. When you first call for service, you start with Level 1 call support. Level 1 follows a standard call process asking questions that will hopefully get to the issue. Note that they will ask if your software is up to date, so update first, before calling. It seemed to me that Level 1 support has no basic training on the dryer. And once they get to a point that exceeds the question process they need to engage Level 2 support. Level 2 support has a fee of $40 to get their help. Level support has had basic training of the dryer, but these are not technical engineers, they are just following a more in-depth troubleshooting procedure. My option is that this works 80% of the time.
Our issue required level 1&2 support and it went like this: 1st call Level 1: ended with us ordering a new circuit board $90. Installed the board, worked for about 2 months. The board was not the issue. 2nd call Level 1: Update to the latest software, worked for about 1 month. In between the calls to support, we were still having issues, but I tried to figure out the issues on my own. If I reset the cable in the back of the drying tray, I could get another batch completed. Then it would fail again. I found a temp switch on the back of the drying tray and if I reset the switch, I could get another batch done, then it would fail. Back to calling support. 3rd call to level 1 & 2 support: during this call, we exceeded Level 1 support and I paid for Level 2. Once with Level 2 we finally figured out that the issue was the temp switch on the back of the drying tray ($2.50). So I asked how we can fix this issue, they said send in the drying tray... I asked if they could just send me the part, I'm in IT (30 years) and I know I could replace the part very easily. That was granted by Level 2 management. Great, send me the part... I paid for the part and it shipped... A box came 5 days later and is was a cable for the back of the drying tray, even thought the packing slip said it was a temp switch. Sent an email to my support person, then got a call asking how the part was working. I let them know again that the wrong part was shipped. Level 2 said I will get the right part out right away. Sure enough, the part was shipped next day. 5 days later a package came, but the package was a soft envelope and the part had been torn from the package, no part. Sent another email to Level 2 person and then I got a call the next day asking how the part was working... I said there was no part in the package and had to send pictures of the package as proof. Level 2 said I'll have it sent again asap. And the part was shipped the next day. This time the part was in the package and I was able to install the part in about 30 minutes.
The dryer is working again, but still tells us that the room temp is high and we continue to run fans during batch processing.
In the end, we have a working device.