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Thread: My pitiful attempt to buy a telescope...

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    Lowjiber's Avatar
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    Default My pitiful attempt to buy a telescope...



    I need another scope like a hog needs a songbook. However, early last week I began my research of one that had caught my attention as a possible instrument to fill a void in my refractor collection… an SW Pro 100mm ED. After talking with two other owners, I was convinced and set about to have one delivered to Las Vegas.

    Now, I recognize that our hobby is a cut-throat, low-margin business for the retailers who lovingly deliver our equipment. Therefore, I do my absolute best to buy everything from a couple of vendors with whom I’ve dealt for several years. Both of their websites revealed that the scope was currently out-of-stock, and a quick phone call to each revealed that they had no definitive idea when the replacement stock would arrive… two weeks to maybe a month was the best guess either could render.

    My third choice was a large vendor that I’ve frequented occasionally, but never for something as big as a scope. In keeping with the rules, I won’t reveal the name of the vendor, but it’s one that most experienced astronomers will readily recognize… We’ll call them Vendor X.

    Vendor X’s website showed the scope in-stock, and I immediately fired off a phone call to place an order. (I never order a telescope using the website.) My conversation revealed that they don’t actually have them on-hand, but have them drop-shipped from the Celestron warehouse in California… Celestron handles Sky Watcher’s business in the US. Since Vegas is in close proximity to California, VX said, “You’ll have it in a couple of days.” Perfect. Done deal.

    So, five days passes, and I’ve had no emails, zip, nadda regarding the shipment, or even receipt of my order, from anyone. On Tuesday following the holiday, I call VX with the obvious question, “Where the fruit is my telescope?’ Apologetically, VX tells me that he’ll look into the matter and get back with me.

    Well, Wednesday rolls around and I find an email from VX that says the following (in so many words), “Celestron made all of the drop-shipments yesterday, but yours didn’t make the cut. The next drop-shipments will be in seven-to-ten days.” Make the cut? Seven-to-ten days? You’ve got almost $800 of my money, and I didn’t “make the cut”???? I’m not trying out for the seventh-grade basketball team! You’re fired! Cancel the order immediately!!!

    After letting my blood pressure get somewhere close to normal, I did a Google search for the scope. Low and behold--- Good old Amazon had six of the devils sitting in their warehouse just waiting for me to push the button. One-Click ordering via Prime puts it on my doorstep Friday.

    That should be the end of the story, but wait… there’s more.

    After placing the Amazon order, I retired to the sanity and safety of the poker room at Caesar’s for my morning poker game. I had just put my chips on the table and ordered a coffee from the girl when my phone rang. (Phones aren’t allowed at the poker table, and if the call had been two minutes later mine would have been off.) I wouldn’t have answered, but saw the number was from the guy who now has me playing the triangle in the seventh-grade band… Vendor X.

    VX was soooooo happy! He proudly announced that he had made a phone call to Celestron and my scope was on the loading dock for shipment TODAY to be delivered on Saturday. (In case you lost count, that’s one day after my Amazon order will be sitting on the mount in my backyard.)

    Needless to say, I gave VX yet another piece of my mind and told him that I’d better see the money returned to my account by close-of-business today. Furthermore, if Celestron somehow fails to recall the order that I cancelled, I’ll have two of ‘em sitting here on Saturday night. Kiss my RACI!

    It is just amazing to me how a company that started out selling books can now deliver specialty items at the same price, with free shipping, that astronomical vendors cannot. You can bet I’ll never spend another dime with Vendor X, nor will I ever recommend them to anyone else.
    John (Urban Astronomer) Apertura AD10 Dob; ES AR152 on Twilight II; XLT 150 Dob; XLT 120EQ; Lunt Solar 60 PT/B1200; ES AR102; SW Pro 100ED; 2 SW Pro 80ED's; 90mm Eq; WO Z-61; SW 90mm Virtuso Mak; 2 Orion ST-80's; Quark-C; Cams: ASI174MM & ASI174MM-cooled

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    Default Re: My pitiful attempt to buy a telescope...

    Congratulations on the new scope though sad that you had to go through all of that to get one!
    I assume this is the f/9 version? If so a very nice scope. Enjoy!
    Lowjiber likes this.
    Refractors: Antares 105 f/15, Bresser 102 f/13.2, Celestron 102 f/6.5, 2-150 f/8, Stellarvue 80 f/6.9, TS 102 f/11, Vixen 115 f/7.7
    Mounts: Manfrotto 055PRO, Celestron SLT, Celestron CG-5/ Argo Navis, Vixen SXP Binoculars: Celestron Eyepieces: A-Z

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    The weakest link in the optical chain is the large nut located directly behind the eyepiece/ camera. - Gabrielle
    Ya gotta keep this Apo/Achro thing in some balance of perspective. Apos are awesome, but long focus Achros aren't that far behind them - Siriusandthepup (CN)

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    Lowjiber (10-11-2017)

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    Default Re: My pitiful attempt to buy a telescope...

    Yup! f/9
    Gabby76 likes this.
    John (Urban Astronomer) Apertura AD10 Dob; ES AR152 on Twilight II; XLT 150 Dob; XLT 120EQ; Lunt Solar 60 PT/B1200; ES AR102; SW Pro 100ED; 2 SW Pro 80ED's; 90mm Eq; WO Z-61; SW 90mm Virtuso Mak; 2 Orion ST-80's; Quark-C; Cams: ASI174MM & ASI174MM-cooled

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    Default Re: My pitiful attempt to buy a telescope...

    Sounds more like a pitiful attempt at customer service on the part of Vendor X. You have nearly a grand tied up with them and the best they could come up with was you did make the cut...pitiful!
    Congrats on pulling the trigger (or pressing the buy now button) on a new scope though. Looking forward to your first light report and to hear if the original order ends up showing up.
    Lowjiber likes this.
    Craig
    Telescopes: Zhumell Z12, Orion Skyquest XT8 Classic, Celestron Omni XLT AZ 102
    Eyepieces: Explore Scientific 82˚18mm, 11mm, 8.8mm, 6.7mm, 70˚ 25mm, Kokusai Kohki 9mm HD-OR, Orion Plossl 25mm, Agena EWA 9mm, Zhumell 30mm
    Filters: 2" Orion Ultrablock
    Binoculars: Oberwerk 15x70


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    Default Re: My pitiful attempt to buy a telescope...

    Congrats on the new scope! I almost bought it from Amazon last year, but ES 102mm CF triplet went on sale, so I picked that one instead.

    I try to support specialized Astro shops, but Amazon makes it so darn easy. And ability to buy, try for 30 days and return for the full purchase price (if needed) no questions asked is a big plus.

    Also, thanks for heads up, I will not buy anything from Vendor X.
    Lowjiber likes this.
    Scopes: Celestron: 8" SCT F10, Omni 150R Achro F5, Onyx 80ED F6.3; ES: 127mm CF F7.5 APO. Mounts: ES Twilight I, Bresser EXOS2, SW SkyTee2, UA MicroStar. Binos: Orion 10x50, Celestron 8x42. EPs: TeleVue: Plossl set & barlows; ES: 82o & 68o; Baader: BCO & Aspheric sets; EO: HD Orthos; Meade: UWAs & Plossl set; Gary Russell: 56mm Plossl; Celestron: X-Cel LX set, Luminos; GSO SV. Filters: Astronomik: UHC; Lumicon: OIII, H-beta, DeepSky; Baader: UHC-S, M&SG, CB; Orion: UltraBlock, SG. DSO tally: 913 (H400-1: 400, H400-2: 139, H300-3: 26; M110: 110, S110: 64). Doubles: 502, Comets: 5, Asteroids: 16
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    Default Re: My pitiful attempt to buy a telescope...

    I guess Amazon was a cut above....
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    Scopes: Orion 130mm APO Triplet, Orion 8" f4 astrograph, 10" RC Mount: Celestron CGX-L Guiding: Orion 60mm f4 scope, Starlight Loadstar, PHD2 software - Cams: Planetary: ASI120mc, DSO:Atik 383L+, SGPsoftware Processing : Regisax, Deep Sky Stacker, Star Tools, Pixinsight Assistant: One very large cat
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    Default Re: My pitiful attempt to buy a telescope...

    Jeff Bezos has his hands in all of the pots. And they routinely clock anybody whom they are competing with right on the noggin. Good for you John!
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    Michael
    Obsession 18" f/4.2, Zhumell Z10 f/4.9, Celestron Skymaster 15x70's , Bushnell 10x50's
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    Default Re: My pitiful attempt to buy a telescope...

    Well, John that sounds like a fun scope. I am glad you made it through the acquisition with your sanity intact. I look forward to your first light post.
    And as my mother used to say..."cool dude" !
    j.gardavsky and Lowjiber like this.
    MARKES 80 APO f6, SW PRO100Ed f9, ES 127 FCD100 f7.5. 127 Mak f12, ST80, BUSH60 f15. TV, PENTAX, KK, GSO, LEITZ, ES...ASSORTED 5 TO 40MM, PERIPLAN 10X GF, 12.5X GF. Leica HC 10X /25.OBERWERK 25X100, FARPOINT P -MOUNT, PENTAX 8X43, SWAROVSKI 10X30>)))))*>

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    Default Re: My pitiful attempt to buy a telescope...

    I was about to comment that NO attempt to buy a scope is pitiful.
    However, in your case...
    Want something truly pitiful? -Reading horoscopes.....
    Lowjiber likes this.

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    CR 6 150 mm f8 refractor . AVX mount. 80mm guide scope with Nexguide. Canon EOS rebel 3 Ti DSLR. Canon Rebel XS DIY modified. I- Optron skytracker. Sky Watcher 8 inch collapsible Dob. 30 mm, 25 mm ,20 mm, 15 mm, 10 mm ,8.8 mm EPS plus plus plus. Cometron 12 x 70 binos plus a couple of 6X42 birders. Sky Watcher PRO ED 80 mm. UHC/LPR, OIII, UV/IR cut filters . Flip mirror. 5 mW green Laser pointer. Telrad donated to Rick18704-Lots of hope. Lousy skies.

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    Default Re: My pitiful attempt to buy a telescope...

    Hi John,

    It's interesting, I had a similar incident with a very southern California vendor, from whom I order routinely and trust implicitly. My 6" RC was supposed to ship, but hey, somehow it missed the cut and didn't make it out when they stated it would. They used this line on me twice before the scope finally arrived. I wonder if that is the new line for the "blame the delay" game. The scope eventually showed up and I got my exorbitant shipping charges refunded.

    Glad your situation was less convoluted than mine. Remember, first light soonest!

    Cheers,
    JT
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    I never met a scope I didn't want to keep.
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