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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyluckyman View Post
    The representative was unwilling to waive shipping costs. I hung up and ordered a bigger telescope from Opticsmart.com (free shipping). That was my one and only experience with Orion.
    Something similar here

    My previous post I say how I've been happy with their service, and while I've been happy for the most part, I do recall a recent experience that I didn't get what I was hoping for from their customer service.

    I wanted to order a crayford focuser upgrade and missed their sale by a couple of days. It was a really good sale, and I was hoping the service rep would give me the sale price anyway, but he didn't. I know that they are not at all required to give me the sale price, but it could have been really great of them.

  2. #22
    8HHaggis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingDharma View Post
    Can anyone who has dealt with Orion's customer service before comment on their experience? I'm curious because my first order with Orion arrived last night and included an XT10i and several accessories. The dob mount arrived completely scratched up (and chipped in some places), the teflon pads had been torn off of the base board, etc. They also forgot to ship one of the two extra dovetail mounts I paid for. ...share your experiences and tell me what Orion customer service has done for you!
    I started buying from them in 1975. For a while in the mid-80s I was invited to work there part time as a retail salesman, and I helped write some catalogue articles and test products. I have not had anything to do with them in that regard since around 1988 or 89 but I continue to be a paying retail customer...

    AND I AM APPALLED!

    You bought the scope DIRECTLY from Orion in Watsonville, CA.?

    And it arrived in THAT condition?

    I have never, ever, ever had such an experience with them; and I do not know any amateur astronomers around here in the silicon valley who had similar problems.

    Frankly, and I absolutely hate to say this to you; but I just cannot accept this story as *confirmed exact truth* based only on a single post by somebody with a web moniker. I mean absolutely no personal animosity or disrespect. But, think: it's very easy for somebody to sign up for a forum -- and say whatever he might want to say.

    I mentioned my actual background in numerous posts I've made recently, and it includes working for four telescope dealers in the decade from 1980 to about 90; and I can say that not one of THOSE dealers, which includes Orion in its original corporate ownership, would have allowed that to happen.

    Telescopes are a niche hobbyist product, sold to people who are known to be demanding customers. I can't think of many things that are more challenging for the dealer, a product that is more likely to be found fault with, than a telescope!

    So any sensible telescope company that stays around and continues doing profitable business learns IMMEDIATELY that customer can't be jerked around, given shameless and unbelievable excuses, and pretty much treated the way anybody might if they just stumble into a grocery store in a mental fog, looking for a roll of toilet paper...

    So, in other words, the customer base ranges from beginners who need EVERY consideration and assistance, careful instruction, and up front help, to long time experts who know MORE than the salesman; have MORE experience with scopes and observing and imaging; and who won't suffer fools gladly.

    NOBODY in this entire range, one end to the other, deserves to get a messed up base with sheared-off bearings and other damage, or any kind of a phone run-around.

    SO...I find this to be a sort of unbelievable *anomaly*...one of the fellows who does phone support for Orion is a personal friend of mine. He owns scopes worth $10-15 thousand dollars apiece; and he's the former president of the San Jose Astronomical Association. He knows more than just about anybody I know. He is courteous, patient, perfectly informed, respectful, and careful...a gentleman who can impeccably and precisely explain problems and products and uses.

    You see...I need a little more, um, *convincing*. No disrespect, really!

    Steve W/8HHaggis

  3. #23
    8HHaggis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 8HHaggis View Post
    You see...I need a little more, um, *convincing*. No disrespect, really!
    Steve W/8HHaggis
    Let me backtrack a bit here. I know that strange things happen all the time--if anomalies did not happen the word would never have had to be invented.

    So, on the face of it, I think what you describe is possible--a scope base would have been repacked in bad shape; a product ordered somehow slipped out of the database; and a strange "moonrock" or whatever, somehow got into your carton; AND it's also within the realm of scientific possibility that a clueless person happened to be on duty and took your call.

    The only reason I expressed some skepticism is that I can't put my finger on another person *I know* who has had experiences like this with Orion.

    I believe that they've gone thru two owners since I worked for a while for founder Tim Gieseler. But it seems to have only broadened and strengthened their marketing. Back in the day, I was told "not to hype things either as a salesman, or in writing the articles"--don't make stuff up, use totally empty phrases, say that an inexpensive gadget is the same as the world's costliest scopes or accessories...just BE REALISTIC. For, it was quickly learned that this dispels customer false-expectations.

    So the catalogue had articles pointing out that dime store 50 mm scopes promising "700 power" were, really, useless and impractical.

    That was true of just about all the marketing.

    And, when customers had troubles, it was the policy to fix them to guarantee THE NEXT ORDER.

    I worked for another big and well known company that, on the other hand, did not have much of a customer service setup of any efficiency. A friend sent back a very complex, expensive photo accessory, and THEY LOST IT. He was never even given full compensation. I remember that when this particular company hired me, he said, "Boy, is it about time! I'm sure you won't let that happen."

    Unfortunately I then found out WHY things like that happened; and I can say that no matter what you might think of "Funscopes", and such: Orion did not operate that casual, sloppy, way.

    I've bought lots of products from the Cupertino store and often came in on the Thursdays when the shipments arrived, just to ogle the new stuff. I collaborated on a little photographic investigation project with the manager (working on image processing of a rather obscure planetary nebula) and have been to the home of their photographic/imaging expert--from whom I even bought an old Meade mount. Nice guy, very skilled and dedicated. I know one of the major customer service reps, whom I described in my last post. Every time I do observing, I use my Orion eyepieces, filters, accessories...and probably one of my scopes that came from their retail store. Problems? Well, the only ones were related to complex esoterica involving the interfacing of software drivers--and this was with respect to a Celestron made scope I bought from Orion, NOT an Orion scope. And, I solved the problem myself, eventually; but both Celestron and Orion did what they could to assist me--above and beyond the call of absolute duty.

    Now, how could the nylon pads be sheared off? I can understand how a small accessory order could accidentally get left out of a shipment--humans press buttons on keyboards. Humans fill orders from stock shelves.

    I can even understand how, say, a TRAINEE did not live up to the best practices of the expert employees; could this have been the problem with your phone snafus?

    So, lest I seem to be coming down in a grouchy manner: really, I'm not. It's just that this runs OPPOSITE every such experience *I* have had or know about personally.

    I know, also, that *I* am not the 'arbiter or rulemaker' of all things and MY experiences do not cover everything that happens, anywhere, any time, to anybody.

    Steve W/8HHaggis

  4. #24
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    I see all the posts on this thread are from guys in the USA. Can I just put in a word about Orion's agents in the UK, SCS Astro, of Wellington in Somerset. When I ordered my XT10i last year, it arrived with major damage to the tube. They replaced it within seven days without a question being asked, and the guy at the company told me he would check the new tube before despatch. It arrived in perfect condition.
    I'll certainly be using them again in the future.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: How is Orion's Customer Service Quality?

    I have to say I have had excellent customer support from Orion on several minor issues. Additionally, their sales people are very knowledgeable concerning product capabilities, and will not necessarily recommend the most expensive alternative. At the same time, I must mention that my basic focuser died after 2 years. Upon the local opinions at my club, I'm trying Moonlite and Howie Glatter to supply my new focuser and collimator, and I'm very happy with both. The company heads took my order, and they were very helpful. There's a yin yang thing here.

  6. #26
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    Default Re: How is Orion's Customer Service Quality?

    I just bought a Orion XT10g from one of Orion's Authorized Dealers in Southern California (Great Deal), since they had none in stock, it had to be shipped from Orion to their store. I took delivery at the store and the boxes looked like they came right from the factory- not a mark. When I got home I opened the boxes and checked the mirrors/focuser/wooden stand parts and all was perfect. Since this was a Christmas present from my family, I promised them I would not assemble/use until Xmas. So when the great day arrived I opened everything and started assembly. When it was all done, I noticed the OTA had two very small (1/2 inch) creases/dents, no paint was missing in the area and you cant really see them- they do not affect any of the operation of the telescope. Two small "beauty" marks, no worries. I then noticed that the eyepiece rack, had a very heavy coating/paint finish and none of EPs would fit. I contacted Orion- They wanted a copy of the sales receipt and I also sent them pictures. 5 Days later I got a new Eyepiece rack, I emailed them about sending the old one back (it stated on the shipping paper work to return the defective piece ), They replied to me to keep the old one, no return needed. I do believe they have great service and would buy from them again, I have been a customer of their products for 3 years now.
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  7. #27
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    Default Re: How is Orion's Customer Service Quality?

    I'm glad I found this post because I'm about to order my first telescope and wanted to be sure I got it from a great place, and Orion sounds like it is from most of the stuff I have read

  8. #28
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    Default Re: How is Orion's Customer Service Quality?

    First, necro-posting is something we are to avoid. I'd recommend not doing it again as it can get you banned.

    The forum has had less than great experiences with Orion and is explicitly not recommended by this forum. I've also been reading/hearing increasing reports that their service is deteriorating. I've always been treated very well by them and under the right circumstances I'll use them again - but I'm more confident about getting things fixed because I'm within reasonable driving range of their store.
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  9. #29
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    Default Re: How is Orion's Customer Service Quality?

    Didn't realize it was a big deal since this thread started in '10 and has posts in '13? Also I saw you give good remarks on this exact thread about Orion being very good for everything you've gotten from them so far, have you had a bad experience since with their products?

  10. #30
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    Default Re: How is Orion's Customer Service Quality?

    Thread closed/locked... please refer to the Forum policy on revival of dormant posts here:

    Astronomy Forum Rules and Terms of Service - Part One, The Legal Stuff

    Necro-Posting, and why we discourage it...
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