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  1. #1
    TheFlyingDharma's Avatar
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    Default How is Orion's Customer Service Quality?



    Can anyone who has dealt with Orion's customer service before comment on their experience? Why did you contact them and how well did they resolve the issue? Were they polite?

    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.

    Oh, and they sent me a rock... I have no reason to believe said rock is a meteorite included as a consolation prize, so naturally I'm a little upset and confused with the whole situation.

    I sent them an e-mail, but with the weekend and memorial day in queue I expect the soonest I'll hear back will be Tuesday. In the meantime, share your experiences and tell me what Orion customer service has done for you!

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    Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ, Orion Skyquest XT10i

  2. #2
    Dublin sky watch's Avatar
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    I have not bought from them YET, but I will be interested to hear what members have to say. Rather mysterious, I must say about the rock. Never heard of that before.
    Sorry to hear your story as well Dharma..
    Declan.
    Celestron 8"Edge HD SCT.

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    ED80mm refractor.
    Explore Scientific - 127mm f/7.5 Air-Spaced Triplet ED.
    Lunt - 60mm H-alpha Solar-Telescope with Double Stacked 50 Etalon system, B600 blocking filter and 2 " Crayford Focuser
    orion star shoot solitaire autoguider.
    Canon 5D Mark II
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    Two men sat behind prison bars,One saw mud, the other saw stars. It's not where you are, it's what you see!!!

  3. #3
    rv9aguy's Avatar
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    Default

    My experience has been very good so far. All components of my XT10 arrived in excellent condition and all options arrived as ordered. A second order for a finder scope also arrived in perfect condition.

    Regarding their customer service - when I placed the first order, I had incorrectly entered my CC expiration date (strangely their shopping cart software didn't reject - which means they aren't live validating against the issuer). A couple of days later I checked my credit card statement online, and noticed no charge. After realizing my error, I updated my CC info on Orion's telescope.com site, and immediately popped off an email to them explaining the issue. Only 5 hours later they responded, thanking me for letting them know and informing me the scope had just shipped.

    Please keep us informed, FlyingDharma - I'd like to know how they resolve (and explain) this issue.
    Kevin

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    XT10 Classic (Orion 9x50 RACI and Telrad finders)
    Eyepieces: 12.3mm Orion Epic ED-2, 32mm Orion HighLight Plossl, 8-24mm Baader Hyperion Clickstop Zoom (On Backorder)

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    : 2x Orion Shorty-Plus
    Binos: Bushnell 7x50


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  5. #4
    blaise's Avatar
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    I purchased an ST80 from them for a guide scope based on the suggestions from this forum. I found their customer service to be honest and more than willing to go the extra mile to help me complete my astrophotography rig using parts from other manuacturers, not just them. They spent a considerable amount of time on the phone with me on more than one occasion.

    I intened on purchasing a imaging newt. Unfortunately, their version lacks a couple of features that I understand are good upgrades. If they sold the exact product that I want, I would give them my business again and again. Outstanding in my opinion.
    AT6RC, AT72ED, Orion ST80 (guide scope), Celestron 8, SW254N, Canon 450D, Meade DSI (guide cam), Celestron CGEM DX

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  7. #5
    Bob327's Avatar
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    Orion Customer service is renown... at worst most of us would rate them very very good...and some of us would rate them extremely good... especially when compared to Meade or Celestron

    I do not expect you to have any trouble at all...

    Bob G
    CPC1100 housed in a slotted domed observatory (Exploradome) 4 and 5 inch refractors for use from the lawn, a 8" Sct (NS 8i) for star parties...
    I Hate the winter so I use heated Motorcycle clothing to stay warm while observing in winter
    Retired, also have 2 other hobbies
    1. tinker with older Corvettes (6 in garage)
    2. make a heck of a lot of sawdust in my wood shop.

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  9. #6
    jrkirkham's Avatar
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    I've used them a number of times and always had good customer service. In fact, I sometimes lean toward Orion, rather than other products, just because I feel comfortable with their customer service.
    Rob
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    Current Projects: nothing organized, just preparing for retirement in a few years
    Main Scopes: Orion XT10, Dob / ES ED80T / Orion 90mm Mak-Cass / 50 mm Galileoscope refractor / Celestron 8" SCT / Orion Sirius Mount / Various cameras and lenses

  10. #7
    TheFlyingDharma's Avatar
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    Default

    For those of you with positive experiences, did you contact them via phone or e-mail? So far I'm very unimpressed with the speed and quality of their e-mail support.

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    Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ, Orion Skyquest XT10i

  11. #8
    AJinUT's Avatar
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    My experience is that they get back with 24 hours in business hours but I haven't received the support I wanted. On the phone I have had no issue and to be honest I prefer the phone where I can get a live person and my issue has always been resolved right then and there. First rate. Call them though and talk to a person and you'll get an email follow up.

  12. #9
    TheFlyingDharma's Avatar
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    Default

    So here's what happened:

    I contacted Orion customer support on Saturday morning via e-mail and didn't hear back until the following Wednesday. To be fair, I didn't expect a response over the weekend and Monday was a holiday. After not hearing anything on Tuesday however, I sent a followup e-mail with some pictures of the damaged pieces since I'd forgotten to include them in the original e-mail.

    The following day I got a response saying that the replacement base parts were on their way. Awesome, but what about the missing dovetail mount? I replied and asked.

    The following day I got another response telling me I'd only ordered one dovetail, that another was installed on the scope already, and did I really want two? At this point I was a little confused because the build-a-scope directions don't say anywhere that you have to actually purchase the dovetail mount that they use to mount your finder (which is basically what he had suggested.) I replied with a copy of my invoice showing that I'd definitely paid for two additional dovetails and explained that they were intended for the GLP bracket and the MRF which were also on the invoice. Time to wait another day.

    The next day he thanked me for the "additional information," which is somewhat disconcerting. It seems customer service has access to different order records and somehow there was a quantity discrepancy on mine? In any event, he placed an order for a new dovetail, which I received the invoice for later. Unlike the replacement base parts, it looked like I was charged for this one! This confused and upset me even more. If you order a build-a-scope with the required focuser, finder and eyepiece, do they ship it with the finder detached from the OTA? Do you really have to order an additional mount for that? What's next, hidden fees for each individual screw?

    The next day I got another reply assuring me that I would not actually be charged for the replacement dovetail, but that my paperwork might not reflect that since it was added as a note to accounting. What a relief.

    In the end everything was resolved, but it took an entire week of correspondence and two additional UPS shipments to solve something that shouldn't have been wrong in the first place. I didn't get any cool perks to make up for the hassle, and the mystery rock and grease-stained OTA case remain unexplained. All in all, not a negative experience but not outstanding either. I imagine dealing with them over the phone rather than via e-mail would have saved a lot of time and frustration.

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    Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ, Orion Skyquest XT10i

  13. #10
    Solar Ken's Avatar
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    Default

    In these customer service situations it's always best to call and talk with someone, rather than email. It's also much quicker. I've purchased lots of items from Orion and only had occasion to call back for customer service a couple of times. Each time customer service was extremely friendly and helpful and resolved my problem immediately.

    Last summer I purchased the XX12i Dob. After a couple of uses, a "u" shaped washer designed to keep the knobs the truss poles captive fell off and was lost. I called and they shipped a couple of new ones. I had them in two days. No charge.

    A couple of months later after several more outings with the Dob, the sticker "decals" on the sides of the base began peeling up and would not stick back down. Not a major issue, simply a minor cosmetic issue. I called and they said replacement stickers are not available, but they would be willing to send two new base side panels (with stickers installed as they were on the original base), and they would pay shipping!

    I didn't really want to disassemble my base to replace the side panels to get new stickers, so I politely declined and said it wasn't "that big of a deal". I was amazed though they would offer to send new base panels and pay shipping. That's what I call customer service!

    Prior to buying the Dob last summer I wanted to be sure of the exact dimensions of the base to know it would fit through my motorhome door for transport. I called and the rep put me on hold for only a few minutes while he actually took measurements for me.

    The same thing happened when I wanted to by a soft travel case for a tripod. The rep was happy to take actual inside measurements of the case for me.

    Absolutely stellar customer service in my opinion.

    Ken
    Daytime (solar): Lunt LS60THa/B600C
    Nighttime: Stellarvue SV102ED 4" /
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