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Orion's parts policy

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#26 Charlie Hein

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 10:25 PM

Wow, that is pretty surprising. Their poor customer support combined with their extra-hefty shipping charges is making for an equally poor company reputation.


I don't believe that you'll find much support for that statement. Their customer service is generally considered to be among the best in the trade.


...although I wasn't able to get parts for my 5 year old mount (even though they were more than willing to fix it if I sent it back to them), I will readily attest to the fact that Orion has often gone well out of their way to make certain that they deliver a good and working product to their customers at the time of purchase. In my opinion they are second to none at this.

#27 GShaffer

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 11:18 PM

While you are correct to a degree I would say somone who needs a part for one of their products that bought it used would argue that they are a customer too....and telling them no, you cant buy it from us just might make them think otherwise about Orions customer service :)

Wow, that is pretty surprising. Their poor customer support combined with their extra-hefty shipping charges is making for an equally poor company reputation.


I don't believe that you'll find much support for that statement. Their customer service is generally considered to be among the best in the trade. Some folks do complain about their shipping charges.



#28 jrcrilly

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 06:15 AM

I would say somone who needs a part for one of their products that bought it used would argue that they are a customer too....and telling them no, you cant buy it from us just might make them think otherwise about Orions customer service :)


Sure; not everyone is happy with their service. I was responding to a post which maintained that they were acquiring a bad reputation for customer service. My point is that a few unhappy customers isn't sufficient to overturn their excellent reputation.

#29 Patrick

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 07:13 AM

It's really not fair to compare Orion with smaller companies like Shoe String Astronomy. Any time you can call a company and speak to the owner means it's a lot smaller. Larger companies have to work on a different economic scale then smaller ones and that's just the way it is. You're just not going to get the same personal treatment as you will from a smaller company.

Having said that, Orion has been an innovator in getting great quality astronomical products into the market place that people can afford. Their business model including their customer service ethics has made that possible. Many of the smaller retailers selling astro products sell Orion name brand products as well, but in many cases I would rather buy from Orion than a smaller outfit because quite frequently the terms of the sale, return policy, and general customer service is NOT as good as Orions.

On more than one occasion I've returned items to Orion past the 30 day return period without any difficulty.

Regarding the question at hand, stocking inventory for every part ever sold has got to be expensive. Orion has made a business decision not to sell replacement parts for equipment out of warranty based on the economics of it. If that helps them be a successful business and continue to offer the equipment and service they do at the prices they do, then I don't have a problem with it. Yes, it might be frustrating to buy something used and get burned, but that's always the risk of buying used or being out of the warranty period, and it's the primary reason used prices are always significantly less than new prices.

Patrick

#30 DavidNealMinnick

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 04:10 PM

Regarding the question at hand, stocking inventory for every part ever sold has got to be expensive. Orion has made a business decision not to sell replacement parts for equipment out of warranty based on the economics of it.


No one here asked them to stock every part.

If Orion refuses even special orders, paid in advance, for parts to products they currently inventory (as they did with me) simply because they could not attach your name to that product in their customer database, then one needs to think carefully about supporting THEM.

#31 Patrick

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 04:57 PM

If Orion refuses even special orders, paid in advance, for parts to products they currently inventory (as they did with me) simply because they could not attach your name to that product in their customer database, then one needs to think carefully about supporting THEM.



Perhaps it would be better 'customer service' if they stocked parts for everything they sold, but it may not be economically feasible to maintain that inventory and have it just sitting there waiting for someone to call up and buy it...or not. It might sit there and never be sold, ever, and so they would be left with a bunch of product they can't move.

As John C. pointed out, they do not manufacture anything. They buy mostly Chinese stuff and figure a certain percentage of the stuff will require repairs. I would guess that equipment coming through the supply chain may take many weeks or months to actually get from the plant to their facility. Would you want to be the person who just purchased an expensive piece of gear and have it sitting in a repair facility for weeks and weeks because they had sold out all their repair parts? Or do you want them to raise prices for everyone on everything so that they can maintain an expensive parts inventory?

They are obligated to repair or replace stuff that's under warranty, and from all accounts are willing to service equipment that's sent in for repair at a price. That's good enough for me. I prefer lower prices.

Patrick

#32 Old Dinosaur

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 04:59 PM

Why is it that in just about any forum here, if a comment is made that somehow is determined to be made against a vendor, some mod is going to jump on it as "vendor bashing".

But, those evil, mean, and bad and nasty people at Orion can get hammered for days. Last time it was shipping costs, now stocking or supplying parts, what's next?, the number of pages in their catalog?

Gets a little old.

#33 rmollise

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 05:29 PM

Regarding the question at hand, stocking inventory for every part ever sold has got to be expensive. Orion has made a business decision not to sell replacement parts for equipment out of warranty based on the economics of it. If that helps them be a successful business and continue to offer the equipment and service they do at the prices they do, then I don't have a problem with it. Yes, it might be frustrating to buy something used and get burned, but that's always the risk of buying used or being out of the warranty period, and it's the primary reason used prices are always significantly less than new prices.

Patrick


Orion is mostly the good guys, but IMHO refusing to sell a part to someone who needs if _for one of their products_ is simpleminded and shortsighted in the extreme. They have the part, they just don't want to sell it to anyone other than the original owner. What possible difference could it make whether they sell it to Joe Schmoe the original owner or Deputy Dawg the used buyer?! If they are worried about Synta owners using them for parts, they could ask for serial numbers or other verification. I am usually on their side, but this is one time they are just actin' foolish.


#34 Patrick

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 07:41 PM

What possible difference could it make whether they sell it to Joe Schmoe the original owner or Deputy Dawg the used buyer?!



If I had to guess, it's more about inventory management and having parts available for warranty repairs than anything else. I agree that it's unfortunate for those needing parts on used equipment and may backfire in the end. On the other hand, Orion tends to listen to what the customer wants, so maybe they're listening to this thread...

Patrick

#35 KWB

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 07:48 PM

I'd make book on their monitoring this forum. Whether they will change their policy is another matter. I'd like to see this squeaking wheel get the grease.

#36 coopman

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 08:05 PM

Sure would make a person think twice about buying any used Orion equipment. If it arrives damaged or gets damaged later on, you're messed over.

#37 Charlie Hein

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 08:27 PM

How about sourcing parts from another Synta dealer, like Skywatcher? Is the situation materially different in this case? Orion wasn't able to supply parts that I wanted to buy for my Atlas mount - although they were willing to do a "depot repair" - because they don't sell or stock the parts in this way. I went to another dealer that tried to get the parts for me and couldn't - he said it's because Synta doesn't really supply them.

You may be getting angry at the wrong folks here.

#38 jrcrilly

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 08:35 PM

You may be getting angry at the wrong folks here.


I couldn't agree more, Charlie. It's the difference between buying from an importer/reseller and buying from a manufacturer. The OEM isn't in the business of supplying components, and the reseller isn't in the business of selling parts. While this can create an unfortunate situation for an end user, it's just the way things are in the private label world. On the other hand, the economy of scale inherent in these arrangements is part of the reason the imported manufactured items are so reasonably priced, so there is an upside to it.

#39 Dave M

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 08:44 PM

Wow, that is pretty surprising. Their poor customer support combined with their extra-hefty shipping charges is making for an equally poor company reputation.


I don't believe that you'll find much support for that statement. Their customer service is generally considered to be among the best in the trade. Some folks do complain about their shipping charges.


Yup! i complained recently about the shipping charge on
a auto guider i ordered, ended up canceling the order and
swore ide never buy there again, last week i caved :lol:
and ordered a finder, i included the new standard $9.95 shipping charge in the payment.
A couple days later i received a e-mail notice that the item
had free shipping and that i`ll receive a refund on the shipping.
+1 for Orion.....

#40 therocksal

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 09:53 PM

I prefer lower prices.
Patrick


I don't get the lower prices argument...they sell their versions of the C8, C9.25, and C11 at higher prices than we can get from many other places who sell the Celestron brand. They sell that EON 120 for $500 more than the Skywatcher. Plus their expensive shipping prices.

I have bought and will buy more stuff from them but I will definitely think twice about used stuff with their name attached.

The part I was trying to replace in my original post still works but it's damaged and I'm afraid over time it will fail...but it will probably take a lot of use before it fails and luckily I live here in Seattle, where a lot of use is measured in years and not months, weeks, or days!

#41 Patrick

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 10:27 PM

I don't get the lower prices argument...they sell their versions of the C8, C9.25, and C11 at higher prices than we can get from many other places who sell the Celestron brand. They sell that EON 120 for $500 more than the Skywatcher. Plus their expensive shipping prices.



I think John C's comment pretty well describes the situation and was kind of what I was trying to say.

It's the difference between buying from an importer/reseller and buying from a manufacturer. The OEM isn't in the business of supplying components, and the reseller isn't in the business of selling parts. While this can create an unfortunate situation for an end user, it's just the way things are in the private label world. On the other hand, the economy of scale inherent in these arrangements is part of the reason the imported manufactured items are so reasonably priced, so there is an upside to it.

[emphasis added]

Look, I shop around when I'm buying something and whoever has the best deal usually gets my business. I do give special consideration to Orion on some things because their return policies pretty much guarantee that if a product is not going to fit my needs, I can send it back quilt free. I've had trouble with other companies who either want to charge a restocking fee or only give you seven days to evaluate the product. We can go for weeks and weeks without clear skies here in Ohio. That's worth something to me.

Patrick






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