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Meade Quality Control on LX90

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#1 clearskys37

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 07:32 PM

Hello All,

After lots of mulling of what telescope to start out with I purchased a 8" Meade LX90 SC from telescopes.com. I received the scope as promised within 3 days and all the boxes were manufacture sealed, stapled etc. Much to my surprise there were many defects on my brand new telescope. There were many small scratches, the hand controller had wear on one of the buttons? (which had a build date of 06/11 on the back? over a year old on a new scope?) The finder scope was in terrible shape...three of the plastic set screws were stripped completely. The blue paint was worn under the dust cap? All the accessories were sealed and it appeared some of the parts were off a used or refurbished scope? So, I followed the instructions and contacted meade directly for help. After sending pictures they agreed that the condition was poor and would replace the scope. I should send it to them and get on a wait list for production in about a month or so? *BLEEP*(excuse my french) I buy a new scope for over 1700 and they want me to send it to them and wait a month for a replacement? SO, I called telescopes.com and they had no problem sending me a call tag and replacing the scope. Great....so I thought....
Once again I get a factory sealed new box with the staples and tape that is tamper proof. In the new box the OTA has multiple scratches and ding on the very end. The mount has many little marks down to the metal (although small there are many....over 6-7). Next, I could not believe my eyes...The hand controller this time has scratches and they tried to use black paint to cover them!!! Somehow I got an upgraded 5000 series eyepiece in the box? So, now this was on a sunday and I couldn't call meade to express my discontent. Am I being to picky? I know a telescope is an instrument and not a pc of fine china to be displayed but, I would imagine there shouldn't be marks all over it out of the box? I feel like they are sending me factory refurbished telescopes!
Any advice anyone can offer would be appreciated...Should I send this one back also? Should I just exchange the hand controller and the finder scope through meade and live with the imperfections? I really am quite disappointed... :(

I have a lot of more pictures but I don't know how to add more then one...

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#2 Erik Bakker

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 08:24 PM

Welcome to Cloudy Nights!

The condition your scope is in doesn't sound right. I suggest you call your dealer and ask for a refund. Trouble twice is enough I'd say. If this is your first scope, you may wish to reconsider how to spend your US $ 1700.

Good luck resolving this matter. And don't let it steer you away from a wonderful hobby.

#3 clearskys37

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 08:33 PM

yeah, I was thinking that maybe I should just get a refund and wait until after the holidays or something. I really had my heart set on this scope...

#4 Rick Woods

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 09:49 PM

It sounds to me like they're trying to pawn off a a semi-refurbished scope on you. I'd send it back, get a refund, and buy from someone else! I bought my LX200 from Astronomics, and it was absolutely perfect in all respects. This has also been the case with numerous other things I've bought from them.

I'm going to be leery of buying anything from telescopes.com, if that's how they operate. (BTW, staples and tape are not tamper proof...)

#5 rcdk

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 10:43 PM

My LX90 was refurbished and only had two issues:

1) Bad firmware -- had to re-align every hour. The version shipped on the hand controller had a bug. A later version was available and fixed the issue.

2) Loose worm gear on the altitude axis. I pulled the cover and adjusted the engagement.

Cosmetically, it was perfect.

#6 Bob Griffiths

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 09:12 AM

Get a refund..Then buy from another source (like a semi local store front dealer) or another manufacturer..

You can pay extra and Company 7 will check the scope out mechanically as well as optically and they have higher standards then Meade does for the optics...

This is one reason I am glad to have Company 7 and Hands on Optics "semi local to me..I never spend serious money except at those two dealers...

Bob G.

#7 *skyguy*

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 09:36 AM

Meade has really "dropped the ball" when it comes to quality control. However, that's not surprising since they "thumbed their nose" at American labor and moved their production to a Mexican plant to save on labor costs.

I love my American made 12" LX200 and ETX-125 scopes. I truly hope that Meade can solve their current production problems, but I have lost all my faith in their ability to produce a marketable product. Return your scope and get your money back. There are still plenty of telescope manufacturers who offer a quality product at a reasonable price.

#8 *skyguy*

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 10:15 AM


I'm going to be leery of buying anything from telescopes.com, if that's how they operate. (BTW, staples and tape are not tamper proof...)


I've purchased a lot of telescope equipment from telescopes.com over the years ... and have never had any problems with them. They're part of the huge online sales company, "Hayneedle" and I don't think they would jeopardize their reputation by intentionally selling refurbished products as new. That's something a small "mom and pop" online store might do.

BTW, I just purchased a new iOptron Smarteq mount from them a couple a weeks ago. It had a very minor defect in the plastic battery cover and they had it replaced with a new one in about a week ... great after sale service

#9 Rick Woods

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 02:13 PM

That's good to know.

#10 Lorence

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 02:47 PM

Meade has really "dropped the ball" when it comes to quality control. However, that's not surprising since they "thumbed their nose" at American labor and moved their production to a Mexican plant to save on labor costs.


Labor is labor anywhere in the world, you get what you pay for. Meade is run from America not Mexico. It's up the the people running the company to ensure their workers are properly trained and motivated to deliver a quality product.

One might have got away with blaming poor quality control on the Mexican workers when the factory was first opened up but not anymore. Meade has had more than enough time to get their act together.

Sacrificing quality for profits was the decision of the Meade corporation not the plant workers. That would have happened in any country Meade chose to build their product in.

Put the blame where it belongs. Meade Instruments Corp. 27 Hubble Irvine, CA 92618, United States

#11 Rick Woods

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 09:55 PM

That may not be where the blame belongs. We don't know the history of the instrument from the time it left Meade to the time it came into the possession of Clearskies37.
I have trouble believing that the problems he listed came out of the Meade factory. It sounds for all the world like an instrument that had been returned, touched up clumsily, and resold as new. Where did telescopes.com get the scope?

#12 tonyt

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 11:33 PM

If the optics are undamaged and the scope operates flawlessly I would want to keep it and perhaps ask for a discount (partial refund or a ~$300 eyepiece for example). Otherwise you're exchanging a scope with good optics that works for an unknown quantity.
Check that go-to's are accurate, buttons work properly on the hand controller, no binding in either axis, etc.

#13 clearskys37

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 11:17 PM

I am going to try and talk to meade again...I really find this unbelievable that two in a row are damaged. There is also a black dot on the inside of the front optics. I wonder if they (telescopes.com) refurb there returns and resell them? With the storm here on long island I have not been able to test the scope other then powering it up and checking that the scope moves. Which it does...it seems to grab gps. Going to try and call them tomorrow if I have time...

#14 Rick Woods

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 11:50 PM

Meade has really "dropped the ball" when it comes to quality control. However, that's not surprising since they "thumbed their nose" at American labor and moved their production to a Mexican plant to save on labor costs.


Skyguy,

Meade was faced with a choice; go to Mexico, or go out of business. Their labor is still being done on this continent, and not in Asia as is the case with some other SCT makers. And, the company itself is still American, which cannot be said of brand C.

Anyone who thinks that technical people in Mexico are somehow inferior to those in America has not had much experience with Mexicans. I've worked with lots of them in technical jobs; and the ratio of smart/skilled to dumb/lazy is not in any way slanted in favor of the American worker. Mexicans are just as talented; they just charge less.

I prefer American-made products pretty much just because they're American-made. But in the absence of an American Meade, I'd go for a North American Meade over an Asian one.
Simple nationalism; no logic behind it.

#15 tonyt

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 12:20 AM

There is also a black dot on the inside of the front optics.

Not uncommon to have a speck of dry paint floating around inside the ota. The main thing to consider is does the scope work properly and are the optics decent.(imho)

#16 Bill Barlow

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 10:36 AM

After spending money for a brand new scope and mount/tripod, I would want it in brand new/unblemished cosmetic condition. I would get a refund from telescopes.com and buy elsewhere since this has happened to you not once but twice from the same vendor. Hope everything works out for you..

Bill

#17 *skyguy*

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 01:40 PM



Anyone who thinks that technical people in Mexico are somehow inferior to those in America has not had much experience with Mexicans. I've worked with lots of them in technical jobs; and the ratio of smart/skilled to dumb/lazy is not in any way slanted in favor of the American worker. Mexicans are just as talented; they just charge less.


Taken on an individual basis ... there is certainly some truth to this statement. However, the well known fact that Meade was unable to get a decent paint job on their OTA's from the Mexican plant and had to resort to the current dull finish, only highlights the problems they're having in producing a quality telescope in their new plant.

The move to Mexico is only the latest in a series of blunders by management over the past several years. Meade seems to have forgotten that increasing productivity and profits is generally the result of greater investments in employee training and skills, equipment, and technology. They already had a highly trained, highly skilled and highly productive (highest in the world) American labor force. Trading this for an unproven, need to be trained Mexican labor force with 1/4th. the productivity of the American worker in the hopes of reducing labor costs while maintaining production quality ... was just another big mistake. As much as I hate to say it ... Meade would have been better served by outsourcing part of or all its production to proven Asian plants instead of trying to run its own Mexican plant.

#18 ken svp120

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 11:12 AM

...The move to Mexico is only the latest in a series of blunders by management over the past several years...


I have been trying to be a good consumer advocate and subtely warn folks of this over the past couple years. The situation seems to now be getting urgent as reflected in the last set of financials they issued. Seeing Meade declare bankruptcy soon would not suprise me in the least. If this happens there will be a lot of folks wishing they had done a little more research before committing to a Meade product. I hope it doesn't happen but simply taking an unemotional critical look at the financials (and especially what has happened to their stock price over the past two weeks) one can see a very clear trend. Take a look and draw your own conclusions...

#19 faltered

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 04:10 PM

I doubt this has anything to do with the vendor, but rather Meade selling poor quality product. If you got 2 of them in sealed looking boxes, it sure sounds like Meade is offering pretty poorly made products.

#20 AntMan1

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 09:14 PM

Call Meade and tell them you want to use there first light program. This happened to me ...2 bad scopes in sealed boxes from a reputable dealer.

3 rd one was from Meade and it was perfect. Stop wasting your time with the dealer. Meade will issue a drop ship for the next day and ups will come to your house and as soon as it shows as picked up by UPS Meade sends out a new scope same or next day to you. You also get a newer scope as it has not been sitting in a store for a year.

#21 Hazel

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 11:14 PM

Can it be assumed that ordering from Meade directly should prevent any risk of getting a returned/resold LX90? It's a few hundred dollars more for direct from Meade (vs. say Telescopes.com) but perhaps it's worth it. Thoughts? I am seriously thinking about purchasing a 12 inch LX90 and I want to avoid these problems.

#22 AntMan1

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 11:45 PM

There is no option to purchase directly from Meade. You are seeing whats called Shopatron. It is a web service that places the order on the Meade website and matches you up with the next dealer on there list. I believe this is the worst way to go. Go to a local store so you can inspect the unit. If they don't have one let them order one for you then inspect it once it arrives also Opt offers the services mention in earlier post for a fee they set up and inspect the scopes quality before they ship. see this thread

http://www.cloudynig...5507825/page...

http://ecommerce.shopatron.com/

Can it be assumed that ordering from Meade directly should prevent any risk of getting a returned/resold LX90? It's a few hundred dollars more for direct from Meade (vs. say Telescopes.com) but perhaps it's worth it. Thoughts? I am seriously thinking about purchasing a 12 inch LX90 and I want to avoid these problems.



#23 Bob Griffiths

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 09:09 AM

IF Meade sold their products directly to the end consumer 95 percent of the dealers would stop selling their product line.

Its tough to make any money competing against other retailers ... impossible to do if the manufacturer is also competing with the dealers ..

I spend 30 years in the retail business and I would definitely be part of that 95 percent...

Bob G.

#24 rcdk

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 01:17 PM

I bought my refurb that way, but it is probably the worst way to go, lots of horror stories.

Safest is likely a local dealer if you have a good relationship with them. Astronomics has a sterling reputation as does OPT.

#25 maddog

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 05:38 AM

Wow from reading all these posts it seems they save the best scopes for export outside of the US. I have bought several Meade scopes of different varieties here in Oz and never had a bad one yet but we also pay a lot more then you guys for the same product. Bottom line with this one is if they can deliver a pristine LX200 14000km across the other side of the world, then surely they can do the same in their own backyard.

Mark






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