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#1 pcguru2000

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 11:15 PM

At first I was very impressed with this company that had customer service rep available to chat after hours on Saturday before thanks giving. Chatted up the rep and asked when would my package arrive. The rep said, November 28th which was thanksgiving. I verified with him that this is thanksgiving and he said, sorry the 29th. So, off I go to order the item.

I receive an email with a pending status for my order on Saturday. Monday, no shipping update. Tuesday at about 4PM, I click on the email link to my order to find out it's still pending.

I call them up, to find out what's up. They tell me that my order was not processed because the "billing phone number" was not matching the phone # I gave them. So then I asked, why someone didn't call the phone # on the order to clear things up. Their excuse... "we were too busy to call". So then, I said, how come you didn't email me then? The person said we don't email if there are ordering issues.

Now granted, I wasn't spending $5000 on telescope parts but just a measly $330. I then told the person that if they had called me or email me on Monday morning, I could have given them whatever information they needed.

LIE #1 They never called. I checked with Visa and they said that they had no records of any company verifying any information that weekend or Monday and Tuesday. I verified with Visa that my ship to address was correct and they confirmed it was still on file. I knew it was still on there because I had ordered vitamins from an internet retailer and the approval when through without any issues the week before.

LIE#2. They said my phone # did not match the billing phone #. REALLY????? I confirmed this also with Visa. I then asked why they couldn't call me. He said that that's against company policy? Does that make sense???? It's against company policy to verify incorrect information????

I then asked when the product would arrive. They said it might arrive Saturday but more likely Monday. I told the person that I belong to one of the largest astronomy clubs in So Cal and that if could get this to me before my trip on Saturday, that would go a long way to mend fences around the issues of my order. The guy would not budge on trying to accommodate shipping. He just tried to add $60+ to the price of the item to get it to me on the day they originally promised it. And then, their wouldn't be any guarantees. The guy didn't care about the customer, did not care that they screwed up and that this was bad customer services, did not care that this was a time sensitive item that was promised by their customer service rep 4 days before to arrive at the very least on Friday. Not 3-4 days later.

So the guy said if I gave him the correct information, he would call back the credit card company and see what he could do. If he could get it to me for sure by Saturday through their "free" shipping he would. He said "if you don't here from us, everything is good." I said, last time we went with no communication, everything went south. Could you call me in 10 minutes to tell me if everything is good to go. He then hung up on me. Yes, hung up on me.
I then called Orange County Telescope in Santa Ana. They said that the Starsense is really popular and extremely hard to keep in stock. Mike was the nicest guy and really tried to find a way to help me get one. He even said to call OPT to see if they had one. NOW THAT'S CUSTOMER SERVICE. When you don't have an item in stock, you bend over backwards trying to find a way to help the person even if it means sending them to your competition. I then called OPT and the gentleman there was extremely helpful, let me purchase one of the very few starsense units he had in stock and even gave me a discount when I told him what happened. He even apologized for his competitors rudeness and customer service.

So here's what I think happened. High Point Scientific marks down the item 10 bucks and puts up "free" shipping. Then they play the bait and stall game to get the business. They have people prepay, then ship out the parts "IF" they get them in stock. It's a total ripoff. I WILL NEVER DO BUSINESS WITH THIS COMPANY AGAIN. I'm not the only one that had this experience... I checked other reviews of the place and it's the same thing. Here's the link of another reviewer.

http://blog.careyhil...ersion-of-wi...

#2 Gvs

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 04:40 AM

Was about to purchase a telecope and other items from HighpointScientific, they do have some amazing deals.

Thanks for the heads up, wont ever consider their business.

#3 core

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 05:34 AM

Sympathize with your experience, I've had my fair share of the same from various retailers of differing products. A couple of clarification though:

.. So then I asked, why someone didn't call the phone # on the order to clear things up...

LIE #1 They never called. I checked with Visa and they said that they had no records of any company verifying any information that weekend or Monday and Tuesday. I verified with Visa that my ship to address was correct and they confirmed it was still on file.


Was the lie that they didn't call you, or didn't call the CC company? Also, I don't think CC's keep your shipping address - that's provided by the buyer.

LIE#2. They said my phone # did not match the billing phone #. REALLY????? I confirmed this also with Visa.



Not matching # may be on the order input end, if the wrong number is input on the order end (since it was a phone order I presume) there's nothing to confirm with the CC company if it's bad data to begin with.

There can be a mountain of potential CC fraud daily, that usually if something is amiss, lots of (smaller) companies just ignore the order - no use wasting time especially when you can get inundated with 100's of fake CC orders.

I told the person that I belong to one of the largest astronomy clubs in So Cal and that if could get this to me before my trip on Saturday, that would go a long way to mend fences around the issues of my order. The guy would not budge on trying to accommodate shipping. He just tried to add $60+ to the price


I'm sorry, but throwing around I'm so-and-so, I belong to so-and-so shouldn't grant anyone special treatment (in principle anyways ;)) - ship to me expedite and the seller absorbs all the cost? :confused: Overnight shipping can get expensive. Very expensive. And believe me, their margins on those products they are selling are quite thin as well.

I think this is an issue within the niche astronomy equipment retail; some retailers try and build up an order before placing one with their supplier - in which case they shouldn't have items as "in-stock", much less charge your CC first. I've only had experienced twice where my (astro) order took about a month to receive, I was given an email heads up about the delay, but price was good, and got the goods eventually - the main thing was I (I think ;)) knew what I was getting into.

I've come to view some astronomy item purchase in a slightly different light and prepare myself accordingly (fwiw, I just waited almost 3 weeks to get an invoice for an item that I need to pay in full before it's available to ship - in a couple of weeks) - or look for the right retailers :D

#4 Aquarist

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 06:19 AM

In a small market place, I have learned to chill out and be patient. Life is too short. Finding an item in stock is difficult enough; expecting precise order execution, unless you have a "relationship" with your sales person at a vendor, may happen but it is unusual.

#5 KD58

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 08:25 AM

I ordered a QHY8L from Astrofactors and needed it by a certain date. I didn't hear from the vendor and called a few days later and it turned out Bruce was sick and the order shipped with a tracking number but tracking provided no further information. Despite his illness, he shipped another one via FedEx overnight delivery, called me on the way to the doctors office to give me tracking info, and in subsequent email exchanges, invited me to go imaging with him so that he could teach this newbie a few lessons. Can't beat that for service!! I've taken him up on the offer and did receive my camera before my deadline. And yes I did check up on Bruce and he is better.

#6 jag767

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 09:28 AM

In a small market place, I have learned to chill out and be patient. Life is too short. Finding an item in stock is difficult enough; expecting precise order execution, unless you have a "relationship" with your sales person at a vendor, may happen but it is unusual.


I'm sorry but I have to dissagree. No business has the right to hold someones money hostage without directly communicating the possible situation beforehand. That is bad business plain and simple. Unless I am told otherwise, if I order something on friday, it ships on Friday. And if for some reason it doesnt ship, it isnt enough to make me whole and give me what I should have had in the first place. You want your customer to feel you went aboove and beyond, ergo do somdthing on top of it. Give a discount, throw something else in, make the person feel like they matter.

That is what customer service excellence 'looks like'.

#7 jag767

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 09:30 AM

I ordered a QHY8L from Astrofactors and needed it by a certain date. I didn't hear from the vendor and called a few days later and it turned out Bruce was sick and the order shipped with a tracking number but tracking provided no further information. Despite his illness, he shipped another one via FedEx overnight delivery, called me on the way to the doctors office to give me tracking info, and in subsequent email exchanges, invited me to go imaging with him so that he could teach this newbie a few lessons. Can't beat that for service!! I've taken him up on the offer and did receive my camera before my deadline. And yes I did check up on Bruce and he is better.


Now that is excellent srrvice!

#8 Aquarist

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 10:29 AM

In a small market place, I have learned to chill out and be patient. Life is too short. Finding an item in stock is difficult enough; expecting precise order execution, unless you have a "relationship" with your sales person at a vendor, may happen but it is unusual.



I'm sorry but I have to dissagree. No business has the right to hold someones money hostage without directly communicating the possible situation beforehand. That is bad business plain and simple. Unless I am told otherwise, if I order something on friday, it ships on Friday. And if for some reason it doesnt ship, it isnt enough to make me whole and give me what I should have had in the first place. You want your customer to feel you went aboove and beyond, ergo do somdthing on top of it. Give a discount, throw something else in, make the person feel like they matter.

That is what customer service excellence 'looks like'.


No problem, we will just have to agree to disagree. If I need something quickly, I plan ahead so vendor execution of an order does not get in the way of my receiving the item when I need it. Customer service excellence is great, and I appreciate it when I get it, but for small vendors, especially those in small markets, sometimes it is just not possible.

#9 KD58

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 10:46 AM

I ordered a QHY8L from Astrofactors and needed it by a certain date. I didn't hear from the vendor and called a few days later and it turned out Bruce was sick and the order shipped with a tracking number but tracking provided no further information. Despite his illness, he shipped another one via FedEx overnight delivery, called me on the way to the doctors office to give me tracking info, and in subsequent email exchanges, invited me to go imaging with him so that he could teach this newbie a few lessons. Can't beat that for service!! I've taken him up on the offer and did receive my camera before my deadline. And yes I did check up on Bruce and he is better.


Now that is excellent srrvice!


And forgot to mention that he added an extra AC adaptor for my troubles. My next CCD upgrade will likely be a QHY22 rather than an Atik 460EX.

I understand the limitations that small vendors have and as a professional in a discipline that requires dealing with clients, I have to face similar issues. But my staff make sure that they are in communication with "clients" and by and large they understand and accept delays in service. It is very easy to send an email and inform the customer and let them decide if they are willing to wait or want a refund and take their business elsewhere. It is good customer service and will usually mean that you will retain that customer for the future. It is free advertising too. I am also sure that when you are faced with customer service representatives who deal with you in a confrontational manner, they are employees and not owners. The big boss would make sure that the customer is happy. It would be a poor business model where customer satisfaction was not important.

#10 Aquarist

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 10:55 AM

I agree with the above.

:goodjob:

#11 faltered

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 11:01 AM

I think this is not the norm from High Point. They are an excellent company and I have had many good transactions with them. Every company out there has had an issue from time to time.

High Point Scientific is an excellent vendor.

#12 WesC

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 02:48 PM

I've only had two experiences with High Point Scientific, but both have been pretty straightforward and successful.

I'm sure stuff like this happens with most companies at some point though. Human beings are involved after all. They make mistakes, they have bad days, there are misunderstandings, and some people are just plain rude, while others go above and beyond.

Sometimes its just the luck of the draw.

#13 LateViewer

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 03:17 PM

I have ordered many items from High Point including a solar filter they were able to get to me the day of the transit with Venus.

We all have our own experiences and mine have been excellent with High Point.

Sorry yours have not been.

Al

#14 A. Viegas

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 03:56 PM

Too bad you went through all that trouble. There was a StarSense for sale on Amart for $200 11/25. You could have gotten it already and saved yourself $130 at the same time!

Always worth your while to check the used market, of course you may not find what you want when you want it, but then again sometimes the stars line up! you just have to be looking!

Al

#15 jrbarnett

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 07:03 PM

I'd rate Highpoint Scientific among the top 2 or 3 vendors. I've ordered thousands of dollars worth of gear from them over the years without one single problem. I'd not hesitate to use them. In fact, they're well above popular retailers like OPT and Anacortes on my list. I put them up there with Astronomics and Agena. Figure I have about 30-40 retail astronomy transactions a year, so I deal with a LOT of retailers. :shrug:

- Jim

#16 AstroDrummer

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 08:08 AM

I recently ordered a scope, several eyepieces and mount with highpoint, all arrived on time. However the reticle eyepiece I got would not reach focus with my new TV NP 101, not their fault... They imediately shipped me the TV in-travel adaptor at no cost.

#17 noexperience

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 09:52 AM

I recently ordered a QSI 683wsg from OPT with the LRGB filters. They sent the mounted filters instead of the unmounted that I had ordered. I called and they overnighted the correct filters at no cost to me, while I slow boated the wrong filters back to them. Very good service.

I too have had nothing but good service from Highpoint Scientific as well. Good prices along with the good service.

#18 KD58

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 10:06 AM

I'd rate Highpoint Scientific among the top 2 or 3 vendors. I've ordered thousands of dollars worth of gear from them over the years without one single problem. I'd not hesitate to use them. In fact, they're well above popular retailers like OPT and Anacortes on my list. I put them up there with Astronomics and Agena. Figure I have about 30-40 retail astronomy transactions a year, so I deal with a LOT of retailers. :shrug:

- Jim


Of the smaller vendors, I would put ADM at the very top too. Anthony can manufacture a rig for you if you send him the details of what it is that you want. I ordered an item from ADM on Wednesday night and got an email from Anthony this morning explaining that he was away for the holiday but will have a helper ship it out on Saturday. I've bought a lot of stuff from ADM and have always been impressed.

I've never had but the best experiences with High Point too.

#19 Dakota1

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 12:32 PM

I have ordered quite a few items from High Point Scientific and have never had a problem. Shipped same day if you call early enough. Anytime I order from anybody I always ask them to check inventory and make sure Item is in stock. I see many mark their product in stock only after you order it especially on line and find out later it is not. Some are a little lax on updating there web sites. All in all I have been lucky and have had no problems with vendors so far. Thanks
--------------------------
Bill

#20 Jwemes

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 02:06 PM

I too have had excellent experience with High Point Scientific. When a new mount arrived DOA, they offered to have me ship it back to them from AZ to the East Coast. When I suggested that the mount would have to go back to Celestron in CA from their office, and that it would be more efficient for me to get an RMA direct from Celestron, they offered to expedite the RMA directly. On another occasion, High Point arranged a call to my home from Anthony Davoli (ADM) to resolve an issue. I am sympathetic regarding the OP's reported issues, and at the same time, hold High Points' customer service in high regard.

#21 pcguru2000

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 02:12 PM

Sympathize with your experience, I've had my fair share of the same from various retailers of differing products. A couple of clarification though:


.. So then I asked, why someone didn't call the phone # on the order to clear things up...

LIE #1 They never called. I checked with Visa and they said that they had no records of any company verifying any information that weekend or Monday and Tuesday. I verified with Visa that my ship to address was correct and they confirmed it was still on file.


Was the lie that they didn't call you, or didn't call the CC company? Also, I don't think CC's keep your shipping address - that's provided by the buyer.

LIE#2. They said my phone # did not match the billing phone #. REALLY????? I confirmed this also with Visa.



Not matching # may be on the order input end, if the wrong number is input on the order end (since it was a phone order I presume) there's nothing to confirm with the CC company if it's bad data to begin with.

There can be a mountain of potential CC fraud daily, that usually if something is amiss, lots of (smaller) companies just ignore the order - no use wasting time especially when you can get inundated with 100's of fake CC orders.

I told the person that I belong to one of the largest astronomy clubs in So Cal and that if could get this to me before my trip on Saturday, that would go a long way to mend fences around the issues of my order. The guy would not budge on trying to accommodate shipping. He just tried to add $60+ to the price


I'm sorry, but throwing around I'm so-and-so, I belong to so-and-so shouldn't grant anyone special treatment (in principle anyways ;)) - ship to me expedite and the seller absorbs all the cost? :confused: Overnight shipping can get expensive. Very expensive. And believe me, their margins on those products they are selling are quite thin as well.

I think this is an issue within the niche astronomy equipment retail; some retailers try and build up an order before placing one with their supplier - in which case they shouldn't have items as "in-stock", much less charge your CC first. I've only had experienced twice where my (astro) order took about a month to receive, I was given an email heads up about the delay, but price was good, and got the goods eventually - the main thing was I (I think ;)) knew what I was getting into.

I've come to view some astronomy item purchase in a slightly different light and prepare myself accordingly (fwiw, I just waited almost 3 weeks to get an invoice for an item that I need to pay in full before it's available to ship - in a couple of weeks) - or look for the right retailers :D


It was a lie that the ship to address didn't match the credit card info on file. I called the CC and they said it was on file. Furthermore, I had ordered something else with that CC to the same ship to address and had not issues.

I also checked with the CC and no one did any verification.

It was not a phone order, it was an order placed on the internet, minutes after I spoke to Robert on chat through the website.

I wasn't throwing names to get special treatment, I was allowing them to make a decision of accommodating the customer, based on my influence with future buyers of telescope equipment.

I partially agree with you. If the item was out of stock, and they said it was going to be in on Saturday, and now it was not in stock till Wednesday, I would have been more lenient. But making up silly excuses like, "we don't call the number if it's different", or "if the address doesn't match, we do nothing" is a perfect example of BAD CUSTOMER SERVICES. No matter how much chocolate you want to apply to a *BLEEP* sandwich, it's never going to taste good. LOL

#22 pcguru2000

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 02:15 PM

In a small market place, I have learned to chill out and be patient. Life is too short. Finding an item in stock is difficult enough; expecting precise order execution, unless you have a "relationship" with your sales person at a vendor, may happen but it is unusual.


Except that I confirmed the item was in stock with Robert on Saturday, he promised item would arrive on Friday. If I had gotten an email on Monday or Tuesday telling me there was a problem, I would be posting right now. There's no excuse for the 1. The lies. 2. The lack of communication. 3. the "couldn't give a *BLEEP*" attitude.

#23 pcguru2000

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 02:20 PM

In a small market place, I have learned to chill out and be patient. Life is too short. Finding an item in stock is difficult enough; expecting precise order execution, unless you have a "relationship" with your sales person at a vendor, may happen but it is unusual.



I'm sorry but I have to dissagree. No business has the right to hold someones money hostage without directly communicating the possible situation beforehand. That is bad business plain and simple. Unless I am told otherwise, if I order something on friday, it ships on Friday. And if for some reason it doesnt ship, it isnt enough to make me whole and give me what I should have had in the first place. You want your customer to feel you went aboove and beyond, ergo do somdthing on top of it. Give a discount, throw something else in, make the person feel like they matter.

That is what customer service excellence 'looks like'.


I totally agree. I hate the excuse of "it's a small business and we have to cut them some slack". The reason to order from a small business is the expectation that they are going to treat you as a valued customer, and differentiate themselves for the corporate scum that could care less.

I order items all the time from Amazon. Amazon has "made it right" on 3 different occasions. They even shipped out the item fedex overnight just to keep the business. Why is that? Because I order 2K of business from them every year! Amazon never blames the customer. They bend over backwards to make sure you are happy.

#24 pcguru2000

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 02:28 PM

I'd rate Highpoint Scientific among the top 2 or 3 vendors. I've ordered thousands of dollars worth of gear from them over the years without one single problem. I'd not hesitate to use them. In fact, they're well above popular retailers like OPT and Anacortes on my list. I put them up there with Astronomics and Agena. Figure I have about 30-40 retail astronomy transactions a year, so I deal with a LOT of retailers. :shrug:

- Jim


Thanks for the heads up Jim! It was nice of you to look for a used one for me. If I buy it used I can't get the extended warranty from my credit card on the item. I also go ahead and pay about 5% of the price for a warranty that will last me 5 years instead of 2.

I don't want to deal with warranty issues since I'm not the original buyer on a $330 item. On something non electronic with no moving parts, sure, I'll go for that, especially if I'm buying something from an OCA club member. If I sold something to one of my fellow astro brothers, and it broke within a week, I would go out of my way to get the item repaired or replaced. I may not own a small business but my reputation is worth more to me than the money.

A good example of transactions that go well that don't result in customer service issue is Tiger Direct. I saw their reviews before I bought and they are the scum bags of the computer business as far as customer service. I bought several items from them and it came on time with none of the issues stated in reviews. Does that mean that they have good customer service or that they are an excellent vendor? I don't think so. It's good to know I'm protected from bad vendors with my credit card so that when issues come up, the big chargeback hammer comes down.

#25 pcguru2000

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 02:29 PM

I have ordered quite a few items from High Point Scientific and have never had a problem. Shipped same day if you call early enough. Anytime I order from anybody I always ask them to check inventory and make sure Item is in stock. I see many mark their product in stock only after you order it especially on line and find out later it is not. Some are a little lax on updating there web sites. All in all I have been lucky and have had no problems with vendors so far. Thanks
--------------------------
Bill


I did check with Robert on Saturday that the item was in stock.

Here's the first line of my post...
"At first I was very impressed with this company that had customer service rep available to chat after hours on Saturday before thanks giving. Chatted up the rep and asked when would my package arrive. The rep said, November 28th which was thanksgiving. I verified with him that this is thanksgiving and he said, sorry the 29th. So, off I go to order the item."






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