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Christopher EricksonModerator
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Re: MEAD > SEC Filings for MEAD > Form 10-Q on 14-Jan new [Re: ken svp120]
      #5635524 - 01/21/13 06:47 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Well its probably different in the US. Here in the UK we have the 'Sale of Goods Act' basically it says ...

1/ Your contract is with your shop - so the shop you buy from is responsible if things dont work out - they cant opt out by saying 'well the manufacturer let us down etc'

2/ Goods must be of reasonable quality, must work as advertised and must be of reasonable durability.
So if you buy a paper cup the durability test is differnt from if you bought for instance a car.

The bottom line is if you bought a Meade scope from ABC Astro Shop and the scope breaks down the shop carries the responsibility for putting things right. Obviously if the manufacturer has gone bust the only thing the shop can do is hand you back your money. But that means a dealer takes in a scope he cant resell and hands the cash back - its the same situation as if the dealer just ordered up a dead scope and paid money for it.

This kind of law is very common in Europe so if a manufacturer goes down its not entirely unknown that the retail chain selling it goes bust as well.




Can anyone tell me if its the same here state-side? Would US retailers have to honor the warranties even if Meade were no longer around or would they not have to?




I suspect that this varies state-by-state and in general, dealers are not involved in manufacturer's warranties. There may be various responsibilities and remedies that exist in each state for purchased goods within that state.


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Spacetravelerx
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Re: MEAD > SEC Filings for MEAD > Form 10-Q on 14-Jan new [Re: ken svp120]
      #5635561 - 01/21/13 07:15 PM

Ken et. al.

Based on my conversations with a dealer (and I am NOT a legal expert on this), the dealer would have to honor it. Hence why two customers are holding back $600k in accounts receivable - if Meade goes belly up they need that money to service scopes and handle returns. Of course this fuels the death spiral for Meade, sadly.

I have been a backer of Meade since they were founded, and I do hope they get back on track some how, some way. I am holding out for the 14" LX850, though it has been recommended I now consider the CGE Pro HD (which looks like a nice kit). In the mean time I am purchasing other Meade products - all the add ons for my LX200 Classic which works wonderfully to this day and for tonight's Jupiter-Moon event. Hopefully, purchasing eye pieces and such will help a little for Meade. And maybe, just maybe I can get the LX850...

-- Andrew


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bicparker
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Re: MEAD > SEC Filings for MEAD > Form 10-Q on 14-Jan new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #5635569 - 01/21/13 07:18 PM

I don't know the specific laws here, but i think that this is why you often see manufacturer's warranties quoted with purchases here in the USA, which are differentiated from any other protection plan that may be sold by the retailer. I don't think that a consumer would generally have recourse through the retailer, unless the retailer misrepresented the warranty, of course. Then you could have a deceptive trade act situation.

One thing that is generally certain, most of this would fall under state law except where there would be FTC considerations.

There are lots of good sold here in the USA that were manufactured by defunct companies and I don't know of any comparative law in the USA to what was quoted by AB as being in the UK. The only thing close is where there are product liabilities and someone gets maimed or killed by a telescope. That is one of those warranties you cannot disclaim. Then the whole chain of distribution and sale can be held liable.


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astro_baby
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Reged: 06/17/08

Loc: United Kingdom
Re: MEAD > SEC Filings for MEAD > Form 10-Q on 14-Jan new [Re: ken svp120]
      #5636150 - 01/22/13 02:30 AM

Chris, why do you think the evaluation is that the astro market is sheinking. Everything I see in the UK, Europe and on ebay suggests more people buying. I am curious is all.

Is that the cost of kit has dropped so much ? Ie mote units sold but at lower prices or is it a general malaise where the oerception is the market is growing but its just a false perception.


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astro_baby
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Reged: 06/17/08

Loc: United Kingdom
Re: MEAD > SEC Filings for MEAD > Form 10-Q on 14-Jan new [Re: astro_baby]
      #5636153 - 01/22/13 02:34 AM

Hmmm ounds like US dealers might have a measure of protection then. European dealers might get hit but I cant think of many dealers who are massively reliant on Meade at least in the UK so they might also be well enough insulated.

I guess at the end of the day its the nature of capitalism that companies grow, thrive and die. Very few companies last even a human lifetime. In some ways they live,, they die and death not ends it because their products are built on by other companies.


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Christopher EricksonModerator
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Re: MEAD > SEC Filings for MEAD > Form 10-Q on 14-Jan new [Re: astro_baby]
      #5636171 - 01/22/13 03:06 AM

Quote:

Chris, why do you think the evaluation is that the astro market is sheinking. Everything I see in the UK, Europe and on ebay suggests more people buying. I am curious is all.

Is that the cost of kit has dropped so much ? Ie mote units sold but at lower prices or is it a general malaise where the oerception is the market is growing but its just a false perception.




I have seen this observation stated in numerous places. Basically the average amateur astronomer is now 55 or older, young people are more interested in electronic gadgets that give instant gratification and in general, the science and engineering scores in Western countries have been dropping steadily for about 40 years.

Sad.


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bicparker
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Re: MEAD > SEC Filings for MEAD > Form 10-Q on 14-Jan new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #5636442 - 01/22/13 09:08 AM

There are also some business market analyses done measuring the total monies spent... they are lower, especially in the USA, but this is a bit of a worldwide phenomenon, too.

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MDavid
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Re: MEAD > SEC Filings for MEAD > Form 10-Q on 14-Jan new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5636800 - 01/22/13 12:31 PM

Quote:

Many thoughts on my end, as I have been using Meade products since I was a young teen in the 1970's. I even have one of the original LX200's that is going strong to this day (I am putting it to use tonight in fact). ...
Andrew




My first scope was a Meade 60mm AZ which I bought in Denver Colorado from Hobby Lobby (~$60) on our way to Yellowstone National Park for a family vacation. We had fun looking at the Moon from our Madison Campground campsite after an evening of hearing about the history of Yellowstone in their Amphitheater. It amazed us how fast the “Moon kept moving”. Eventually, on a clear March evening, we saw Saturn through that scope from my backyard (a white zone, although, I didn’t know it at the time). There tends to be a general disdain for the "department store" scopes but that 60mm Meade was my family's first look at many familiar celestial objects. Who knows, maybe that’s why I eventually chose Meade over Celestron for our 8” CAT (which is awesome). I know my nostalgia isn’t going to fix a broken business, but I like seeing I’m not alone in the hope that they find a way to get back on their feet.


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astro_baby
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/17/08

Loc: United Kingdom
Re: MEAD > SEC Filings for MEAD > Form 10-Q on 14-Jan new [Re: MDavid]
      #5637233 - 01/22/13 04:07 PM

Perhaps the UK is the exception then, every few. Onths the BBC runs a program called Stargazing Live, basically its about two hours worth on the main BBC channel.

Everytime they run this the UK scope mafket appears to go ballistic. Last year there was such a huge uplift that stocks of just about anything astro related were exhausted in most dealers after about a week !!!

They just ran it again here in the UK and there seems to be a groundswell abain of new scope owners.

Its strange though that the market is declining. We have an older population and older people usually have money to spare, kids left home etc. that was the case with me. Once my kids were grown up I could re indulge myself in the hobby.

Ah well. I suppose we will have to wait and see. Maybe Meade will sell, spmeone will fix the QC issues and I may yet have a scope with a Meade logo on it.


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AntMan1
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Re: MEAD > SEC Filings for MEAD > Form 10-Q on 14-Jan new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #5637524 - 01/22/13 06:42 PM

Does not make sense. Why would the amateur astronomer be over 55? Especially after all the latest missions to mars, all the new space telescopes even the older ones like Hubble, gave us views never possible before! Now Kepler finding new planets all the time?

You would think the opposite would be true? On top of that all the goto scopes? Meade's Audiostar giving us a verbal history and the LS giving us a verbal and video history is unimaginable a decade ago. Does not make any sense to me?

Is it because we never went back to the moon or further with maned space flight? If this is the trend we can kiss our hobby goodbye in 50 years.

PS: New app from Meade looks great on my ipod touch!

http://www.meade.com/skykey

Edited by AntMan1 (01/22/13 07:38 PM)


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rcdk
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Reged: 11/13/10

Re: MEAD > SEC Filings for MEAD > Form 10-Q on 14-Jan new [Re: AntMan1]
      #5637871 - 01/22/13 10:16 PM

I think any hobby/pastime that requires effort and planning is waning -- one example I am familiar with is RC airplanes.

It is doing a little better because the newer products require a lot less effort and planning.

Television and gaming don't require much effort.


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Christopher EricksonModerator
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Re: MEAD > SEC Filings for MEAD > Form 10-Q on 14-Jan new [Re: rcdk]
      #5637912 - 01/22/13 10:39 PM

Ham radio, scouting, model railroading and hobby machining have all been shrinking too.

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Spacetravelerx
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Re: MEAD > SEC Filings for MEAD > Form 10-Q on 14-Jan new [Re: astro_baby]
      #5638133 - 01/23/13 12:59 AM

Christopher - you are also hitting all my interests, lol.

But yes, interest is waning. Some of the complaints - can't see much (light pollution), too much effort with the telescope (though the Meade GOTO is WAY easier than star hopping years ago), need an expensive telescope to see anything cool - other wise they can see everything on the internet. Nothing thrilling there really to see, though when I show them Saturn, Jupiter, et. al. it still gets them excited. Of course after I set up the telescope.

I do let the kids use the LX200 on Scout outings (yes, I supervise) and they have a ball looking up items, using the GOTO function and viewing. Fascinating to watch. Unfortunately this is their minimum level of expectation - not the maximum. I love my little ETX-125, but it does not garner the same interest level. The level of interest by young people is very different (or the lack there of) since when I was a youngin'. Heck, at some astronomy events I feel like the young guy!

Without knowing all the details, Meade is being hit with a perfect whirlwind of a disaster - bad management (my guess), recent QA issues, down/struggling economy, waning interest in Astronomy, the lack of patience, light pollution, etc. Can Meade be re-invented? I think so, but it really will take a new approach on many levels, which is whole other topic.

BTW - model railroading? My kids (and their friends) love when I build fancy sets - they just want the end product; they don't want to build it.

Time to stop rambling, and back to astrophotography and stargazing in the New Mexico high desert. I will even test this new Meade 2x Barlow I just got from Astronomics (trying to help, trying to help!).

-- Andrew


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astro_baby
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/17/08

Loc: United Kingdom
Re: MEAD > SEC Filings for MEAD > Form 10-Q on 14-Jan new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5639024 - 01/23/13 02:36 PM

There was a report today in the UK that vandalism and graffitti is down as well....takes too much effort and why bother when you can go on twitter and facebook or play angry birds.

Maybe therein lies the problem.


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wirebender
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Re: MEAD > SEC Filings for MEAD > Form 10-Q on 14-Jan new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5641315 - 01/24/13 07:33 PM

Interesting.....just got a e-mail from Meade.
Selling some stuff...they are.
Got a couple of those atomic clocks.
This part of their problem, or a reaction to their problem, or...are they selling off stuff...???


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jgraham
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Re: MEAD > SEC Filings for MEAD > Form 10-Q on 14-Jan new [Re: wirebender]
      #5641614 - 01/24/13 10:05 PM

Probably dumping stock. I bought a spotting scope for my daughter and an RGB filter set for me. $29.99 for 4 interference filters is crazy nice!

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Tophat3
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Re: MEAD > SEC Filings for MEAD > Form 10-Q on 14-Jan [Re: ken svp120]
      #5641844 - 01/25/13 01:31 AM

Make scope accessories and spare parts your REAL profit center. That is what all of the automotive and appliance manufacturers do and it seems to work out well for them. I believe selling spare parts would also be a big PR-boon with serious amateurs. Being reluctant to sell spare parts is the single biggest rant I read every day on dozens of Meade forums. Meade needs those people as their extended sales force. Not likely to happen when so many of them are angry at Meade.

Thank You Chris!!! Exactly!! Sell us the freakin parts!!
Enough of the "Only we (MEADE) can fix your scope.)

I know they are not the only company that does this,but if they were to do as you suggest,think of the turn around that could happen with this company.

I own a LX50 and that was the last scope I have purchased from them because my mount went down 1 year and 3 months after purchase and I was unwilling to send it back to them and lose the use of it for a undetermined amout of time.

Break some new ground here fellows and offer REAL custermer service and parts and as far as I am concerned they have me back as well as hundreds of other folks. Thank You again Chris,that struck a chord with me and I think you hit the nail right on the head.


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Joad
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Re: MEAD > SEC Filings for MEAD > Form 10-Q on 14-Jan [Re: Tophat3]
      #5642599 - 01/25/13 01:29 PM

While I personally think that it is too late to save Meade (we began discussing Meade's troubles several years ago on this forum—at the time that Meade's stock price dropped to under 25 cents per share and even a twenty-to-one reverse stock split could not reverse the decline), I also think that the comments here with regard to the offering of spare parts are quite correct. Meade has been badly damaged by a series of sophisticated scopes (beginning with the RCX line) that stopped working and required shipping back to Meade for repair. That is a very onerous process, and given the do-it-yourself proclivities of amateur astronomers, simply providing the parts might have saved Meade a lot of trouble. This would be especially profitable as a market opportunity aimed at owners of out-of-warranty scopes. But as we all know, Meade never adopted such a policy. That is how companies fail.

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Pak
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Re: MEAD > SEC Filings for MEAD > Form 10-Q on 14-Jan [Re: Joad]
      #5644195 - 01/26/13 11:08 AM

I feel really bad for whoever bought one of the LX8XX's, returned it under the recall and may never see them again nor their money back. How does one recover from a 5-10,000$ loss?
Is there any remedy for the consumer in that case?


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bicparker
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Re: MEAD > SEC Filings for MEAD > Form 10-Q on 14-Jan [Re: Pak]
      #5644322 - 01/26/13 12:32 PM

Quote:

I feel really bad for whoever bought one of the LX8XX's, returned it under the recall and may never see them again nor their money back. How does one recover from a 5-10,000$ loss?
Is there any remedy for the consumer in that case?




It all depends up what happens next with Meade. Right now, nothing has changed. If Meade has any telescopes that are still being fixed, then that is just the normal course of business. Meade is still in business and their current standing is only impaired by the management and financial disclosures in their quarterly filing. There is no legal process underway, nor is there any notification of one at this point.

As a side note, if I was a person is such a situation, I would be taking some pretty strong steps at this point to (quickly) either get my scope back in working condition or get a refund. When management makes the statements they made, that does not fill me with confidence.

If something legally happens with their financial standing (such as a slew of major judgements/liens, calling of a note, filing for bankruptcy, etc.), that is when the landscape changes. Then the telescope owners will have to take steps to ensure that their assets (their telescopes) are not inadvertently included in the Meade's assets under claim. Separately, and this would be for bankruptcy situations in particular, they will have to ensure (through some filing with the court) their warranty claim remains included in any list of claims and liabilities against Meade.

Right now, though, it is the normal course of business.


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