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Equipment Discussions >> Refractors

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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Starlight Instruments Customer Service Story...
      #5643520 - 01/25/13 10:53 PM

Starlight Instruments, maker of Feathertouch focusers, has the best customer service in the industry. Recently I purchased a used Stellarvue refractor (SV80 with LOMO 80/480 optics) came with a 2" Feathertouch Crayford focuser. The scope was not as advertised (i.e., the seller kisted it as mint, but didn't mention the slipping dew shade and faded anodizing on one of the focus knobs). The scope was also damaged in shipment due to rough handling and inadequate packaging. Damage included a bent focuser screw.

I contacted Starlight to inquire about buying a replacement knob and focuser screw. The proprietor, Wayne, asked me to send pictures and my address. I insisted that I wasn't looking for a freebie, and that I intended to purchase the replacement components.

In today's mail the replacement knob and screw arrived - free - from Starlight. I am not the original purchaser of the scope. They owed me nothing. Nonetheless, they went above and beyond the call of duty and helped me out, big time.

Thank you Wayne, thank you Starlight.

Regards,

Jim


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crazyqban
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/16/08

Loc: Miami, Florida
Re: Starlight Instruments Customer Service Story... new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5643541 - 01/25/13 11:01 PM

Wayne rocks, I have always had good dealings with Starlight. First class company and people.

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mikey cee
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/18/07

Loc: bellevue ne.
Re: Starlight Instruments Customer Service Story... new [Re: crazyqban]
      #5643558 - 01/25/13 11:20 PM

Try him with a clam shelled objective lens! That'll realy be seperating the whsat from the chaft customer service...big time! Mike

Edited by mikey cee (01/25/13 11:20 PM)


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jjbird
super member
*****

Reged: 01/17/06

Loc: Wisconsin
Re: Starlight Instruments Customer Service Story... new [Re: mikey cee]
      #5643568 - 01/25/13 11:27 PM

Wayne runs a first class outfit at Starlight, as does Ron at Moonlite.

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wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: Starlight Instruments Customer Service Story... new [Re: jjbird]
      #5643612 - 01/25/13 11:58 PM

Great customer service.. I was having a "sticking" issue on one of my SCT rear cell focusers.. I took it apart thinking I could fix it.. Needless to say I probably screwed it up more.. I called wayne and he said send it in.. After about a week, my focuser showed back up good as new and without a charge! Can't beat that!

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Calypte
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/20/07

Loc: Anza, California
Re: Starlight Instruments Customer Service Story... new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5643628 - 01/26/13 12:20 AM

Quote:

(i.e., the seller kisted it as mint, but didn't mention the slipping dew shade and faded anodizing on one of the focus knobs).



These could have been shortcomings of the scope when new.


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Pete-LH
sage
*****

Reged: 03/25/09

Loc: Wilmington, DE
Re: Starlight Instruments Customer Service Story... new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5643850 - 01/26/13 06:36 AM

I recently had correspondence with Wayne at Starlight on a past bad experience I had with a FT retrofit for my TAK FS-102 and a slightly out of true Pinion shaft, as well as a few other questions for future upgrades.
I have to say the responses were very quick and thorough and I wish on the original problem I had gone to Starlight/Wayne for support instead of the US Tak support group.
I'm just deciding now which upgrades I want to make before proceeding.


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ichdien
member


Reged: 11/27/08

Re: Starlight Instruments Customer Service Story... new [Re: Pete-LH]
      #5643864 - 01/26/13 06:59 AM

I also had a great experience with Starlight after I bought an expensive used scope that arrived with a bent pinion. First class products and service!

Jim


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RAKing
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/28/07

Loc: West of the D.C. Nebula
Re: Starlight Instruments Customer Service Story... new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5643916 - 01/26/13 08:03 AM

Quote:


Thank you Wayne, thank you Starlight.






+1

I have also received stellar service from Starlight the past few years and I just ordered another adapter from them. I have an extra 2 inch focuser sitting in my spares bin and plan to use it on my Lunt LS60.

I am spoiled by my FeatherTouch focusers. They are superb!


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Aquarist
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 08/27/12

Loc: Illinois
Re: Starlight Instruments Customer Service Story... new [Re: ichdien]
      #5643923 - 01/26/13 08:06 AM

Yes, Wayne rocks! Also available for customer service via telephone which is especially valuable for those of us trying to figure out a plan of action. And, of course, his products are superb as well, but that is probably already well known.

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Cotts
Just Wondering
*****

Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Re: Starlight Instruments Customer Service Story... new [Re: Aquarist]
      #5643974 - 01/26/13 08:52 AM

All of what you say is also true for Jon Joseph, the CEO and 'big chese' of Starlight.

Dave


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jaddbd
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Woodbine, MD
Re: Starlight Instruments Customer Service Story... new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5644132 - 01/26/13 10:38 AM

Quote:

didn't mention the slipping dew shade




+1 on Wayne. He has hooked me up on all the scope/adapter/camera issues I have on my setups.

Jim,

I have an SV105 (original owner) and have had the slipping dew shield problem. Easily recified: Unscrew the dewshield (carefully as to not unscrew the lens cell underneath it) and stratigically add some "anti-velcro" (that is, the soft side from a velcro stick on kit) to fatten out what was originally put in to create friction between the dew shield and the tube. Screw the dew shield back on and your back in bussiness.

John D


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AJT12
sage


Reged: 09/19/09

Re: Starlight Instruments Customer Service Story... new [Re: jaddbd]
      #5644153 - 01/26/13 10:49 AM

Wayne has provided me with phenomenal customer service over the years on several occasions. Incredibly knowledgeable and helpful.

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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Starlight Instruments Customer Service Story... new [Re: Calypte]
      #5644257 - 01/26/13 11:43 AM

Faded anodizing is a symptom of UV exposure. It is a defect caused by user mishandling/poor storage and is not a condition that would be "as new" or "mint". It is something that should have been disclosed and shown in photos when listed for sale. Obviously Wayne at Stralight considers "eggplant" colored black anodized knobs to be a defect warranting replacement.

Similarly, the slipping dew shade is a design defect from Stellarvue, but it is a defect that arises over time due to wear, not one that manifests when shipped from the factory. It's a wear-related item like tires. A used car is not "mint" if the tires are bald. Same here. When the felt used to hold the shade in place compresses due to use, the dew shade slips. It, too, is a disclosure item that prevents as used scope from being "mint".

In other words, they all aren't like that and none of them are like that new. Mint means "as new". What I received was a "project scope" not a "mint" scope. Now I'm doing the projects that are needed to take it back to "very good" condition. It is not cost effective to try and make it "excellent" or "near mint" as that would require a stripping, buffing, patching and repaint.

Regards,

Jim


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Starlight Instruments Customer Service Story... new [Re: jaddbd]
      #5644294 - 01/26/13 12:11 PM

Ironically, John, I was in the hardware store last weekend and picked up some Velcro strips with exactly this fix in mind. The scope is on the workbench with dew shade removed, waiting for me to attend to it this weekend. I figured the Velcro would hold up better than felt. Thanks for the validation, John!

Regards,

Jim


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Jan Owen
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/12/06

Loc: Sun City West, Arizona
Re: Starlight Instruments Customer Service Story... new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5644341 - 01/26/13 12:48 PM

Nice story. Thanks for sharing!!!

A good example for others to follow. Again, thanks for sharing...


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jaddbd
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Woodbine, MD
Re: Starlight Instruments Customer Service Story... new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5644407 - 01/26/13 01:27 PM

Quote:

Ironically, John, I was in the hardware store last weekend and picked up some Velcro strips with exactly this fix in mind. The scope is on the workbench with dew shade removed, waiting for me to attend to it this weekend. I figured the Velcro would hold up better than felt. Thanks for the validation, John!

Regards,

Jim




Your probably right on that one, I've had to do it twice already. I don't know why they even bothered with a set screw -it has been pretty much useless since not long after I got mine. The scope is great though...

JD


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tomcody
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/06/08

Loc: Titusville, Florida
Re: Starlight Instruments Customer Service Story... new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5644477 - 01/26/13 02:13 PM

Jim,
If you decide to use felt?
Here is a good source (look at the self adhesive felt strips) that has about any size ,color and thickness you could ask for.
(This is where I get felt to reline tube rings)

http://www.durofelt.com/products.html

Rex

Edited by tomcody (01/26/13 02:14 PM)


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
*****

Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: Starlight Instruments Customer Service Story... new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5644723 - 01/26/13 04:57 PM

No surprise, Jim! Any dealings that I've had with them have ALL been positive. Good people, Feathertouch.

David


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Mr Onions
Two Time International Photographical Competition Winner
*****

Reged: 04/14/07

Loc: Newcastle upon Tyne.
Re: Starlight Instruments Customer Service Story... new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #5644727 - 01/26/13 04:59 PM

Great story,good on both of you.

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City Kid
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/06/09

Loc: Northern Indiana
Re: Starlight Instruments Customer Service Story... new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5645747 - 01/27/13 10:19 AM

Great story. This is the kind of customer service that can keep a company in business even in hard times. I live about an hour and fifteen minutes from Starlight Instruments and I've considered calling them to see if I could come take a look inside. Reading this thread just may be the impetus I need to make the call.

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Darren Drake
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/09/02

Loc: Chicagoland
Re: Starlight Instruments Customer Service Story... new [Re: City Kid]
      #5645948 - 01/27/13 12:17 PM

I went there for a tour then decided to write a CN article on the experience. They later made it a part of their website. I'm pretty sure they still welcome visitors.

http://www.starlightinstruments.com/About-Us/index.cfm


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tomchris
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/22/10

Loc: Connecticut, U.S.A.
Re: Starlight Instruments Customer Service Story... new [Re: jjbird]
      #5646802 - 01/27/13 07:51 PM

Quote:

Wayne runs a first class outfit at Starlight, as does Ron at Moonlite. [/quote

I couldn't agree more on both counts!

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Mary
sage


Reged: 01/29/08

Loc: Highlands Ranch, CO
Re: Starlight Instruments Customer Service Story... new [Re: Mr Onions]
      #5647760 - 01/28/13 10:31 AM

Wonderful story Jim!!! I must say that I love my Feathertouch focusers! It is so wonderful to know that if I ever need their help, all I have to do is pick up a phone.

Mary


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Aquarist
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 08/27/12

Loc: Illinois
Re: Starlight Instruments Customer Service Story... new [Re: Darren Drake]
      #5647772 - 01/28/13 10:41 AM

Quote:

I went there for a tour then decided to write a CN article on the experience. They later made it a part of their website. I'm pretty sure they still welcome visitors.

http://www.starlightinstruments.com/About-Us/index.cfm




Excellent writeup and definitely worth a read. Makes me want to drive down and get a tour . . .


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t.r.
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 02/14/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Starlight Instruments Customer Service Story... new [Re: Aquarist]
      #5647816 - 01/28/13 11:01 AM

Word gets around...I love their products.

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Emanuel
sage


Reged: 08/30/09

Re: Starlight Instruments Customer Service Story... new [Re: t.r.]
      #5648750 - 01/28/13 05:17 PM

Well, i just want to say that ive just bought a Feathertouch focuser, to replace the one i have on my WO FLT 132mm. Its awesome, cant wait to install it on the refractor and try it!

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okieav8rAdministrator
I'd rather be flying!
*****

Reged: 03/01/09

Loc: Oklahoma!
Re: Starlight Instruments Customer Service Story... new [Re: Emanuel]
      #5649216 - 01/28/13 08:42 PM

Here's my two cents. There has been a few times when I've e-mailed Starlight about an issue where Wayne has actually called me on the phone to help me with the problem, always resolved to my satisfaction. Also, John Joseph has attended the last several Okie-Tex star parties, and is a lot of fun to hang out with. They've got me as a customer for life.

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timwetherell
sage
*****

Reged: 09/03/10

Loc: A Land Down Under
Re: Starlight Instruments Customer Service Story... new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5651435 - 01/30/13 12:06 AM

My experience too. They made a custom focusser for an old telescope I was restoring and I couldn't fault them -
absolutely first rate!


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: Starlight Instruments Customer Service Story... new [Re: timwetherell]
      #5656148 - 02/01/13 11:09 AM

I had someone bring in a C14 for some work and there was a slight shift in their Feather Touch focuser along with some annodizing issues. They replaced the whole thing without a problem. I did not sell the focuser to the customer or know the history of its use.

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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Starlight Instruments Customer Service Story... new [Re: EFT]
      #5656271 - 02/01/13 12:30 PM

Maybe get the white velcro strips, don't want dew getting any felt/cloth strips wet and having the dye bleed into the scope's finish. There was another thread here where the felt on scope rings bled into the scope's finish.

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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Starlight Instruments Customer Service Story... new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5657152 - 02/01/13 09:14 PM

Not a worry here. The finish on mine is shot. Scratches, a dent and the un-clearcoated dew shade has faded differently that the clear coated main tube. She's ugly for sure, but perhaps she can dance. The LOMO lens is the gem. The rest is just metal.

- Jim


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Sean Puett
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/06/10

Loc: always cloudy, washington
Re: Starlight Instruments Customer Service Story... new [Re: Mr Onions]
      #5657931 - 02/02/13 11:14 AM

What is funny is I came in here to defend Starlight and Wayne. I just assumed from the title that it was going to be negative. I had excellent service including a personal email double checking my order because there are two different focusers on TeleVue scopes. I ordered the right one because my scope is an older one but, he just wanted to make sure.

Really impressed me with that and a DVD with installation instructions. Well packaged top of the line goods, with excellent service, how could someone not love this company?


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