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bobmarleyou812
sage
*****

Reged: 01/18/08

Loc: CA
Re: Orion customer service? new [Re: Scott in NC]
      #5616289 - 01/10/13 09:20 PM

My experience differs from others posted here.
I bought a new case that had some loose threads on the inside of it. Not a month later the bag started to fall apart so I left a negative review on Orions website. They contacted me and offered a replacement. I did have to pay for shipping the bag back to them, but they made an attempt to make it right, and initiated the contact none the less. The new bag has the same flaws as the old one, but I still use it. I give them kudos for initiating contact with me and trying to make it right. The QC of this one product stinks, but everything else I have that has the Orion name on it (Mak, Sirius, Atlas) is top notch for China import IMO. That was about 5 years ago. No experience with customer service since, haven't needed it.


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debarb
member


Reged: 11/06/12

Re: Orion customer service? [Re: bobmarleyou812]
      #5616598 - 01/11/13 02:01 AM

Quote:

My experience differs from others posted here.
I bought a new case that had some loose threads on the inside of it. Not a month later the bag started to fall apart so I left a negative review on Orions website. They contacted me and offered a replacement. I did have to pay for shipping the bag back to them, but they made an attempt to make it right, and initiated the contact none the less. The new bag has the same flaws as the old one, but I still use it. I give them kudos for initiating contact with me and trying to make it right. The QC of this one product stinks, but everything else I have that has the Orion name on it (Mak, Sirius, Atlas) is top notch for China import IMO. That was about 5 years ago. No experience with customer service since, haven't needed it.




They send you a badly made bag,require you to pay the postage to send it back to them, and then they send another one that's just as poorly made? With due respect,that qualifies as bad customer service in my book.

On the other hand, McMaster-Carr is, as others have said, da bomb. I order knobs on Monday, in my hands on Wednesday, and the price for two knobs including 2-day shipping: $6.59. If McMaster-Carr only made telescopes!


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bobmarleyou812
sage
*****

Reged: 01/18/08

Loc: CA
Re: Orion customer service? new [Re: debarb]
      #5617219 - 01/11/13 12:46 PM

Quote:

Quote:

My experience differs from others posted here.
I bought a new case that had some loose threads on the inside of it. Not a month later the bag started to fall apart so I left a negative review on Orions website. They contacted me and offered a replacement. I did have to pay for shipping the bag back to them, but they made an attempt to make it right, and initiated the contact none the less. The new bag has the same flaws as the old one, but I still use it. I give them kudos for initiating contact with me and trying to make it right. The QC of this one product stinks, but everything else I have that has the Orion name on it (Mak, Sirius, Atlas) is top notch for China import IMO. That was about 5 years ago. No experience with customer service since, haven't needed it.




They send you a badly made bag,require you to pay the postage to send it back to them, and then they send another one that's just as poorly made? With due respect,that qualifies as bad customer service in my book.

On the other hand, McMaster-Carr is, as others have said, da bomb. I order knobs on Monday, in my hands on Wednesday, and the price for two knobs including 2-day shipping: $6.59. If McMaster-Carr only made telescopes!





Well like I said - I think it is more of a Quality Control issue and I only experienced bad Quality Control from Orion on that one single item out of many products purchased them.

I guess I just appreciated the fact that Customer Service CONTACTED ME and offered a replacement. Interpret it how you wish though.


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Jim Rosenstock
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/14/05

Loc: MD, south of the DC Nebula
Re: Orion customer service? new [Re: bobmarleyou812]
      #5617380 - 01/11/13 02:38 PM

Orion doesn't necessarily continue to support their products to original purchasers, either. Their product line changes over time, and, as others have noted, Orion doesn't manufacture anything, nor do they keep large quantities of spare parts on hand indefinitely. So, original purchaser or not, you'll likely be in "fix it yourself" mode with many Orion products no longer in their catalog.

Fortunately, many if not most of us in the amateur astronomy community have gotten pretty good at "fix it yourself"....

Orion's huge "plus" is that it provides "one-stop shopping" for somebody wanting an initial setup to do astronomy. I used them, ....then moved on from there. Most of us do....

Two big Orion "minuses" are the lack of ongoing product support, and their regularly excessive shipping fees.

It is what it is....and they're good for....what they're good for, and that's about it.

Jim


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CJK
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/05/12

Loc: Northeast TN
Re: Orion customer service? new [Re: Jim Rosenstock]
      #5617411 - 01/11/13 02:57 PM

I think you've pretty much summed it up, Jim.

I'm very pleased with what I've purchased from Orion, but most of my subsequent shopping has been from places like Astronomics, OPT, and Agena Astro.

-- Chris


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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: Orion customer service? new [Re: Jim Rosenstock]
      #5617440 - 01/11/13 03:11 PM

Never really did care for Orion much and glad I didn't start there . They have typically always been a less bang for the buck company . Then the cool truss Dobs with intellescope and go to came out . Wow ! Who else does this ? And at a price that really can't be beat . This being quite opposite to the basic pricing of the other stuff in their line . So , as a twelve inch Dob would be my next choice in adding to my equipment lineup , I seriously thought the truss style go to with tracking would be the bomb for me .
Unfortunately , Orion's blantent refusal to customer service or even sales of parts to anyone owning a second hand unit really makes me want to rethink the making of a purchase from them at all .


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FebStars
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/02/06

Loc: MA
Re: Orion customer service? new [Re: starrancher]
      #5621533 - 01/13/13 07:57 PM

I would like to point out that we as a consumer group are small compared to other markets, and in order to keep their doors open, they have to have policies in place that will foster that notion. I have owned several ( 8 or more) Orion scopes over the years, as well as their EQ-G Mount. Sometimes I had issues. They took care of every one of them. Quite frankly, I would not expect them to sell me parts for a used piece of EQ. They should save the parts, which I am sure are limited, for Original owners, and customers should be aware that many businesses even outside the realm of Astro EQ do the same.

I also find this thread verging on Vendor bashing without substance and am wondering why the moderator has not shut it down.

Respectfully,
Tom H

I have no personal interest in Orion other than being a very satisfied customer who is grateful they are still open.


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okieav8r
I'd rather be flying!
*****

Reged: 03/01/09

Loc: Oklahoma!
Re: Orion customer service? new [Re: FebStars]
      #5621711 - 01/13/13 09:20 PM

Quote:

I would like to point out that we as a consumer group are small compared to other markets, and in order to keep their doors open, they have to have policies in place that will foster that notion. I have owned several ( 8 or more) Orion scopes over the years, as well as their EQ-G Mount. Sometimes I had issues. They took care of every one of them. Quite frankly, I would not expect them to sell me parts for a used piece of EQ. They should save the parts, which I am sure are limited, for Original owners, and customers should be aware that many businesses even outside the realm of Astro EQ do the same.

I also find this thread verging on Vendor bashing without substance and am wondering why the moderator has not shut it down.

Respectfully,
Tom H

I have no personal interest in Orion other than being a very satisfied customer who is grateful they are still open.




I haven't seen any vendor bashing. Pretty much just folks recounting their experiences and stating their opinions in a civil manner as you have just done.


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mfromb
super member


Reged: 12/13/12

Loc: Boston, MA
Re: Orion customer service? new [Re: debarb]
      #5621783 - 01/13/13 09:55 PM

Unlike the experiences some others are relating, I am an owner of an XT8i that was purchased used and I did received great support from Orion (when sourcing a missing part).

I got on Orion's website chat on a Friday evening, after discovering I was missing the nylon 'braking' washer (unsure if original owner omitted in the build or it was lost somewhere along the way, but irrelevant). In the chat session I was very clear about the situation (purchased a used XT8i), and my main hope was to find a replacement part to purchase OR get the specs (type of material, dimensions of the disc, etc.) so I could manufacture one or find something similar at a hardware store.

They were very accomodating, and connected me (via chat) to a tech who talked me thru making sure I and he were referencing the same part. They shipped to me (and they paid the shipping).

Again, I was clear about this being a used scope I had just purchased, only to find the missing part.

So, my experience was that they were very supportive. This may not be 'the norm'. If it's not, then I would suggest Orion has some problems in the area of customer support. Whether or not they provide help to used-scope purchasers, or not, they should at least be consistent!

At any rate, I would recommend taking the website chat route and see if they can assist you. It's 'free', except for your time/effort, and I'm not the only one they've helped in this manner.

Best regards


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FebStars
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/02/06

Loc: MA
Re: Orion customer service? new [Re: mfromb]
      #5621804 - 01/13/13 10:14 PM

@ Rex...True. I may have overstated things with my ending comments...my apologies.

Tom


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Scott in NC
Mad Hatter
*****

Reged: 03/05/05

Loc: NC
Re: Orion customer service? new [Re: mfromb]
      #5621813 - 01/13/13 10:18 PM

Quote:

Unlike the experiences some others are relating, I am an owner of an XT8i that was purchased used and I did received great support from Orion (when sourcing a missing part).




That's good to hear. Do you happen to recall how long ago that happened? The reason that I ask is that I had a similar experience when I contacted them 4 or 5 years ago about getting a replacement primary mirror collimation screw for a 4.5" Starblast that I had purchased used. I offered to pay for the part, but they kindly mailed it to me free of charge. I wonder if they changed their policy somewhere in the interim.


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tecmageModerator
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/13/10

Loc: Glenview, IL
Re: Orion customer service? new [Re: FebStars]
      #5621832 - 01/13/13 10:27 PM

Quote:

I also find this thread verging on Vendor bashing without substance and am wondering why the moderator has not shut it down.





Don't worry, we're watching.


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BDS316
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/16/09

Loc: Sol 3
Re: Orion customer service? new [Re: okieav8r]
      #5621971 - 01/14/13 12:19 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I would like to point out that we as a consumer group are small compared to other markets, and in order to keep their doors open, they have to have policies in place that will foster that notion. I have owned several ( 8 or more) Orion scopes over the years, as well as their EQ-G Mount. Sometimes I had issues. They took care of every one of them. Quite frankly, I would not expect them to sell me parts for a used piece of EQ. They should save the parts, which I am sure are limited, for Original owners, and customers should be aware that many businesses even outside the realm of Astro EQ do the same.

I also find this thread verging on Vendor bashing without substance and am wondering why the moderator has not shut it down.

Respectfully,
Tom H

I have no personal interest in Orion other than being a very satisfied customer who is grateful they are still open.




I haven't seen any vendor bashing. Pretty much just folks recounting their experiences and stating their opinions in a civil manner as you have just done.




+1


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debarb
member


Reged: 11/06/12

Re: Orion customer service? new [Re: BDS316]
      #5622035 - 01/14/13 01:22 AM

For the record, until a couple of weeks ago, I had no reason not to appreciate Orion. I drove three hundred miles round trip back in November to pick up a very nice 2nd hand xt12i; since then, my 11-yr-old daughter and I (and half the neighborhood) have had a great time on those few cloudless nights we've had, thanks to our Orion scope. So I wasn't looking for trouble when I asked them, in one phone call and two emails, if I could purchase a replacement knob. The communication stopped, it seemed, the minute they found out I'd bought my scope 2nd hand.

Of course, they're welcome to institute any policy they wish. But they should, at the very least, make it clear to prospective buyers of new equipment that scopes bought 2nd hand will not be supplied with parts if the need arises. When and if I decide to sell my scope, I will certainly have to convey that information to any prospective buyer. It would be dishonest not to, since it's reasonable to assume that a company still in business will sell you parts for their equipment, regardless of whether you bought new or used.

But even when I asked Orion point blank in my second email whether it was true they wouldn't sell parts to owners of 2nd hand equipment, I got no response: no parts, and no explanation. Evidently they consider instituting the policy good for business, but publicizing--or even copping to-- the policy bad for business.


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CJK
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/05/12

Loc: Northeast TN
Re: Orion customer service? new [Re: debarb]
      #5622131 - 01/14/13 05:06 AM

Since many (most?) of Orion's offerings are sold under other labels as well, has anyone tried obtaining a needed part from Celestron or SkyWatcher (for example) instead?

-- Chris


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GeneT
Ely Kid
*****

Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: Orion customer service? new [Re: FirstSight]
      #5623510 - 01/14/13 10:00 PM

Quote:

Perhaps Orion's reasoning for limiting sale of replacement parts to original customers is reluctance to open the door to becoming a de facto ATM parts dealer for homebrewed scopes, viewing that as a low-to-no-profit proposition that might require either maintaining a larger parts inventory or else risk not having critical parts timely on hand to service original owner needs (whether under warranty or post-warranty).




Never thought of this possibility. However, I don't believe Orion has handled this issue very well from a public relations perspective. If they sell a telescope, it is arbitrary to service a first owner, but not a second owner. Orion does not need to service other brands. However, they should service their own brand regardless of how many owners it passed through.


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Paul G
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/08/03

Loc: Freedonia
Re: Orion customer service? new [Re: debarb]
      #5624070 - 01/15/13 09:41 AM

I suspect it's strictly business. If it were profitable to carry enough spare parts to offer them to anyone with an Orion product they would be doing it. Keep in mind Orion occupies the value niche where buyers are very price conscious. Carrying extra parts is expensive and since they are strictly an importer and buyers can often get the same product under another brand name elsewhere it might not make sense to incur the extra cost.

Orion supports those who do business with them, they don't support those who don't buy from them. Lots of companies do that. If one wants better service for a product they buy from Orion they can always buy some of the Orion products from a high service dealer like Company 7, but like Orion they only support those who purchased from them.

You don't get what you don't pay for.


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FirstSight
Duke of Deneb
*****

Reged: 12/26/05

Loc: Raleigh, NC
Re: Orion customer service? new [Re: Paul G]
      #5624144 - 01/15/13 10:33 AM

Quote:

I suspect it's strictly business. If it were profitable to carry enough spare parts to offer them to anyone with an Orion product they would be doing it. Keep in mind Orion occupies the value niche where buyers are very price conscious. Carrying extra parts is expensive and since they are strictly an importer and buyers can often get the same product under another brand name elsewhere it might not make sense to incur the extra cost.




Orion could mitigate this inventory-cost issue by acting mainly as a parts agent for second owners, rather than servicing them out of stock-on-hand. They might only need to limit sales from stock-in-hand to critical parts that are too expensive to keep sufficient numbers readily on-hand to service both original and secondary owners in timely fashion.

The bottom line is that Orion needs to realize that although their parts sales policy may make sense from a bean-counter business perspective, it risks becoming deeply counterproductive from a product marketing perspective as more and more people within the astronomy community become hesitant to recommend their products to prospective newbies. Orion had, for a time, the kind of glowing word-of-mouth reputation for products and service most companies could only wish for in their fondest hopes. That reputation is suffering serious damage, and threads like this are part of the pathology of decline.

Good luck Orion ever getting my recommendation again without adding some deep qualifications that may give pause to any prospective buyers.


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: Orion customer service? new [Re: FirstSight]
      #5625866 - 01/16/13 09:37 AM

.

Edited by tecmage (01/16/13 11:09 PM)


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spongebob@55
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 12/26/11

Loc: Bergen Co. New Jersey
Re: Orion customer service? new [Re: EFT]
      #5626059 - 01/16/13 11:50 AM

I've had 95% good responses from new owner issues, and the one I didn't was myself early Alzheimer's. But they tried and tried to help and came up empty. But it was not their fault.
I am now trying to get a replacement GPS unit accessory 07949 under warranty from them for my Atlas. It downloads position, but the time and date are incorrect, or in one case, it seemed to have worked well, but pointed below the horizon. So I called, got a shipping notice on it that it was rec'd, but never a shipping notice with tracking. Yesterday I called about it, and this morning I got a string of e mails saying, 'sorry', its discontinued and we don't have any'. Then another, 30 minutes later, saying, 'we understand this is a warranty issue, so we've found a few in our retail locations, and will ship NEXT DAY to you so you get it by Friday (which is tomorrow). Looks like the ending could be a good one......
But, why could they be ending this GPS unit without a reference to a new one, or with a reason that the order takers could reference on their screens?
This unit worked perfectly the 1st time, but then just didn't work (it was colder that night, like 25*). So I'm happy as a original buyer for their CS. A little annoyed at their non transferable 2nd owner policy though.
On the other side, I bought a used ED APO refractor second hand for Ex. Scientific. It was register in warranty for 1 year and still barely within that time. I cracked the edge of the objective. I explained to them the issue, and asked how much to fix. They said, they would change the warranty coverage to me up to their 5 year warranty, and then it would b covered under warranty!!!! Wow. 2nd owner chips the lens , admits it, and its still covered???? WOW!! Well ok. I ship it to them and they ship back the scope, with a new objective, at their cost. Holy Moly! Since then, I've traded in that one for a 127ED Triplet and bought about 4-5 EPs from them. I also regularly look at ES products that I see whats coming out and follow anything that has ES in the headline. Thats CS!
BTW, does anyone have the email that the Pres/CFO of Orion sent us all thanking us and 'wanting to hear any input'. I you would, could you send it to me please? thanks


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