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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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CharlesW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/02/12

Loc: Chula Vista & Indio, CA
An utterly disappointing experience
      #5793664 - 04/12/13 01:05 AM

Back in mid February I purchased a Paramount MX on their $1000 sale. Since then I've had the mount set up three times in my yard. Clouds kept me dormant for all the other days. Of those three attempts, I got the mount to function correctly once.
The first time, I got a Comm error that prevented the mount from initializing. No matter what I tried, the Comm error would not clear. Last night, I set everything up, turned the mount on and I was met by a horrendous buzz coming out of one of the motor housings and it would not connect with my laptop. That problem degenerated into what I assume is a complete electrical failure of the mount.
I called Software Bisque this morning. I was told that no one would speak to me and I would have to post my problem on their support forum. The best response I got today from them was a request for a screen shot of my mount firmware numbers, but that my problem might be electronic.
I just read their policy on warranty replacement of the control board. I pay them $300, they send me a new board and I install it. I send the old board back and they credit me $300. And I get to pay shipping both ways. I don't remember paying OPT all that money so I could become an SB service tech or Beta tester. And OPT's policy, don't bring it to us, it's the manufacturer's problem.
As I said, "An utterly disappointing experience."


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ManuelJ
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/19/05

Loc: Madrid, Spain
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: CharlesW]
      #5793700 - 04/12/13 01:40 AM

Welcome to my world, the beta testing astronomers.

You'll learn to appreciate it over the years.


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Agatha
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/04/12

Loc: Coulee Region, Wisconsin
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: CharlesW]
      #5793701 - 04/12/13 01:41 AM

Charles,

Disappointing to say the least. I hope things get straightened out without too much expense. Having to deal with problems on something so new and of this caliber must also be a bit heartbreaking. I hope for the best. Good luck.

Regards, Linda B.


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NilRecurring
newbie


Reged: 02/19/13

Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: Agatha]
      #5793797 - 04/12/13 04:40 AM

The MX seems to have a lot of problems if you read the SB forums. Just from the top of my head - there was someone whose belts had completely worn out and TheSkyX kept saying that the mount had hit something or was out of balance. Another recent issue was when declination motor had been unplugged from the MKS board. A few MXs sold from the first run also had bad worms and SB had to replace them.

SB did fix all of these issues and did right by their customers, but I just feel that such an expensive mount shouldn't be developing problems like this. I also feel that they should be willing to help customers over the phone, email or over their support form - just like AP.

A few members of SB are quite helpful and assist you in troubleshooting the fault, from what I've noticed and then they send you a new part. I don't mind them having a deposit but at least pay for shipping from your end - if your mount hadn't failed why would I need additional motors or a new board?

I am an MX owner myself but haven't had the chance to use my mount yet. It's still in it's box, and I'm waiting for an adapter that I needed to attach the mount on my G11 tripod - but stories like yours leave me quite worried and makes me wonder "Did I make the right choice with the MX?". Please note this post isn't meant to be SB bashing - on the contrary, I think, overall, SB makes some great hardware (as good as AP, IMO - especially the ME) and great software, but their customer service needs to step up.

Edited by NilRecurring (04/12/13 04:41 AM)


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CharlesW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/02/12

Loc: Chula Vista & Indio, CA
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: NilRecurring]
      #5794114 - 04/12/13 10:29 AM

You know, having to deal with this problem over a support forum just leaves ou with a feeling of helplessness. You post your problem, and then sit around and wait for a response. And you reply, and more waiting. Don't forget, today's Friday, they are leaving for the weekend and I'll be left looking at 50 lbs of anodized aluminum.

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coz
sage


Reged: 08/25/10

Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: CharlesW]
      #5794170 - 04/12/13 10:55 AM

Bummer good luck. I feel like an out of the box problem should be treated very differently than a normal service problem with an old mount. I assume you can't return it either? With a small firm like this I would have hoped that they tested each mount before they sent it out.

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saadabbasi
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: 29N
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: coz]
      #5794178 - 04/12/13 10:58 AM

Quote:

With a small firm like this I would have hoped that they tested each mount before they sent it out.




From what I've read on SB forums (can't find the thread now), they do test each mount.


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coz
sage


Reged: 08/25/10

Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: saadabbasi]
      #5794322 - 04/12/13 12:10 PM

I wouldn't doubt it. They should take his call then and sort it out!

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WesC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: La Crescenta, CA
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: coz]
      #5794342 - 04/12/13 12:27 PM

I'm sorry but for a $9,000 mount you should absolutely be able to reach the company directly, you should not have to be reimbursed for their defective parts, you should not have to pay shipping nor any other nonsense.

They're treating you like you're a risk to them, and that is insulting.


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Footbag
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: WesC]
      #5794353 - 04/12/13 12:35 PM

Support forums are no replacement for customer service.

You could call the retailer and tell him you are considering disputing the credit card charges. Maybe he can put pressure on SB.

When you say they said "nobody could talk to you", were they busy or do they just not take customer support over the phone? Something doesn't seem right.

Edited by Footbag (04/12/13 12:37 PM)


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Binojunky
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/25/10

Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: Footbag]
      #5794367 - 04/12/13 12:43 PM

These things are nine grand and its belly up after a few weeks ,another reason to stick to low tech and cost stuff,DA.

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CounterWeight
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Palo alto, CA.
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: Binojunky]
      #5794847 - 04/12/13 04:24 PM

Have to admit that doesn't sound good at all. If you are certain everything was properly connected and nothing was accidently misconnected (if that is even possible) I'd send the whole mount in with detailed description of the issues and ask them to double check the wiring interconnects and the whole business in case there is more than one thing wrong. You are still under warranty, so have them do the thinking and the work? I wouldn't touch screw #1 just for liability reasons. You also deserve a good explanation of whatever it is that caused the issue.

If all this happens over the web I'd just demand that and ask for an RMA or whatever their system requires.


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astro_baby
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/17/08

Loc: United Kingdom
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5795169 - 04/12/13 06:20 PM

Wow...bummer. I feel for you and if it were me I would be hitting the roof.

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Alph
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Melmac
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: CharlesW]
      #5795181 - 04/12/13 06:31 PM

Quote:

I called Software Bisque this morning. I was told that no one would speak to me and I would have to post my problem on their support forum.



Thanks for bringing this up. I don't recall anyone mentioning it ever. Yes, Software Bisque does NOT have a phone support. It is the best kept secret by SB fan boys. DEMAND phone support!


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Cliff Hipsher
Pooh-Bah
***

Reged: 12/31/08

Loc: North Chesterfield, VA
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: CharlesW]
      #5795268 - 04/12/13 07:28 PM

The lack of customer support it totally unsatisfactory. I'd send the thing back, and then have my attorney give them a call...

With that said, thanks for the post. I just crossed SB off of my list of vendors...


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korborh
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/29/11

Loc: Arizona
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: saadabbasi]
      #5795515 - 04/12/13 10:29 PM

Quote:

Quote:

With a small firm like this I would have hoped that they tested each mount before they sent it out.




From what I've read on SB forums (can't find the thread now), they do test each mount.




Apparently not


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Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: CharlesW]
      #5795542 - 04/12/13 10:44 PM

Quote:


...I set everything up, turned the mount on and I was met by a horrendous buzz coming out of one of the motor housings and it would not connect with my laptop...





Quote:

That problem degenerated into what I assume is a complete electrical failure of the mount.




If there was something wrong with the motor it could have shorted out the board.

Quote:

I called Software Bisque this morning. I was told that no one would speak to me and I would have to post my problem on their support forum.




I had no idea this was their policy! That's horrible.

Quote:

I just read their policy on warranty replacement of the control board. I pay them $300, they send me a new board and I install it. I send the old board back and they credit me $300. And I get to pay shipping both ways...




Well, if it were a certain company who shall remain nameless, the wouldn't sell you parts and require you to figure out how to send the entire mount back and keep it a month. Which policy is better I guess depends on the circumstance. One worry I have is that if the motor caused a board failure, just changing the board will not only leave you with a bad motor but the motor may fry the new board and you are back to square one.

Quote:


As I said, "An utterly disappointing experience."




I agree. I find myself more than a little disappointed namely because the PMX was on my very short list. I am now having second thoughts.




Edited by Whichwayisnorth (04/12/13 10:46 PM)


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coz
sage


Reged: 08/25/10

Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5795552 - 04/12/13 10:54 PM

I guess everything can break not a reason to fault them for that. The service is surprising here though. Hope you get a solution soon.

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CharlesW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/02/12

Loc: Chula Vista & Indio, CA
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: coz]
      #5795754 - 04/13/13 01:29 AM

I have been on the phone with Bill Dean at OPT. He doesn't know me from a hole in the wall but after a short conversation he's willing to pull the control board from his prsonal mount to diagnose my problem. In anticipation of his arrival I dropped the control board tray.
I immediately noticed that three control board mounting screws were missing. Well, not exactly missing. They were jammed into some device pins that were sticking out. So I retrieved the screws and reinstalled them. I reattached the cables and powered up the mount. I guess you can only short out an electronics board in so many places before it's completely fried. I called Bill back with this new info and to his credit he is still willing to come.
If you have a Paramount, you might want to take a look at those screws.


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Neil27
super member


Reged: 12/15/08

Loc: Lincoln, England
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: CharlesW]
      #5795755 - 04/13/13 01:34 AM

I understand your frustrations and having had a similar situation happen to me several years ago it has soured my experience with SB.

2 board failures within 3 months which left the mount silent for what was the longest stretch of clear skies ever known to the UK left me hopping mad, can't really blame the Bisque brothers for the weather but I can for the failures with the mount.

When I discovered the forum it was actually frightening reading about the different types and quantity of failures. OK I know they must have hundreds in the field that are working faultlessly, it just surprised me after encountering mine and thinking mine was a 'one off'!

I feel your pain Charles, but once working they track like a good 'un and I'm sure the mount will make up for the pain you are feeling now.

Good luck, Neil.


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Dwight56
super member


Reged: 04/17/10

Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: Neil27]
      #5795989 - 04/13/13 06:23 AM

Astro-Physics encourages you to call them with a problem with their equipment. With AP even if the equipment is 20 years old plus they will work with you. I can't believe Software bisque does not have a customer sevice number and having to pay for parts and shipping is wrong.

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Paul G
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/08/03

Loc: Freedonia
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: Dwight56]
      #5796136 - 04/13/13 08:32 AM

Quote:

Astro-Physics encourages you to call them with a problem with their equipment. With AP even if the equipment is 20 years old plus they will work with you. I can't believe Software bisque does not have a customer sevice number and having to pay for parts and shipping is wrong.




Yeah, not being able to even speak with a tech support person is beyond the pale, particularly for such an expensive product. Support forums are slow and cumbersome, sometimes taking days to accomplish what could be done in a five minute phone conversation. Makes me appreciate Astro-Physics' superb tech support.


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CharlesW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/02/12

Loc: Chula Vista & Indio, CA
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: Paul G]
      #5796281 - 04/13/13 10:00 AM

This is their policy concerning warranty replacement of the control board.

MKS 5000 Warranty Replacement Policy

Once Software Bisque has determined that a replacement is necessary, and the Paramount MX is still under warranty, then you are eligible to receive a replacement MKS 5000 board.

A $300.00 deposit is required to order a warranty replacement electronic board. 
The failed MKS 5000 must be returned to Software Bisque. 
When Software Bisque receives the failed electronics, your account will be credited the amount of the deposit.
Shipping and handling charges are applicable on warranty and non-warranty electronics replacements.

It goes on with more nitty-gritty, and again they remind you that you are footing the shipping bill. Oh, and and far as "determining if a replacement is needed," I haven't heard word one from them since Thursday.


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Psyire
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 06/24/07

Loc: 55* North
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: CharlesW]
      #5796357 - 04/13/13 10:36 AM

While maybe not the 'best' warranty policy in the industry, it's certainly not the worst. You could be required to ship the whole mount back to them and wait an undetermined amount of time to receive it back. While it's extremely unfortunate what has happened here it does seem to be a 'one off' incident and I'm sure SB will take care of you when all is said and done. I'm don't think you can use this one incident as a measuring stick for their entire support program, as there are many happy SB customers. If it were me though I would have phone support too just to keep incidents like this out of the public spotlight. Too put it in perspective,, I've seen much worse situations with companies selling $50k+ vehicles.. That's not an excuse but I'm sure the OP will have a fully functional, great, life time mount up and running with in a couple weeks. If not, I'll kindly eat these words...

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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: Psyire]
      #5796640 - 04/13/13 01:30 PM

Or, they could take on the task of actually supporting a customer with one of their very expensive mounts bad-out-of-the-box . That's just my opinion, though, and you know what they say about those.

Edited by rmollise (04/13/13 01:30 PM)


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: rmollise]
      #5796668 - 04/13/13 01:46 PM

I am absolutely floored by this.

Mr. Bisque himself attended ASAE last year. I expect if you come visit tucson in November, you may have the chance to talk to someone from SB where they can't duck out.

-Rich


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5796686 - 04/13/13 02:02 PM

Quote:

I am absolutely floored by this.

Mr. Bisque himself attended ASAE last year. I expect if you come visit tucson in November, you may have the chance to talk to someone from SB where they can't duck out.

-Rich




Let me add that, as always, we are only hearing one side of the story. I certainly have no reason to disbelieve the OP, though.

As far as this support policy? If this is indeed how it is, it is appropriate for a 300 dollar computer program; not appropriate for a 10K and very complex mount.


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: rmollise]
      #5796706 - 04/13/13 02:23 PM

OPT should make it right. At least back when Mike Mower (if my memory is not flawed) managed the place l, that's how it was.

Sounds like Bill Dean wants to make it right. How long have you had the mount?

Jon


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BlueGrass
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/25/09

Loc: Wasatch Front, UT
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: CharlesW]
      #5796749 - 04/13/13 02:50 PM

This policy of pay, RMA exchange and credit is not that unusual. For equipment in this price range though, no telephone tech support is amazing... AP does a grand job of supporting their customers and perhaps the quality and reliability of the equipment means that the amount of phone support is minimal, don't know ... but you'd think SB would at least have a call back policy?

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DaveJ
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/07/05

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5796758 - 04/13/13 02:55 PM

Quote:

OPT should make it right. At least back when Mike Mower (if my memory is not flawed) managed the place l, that's how it was.




It was "Mike Fowler," and Craig Weatherwax was the owner then as he still is.


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CharlesW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/02/12

Loc: Chula Vista & Indio, CA
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: DaveJ]
      #5797201 - 04/13/13 05:23 PM

Bill Dean from OPT came to my house this morning and assisted me in resolving the issue with my control board. I won't say what we did but the "mount" works despite the fact that I had three screws bouncing around inside my board tray like a Pachinko game. Unfortunately, the mount was not the only casualty. It looks like my hand control took a gut shot with all that uncontrolled current flying around.

I finally did receive emails from Steve and Sarah Bisque yesterday afternoon. Hate to sound like a whiner but here is the problem with that, I'm expecting to see responses in the support forum and they sent emails. I frankly didn't check that email account until this morning.

I will say that despite their codified return policy, OPT has gone overboard in assisting me in this. I do want to love my mount, and I want to believe SB is a good company to deal with, but starting with, "We don't talk to owners," didn't sit well with me.

And finally, between my mount, Bill's MX, and one on the OPT salesroom floor, all three had loose control board screws.


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Bill Dean
member


Reged: 09/05/05

Loc: Encinitas, CA
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: CharlesW]
      #5797245 - 04/13/13 05:56 PM

Dang Charles, didn't even think to check that. Drop me a line and I can possibly swing down tomorrow with a hand controller.

Clear skies,

Bill


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CounterWeight
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Palo alto, CA.
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: Bill Dean]
      #5797392 - 04/13/13 07:45 PM

For all I've admired about this mount - IMO the 'loose screws' aren't just in the mounts! something i worry about web forum support is 'argument of the club' logic - and who do you listen to. these mounts with loose screws not returning to SB means they are unaware of whatever step is goofed up in the assy and QA - "sheesh". They wont see any of my money anytime soon. If Yuri at TEC, Al Nagler at TV, and sometimes Roland at A-P but always someone quite knowledgeable there - SB is the one off, not your mount problem. Companies are 'top down' in general when it comes to support and being 'customer friendly', the problem here is at the top of SB. They don't have the time or interest then frankly neither do I now...

Thank you so much for bringing this to light as I was unaware of this policy.

Hope things get 'squared away' soone and hats off to OPT for going the extra mile(s)!


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Red Shift
super member


Reged: 11/09/11

Loc: Bloomfield, New Jersey, USA
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5797514 - 04/13/13 09:33 PM

Not that I am in the market for their products right now,
but I think that this illustrates that this company does not care to stand behind their product.

I won't be even looking into their product, period.


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Dwight56
super member


Reged: 04/17/10

Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: Red Shift]
      #5797621 - 04/13/13 10:47 PM

Well it looks like its one good mark for OPT all the more reason to support OPT. Software Bisque on the otherhand had better straighten up there act. They cannot continue to do business this way. They most certainly need someone to man the phone who is very knowledgeble about there products. Astro-Physics will bend all different way's to support the end user. I'm shocked to learn the software bisque is not this way.

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wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: CharlesW]
      #5797791 - 04/14/13 02:00 AM

Quote:

This is their policy concerning warranty replacement of the control board.

your account will be credited the amount of the deposit.





Is that your CC account or your Bisque account? Sounds like they get your $300 either way.. I wonder.


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mich_al
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/10/09

Loc: Rural central lower Michigan ...
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: Red Shift]
      #5798064 - 04/14/13 10:26 AM

Quote:

Not that I am in the market for their products right now,
but I think that this illustrates that this company does not care to stand behind their product.

I won't be even looking into their product, period.




Please keep us informed on the outcome of this. I'm appalled that a high end mount would come with screws bouncing around inside and also found on other mounts. That speaks volumes on QC at SB. To not have customer support availible is strike two.
I've also been researching a new mount and have a spreadsheet holding all info to date. I just added a pointer to this thread next to the SB column.
I hope OPT is REAMING SB on this issue. Vendor have a lot more weight with suppliers than end users.
You have more patiencd than me, I'd have returned the whole shebang to OPT by now. I know it's not their fault but why should you be holding the bag here?


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Dwight56
super member


Reged: 04/17/10

Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: mich_al]
      #5798133 - 04/14/13 11:33 AM

Looks like there is going to be a new AP 1100 mount in my future. Thanks Software Bisque

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korborh
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/29/11

Loc: Arizona
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: Dwight56]
      #5798168 - 04/14/13 11:52 AM

I know someone who received a brand new PMX with scratches on the fork/body and was returned for replacement.

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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: Dwight56]
      #5798174 - 04/14/13 11:54 AM

That's the thing at AP- they have one guy do final assembly, hook it up to the master encoder, then watch it run and make sure it meets all specifications before crating it up to ship out.

But if anything does come up, they're ready to help. In fact, when I asked southern stars (another responsive company) to fix a Sync call in their mount control with Rcal, AP, helped southern stars with support to make sure it would be future compatible with APCC and a checkout when I told them what was going on. Everyone was happy.

-Rich

Edited by Starhawk (04/14/13 11:55 AM)


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saadabbasi
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: 29N
Re: An utterly disappointing experience *DELETED* new [Re: Dwight56]
      #5798247 - 04/14/13 12:37 PM

Post deleted by saadabbasi

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orlyandico
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5798294 - 04/14/13 01:17 PM

oh, so AP uses a master encoder for pre-programming the PEM?

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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: saadabbasi]
      #5798299 - 04/14/13 01:20 PM

Good Grief people.... give it break !!

SB has a long established history of quality products, and quality service. What we see here is one customer, who had an experience that he was not happy with.

SB did not refuse to address the customers issue. The customer did not to operate within the SB guidelines. And SB did respond to his post... with (apparently) direct email. The customer simply did not check his email !!

And OPT.... Holy Cow.... customer service right to the front door!

Lets not forget here that the customer seems to have been taken care of.

I am a customer of both SB, and OPT. I have had need of customer support (mostly answers to technical questions)... and the level of service from SB has always been up to the level of their superior reputation. In my humble opion, they are one of the finest astronomy vendors around. And OPT, lets not forget them. Outstanding service. Always!

I have had the please of meeting with some of the Bisque family at a recent astronomy show in Tucson, and enjoyed the experience. I will add that i meet the staff (and owner) of OPT there also. These are all great people to deal with.

When I read through this thread... I get that funny feeling that "something is not right here"...


And for all of you that are not going to purchase a SB product because of this thread.... Have you been following the other posts on products from other vendors ?? In todays marketplace, not every product is perfect every time. And... on CN, it appears that the minute something goes wrong, everyone wants to be a "pending customer" who is outraged, and is now going to "not buy from them"....

Good Grief !!!

My thanks to SB, and OPT for being quality companies, standing behind their products, and providing years of quality service to their customers.


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korborh
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/29/11

Loc: Arizona
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5798311 - 04/14/13 01:32 PM

Quote:

oh, so AP uses a master encoder for pre-programming the PEM?




Yes they use this high res encoder to ensure PE is smooth and within specs. They then store this PEC on the mount before shipping giving sub-arcsec tested PE out the box.
I was told by AP that this encoder gives accuracy at least as good as PEMPro if not better.


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orlyandico
Postmaster
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Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: korborh]
      #5798321 - 04/14/13 01:36 PM

Makes sense (the encoder).

And oh, I have not seen any similar story regarding AP gear.

Maybe I should ask Roland what sort of encoder he's using. Might help with my own encoder issues.


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Footbag
Postmaster
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Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5798392 - 04/14/13 02:00 PM

Quote:

And for all of you that are not going to purchase a SB product because of this thread.... Have you been following the other posts on products from other vendors ?? In todays marketplace, not every product is perfect every time. And... on CN, it appears that the minute something goes wrong, everyone wants to be a "pending customer" who is outraged, and is now going to "not buy from them"....




I think most of it stemmed from the fact that they don't have phone support. That was a big surprise to me. Obviously, if you ship enough products, something will go wrong. It's how you respond when things go wrong that people pay attention to.


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: Footbag]
      #5798476 - 04/14/13 02:22 PM

This "phone support" thing is part of "something is not right"....

I have had excellant support from SB. Most of the time, I post to their forum... and I always get a response, usually within a day or two... AND.... when they answer on the forum, the response is automaticcally sent to your email address. So you get the response both ways! ALWAYS !

But to the point of the "no phone support". I have personally been able to speak to them on at least three different occassions, and they are very responsive.

Now, as to "normal policy"..... yes, they would prefer that you post to the forums. I think there is probably a reason for that. Everyone can read the forums. And if you are having a problem, you may be able to find your answer there.


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gezak22
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 08/15/04

Loc: On far side of moon. Send help...
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5798488 - 04/14/13 02:27 PM

Quote:

Good Grief people.... give it break !!

SB has a long established history of quality products, and quality service. What we see here is one customer, who had an experience that he was not happy with.






No, apparently there have been at least three mounts with loose screws. To me, this points to poor QC. Loose metal is not acceptable as it can short things out. If it had been a plastic screw, I would let it slide, no problem.

I'm not surprised by OPT at all. Every single interaction I've had with them so far has been amazing.


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rmollise
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5798543 - 04/14/13 02:55 PM

Quote:

Good Grief people.... give it break !!







On edit, OPT is to be commended, that is for dern sure, and that is all I have to say. Would be nice to hear Software Bisque's side of the story.

Edited by rmollise (04/14/13 02:57 PM)


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5798557 - 04/14/13 03:01 PM

Quote:

This "phone support" thing is part of "something is not right"....

I have had excellant support from SB. Most of the time, I post to their forum... and I always get a response, usually within a day or two... AND.... when they answer on the forum, the response is automaticcally sent to your email address. So you get the response both ways! ALWAYS !

But to the point of the "no phone support". I have personally been able to speak to them on at least three different occassions, and they are very responsive.

Now, as to "normal policy"..... yes, they would prefer that you post to the forums. I think there is probably a reason for that. Everyone can read the forums. And if you are having a problem, you may be able to find your answer there.




Dave,

I would have to say that there is a difference between support on software like you have and new hardware like the OP. Online support forums are very much the norm for software these days. The point really is that, with some of the very visible problems that some astronomy companies have had recently, people are getting very touchy about support, especially on new product purchases. With the way the internet works, all companies have to be much more careful with how they handle customer support than they did in the past, even if they are generally very good about how they handle it. It's not fair, but a mistake or a bad policy can really hurt these days. But the best measure of a company these days is still not how good they are up front, but how good they are when the inevitable problem arises. We all face that. One thread, regardless of how long this one gets, will not put SB out of business and it may or may not cost them any, but it is not something than can be ignored in today's consumer climate.


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wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5798609 - 04/14/13 03:33 PM

Quote:

Makes sense (the encoder).





You don't need a star to do pec runs with an encoder. The encoder will see all the errors without image train/seeing/PA errors.. So awesome not to have to use a star..


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: EFT]
      #5798614 - 04/14/13 03:33 PM

Greetings Ed...

Hope you have a GREAT trip to NEAF, and a successful experience.

Yes, I use some of their software. But we (EVAC) have a SB mount over at the GRCO facility. We have had two major problems over the past 2-3 years, and both were "locally generated". SB provided assistance both times, over the phone, and the problems were resolved. That is part of what i was referring to.


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Alph
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Melmac
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: korborh]
      #5798770 - 04/14/13 04:31 PM

Quote:

I know someone who received a brand new PMX with scratches on the fork/body and was returned for replacement.




Unfortunately small scratches and blemishes on their mounts are not uncommon. They are almost unavoidable. If caught at the factory they will often cover them up with paint. You should have a rational response if you find something like that on your brad new mount. Use this as an opportunity to negotiate a discount on an accessory that you would like to purchase.


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CharlesW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/02/12

Loc: Chula Vista & Indio, CA
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: Alph]
      #5799525 - 04/14/13 10:01 PM

Mr. Douglas, "an experience that he was not happy with?" , "…did not operate within the SB guidelines", "simply did not check his email!!" I glad you feel this is all my fault.

This is the first indication that I had a problem. No response from any Bisque employee. http://www.bisque.com/sc/forums/p/18195/76519.aspx#76519

My problem becomes more severe. http://www.bisque.com/sc/forums/p/18254/76848.aspx#76848. The first response from Sarah Bisque asks for my firmware number. The second response from the company is Steve Bisque telling me he thinks this is an electronics problem. I don't have an ME or an EE but it was obvious to me there was an electronics problem. Attempting to get those numbers resulted in the complete destruction of my control board. You can watch the video, if it suits you.

Then I removed the electronics tray to expedite things for Mr. Dean from OPT. This is what I found http://www.bisque.com/sc/forums/t/18273.aspx. No response from any employee at SB. And, you certainly can't be suggesting, "Something is not right here", that I planted those screws. If your are, I'd like you to plainly state it.

Finally, after I installed a loaner board from OPT, I found that my hand control would not work in the fashion that it should, http://www.bisque.com/sc/forums/t/18280.aspx. No forum response from any SB employee.

Bill Dean, once again, offered to drive to my house to assist me with the hand control problem. I refused because this is an 80 mile round trip for him. Instead, today I met him closer to his home. He gave me his personal HC to test on my mount. I drove back home and plugged it in. It behaved in the same manner that mine did so now I began to think there was a minor problem with the loaner board OPT gave me. I called Mr. Dean and told him that it didn't work. He told me that he had just got off the phone with Steve Bisque where Mr. Bisque gave him a suggestion for solving this problem. Mr. Bisque didn't call me, and although Mr. Dean is a great guy, it's not his problem. Fortunately, the suggestions worked and my hand control functions correctly.

Here are the totality of the emails I have received from SB, in the order I received them.

Hello Charles,
 
I talked with him (Bill Dean) just a little while ago and we got your index angles so you can do some troubleshooting. Here they are so you both can have a copy of them:
RA – 3410
Dec – 3337
 
Let us know of your results (he said he would keep us informed as well) and we will be sure to resolve this problem! Thank you for your patience.
 
Sarah Bisque
Production Engineer
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Charles,

I don't know if there is anyone at OPT that can help you. In fact we are still trying to determine what is going on so I would not expect them to be able to help (though it is testimony to their customer service). Instead I think we should send a replacement controller. We have never hear those noises before.

Steve

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Charles,
 
Can you send pictures of the screws you are talking about?
 
Steve

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
You know, if any of the Bisques had taken the time to send me a message saying, "This is the most serious thing we have on our plate right now and we are going to get you fixed immediately," I would have been happy. If they had simply called me on the phone and talked to me for a second, I would have been happy.

Mr. Douglas, thank you for pointing out to me that I didn't follow their rules after I gave them $8300 of my money 50 days ago for a product that didn't work out of the box. I'm also dreadfully sorry that after I was told I would have to deal with the catastrophic failure of my $8300 mount through their support forum, I failed to check my email. I appreciate that, at least to my reading, you believe that I've staged this whole thing. And when you meet the Bisques again, you can tell them what a problem you think I've been for them. Finally, I think you better get out and check your control board screws, especially if you are out of warranty. You might find yourself in my shoes.


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: CharlesW]
      #5799552 - 04/14/13 10:14 PM

Hello Charles...

I see that you indeed do have a problem, more serious that i was reading. Nothing personal. I will back away now.

On edit: I should add...
That was a very detailed explanation, and (at least to me) and was well written out and detailed. Thank you for that.

Hopefully, SB and/or OPT will be able to get you squared away, and you are able to enjoy your mount for many years to come.

Edited by dmdouglass (04/14/13 10:18 PM)


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budman1961
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/25/11

Loc: Springfield, MO
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5799645 - 04/14/13 11:26 PM

I guess my question is, if you purchased the mount from OPT, why weren't they your first call? If I just bought a new car, and within the first few hours it died....I would call the dealership.....not the manufacturer.

Im thinking (in my feeble mind), that if im going to drop 9-10K on a mount (or whatever), I would be very familiar with their warranty/support policies.

Am I missing something?

Bravo to OPT for their amazing response. They are the retail dealer, they made a profit on the mount when it was sold, and IMHO, they should "fix" the situation.

Anyway.....just my 2 cents worth.

Andy


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: budman1961]
      #5799664 - 04/14/13 11:45 PM

Charles...

Private Message sent...


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blueman
Photon Catcher
*****

Reged: 07/20/07

Loc: California
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5799778 - 04/15/13 01:17 AM

This is a major differences from AP. If you have a problem you call and talk with a real person that knows the mount inside and out. They will tell you anything that you wish to know and if you wish to buy a part they will sell it to you and send it quickly.
You might even talk with Roland, if he is not too busy. But you will talk with someone that actually understands support.
Hope you get everything fixed and to your satisfaction soon.
Blueman


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orlyandico
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: blueman]
      #5799781 - 04/15/13 01:21 AM

Maybe SB has a much larger market that they can't do the personal hand-holding anymore? I know a lot of research is done with SB mounts so I imagine most of their market is government and universities, and not amateurs?

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mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5799792 - 04/15/13 01:43 AM

$9K is not a small sum by any measure. Phone support or not, OPT being helpful or not, etc., after all is said and done SB needs to replace OP's mount with a brand new unit if they are to clear their name and protect their reputation. Anything short of that is going to hurt them in the long run in my opinion. If it were me, I wouldn't have wanted anything lesser than that. Regards

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Tom and Beth
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/08/07

Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: CharlesW]
      #5799818 - 04/15/13 02:12 AM

everyone of the links to Bisque detailing the problems gives a "access denied" or page not found.

I would assume Charles had a valid link when he wrote his message. I just find it "interesting" that a support forum to resolve issues would (Apparently) delete messages that looked for help.

EDIT: IN light of the fact (see posts below) that a user account is necessary to have seen these posts, I retract my comments in the last sentence.

Edited by Tom and Beth (04/16/13 01:11 AM)


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ASTERON
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/24/07

Loc: ISRAEL
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: mmalik]
      #5799824 - 04/15/13 02:16 AM

I was considering an MX.
If three mounts leave their "famous" factory and/or QC Department with loose screws rattling within the mount shorting stuff on boards in a $9K mount this to me indicates serious QC trouble.
I also think their waranty stinks (Personal opinion, YMMV).
Time to check AP ?
I also don't think OPT should become Mount engineers, it not their Job ( It's highly commendable that they came to the rescue, but they should not have to do so - it SB's problem).
A high end product company that does not have a telephone service with someone knowledgebale on the other side of the line, sound's fishy to me to say the least. The forum thing may be useful but does not replace an honest service department- it is also strange that the people who designed and built the mount need to rely on help from users on a forum, IMHO it indicates somthing about their attitude towards their customers. There is no excuse for that kind of behaviour.

Edited by ASTERON (04/15/13 02:18 AM)


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ASTERON
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/24/07

Loc: ISRAEL
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: ASTERON]
      #5799835 - 04/15/13 02:29 AM

One more thing about warranties.
When a company gives you a "no questions asked- ship the darn thing back to us, we pay shipping and send you back a new mount at our expense" type of warranty, this to me indicates a certain degree of confidence in their product and the fact that someone sat down and calculated that on a very small percentage of faulty products they can afford to be generous to the customer without going out of bussiness.

OTOH ,a warranty that starts with "send us another $9K and ship the darn thing back to us at your expense and let's talk in a couple of months - and BTW have your lawyer call our lawyer" to me indicates lack of confidence in their own product or even worse that they expect 20% faulty products are getting shipped back that would ruin their bottom line.

But after all I'm just a paranoid potential customer - so SB probably know what they are doing

I now expect a torrent of criticism for me trying to bash the sacred SB warranty


Edited by ASTERON (04/15/13 05:20 AM)


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: ASTERON]
      #5799862 - 04/15/13 03:29 AM

Tom and Beth (and others too...)

The SB forums are restricted to registered users. Username and passwords are required.

Anyone can request approval to access the forums... (I think)... but only those with usernames and passwords can get in.


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JAT Observatory
NOT a Wimp
*****

Reged: 02/20/05

Loc: In the Primordial Soup
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: mmalik]
      #5799926 - 04/15/13 06:46 AM

My CS experience in the past with SB has been positive. I've talked to the Bisque brothers on the phone a couple of times and each time they have gone out of their way to resolve the issue. They used to have excellent CS. I hope that hasn't truly gone by the wayside.

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CharlesW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/02/12

Loc: Chula Vista & Indio, CA
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: JAT Observatory]
      #5800207 - 04/15/13 10:48 AM

I apologize for the bad links. I didn't realize at the time that they would be protected. I will say this and let it rest as this is a new week, a new day, and I am slightly less upset about the whole matter. You may argue that I didn't call the "right" company at the start of this but OPT doesn't have a service department. Although they are great guys, none of them are qualified to repair this mount. This isn't like I downloaded PHD Guiding, couldn't figure out how to get it calibrated, and then demanded to speak to Craig Stark. It also isn't the case that I bought just TheSkyX Pro from SB and couldn't figure out how to get my focuser, dome controller, and rotator to work. I'm also not the guy who intentionally plugged his 48V power supply cable into the 12V connector to see what would happen, frying his board. When I bought this mount I think I paid a significant portion of one of their engineer's salaries for the month and I just wanted some immediate one-on-one time. At least my mount is up and running now, albeit with a loaner board.

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korborh
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/29/11

Loc: Arizona
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: CharlesW]
      #5800251 - 04/15/13 11:11 AM

OPT
SB

Charles, hope you get your mount fixed as new.


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Steve Bisque
Vendor - Software Bisque


Reged: 06/03/11

Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: JAT Observatory]
      #5800725 - 04/15/13 02:33 PM

Eight years ago, Software Bisque spent months trying to come up with a way that we (a small group of engineers) could service thousands of customers using our software and hardware products. After much research and debate, we determined employing forums, where our customers could post questions, maintain serial numbers, and share experiences with other customers would be the best solution. To service this number of customers, we also had to necessarily discourage direct phone technical support in favor of forums.

I have read this thread, and many others on Cloudy Nights, that question these decisions. We still do a significant amount of phone support (I have spoken directly with thousands of customers over the years) but it is decidedly more efficient, taking all customers into account, to use forum-based support.

In this particular support case, a customer with a brand new mount had a bad out-of-the-box experience. There is nothing worse that can happen with a big purchase, and I understand the frustration. Over the last 16 years we have placed nearly 2,000 robotic systems into service with about 800,000 fasteners involved. Somehow, with this particular mount, there were three screws that came out completely. We are working to determine how this happened so that it never happens again.

Our robotic systems include a pyramid of technologies that include over a million lines of software code, state of the art electronics and firmware and about 100 parts machined here in our facility. We bend over backward at every step of design, production, coding and testing to be sure we are delivering a world class product. Sometimes we fall short.

I will be at the NEAIC and NEAF this week (as I have been every year for about 15 years) if any of the participants in this thread would like to speak with me directly about their concerns.

Stephen Bisque
President, Software Bisque


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darbyvet
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Seneca Falls, New York
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: korborh]
      #5800736 - 04/15/13 02:40 PM

I have an MX and have been very happy with the service they provide.I was aware of the forum support.Most of the problems I have had were easily fixable with a quick search of the forum or answered within 24 hours.
When I had a more serious problem(of my own making) both Dan and Tom helped me with direct email support.
I own a small business and find it hard to juggle my time.You could spend all day on the phone, but then you would get nothing else done.You could hire customer service reps, but unless they were very knowledgeable they would still end up having to ask the engineer.
Which calls do you take? Calls about theskyX, or just hardware problems or configuration problems.
Would customers then complain they had to wait too long for their mount to be built because they spent too much time on the phone.
It sounds like they responded pretty quickly to the problem by direct email.
The mounts are certainly expensive and it is not unreasonable to expect some personal attention, but it doesnt bother me that I have to post something first to get their attention.
I am in no way criticizing the OP,just expressing my opinion.


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Steve Bisque
Vendor - Software Bisque


Reged: 06/03/11

Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5800738 - 04/15/13 02:41 PM

Yes, anyone can participate on the Software Bisque forums even if they don't own our products. Customer interaction is prolific.

Steve


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Steve Bisque
Vendor - Software Bisque


Reged: 06/03/11

Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: ASTERON]
      #5800765 - 04/15/13 02:53 PM

Quote:


OTOH ,a warranty that starts with "send us another $9K and ship the darn thing back to us at your expense and let's talk in a couple of months - and BTW have your lawyer call our lawyer" to me indicates lack of confidence in their own product or even worse that they expect 20% faulty products are getting shipped back that would ruin their bottom line.






That is a big leap from what actually occurred, and that is not our policy. 99% of the time we can resolve issues without returning the mounts. They were designed for field service and upgrades. Many have been in service for over a decade.

Steve


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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: korborh]
      #5800795 - 04/15/13 03:10 PM

Quote:

everyone of the links to Bisque detailing the problems gives a "access denied" or page not found.



You do have to log into the website in order to read the support posts. Anyone can create an account on the Software Bisque website and read every single support post. You don't need to own a mount or any software in order to do that. All users may interact with each other. There's far less moderation there than there is here. With the exception of SPAM (which I've only ever seen there once), the Bisques do not delete support posts. There are no restricted post areas for logged in users. There are restricted downloads. You do need to have a registered serial number to download the software.

In my experience the Bisques prefer support interaction via their support forum so that everyone can see everything. It's all above board. They let it all hang out for all to see and benefit from. It's all searchable. Email is for truly need to be private details only. I don't think they have the resources to do one on one telephone support that benefits only the one caller and then has to then be written up by a writer and posted as a knowledge base article. If you're willing to do your homework before posting and pack useful information into your first post, the forum approach works very well. If you're passive aggressive or have a chip on your shoulder to begin with, then it may not.

Over the years Bisques' method of support has worked very well for me. I've always been able to count on them for prompt friendly help.

Disclaimer: I am a rather happy user. My current mount is a Paramount. My next mount will be a Paramount as well (just as soon as I can afford it - and then somehow sneak it past my wife).


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rat156
super member


Reged: 09/21/07

Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: frolinmod]
      #5801871 - 04/16/13 01:21 AM

Hi All,

As another owner of a "problematic" PMX I feel that I also should express my opinion on SB customer service.

I have mixed feelings about the Support Forums. As someone who lives in a timezone about 12 hours from SB and an expensive phone call away, phone support is not really an option. However, when I post a problem on the SBSC (support forum), I would like an answer pretty quickly, usually within the next 12 hours (as the problem usually crops up at night, this should be during normal working hours at SB), this doesn't seem unreasonable to me. Sometimes this happened, but usually from another user rather than SB. What really irks me is the sometimes glib response from someone at SB, waiting a couple of days for a response from SB, then getting a "please tell us what version of everything you are using" response is simply not good enough. It's fine to ask this, but then the response should also include other things to check for, or why previous versions have had similar faults. This leads to a long delay when you are not in the same country as SB in getting anything useful to test your mount. I don't have a Bill from OPT to assist me (though I did order my mount from them, the drive is REALLY long). This leads to feelings of being forgotten, several times I had to "bump" my posts to get action from SB. I NEVER received personal emails until I got Sarah's email from someone else in AUS and contacted her directly.

The distillation of my experience is that something that should have taken about a week of troubleshooting took about 9 months from start to finish (hopefully, I cant use my mount for another three months).

Cheers
Stuart


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Rossmon
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Reged: 07/09/10

Loc: Marin County, CA
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: Neil27]
      #5801915 - 04/16/13 02:11 AM

Wow! now that i have my 155EDF, i have taken some looks at SB and AP mounts. This thread has made it an easy decision to cross these SB folks off that small list. A vendor must never treat their customers like *BLEEP*, thats right next to the freedom of speech!
BTW, as a manager of technical support for thousands of users with millions of lines of code for many brands of computers, peripherals etc, Running multiple os's, I found that while automating many things makes sense, removing the tech support lines and personal contact is terrible form, only something an engineer of course would do., haha!

Edited by Rossmon (04/16/13 02:19 AM)


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orlyandico
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Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: Rossmon]
      #5801943 - 04/16/13 02:52 AM

so why is it that there is far less complaining about AP mounts? it's probably because software wise they are far simpler..?

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mmalik
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Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: CharlesW]
      #5801982 - 04/16/13 04:22 AM

Quote:

At least my mount is up and running now, albeit with a loaner board.




To my dismay, why are you settling for a loaner board after spending $9K? Why aren't you demanding a new one with latest firmware, etc.? How do you know loaner is new or used or have the latest updates? You may be satisfied but are setting a wrong precedent in my opinion and hope you don't mind my saying.

My other dismay, Steve Bisque makes NO mention of what he is going to do for you? Is loaner board the end game?

All I mean to say is that if it were me I wouldn't be satisfied with a loaner board from a third party and would have asked for a new mount let alone a new board from the manufacturer. The remedy you describe and how Steve Bisque has framed his post (dodging the real solution to your problem) is bound to make prospective customers quite leery of SB [phone support is NOT the issue at hand, fixing broken mount in highest quality IS]. So far it has been nothing but beating around the bush kind of situation from all parties, the buyer, the retailer, and the manufacturer. Regards


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EddWen
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Reged: 04/26/08

Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5801988 - 04/16/13 04:38 AM

I think it interesting, following the ap-gto forum as I have a 900 and 1200, that when someone posts a problem, many volunteers offer advice.

The advice may, or may not be correct.

Frequently, Roland will implore the OP to call the office and talk with xxxx or yyyy, presumeably to reach a solution to the problem more directly, than possibly following erroneous paths.

I also note that Charles is west coast, so the offer to resolve the issue at NEAF seems a bit lame.


Edited by EddWen (04/16/13 04:48 AM)


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CharlesW
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Reged: 11/02/12

Loc: Chula Vista & Indio, CA
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: EddWen]
      #5802250 - 04/16/13 10:08 AM

"In this particular support case, a customer with a brand new mount had a bad out-of-the-box experience. There is nothing worse that can happen with a big purchase, and I understand the frustration."

I thank Mr. Bisque for his response but when a customer takes the time to call your office in Golden, on their own dime, there has to be a way to triage the problem right then. Even your call taker should have enough experience to know that my issue was completely abnormal and that "Jeburnett" or "Ernie" wasn't going to be able to solve it for me.

I would thank Sarah for sending me an email yesterday explaining that you would be sending a new board and HC, apparently waiving the deposit. Although I've given my damaged board to OPT, I will strive to insure it gets returned to you, as well as my HC.

I am still enamoured with my MX. I dream of owning an MEII. But intentionally or not, you guys made it a little hard to like your company.

Edited by CharlesW (04/16/13 10:19 AM)


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Logan Tudor
member


Reged: 12/28/11

Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: EddWen]
      #5802260 - 04/16/13 10:14 AM

I've read all this negative, bisque-bashing rot, along with the parallel post on SB forum. I have a different take on this...

Charles, fess up- you plugged the mains power into the MX versa plate, didn't you? Operator error. The screws story, as unlikely as it sounds, is a great story all the same. Thanks for sharing.

Sincerely, another satisfied MX user, we number in the hundreds, if not thousands, we are the silent majority and we are low maintenance users


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korborh
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 01/29/11

Loc: Arizona
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5802297 - 04/16/13 10:36 AM

Quote:

so why is it that there is far less complaining about AP mounts? it's probably because software wise they are far simpler..?




This is a hardware problem. The AP mount can be commanded by most any software including SB.
I am a fan of simplicity in engineering when it improves end user results/efficiency and product QC. Simplicity is good and underrated IMHO.


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CharlesW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/02/12

Loc: Chula Vista & Indio, CA
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: Logan Tudor]
      #5802299 - 04/16/13 10:37 AM

Mr. Logan Tudor,
I was a deputy Sheriff for 28 years. I don't lie, cheat, or steal. What you are claiming is I that I am intentionally trying to steal $800 from SB, a felony. If I had plugged my power cord into the Versa Plate, I would have just kicked myself around the house until I could have politely asked the Bisques to SELL ME ANOTHER BOARD. When I met Bill Dean from OPT in a parking lot in Carlbad, I was going to show him the issue with the HC. I connected my inverter bassackwards. I admit that. I haven't contacted Frys claiming they sold me a bad inverter. I will wait until I can afford to buy a better one and lesson learned. Maybe that's how you operate in your world, but it is not in mine.


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korborh
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Reged: 01/29/11

Loc: Arizona
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: CharlesW]
      #5802313 - 04/16/13 10:44 AM

Charles, I do not understand why SB cannot just replace your mount and do the investigation on their time. They have wasted enough of your time and clear skies and you ought to be compensated for that. Expectation is very high for mounts of this price given the competition has an impeccable record. You should not be settling for anything less. Don't get discouraged by SB fanboys.

As much as SB wants everyone to believe that phone support is obsolete, they need to really start to man those phone lines with knowledgeable support.


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orlyandico
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Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: korborh]
      #5802317 - 04/16/13 10:50 AM

Quote:

Quote:

so why is it that there is far less complaining about AP mounts? it's probably because software wise they are far simpler..?




This is a hardware problem. The AP mount can be commanded by most any software including SB.
I am a fan of simplicity in engineering when it improves end user results/efficiency and product QC. Simplicity is good and underrated IMHO.




Maybe SB is really selling such huge quantities compared to AP that they have to use forum support rather than voice? (and would proportionally have more complaints)

When I read the scientific literature I see that SB mounts are all over the place.


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JAT Observatory
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Reged: 02/20/05

Loc: In the Primordial Soup
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5802339 - 04/16/13 11:05 AM

<< When I read the scientific literature I see that SB mounts are all over the place. >>

I know the company I work for use them for optical satellite tracking.


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budman1961
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Reged: 02/25/11

Loc: Springfield, MO
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: JAT Observatory]
      #5802375 - 04/16/13 11:29 AM

Logan, your comment was tasteless, and totally out of line.

I am happy that the situation seems to have worked it's way out, and that is what is important.

Andy


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korborh
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Reged: 01/29/11

Loc: Arizona
Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5802400 - 04/16/13 11:46 AM

Quote:

Maybe SB is really selling such huge quantities compared to AP that they have to use forum support rather than voice? (and would proportionally have more complaints)




That can be said for any company that has phone tech support. If they are selling more then they should have more money to afford more staffing at the phone lines, no?


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bilgebayModerator
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Re: An utterly disappointing experience new [Re: budman1961]
      #5802403 - 04/16/13 11:48 AM

OK folks, I think this thread has completed its course. I'm sure Mr. Bisque will perform his best to find an amicable solution to Charles' problem.

Charles, please feel free to start a new thread to let us know the latest on this matter. I wish with all my heart that you join the band of happy SB owners very soon.

Thank you all for your contribution to this thread.


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