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Is Celestron out of business?

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#1 flopinator2000

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 06:12 AM

my evo 9.25 died this weekend.  After only 11 months of light use, the motors kept getting louder and louder until it just died.  Is Celestron out of business?  I have had an open ticket with them for a a week now and nothing.  This is very disappointing.  What happens next year when i'm out of warranty?

 

Anyone else having issues getting in touch with them?

 

My last open ticket i got a response within hours.

 

Of course its been clear skies almost every night since lol


Edited by flopinator2000, 30 August 2019 - 06:16 AM.

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#2 einarin

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 06:32 AM

Did you buy it direct from Celestron and not from dealer ?



#3 dcollier

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 06:55 AM

Did you buy it direct from Celestron and not from dealer ?

 

Dealing with Celestron can take some time..   If you bought it from a dealer,  Astronomics, B&H, Highpoint, Agena, etc..   It might work better to handle the claim though them.  They are still in business. 



#4 kurbs

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 06:56 AM

I have never once gotten anyone on the phone. You will sit for hours and only get the stupid Route 66 song over and over and over again.

 

But I have gotten email responses. I think they only have about 3 or 4 support folks. They simply recommend shipping it to them and they will diagnose it and fix or replace. They aren't tech experts. They go to their engineering dept. and that response can take another 3-4 days. 

 

Once they open a  case though they do act on it. Just do not expect them to pick up the phone.I did leave a 'please call back' message and they actually did call back about a day later. But its a slow process. What a friend of mine did was buy a used mount, then sent his back for warranty repair. When it came back he sold the other one. PITA but he didn't want to lose 6-8 weeks of viewing time.


Edited by kurbs, 30 August 2019 - 06:57 AM.


#5 Paul Skee

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 07:00 AM

I usually get a response within a couple of days. When my Evo was new, it had a problem and I didn't know about opening a service ticket online, so I called them. The response and resolution was timely and accurate. My most recent experience, (about a month ago) was through the online system. The email response was within a day or two. Much to my surprise, I received a follow up telephone call a day later. My experiences with Celestron support has been very positive.



#6 flopinator2000

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 07:08 AM

I usually get a response within a couple of days. When my Evo was new, it had a problem and I didn't know about opening a service ticket online, so I called them. The response and resolution was timely and accurate. My most recent experience, (about a month ago) was through the online system. The email response was within a day or two. Much to my surprise, I received a follow up telephone call a day later. My experiences with Celestron support has been very positive.

So were mine, my last inquiry was 2 months ago and they responded in hours, we are going on over a week now and I've seen other complaints as well stating they've been waiting over 3 weeks.....great! Guess i'll just have to hang tight!

 

Thanks for the feedback



#7 mclewis1

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 07:28 AM

Celestron may be down a few folks because of summer vacations and experiencing a bit of a backup in responding. I'd follow up an email or two that hasn't been responded to with a phone call just to see if they've seen your email(s).



#8 TOMDEY

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 07:53 AM

This doesn't directly address your service issue... but was your scope well-balanced and not overloaded? Either of those can put undue stress on the drives and lead to premature failure. If you need to go tight on the clutches to keep things from slipping... that would be indicative of that. First thing to troubleshoot laboring gimbals is to entirely loosen the clutches and see if the scope peacefully moves around, in all directions, and retains balance! The reason I mention this... half or more of scopes out there are badly balanced and overloaded.   Tom


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#9 rajilina

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 08:24 AM

I had a shipping damage issue with a new Celestron mount I purchased at the end of July through High Point. I called HP and they facilitated communications with Celestron, who then got in touch with me directly thru email the next day. Within a couple of days following the initial email contact, I had a solution to my problem and parts arrived at my house a week later.

 

I've had other minor issues since then (confusion about some screws, installation methods, etc), and have contacted Celestron who have then responded to me.

 

Celestron does respond, but as other posters have noted, it can take some time. A couple of things that might help, do go through your dealer if possible... second, if all else fails, contact them via public post or private message on social media (facebook, etc.) I've had a lot of success going the social media route with all sorts of companies - because they don't like poor customer service issues splashed on social media for all the world to see, and tend to respond quickly to these types of requests.



#10 spongebob@55

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 09:18 AM

I've had many issues with new scopes out of the box and warranty repairs.   All bought via dealers.  I either got 'call this number' or put off by the dealer.  So I've learned to contact Celestron myself.  Call the 800.421.9649 number and ask for Tech Service.  They do the repairs/warranty returns.  Have your issues ready and they will give you (or ask for one) a RMA number.  Get a return label which they will send to you via email along with a separate email of directions.  Note that the UPS return label will take longer to receive b/c it goes through and from UPS.  My experiences with the instructions/label has been good meaning I've rec'd them within an hour or two from the tech person.

My experiences with the real person has been good to a 'why are you bothering me' attitude over the phone.  But I've gotten RMAs and they've processed all of the repairs in 1-2 weeks and returned them back to me promptly.  In one case, it came back with another issue.  I had to send back again, after taking pictures and discussing it with a supervisor.    Its good to print out your issues list and pack with the return with the RMA number on it so that if the verbal discussion transcription misses anything, it gets noticed this way.  Because of this, I would think that filling out the online form with the issues on it would be better, but then it takes more time than calling and eventually getting through to a person.  But holding on the phone takes a time commitment.  

Don't expect much of anything besides a cursory explanation of what was wrong with it on the return paperwork.

Always keep your boxes for the returns.  Things will break.

This has been my experiences with multiple issues.

Hope that helps.

SB



#11 Geo.

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 10:48 AM

This is why I buy used out of warranty equipment. Even better if it has issues. OH BOY, another puzzle!

 

It's hard enough to get a good days work out of a Californian, much less in August. First signs of fall here as the Maples start pulling in the chlorophyll. Quickens the blood, whispers, get off your butt and get things done or you'll die! That just don't happen in California.


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#12 Cajundaddy

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 10:56 AM

August is vacation month and they are probably fly fishing in Montana.  Expect a response in a week or so.



#13 flopinator2000

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 02:33 PM

I got a response!  They must have read this post....jk

 

I was very careful to make sure the scope was well balanced so i'll see what they say when I send it in.

 

Thanks for the input this forum rocks



#14 MJB87

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 02:41 PM

BTW, for those reading this in the future....

Celestron once advised me how they process online service claims. It is on a first-come, first-served basis.  So you wait your place in line. HOWEVER, if you send another inquiry as a follow-up to the first, you get reassigned your place in line based on that most recent inquiry. In short, you get sent to the back of the line.  So the advice is to send in your service inquiry and wait -- don't update it (unless there is new info.)

 

MJB


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#15 rajilina

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 02:43 PM

BTW, for those reading this in the future....

Celestron once advised me how they process online service claims. It is on a first-come, first-served basis.  So you wait your place in line. HOWEVER, if you send another inquiry as a follow-up to the first, you get reassigned your place in line based on that most recent inquiry. In short, you get sent to the back of the line.  So the advice is to send in your service inquiry and wait -- don't update it (unless there is new info.)

 

MJB

This is true for most customer service email response systems, not just Celestron's. Good point to have noted.



#16 voxelman

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 05:13 PM

my evo 9.25 died this weekend.  After only 11 months of light use, the motors kept getting louder and louder until it just died.  Is Celestron out of business?  I have had an open ticket with them for a a week now and nothing.  This is very disappointing.  What happens next year when i'm out of warranty?

 

Anyone else having issues getting in touch with them?

 

My last open ticket i got a response within hours.

 

Of course its been clear skies almost every night since lol

Logged a ticket on Tuesday, August 27th 2019, heard back today, Friday, August 30th, 2019. I asked if firmware updates were still available for my NexStar 5 and they told me no that there weren't any firmware updates for the NexStar 5. This seems to contradict the info on the NexStar info site but I guess it is a mute point if they are no long doing them.



#17 Geo.

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Posted 04 September 2019 - 03:21 PM

Logged a ticket on Tuesday, August 27th 2019, heard back today, Friday, August 30th, 2019. I asked if firmware updates were still available for my NexStar 5 and they told me no that there weren't any firmware updates for the NexStar 5. This seems to contradict the info on the NexStar info site but I guess it is a mute point if they are no long doing them.

Neither the Nexstar 5's (#11031) main board or the HBX were capable of upgrade. Not even sure the microprocessors were capable of in circuit programming at that time (1999-2000). The first upgradable Nexstar 5 was the 2006 5SE (#11036). Celestron sells a replacement motor control board for the current SE for about $114. With some work this can be adapted to the 11031. I feel the quality of the Pittman drives and access to the Plus HBX makes the conversion worth while.



#18 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 04 September 2019 - 08:31 PM

Logged a ticket on Tuesday, August 27th 2019, heard back today, Friday, August 30th, 2019. I asked if firmware updates were still available for my NexStar 5 and they told me no that there weren't any firmware updates for the NexStar 5. This seems to contradict the info on the NexStar info site but I guess it is a mute point if they are no long doing them.

 

If you have the original NexStar 5 (no AUX or Auto Guide ports on the top of the base near the battery compartment) then my site does explain there are no firmware upgrades possible by the user but that at one point (many, many years ago) Celestron performed some updates for users by swapping out chips:

https://www.nexstars...N58Firmware.htm

 

Regarding the first 5/8 inch NexStar models that can be updated, that would be the NexStar 5i/8i.  The MC board can be updated using MCupdate but Celestron never released new firmware.  The HC that shipped with these scopes (version 2.2) could not be updated by normal methods but the easily upgradeable version 4 and NexStar+ HCs work with that mount and many people are using those models now.

 

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
Author of "The NexStar Users Guide II"
Author of "The NexStar Users Guide"
Author of "NexStar Observer List"
https://www.nexstarsite.com



#19 Geo.

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Posted 05 September 2019 - 07:48 AM

Mike, thanks for the clarification. So the 2006 5/8SE were the first with the Ver. 4.XX HBX?



#20 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 06 September 2019 - 07:14 AM

Mike, thanks for the clarification. So the 2006 5/8SE were the first with the Ver. 4.XX HBX?

Hi George,

 

The NexStar SEs (released in summer 2006) were the first single-arm MCT/SCT models with the 4.x hand control.  But that HC made its original debut with the CPC in early 2005, followed just a short time later by the NexStar SLT series.  Then the 4.x HC started being sold separately in Jan 2006.

 

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
Author of "The NexStar User's Guide II"
Author of "The NexStar User's Guide"
Author of "NexStar Observer List"
https://www.NexStarSite.com



#21 mclewis1

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Posted 06 September 2019 - 08:13 AM

Mike, Weren't the v4.xx Alt Az hand controllers first shipped on the last NextStar GPS scopes sold in the 2004/2005 time frame? Or did Celestron ship the v4 first on the CPCs and then go back and clear out the last of the GPS inventory using the v4 HCs? I know there was some inventory overlap between the last GPS scopes and the first CPCs and some dealers shipped a few new GPS scopes around that time.

 

Not sure about timing of the V4 EQ hand controllers, I think that totally depended on the inventory of the V3 hand controllers on ASGT and CGE mounts.



#22 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 02:16 AM

Definitely introduced with the CPC but it could be possible some remaining stock of NexStar GPS mounts shipped with v4 HCs.

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
Author of "The NexStar User's Guide II"
Author of "The NexStar User's Guide"
https://www.NexStarSite.com

Edited by Michael_Swanson, 08 September 2019 - 02:17 AM.


#23 B l a k S t a r

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 09:31 PM

Hmmm.  I just ordered a Nexstar Evo 9.25 through a trusted and reputable local dealer and this thread has me feeling concerned. I did a fair amount of research to get my next scope choice right for my current wants and felt this was a solid choice.

 

I hope the number of threads in this forum section represents a small percentage of the telescopes and mounts out there. 

I'll chalk it up pre delivery techno-jitters. I'm sure that's it.  Right?



#24 RazvanUnderStars

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 08:18 PM

Well, no one can give absolute guarantees but the chances are small and you did the right thing, ordering through a reputed dealer (although I think returns are arranged directly with Celestron, a friend had one and it was pretty smooth and free apart from the annoyance). So I wouldn't worry about that but of course, keep the box around for a while just in case.


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#25 flopinator2000

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 08:28 AM

To follow up on this, Celestron was having issues with online inquiries.  I sent my mount to them and below is what they repaired.  They received my mount on Monday and I had it back by Thursday, sweet!  

 

• Replaced Motor control board
• Adjusted Azm motor
• Cleaned and re-greased gears
• Flashed Hand control and Motor control
• Completed go-to testing
• Completed mechanical testing
• Tested all functions


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