I do understand vendors can change their prices overnight and leave salespeople backpaddling.
I do understand why vendors might not want to telegraph price increases.
My call back to place the order was not a week/month, it was but a few days later (the Sunday).
It is reasonable to assume the sales conversation is different when talking with the owner of a company than when with a front line/detached salesperson.
My perspective is tempered mostly from that basis, I talked with the owner.
I talked with an owner who should have known about a price increase in a few days and/or hinted at the timeliness of calling back if I wanted to place the order.
My negative review was not only based on the sudden price change, there were other aspects that left a sour note. It was a cumulative experience that prompted this.
My initial call about buying the Ha filter somehow took a detour that ended up with a suggestion to buy a new mount at twice the cost of my own mount. I have a Losmandy G811.
In a conversation with Tolga, we discussed drift aligning and how hard it was. The G811 is a very good mount where a lot of people who use it, are happy with it. I found it interesting to hear a suggestion, "just offering to help," that led me in the direction of buying a new Paramount mount (I think that was the company) that includes software (TheSky?) to make the process easier. Supposedly, this new mount/software has graduation scales/labels on the mount whereby the software directs the user to literally turn a knob this way/that to quickly drift align/build a model. I suppose it is easier, but a new mount? Really? I asked if the Gemini II software (in the Losmandy) has an ability to polar align without a view of polaris, he could not comment. I asked if PHD2, with its magenta circles (in drift align) would make the process easier. He did not know. He just stated that this new mount made it super easy.
Perhaps? What kind of a customer just writes a check based on that. If I was spending someone elses money where the incentive might be to spend it/lose it and/or I get paid on how much money moved, I might call Tolga an expert and go by his advice, buy a new mount.
In my case, I am carefully spending money on a hobby that I'm trying to evaluate the merits of.
I did think a suggestion to buy a new mount was unreasonable, especially when I stated to Tolga that my setup was portable and I live in a B6 location! In fact, I don't think any suggestion that leads to buying a new mount to make the drift aligning/model building process easier is appropriate for anyone quite frankly, whatever budget.
Similarly, when I called back to place the order, I asked if I could send a few RGB pictures so he could evaluate to see if there was enough color information to combine with the Ha filter to get a pleasing image. I was especially interested in collecting detail from the Ha filter, which should be immune to skyglow, and combine it with the color data I could obtain in my B6 location. He stated he did not get involved with that and instead directed me to a website that provided tutoring for $. I considered that upsell #2. I was interested in an opinion of how good my color data was on one sub, where I intended to collect many more, with my ultimate direction of collecting HaRGB in my B6 sky.
Upsell #3 was where he solely directed me to a 3nm filter instead of the 5nm one which might have also worked just as well. I'm ok with that as I tended to defer to his advice which was relatively more than mine in that aspect and the upsell wasn't thousands. Yet, I think he should have accepted an image or 2 and commented on just how Ha would improve it. Little/Lot/Ok color detail, need much more time, that kind of thing. Maybe there were guiding problems that merited a new mount?
I considered that I was talking with the owner of the company and generally speaking, he should know more than a lower lever sales person and be especially upfront. Innot stating the price increase, I later considered it as him holdingback.
In the past, there were many times I can remember speaking to salespeople, at different companies, in different industries, and they were significantly more knowledgeable and spent the customers money carefully. Again, this is all relative. In some of these cases, they accepted images and offered suggestions. In others, they would say prices are expected to increase and/or sales are expected at NEAF or Black Friday/New Year. My general feeling is that at some of these other companies there existed a higher level of "lets get you going without breaking the bank" or a level of sincere helpfulness that I did not see at this company. I don't even know if he really uses these products. I did see Tolga as somewhat helpful/knowledgeable, but it was under an umbrella, influenced, by the customers possible expenditure.
In this company, I observed what I would consider strategic "I don't know's" and/or hints at making higher level expenditures to more easily solve problems. I understand that one gets what they pay for, but there are diminishing returns, which people who image should be very familiar with. Here I feel, there was less of an attitude of try this first, see how that works, then decide to upgrade later.
Again, this is just my opinion. Everyone can have their own.
I've been in this hobby a few years. I try a few things, see a problem, ask for help, try something else. I tend to be strategic in how much I spend and on what items. I have many other hobbies.
The bad review is simply my experience. I called a few days later to buy and was casually told of the price increase. I asked to send a few images and "the company does not get involved in that sort of thing." I've seemed to have a customer experience where other companies being more willing to take a look. The times I've called, I've experienced upsells that were either too much/to far from the initial starting point/budget. Other companies had upsells too, just that these seemed much more draconian.
I'm ok with everyone's superlative reviews. Yet, I find it strange that when you give a superlative review, you can simply get by by saying .... "great job, I'll buy again", "saved me money" and that when you have a negative review, you have to justify it to minutia. Its all relative and on a percentage basis one should speak of these things.
He might be the best to build an observatory, but that is a different customer than me. Again, its a general feeling of where customer service lies in a very large mosaic of attributes, not just a price change.
Yet, A $200 increase is almost %50. %50 is not a small amount. You would be humbled if you're stock portfolio dropped by %50 in 3 days.
If he knew that the price would increase by that much in three days, he should have implied to call back sooner than later. not the money, just a data point in my perspective.
Simply my point of view based on a few years of purchases from different vendors and with a strategic eye towards solving problems and minimizing waste.
Again, I was not buying $100k observatories'. For all I know, perhaps this is just the normal level of experience for that customer.