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Calling all Masochist Astronomers

astrometry astrophotography beginner Celestron mount
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#26 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 04 December 2020 - 07:45 PM

Sure I could but I am trying to be a good customer to OPT so they will help me. I have done all communication with OPT over chat and email and I have all the transcripts. I have always been civil but I will admit honest to the point of being blunt. For example I did ask OPT why they told me that the item is coming from China on a plane but Celestron says it's coming via ship in a huge container? OPT did not answer me. They often just ignore me. 

I understand you wanting to be a good customer, but asking them to communicate, and expecting truthful communication, is not hassling them.  They REALLY SHOULD put funds back on your CC until they ship the goods.  If they happen to declare bankruptcy while you are waiting, and the time to dispute with your CC company has passed, you will lose your money.  Then again, maybe the funds don't mean much to you, IDK.  Everyone's situation is different.


Edited by John Fitzgerald, 04 December 2020 - 07:48 PM.


#27 PeteM

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Posted 04 December 2020 - 07:45 PM

Hang in there, I am in the same boat as you with OPT, except for an A-P mount. I am being patient since I know A-P isn't shipping my mount to anyone yet. I had a SB pier on order from Woodland Hills that on the website said "2-3 days to ship"...well I just got it today after 13 weeks. Story here as any dealer/vendor knows is astronomy as a hobby is red hot due to the pandemic...so stock on anything is low and everything is long back ordered. It is nice that the Astronomic emails say the same and show what they do have in stock(not much). Heck, even the classified here on on Amart are slim pickings it seems.


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#28 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 04 December 2020 - 07:52 PM

If I know a vendor will immediately charge my CC for an item that is not in stock, unless it is for a "special order", I will not order from that vendor.  If it does not say in stock, it is best to call and have them verify physical stock.  If they refuse, then look elsewhere.  It is unethical to charge for items that a vendor cannot ship.


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#29 psugrue

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Posted 04 December 2020 - 10:51 PM

If I know a vendor will immediately charge my CC for an item that is not in stock, unless it is for a "special order", I will not order from that vendor.  If it does not say in stock, it is best to call and have them verify physical stock.  If they refuse, then look elsewhere.  It is unethical to charge for items that a vendor cannot ship.

I would tend to agree. Especially when it's going to be 3 months or maybe more. I just hope that OPT does not go out of business because this is how corporations act just before they go out of business.



#30 Cajunchuck

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Posted 05 December 2020 - 10:27 AM

Look at any random online astro dealer's stock right now.  Due to the Covid most everything is back ordered or out of stock. You must be prepared for what may be a long wait for certain items.  I purchased a mount in late October and feel very lucky to only wait three weeks or so.  I don't think OPT is to blame.  Why not ask for a refund and sign up for stock notifications every place you can?


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#31 Hypoxic

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Posted 05 December 2020 - 12:14 PM

I can't praise the customer service of these two shops highly enough (in no particular order):

 

TS (teleskop-express.de)

Agena Astro



#32 psugrue

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Posted 05 December 2020 - 05:29 PM

Look at any random online astro dealer's stock right now.  Due to the Covid most everything is back ordered or out of stock. You must be prepared for what may be a long wait for certain items.  I purchased a mount in late October and feel very lucky to only wait three weeks or so.  I don't think OPT is to blame.  Why not ask for a refund and sign up for stock notifications every place you can?

OK here is what OPT told me via email and chat. I have all transcripts. I was assured that ALL these ETAs were realistic and accurate. Also they sent me the OTA on week six and I really don't want to have to try to pack and ship that back.

 

Day zero, 14-28 days

Week one,3 weeks

Week two, 2 weeks

Week three, 2 weeks

Week four, 2 weeks

Week five, 2 weeks

Week six, 2 weeks

Week seven, 3 weeks

Week Eight, 2 weeks

Week nine, 2 weeks, Then, "Don't know" then 4 weeks

They also told me that the CGX mount is coming on a PLANE from China. Which is a LIE.

 

And you don't think that OPT is to blame? Most of the time they wont even respond!



#33 Oyaji

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Posted 06 December 2020 - 11:14 AM

I recently ordered a $1900 OTA from OPT.  The item was listed as being in stock on the webpage, and I specifically asked the man on the phone to make sure it was in stock.  He said it was, and so I ordered.  This was on November 27.  I have heard nothing from them since, despite inquiries by e-mail and by on-line chat.  Crickets!  I don't have a good feeling about this...


Edited by Oyaji, 06 December 2020 - 11:15 AM.

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#34 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 06 December 2020 - 11:18 AM

I recently ordered a $1900 OTA from OPT.  The item was listed as being in stock on the webpage, and I specifically asked the man on the phone to make sure it was in stock.  He said it was, and so I ordered.  This was on November 27.  I have heard nothing from them since, despite inquiries by e-mail and by on-line chat.  Crickets!  I don't have a good feeling about this...

If they have charged your CC, and will not communicate, maybe it would be prudent on your part to initiate a charge back on your CC.   That's exactly how vendors act before they fold.


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#35 Delta608

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Posted 06 December 2020 - 11:57 AM

This may help....Federal Trade Commission...

 

Your Rights When Shopping by Phone, Mail or Online

 

The Mail, Internet, or Telephone Order Merchandise Rule applies to most goods you order by mail, phone, fax, or online. It requires sellers to have a reasonable basis for claiming they can ship an order within a certain time and details what sellers should do if there is a delay.
Ship Dates

    By law, a seller should ship your order within the time stated in its ads or over the phone. If the seller doesn’t promise a time, you can expect it to ship your order within 30 days.
    The shipment “clock” begins when the seller receives a “properly completed order.” That includes your name, address and payment (check, money order or authorization to charge an existing credit account — whether the account is charged at that time or not).
    If the seller doesn’t promise a shipping time, and you are applying for credit to pay for your purchase, the seller has an additional 20 days (50 days total) to establish the account and ship the merchandise.

 

Delays

 

If the seller is unable to ship within the promised time, it must notify you, give a revised shipping date and give you the chance to cancel for a full refund or accept the new shipping date. The seller also must give you some way to exercise the cancellation option for free — for example, by supplying a prepaid reply card or staffing a toll-free telephone number.

    If you don’t respond — and the delay is 30 days or less — it’s assumed that you accept the delay and are willing to wait for the merchandise.
    If you don’t respond — and the delay is more than 30 days — the order must be canceled by the 30th day of the delay period and a full refund issued promptly.

If the seller can’t meet the revised shipping date, it must notify you again by mail, email or telephone and give you a new shipping date or cancel your order and give you a refund.

    The order should be canceled and a refund issued promptly unless you indicate by the revised shipping date that you are willing to wait.
    If you don’t respond to the second notice, the seller should assume that you are not willing to wait issue a full refund promptly.

 

Refunds

 

If you pay by cash, check or money order, or a non-seller credit card, the seller must give you a refund within seven working days after the order is canceled.

If you pay by credit card where the seller is the card issuer, the seller must credit your account within one billing cycle after the order is canceled.



#36 psugrue

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Posted 06 December 2020 - 01:17 PM

I recently ordered a $1900 OTA from OPT.  The item was listed as being in stock on the webpage, and I specifically asked the man on the phone to make sure it was in stock.  He said it was, and so I ordered.  This was on November 27.  I have heard nothing from them since, despite inquiries by e-mail and by on-line chat.  Crickets!  I don't have a good feeling about this...

Please check to see if they charged your credit card and let us know. I may need to get a refund before OPT goes out of business. 



#37 Delta608

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Posted 06 December 2020 - 01:28 PM

I recently ordered a $1900 OTA from OPT.  The item was listed as being in stock on the webpage, and I specifically asked the man on the phone to make sure it was in stock.  He said it was, and so I ordered.  This was on November 27.  I have heard nothing from them since, despite inquiries by e-mail and by on-line chat.  Crickets!  I don't have a good feeling about this...

  How bout giving them an old fashion phone call asking the status of your order, then if not shipped or have a shipping date demand a refund...


Edited by Delta608, 06 December 2020 - 01:29 PM.


#38 PeteM

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Posted 06 December 2020 - 01:46 PM

Please check to see if they charged your credit card and let us know. I may need to get a refund before OPT goes out of business. 

I doubt they are going out of business. If that is the case, then Woodland Hills and many others are also. Like I mentioned above, I ordered and got charged for a pier that was suppose to ship in 3-5 days..13 weeks later I got the pier. But in the time, many calls and promises to finding out info and never a call back. Does it stink that many dealers are not calling people back and really have no idea when things will be in stock? Absolutely. Now everyone has the right to get their money back and they will if you go after them. What they (OPT) and other dealers need is to only allow online ordering for items in stock. Otherwise have a opt out to be ok with waiting. Many bigger ticket items require at least 50% to order, so that is reasonable. Even if you may not see the item for months. Just both sides should have set expectations.



#39 Oyaji

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Posted 06 December 2020 - 02:14 PM

Please check to see if they charged your credit card and let us know. I may need to get a refund before OPT goes out of business. 

Yes, they did.  

 

  How bout giving them an old fashion phone call asking the status of your order, then if not shipped or have a shipping date demand a refund...

  No point in calling--they are closed on Sunday.  And I won't be in a position to call them tomorrow.  By e-mail, I have given them by noon tomorrow to give me an explanation.  



#40 psugrue

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Posted 06 December 2020 - 03:45 PM

I did get through to OPT one time on the phone but most of the time it puts you on robohold and it won't even give you the option to stay on hold or leave a voicemail. After about 5 min it says something like we are very busy and then hangs up. Chat via the website seems to work best but often a reply can take more than an hour so I wouldn't really call it "Chat"



#41 Oyaji

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Posted 06 December 2020 - 05:10 PM

+1 for B&H. Always great customer service. Except on Saturday.smile.gif

Amen.  Over the past 15 years I have bought easily $25K worth of gear from B&H, mainly terrestrial photography gear, but also TV's, computer monitors, binoculars, and even some stereo gear.  And in the last couple of years, some astronomy gear (but if Astronomics doesn't sell the item or doesn't have it in stock).  There has never been a single hitch with any order, and usually, the gear arrives even before you expect it.  One great thing about B&H:  they have a credit card which, if you use it, they eat the sales tax.  Also, if you are ever in New York their store--4 stories crammed with electronics--is like a candy store for gearheads!  



#42 Oyaji

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Posted 07 December 2020 - 10:03 PM

Update:  Called OPT; was put on hold and  had to listened about 20 times to their advertisements.  Then I was notified that the store had closed and I would need to call back. 

 

I filed a dispute with my CC issuer.  

 

Stay tuned!  


Edited by Oyaji, 07 December 2020 - 10:21 PM.

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#43 psugrue

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Posted 08 December 2020 - 11:03 AM

Update:  Called OPT; was put on hold and  had to listened about 20 times to their advertisements.  Then I was notified that the store had closed and I would need to call back. 

 

I filed a dispute with my CC issuer.  

 

Stay tuned!  

OPT has CLOSED? Do you mean "Closed for the day" closed or "Gone Closed" ?



#44 Oyaji

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Posted 08 December 2020 - 02:06 PM

Closed for the day.  

 

Here is an e-mail I got from OPT today:  

 

Per our policy, orders are charged at the time of check out to insure you space in line for any back ordered items.

 

The Mewlon is in stock and we are currently holding it for you while we await for the arrival of the flattener, which is on back order at the moment.

 

Thank you.

 

Needless to say, this is the first I'd heard that the reducer was on back order--it wasn't on back order the day OPT took my order.  

 

I asked them to void the reducer, send the OTA, and give me a credit for the reducer.

 

Stay tuned.  


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#45 Oyaji

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Posted 08 December 2020 - 06:51 PM

Good news.  My OTA is on the way, I have a credit for the reducer, and I'll get a reducer from somewhere else, probably our friends at Astronomics.

 

The squeaky wheel gets the grease--and there is nothing squeakier than a credit card dispute.  

 

Like Sergeant Preston of the Yukon used to say to his wonder dog, "King, this case is closed."  



#46 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 08 December 2020 - 06:55 PM

Good news.  My OTA is on the way, I have a credit for the reducer, and I'll get a reducer from somewhere else, probably our friends at Astronomics.

 

The squeaky wheel gets the grease--and there is nothing squeakier than a credit card dispute.  

 

Like Sergeant Preston of the Yukon used to say to his wonder dog, "King, this case is closed."  

It's not over until you get it.  And, it's not shipped if they only created a shipping label that goes to tracking.  Please let us know when you do get it.



#47 psugrue

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Posted 09 December 2020 - 03:55 PM

Today being Wednesday, we have a weekly update in the CGX mount delivery saga. Adding week 10 per Zach at OPT:

 

Day zero, 14-28 days

Week one,3 weeks

Week two, 2 weeks

Week three, 2 weeks

Week four, 2 weeks

Week five, 2 weeks

Week six, 2 weeks

Week seven, 3 weeks

Week eight, 2 weeks

Week nine, 2 weeks, Then, "Don't know" then 4 weeks

Week ten, 3 weeks



#48 psugrue

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Posted 09 December 2020 - 04:28 PM

Oh hold on, not so fast! I just got a new update from Jason Leon the sales director at OPT. He just messaged me "Currently we cannot guarantee any lead time due to circumstances out of our hands related to Covid."

So now it looks like this:

 

Day zero, 14-28 days

Week one,3 weeks

Week two, 2 weeks

Week three, 2 weeks

Week four, 2 weeks

Week five, 2 weeks

Week six, 2 weeks

Week seven, 3 weeks

Week eight, 2 weeks

Week nine, 2 weeks, Then, "Don't know" Then 4 weeks

Week ten, 3 weeks, Then, "Don't know"


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#49 jgraham

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Posted 09 December 2020 - 04:39 PM

Ugh, retail in astronomy gear just seems nuts this year. My guess is that OPT is doing the best that they can, but the current management doesn't have the depth of experience that many of our other vendors have. That doesn't make the waiting any more fun. I've got my own saga in play right now waiting for a camera to be returned from warranty repair. Things they be a mess right now.

Stay well!

#50 PeteM

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Posted 09 December 2020 - 04:53 PM

I agree things are a mess all over the place. I actually talked to a nice gal at OPT yesterday evening on the status of my A-P mount order. Of course no info on the mount itself, but she did say most the other items on the order were in stock. So she asked if I wanted those shipped now. I asked if it would cost any more, she didn't know and said she would get back to me on that and the mount. An hour later I got an email that they would ship what they have at no extra charge and update me when they can on the mount. So this morning I got an email with the tracking number for what they could ship. Long story, hang in there everyone. If you feel you want to cancel an order at OPT or anywhere, it is your right. But I bet most places will be back ordered for a while. Also want to comment again that I do not think OPT is going out of business either. Just stinks all around.


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