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Good Grief! What to do now?

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#1 gdavis

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 09:59 PM

I'm so frustrated, my patience is about at it's end.

 

The story:

On August 28, 2020 I ordered an Orion 180mm Mak OTA through a well known online retailer (I'll refer to them as XYZ).  I've seen nothing but great reviews for XYZ so didn't expect any problems.  I knew Covid had severely impacted the industry and was causing delays but was confident they would eventually ship and I would get mine when my place in line was reached.  So I settled in for the long wait.

 

I checked in with XYZ periodically to make sure they hadn't forgotten about my order and see what the expectation was.  Early responses were along the lines of "we expect to receive a shipment in 1-2 weeks", which eventually became "2-4 weeks", then dates further out.  Frustrating but I figured it's just the times, it will come eventually.

 

Then I saw a post from a member here who had ordered the same OTA directly from Orion on Dec 2, and received it just over two months later!  So I thought maybe mine will ship soon a waited a week.

 

After the week went by with no shipping notification I emailed XYZ and Orion sales explaining the situation.  Orion responded shortly informing me that they had forwarded my email to the wholesale department since my order was through XYZ.  XYZ responded to my email the next day with essentially the same canned response - the expected ship date is abc...  The date they quoted me was the expected ship date shown on the Orion website, in other words, the date an order placed THAT DAY would be expected to ship.

 

That email from XYZ push me over the edge.  I was livid.  It was clear they were ignoring the fact that I had been waiting nearly 6 months while at least one person (and presumably others) who should be much further down the line than me had already received theirs.  I sent another email to XYZ and the wholesale department of Orion emphasizing that something was wrong and they needed to figure out why I haven't received my OTA.

 

It's been two days since I sent that last email with no response at all, not even an acknowledgement that they are investigating the issue.  I'll give them some more time, but I'm starting to consider cancelling my order.  The problem is, I would still very much like to have the OTA.  So what do I do?  Cancel and re-order direct from Orion and start at the back of the line again?  Order a Skywatcher?  Keep raising hell with XYZ and Orion?

 

Ugh, worst shopping experience of my life.  I've never had a problem like this and I'm not the type of person who is comfortable with these types of confrontations.  I really don't know what to do if they don't get back to me with something reasonable soon and would appreciate some advice.


Edited by gdavis, 24 February 2021 - 10:03 PM.

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#2 havasman

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 10:06 PM

Seems simple enough: cancel the order.

Then either place another order with a different vendor or not.

If XYZ is neither Astronomics nor Agena then you may have chosen a less than capable vendor. They're out there. And they don't care if you're livid.


Edited by havasman, 24 February 2021 - 10:08 PM.

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#3 TOMDEY

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 10:26 PM

You've been more than patient. At this point, I'd just cancel it and order from someone else. No need to get infuriated or yell at them. Tilting windmills just ain't worth the angst. Probably about 25% the product or service providers I've dealt with over the years have proven unreliable and frankly disinterested in even doing business. We can weed them out by just walking away and letting them naturally-fail. Kinda the Darwin principle. I give vendors a lot of slack, provided they are at least trying their best. But disinterested just don't cut it.   Tom


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#4 TrustyChords

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 10:42 PM

Then I saw a post from a member here who had ordered the same OTA directly from Orion on Dec 2, and received it just over two months later!  So I thought maybe mine will ship soon a waited a week.

Could it be possible that the retailer really isn't receiving any shipments for that OTA from Orion yet? Perhaps Orion isn't receiving enough batches from their suppliers to fulfill their retailers' orders yet?

 

I suppose it's possible that demand is so high and supply is so low that Orion is just selling them directly to customers until big enough batches come in again for the retailers.

 

The real problem seems to be that you can't get a straight answer from XYZ ... or maybe they are telling you the truth and they A) haven't received anything yet and B) really don't know when they will.

 

You could always cancel the order and order straight from Orion? It's a crap-shoot either way these days, I sympathize with you.

 

 



#5 Jethro7

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 11:09 PM

I'm so frustrated, my patience is about at it's end.

 

Then I saw a post from a member here who had ordered the same OTA directly from Orion on Dec 2, and received it just over two months later!  So I thought maybe mine will ship soon a waited a week.

Hello gdavis,

You have been plenty patient on this, Personally I would cancel my order from WYZ and I concur with Trustychords and order direct from Orion, ordering direct you will be in the loop from the primary source. The whole Astronomy world and gear have been upended by everything and it is frustrating. I had a good day, some stuff that I had on back order for several months are on their way finaly.( I had forgotten that I ordered some of it) lately I have been buying a lot of used Astro gear because of the long back orders and have been so far quite pleased with my purchases and saved a few dollars in the process. Keep in mind with Orion scopes the warranty is only applicable to the original owner.

 

HAPPY SKIES TO YOU AND KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro


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#6 Cali

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 11:10 PM

Why didn't you (the OP) just order directly from Orion?

 

- Cal


Edited by Cali, 24 February 2021 - 11:11 PM.

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#7 AtlantaAstro

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 12:29 AM

Name the company if you’re unhappy with them so others don’t fall victim to the same grievance. Why keep them anonymous? People should know their customer service. 


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#8 jpflood

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 01:50 AM

Cancel the order from XYZ ( name them) and order from Orion directly. Tell them their reseller is giving them a black eye and that you expect Orion to expedite the shipment if they want your business. Since you never get the same person twice you may have to repeat the story from the beginning. Any decent company will try to make amends to an abused customer. Spread a little light on the dark and keep us informed on your progress. Hopefully Orion monitors Cloudy Nights to keep ahead of these types of issues. It is in their own self interest to protect their own name. The world is watching!


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#9 scotsman328i

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 03:38 AM

Cancel the order from XYZ ( name them) and order from Orion directly. Tell them their reseller is giving them a black eye and that you expect Orion to expedite the shipment if they want your business. Since you never get the same person twice you may have to repeat the story from the beginning. Any decent company will try to make amends to an abused customer. Spread a little light on the dark and keep us informed on your progress. Hopefully Orion monitors Cloudy Nights to keep ahead of these types of issues. It is in their own self interest to protect their own name. The world is watching!

I with you! I say put them on blast! Saves us all ordering through XYZ so we don’t follow suit in making the same mistakes with this reseller! 


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#10 scotsman328i

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 03:39 AM

Name the company if you’re unhappy with them so others don’t fall victim to the same grievance. Why keep them anonymous? People should know their customer service. 

Exactly! If you’re still hesitant to, then PM me so I know who NOT to ever order from!



#11 TOMDEY

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 07:14 AM

Name the company if you’re unhappy with them so others don’t fall victim to the same grievance. Why keep them anonymous? People should know their customer service. 

I with you! I say put them on blast! Saves us all ordering through XYZ so we don’t follow suit in making the same mistakes with this reseller! 

Ummm... At this point we have a statistic of precisely one. gdavis was prudent and kind to keep the tale generic. There could be some mitigating circumstance that he and we are unaware of. He didn't get cheated or scammed --- just exasperatingly delayed. Not good to try to personally take down a vendor in a Public Forum for this most common type of aggravation. The vendor is probably as blindsided and frustrated as the customer.   Tom


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#12 scotsman328i

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 07:20 AM

Ummm... At this point we have a statistic of precisely one. gdavis was prudent and kind to keep the tale generic. There could be some mitigating circumstance that he and we are unaware of. He didn't get cheated or scammed --- just exasperatingly delayed. Not good to try to personally take down a vendor in a Public Forum for this most common type of aggravation. The vendor is probably as blindsided and frustrated as the customer.   Tom

Personally, I’d still like to know who the vendor is. If not publicly, a PM would be good. Will the OP send me the name? More than probably not, but it wouldn’t change the fact that I’d still want to know. Since late last year, these types of issues have been becoming more and more frequent, and I for one, would like to know who’s remained truly reliable and who hasn’t.



#13 TOMDEY

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 07:40 AM

Personally, I’d still like to know who the vendor is. If not publicly, a PM would be good. Will the OP send me the name? More than probably not, but it wouldn’t change the fact that I’d still want to know. Since late last year, these types of issues have been becoming more and more frequent, and I for one, would like to know who’s remained truly reliable and who hasn’t.

That's precisely my point. With government-mandated ~CoVid Shut-Downs~ that vary among countries, states, counties, and even neighborhoods --- commerce and providers of products and services have been devastated. We're the lucky ones, just sitting at home and ordering hobby toys to alleviate our thumb-twiddling boredom. The providers are the ones under the gun and at risk. Time to show just a little compassion until the Pandemic blows through and away, and life returns to normal. No need to punish a stressed vendor for the sin of living in a clamped neighborhood.   Tom


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#14 jpflood

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 09:00 AM

That's precisely my point. With government-mandated ~CoVid Shut-Downs~ that vary among countries, states, counties, and even neighborhoods --- commerce and providers of products and services have been devastated. We're the lucky ones, just sitting at home and ordering hobby toys to alleviate our thumb-twiddling boredom. The providers are the ones under the gun and at risk. Time to show just a little compassion until the Pandemic blows through and away, and life returns to normal. No need to punish a stressed vendor for the sin of living in a clamped neighborhood.   Tom

Tom, kudos for trying to be fair and even handed. Blessed are the peace makers.

 

I returned to the original post for a refresher and I think its pretty clear the fault is with XYZ. Not that they failed to ship the scope as promised, but for failing to actively keep their customer up to date and informed with truthful information in a situation that is in Covid flux either by a personal email or group web page updates. We all understand the state of manufacturing, inventory and shipping for the past year. You can tell a customer bad news and commiserate with them and while disappointed the customer will appreciate your honest concern for their needs and efforts on the customers behalf. Thats how you build customer trust and respect. Lie, deceive or neglect your customer and you will lose them forever and your reputation too boot. I believe that this also applies to Orion's treatment of XYZ, (their customer).


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#15 scotsman328i

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 09:13 AM

That's precisely my point. With government-mandated ~CoVid Shut-Downs~ that vary among countries, states, counties, and even neighborhoods --- commerce and providers of products and services have been devastated. We're the lucky ones, just sitting at home and ordering hobby toys to alleviate our thumb-twiddling boredom. The providers are the ones under the gun and at risk. Time to show just a little compassion until the Pandemic blows through and away, and life returns to normal. No need to punish a stressed vendor for the sin of living in a clamped neighborhood.   Tom

My point is I’d still like to personally know so I can decide where to spend my money. I order mainly from Agena. They are phenomenal and you could barely tell they’ve been affected. Their inventory is spot on and up to date and a lot of the time they are in stock and their shipping is incredible. I’ve never been run around ever by them like the OP has been with XYZ. I can order from them and the item will come in a day before an item I ordered from an East Coast retailer the same day. Sad part is?...I’m here on the East Coast! I wouldn’t plan on stressing the vendor at all. I just wouldn’t shop there if I knew who the vendor was when shopping around if Agena didn’t have a product I wanted in stock. By all means I’m not here to hurt any vendor’s business, I just like to know what track record a vendor is currently having so I know who’s reliable or not. I feel as though we, as customers, should have a right to know before we part with our money. I can understand things backed up a few weeks after being told a shipping deadline, as I currently have items ordered with ScopeStuff, but I did talk to Jim personally on the phone and know the situation, so I’m good with that. But the OP being left in the dark for extended periods of time and others getting same item after he has been waiting for a long time is terrible. Yeah, I’d love to know who it is to simply avoid the XYZ company, just for my own personal piece of mind. 
however, granted...we don’t have to put them on blast per se. 



#16 scotsman328i

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 09:14 AM

Tom, kudos for trying to be fair and even handed. Blessed are the peace makers.

 

I returned to the original post for a refresher and I think its pretty clear the fault is with XYZ. Not that they failed to ship the scope as promised, but for failing to actively keep their customer up to date and informed with truthful information in a situation that is in Covid flux either by a personal email or group web page updates. We all understand the state of manufacturing, inventory and shipping for the past year. You can tell a customer bad news and commiserate with them and while disappointed the customer will appreciate your honest concern for their needs and efforts on the customers behalf. Thats how you build customer trust and respect. Lie, deceive or neglect your customer and you will lose them forever and your reputation too boot. I believe that this also applies to Orion's treatment of XYZ, (their customer).

Yup...you nailed every point.



#17 airbleeder

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 09:46 AM

   If I were as frustrated as the OP, I would cancel the order. No need to post or pm the vendor's identity.  As Tom stated, during these covid times, we should cut some slack. 


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#18 TOMDEY

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 10:34 AM

   If I were as frustrated as the OP, I would cancel the order. No need to post or pm the vendor's identity.  As Tom stated, during these covid times, we should cut some slack. 

Yes; thanks! It's just that we humans tend to self-normalize to our own situation. If that personal tent-pole is a grossly-belated delivery of some discretionary hobby bobble, that becomes grist for infuriation. In the meantime (unbeknownst to us) other families and businesses are out of work, out of power, flooded, infected, struggling to simply survive... But our little problem still takes top-booking. I freely admit, that's also my tendency --- but sometimes a deep-breath and gratitude for our blessing is the cure.

 

Just a few days ago, I got miffed because one of the living room blinds malfunctioned. To address the problem, I sent a generous donation to the local hospice care where passed friends had spent their last days. That brought me back into perspective and down to earth.     Tom


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#19 Jethro7

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 11:03 AM

Hello CNers,

Just for the record on Vendors. I have had Zero issues with these companies as of late or before all the trouble.

 

1- Astronomics

2- Highpoint Scientific

3- Lunt Solar Systems

4- Televue

5- Alpine Astronomical

5- Woodland Hills. Telescope and Camera

6- Orion

7- Losmandy

8- Adorama

9- B&H Photo

10- Agena Astro

 

All of these companies have been forth coming and quick with real information that I requested. I have never had any issues dealing with any of these companies.Yes astro gear has been slow and this no fault of these companies but I am receiving  my back orders from time to time. 

 

HAPPY SKIES AND KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro


Edited by Jethro7, 25 February 2021 - 02:13 PM.

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#20 scotsman328i

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 12:30 PM

   If I were as frustrated as the OP, I would cancel the order. No need to post or pm the vendor's identity.  As Tom stated, during these covid times, we should cut some slack. 

Wouldn’t you want to know if a vendor is mishandling your order and fulfilling other orders after yours? I sure would. If, for example, my main go-to retailer is out of stock...yet I find two other retailers left with the same item in stock. Now I have to choose between the two remaining retailers to order from. Now CN member xxxx pm’d me a month ago that retailer XYZ is not reliable and made the last customer wait 60 days before even bothering to fulfil their order, yet the other choice of retailer ABC had had no complaints or bad press. Well, kinda yeah...I’m going to gamble with ABC over XYZ. That’s just smart shopping.

 

I mean, sure, if your a loyalist to a retailer, go for it. But some of us would rather shop from a retailer that actually have items in stock, doesn’t lie about items being in stock when they’re not and are prompt with shipping, especially if the customer pays extra for 2 or 3 day shipping, you know?


Edited by scotsman328i, 25 February 2021 - 12:34 PM.


#21 scotsman328i

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 12:38 PM

Hello CNers,

Just for the record on Vendors. I have had Zero issues with these companies as of late or before all the trouble.

 

1- Astronomics

2- Highpoint Scientific

3- Lunt Solar Systems

4- Televue

5- Alpine Astronomical

5- Woodland Hills. Telescope and Camera

6- Orion

7- Losmandy

8- Adorama

9- B&H Photo

10- Agena Astro

 

All of these companies have been forth coming and quick with real information that I requested. I have never had any issues dealing with any of these companies.Yes astro gear has been slow and this no fault of these companies but I am receiving these my back orders from time to time. 

 

HAPPY SKIES AND KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro

Thanks for that list. I just reviewed it and can honestly say I also have had no issues from the suppliers I’ve used that are on that list either. So if the supplier in question is listed on that list, perhaps I haven’t used them yet or have but been fortunate. If the supplier in question isn’t on that list, I still wonder who they are so I could avoid them.



#22 Jethro7

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 02:28 PM

Thanks for that list. I just reviewed it and can honestly say I also have had no issues from the suppliers I’ve used that are on that list either. So if the supplier in question is listed on that list, perhaps I haven’t used them yet or have but been fortunate. If the supplier in question isn’t on that list, I still wonder who they are so I could avoid them.

Hello Scotsman328i,

If the OP does not wish to name the Vendor in question, I felt compelled to at least, list the ones I deal with that have been a pleasure to do do business with. 

 

HAPPY SKIES TO ALL AND KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro

 

P.S. something that has been bothering me all day and I could not put a finger on it until tonight. I left out a Vendor I have done a lot of business with. http://www.scopestuff.com he has a lot of hard to find and specialty items.  

 

 


Edited by Jethro7, 25 February 2021 - 11:18 PM.

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#23 Dr Barry

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 02:35 PM

Here's another data point for you gdavis. My wife and I ordered an Orion 180mm Mak-Cass OTA, along with a few other items, directly from Orion on 11/20/20. At the time, the expected ship date for the OTA was 12/04/20.

 

The OTA actually shipped on 12/07/20. (We were notified it may be late.) Now, we did order several items, including a SkyView Pro mount, finder scope, and a couple of cases, so that may have made a little difference in the order priority. However, everything shipped roughly when estimated. 

 

I tend to agree with Jethro7 and TrustyChords, cancel the order with company XYZ and place it directly with Orion. Unfortunately, the price has increased from $999.99 to $1,049.99 and the expected ship date is 4/17/21. However, if your experience is anything like mine, you have a better chance of actually getting a mid-April shipment. 


Edited by Dr Barry, 25 February 2021 - 02:36 PM.

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#24 TrustyChords

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 03:26 PM

Wouldn’t you want to know if a vendor is mishandling your order and fulfilling other orders after yours?

To be fair, we don't know if the vendor is fulfilling out of order, just that the supplier (Orion) appears to be shipping direct-to-customer quicker (in one case at least).

 

That said, I've noticed lately that some retailers are putting specific notice on certain items that they are not just simply back-ordered but are experiencing significant delays on specific items. That to me is a nice touch, and it sounds like XYZ should do something more like that in this case. I think it goes without saying that customers prefer transparency.


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#25 gdavis

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 03:56 PM

Wow, OK.  Lots of good points.  I'll try to address the key points, let me know if I miss something you'd like me to respond to.

I still haven't received any reply to my last email.  I'll probably email to cancel tomorrow if I haven't heard anything by then.

 

Could it be possible that the retailer really isn't receiving any shipments for that OTA from Orion yet? Perhaps Orion isn't receiving enough batches from their suppliers to fulfill their retailers' orders yet?

 

I suppose it's possible that demand is so high and supply is so low that Orion is just selling them directly to customers until big enough batches come in again for the retailers.

 

The real problem seems to be that you can't get a straight answer from XYZ ... or maybe they are telling you the truth and they A) haven't received anything yet and B) really don't know when they will.

 

You could always cancel the order and order straight from Orion? It's a crap-shoot either way these days, I sympathize with you.

I actually posed the same question in my last email.  I think it would be a disgraceful practice to fulfill direct orders ahead of retailer orders without regard to order date.

 

Why didn't you (the OP) just order directly from Orion?

 

- Cal

I don't think it really matters, but they're very close to me which I thought would help mitigate chances of shipping damage, and I had several other non-Orion items in the same order.  I called them to get some advice on equipment and felt that I should reward that assistance by ordering from them.  I've received all the non-orion items, canceled and received a refund for the Orion mount (found another one used), the Orion OTA is the only item left outstanding on the order.

 

Ummm... At this point we have a statistic of precisely one. gdavis was prudent and kind to keep the tale generic. There could be some mitigating circumstance that he and we are unaware of. He didn't get cheated or scammed --- just exasperatingly delayed. Not good to try to personally take down a vendor in a Public Forum for this most common type of aggravation. The vendor is probably as blindsided and frustrated as the customer.   Tom

Thank you.  This was my feeling as well but you articulated it better than I could have.  Like I said, they seemed to have an excellent reputation.  That along with the pandemic I felt just maybe my situation could be a justified anomaly.

However, I just did another search and, oh boy... There have been a lot of complaints since I ordered.  There is even a thread on CN that was started a couple weeks before I order which I unfortunately missed.  Apparently things have changed with the retailer and they have gone downhill, bbb.org gives them an F rating.  It seems I ordered right around the same time they went off the cliff.  A resourceful person could probably infer with reasonable certainty who it is, but I think it's OK at this point to reveal that it is OPT.

 

Here's another data point for you gdavis. My wife and I ordered an Orion 180mm Mak-Cass OTA, along with a few other items, directly from Orion on 11/20/20. At the time, the expected ship date for the OTA was 12/04/20.

 

The OTA actually shipped on 12/07/20. (We were notified it may be late.) Now, we did order several items, including a SkyView Pro mount, finder scope, and a couple of cases, so that may have made a little difference in the order priority. However, everything shipped roughly when estimated. 

 

I tend to agree with Jethro7 and TrustyChords, cancel the order with company XYZ and place it directly with Orion. Unfortunately, the price has increased from $999.99 to $1,049.99 and the expected ship date is 4/17/21. However, if your experience is anything like mine, you have a better chance of actually getting a mid-April shipment. 

Thank you, I very much appreciate this info.
 


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