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lousy experience shopping on telescopes.net

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#1 slamdunk

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 07:11 PM

Today I bought at www.telescopes.net a Celestron HD8" telescope and a T adapter, all for USD1382 and with a shipping cost of USD225 by UPS with my credit card.

 

After several hours, I checked the status of my purchase and it appeared "in review", then, I asked for chat and I spoke with Dillon, who told me that they had to send me a paypal again to charge me (since the payment made appears on my card).

 

After making me wait a long time, he tells me that they reviewed the transaction and that I had to pay an "update of the shipping costs", and then he told me that now the shipping cost is USD 380. I told him that could not do that and they had to respect the charge they had made.

 

He replied that they could not do anything and that there was only one telescope in stock, being that today I asked and supposedly they had 5 (in fact on the website you can still order up to 5 telescopes, I did the test).

 

Finally they did not accept their "error" and canceled my purchase. I still haven't received my money back, I hope they don't steal from me, terrible attention, the store isn't serious, don't buy there.


 

#2 The Ardent

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 07:14 PM

I bought a telescope from Astronomics in 1996 and other things over the years. Always good service. 

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#3 slamdunk

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 07:21 PM

I bought a telescope from Astronomics in 1996 and other things over the years. Always good service. 

Thanks for the information, but they don't have the telescope I'm looking for


 

#4 Bean614

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 07:31 PM

Slamdunk, you may have missed the point Ray (The Adrent) was trying to make.  Namely,  that Astronomics OWNS and OPERATES Cloudy Nights,  where you've posted your remarks,  and does so FOR FREE!   There's NO membership fees for being a member here on CN, and you also get a discount when buying from Astronomics! 

   Sometimes its a nice gesture to buy from your hosts, considering THEIR generosity. 


Edited by Bean614, 05 May 2021 - 03:53 AM.

 

#5 Chris K

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 07:49 PM

They've been having technical issues with their website.

 

I ended up cancelling a small order because it never shipped, and they replied that they could ship it if I still wanted it.


 

#6 Maritime

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 07:49 PM

Today I bought at www.telescopes.net a Celestron HD8" telescope and a T adapter, all for USD1382 and with a shipping cost of USD225 by UPS with my credit card.

 

After several hours, I checked the status of my purchase and it appeared "in review", then, I asked for chat and I spoke with Dillon, who told me that they had to send me a paypal again to charge me (since the payment made appears on my card).

 

After making me wait a long time, he tells me that they reviewed the transaction and that I had to pay an "update of the shipping costs", and then he told me that now the shipping cost is USD 380. I told him that could not do that and they had to respect the charge they had made.

 

He replied that they could not do anything and that there was only one telescope in stock, being that today I asked and supposedly they had 5 (in fact on the website you can still order up to 5 telescopes, I did the test).

 

Finally they did not accept their "error" and canceled my purchase. I still haven't received my money back, I hope they don't steal from me, terrible attention, the store isn't serious, don't buy there.

I’ve bought from them many times, and spoken to several folks. Two weeks ago I bought an asi533mc pro, delivered free. I infer you are not in the United States, hence the freight charges. Most US states allow unilateral contract cancellation when ONE PARTY to the transaction makes a mistake of fact over a material term. I believe this happened here, and note, FAULT IS IMMATERIAL to the right to cancel but only a unilateral mistake of fact. I’m sorry this happened to you, but assuming the truth of the claimed freight charges, would you really want to shift this loss to them simply because they made a mistake?


 

#7 eros312

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 08:05 PM

I just received an ioptron gem28 from them and everything went smoothly. In fact, Daniel Mounsey(sp?) himself called to confirm my order. (I changed my order to a mount that came into stock). Good guys there. 


 

#8 DJL

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 11:07 PM

Thanks Bean, I didn't know that, however, as I was telling Ray, at the time I looked there, but they didn't have the telescope I want, that's why I made the serious mistake of buying at telescopes.net, since i didn't find it elsewhere and thought it was a serious shop

This scope appears to be unavailable everywhere. I had a similar experience myself at a different store; it was listed with an available date, but once I ordered it the date changed to unknown and then changed to Sept 1.

 

However, since you reported telescopes.net claim to have stock, I could not help looking! The site said "in stock" so I clicked add to cart. Then I looked in my cart, where I saw "We don't have as many quantity as you requested, but we'll back order the remaining 1." 

 

Apart from supply chain issues affecting stock levels, we have also encountered bad stock level reporting at different stores during the pandemic. I was really disappointed not to get my 8" reflector for this galaxy season, which is especially lean in my location due to trees, but there's plenty more to do, or will be soon. Clear skies!


 

#9 WadeH237

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 11:21 PM

would you really want to shift this loss to them simply because they made a mistake?

If the OP and seller both made the transaction in good faith, and the seller accepted payment, then in my opinion the seller should honor the transaction.

 

I'm not sure what the law is here, but if the seller made an error, it's on them.  When I have sold stuff (not as a retailer, but as a private party used sale), I consider the item the property of the buyer once I accept payment.  I have sold things in the past where I paid shipping, and I have had the shipping cost more than I expected.  I just paid the shipping cost and never even mentioned it to the buyer.

 

I expect nothing less of a business.  If I had the same experience as the OP, I would allow the seller to cancel the transaction (since that seems to be what they want) and then I'd be done with the seller forever.


 

#10 dnrmilspec

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 11:42 PM

The seller realized the mistake promptly and moved to correct it.  There is no reason they should lose money because of a simple error.  Buying stuff is not a game of gotcha....  Nobody intended to harm anyone else.

 

As for stock....Are we really going to complain that their website is not up to date?

 

These are tough times for businesses.  Shipping charges change hourly.  So do customs fees. 

 

I want all these businesses to stick around.  I can afford to be forgiving if it means I help save a small business from failure.

 

So for the OP.  Tell me again how you were harmed in this?   I already understand you did not get your way.


 

#11 WadeH237

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 12:06 AM

The seller realized the mistake promptly and moved to correct it.  There is no reason they should lose money because of a simple error.  Buying stuff is not a game of gotcha....  Nobody intended to harm anyone else.

Of course it's not a game of gotcha.  Nobody (at least, I hope) wants to cheat the seller.

 

The seller had every opportunity to get the shipping cost correct before charging the customer, and there is zero intent by the customer to cheat the seller (hence the "good faith" part of my original comment).  If the seller is unable to figure out their costs correctly, then that is a problem on their side that they need to correct.  Eating the occasional mistake is part of the cost of doing business. It's also incentive to get it right the first time.

 

If you turn this around and look at it from the customer point of view, it's a classic bait-and-switch (probably not by intent - again, I believe that the seller was also acting in good faith - but that's the result).

 

Again, they may not be legally bound to handle it this way, but it is abysmal customer service not to.

 

Edit: Regarding how the customer was harmed:

  • The customer has been charged for an item that the seller is refusing to ship.
  • The customer's money is being held out of their hands for an indeterminate period of time while a refund is processed.
  • The customer is going to end up without a scope due to the seller's unwillingness to provide the product as agreed and paid for.
  • The seller took the customer's money before they knew that they could even provide the product for that price.

The seller should be very aware of the shipping costs.  If they are as volatile as you say, then the seller should not quote a shipping cost until they are able to confirm it.  At the very least, they could advertise the shipping cost as "market rate".  None of these are things that the buyer would reasonably be aware of.  It's up to the seller to communicate this.  I don't understand at all why I should feel bad for them.

 

PS:  If this disagreement occurred before the exchange of money, I would feel very different about it.


Edited by WadeH237, 05 May 2021 - 12:16 AM.

 

#12 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 03:55 AM

The seller had every opportunity to get the shipping cost correct before charging the customer, and there is zero intent by the customer to cheat the seller (hence the "good faith" part of my original comment).  If the seller is unable to figure out their costs correctly, then that is a problem on their side that they need to correct.  Eating the occasional mistake is part of the cost of doing business. It's also incentive to get it right the first time.

 

 

This appears to be an international sale with international shipping charges. Maybe the OP can clarify whether it is an international sale and if so, where it is being shipped.

 

This would complicate the calculation of the shipping costs.  Many vendors will not ship internationally, I would cut them some slack.

 

Jon


 

#13 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 05:39 AM

I'd like to hear the vendor's side of this story.  

Also, from the Cloudy Nights Announcemens Forum:

 

How to constructively discuss vendor issues:

https://www.cloudyni...-vendor-issues/

 

jon


 

#14 kel123

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 05:43 AM

If the OP and seller both made the transaction in good faith, and the seller accepted payment, then in my opinion the seller should honor the transaction.

I'm not sure what the law is here, but if the seller made an error, it's on them. When I have sold stuff (not as a retailer, but as a private party used sale), I consider the item the property of the buyer once I accept payment. I have sold things in the past where I paid shipping, and I have had the shipping cost more than I expected. I just paid the shipping cost and never even mentioned it to the buyer.

I expect nothing less of a business. If I had the same experience as the OP, I would allow the seller to cancel the transaction (since that seems to be what they want) and then I'd be done with the seller forever.


Hi Wade

I understand the point you are making . It is quite unfortunate that the OP had this sad experience and the vendor should have put their house in order.

However, I don't think I agree with you that the order must be shipped to the detriment of the vendor if they discovered a shipping fee error.
You gave an instance of how you had to pony up the cost when the shipping fee was more than you expected . But there has to be a limit to the additional cost you can bear. What if the shipping fee turned out to be more than the cost of what you were shipping?. I bet you would have cancelled the deal or at least told the customer. That's an extreme example but you get the point.
Frankly, the margin of profit on these astro items are so small that asking a vendor to absorb the cost of a shipping fee error for an international shipping to that tune might mean losing on stocks they are even yet to get.

Most vendors in the U.S don't ship internationally and for those that do, it is few and far between. Sometimes, this kind of error occurs. I once purchased something and after waiting for 5 days for it to be shipped, the vendor asked to cancel as the the shipping company wouldn't play ball. I felt sad and frustrated but I wouldn't expect the vendor to ship at a huge loss.

I most

I feel the OP's pain and it is such lousy way of doing business by the vendor and the OP was indeed harmed in more ways than one but two wrongs don't make a right.

The vendor must know that if it continues doing business this way, buyers will take their businesses elsewhere.
 

#15 Woodbridge_Dave

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 06:23 AM

Kel123, I highly doubt the margins of profit are small.  Astro mark ups by retailers easily reach 50-60% on many items.  


 

#16 Maritime

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 06:44 AM

Gross margins are one thing, but net profit is all that matters, and it seems we have some who think most or all states would enforce sale contracts despite a mistake in formation, or mistaken, unconscionable terms, those who think a seller is MORALLY BOUND and a buyer is not so constrained by an unfair advantage, and those who would avoid the contract. Times are indeed strange. 


 

#17 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 06:50 AM

Kel123, I highly doubt the margins of profit are small.  Astro mark ups by retailers easily reach 50-60% on many items.  

 

What evidence do you have that the markup on a 8 inch Edge is 50-60%?

 

Everything I know from both public and private conversations is that the markup are far less than that and it's a struggle just to make any profit on a sale.

 

Jon


 

#18 Seiten

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 07:59 AM

I recently made a purchase from an individual on here who after we made contact, he actually said he might have under priced a particular item. So based on the "offers" he was receiving (apparently from other email exchanges) he raised his asking price. Now, I agreed to this and the transaction was completed. So even though I expect to be pleased with the items once they arrive and at the price I paid for them, I am personally disappointed in the individual and just a pinch distrusting. Not to mention he provided inaccurate tracking information.

The skinny is, I'm disappointed because I would NEVER EVER conduct a sale that I originated this way. If I didn't do my homework up front when my intent was to maximize my intake, then I would take the hit and shake hands with a smile. That's my culture.

So I sympathize with the OP and his disappointment. And I understand the counter arguments. But some of us have good reasons not to trust the other party when the handshake means the agreed upon deal is indeed not final. Because we personally would never do such a thing.
 

#19 slamdunk

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 08:18 AM

Of course it's not a game of gotcha.  Nobody (at least, I hope) wants to cheat the seller.

 

The seller had every opportunity to get the shipping cost correct before charging the customer, and there is zero intent by the customer to cheat the seller (hence the "good faith" part of my original comment).  If the seller is unable to figure out their costs correctly, then that is a problem on their side that they need to correct.  Eating the occasional mistake is part of the cost of doing business. It's also incentive to get it right the first time.

 

If you turn this around and look at it from the customer point of view, it's a classic bait-and-switch (probably not by intent - again, I believe that the seller was also acting in good faith - but that's the result).

 

Again, they may not be legally bound to handle it this way, but it is abysmal customer service not to.

 

Edit: Regarding how the customer was harmed:

  • The customer has been charged for an item that the seller is refusing to ship.
  • The customer's money is being held out of their hands for an indeterminate period of time while a refund is processed.
  • The customer is going to end up without a scope due to the seller's unwillingness to provide the product as agreed and paid for.
  • The seller took the customer's money before they knew that they could even provide the product for that price.

The seller should be very aware of the shipping costs.  If they are as volatile as you say, then the seller should not quote a shipping cost until they are able to confirm it.  At the very least, they could advertise the shipping cost as "market rate".  None of these are things that the buyer would reasonably be aware of.  It's up to the seller to communicate this.  I don't understand at all why I should feel bad for them.

 

PS:  If this disagreement occurred before the exchange of money, I would feel very different about it.

WadeH, I couldn't have said it better, it's just what I feel, thank you very much, I still don't have my money back on my credit card

 

The seller realized the mistake promptly and moved to correct it.  There is no reason they should lose money because of a simple error.  Buying stuff is not a game of gotcha....  Nobody intended to harm anyone else.

 

As for stock....Are we really going to complain that their website is not up to date?

 

These are tough times for businesses.  Shipping charges change hourly.  So do customs fees. 

 

I want all these businesses to stick around.  I can afford to be forgiving if it means I help save a small business from failure.

 

So for the OP.  Tell me again how you were harmed in this?   I already understand you did not get your way.

dnrmilspec, the seller did not quickly realize how you say, after several hours I contacted him to ask about the status of my purchase and there he just told me that he had to charge me by paypal and later he informed me that I had to pay the difference of shipping cost. It would have been very different if he promptly sent me an email explaining the "problem"

 

As far as it affects me, WadeH has already indicated exactly what happens to me. So far I still don't have my money back or a telescope

 

And even more incredible, I just received an email from another person in the store and he tells me that my payment was not verified (since it still appears on my credit card) and that is why it was canceled, and he asks me if I can make a transfer. I don't know whether to laugh or cry


 

#20 slamdunk

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 08:30 AM

I recently made a purchase from an individual on here who after we made contact, he actually said he might have under priced a particular item. So based on the "offers" he was receiving (apparently from other email exchanges) he raised his asking price. Now, I agreed to this and the transaction was completed. So even though I expect to be pleased with the items once they arrive and at the price I paid for them, I am personally disappointed in the individual and just a pinch distrusting. Not to mention he provided inaccurate tracking information.

The skinny is, I'm disappointed because I would NEVER EVER conduct a sale that I originated this way. If I didn't do my homework up front when my intent was to maximize my intake, then I would take the hit and shake hands with a smile. That's my culture.

So I sympathize with the OP and his disappointment. And I understand the counter arguments. But some of us have good reasons not to trust the other party when the handshake means the agreed upon deal is indeed not final. Because we personally would never do such a thing.

Thanks for understanding me Seiten, it is exactly what happens.

 

If they are not sure about the shipping costs of what to sell, do not indicate them, many stores clearly indicate that they will send you the costs if you ask them (which allows you to be clear from the beginning). If you offer international shipping and even offer several shipping methods indicating their costs (in fact they offer 4 shipping methods with their costs and they are all similar), it is very frowned upon that afterwards they tell you that they are going to charge you more.


Edited by slamdunk, 05 May 2021 - 08:32 AM.

 

#21 rhetfield

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 08:50 AM

The seller realized the mistake promptly and moved to correct it.  There is no reason they should lose money because of a simple error.  Buying stuff is not a game of gotcha....  Nobody intended to harm anyone else.

 

As for stock....Are we really going to complain that their website is not up to date?

 

These are tough times for businesses.  Shipping charges change hourly.  So do customs fees. 

 

I want all these businesses to stick around.  I can afford to be forgiving if it means I help save a small business from failure.

 

So for the OP.  Tell me again how you were harmed in this?   I already understand you did not get your way.

Yes, we are going to complain if the website is not up to date.  That is a problem the business has to address.  Tracking inventory is a very basic, fundamental function that a business needs to be able to handle.

 

If I make a mistake, I am held to account.  It simply is not fair that I should have to be held account for my mistakes and also held account for the mistakes of others without ever being able to hold them to account.

 

Yes shipping charges and customs fees may change.  Sometimes they change in your favor.  Sometimes they change in the business's favor.  Many businesses are not going to credit you if it is in their favor.  That is just the way the world works.

 

I am all for small business, but it also has to be efficient, well run business.  That includes anticipating the normal uncertainties and having plans in place for mitigating their effects.


 

#22 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 09:16 AM

If I make a mistake, I am held to account.  It simply is not fair that I should have to be held account for my mistakes and also held account for the mistakes of others without ever being able to hold them to account.

 

 

No one knows why the shipping cost was increased, it might have been an error by the shipping company. 

 

In this case, the buyer was informed, the buyer had a choice whether to buy the item with the increased shipping cost, I see no harm here. The added shipping wasn't tacked on after the item was shipped.

 

What would slamdunk have done initially if the quote had been for the higher amount?

 

The other day we we'd been shopping. My wife was looking over the receipt and realized a squash had somehow been overlooked and hadn't been paid for. She went back in and paid for it. It was the right thing to do...

 

Yes, someone made a mistake but we had the squash, we found their mistake.. 

 

I have to think that had the vendor gotten a cheaper rate, they would have passed that on as well.

 

Jon


 

#23 slamdunk

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 09:35 AM

Yes, we are going to complain if the website is not up to date.  That is a problem the business has to address.  Tracking inventory is a very basic, fundamental function that a business needs to be able to handle.

 

If I make a mistake, I am held to account.  It simply is not fair that I should have to be held account for my mistakes and also held account for the mistakes of others without ever being able to hold them to account.

 

Yes shipping charges and customs fees may change.  Sometimes they change in your favor.  Sometimes they change in the business's favor.  Many businesses are not going to credit you if it is in their favor.  That is just the way the world works.

 

I am all for small business, but it also has to be efficient, well run business.  That includes anticipating the normal uncertainties and having plans in place for mitigating their effects.

Import taxes were not included in the cost, I must pay them when they arrive in my country. Regarding shipping costs, if they indicate prices online, it is their responsibility to make sure they are up to date, as long as they are a serious company. They indicate 4 kinds of shipments at least to my country (so are they all wrong?). So far, they have not bothered to fix the supposed "problem" of the page, since the shipping costs are kept posted at the price I paid. That is, if someone makes the same purchase they will have the same problem.

The most interesting thing is that another person from the store writes to me indicating that I transfer them and does not say anything about the "error" of the shipping cost.

If they have an error, the least expected is that they would have sent me an email in a timely manner explaining the situation, apologizing and proposing a solution (as you said, they must anticipating the normal uncertainties and having plans in place for mitigating their effects), instead of putting the shipment on hold and being surprised with an extra cost when after many hours I asked them what was going on. In the end the theme translates into trust, seriousness and responsibility. I would not offer international shipments or publish shipping costs if I am not sure about them, and if I am wrong I would assume my mistake, and that is ultimately what gives trust or mistrust to whoever makes the purchase.

And in the end ... I still do not get my money back and without a new telescope bawling.gif


 

#24 slamdunk

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 09:44 AM

No one knows why the shipping cost was increased, it might have been an error by the shipping company. 

 

In this case, the buyer was informed, the buyer had a choice whether to buy the item with the increased shipping cost, I see no harm here. The added shipping wasn't tacked on after the item was shipped.

 

What would slamdunk have done initially if the quote had been for the higher amount?

 

The other day we we'd been shopping. My wife was looking over the receipt and realized a squash had somehow been overlooked and hadn't been paid for. She went back in and paid for it. It was the right thing to do...

 

Yes, someone made a mistake but we had the squash, we found their mistake.. 

 

I have to think that had the vendor gotten a cheaper rate, they would have passed that on as well.

 

Jon

Hi Jon

 

It is difficult that it is a mistake of the shipping company, since they had 4 shipping methods and I chose the most expensive one.

You ask me what I would have done if the initial cost was higher? I would have had the opportunity to make the decision with all the information available, which is how the transactions should be carried out.

Are you telling me that you don't see any damage since the additional shipping was not charged after the item was shipped? First, the shipment was never sent and second, I still don't have my money back and I don't have a telescope. My money is on hold and I can't use it to buy another telescope until they deign to release it.


 

#25 slamdunk

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 10:01 AM

Incredible, now telescopes.net tells me that the credit retention of my funds lasts 30 days, that is, I will have to wait a month to have my money and buy a new telescope


 


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