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Customer Service in A&S

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Customer Service in A&S was created by Turlock

After thinking about getting into astronomy for the last while and then coming across this site I decided that I was going to sort myself out with a nice telescope. After a bit of research the general concesious seemed to rate the minimum scope to consider as a 6" reflector.

From reading these forums and my initial comparison of A&S's prices I had basically written them off as my choice of vendor. Although impressed with the amount of time spent, plus depth of knowledge on my initial phone call with them the price comparison with the UK put me off and I went to look elsewhere.

After posting my previous thread in the wanted section slating A&S I was surprised to see Carl (from A&S) look for feedback on my encounter with themselves to try to give me an understanding of what was going on.
Although skeptic I was surprised that when the price was broken down it, although not as cheap as on the internet, was definatley fair. The major factor here between the UK's price and A&S's prices was delivery. Telescopes being heavy objects seem to cost alot to ship across from the UK so obviously this has to be included in A&S's price.

After checking out prices on the internet I decided to drop out to A&S's shop in Artane to have a chat and and see what they had in stock. Upon arrival I was met by Carl and he immediatley got down to business. The first scope he showed and highly recommended to me was the Celestrial C6-N, as this did pass my minimum spec I was very interested but asked to be shown what other models would be in around my budget, which he was more than happy to do. After looking at Dobs and bigger arpetures I started to get the feeling that the C6-N was indeed the scope that would suit me best.

When it came down to sorting out a price Carl hopped onto the internet and brought up a couple of prices from other well known UK vendors to compare against. He beat them hands down (including free a years membership to Astronomey Ireland) and so I'd bought myself a scope. :D

After melting poor Carls head with newbie questions for the next 20 minutes (during which he threw in a free €15 book and a load of back issues of Astronomy and Space) I went on my way. After arriving home and pulling the boxes apart to get my scope together I noticed that a 10mm lens, which I had told was included, was missing. Not to pleased I rang Carl straight away but was back to my cheery self when he sorted it out for me. This is exactly the kind of support that I would have missed out on had I opted for the internet purchase.

Apologies for the essay but after seeing A&S getting so much of a hard time on these boards I just thought I'd throw my tuppence in and let other people be aware that although buying off the internet can be cheaper most of the time, dealing with real people in a shop, getting free advice, with load of extras thrown in can be alot more rewarding in the long term.
16 years 3 weeks ago #38503

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Replied by TrevorDurity on topic Re: Customer Service in A&S

Yep, I agree. I got an ASGT for a competitive price from them (as cheap as any UK store) and fantastic service as well when there was an issue.
In my case the internet would not have been much cheaper so it was dosh well spent to be able to get advice and service locally IMO.

Trev
16 years 3 weeks ago #38507

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Replied by jhoare on topic Re: Customer Service in A&S

If Celestron make the product you want A&S is certainly the place to go. However if what you are looking for is not a Celestron product or the item you would like an equivalent for is not Celestron do not expect the same level of knowledge from all staff.

I once had a rather obstinate individual who answered the phone try to convince me that Baader's Contrast Booster was the Fringe Killer filter I was looking for. He only knew of one Baader filter and couldn't bring himself to conceed the fact that I had a copy of the full Baader Catalog (which I pointed out) and he was wrong. I don't know whether or not A&S now stock more of the Baader filter range but on that occasion I couldn't put up with the chap's stubborn ignorance, hung up and sourced it elsewhere.
John

Better that old people should die of talk than to have young people die in war.
16 years 3 weeks ago #38527

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Replied by dave_lillis on topic Re: Customer Service in A&S

I'm glad it worked out for you Turlock.

I've had 2 experiences with the shop, neither were good, one been particularily bad, I also know who I was talking to.
To be fair, they were both nearly 8 years ago, so are not nearly as relevant as more recent events.
Dave L. on facebook , See my images in flickr
Chairman. Shannonside Astronomy Club (Limerick)

Carrying around my 20" obsession is going to kill me,
but what a way to go. :)
+ 12"LX200, MK67, Meade2045, 4"refractor
16 years 3 weeks ago #38532

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Replied by Silversurfer on topic Re: Customer Service in A&S

The major factor here between the UK's price and A&S's prices was delivery. Telescopes being heavy objects seem to cost alot to ship across from the UK so obviously this has to be included in A&S's price.

Surely, Celestron products are shipped from the states (or China), so the shipping costs to Ireland should be the same as the shipping costs to England. Unless of course the telescopes are first shipped to England and then shipped to Ireland, which seems to be strange way to do business.

Regards
Martin

You can lead a horse to water but a pencil must be lead
16 years 3 weeks ago #38623

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Replied by michaeloconnell on topic Re: Customer Service in A&S

Turlock,

Congrats on your new telescope!! May it bring you many years of fun under crystal-clear dark skies! :)

Regards,
16 years 3 weeks ago #38624

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Replied by jhoare on topic Re: Customer Service in A&S

Martin, AFAIK Celestron use a "regional" distributor in England to supply A&S, which in my opinion does A&S a great injustice because they have to pay a middleman his markup AND the cost of shipping from the UK on top of the price they could import it directly at. I don't understand how they manage to match prices under those conditions but fair play to them if they can keep it up.
John

Better that old people should die of talk than to have young people die in war.
16 years 3 weeks ago #38625

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Replied by albertw on topic Re: Customer Service in A&S

AFAIK Celestron use a "regional" distributor in England to supply A&S, which in my opinion does A&S a great injustice because they have to pay a middleman his markup AND the cost of shipping from the UK on top of the price they could import it directly at. I don't understand how they manage to match prices under those conditions but fair play to them if they can keep it up.


From what I leanrned buying a scope a couple of years back...

That regional dealer is who all shops dealing with celestron, here and the UK (and scandanavia (?)), have to go through. They basically are celestron for these islands.

I was told by a UK dealer when enquiring about a scope previously that the dealer themselves takes delivery directly and that the scope doesn't actually go to Herts and then to the individual dealers. From that perspective it should be a level playing field. Meade have the same setup. You become a dealer through Meade UK, but your stock and inventory management is up to you.

You'll notice that the 'regional distributor' in both cases sell the products at the same RRP as is used by most shops.

The injustice from celestron was that they treated Ireland as separate when it suited them. UK shops used to be prohibited from selling scopes to Ireland as this was a different market, much the same way as delaers in the US are prohibited from selling here. And since they had an exclusive dealer in the Republic they effectivly created a monopoly in the sales of celestron equipment. That no longer seems to be the case thankfully which is good for us consumers!

All manufactures are still guilty of having a nice cartel basically in prohibiting selling scopes across the atlantic. One particularly stupid case I ran into a couple of years back was with Orion in the US. They sell products which are remarkably similar to Skywatcher, the difference between my 4" Mak and the Orion 4" mak is the colour. Both apparently come from the same chinese factory. But you cant buy an Orion scope in the US and get it delivered here, you have to go through their UK dealer where the price is higher than for the equivalent skywatcher. In fact if you go to Orions shop in California and pay for a scope in cash there they still won't deliver it to Ireland! In the end I bought the skywatcher scope in Dublin from Andromeda Optics.
Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/
16 years 3 weeks ago #38635

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Replied by albertw on topic Re: Customer Service in A&S

After looking at Dobs and bigger arpetures I started to get the feeling that the C6-N was indeed the scope that would suit me best.


Don't worry you'll be infected by Aperture Fever soon enough :-)
Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/
16 years 3 weeks ago #38637

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Replied by dave_lillis on topic Re: Customer Service in A&S

Isnt that the truth!, next thing you know, you'll be longing for that 22" dob.:lol:


Celestron are not alone in this cartel , meade are also guilty of this, you cannot get a Meade scope shipped directly from the US, look a the US/EU price difference's, of course there are ways around such as getting a third party involved and having them ship it to you, but then Meade say the warranty is void, meaning you'd have to ship it back to your friend at your own cost, so its a risk you are either willing/not willing to take.
Dave L. on facebook , See my images in flickr
Chairman. Shannonside Astronomy Club (Limerick)

Carrying around my 20" obsession is going to kill me,
but what a way to go. :)
+ 12"LX200, MK67, Meade2045, 4"refractor
16 years 3 weeks ago #38638

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Replied by DaveGrennan on topic Re: Customer Service in A&S

Turlock, congrats on your scope, wishing you many happy years of gazing at the wonderful heavens with it.

I can tell you guys for certain that all celestron gear goes from th US-> uk distributor -> irish dealer. Although I can't say with the same certainty, i'm pretty sure the same goes for meade too. Unless of course you happen to be lidl!! So unfortunately one problem any irish dealer is going to have fo face is paying the 'middleman' as John rightly says. I often wondered why celestron and meade won't just ship straight to their dealers. I guess it probably comes down to the fact that they're not all that bothered about non-US sales (thats just my opinion). Pity because they could make a lot of money if they did it right.

Well done to Turlock on getting your new scope and well done to Carl too.
Regards and Clear Skies,

Dave.
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www.webtreatz.com
Equipment List here
16 years 3 weeks ago #38655

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Replied by Turlock on topic Re: Customer Service in A&S

Thanks folks! Managed to get about an hour or 2 (over 2 sessions) of watching in so far, so amazing to see what's out there in a clear sky.

Biggest moment so far was when I happened across Saturn, just thought is was a bright star until I looked through the eye piece and realised what I was looking at, unbelievable is the only word I could use to describe it.

Look out in the Beginners forum for my next million posts with newbie questions 8)
16 years 3 weeks ago #38671

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Replied by dave_lillis on topic Re: Customer Service in A&S

That must have been a great shock, to point the scope at a star and it turning out to be Saturn, its a great feeling when you find something in the sky by accident. :P it'll happen alot more when you start sweeping the milkyway with the scope (deepsky objects that is, not planets :lol: )
Dave L. on facebook , See my images in flickr
Chairman. Shannonside Astronomy Club (Limerick)

Carrying around my 20" obsession is going to kill me,
but what a way to go. :)
+ 12"LX200, MK67, Meade2045, 4"refractor
16 years 3 weeks ago #38686

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Replied by Frank Ryan on topic Re: Customer Service in A&S

Turlock,
Best of luck with the new scope!

I saw Saturn for the first time through a scope only last year...
to find it by chance.,.. now thats cool....

Clear skies!
My Astrophotography
Shannonside Astronomy Club __________________________________________
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16 years 3 weeks ago #38725

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Replied by albertw on topic Re: Customer Service in A&S

Biggest moment so far was when I happened across Saturn, just thought is was a bright star until I looked through the eye piece and realised what I was looking at, unbelievable is the only word I could use to describe it.


I think that's a memory that most of us have. I still clearly remember the Wow! moment when I managed to get the scouts 3" reflector on a garden table pointed at Saturn and saw the rings for the first time. That is still one of my top 5 astronomy moments.
Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/
16 years 2 weeks ago #38800

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Replied by adam hinds on topic Re: Customer Service in A&S

an interesting read :)
15 years 6 months ago #49160

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Replied by johnomahony on topic Re: Customer Service in A&S

Welcome to the IFAS boards Adam
The Lord giveth, the Revenue taketh away. (John 1:16)

www.flickr.com/photos/7703127@N07/
15 years 6 months ago #49162

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Replied by adam hinds on topic Re: Customer Service in A&S

thank you
15 years 6 months ago #49168

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