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Mars Aspen-Murray

Can Altair Astro be trusted?

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Last September  I ordered and paid for an iOptron CEM25-EC from Altair Astro. I received a CEM25P, which costs about half the price. Despite phone calls (often unanswered) and emails, I have yet to have the matter resolved.  The last email I received from them asked for photos of the mount and box. I sent pictures of the branding and barcode labels/serial numbers. That was several weeks ago; since then nothing. I don't know what more I can do. The mount has not been used, other than taken out of the box to set up. I'm not sure if I even want the mount anymore, the new CEM40 may suit my needs better.

I admit I have not been quick to resolve this matter myself, ill-health has intervened, but I'm shocked and quite bewildered by Altair Astro's lack of care. Has anyone else had a comparable experience? I'm not sure what else I can do. £1600 is not an insignificant amount of money, but I am reluctant to go the legal path.

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Go to your local courts and get the forms for a small claims case. Complete them and send a copy to Altair Astro (marked FAO Nicholas Witte-Vermeulan) with a note that the forms will be registered with the court fourteen days from the date of your letter unless they resolve the situation.

I think one of the trading standards laws gives you time to examine the item and return it for a full refund if it does not suit. Did you pay by credit card? That also gives you some protection.

Write a review of TrustPilot (OK, most astro-buyers would probably be more interested in a review on SGL, etc, but it's one more turn of the screw).

Just generally become the squeaky wheel ... publicly ...

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Make sure you add your story to the supplier review section so that others can make an informed choice before ordering. Not the first time I have seen stories like this in relation to this supplier.

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Whilst I like my Altair gear. I did have an issue when I wanted a finder base for my 72mm Altair scope. I was advised to order one from them which I did. But I was also advised to fit it In a position which seemed incorrect to me compared to a position that seemed more suitable. Also the base itself didn't actually fit the radius of the scope so well. I managed to get it fitted and it works fine. With the aid of a small dot of super glue and a suitable washer but the communication from Altair was rubbish to be honest. I doubt I will order anything from them again. They were very dismissive of my concerns with a small, relatively low cost item and I wouldn't wish to part with a large sum of money with a company like that to be honest. 

Hope you get your issue sorted. 

Have you tried communication via their Google group??

 

 

Edited by Bobby1970

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you did well to get a Email from them. hope you get sorted soon. AA sell nice kit but there support, comunications is terrible. charl. 

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They are well known for poor communications, but generally I have found them to be good eggs if you can actually get hold of them.

I guess since you have had this amount of lack of assistance you have no option but to do as Demon Performer suggests.

I would suggest in the first instance, to write to them at their address and inform them that you will be taking this course of action, unless they rectify the matter within a given time frame.

Carole 

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As Bobby says above, communication via their Google Group definitely works better than email/telephone in my experience.  

I have had a couple of issues resolved through this route.

Dave

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I've had similar experiences with Altair. They seem to have great products but are sorely let down by their customer service. I'm never buying another product from them. 

But just to make sure you haven't got the correct mount. The CEM25P EC has red knobs, I'm not sure how else it would be labelled. Does your mount look like this, or are the knobs black?

 

7102EC-HC-2.jpg?1531900697

Edited by JimothyC
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I regularly buy from Altair and have always found them like Carole says to be good eggs, although it can at times be somewhat challenging to speak to someone, they are exceptionally honourable. Ian tries to reply to all his emails and return calls, but sometimes gets snowed under but refuses to go down the route of email only as he tries to appease everyone.

I have only just been in communication with him this morning, so will jog his memory by sending him this link, he truly is a good person, just a victim of his own success.

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Just got this back from Ian: -

yes we are on it....we were waiting on photos which he sent but files were too large and ended up in spam. we have tried to get the mount returned but he has been ill in hospital i think. should be resolved today i hope ..

I hope that helps.

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Thank you all for your responses. I have had an email to the effect that having seen the photos a full refund will be made. A 'good egg' would have apologised, in my opinion, and he didn't.

 

Edit: I have since received an apology and Ian is being very cooperative, so I am content.  I want to say too that my own circumstances have contributed to this saga being so drawn out. 

Edited by Mars Aspen-Murray
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I can only speak from my own experience with AA but I was impressed with how Ian in particular dealt with my issue. It was when I received a scope which had what appeared to be a dodgy focuser. I decided to return it in exchange for a different scope. My initial email was replied to late the same evening I sent mine, well out of hours. I arranged to have an upgraded scope. This was sent free of charge, the first scope was collected by the same courier and I didn't have to pay the balance on the upgraded scope until I tried it out to make sure I was happy with it. I even had to chase Ian up in order to pay for it! So despite the hiccup initially (due to manufacturer packaging I should add) the response from Ian and AA was in my experience, excellent.

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Without trying to turn this into a tit for tat thread, I ordered a small adapter/spacer which was 'in stock'.  It took several weels to get it, as it turned out it wasnt 'in stock' with them but was 'in stock' in china somewhere.

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I have also been impressed with Altair Astro in the past when I can get to speak with them on the phone. I bought my 115mm APO triplet and EQ8 from them. 

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Alls well that ends well, but I think this thread might have helped bring it to a closure.

I have heard so many people say that won't buy from them any more because they have difficulties getting any response from them, and I must confess, I try to avoid buying directly from them if I can get an item from one of their retailers who seem to have a better communication with them.

Such a shame as I have met them many times face to face, and they can be very helpful, they know what they are talking about, and sell some very good products, it's such a shame their communications lets them down.  

Carole 

Edited by carastro
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I think that this thread has run its course. Pleased that its sorted now. But I'm locking this thread now as we have the supplier reviews section,

Thanks

Ant

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