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Altair Astro


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  • 3 months later...

Has anyone had problems in contacting Altair Astro?

On the 29/03/2010 I ordered a Tele Vue Binoviewer on line. My order was confimed by email together with an invoice for £803.50. After one week the binoviewers had not arrived. I telephoned and emailed Altair Astro by could not get a reply. When I logged on to my account with Altair Astro my order was shown as back ordered. This was ok but I wanted some idea on delivery. It was only at the Kelling Star Party that I was able to speak to Altair Astro. They confirmed that the binoviewers were on back order and that they could arrive within the week.

Its now the 20/07/2010 and I have still not received my order. I have sent numerous emails to Altair Astro on line via their web site and left numerous messages by telephone. No one has returned my emails or phone calls.

I have also noticed that they have increased the price of the Tele Vue binoviewers on their web site to £975, although my log on account is still showing my order as £803.50.

No money has been taken but I still want to know what is happening with my order.

I only hope they are at Kelling in September.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Altair Astro order up date

On the 20/07/10 (under supplier reviews) I posted my problems with an order I had placed with Altair Astro for a Televue Binoviewer. In brief the order had been placed on 29/03/10 for which I was invoiced £803.50. After nearly four months the binos had not arrived and Altair Astro had not responded to any of my emails or telephone messages.

I have been asked my members to post my up date here as they were unable to post a reply on Supplier Reviews


Following my posting I received several private messages from members of Stargazers Lounge who provided me with two additional ways of contacting Altair Astro. A mobile number for Ian and that Nick could be contacted via private messages in Stargazers Lounge.

On the 21/07/10 I therefore

Sent a private message to Nick through stargazer Lounge

Left a telephone message on the Ian’s mobile.

Left a further telephone message on the shop telephone.

Sent a further email to Altair Astro.

This is the response.

On 21/07/10 at 23:57 I received an email from Ian

“ I will look into this when I’m back in the shop tomorrow as we did have a cancelled bino order which I assumed was yours.”

On 22/07/10 at 15:45 I responded

“I have not cancelled my order. My log on account still shows the status as back order. I have also not received any emails, telephone calls or messages saying my order has been cancelled. Would you please provide an update today as promised.”

On 22/07/10 at 15:56 I received from Ian

“Very sorry about this I soley take the blame I thought you had cancelled the order but turns out it was another customer called Kevin (very odd). As I emailed who I thought was you to say that the binoviewers had increased in price and would he/you like to proceed or cancel the order. They did cancel but I thought I was talking to you at this point and cancelled the order.

Turns out I was wrong on that point and can get you another one if you like on our next order which we are now placing so will be here very soon.

I am extremely sorry for this confusion,”

On 22/07/10 at 16:45 I responded

“I am not sure why my log on account is still showing my order as backordered £803.50 if you cancelled my order.

I would also presume that you would have received the other TV binos ordered for the other Kevin that you did not cancel before any price increase.

Are you going to honour the ordered and invoiced price of £803.50.

Please reply today.”

On 22/07/10 at 16:57 I received from Ian

“Yes that's correct I have just looked as the one I cancelled was obviously not yours

Let me look at prices and see where we are

I will be in touch later today”

On 26/07/10 at 11:25 I received from Ian

“Sorry for not getting back as the wife decided to go and break her ankle just before she finished teaching on the last day before the holiday typical... :-\

anyway regarding the order I have looked over with Nick at the new costing and we have little margin to offer the same price but if you can find a similar uk product price we will of course match that for you. in the meantime I will cancel the existing order and if you wish us to match an existing uk product then please give us a call and we will offer that price. We are sorry about this but even the one that was coming over would have also been at that new price.”

On 27/07/10 at 22:58 I received a message from Nick

“Hi Kevin a customer sent us a link to your post. I understand you've spoken to Ian about this but we're unsure if you have decided to cancel your order or not. We haven't received any emails from you, but I've been given permission to send PMs. (I'm banned from the forum as we're not sponsoring it, so I can't respond on a post any more). We can't control the price from Televue, but we can get the product for you if you're prepared to pay the higher price allowing for the new exchange rate.

Televue tell us they're setting up a European distributor very soon and we will have to buy from them so while I suspect the prices will increase again soon the product will become readily available. Strongly recommend you try second hand if poss it may help.

Anyway we haven't charged your card and won't until you confirm. So I'll leave it up to you as to what you want to do next. If we don't hear from you by Friday we'll cancel your order and delete it from the system. If you want to talk to us call us at the shop and leave a VM if you can't get through. You can try to find a UK company who have it in stock as old stock may be cheaper - I think the Widescreen centre may have them or BC&F.

Anyway good luck whichever way you decide to go. Sorry about the wait it's outside our control -usual fun and games of the astro business and product availability... :p

PS: best to use email in future as I'll no doubt get banned from using PM too shortly.”

On 28/07/10 at 09:35 I responded

“I note from your email that you have cancelled by order.

I also wish to confirm that I am cancelling my order for the TV binoviewers”

On 28/07/10 at 12:16 I received from Nick

”Hi Kevin, you may have misinterpreted my PM on SGL - what we said was that we'll cancel your order if we don't hear from you by Friday. Could you please confirm?

Also I notice your post on SGL about us not responding to email - I'm really sorry about this - it could be caused by problems we had with email and spam. We think this is probably linked to a UK based competitor launching a trojan attack from their customer's computers to our IP address which had the side effect if us being listed as spammers (which we don't do obviously).

Would you mind forwarding the emails you sent to us? If I can forward them to my ISP as whole emails, then they will check the header info and make sure that your ISP is removed from the IP block list. It will really help us diagnose what the email problem is and solve it ASAP as it's affecting our sales. In the meantime the phone-line is fine and open from 10-4pm so give us a bell if we can help with anything else.

I have a feeling that obtaining Televue will become more expensive as time passes, as they tell me they're setting up an EU distribution point and we will probably no longer be able to buy from the USA direct in future. We've tried to hold the line on price but we cannot make a loss, I'm sure you appreciate that. If there's anything else you need please get in touch as our now email now works (mostly anyway) :)

Please respond and let us know what you want to do.”

On 28/07/10 at 13:10 I responded

“Please be advised that: I AM CANCELLING MY ORDER FOR THE TELE VUE BINOVIEWERS. I will now be deleting my profile.”

On 28/07/10 at 13:11 I received from Ian

“Got it thanks”

I also received a telephone message from Nick on 28/07/10 offering to sort things out.

I did not return the call.

The emails have been reproduced word for word.

It seems that the best way to contact Altair Astro is through Stargazers Lounge.” Hi Kevin a customer sent us a link to your post”

It seems that emails are only received after you post on Stargazers Lounge “We haven't received any emails from you” and “ In the meantime the phone-line is fine and open from 10-4pm so give us a bell if we can help with anything else.” Which is fine if you answer the phone or respond to messages left.

It also seems that orders could be cancelled on first names “Very sorry about this I soley take the blame I thought you had cancelled the order but turns out it was another customer called Kevin”

It would also seem that the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. Ian 26/07/10 ” I will cancel the existing order.” Nick 27/07/10 “ If we don't hear from you by Friday we'll cancel your order.”

It also seem that the ordered and invoiced price will not be honoured . “We are sorry about this but even the one that was coming over would have also been at that new price.” The price increased from £803 to £975.

“ but we can get the product for you if you're prepared to pay the higher price allowing for the new exchange rate.” The exchange rate on 29/03/10 (date ordered) was 1 GBP = 1.4956 USD and on 27/07/10 1 GBP = 1.5524 USD. So the price has increased even though the pound was stronger.

So what have I done?

On 26/07/10 I phoned Lee at Green Witch and placed a order for the Televue Binviewers at £955. As they were not in stock they had to be imported from Televue in the USA. On the 06/08/10, that’s 9 days later, I received an email from Lee to say they had arrived at the shop. I picked them up the next day. Green Witch kept me fully up to date email as to the progress of my order. Now that’s how to look after customers. Well done Green Witch.

Edited by Kevin Ellis
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  • 5 months later...

Firstly, great service from Altair Astro. After the demise of Stayfocused I was left with a Skyshed pod and pier and no idea what to do with them. Nick Vermeulen emailed me out of the blue, informed me Albert had bought the pod from Altair and not to hesitate to contact him if I had any queries. Nick has been true to his word and answered all my queries as well as supplying three bolts that were missing from the EQ6 adaptor, free of charge.

Secondly, well done Opticron UK. After my Vixen DD-2 handset went 'kaput' (sadly the second Vixen handset that has died on me) they replaced it in under a week with no fuss.

Great service both.:D

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  • 1 month later...

Around the 16th of Febuary I tried to order a CG5/HEQ5 Pier adpater from Altair Astro via the web, however after several attempts over a few days I kept getting an error back from their site, saying somthing about an invalid IP address.

The reason I tried the web over several days was because I couldn't get them to answer the phone. I did try LOTS of times.

Eventualy about 4 days later I managed to catch them on the phone, he explained that they were having difficulties with there site but he had my details. OK no problems. He then went on to explain they were out of stock of the pier adapters but they would be in within a few days and I should have it by the middle to the end of that week.

After two weeks and no pier adapter, I started phoning to find out what was going on, but with over fifty phone calls, leaving around 5 messages and no answer my patience was wearing thin. I then sent an email and waited a few days for a reply...nothing.

My next message left on there answering phone was if I had not recieved an update within the day cancel my order.

Another week had passed (now 4 weeks from initial order) I was almost in the middle of purchasing another pier adapter second hand when I checked my email and there was a standerd email from DHL couriers explaining my Altair Astro pier adpater was on its way!?

The next day I recieved another standered email/reciept from Altair Astro, no appologies just "Thanks for your payment"

Ok so I was desperate by this time for a pier adapter as I work off shore and I was hoping to have built my obsy in the 4 weeks that I was home unfortunatly by the time the pier adpater arrivied I had to go away again. So I said nothing and let it come home.

Not the end of the story....

Along with the pier adapter I had ordered an azimuth stop bolt, this was charged for, but was not in the box.

I immediatley started phoning...of course no answer. So I sat their pressing re-dial..almost fifty times again when finaly someone picked up.

I explained how unhappy I was with the service and I was appologiesed too, I said well the least you could do is post the azimuth stop bolt first class today.....off course was the reply.

1 week later.....still waiting....still no reply from calls.


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As others seems to have had good/bad experiences with them I thought I'd add mine to the mix. Ordered a Telrad finder via the web site, no problems doing that and got a confirmation email, then nothing else. I waited over a week and with no money taken from my account and no contact I emailed asking if the order was going ahead so that I could figure out if I needed to try and find one elsewhere. Got a reply quickly saying that they'd had a problem with customs and that stock was delayed, they would be in touch as soon as the finders came in and would not charge my card until they had stock to send.

This was fine by me and about a week later I got an email saying that the finder had been sent, it arrived the next morning, well packed and working perfectly.

In all I had a good experience but Altair Astro need to work on their communications, I guess that they are suffering from the same apres' Stargazing Live problems which explains the lack of stock but not the bad comms.

7/10 I think, I would use them again.

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Since I posted my original review about my experiances with Altair Astro I have had a few people on the forum PM me having similar issues i.e lack of contact being the main one.

But more importantly I have had a response from Altair Astro via a message left on my mobile a few days ago reffering to my post and also just yesterday an email which I will attach word for word.

It seems they have addressed all the issues I had with them in this email.

I do understand most of the issues they have been having with being busy etc. But I did wait a month to have any sort of after sales contact with them.

I may well have been more upset about the situation because of my circumstances of working off shore and just wanting to get on with my pier build when I was at home, so maybe you should take that into account as well. :D

Any way in the end I am happy that they have appologised and made attempts to rectify there mistakes which is all I can ask for.

Just wish they had kept in touch from the begining and I wouldn't of written my review.

Email 23/03/2011:

Dear Michael,

We are struggling to answer the phone at the moment, as we have had a lot

of customers in the shop lately due to the BBC television series about

astronomy which has taken us by surprise, and equipment discussions are

taking up a lot of time and we are preparing a lot of scopes to go out.

We’re sorry you couldn’t get through, I know it’s frustrating.

Both of us tried to contact you once again yesterday evening by phone, but

it sounds like the reception out there is weak, and that didn’t work out.

I’m really sorry about the inconvenience you suffered. We received a batch

of adapters at the time estimate I first gave you, however there were

problems with the finish, so we sent them back. If they had been OK, then

I’m sure it would have arrived on time. The mistake I made was that I

didn’t let you know about the second delay.

To make things worse, when the adapters finally arrived, I forgot to

include the extra M10 x 50mm bolt you wanted.

This was an unfortunate mistake, and I can understand how that must have

been very irritating for you. What happened is that I was in such a rush

to get it out the same day it arrived here (along with the rest of the

batch of backorders), that I forgot to include that extra bolt. Someone

else probably got your bolt due to the mix-up, so they will no doubt be

wondering what it’s for.

After we spoke again, I sent you that extra stop bolt on 11-03-2011 by 1st

Class Signed For (Royal Mail) tracking ID *******. It’s still

showing as “being progressed through our network for delivery”. I know

you’re in a remote location, so it may take time to arrive.

Just in case Royal Mail have lost the first bolt, I have sent another bolt

by 1st Class Signed For tracking ID *******. This one is also

showing as “progressed through our network for delivery”.

Tracking details can be seen here:


If that doesn’t work, we will try again. Some bolts may arrive sooner than

others, but hopefully they will all arrive.

Once again, I apologize for any inconvenience, and I really hope you will

accept this apology.

Best regards,

Ian Knight, Altair

Please note: If you decide to post this email up on internet forums or

social media websites, you have our permission to do so, but only if the

email body text is copied exactly as transmitted by us without any

alterations, truncation, or any form of editing.

NB: I had to edit out the tracking numbers for privicey reasons. But that is all.


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After reading the other review I was in two minds about an order, but decided to go for it.

I needed a EQ6 pier adaptor, I have their pier so it made sense to get a matching adaptor. I orderd on line yesterday afternoon and I am pleased to say that the postman has just this minute handed me my adaptor..Well done Altair Astro :D

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  • 1 month later...

Now that my POD is built, I just thought I'd briefly relay my recent dealings with Altair Astro to get it and the pier inside.

Simply, my experience has been that I have received what I ordered, within the specified time, and that while their communication has been a little sluggish on occasion, I have received replies to my emails and phonecalls sooner or later throughout the process.

Also, Altair have stepped in and been supportive and helpful regarding the small problems I've had installing some of the gaskets to weatherproof the dome.

Thank you Ian and Nick for your help so far.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Having recently bought a Skyshed Pod off Altair, with excellent service, I ordered yesterday at 3pm a couple of tubes of Lexel sealer and it has just been delivered! Now thats what you call good service.

There has been a few moans recently about the service from Altair but from my experience I cannot fault it. My calls have been returned, my E mails answered and when I was arranging to collect my Pod, Ian gave me his personnel mobile number so that I could

co ordinate collection with the lorry driver.


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  • 1 month later...

I ordered a Tele Vue Brass Equalizer from Altair on 18 April 2011 and received a confirmatory email.

My subsequent emails and telephone calls (as to progress / delivery) have been ignored.

As I am fed up with "wasting my time", I have today via landline, mobile and email cancelled my order and will now look elsewhere for a more professional company to take my business.

Avoid this company at all costs, their "customer service" (sic !!) is totally non-existant !!

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  • 1 month later...

I've recently bought two items (on different occasions) from AltairAstro. As these items were in their showroom and I'm beyond easy traveling, a few emails and phone calls gave me a full description of the items (an 8-inch f4 Imaging Newtonian and an NEQ3 Synscan mount). Their promised despatch was true to their word and the courier arrived next day for both items. Thumbs up AltairAstro. ;)


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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm trying to get info with the intention of buying an iOPTRON Mini Tower..

Phone message to their answer phone is unanswered, tried an e-mail with the same result. Next tried Astronomia who said they would phone me back when they had contacted their supplier (Altair Astro). I'm still waiting.

Next tried Green Witch who said the same thing, but they did phone back within 2hrs to say unable to make contact with AA but would send them an e-mail. They admitted that they have had difficulties cotacting AA and it begining to look as though the only emails answered are those placing an order. If Green Witch fail to contact them in the next 4 or 5 days maybe I shall have to try placing an order direct with AA which I am reluctant to do because of thei appaling lack of curtesy.

Keith Moore

ADDED by Keith 27/08/11:

Please ignore my previous moan as it was all MY fault! Altair Astro DID try to contact me on the sme day as I phoned and e mailed them. I missed my Voicemail recording, and worse, had given them an incorrect e mail address. So my fullsome apologies to AA, who were very prompt at answering my questions and also in speedily dispatching a Mini Tower to me, which arrived in perfect condition this afternoon. So far everything is working perfectly.

Keith Moore

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  • 2 months later...

Ordered an Orion 1.25" Self-Centering Adapter on the 16/11 online. £6 postage:eek:

I mean recorded would have cost no more than £2. anyway..

Got an order ID from the website. No sign of the item as of 23/11

Emailed asking for an ETA - no response.

Phoned them - answer machine, no call back

I was saving for a 115 telescope but would not be so keen now if they can't manage a small piece of metal.

Would not recommed due to hight postage and no comms (that's the worst bit)

Edit : just a note to say Nick emailed me explaining they had comms issues and put the item on back order for me.

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  • 2 months later...

Just thought i would share my experience with Altair Astro.

Dropped altair Astro an email through there contact form on there site , confirming if the Starwave 102 was in stock.

A reply was received almost instantly advising that it was, i followed this up with a few further about delivery and the reports i had read concerning dust on the lenses.

Almost instantly again a reply was received advising that i could have saturday delivery and that the scope would be checked out before dispatch.

Placed my order at about 12.30ish Friday 17/2/12 and received confirmation email straight away.

Scope arrived Saturday 18/2/12 at about 10.00am as prommised.

Unpacked the scope - quick check over all looks perfect, checked the lenses and they appear to be perfect as well.

Very good service indeed.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have used and compared many mounting systems - I'm talking about pucks, dove tails, dual bars etc - ranging from standard Skywatcher and iOptron to Vixen, Geoptics, William Optics and Altair Astro and in my view Altair Astro beats all competition when it comes to fit and function and versatility. Put on gloves and get out in the dark and AA does the job better! Look at surface to surface contact on the various plates - just by looking along two connected plates for instance against a bright background and you'll find that some systems grab on by a knife's edge while AA pretty much block the light - their plates be that Vixen style or Losmandy fit like no other.

And as to service I recently received and item that had been damaged during shipping and all it took was one e-mail. The reply came within the hour and with no question asked a replacement item was sent that same day. Not even a mention on how and when to return the damaged item. Outstanding!

I would not go on here to name and shame any company - I think everyone can have an accidental bad day. But you don't accidently have good days over and over again so Altair Astro deserves a Thank You for consistent fab service and again the mounting products are just phenomenal.

If it's anodized blue it's gonna work! :)

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  • 3 months later...

I placed an order for the Kendrick Stargate Observer Tent with Altair Astro on Sunday June 17th. I received an email with tracking information the next day when it was dispatched, and it was delivered by courier on the Tuesday. Considering the 12kg+ weight of the package and the time to arrive, £5 P&P was quite reasonable.

A very smooth transaction.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I was keen to order one of http://www.altairastro.com/product.php?productid=16335&cat=260&page=1]these, based both on positive comments from Olly, and on the fact that it is pretty unusual, in a useful way - it can serve as a finder and a finder-guider, and is easier to focus in the latter capacity than a standard finderscope.

Unfortunately, when I initially decided to get it, AA has an out of stock notice on the item, so I emailed them asking when they would expect more stock. As some of you may know, communication is definitely Altair's weakest point, and many of us have struggled to get a response from them. I'll be honest, if it wasn't for the fact that they sell some very nice things, and are the only stockists of some items, I would have given up on them some time ago for this reason. Emails from my own account, messages left via their website's message system, phone calls and even text messages to private mobile numbers all failed. I finally got a reply from Nick by sending him a stroppy message via one of the Yahoo groups he is on. Once that contact was established, the process became much better - Nick notified me when in stock, and I had my finder within a couple of days.

Two minor hiccups did occur:

The finder was sent to my billing (home) address rather than shipping (work) address. Fortunately, I was home when the TNT man tried to deliver, so this didn't cause a problem.

The 23mm reticle eyepiece wasn't supplied in the box. Ian and Nick have assured me one will be in the post on Monday, and I'm sure it will be. This also hasn't presented an immediate problem as the finder's main role will be as a guider.

The finder itself is very nice, and is now doing a lovely job of guiding my NEQ6/Tak E-180, and I've never had a problem with the quality of the items I have purchased from Altair.

Their failing is in their ongoing difficulties with communication which seem to have plagued them since I started using them. I really hope they figure out a way to sort that out, but despite that I do recommend them, provided you can get in touch with them!

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  • 9 months later...

While in Norfolk for a few days last week I called in at the Altair Astro shop.

I'm not sure who was in the shop but he was very helpful. No rush or pressure and perfectly happy to answer all my queries and let me handle anything I was interested in.

I was also impressed with his respnse to my question about their Lightwave eps. Having given me the sales pitch he advised not to take their word for it but to read independant reviews before commiting myself.

Need I say that I ended up spending more than intended.

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  • 4 months later...

Multi Pier Adaptor ordered 16 Sept - arrived 17th.

On 16th shortly after ordering I realised that I had ordered the wrong colour. One quick phone call later and everything was sorted.

So - excellent service, fast delivery and most of all an outstanding product.

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  • 2 months later...

Ok After the nod from the Memsaab i went mad.

A HEQ5 pro mount

Altair astro 115 triplet

60mm finder scope

All ordered online

Emails a plenty followed 

and the following day the scope and finder were delivered.

But no Mount.

A quick phone call later confirmed that they were coming by a different courier.

Outstanding customer service

And Quick delivery

Happy chappy

Thanks to the Guys at Altair Astro

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  • 1 year later...

Altair Astro have been very helpful and flexible with me over the past couple of months. Ian agreed to a part exchange deal and he accepted the description I gave him of my secondhand equipment without question - Many thanks.

The new goods were delivered promptly and AA even paid for the courier to pick up my items that were being exchanged - Many thanks.

One of the new items (finder scope) was defective and they readily agreed to swop it for a better specified item, the replacement took over a week to arrive and I needed to chase them a couple of times to ensure that it had been dispatched.

The stuff they sell is very good, they are helpful and obliging and I'd score them 4 out of 5. They need to improve is their email skills for me to award them 5 out of 5.

Despite this I will still buy from AA again and would recommend them to others.

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  • 3 months later...

It does not matter how good a range of product is if it is left down by appalling bad service & customer disrespect.

In the second week of May I ordered the camera adapter for the Altair 60 mm RACI finder as I had every intention to use this as a guide scope as it has very good optics.

I was shipped an adapter that bore no resemblance to the adapter described on the website. This adapter did not fit the 60 mm finder or guide scope in any guise that could  achieve focus. It is simply the wrong device.

I had a conversation with Altair immediately after receipt on the first available opportunity & I was directed to another web site potentially told spend £20.00 to get another adapter to make this item achieve focus. I ignored this option as clearly the device I paid £40.00 for should have done what it was supposed to do.

I have sent 2 further emails asking for the right adapter to be shipped & the wrong one collected. These have been ignored. I left a telephone answer message this has been ignored. The final insult was the notification from Altair's automated stock control that the correct adapter is in stock.

Whatever the reason for this chain of events it has now been going on for a month & I'm no closer to getting a refund or the proper adapter that I paid for.

In closing if the matter is not resolved in the next week I take appropriate action for breach of my consumer rights. This is a shame as good product is being potentially marred by shoddy disrespectful service.

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  • 1 month later...

After years of using refractors I decided to upgrade and try one of these small Ritchey Chretien.

Living in Norwich I choose to buy directly from Altair Astro. I ordered online when I was abroad, and in 24h the scope arrived at my office. So quick that I ordered soon after, positively surprised, also the Bahtinov mask for it.

I brought my telescope few days later to the store, just a few miles away from my home, to have some explanation about collimation and a check that it was ok. They were very kind and explained loads of things, showing me how to use a Cheshire and explaining.

After few days I tried collimating it myself with a Cheshire and after some test shots in a very demanding setup (full frame DSLR), I got frustrated being unable to collimate it. They provided amazing support by email, loads of emails with lengthy explanations, detailed suggestions also checking a topic I opened here on SGL (to check test images), and in 48hr and another collimation session of just few hours, following precisely the advice of Nick from Altair and ignoring all the rest, I got an almost perfectly collimated RC and understood it all!

Top notch service, absolutely outstanding post sale support (also for a scope that is relatively cheap), will surely shop from the again considering that they have same prices of other retailers..and they're just nearby where I live!

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