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Mead Parts Availability and lack of Meade support


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#1 coliwabl

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Posted 24 July 2008 - 06:53 AM

I recently had an adventure trying to order parts for the Meade standard wedge. A Meade representative informed me since Meade no longer makes its own parts in the US, that some of them may no longer be available. The parts I needed but not available were the attachment knobs. These are used to adjust the wedge and attach and hold the scope to the wedge and are designed to be tightened by hand.

When I asked the representative how I could get the parts I needed, he informed me that I could not because they were being made "someplace in Mexico." He also said that I would not be able to contact the manufacturer for these parts. When I asked about alternatives, the representative had no idea other than to suggest that I buy another wedge unit. So, to be clear, the representative would solve a $10.00 problem by expecting me to spend $150. Wow!

I was able to find a substitute for the parts at "Scopestuff," but the substitute is more difficult to work with.

With regard to the parts that Meade had in stock, although my card was charged, it has been almost two weeks and still waiting.

I've considered more Meade purchases but wonder if the support will be there if I need it.

#2 Mark Sibole

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Posted 24 July 2008 - 08:15 AM

Meade support is getting better.
With the recent move to the other plants things may be a bit slower.
It can take a few weeks for parts to arrive.
By the time they take the order,process it send it to the ware house and then they pack it and ship it.
If you dont get them in a few days call them to remind them you are waiting on the parts and see what the status is.

Regards

Mark
Mark Sibole
MTSO Observatory
Fife Lake, Mi.

http://astronomy.qteaser.com

#3 coliwabl

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Posted 24 July 2008 - 10:05 AM

Thanks Mark.

#4 Guest_FIZZO1_*

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Posted 21 October 2008 - 11:00 AM

I tried purchacing parts for the focuser and they told me there was no way to buy parts only the focuser as a unit.

#5 RockyN

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 12:36 PM

I was told to send back my mount and tripod (LXD 75) because of a bad clamp on one leg of the tripod. I could not get just one leg and keep the rest but I had to send everything back. Is there a phone number other then customer service to call. They have been promised to shipped my tripod back to me for a week now and it has not shipped yet. I need someone who cares about helping a customer and not someone who has a job and does not care what happens. This will be the last Meade product I buy (I have 4 Meade scopes now). I just need another phone number to call to find out where my tripod and mount are.
Thanks
Rocky

#6 J.Ohlsson

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Posted 02 November 2008 - 12:00 PM

I have to say, it seems to me that Meade is very interested in sales, but not as interested in after-sales customer support.  Experiences like RockyN and mine should not happen.

I have a post here about service also.

I didn't mention in my previous post that after finding out from Meade they no longer supported my 10 year old scope, I was passed to a supervisor.  I explained the same situation to him and asked if I could get access to the service information on the LX-200 electronics so I could attempt a repair without having to reverse engineer the thing.

They went so far as to take my email address and assure me they'd be in touch with more information.

That's the last I heard from Meade customer support.

Just my thoughts.  Meade is selling us all nice, pretty, whiz-bang electronic goodies.  They have an internal service life built in to these things that is not made known to us when we purchase.

As I said in my post, a telescope should not be a consumable item.  If Meade can't provide continuous service, perhaps they should engineer in a more modular design to their products, so a faulty component can be replaced if it is no longer possible to repair it.

#7 leshiggins

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Posted 02 November 2008 - 02:46 PM

It's all very sad, but par for the course judging by most coversations I've had with Meade purchasers. If Meade cares about its reputation (which, I suspect, bothers it far less than its bottom line) then it should start actually to listen to its customers' experiences. We must not be ungrateful for the price benefits of the lower manufacturing costs to be had in China etc. but there are other companies out there offering SERVICE as well!

Personally, I have no regrets about buying my Meade SN-8, which is a great scope (apart from the use of chromed screws inside the OTA) - and the DSI II Pro is pretty neat also (apart from the crappy filter slide). The mount is a dog - specifically, the drives - and I was just lucky to find someone with a spare gear wheel in a bit bucket when I needed it. The Autostar control system seems to have been designed by the same committee that designed the camel - no standardisation (other than Meade's own) at all.

Surprise, surprise, I won't be buying Meade again - unless I see hard evidence of them getting their act together customer-service-wise.

#8 StevenSWissler

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 07:25 PM

I bought a 10 " LX200 recently, nice scope overall. The finder scope did not come with screws to mount it to the scope, and the screws that came in the scope are too short to mount the finder. I called Meade customer service and was told they could not send me just the screws, and would have to send me a new finder scope mount. So they sent me another finder scope mount without screws...  ???

#9 sxiniasgreece

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 10:54 AM

I have to say, it seems to me that Meade is very interested in sales, but not as interested in after-sales customer support.  Experiences like RockyN and mine should not happen.

I have a post here about service also.

I didn't mention in my previous post that after finding out from Meade they no longer supported my 10 year old scope, I was passed to a supervisor.  I explained the same situation to him and asked if I could get access to the service information on the LX-200 electronics so I could attempt a repair without having to reverse engineer the thing.

They went so far as to take my email address and assure me they'd be in touch with more information.

That's the last I heard from Meade customer support.

Just my thoughts.  Meade is selling us all nice, pretty, whiz-bang electronic goodies.  They have an internal service life built in to these things that is not made known to us when we purchase.

As I said in my post, a telescope should not be a consumable item.  If Meade can't provide continuous service, perhaps they should engineer in a more modular design to their products, so a faulty component can be replaced if it is no longer possible to repair it.



I agree with you completely; a telescope should not be a consumable item. Unlike digital cameras and some other comsumer products, a telescope has a long lifetime...some are still in use after a century or more of usage.  My vintage mid 1980s Meade 2045 LX3 is still ticking and going strong.  The repair philosophy for telescopes ought not be Repair by Replacement.  But, look at it from the telescope manufacture's perspective....  more profit in selling a new telescope, new mount, etc. than going through the expense to support products and to stock spare parts. Now I dont completely blame the telescope makers either.  If you look at prices, they have remained remarkable stable for the past 25 years or more while adding a lot of electronic bells and whistles and an expanded product line.  Maintaining and selling spare parts is an expensive operation and if they did that, they would have to sell their new products at a much higher prices than they now currently do or reduce the breath of their product lines; neither avenue is attractive to their customers.

I recently decided to purchase a new scope and wanted a 6 inch CAT.  I must admit the new Meade EXT-LS was a super attractive candidate for purchase, even with its waiting list, as it is a very complete package at a very attractive price.  I decided not to buy it for many of the same reasons that are being mentioned in this thread.....what will happen if a ten cent part fails four years from now? I also looked at the Celestron  NexSstar 6SE.  It was also a very attractive candidate.  However, the same question...what happens four or five years from now when a ten cent part fails? 

From my reading of postings on internet astronomy forums the answer to the question what happens four years from now when a ten cent part fails was apparent....you have a major problem on your hands.

For this reason, I decided to go low tech and purchased a Celestron C6S with a manually operated CG5 mount. Going low tech essentially eliminated the probability of a ten cent part failure rendering my purchase into a piece of high technology junk.  However, this route left me without the ability to automatically track objects or to have the advantages of a GoTo Scope.  This was overcome by adding one of the several aftermarket goto kits available for the CG5 mount or similar clones.  True, the after market goto kit maker may be no better regarding furnishing spare parts or support after four or five years have gone by, but, at least, I will still have an excellent, manually operated scope and not be completely out of business and can always purchase another aftermarket goto drive if need be.  BTW, Celestron has now closed the hole in their hightech marketing strategy and the manually operated C6S is no longer available. They too know of the economic advantage in the Repair by
Replacement marketing strategy.

One other pet peeve of mine with Meade is why in todays cyberspace world do they not use the internet for customer service?  While I admit that I have not toured the Meade website since the first of the year, the last time I did, I cound not find any way to email a technical or service question to Meade and get a response.  Strange philosophy for todays internet world.

Joe




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