Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

RE: [LX200GPS] Re: A little story of Meade customer service-

Expand Messages
  • George N. Huftalen, Jr.
    Dear Andy and Group (or at least those posting to this thread regarding the screw/parts confusion by Meade) For the most part, this has been a reasoned
    Message 1 of 36 , Dec 31, 2005
      Dear Andy and Group (or at least those posting to this thread regarding the
      screw/parts confusion by Meade)

      For the most part, this has been a reasoned discussion--which is not always
      the case in reference to Meade CS, often devolving to 'Meade Bashing'-- and
      I congratulate everyone. I have been treated well by Meade CS over the years
      and I speak in the following as a fan. That said, if I may:

      1. Please keep in mind that the CS rep is not the one who selects and ships
      the part; he/she (politically correct of me, I have never spoken to a female
      CS rep at Meade) just puts in the order on the computer system and it is
      sent, I imagine, to the QC or shipping dept. But I do know from experience
      that the reps do not see the part and therefore should not be chastised.

      2. I am a person who has sought his own parts (the little "e- clip holding
      the long bolt in the field tripod? Home Depot. Bolts and other adjustments
      to my Meade wedge? Home Depot.) And sometimes it must be done. However, I
      must take a course I would rarely do, and that is disagree with Dr. Clay and
      point out that in order for Meade to improve service and customer
      satisfaction, they must know that these communications glitches are
      happening--at least in this particular problem--too often to be acceptable.
      Each mistake made must be followed up upon--not in an insane quest to be
      "right," but rather, to improve CS performance by making them aware.
      Further, I must also submit (with well-intentioned warmth and a full muster
      of due respect to you Doc Clay) that since Dr. Clay mentions that "stripped
      screws" may be caused by the customers, then the design is flawed, and a
      better fix must be implemented in order to not allow the person (who is
      admittedly and predictably not perhaps experience and not at the best
      advantage when first assembling the scope) to damage the offending screws or
      holes.

      3. I admit that this may not be realistic or possible. It may add cost to
      the scope, and people will find another way to mess it up, but Meade must be
      made aware because a simple, inexpensive fix may be considered that will
      save them the cost of sending replacement screws/other parts. This will make
      both the customers and Meade happy.

      4. Meade CS has always--in my personal experience--responded well to me and
      I am sold on Meade Products BECAUSE of how they addressed my problem of my
      first Meade 'scope--a classic 8" LX90 that did not work out of the box and
      those CS folks worked and worked with me to finally get me a working scope
      to me. Several Hundreds of $$ of other Meade products and scopes as gifts
      later, I am a fan.

      5. Second to Last but not least, we spent a lot on Meade Products and we
      have a reasonable expectation to get working products and accessories as
      well as good service. With a few bumps, we all must admit Meade is trying to
      improve...

      Lastly---

      6. Trust me. Meade is either directly or indirectly listening to all of us
      on these forums. They seem to be either through marketing or customer
      service to be giving us what we ask for... Let's avoid empty flaming and be
      a group of good customer ambassadors and remember that we DO have influence
      and to use it wisely..

      Happy New Year and, as always,

      Clear Skies!

      George

      G.N. Huftalen, Jr.
      Metacom Observatory
      Warren, RI 02885
      Latitude 41? 43' 53" N
      Longitude 71? 16' 11" W
      http://www.geocities.com/gnhuftalen/
      metacom_observatory@...

      "The telescope has come and I am charmed.
      I don't see how on earth I ever farmed
      A day without a tool so important."

      - Robert Frost


      -----Original Message-----
      From: LX200GPS@yahoogroups.com [mailto:LX200GPS@yahoogroups.com]On
      Behalf Of Andrew Silverman
      Sent: Friday, December 30, 2005 11:25 AM
      To: LX200GPS@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: RE: [LX200GPS] Re: A little story of Meade customer service-


      Guys, I agree with everything you've said. I don't really have a
      pathological perfection or blame syndrome, and I'm a big Meade fan. I
      bought the scope knowing full well that they've made the occasional
      boo-boo, I was reading this group long before I bought the scope.



      But I feel the main reason to keep after Meade is that it's the only way
      they'll learn what mistakes are being made in production and in customer
      service. If someone wants to give me a direct line to their manager of
      customer service, I'll call him and politely explain what's happened,
      I'll go get them from my hardware store, and we'll be done with it. But
      as an ordinary consumer of their product, I have no other recourse. Yes,
      I can run down the street and have this fixed in under an hour, no
      question. But then Meade receives no feedback to indicate that they've
      made any error, or are continuing to do so in their customer service
      supply chain. What if instead of something as insignificant as the
      finder mounting screws those screws were actually responsible for
      something more serious? I'm sure were that the case we'd all be less
      quick to say that we should just cut them the slack, but in principle, I
      think it's really the same thing - I really want to see Meade improve.
      I'm not just out to beat them up for my own personal gratification,
      although I may have made it sound that way in my initial frustration.



      On the metallurgical side, let me assure you I didn't massively
      overtighten the screws during initial installation. But since I can
      verify visually that only one or two threads are protruding from the
      finder base, I'm sure undue stress was being placed on the threads in
      the OTA that they were in contact with. If I screw them directly into
      the tube without the base in the way, there's plenty of thread for them
      to engage with adequately if only they were longer as they were supposed
      to be, but they won't go back in and stick to anything the way they are
      now.



      Good wishes to Meade, and a happy new year to all.



      Regards,

      Andy

      ________________________________

      From: LX200GPS@yahoogroups.com [mailto:LX200GPS@yahoogroups.com] On
      Behalf Of Rick Jack
      Sent: Friday, December 30, 2005 6:33 AM
      To: LX200GPS@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [LX200GPS] Re: A little story of Meade customer service-



      Hi,
      Just a thought about your stripped screws. In all my years
      experience in mechanical engineering, 9 out of 10 times it's the tapped
      hole in the thin walled metal tube that is stripped not the screw,
      unless the screw is made from a softer material such as plastic or
      brass. Have you run any other screws into those threads to check them
      out?
      Regards,
      Rick

      "P. Clay Sherrod" <drclay@...> wrote:
      Amen Pete....
      You have a "unique style" among the politically correct, but I hardly
      ever
      disagree with you.
      Granted Meade made a mistake and it is our duty to badger them into
      submission,
      but when a simple screw or procedure will take care of a problem, then
      "Just Do
      It."

      Frankly I suspect that many more problems are solved on these and other
      telescopes here on this group than could be solved by a dozen Meade
      companies.

      Note also, that in so many cases of "stripped screws" I have found that
      these
      have been done so by the user in assembly and not part of the Meade
      process. In
      the case of attaching a finderscope for example (Meade no longer puts on
      the
      dovetail acceptance plate, the customer must do that), note that until
      the
      customer actually puts the finder plate on for the first time, those are
      "virgin
      threads" and other than the tapping machine, nothing has ever been in
      them to
      strip them. Yet I see scopes every week with stripped threads. The
      castings
      are, for lack of a prettier description, soft pot metal and will always
      strip if
      we try to squeeze scope juice out of the them.

      Meade does admit to having a bit of a quality issue at this
      time......there are
      some changes for the better taking place and growing pains are
      temporary.

      Dr. Clay
      --------------------
      Arkansas Sky Observatories
      Harvard MPC H41 (Petit Jean Mountain)
      Harvard MPC H45 (Petit Jean Mountain South)
      Harvard MPC H43 (Conway)
      Harvard MPC H44 (Cascade Mountain)
      http://www.arksky.org/


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "plalbrecht" <plalbrecht@...>
      To: <LX200GPS@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Friday, December 30, 2005 6:37 AM
      Subject: [LX200GPS] Re: A little story of Meade customer service-


      > --- In LX200GPS@yahoogroups.com, "Andrew Silverman" <andrewsi@m...>
      wrote:
      >
      > >Still no way to attach the plate to the OTA. Now
      > I'm really fed up. It's just two screws, for crying out loud. I could
      > probably source and replace them locally in about an hour, but now
      > it's about the principle of the thing!
      >
      > Yes, for crying out loud. What is it about today's world that makes
      > people want to push each and every responsibility, each inconvenience,
      > onto somebody else? Let's call it the Hurricane Katrina Syndrome ("Big
      > Daddy Government -- or Meade -- will save me, I need do nothing, it's
      > the principle of the thing.") I can see bugging Meade about some
      > serious optical or mechanical problem that only they can fix,
      > proprietary circuit boards only available from them, but it's just two
      > screws, for crying out loud.
      >
      > >Tomorrow morning I get to call again for round three. I'm not sure
      > how much longer I can maintain the politeness, though. :-)
      >
      > What do a couple of stainless steel screws from the hardware store
      > cost? What do three phone calls to Irvine, CA cost?
      >
      > If I insisted that the manufacturer take care of every flaw on every
      > item in my household, nothing would work anymore.
      >
      > One valuable lesson of life -- and history, modern and ancient -- is
      > pick battles you can win. And are worth winning. Two screws don't seem
      > worth it.
      >
      > Pete
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >



      ---------------------------------
      YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS


      Visit your group "LX200GPS" on the web.

      To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
      LX200GPS-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

      Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.



      ---------------------------------






      ---------------------------------
      Yahoo! for Good - Make a difference this year.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






      ________________________________

      YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS



      * Visit your group "LX200GPS
      <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LX200GPS> " on the web.

      * To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
      LX200GPS-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
      <mailto:LX200GPS-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com?subject=Unsubscribe>

      * Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
      Service <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/> .



      ________________________________



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]








      Yahoo! Groups Links
    • George N. Huftalen, Jr.
      Hi Wayne, no need to apologize. I understand fully. Look up in the archives how Meade CS repaired, sent the wrong scope through 3 different LX90 s before I got
      Message 36 of 36 , Jan 3, 2006
        Hi Wayne, no need to apologize. I understand fully. Look up in the archives
        how Meade CS repaired, sent the wrong scope through 3 different LX90's
        before I got mine as a working model...They have problems, for sure, but
        they seem to work hard to resolve them...I was P.O.'d too!

        Clear Skies!

        George

        G.N. Huftalen, Jr.
        Metacom Observatory
        Warren, RI 02885
        Latitude 41° 43' 53" N
        Longitude 71° 16' 11" W
        http://www.geocities.com/gnhuftalen/
        metacom_observatory@...

        "The telescope has come and I am charmed.
        I don't see how on earth I ever farmed
        A day without a tool so important."

        — Robert Frost


        -----Original Message-----
        From: LX200GPS@yahoogroups.com [mailto:LX200GPS@yahoogroups.com]On
        Behalf Of Wayne Cooper
        Sent: Tuesday, January 03, 2006 5:37 PM
        To: LX200GPS@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [LX200GPS] Re: A little story of Meade customer service-


        Hi George. Don't mind me. I am still P--sed off over the Meade 8"
        LX50 I purchased (years ago) along with their 1st production run of
        ccd cameras (I cannot remember which model but it was not cheap). I
        will let you use your imagination on how smooth that setup worked
        for imaging. Actually I sold it all but kept the OTA without ever
        capturing so much as a split second image of the moon. LOL <G> this
        really happened but I'm not mad. I get on a role sometimes and make
        things out to be worse then they really are.

        Sorry and don't mind me. I am just running off at the mouth and
        sensationalizing little quirks with what really is an excellent
        company. I mean no disrespect to anyone including Meade.

        Oh! Did you call me intelligent? I think you need to have a closer
        look at my Yahoo profile. Click on my name in the right upper corner
        of this message to see an image of this boy genius trying to
        remember what shoe goes on which foot.

        Take care, Wayne

        P.S. I have not called Meade customer support in ages so what do I
        know.


        --- In LX200GPS@yahoogroups.com, "George N. Huftalen, Jr."
        <gnhuftalen@f...> wrote:
        > withou
        > Hi Paul and Rick,
        >
        > Wow. I guess I spoke too soon about the discussion
        devolving...with all due
        > respect to Wayne, this is not at all my experience with Meade CS,
        (BTW, I
        > could tell negative stories about the various screw-ups until they
        were
        > successful, but what purpose would that serve?) and not at all as
        it works.
        > I guess we must agree to disagree as we both have our
        experiences...however,
        > as to how the mistake about the screws could be repeated so many
        times,
        > please see my earlier post on this thread. Sorry, Wayne, but
        respectfully, I
        > felt I needed to answer your comments and it is not personal as I
        find you
        > to be an intelligent voice on the group.
        >
        > Here's what I think is happening:
        >
        > 1. There is a lot of turnover at Meade Customer Service.
        >
        > 2. They are not trained particularly well on the products, or it
        is as they
        > say: " each to their gifts." Some are great at their jobs, some
        suck and
        > some are at various levels in-between. Like everywhere in the
        world, not
        > even just America!
        >
        > 3. The QC or production department have never been taught to
        communicate
        > properly or they speak different languages.
        >
        > 4. Most importantly, there seems to be--I may be wrong--a culture
        of trying
        > to keep the cost of these production line scopes down in perhaps
        the wrong
        > places.
        >
        > 5. This culture supports in their spending, it seems, a
        > Marketing--Down--To--Production Flow Model. That is money is put
        into the
        > Marketing division deciding what the public wants and then money
        is put into
        > R&D and then production. Since the LX200GPS, through the RCX400
        and new
        > LX90's, it seems to have been this way. Then the scopes are sent
        off the
        > line to the public before they are ready, using the first crop of
        owners as
        > defacto beta testers...
        >
        > I guess what I am saying is that Meade is made of people, and is
        therefore
        > inherently flawed, but their products are generally excellent FOR
        THE PRICE
        > and the company needs to work from production to marketing and
        remember
        > their customers.
        >
        > I also agree that the comment when "[Paul] called for software
        support and
        > was told that they were "TELESCOPE people, and simply not COMPUTER
        oriented
        > enough to answer my questions" was grounds for firing or
        retraining in the
        > least.
        >
        > I have found Meade's fax line to be quite helpful. I used it last
        year when
        > there was a period when all the new scope models came out and you
        couldn't
        > get through by phone. I send a polite well-reasoned letter
        explaining my
        > problem, tell them in detail what I expect to be done, I give them
        lots of
        > contact info should they need to reach me and I give them a very
        specific
        > deadline of when I expect a response. On two occasions, I never
        needed a
        > call from them and they solved my problem...
        >
        > Clear Skies!
        >
        > George
        >
        > G.N. Huftalen, Jr.
        > Metacom Observatory
        > Warren, RI 02885
        > Latitude 41° 43' 53" N
        > Longitude 71° 16' 11" W
        > http://www.geocities.com/gnhuftalen/
        > metacom_observatory@f...
        > " Living on Earth is expensive, but it does include a free trip
        around the
        > sun every year." -Anonymous
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: LX200GPS@yahoogroups.com [mailto:LX200GPS@yahoogroups.com]On
        > Behalf Of Wayne Cooper
        > Sent: Tuesday, January 03, 2006 2:19 PM
        > To: LX200GPS@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: [LX200GPS] Re: A little story of Meade customer service-
        >
        >
        > Hi Paul and Rick. I could tell quite a few stories...50/50 good to
        > bad experience ratio. You stated if Paul had asked to speak with a
        > supervisor. The persons answering the phone are customer service
        and
        > work in a supervisory capacity. They could hand the phone to the
        > next customer service rep. to take your complaint but you most
        > likely would have to leave a voice message with (I do not remember
        > his name but I think he is the CEO)
        >
        > Do you really think they have a dept. to handle complaints.
        > It's between you and whomever you happen to get when you call and
        > that complaint ends when you hang up the phone and they field the
        > next call...it does not go any further. My experience tells me
        > that's how it works. Why do you think the guy kept getting the
        wrong
        > set of screws? It is because he most likely spoke with a different
        > employee each time with each individual making the same mistake. Do
        > you think any of these employee's followed up with the first
        contact
        > person to see *why* the wrong screws were mailed out. Probably not.
        > That most likely would have prevented the same mistake from
        > happening twice.
        >
        > I once tried to find the Tube weight of their 14" Meade before I
        > purchased. I wanted to purchase this OTA separately...they do sell
        > this separately mind you. Here is a direct quote from tech
        > support: "Mail us a letter and we will forward the letter to our
        > engineering department!" This is why I feel it is nothing more than
        > a waste of time to complain to Meade about any issues you might
        > have with their products. Your complaint will never go any further
        > then the first contact person. If you do want to formally complain
        > to a supervisor I would expect them to tell you to write a letter
        > and they would forward it to whomever it may concern.
        >
        > Take care, Wayne
        >
        > P.S. They really are great at mailing out replacement parts without
        > so much as a confirmation or receipt showing that you even own a
        > Meade product. I used to say this makes Meade stand above the
        > competion. I now say this good will gesture is merely a result of
        > disorganization and inconsistancy with their customer service.
        >
        >
        > --- In LX200GPS@yahoogroups.com, "Rick Woods"
        <telescoper2000@y...>
        > wrote:
        > >
        > > Hi Paul,
        > >
        > > Well, right there is a good example! I would get a supervisor on
        > the
        > > phone and report that you had been told that. Whoever gave you
        > that
        > > response should be looking forward to a career flipping burgers.
        > >
        > > These are exactly the things Meade management needs to know
        about.
        > An
        > > answer like that is completely unacceptable, unless it was
        > followed
        > > immediately by a call from someone who DOES know the software.
        > Often,
        > > when you get a supervisor on the phone, they will look into the
        > > problem right there on the spot, and will clear up the trouble.
        > > But Meade definitely does NOT want the black eye it gets from
        > having
        > > people like that talking to you.
        > >
        > > Or: did you report it, talk to a supervisor, and still get that
        > sort
        > > of response?
        > > - Rick
        > >
        > > --- In LX200GPS@yahoogroups.com, "San Diego Paul"
        > > <brustasconsulting@y...> wrote:
        > > >
        > > > The latest nail in the coffin was wehn I called for software
        > support
        > > > and was told that they were "TELESCOPE people, and simply not
        > > > COMPUTER oriented enough to answer my questions.
        > > >
        > > > That was after six months of trying to get my Lx90 to track
        > properly
        > > > using their software.
        > >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >










        Yahoo! Groups Links
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.