The Fine Print

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Errata, Updates & Typos

       All prices on the price list are subject to change without notice.  All item descriptions are subject to change without notice.
        There has been many a time when a manufactuer will change something and not tell the dealers.  I sometimes find out about changes when I actually receive the product or when I read about it on the internet.
        The fluctuation of  international currency both up and down can really affect prices.  I will be happy to deliver  quotes in just about any currency you like.
        Also, I am bit dyslexic, so even with spell checkers, some of my e-mails back to you might be full of spelling errors, for which I apologize ahead of time for.
           Because of my colour blindness, any opinions I give you on colour correction in refractors should be taken with a BIG grain of salt.     If Jupiter truned bright flamingo pink overnight, I probally wouldn't notice it much.  :)

Payment & Refunds

        Payment can be made by personal cheque, money order, Visa, or cash in person.  It is very easy for me to take US personal cheques, in fact, it is less paperwork than Visa.   Sorry, No MC or AMEX at this time (see below).
        Although I can provide quotes in US currency, sales to the USA work one of two ways.  If you are paying by Visa, I can only charge in Canadian dollars, then Visa makes the exchange on your statement.  So, if you buy something for $100.00 US, and you get a Visa slip form me for $144.00 , don't feak out.  That $144.00 is actually Canadian dollars,a nd Visa will make the automatic adjustment on your monthly statement.    Any refunds by Visa are made the same way, I refund in Canadain dollars and Visa does the conversion to US dollars (or Yen or UK Pounds or whatever your currency might be).
        For payment by money order and/or cheque form the US and international, contact me ahead of time.  We will agree on a price based on the currency exchange of the day, and then I stick to that price no matter what the dollar does.   Refunds paid for by cheque or money order will be refunded by cheque or money order.
        To recap, purchases made by Visa are refunded by Visa, purchases by money order or cheque are refunded by money order or cheque.

Warranties & Repairs

            All products sold come with warranties as suppllied by the manufacturer.  If something arrives damaged in transit, we will make good on a repleacement - see below for full details.  However, if you have a 2 year warranty on a telescope and something breaks, you have to deal directly with manufactuer.  We will be happy to ship a damaged item back to an original manufactuer for repair, but the cost of shipping is NOT covered by any warranty that I am aware of.
            There are some minor repairs I can affect on my premises, but for anything major, such as binocular recollimation, this kind of work must be shipped out.

            The only exceptions are products made by DAR-Astro.  All repairs and warranty are done right here in London, Ontario.  All DAR-Astro products come with a limited 5 year warranty, limited to the replacement of the DAR-Astro product only, and limited as it does not cover accidental or willfull damage, abuse, overloading,  or any modification made either by ourselves as a custom order or by the owner.
            So, in plain language, if you decide to drill a couple extra holes in a mirror cell and something snaps as a result, that's your problem.  If you fail to properly attach a focuser to a telescope, and it falls off and you loose an eyepiece, that's your problem.
            If you tighten down a mirror in a mirror cell too tightly and it warps or pinches your optics, that again is your problem.  Just e-mail us ahead of time, and either Dave or myself will be happy to give you all the advise you need on using DAR-Astro products.  Dave has and will, for an extra charge, custom modify his products to fit your needs.  It may take a couple extra weeks and a few e-mails, but we do it all the time.  Please, please, do not try and stuff a 9" mirror into an 8" mirror cell without asking us first.
            However, if you pickup one of our mirror cells and it falls apart in your hands, then we replace the mirror cell with no question.
            Dave occasionally makes up a test cell or focuser, and we do some pretty brutal things to these test units just to see how much abuse they will take.  We once froze a focuser at -30C for two solid weeks and it still worked just fine.  If you have any question on load or stress ratings, please e-mail us ahead of time and we will let you know.

Substitutions, Trade-Ins &
 Used Equipment

        Normally we will be happy to consider trade-ins on any brand we sell.  For brands we do not sell, inquire ahead of time.  Also, there are some items we do not like to take as used trade-ins.  For example, I have enough 25mm plossls and 6x30 finders to last a lifetime.  Any item we orignally sold we will be happy to consider for trade in, assuming it is in good shape and will all parts present.
            Most new telescopes come with an eyepiece and finder, but if you wish to change the standard equipment, or buy an optical tube alone, or split up a package, or make other changes, please ask, as there are some cases we cannot, but most of the time we do "customize" sales for the customer.  Customers who want to order extra 25mm plossls will make me real happy.  :)

Shipping  Times & Estimates

        I ship just about anywhere, any time, any way you want, as long as you pay the bill.  About the only places I avoid shipping are countries engaged in active civil war when the airport is under artillery fire.  Believe it or not, I have been asked.  The customer was quite indignant when I pointed out that I saw the airport in question being blown to bits on TV news a few days before.  Go figure, eh?

        For a shipping quote inside Canada, please send me your postal code.  Shipping anywhere in the lower 48 US States seems to be just about the same, and I'll be happy to provide quotes.  I will ship to APO and other US military address by mail.  Air mail to the USA may take up to two weeks, ground mail up to 4 weeks.
        Shipping outside the USA and Canada by mail, I find surface mail overseas takes 8 to 12 weeks, while air mail can take 2 to 4 weeks.  Surface mail is usually half the cost of air mail.  All mail shipments are insured.
        The mail can be a very strange thing.  One day I mailed two packages at the same time, one to the State of Michigan, in the USA, which is about a 90 minute drive away, and one to Portugal.  The package to Portugal took 9 days to arrive, the one to Michigan took three weeks, both were air mail.   Trying to figure out how the mail works can drive you insane.
        We are also happy to ship by UPS or FEDex or any other service you like.  For some large, heavier telescopes we MUST use a service like UPS.  We always provide tracking numbers when possible.
        However, for smaller international orders, I find the mail moves the best.  Services such as UPS will stop shipments at the boarder and charge a "brokerage fee" to bring it into the country.  Fro example, I recent bought a motor for $20 in the USA, and UPS charged me $25 for brokerage.  I find mail orders into the USA and some other countries will often escape brokerage fees.
        Another option for overseas shipping is by airlines.  In this circumstance, your shipment arrives at the airport of your designation, and then you are responsible for picking up and clearing your order through local customs.  Airline shipping is usually less expensive than courier and shipping services.

        Local sales taxes, if any, are the responsibility of the customer.  Many Sky Instruments and ALL  DAR-Astro products are Made In Canada, and thus under NAFTA are duty free to the USA.

Refunds, Exchanges, Damaged Goods.

        Shipping is non-refundable.   Even if I make a mistake and ship you the wrong item (and I have done that before), you must notify us first before any exchange or refund.  You have 14 days after receipt of goods to notify us of the need for a refund or exchange..  If it takes 30 days for the good to arrive back, that's okay, as long as you notify us within the 14 days.  We never drop ship except when requested to do so, and in the case of drop shipments, you must deal directly with the original manufactuer for any return of damaged or missing goods.  I dislike drop shipping, as I like to inspect everything before it is shipped.
        We try to inspect all goods ahead of time, but if something arrives with a flaw I missed, or damaged in transit because somebody decided to use your box as a soccerball before it was delieverd, we will gladly exchange it.
        For international orders, you must contact us first before returning the item.  If you label the shipping container incorrectly, it will cost us on average $25 to $30 brokerage fees coming back across the boarder.  You must label the item "Goods Returned to Original Vendor In Canada for Refund."  Otherwise if we are charged a broker's fee due to lack of labeling we will deduct the brokerage fee.
      If an item is damaged in shipping, contact both the shipping company and us immediately!  Also, very important - save all original packaging and shipping materials otherwise you cannot make any claim for damaged or missing goods!  Both the mail and companies such as UPS demand to inspect the original packaging before assessing claims.

Credit Card Orders & Security - FYI

    I do not have a secure server yet as I am not 100% happy with the ones I have looked into so far, but I am still looking.  However, I suggest that if you wish to order by credit card, you can phone in your number, or if by e-mail,   send either two e-mails, one with the card number, one with the expiry date, or spell part of the card number phonetically.  I have not had any problems so far, and I wish to keep it that way.  This system is not perfect, but I have found no system is 100% perfect against a determined thief and/or hacker.  Look at the hacker who claimed to have found Bill Gates personal card number.  Probably not true, but who knows? In my experience, most theft is crime of convince - such as car keys left in the ignition.  Sending two e-mails is like removing the keys and locking the doors to your car.
        Also, for your personal information, I do not keep card numbers on file on ANY computer at all.  The only copy I have of card numbers is on paper, with a hard copy of the order.  So if somebody either hacked into my web site or server, or stole the computers out of my business, they would not find a single card number.

Why Only Visa and not MC or Amex?

           Canadian banks, perhaps like all banks worldwide, are weird.  For every different credit card a merchant wishes to accept, that merchant has to open up a whole new business account with a different bank.  You cannot in Canada get a merchant account for more than one credit card company from the same bank.   So to keep my overhead and other costs down, and pass the savings onto the customer, I stick with only Visa.

Who Are We?

           My wife and I incorporated O'Neil Photo & Optical Inc. in 1998.  For years I was doing the odd custom Black & White printing job, so I decided to make it a proper business.  Astronomy, like photography, was a steady hobby with me for over 20 years, so i decided to add binoculars & telescopes in as well.  After incorporating, business turned 180 degrees on me, the calls for custom printed dropped off to near zero, and sales of telescopes took right off.  Not only was there a gap locally in certain astronomical products, but the internet has helped turn our Optical business into world wide affair.
            We work out of a small showroom in the front of our house.   I actually have two businesses, this one, and O'Neil Funeral Home, a family run business here in London, Ontario for almost 40 years now.  My house is next door to the Funeral Home, in case you ever look me up, and I am on call 24 hours day/ 7 days a week for the Funeral Home.  Being here all the time for the Funeral Home also means I am here much of the time for the Optical business too.  You can call either my wife Sue or myself any day of the week, but as I often head to bed early on nights I am not observing, please try not to call after 9 pm locally (GMT - 4).  I am usually awake and at work by 7 am most mornings, sometimes earlier.
           So that's who we are, not a proper store front retail store, although the local guys often drop by to browse eyepieces and have a coffee or tea, but a world wide mail order service.  I also still handle all sorts of B&W film, from 35mm, 120 and 4x5" sheet film, from hypered tech pan to Kodak and Konica infra-red, and more, so if you ever need a custom job done, it takes me a long time and i charge good, but I do good work as well.

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