Chris, Paul and all others interested, a quick report on my recent experience with Optrep and two Hilkinson Pancratics sent for service...
Packed as per their instructions on the website, the scopes were sent Special Delivery (cost £11) and Royal Mail confirmed delivery the next day as advertised. That was a Wednesday (13th May), so not having heard anything by Wednesday the following week (20th) I emailed to check all was OK. Tony Kay replied he hoped to look at them during the next week. In a letter enclosed with the scopes and also in that email, I indicated that before any work was done, I would appreciate a heads-up as to what he thought was required and what he planned to do.
Nothing was heard until an invoice arrived by post on the 1st June. This was duly paid and the serviced scopes were returned Special Delivery on 5th June arriving on the 6th as planned. (At the present time, Optrep only post items on Fridays.)
The packaging for the return did not meet the requirements specified on the Optrep website - in fact they used the same inner box and bubble-wrap I did but without the outer box and packaging I used to send the scopes. The outer box & packaging gave the required 3" surround all round as requested on the Optrep website. Using the extra packaging would not make any difference to the postal cost.
I am happy with the work carried out - both scopes are clean and work properly. I was happy to pay 2x £50 for the servicing plus £11 return post (all plus VAT) but the poor communication and the packaging being skimped has left me slightly disappointed in the customer service provided.
Hope this helps - I have tried to summarise the facts fairly but they may just have been in a rough patch that I have no knowledge of.