Thanks for the comments Joachim.
The Kowa cost me AU$1276 w/zoom eyepiece new compared to AU$1025 used for the Vortex Viper HD. New here the Viper goes for as low as AU$1400 so based on cost and some of the reviews I read I was expecting somewhat similar performance. I'm rather new to the spotting scope world so I guess a little ignorance goes a long way.
I'm waiting to hear from Kowa on the repair, not sure what my next step will be.