I wonder if you have a bad battery. My 6.5-24 shipped with a dead battery. I keep extra batteries in my MTM ammo box taped to the lid, inside. The illuminator is hard on batteries and it's easy to not turn it off. To be off the dial has to be on any dot in between any number BTW.
The Viper series has always been made in the Philippines, well, assembled there with Japanese glass btw. No secret, it's engraved on the erector housing. I prefer the Philippines over China.
Now, if they were assembled in Australia......
It's the way of 'World Class Manufacturing'. Make it where the labor is cheaper so the profit margin is greater. I've said before that with most optics, returning a defective scope (and every manufacturer has a percentage of defective scopes, thats they way it is with mechanical components, no matter what it is...), that the seller just takes your defective product and landfills it and replaces it with a new one. The markup versus manufacturing cost is that high and always has been. I'm in the retail/manufacturing business so you can take my word about markup. I bet the markup percentage approaches 300% on their scopes. In other words, if said scope retails for $1000.00 USD, the scope actually cost the retailer (in this case Vortex Optics), $300.00 USD and thats at the high end. Probably even less than that.
Kind of reminds me of the story about the tie rod ends for Ford F series pickup trucks. I was at the company that actually makes the part and I asked the production foreman what the part cost to make, complete. He told me about 25 cents each. When you buy the part, even at the cheapest retailer (Autozone), the parts cost $30.00 USD each or $60.00 USD for a pair. Getting from 25 cents a copy to $30.00 a copy is called markup and is based solely on what the end user will pay and that applies to every consumer item.
Hogdon Powders are all made in Australia, bulk packaged and shipped to Hogdon Powders here and repackaged into retail quantities.... no issue there either.
Just things to ponder.............