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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The latest in poor service is now on the boards.
The writer indicates they will not order again from this company.
There are explanations and assurances from the satisfied.
However, this one example remains --- in print without a response from the mailorder company. 
Nothing. Silence.

Remedy:
If you write with a legitimate complaint -- with data -- make clear to the mailorder company you are entering your complaint on MLS and encourage a response.
Now, the explanations by a different example can give way to explanation of THE complaint.

Of course, this is ONLY if the mailorder company chooses to respond. To not respond, with clear notice of intent to use MLS is an indicator the complaint was not an "accident,"  or MLS is not seen  by the company as significant.  Both conclusions are worthy of discovery.

Wendell
 

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Tell ya what, I'd suggest y'all start your *OWN* website to villify mail order companies.

MLS is not a clearinghouse for disgruntled customers to crucify retail operations.

Your presumptions and methodology fly in the face of the basic premise that people are "innocent until proven guilty" (or however that should be phrased).

"I'm not satisfied with how my order was processed by your company, and unless you give me a written and acceptable explanation, I'll post a nasty-gram on myLargescale.com, and ruin your business!! Should you elect to not respond to this message, this only validates your lack of concern over complaints or your customer satisfaction ratings!!!"

Retailers have no mandate to respond to such a kangaroo court activity...

Legitimacy of a complaint is in the eye of the complainer...

And neither of your proposed conclusions are worthy of consideration or merit...

But that's just my opinion.
 

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I agree with Duncan.

I probably should not have voiced my complaint against Southeast Trains here.  It was the first time I ordered from them and I just became frustrated when I was first told all items were in stock and then I find out none of them were in stock except one item.  So I will end up paying additional shipping costs for my order.

I have never used them before and I will probably go back to Ridge Road Station or St Aubins, where I have never had a problem.

Sorry for stirring things up.

John
 

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I don't think it's inappropriate to share unsatisfactory experiences with large scale train e-businesses in MLS.  The responses from other hobbyists about their personal experience(s) with that same business are of some value and can be considered in the aggregate by anyone considering to use that business for a future purchase.  I don't think that constitutes "crucifixion".  Personally, I would rather read about it here than having to search for some "XYZ Company Sucks" website of which I have always been a bit cautious believing. Sites like that are out there, and they  DO crucify their targeted businesses, but usually are only useful if a good number of posts that share specific circumstances are present. And still, one has to consider the passion of a disgruntled customer. And there is often an untold "other side of the story".

By sharing here on MLS, others are forewarned of the risks for getting good or less-than-satisfactory service from the subject supplier.

Mistakes are inevitable but usually forgivable. It depends on how the company recognizes the mistake and tries to make good with their customers. Continually repeating the same mistakes shows a lack of understanding of how to maintain a viable reputation with the market.

From another perspective, I have never "counted my chickens" until I get an email back acknowledging that all ordered items are actually in  stock and will be shipped. I have come to realize that most e-businesses' inventory can change from one minute to the next as they fill orders. 

But it is intersting that some high volume e-businesses in our hobby seem to hardly ever get complaints of this nature.

Al
 

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Al,
The problem being is that EVERY mailorder company we all generally deal with has made mistakes. So do we strike them all from our list of vendors? Who then do we go to to satisfay our fix? See the problem here?

John (JB),
It isn't JUST you doing this. Sure we need to vent to get rid of our frustrations BUT the repurcussions are a piling on of folks and /or simultaneously an affidavit of folks who have never had a problem. With no clear resolution to the problem on either side. In the end it gets all of us no where and simply drives the vendors to continue business as usual.

Chas
 

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Let's listen to Duncan. Jim Mathews and his family are not only an E business. Jim has supported virtually all large scale shows in the eastern US with his attendance and sales booth fees. He has been a dues paying member of several clubs. He's been part of the Large Scale community for many, many years. Some fairness is called for. Jack
 

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As I have mentioned several times, this isn't the place for lodging complaints.  That's what the BBB and several other similar websites are for.  We're here to talk about model trains.  While experiences with suplliers may in some way be train related, resolving disputes is not and never was the intention of starting MLS.  I don't think that a vendor should have to defend themselves publicly.  If they have their own website and forum like Aristo or Bachmann then they have some sort of responsibility to respond there.  They should not be required to defend themselves at a third party website..  The matter should be resolved between the customer and the vendor.  If they cannot reach an agreement, they need to seek outside mediation.  That is what the BBB was designed for.  They are equipped to help people resolve disputes with companies.  MLS is not, and never will be.

I would ask that you seek to remedy a situation directly with the vendor and seek out help from a neutral 3rd party.
 

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I don't see anything wrong with letting other railroaders know about a business, that have poor customer service, or keep advertising things that they do not have. I sure would like to know about them. Maybe if the word gets out and people stop ordering from them they would get their act together!
 

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We all make mistakes.


Recent experience with a vendor in the UK, got my parcel, all was well.  Few days later, a second IDENTICAL/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/blink.gif parcel arrived.  I was not double charged (Paypal), just double sent due to one partner of the business being out and the other not knowing the order had been sent.


Mailed the second one (my cost) back to the vendor who was happy to return my shipping money for the parcel.No blame, excuses, etc, just the infamous "Asoh Defence"./DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/laugh.gif

But then the majority of UK vendors put hand written "thank you" note in their packages, so they are a bit different from many of the US vendors in customer service terms.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Duncan and others:
"Why don't I start my own website to villify vendors?"
I find that comment offensive and clearly NOT the intent of the post.

My intent was simple: Readers DO indicate problems with vendors. If a reader intends to do so, my request is before posting is to let the vendor know.
Hopefully, the complaint would be settled at that time. At least the vendor has a fair shot at offering an explanation to the same audience that would read the reader's complaint.

Fair enough?
Wendell
 

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Posted By Dwight Ennis on 03/14/2008 11:51 PM
My suggestion (and that's all it is - a suggestion from a forum participant) would be that we read the site owner's comments and simply respect his wishes. :)


I have know and bought from Jom Matthews for years and he is a great supporter of the Large Scale Hobby.  As Shad recommended lets talk about our trains.
 

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My original post was more or less designed to find out if anyone else had experience with Southeast Trains.  For my first experience with them to be somewhat bad, it just made me wonder if others had had similar problems.

Yes, I was frustrated, especially when I mentioned that I would now have to pay shipping twice and she agreed with me.  It would have been better if they had not shipped anything until everything was in stock.  I bought from them because they were about 20 dolars cheaper on each item than other places, so even with the additional shipping I still saved some money.

I have not cancelled my order.


John
 

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Wait a second... this is WAY out of line....
 
We can only talk about the good service we get from vendors, not the poor?
We can only talk about trains - not the effort or extent that it takes to get them?
We may post praise, but not criticism?
We may post recommendations, but not cautions of a service, vendor, or storefront?
 
Duncan is WRONG.
 
Al, Wendell, Trains, and John are right on target with this one.
 
Um, Shad... look around you - you may have "started" this site, but it's the people that keep coming back and posting... and reading... and SHARING that keeps this site going... (and many of them are the ones that pay for memberships, myself included).
 
I come here, as a majority of people do, to get answers and the truth. If you're going to censor that, than I suspect I'll be one of many demanding my money back.
 
MLS withOUT the free exchange of ideas - including the ones that you don't like, the negative ones... the ones that tell me and others here what we can expect behind the glossy ads in GR from a company - without that, this is nothing more than another shinny, empty "I like trains" website, devoid of meaning or usefulness.
 
The reason MLS is the powerhouse that it is can be traced to the fact that people find value in it - and a major portion of that value comes from being able to gain insight beyond the mere "trains are fun" postings.
 
I want to know what experience others have had, good or bad, with vendors. I had the SAME problem with Southeast Trains that jbwilcox reported last year... only recently was I considering giving them my business again. Thanks to his, and others' posts in that thread, I was able to make an informed decision and took my business elsewhere. Now, I have the item I wanted, sitting here in front of me... rather than waiting and venting about it on the board.
 
Thanks to jbwilcox for the heads up and thanks to MLS for providing the forum in which I could educate myself.
 
MLS is the perfect forum for modeler's opinions, good and bad, and it's a stronger place for having them. If you start to censor posts such as that one... if you are truly asking that people not report experiences in the hobby, unless positive ones... well then - you might as well invite A LOT of your readership to start looking for a new home - seems MLS doesn't want them anymore.
 
Yes Dwight, Shad may be the site owner - but if we all did as is being suggested here - he'd be the owner of a pretty empty, and woefully less useful one than he owns right now.
 

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Suggestion.

Read the original reply (and Shad's) once again.

This has nothing to do with commenting on customer satisfaction, or timely sales and transactions.

Demanding that retailers publicly deliver explanations/apologies/whatever for a perceived shortcoming, or otherwise their failings would be bared for all of the MLS visitors to see, is still extortion, no matter what sort of spin or sugar coating is put on it.

And that, My Friends, is where the original (and second) proposals fail the litmus test of fairness.

I have no vested interest in any mail order enterprise, nor do I have any knowledge of, or dealings with, the folks at Southeast Trains. I am simply against the principal of demanding that people conform to a protocol devised to damn them one way or another...

But again, this is still just my opinion...
 

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"This has nothing to do with commenting on customer satisfaction, or timely sales and transactions."
 
This has EVERYTHING to do with it!  
 
If I buy something from an organization and they DO NOT deliver on the sale in whole, and then when I give them ample time to respond to me (seeing as how they could take the time to pick up the phone to TAKE my money, but don't seem to be able to answer the phone when it concerns them DELIVERING the product in full)... after that... then you bet your sweet behind that situation belongs right here out in front for all to read on MLS!  It's common courtesy for fellow modelers - born out of a respect for the hobby and a desire to see your friends and fellow hobbyists not have to deal with the same shenanigans that you, yourself have just encountered.
 
Too many companies today feel that customer satisfaction and fair service are no longer required as their clientele are geographically separated by thousands of miles. There was a time (and I watched this happen) that club members and modelers in a particular town could, with ease, share their experience with a particular vendor in the community. Poor vendors soon learned to value the customer or closed shop. With our new "global shopping" a "global community" must now provide the backbone for communication amongst concerned modelers. MLS has been, and is, a perfect such community.
 
 

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There's not a dealer out there--not a single one--that hasn't failed to satisfy some customer at one time or another. That applies to every dealer in every consumer product, not just toy trains. So just because a customer is not satisfied (and probably has not done anything constructive to rectify the situation), he feels he can rush over to a public forum and broadcast his case, presumably seeking support to soothe his wounded soul and spreading his ire to the great unwashed.

BULL!

Bashing a dealer here, and then having others pile on to do the same to that or another dealer is not just wrong, it's immature and patently unfair because the dealer in question has little or no recourse and could never be expected to receive a fair hearing here or on any other discussion forum. Most, I assume, are far too busy operating a business to even spend time on Internet discussion forums--at least I hope they are because the future of this hobby depends on them far more than many here seem to realize.

Some of you whiners really need to grow up; see the bigger picture; learn to deal with your own problems in an adult manner; and recognize the consequences of bashing others who don't have the opportunity to present their side of the matter for what should be obvious reasons.
 

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Park D.,

You've obviously failed to grasp the essence of the issue.

The issue is the suggestion that providers of goods be "forced" to publicly plead 'mea culpa' when a customer feels (whether rightly or wrongly) that they've been mistreated.

And should the provider of goods elect to not respond to the suggested threat of public disclosure - posting of an unresolved "complaint", they are presumed guilty (by not publicly proclaiming their innocence, or lack thereof- regardless of opertational circumstances)

Neither approach is acceptable.

I am not villifying anyone, simply giving my opinion that utilizing what could be considered the modern day equivalent of the "stocks" (by requiring a public appology/explanation) is not an acceptable method of solving vendor/client complaints.

I do not give a randy rat's patoot about the feelings or "image" of any of the purveyors of anything.

But I do draw the line at extortion/blackmail of anyone who is forced to fall to their knees in the court of poublic opinion.

Again, I'm personally not opposed to folks giving their opinion about retailers/dealers/mail order houses methods of customer care, so let's make sure you've got that straight. I've had my experiences with some (some good, some not so good), and have let that be known.

And ain't nobody getting "hot dogs" here...
 

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Read my post again.  End of discussion.
 
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