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Model Railroading > Tale of two different customer service experiences......


Date: 02/06/19 16:22
Tale of two different customer service experiences......
Author: map

I've been in building mode lately assembling a backlog of structure kits for the layout when I came across a couple if issues.

The first issue came from constructing an engine house/ yard office building utilizing a large collection of Pikestuff walls and parts that has accumulated over the years. Instructions or packaging were lost long ago and everything resides in a large box, with the exception of a mostly intact kit of "The Shops".  I originally wanted to use that kit, but the building footprint was too large for the space I had. I also had some end walls that I recognized as from the standard engine house, but I wanted something bigger than that.  At the bottom of my box I found a pair of green, two piece end walls that were smaller than "The Shops" end walls, but bigger than the standard engine house end walls.  There were cutting grooves for tall doors, so I assembled my building using these, cutting out a single large door on either end for a single track, and a smaller garage size door in the back for trucks or other equipment.  Everything went together fine until I started hunting around for door frames.  The large door frames that came with "The Shops" kit were wider and shorter than the door openings in my building.  I couldn't find any thing that fit the larger doors (I did find a frame that fit the garage size door opening), so I figured the frames that came with whatever kit the walls came from got lost.  I went to the Rix Products website to see if I could identify the kit or find any kind of replacement parts, but didn't have any luck. So I sent an email message through the website describing the walls and the openings looking for some help.

Within a couple of hours, I received an email message from Rick Rideout, apparently as baffled as I was trying to determine where those walls came from.  He asked me to send him a photo, which I obliged the following day.  Again Rick got back to me quickly.  Turns out the end walls were from a firehouse kit and were meant to be cut down, there never were frames that fit the full opening.  Rick also pointed out the width of the opening wasn't really wide enough for locomotives.  Well damn!  My Kato GP35 does actually fit through the doorway, but any rocking at all and paint would be scraping off.  My easy fix was just to enlarge the doorway and extend the frames I had on hand.  While it turned out I solved the problem on my own, I appreciate Rick's quick replies and assistance in identifying what I actually had.

The second issue involves the Walthers Plastic Pellet Transfer kit.  The kit consists of four plastic pellet silos and all the requisite piping, ladders and walkways. There are eight curved, half round handrails that attach to the top of the silos.  For whatever reason, poor design, poor packaging or just bad luck, of the three kits I've purchased, not one has come with more than five of those handrails undamaged. Their curved, delicate nature seems to make them easy to damage if the kit box is shaken or dropped, allowing the several sprues of parts to bang into each other.  In the past I have had to piece them back together, or reduce the number of silos I build.  This new kit I have now came with a couple of broken railings, and a couple that were completely obliterated.  When I tried to find the broken parts, I realized they weren't even in the box, leading me to believe the parts were damaged before the kit was even sealed at the factory.

So I went to the Walthers website and sent an email to their customer service, hoping that this might be a known problem and there might be spare railings available that could be sent to me without them being destroyed.  That was a week and a half ago and no response.

I would like to hear from anyone else who has purchased this kit to find out if this is a common occurrence or just my bad luck.

Mike Peters
Brentwood, MO



Date: 02/06/19 17:40
Re: Tale of two different customer service experiences......
Author: JeffZCT

Just so happens I opened my Walthers Silo kit about two months ago to find a piece missing and a few that were broken. I e-mailed Walthers and recieved all the missing and broken parts in 1 week. No complaints here.



Date: 02/06/19 18:18
Re: Tale of two different customer service experiences......
Author: RRBaron

When in doubt, use the telephone for an up front answer. 



Date: 02/06/19 20:16
Re: Tale of two different customer service experiences......
Author: MojaveBill

Being nice rather than irate always helps, too.

Bill Deaver
Mojave, CA



Date: 02/07/19 06:02
Re: Tale of two different customer service experiences......
Author: Lighter

> Within a couple of hours, I received an email
> message from Rick Rideout

Rideout is a class act and an active modeler.

> purchased this kit to find out if this is a common
> occurrence or just my bad luck.

Walthers is usually responsive.  IMHO  But, after a week and a half, a follow-up email would be a good idea. A phone call would be a better idea, but I understand that email can be more comfortable.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/07/19 06:06 by Lighter.



Date: 02/07/19 07:27
Re: Tale of two different customer service experiences......
Author: cabman

I hope you're not this "wordy" with Walthers or they might throw it on the "back burner" in Milwaukee, especially if they have an employee not fluent in English (no prejudice intended)  It took me a long time to read and understand your problem(s) and you're lucjky you got a fast response from Rix..  Good luck in solving your problem.which sounds like poor quality control at the factory.  



Date: 02/07/19 10:30
Re: Tale of two different customer service experiences......
Author: ATSF3751

cabman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I hope you're not this "wordy" with Walthers or
> they might throw it on the "back burner" in
> Milwaukee, especially if they have an employee not
> fluent in English (no prejudice intended)  It
> took me a long time to read and understand your
> problem(s) and you're lucjky you got a fast
> response from Rix..  Good luck in solving your
> problem.which sounds like poor quality control at
> the factory.  

Must be all those Norweigans working there at Walthers with poor english skills. LOL. ".....employee not fluent in english"....what a random comment. Never had any issues wIth Walther's customer service. Been doing business with them for over 20 years.



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