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Offline Brakeman  
#51 Posted : 09 July 2017 18:28:20(UTC)
Brakeman

United States   
Joined: 14/04/2006(UTC)
Posts: 298
Location: Southern California
Sorry I never closed the case on my side in the forum.

After a couple or reminders to factory and U.S. support, Mr. Stimson replied back in April 2015 proposing to replace the floorboards with new replacements from factory.
In July 2015 when I followed up, Märklin customer service replied that Mr. Stimson had retired. They asked me to send all 13 faulty cars to Goppingen to be replaced with new ones. The postage was $55, which was never refunded.
In September 2015 I received new boxcars from a new batch with of course different road names.

After all Märklin showed good reputation, it just took some time and effort.
The problem with the cars manufactured around 2005 continues of course.

Cheers,
Juha


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Offline grnwtrs  
#52 Posted : 10 July 2017 01:35:52(UTC)
grnwtrs

United States   
Joined: 18/06/2005(UTC)
Posts: 573
Location: El Sobrante
Hey there Brakeman:
Thanks for bringing up the "bad news" on this set. I was very suspicious of this car set from the beginning. There are also potential
problems with the cars that came with the NYC CENTRAL setg 29576 (num?) Looks like I should dig mine out!!

In addition to warpage(sp), there is a problem with the stirrups falling off . Like some Ins co. "I have seen it all" I guess
I am sure this has been not mystery to you.

By the way, you guys in the southern hemisphere sure have a mighty fine layout at Eurowest.
Lookin forward to some of the new features at Eurowest 2017 this July 22,-23

Best Regards, gene
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Offline EMD_GP7  
#53 Posted : 10 July 2017 21:44:13(UTC)
EMD_GP7


Joined: 23/11/2010(UTC)
Posts: 166
Location: U.K. Midlands
Hi all.
I have the 29570 NYC set and the NYC reefer and the P&LE caboose have "zinkpest" where both undersides have bowed and crumbled !
I checked my NYC pacemaker cars and these are all OK but they are Trix branded.
I must check my PFE cars which are Marklin.
Regards, Colin
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Offline 5HorizonsRR  
#54 Posted : 10 July 2017 22:55:18(UTC)
5HorizonsRR

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2004(UTC)
Posts: 2,974
Location: NY, NY
Originally Posted by: nmbssncb Go to Quoted Post
This is an old subject, but still "very alive".
I recently sent back the sets 45650, 45651 and 45652 to Maerklin (via my dealer) because nearly all box cars were warped.
I checked all the sets that contain box cars, also the 45649, and found, so far, no more warped box cars (or refrigerator cars).
However, because this "plastic zinc pest" only reveals itself after a number of years, I am afraid I might lose more box cars etc.

I had "real zinc pest" in my SBB Seetal 37521... The compensation that Maerklin offered at the time was unworthy of Maerklin's reputation. But maybe, Maerklin's decision at the time had to do with the financial problems they had at that time. My guess.

I will find out about the compensation for the warped cars soon I hope. Considering all sets were one-off items, I do not expect them to be replaced.


Willy


If it helps for your 37521, the replacement frames are rather cheap (although Marklin should give them free) At least that salvages the loco. The not-so-easy-to-fix problem I've found with these is plastic-pest on the gears...
FS + SBB Era 2-5 and Vintage Marklin
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Offline Torbjorn  
#55 Posted : 11 February 2018 01:18:01(UTC)
Torbjorn


Joined: 26/01/2010(UTC)
Posts: 14
Location: Norway
@Brakeman
I think it was your YouTube video that made me check my own Märklin models for Zinc Pest, and set me down the path of my own "Zinc Pest Adventure". I owe you a big "thank you".

For all others, here is my Märklin Zinc Pest story:
I started collecting Märklin in the late 1970s, and inherited a lot of Märklin from my father. My collection grew steadily, but very slowly. Until I started study in the university and working a little in the evenings. For many years I had planned what models to buy. When starting to make some money, the buying began. For many years I bought approx. € 3-6000 worth of Märklin annually. All up until a 3 years ago. After that, I have not bought anything from Märklin. During the last three months I have spent € 8-9000 on Roco, NMJ, Jeco, Fleischmann, BRAWA etc., and I am very happy. But that is another story. So why am I boycotting Märklin?

Firstly, I must say stopping collecting Märklin has been very hard for me, as it has been an important part of my life for, well, all my life. And my collection is quite big. Märklin is almost like family to me, so to stop collecting was like a "divorce". I am still very sad about the whole thing. I was ready to sell everything, and stop model railroading. Luckily, collecting other brands was the solution for me.

After seeing BrakemanHOs video three years ago, I rushed to open my closet with the "American Part" of the collection. In case anyone is wondering, my box cars had been tested right after I purchased them, then stored in the ordignal boxes in a room with low humidity and very stable temperature of 20-22 C. Initially I had a lot of problems with the models, due to broken parts, bad painting, missing paint etc. So I spent a lot on shipping these models back and forth from the store before I put them away for storage. I was already unhappy with the quality and the fact Märklin moved production to China. But I liked how the models looked, so I turned a blind eye to the matter.

After seeing the video of the Zinc Pest infected box cars, I had to open all boxes and look through all my 200 models of this kind of box cars. I had bought all models Märklin had realeased up until this point, and at least two identical cars of all models. It turned out 20 cars were infected. They showed the classic signs: bulging frame/floor, trucks standing at an angle; only two of the four wheels touching the rails, couplers were stuck. I was heartbroken. After reading online, I found the Germans who ran Märklin were no longer the Märklin family. The old workers were gone. The production moved overseas. To China.

(Snip - objected comments removed)

Märklin was no longer the brand I grew up with. It looked like Märklin on the outside, but on the inside it was now taken over by some zombie-virus. Only the brand name was the same.

It turned out I had cought the desease in time. By carefully breaking the metal underframes with a set of pliers (the metal was like a sheet of ice; it broke very easily, I was able to rescue the platic body. I found I could breake the metal to pieces with my fingers. So this was the dreaded Zinc Pest. A result of impurities in the metal, due to the fact Märklin had some incompetent (snipped) producing for them. And charging me full price as if I were buying "Made in Germany" quality. A scam! I was able to rescue all the plastic bodies from the infected cars. Had I found out a little later, the metal might have warped even more, braking the plastic bodies in the process. I was happy, because I wanted at least two cars of each model. I collect Märklin, and a "hole" in the collection would bother me immensely. Now - all I had to do was to e-mail the Germans in Göppingen, and get 20 new frames for my cars. Little did I know it was about to go from bad to worse...

I e-mailed my two dealers first. Because of many business-trips to the USA, I had bought some sets from a well-known dealer in Texas. After having left many tens of thousands of dollars at that store, I was expecting some help. They basically did nothing, and the last e-mail I got told in plain English I should leave them alone. I e-mailed Märklin every month for over a half year before they finally told me to ship the cars to them. I explained I did not want other models as a replacement - I wanted exactly the models I had, because I am a collector. I asked for 20 metal frames, but pointed out I needed the boogies with wheels, as well as couplers and attached details like air tanks and pipes. All these details were broken because of the warping. I contined sending e-mails every month for almost another year asking for the new frames. Finally a parcel arrived. On the shipping documents Märklin had written the original item numbers on all the sets, and their full retail recommended price. In other words, the value of the parcel was many hundreds of euros. Consequently, customs asked me for a couple hundreds in inport taxes. The parcel was returned to Germany automatically a month later since I refused to pick it up.

"Marklin (edited)" re-sent the parcel, this time with a more correct value on the documents, so I only paid a little in import taxes. My joy of finally being able to put together my US box cars and take one of my four Big Boy out for a run was quickly overshadowed by the disappointment of finding 20 metal frames inside the shipment - all without boggies/wheels, couplers, brake lines etc. I e-mailed Märklin again, but no answer. I e-mailed them every month for almost a half a year before they finally answered. They would send 20 undercarriages. In the meantime, I had bought a lot more Märklin, and there was something wrong with much of it. Locomotives that didn't run. Cars with missing or broken pieces right out of the box and a lot of cosmetic blemeshes that had to have happened in the factory. I am talking about expensive models like the Super Chief and Big Boys, the BR 01 150 museum locomotive and such. I returned everything to Märklin. Shipping cost me close to € 100. Märklin always refused to pay for shipping when I asked.

Some months later, they e-mailed me and told they were ready to return everything to me. I stressed that they must write that the shipment consists of items repaired under warranty to avoid the import tax. They confirmed this. It would be funny if it wasn't so sad, but Märklin actually wrote the full retail price of all sets when returning my models to me. For some sets, only one car was actually inside the shipment, but they reported full value of the entire set. The total value of the shipment was many thousand euros, and customs calculated I had to pay close to €600 in taxes. Of course I could refuse to accept the parcel like before. But I was on a business-trip, and another well-meaning member of the family collected the parcel. And paid the tax in full on my behalf. The tax on the items that were not even inside the box. And to top it all off, the parcel only contained 20 metal frames, again without the boggies/wheels, couplers etc. And some of the original white Märklin boxes were ruined by the people at the "Reparaturservice". As a collector I need the boxes to be in mint condition...

I contacted Märklin about this error, but I had to e-mail them once a month for yet half a year before they responded. Their answer was "we did nothing wrong". I e-mailed them the PDF of the shipping documents they themselves had filled out, that showed how they had reported the full value. The value of items that were not even inside the box. After that, they have never answered me.

Not only did they charge me full price of Märklin items that were in reality el-cheapo-China-crappo, let me pay for all shipping, not follow any instructions I gave, make errors that cost me over a thousand euros, executed terrible customer service, were slow, rude, arrogant and incompetent - and left me with a pile of broken models and destroyed boxes. And never took responsibility for the errors they made that cost me a lot of money

If anyone at Märklin reads this, I hope you understand that I will never buy your products again. So far, your poor service has turned a big fan into a hater, and you have already in only three months lost many thousands of euros which I could have spent on Märklin, but instead spent on your competitors.

I will celebrate the next time Märklin goes bankrupt.

Edited by moderator 11 February 2018 07:18:21(UTC)  | Reason: Questionable expressions deleted or changed) - Mod.

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Offline cookee_nz  
#56 Posted : 11 February 2018 03:30:02(UTC)
cookee_nz

New Zealand   
Joined: 31/12/2010(UTC)
Posts: 3,442
Location: Paremata, Wellington
Hi Torbjorn,

While we all certainly share your frustration, I would suggest that you tone your comments down a little, specifically two terms that 'could' be considered insulting, if not racist.

Specifically, "(now edited)". I am hesitating moving your post pending editing because I have no doubt your comments were in the heat of the moment, and to be honest, I'd be pissed too, especially the blimmen' sales-fax fiasco, after stating very clearly how the document was to be worded. Could you not have produced the trail of emails to your customs department to back it up and requested a refund?

That aside, other comments also stand out, for example...

Quote:
After reading online, I found the Germans who ran Märklin were no longer the Märklin family. The old workers were gone. The production moved overseas. To China."


You must be aware that there is a new 'family' now in control? - the Sieber Family of Simba-Dickie fame who seem to be well-respected. And the 'old' "Märklin family" had not been involved in day-to-day operations for many years (decades?) before that. Sure they were in charge on paper, but not on the factory floor, or in active management. As I understand it, no one in the "old family" was interested (or perhaps capable) in the business anymore. They let go, perhaps without choice) what the founder and his descendants worked so hard to build up and that is a shame but it's reality. Many a family farm that survived for generations suddenly gets sold off because there is no one left or capable to carry it on.

Yes, some production went to China, and perhaps (probably) some remains there, but much is still made in Europe, but it's no longer ALL made in Göppingen. I think if it were, none of us could afford it.

The Siebers have it in their interest to make their acquisition work, and they appear loyal to the legacy of the Märklin name. Perhaps rather than endless emails between yourself and some beaurocrat at Märklin regarding the warped chassis, and the documentation, did you try escalating it right up to senior management?

It's a pity you had no joy with your dealer, but who could comment on that without knowing both sides of the story.

Back to the Märklin family and workers; yes they are an old company, arguably the oldest (of it's type) in the world. But there are other companies not that much younger that no longer have their founder or any of the founder's family in charge, and a workforce with quite different values and attitudes from earlier years. Just look at IBM!!

Don't get me wrong, I'm not being Märklin's 'poster-boy' but I do think some of your opinions are a bit off the mark.

I'm not sure sure there will ever be a 'next time' for bankruptcy, and that too could be taken by many as quite offensive, especially the workers, many of whom I'm sure are doing their best.

But at the end of the day Torbjorn, you have voted in the best way any consumer can, by no longer buying their products.

Whether or not anyone at Märklin takes any notice of comments or opinions on this independent forum is anyone's guess. We would like to think we have sufficient modeller-opinion and market share to be worth their time but who would really know?

Anyway, if you could please re-word as indicated and requested it would avoid the entire post being removed.

** Now done to avoid any offence being taken.

Regards

Steve

Edited by user 11 February 2018 07:28:02(UTC)  | Reason: Clarity and update

Cookee
Wellington
NZ image
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Offline TEEWolf  
#57 Posted : 11 February 2018 13:33:28(UTC)
TEEWolf


Joined: 01/06/2016(UTC)
Posts: 2,413
Originally Posted by: Torbjorn Go to Quoted Post

If anyone at Märklin reads this, I hope you understand that I will never buy your products again. So far, your poor service has turned a big fan into a hater, and you have already in only three months lost many thousands of euros which I could have spent on Märklin, but instead spent on your competitors.

I will celebrate the next time Märklin goes bankrupt.


Whatever had happened to you, your story has a major defect: you do not write anything about the time frame, when did what happen to you. Was it yesterday or 20 years ago?

@cookee_nz explained already plenty of the changes, which happened to and by Märklin within the past 20 years.

Such a general sweeping blow helps nobody. I critizise Märklin quite often and quite heavy too, because they have not always learned yet, how to treat customers. As a German, unfortunately I have to tell you this is not a specific Märklin problem, it is a common attitude within Germany and too often blocked out by customers in Germany. It is a daily dreadful struggle to me.

I do not think that you are a hater of Maerklin. I think you are more or less disappointed about yourself. Trusting sombody too long without taking consequences, because Maerklin was your baby. This is quite normal and understandable. Who wants to loose a baby?
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Offline Mark_1602  
#58 Posted : 11 February 2018 17:45:43(UTC)
Mark_1602

Luxembourg   
Joined: 24/09/2014(UTC)
Posts: 698
Location: Luxembourg
Originally Posted by: Torbjorn Go to Quoted Post

Märklin was no longer the brand I grew up with.


Hi Torbjorn,

Isn't that true of most well-known brands? I used to spend quite a lot of money on Armani Jeans when I was in my 20s. Back then, that stuff was really made in Italy, but now the quality isn't what it used to be, and it's made in Eastern Europe, North Africa, or other places.

I used to have some of those Chinese-made Märklin US box cars as well, but when I read about the problem in MRR forums, I decided to sell them all on Ebay. Mine were not warped yet, but I didn't get much money for them because most MRRs were already aware of the problem at that time. At least I got rid of the problem. Well, if I tried to sell an expensive Armani Jeans jacket made in Italy, how much would I get for it? Close to nothing, I guess.

There's a two-year warranty on Märklin products from the date you bought them from an official Märklin dealer. After that, they aren't obliged to repair things for free, but nevertheless, the Repair Service tried to help you by sending you new frames. They can't be held responsible for high import duties in the U.S., and Märklin might face prosecution if it made false declarations to customs. Which other company provides the long-term service you want from Märklin? Please name one , preferably a model train manufacturer (or any other) ...

Best regards,

Mark
Best regards, Mark

I like Märklin vintage models, but also digital locos & non-vintage rolling stock (focus on Denmark, era 5-6).
Offline QQQ1970  
#59 Posted : 11 February 2018 18:27:10(UTC)
QQQ1970

Canada   
Joined: 06/02/2018(UTC)
Posts: 251
Location: Ontario, Toronto
I have owned Marklin products since 1970s but only recently picked up the hobby again. All my rolling stock has been Marklin and I don't use other manufacturers because of my belief in Marklin quality. I just placed an order for the 90th anniversary Rheingold train set but after reading all these emails I wonder if I should cancel the order. Any advice is appreciated.
Offline RayF  
#60 Posted : 11 February 2018 19:04:10(UTC)
RayF

Gibraltar   
Joined: 14/03/2005(UTC)
Posts: 15,695
Location: Gibraltar, Europe
Originally Posted by: QQQ1970 Go to Quoted Post
I have owned Marklin products since 1970s but only recently picked up the hobby again. All my rolling stock has been Marklin and I don't use other manufacturers because of my belief in Marklin quality. I just placed an order for the 90th anniversary Rheingold train set but after reading all these emails I wonder if I should cancel the order. Any advice is appreciated.


Problems that come up with Marklin products are usually addressed promptly. You can buy Marklin with as much confidence as you can buy from any Model Railway manufacturer, and if you get a fault within the guarantee period they will fix it for you.

Because of higher expectations for fine detail and complex electronics today's products are not as robust as they were in the past, but I still believe that Marklin make an attempt at the best quality they can manage.

Yes, some of the models are made in China, but that is true of most brands today. It's all in the quality control, and I believe they are trying to sort out any issues they had previously in this respect, especially in the materials used. Hopefully they will try to prevent any future "Zinkpest" issues.

Torbjorn seems to have a set of problems amounting to a "perfect storm", but most of us are not in the same risk group as this prolific collector.
Ray
Mostly Marklin.Selection of different eras and European railways
Small C track layout, control by MS2, 100+ trains but run 4-5 at a time.
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Offline sjbartels  
#61 Posted : 11 February 2018 19:17:44(UTC)
sjbartels

United States   
Joined: 11/08/2015(UTC)
Posts: 1,063
Originally Posted by: RayF Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: QQQ1970 Go to Quoted Post
I have owned Marklin products since 1970s but only recently picked up the hobby again. All my rolling stock has been Marklin and I don't use other manufacturers because of my belief in Marklin quality. I just placed an order for the 90th anniversary Rheingold train set but after reading all these emails I wonder if I should cancel the order. Any advice is appreciated.


Yes, some of the models are made in China, but that is true of most brands today. It's all in the quality control, and I believe they are trying to sort out any issues they had previously in this respect, especially in the materials used. Hopefully they will try to prevent any future "Zinkpest" issues.


I don't think you have anything to worry about with regards to the Rheingold set

And Ray is correct in his assessment about models made in China. Being in the US I am fortunate (because I've never seen this on any Märklin I've purchased from in Europe) in that every item has a Made in sticker on it. Any lower end, starter sets etc, are the ones that seem to predominately have the Made in China sticker on them, whereas most of the higher end stuff (loks, car sets etc) typically have a Made in Hungary sticker. This is NOT, I repeat, NOT, a blanket statement, this is just observations from my experience with items I have personally purchased. That being said, I would anticipate the Rheingold set to not be even made in China, but more likely the Märklin facility in Hungary.

On a side note, I collect a lot of Piko rolling stock as well, and noticed more of their stuff is from China, BUT the quality has not suffered for it.
American by Geography, Australian by Birth. I am an original Ameristraylian
Offline Torbjorn  
#62 Posted : 11 February 2018 19:27:34(UTC)
Torbjorn


Joined: 26/01/2010(UTC)
Posts: 14
Location: Norway
Hello everybody.
I checked the little box at the bottom of the page when posting that I would like updates via e-mail when replies in this thread were posted. After having received zero e-mails, I was a little confused to see several people had in fact replied. So please accept my apoligies in advance should it take some time before I answer, as I do not regularly visit the forum.

I must also thank you for reading my very long comment. I tried editing it and shortening it several times. I also considered writing just part of the story, and then posting the rest gradually. But I found it best to post everything at once. I should also mention that simultaneously as the Zinc Pest problems, I have experienced many - and it also feels like an increasing number of cases where new Märklin models I purchased were faulty. I believe I made it clear in my post, however I will stress it again: my biggest problem is not that Märklin did a mistake in the production of the metal, which made the Zinc Pest occur. We all can make mistakes. However, I am angry because it was the outsoursing of the production to China that directly caused it. But the major reason for my frustration is the poor customer service from Märklin. If you don't understand what I mean by that, please read my post again.

As to some of the questions some of you have posted: I tried specifically to write about the timespan of the story. As I wrote, it all started three years agao. I am referring to Brakeman's YouTube-video, which was posted in 2014. Now, I see my post has been edited by someone, but at least initially you'll notice that the time-spans in the story adds up to 2-3 years, bringing us to 2017. Where I started buying other brands. About asking for a refund from Märklin for the sales tax: yes, I did ask for it, and sent Märklin customer service the whole e-mail correspondance. I provided them with the shipping documents they temselvs filled out incorrectly. And the proof of me paying €600 in import taxes on my own items. They did not reply for half a year, in spite of me e-mailing them on a monthly basis. I then dropped my claim of a refund, but asked them to at least admit they did a mistake, and say sorry. They then answered "when we send a repair back to our customers, you can be sure, that we have written all necessary information for the way back in the attached documents". I then replied that they clearly did not, and again attached the shipping documents filled in by Märklin. They then answered "we did nothing wrong". And they claim they can not send me complete underframes with boogies, couplers etc. because they don't have any (although these are identical to all US freight cars).

I don't know if I can agree that Märklin was my "baby", but I really loved the brand and would never consider other brands. But the poor customer service and the lack of will and ability to set the things they did wrong right, made me give up. Don't get me wrong - I have a great number of hobbies that give me joy, but model railroading has a special place in my heart and soul. That is why I am so happy to have found other brands that made it possible to continue the hobby. The change for other brands has been a positive experience for me. The motivation for posting the long story was to inspire others to also try other brands. It is a big world out there!
BigGrin
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Offline cookee_nz  
#63 Posted : 11 February 2018 20:26:28(UTC)
cookee_nz

New Zealand   
Joined: 31/12/2010(UTC)
Posts: 3,442
Location: Paremata, Wellington
Quote:
About asking for a refund from Märklin for the sales tax: yes, I did ask for it, and sent Märklin customer service the whole e-mail correspondance.


Hi Torbjorn,

I think it was my suggestion you were referring to. My suggestion waas to go back to your own Customs Department - ie the people you (or your relative) actually paid the 600 Euro to, present them with the email correspondence between yourself and Märklin, explain that the items were shipped to you as "Warranty replacement parts" and the value should have been noted on the form as "Gratis" but that Märklin admitted they made an error on the documentation. Even better if Märklin will supply you or them a corrected form.

I think you will find even now you should have a good chance of getting a refund, remember that any Government Department is a bureaucracy, and they are bound by rules. At the time, they obviously acted in good faith, as did your relative. But if you can prove your case I believe they cannot legally hold the taxes paid. You are clearly articulate, and probably a little passionate about your cause too, as you should be.

Sometimes you have to take out the emotion, and deal with facts, officials love facts, and documentation. I can tell you, if it was MY 600 Euros, I would be providing the info and requesting a refund. If if they refuse, I would be escalating it further up and up the chain until I got to the top if necessary.

BUT, I would also exercise judgement bearing in mind have there been any times you have received items of value for which you paid NO import taxes or duties?, you don't want to put yourself too closely under their microscope for future deliveries. ThumbDown

Best

Cookee
Cookee
Wellington
NZ image
Offline Mark_1602  
#64 Posted : 11 February 2018 21:01:22(UTC)
Mark_1602

Luxembourg   
Joined: 24/09/2014(UTC)
Posts: 698
Location: Luxembourg
Originally Posted by: QQQ1970 Go to Quoted Post
I have owned Marklin products since 1970s but only recently picked up the hobby again. All my rolling stock has been Marklin and I don't use other manufacturers because of my belief in Marklin quality. I just placed an order for the 90th anniversary Rheingold train set but after reading all these emails I wonder if I should cancel the order. Any advice is appreciated.


Hi,

Provided you buy the set from an official Märklin dealer, you can always take it back to the shop if there is a problem, and your dealer will have to sort it out. What you should do when you receive the set is to check everything several times, down to the smallest detail. Recently I bought a Märklin freight car set (47689) and noticed that the two-axle Hapag-Lloyd container car did not run well because a wheel set was defect. I did not make a warranty claim immediately, but about one week ago I had another look at this car and noticed that the second wheel set was slightly damaged as well. In addition to that, I bought two Evergreen container cars (47065) and noticed that on one of them, some grey paint had come off near a buffer.

Then I decided to make a warranty claim and send the two wheel sets as well as the Evergreen car back to Märklin. I packed that stuff today, and the parcel will be posted tomorrow. That's not a reason to get upset, though. I'll get a new, undamaged container car as well as two wheel sets, and that will be the end of the story. Checking every detail and making several test runs on different days, if possible in analog and digital modes, is essential nowadays because product quality is less dependable than it used to be.

I know from what I've read in other MRR forums that Märklin actually replaced some of those warped box cars for free, even years after the warranty had run out, but they sent customers who complained similar U.S. box cars (with different liveries), whichever they happened to have in stock at that moment. They can't send customers stuff that they don't have, can they? I also got a bit angry about some of my own warranty cases, but all of them were eventually solved in a satisfactory way. Märklin's customer service isn't as bad as it's sometimes made out to be.

Best regards,

Mark
Best regards, Mark

I like Märklin vintage models, but also digital locos & non-vintage rolling stock (focus on Denmark, era 5-6).
Offline DB Fan  
#65 Posted : 12 February 2018 05:37:15(UTC)
DB Fan

United States   
Joined: 01/03/2016(UTC)
Posts: 186
Location: Colorado
Hello
In reading this post/thread and many other posts here, I’m starting to think if I’m paying about $200.00 to 500.00 for a new engine or $25.00 to 50.00 for a new single freight/passenger car shouldn’t I expect that the item should run perfectly, no broken parts, paint flaws? I understand that things can happen but if I’m paying, in my opinion, premium prices for new Model train engines, cars, track and other equipment then I expect that the items are working, no broken parts and so on. I got back into marklin about 2 years ago and tried digital, marklin and Ecos, K track, C track and M track. I ran into the same problems like many other members here . Bought a new engine what had problems straight out of the box and returned it for a refund and I had other problems with different items. To make a long story short I like M track the best and sold all my digital equipment and go to analog. After all I want to have fun and enjoyment with my Model train.

Happy Model Railroading

Robert
Offline cookee_nz  
#66 Posted : 12 February 2018 08:51:11(UTC)
cookee_nz

New Zealand   
Joined: 31/12/2010(UTC)
Posts: 3,442
Location: Paremata, Wellington
Originally Posted by: DB Fan Go to Quoted Post
Hello
In reading this post/thread and many other posts here, I’m starting to think if I’m paying about $200.00 to 500.00 for a new engine or $25.00 to 50.00 for a new single freight/passenger car shouldn’t I expect that the item should run perfectly, no broken parts, paint flaws? I understand that things can happen but if I’m paying, in my opinion, premium prices for new Model train engines, cars, track and other equipment then I expect that the items are working, no broken parts and so on. I got back into marklin about 2 years ago and tried digital, marklin and Ecos, K track, C track and M track. I ran into the same problems like many other members here . Bought a new engine what had problems straight out of the box and returned it for a refund and I had other problems with different items. To make a long story short I like M track the best and sold all my digital equipment and go to analog. After all I want to have fun and enjoyment with my Model train.

Happy Model Railroading

Robert


Hi Robert, yes I think that is a realistic expectation, but I also wonder how many of these instances are items that have been purchased 'new', but were perhaps older stock from those not-so-long-ago difficult years when the company was being milked purely for cash and highly-paid (but unworthy and unscrupulous) 'consultants'??

If I were in a position to purchase something brand-new from my preferred dealer, I would most likely ask them to personally unpack the item, inspect it for any damage and give it a test-run before shipping to me, or if I was going into the shop, do these things before leaving.

Even then, there is still the chance of missing some small detail, or a fault developing soon after but at least you will have minimised the chances.

One thing is clear and that is that it appears essential the people do a good once-over of any new item before the warranty period runs out.
Cookee
Wellington
NZ image
Offline Mark_1602  
#67 Posted : 12 February 2018 12:18:24(UTC)
Mark_1602

Luxembourg   
Joined: 24/09/2014(UTC)
Posts: 698
Location: Luxembourg
Originally Posted by: DB Fan Go to Quoted Post
I ran into the same problems like many other members here . Bought a new engine what had problems straight out of the box and returned it for a refund and I had other problems with different items. To make a long story short I like M track the best and sold all my digital equipment and go to analog. After all I want to have fun and enjoyment with my Model train.

Happy Model Railroading

Robert


Hi Robert,

Actually, one main reason why I'm still a Märklin fan is that I started collecting old analog locos back in 2009. Obviously, they don't cause a lot of problems because there are usually no electronic components inside, except for the 3300 series. I still buy brand new Märklin items but spend less money on them than some years ago. Those warranty cases make Märklin lose business, so I wonder how long it will take until the company improves things. ???

Best regards,

Mark

Edited by user 12 February 2018 20:38:29(UTC)  | Reason: typo

Best regards, Mark

I like Märklin vintage models, but also digital locos & non-vintage rolling stock (focus on Denmark, era 5-6).
Offline mike c  
#68 Posted : 12 February 2018 17:42:32(UTC)
mike c

Canada   
Joined: 28/11/2007(UTC)
Posts: 6,648
Location: Montreal, QC
I don't have any of the Maerklin models that were affected by diecast issues (AFAIK). I am a little concerned about the recent shift of production from China to Vietnam, as it seems China had finally gotten past some of the earlier production quality flubs, while Vietnam is basically where China was a decade and a half ago. I guess that when production costs in VN increase, they will simply shift production to India or the Philippines or similar.

I hope that these shifts do not result in additional problems with either metal or plastic quality.

I can see Torbjorn's frustration with the situation. I think that letters to Maerklin rather than emails might be a better idea and believe that no matter what, keeping the discourse civil and constructive is the best way to go.

Regards

Mike C
Offline PhillipL  
#69 Posted : 12 February 2018 19:57:45(UTC)
PhillipL

United States   
Joined: 24/12/2012(UTC)
Posts: 115
I used to be a collector of ROCO and Fleischmann and I found many issues with my purchases (none as bad as the experience described above). I reached a conclusion, my collector's hobby was beginning to cause me stress (which is not what I needed) not to mention it was burning a hole in my wallet. I decided to move to less detailed fun models while not super detailed, provide me with fun and a way of escaping some of my job stress. I like the simpler Startup items and many of the Piko Hobbyline items. If something beaks or fails, I am not out a huge amount of money. I am not saying do not collect trains but for me, my new approach provides a great deal of fun which is what I want model trains to do for me.
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Offline H0  
#70 Posted : 11 March 2018 09:44:11(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 13,752
Location: DE-NW
Originally Posted by: sjbartels Go to Quoted Post
Any lower end, starter sets etc, are the ones that seem to predominately have the Made in China sticker on them, whereas most of the higher end stuff (loks, car sets etc) typically have a Made in Hungary sticker. This is NOT, I repeat, NOT, a blanket statement, this is just observations from my experience with items I have personally purchased.
It was reported that several of Märklin's Fall Surprise models - like the bay S 2/6, the SBB Elephant and the French 241 A - came with the Made in China sticker.
Since labour costs make the difference, it economically makes sense to have finely detailed premium steamers with many separately applied details made in China.
Your selection of models is not representative.

Recently Märklin sold several Tillig sets in boxes with Märklin logos. I never heard where those are made.

Models from China, Korea or Vietnam can have excellent quality. Longevity (zinkpest) is a different story.
Märklin was always secretive about products from China.
Regards
Tom
---
"In all of the gauges, we particularly emphasize a high level of quality, the best possible fidelity to the prototype, and absolute precision. You will see that in all of our products." (from Märklin New Items Brochure 2015, page 1) ROFLBTCUTS
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Offline Goofy  
#71 Posted : 11 March 2018 10:47:06(UTC)
Goofy


Joined: 12/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 8,275
Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post
Any lower end, starter sets etc, are the ones that seem to predominately have the Made in China sticker on them
Märklin was always secretive about products from China.


Actually, it is a duty to inform customers about where products are manufactured.
The German law and even European rules say that.

Offline Purellum  
#72 Posted : 11 March 2018 10:54:28(UTC)
Purellum

Denmark   
Joined: 08/11/2005(UTC)
Posts: 3,217
Location: Mullerup, 4200 Slagelse
Cool

Originally Posted by: Goofy Go to Quoted Post
Actually, it is a duty to inform customers about where products are manufactured.
The German law and even European rules say that.


Which law or rule is this?

Per.

Cool

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H0
Offline H0  
#73 Posted : 11 March 2018 11:10:00(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 13,752
Location: DE-NW
Originally Posted by: Goofy Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post
Any lower end, starter sets etc, are the ones that seem to predominately have the Made in China sticker on them
Märklin was always secretive about products from China.


Actually, it is a duty to inform customers about where products are manufactured.
The German law and even European rules say that.
Nonsense.
And please learn how to quote correctly.
Regards
Tom
---
"In all of the gauges, we particularly emphasize a high level of quality, the best possible fidelity to the prototype, and absolute precision. You will see that in all of our products." (from Märklin New Items Brochure 2015, page 1) ROFLBTCUTS
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Offline Goofy  
#74 Posted : 11 March 2018 11:19:09(UTC)
Goofy


Joined: 12/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 8,275
Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post


Nonsense.


What nonsense!??
Manufacturer has a duty to inform customer where products are made in.

Offline H0  
#75 Posted : 11 March 2018 11:23:15(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 13,752
Location: DE-NW
Originally Posted by: Goofy Go to Quoted Post
Manufacturer has a duty to inform customer where products are made in.
Moral duty maybe, but no legal duty.
Märklin get away without declaring the country of origin - unless they ship the items to their USA importer. And even then only one country will be listed, not all.
Legal requirement in the USA, but not in the EU.
Regards
Tom
---
"In all of the gauges, we particularly emphasize a high level of quality, the best possible fidelity to the prototype, and absolute precision. You will see that in all of our products." (from Märklin New Items Brochure 2015, page 1) ROFLBTCUTS
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Offline Purellum  
#76 Posted : 11 March 2018 11:38:57(UTC)
Purellum

Denmark   
Joined: 08/11/2005(UTC)
Posts: 3,217
Location: Mullerup, 4200 Slagelse
Cool

Originally Posted by: Goofy Go to Quoted Post
What nonsense!??
Manufacturer has a duty to inform customer where products are made in.


Surely it is nonsense; EU ( And Germany, which I think still is part of EU ) have no such laws.

EU have the CE marking, which IMHO is worthless, because a lot of Chinese companies just applies the CE marking to all their products.

Per.

Cool

If you can dream it, you can do it!

I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. This applies worldwide.

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Offline kiwiAlan  
#77 Posted : 11 March 2018 14:27:21(UTC)
kiwiAlan

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/07/2014(UTC)
Posts: 5,162
Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
Originally Posted by: Purellum Go to Quoted Post

EU have the CE marking, which IMHO is worthless, because a lot of Chinese companies just applies the CE marking to all their products.



However if the item does not meet the requirements of CE marking the mark that gets put on the items does not meet the CE requirements. The C and E are too close together.

See this website for a discussion on the differences.

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Offline Purellum  
#78 Posted : 11 March 2018 17:44:40(UTC)
Purellum

Denmark   
Joined: 08/11/2005(UTC)
Posts: 3,217
Location: Mullerup, 4200 Slagelse
Cool

Originally Posted by: kiwiAlan Go to Quoted Post
However if the item does not meet the requirements of CE marking the mark that gets put on the items does not meet the CE requirements. The C and E are too close together.


I've heard people talk about the fake CE-marks being "China Export" markings; but until now just taken it as a joke.

Per.

Cool
If you can dream it, you can do it!

I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. This applies worldwide.

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Offline H0  
#79 Posted : 11 March 2018 20:18:44(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 13,752
Location: DE-NW
Originally Posted by: Goofy Go to Quoted Post
Actually, it is a duty to inform customers about where products are manufactured.
The German law and even European rules say that.
See post #192 in this thread about how far the EU laws got so far:
https://www.marklin-user...-65-announced#post558194

Do you always see "Made in ..." on Trix products and other MRR brands? EU rules should apply to Sweden, shouldn't they?
Regards
Tom
---
"In all of the gauges, we particularly emphasize a high level of quality, the best possible fidelity to the prototype, and absolute precision. You will see that in all of our products." (from Märklin New Items Brochure 2015, page 1) ROFLBTCUTS
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Offline TEEWolf  
#80 Posted : 11 March 2018 23:25:35(UTC)
TEEWolf


Joined: 01/06/2016(UTC)
Posts: 2,413
Originally Posted by: Purellum Go to Quoted Post
Cool

Originally Posted by: kiwiAlan Go to Quoted Post
However if the item does not meet the requirements of CE marking the mark that gets put on the items does not meet the CE requirements. The C and E are too close together.


I've heard people talk about the fake CE-marks being "China Export" markings; but until now just taken it as a joke.

Per.

Cool


Indeed no joke.
Even if you personally import a product from China for your personal use which does not achieve the CE qualification, you have to be aware that the custom confiscate and destroy it. Nevertheless you have to pay for the product, shipping, taxes and custom. Very expensive and not recommendable. If you have some time, perhaps you may read more about it:

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/CE-Kennzeichnung

(English version is not complety comparable with the German version)

https://ec.europa.eu/gro...gle-market/ce-marking_en

This is the original homepage from the European Commission. At both links you also find the legal basics for these regulations.

By the way for me it is not a problem of the producing country. It is a problem of the companies quality controls. Most of them does not want to pay for it, because it is very expensive.

Just yesterday I received a brand new cargo coach from Liliput. Outside of the box: "Made in China". Inside a very thoroughly packed nice coach. The couplers were attached, because they do not fit with the packing. Ok I can mount them. But oops - on one side of the coach the NEM shaft is missing. But shaking the coach you can hear the shaft rumbling inside. I tried to open the coach – no chance. So I cannot fix it and I have to send it back to the dealer. Very annoying and expensive because of a very bad quality control within the whole product chain, from the production to the customer. I think this is very embarrassing for the producer Liliput and dealer, not for the “Made in China”.
Offline David Dewar  
#81 Posted : 11 March 2018 23:50:49(UTC)
David Dewar

Scotland   
Joined: 01/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 6,930
Location: Scotland
Probably famous last words but to date I have almost no trouble with Marklin products for the past 40 years. I have now C track which again I have had for years with no problems. Out of about 20 turnout motors only one eventually did not work and all the decoders are still fine. Regarding locos only one had a fault and was replaced and that is all from Marklin that has gone wrong in all these years. My CS2 still goes without problems and I will shortly buy a CS3 which I expect will last for years.
Just luck I suppose.
One thing though. Not a fault but I hate those Marklin plugs with their tiny screws that fall out of the plug and can take ages to get back in. lol.
Take care I like Marklin and will defend the worlds greatest model rail manufacturer.
Offline Purellum  
#82 Posted : 12 March 2018 00:07:04(UTC)
Purellum

Denmark   
Joined: 08/11/2005(UTC)
Posts: 3,217
Location: Mullerup, 4200 Slagelse
Cool

Originally Posted by: TEEWolf Go to Quoted Post
Even if you personally import a product from China for your personal use which does not achieve the CE qualification, you have to be aware that the custom confiscate and destroy it.


In Denmark, a parcel labeled to be worth less than 80,- DKK / around 11 EURO just passes custom.

Above that limit we have to pay VAT for the entire value + a terrible fee for charging us the VAT. ( Fee around 22 EURO )

I have never had a parcel opened by the custom office, and I've received more than 200 small parcels from China in the last 2 years.

Some of these, mostly Christmas lights for 230V, had the fake ( It has to be, because of the quality ) CE-markings.

You might be right that the law says it should be confiscated and destroyed; but in reality it doesn't happen, at least not for smaller items.

Per.

Cool
If you can dream it, you can do it!

I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. This applies worldwide.

In case this is not legally possible:
I grant anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.

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Offline H0  
#83 Posted : 12 March 2018 08:19:47(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 13,752
Location: DE-NW
Originally Posted by: TEEWolf Go to Quoted Post
Very annoying and expensive because of a very bad quality control within the whole product chain, from the production to the customer.
The dealer has to pay the return postage (if you bought via mail order). You can make them pay for the street car ticket if you bought from a brick and mortar store.

The NEM pocket is inside and not missing? Maybe it was not mounted correctly. Maybe it was mounted correctly, but slipped out when the parcel was mistreated. Maybe it slipped out when the dealer inspected it or showed it to another customer. Who's to blame for that problem?
Regards
Tom
---
"In all of the gauges, we particularly emphasize a high level of quality, the best possible fidelity to the prototype, and absolute precision. You will see that in all of our products." (from Märklin New Items Brochure 2015, page 1) ROFLBTCUTS
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Offline Markus Schild  
#84 Posted : 12 March 2018 10:10:22(UTC)
Markus Schild

Germany   
Joined: 14/01/2006(UTC)
Posts: 1,802
Location: Wurttemberg
Originally Posted by: Purellum Go to Quoted Post
Cool

Originally Posted by: TEEWolf Go to Quoted Post
Even if you personally import a product from China for your personal use which does not achieve the CE qualification, you have to be aware that the custom confiscate and destroy it.


I have never had a parcel opened by the custom office, and I've received more than 200 small parcels from China in the last 2 years.


Cool


Hi Per,

Same here. Mostly electronics and also 230V devices from Asia. I was never asked for a CE-confirmation even if I was invited to the customs-office to open the parcel. The CE-sign can be a problem, when the officer has the impression that the imported goods are for resale. I know that people got problems trying to import a dozen similar locos in one parcel "for personal use". The officers aren't stupid.
Only one time I needed some discussion to import cheap gas - sensors from China. I explained to the officer that the parts are only for educational purposes (what was true) and never will be used for safety-purposes. I got them.

Regards

Markus
Offline TEEWolf  
#85 Posted : 12 March 2018 20:22:30(UTC)
TEEWolf


Joined: 01/06/2016(UTC)
Posts: 2,413
Originally Posted by: Purellum Go to Quoted Post
Cool
In Denmark, a parcel labeled to be worth less than 80,- DKK / around 11 EURO just passes custom.

Above that limit we have to pay VAT for the entire value + a terrible fee for charging us the VAT. ( Fee around 22 EURO )

I have never had a parcel opened by the custom office, and I've received more than 200 small parcels from China in the last 2 years.

Some of these, mostly Christmas lights for 230V, had the fake ( It has to be, because of the quality ) CE-markings.

You might be right that the law says it should be confiscated and destroyed; but in reality it doesn't happen, at least not for smaller items.

Per.Cool



At the moment in Germany is still a similar treatment. But the government realizes more and more that plenty of goods were imported without paying the custom and taxes. Also they realized that China does not correctly full fill its tax declaration duties. I do not have such personal experience (I always declare everything), but you can see it quite often on German television, that the custom is more and more controlling these facts. They should have reached a massive quantity of shipments. The loss on import sales taxes should be by about 5 Billion Euro meanwhile. But in these TV reports they show that the custom is extending its inspections including technical specifications more and more to little parcels as well as to private people too. And of course customs can always do only a sample inspection. But …

Remember about the inspection of Rummenigge, the manager of the soccer club Bayern München. He came back from Quatar, a gift for himself of 2 Rolex clocks in his baggage. He did not declare them at the customs, but he was inspected. The Rolex had an value of 100.000 €. He was fined by tax fraud with 250.000 €.

Gosh - how many Märklin locos could this have been?
Offline TEEWolf  
#86 Posted : 12 March 2018 20:38:31(UTC)
TEEWolf


Joined: 01/06/2016(UTC)
Posts: 2,413
Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: TEEWolf Go to Quoted Post
Very annoying and expensive because of a very bad quality control within the whole product chain, from the production to the customer.
The dealer has to pay the return postage (if you bought via mail order). You can make them pay for the street car ticket if you bought from a brick and mortar store.

The NEM pocket is inside and not missing? Maybe it was not mounted correctly. Maybe it was mounted correctly, but slipped out when the parcel was mistreated. Maybe it slipped out when the dealer inspected it or showed it to another customer. Who's to blame for that problem?


Well, this NEM coupler shaft is missing completly, but something is rambling inside. Because at the second one you see it is fixed somwhere inside at the bottom of the coach. I guess this noise comes from the second one. Also the coach cannot be opened. Why is this not possible? It is in my opinion a bad design as well. For all this is the producer - Liliput - responsible.

But when you see the high valuable outside packing it is incredible. It has a similar luxury wrapping as a high priced loco from Märklin.
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