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Offline mike c  
#1 Posted : 26 November 2021 00:44:08(UTC)
mike c

Canada   
Joined: 28/11/2007(UTC)
Posts: 7,324
Location: Montreal, QC
When I think back to my first Märklin Lok, which cost 100 CHF (then CAD$33) and think that the same model now costs around 400 CHF (CAD$500) and in the case of trainsets or consists, often over CAD$1000, I am not happy about receiving a model with a minor flaw or a small part damaged that proves almost impossible to replace/repair.

Whether it be the LSM RAe Gottardo, the Liliput Stadler KISS or one of the recent consist sets (LSM, ACME, Roco, etc), I expect to receive a model which corresponds to the prototype and to the description listed in the flyer/catalog/website.

My LSM Gottardo was delivered with damaged roof wiring. For a model which cost over $1000, the thought that I was unable to obtain a replacement part was very frustrating to me. Efforts via the dealer and the manufacturer did not obtain results and this was complicated by the bankruptcy of the Chinese manufacturer.

I recently ordered a SBB Eurocity set (6 coaches in 2 sets). The set contains a number of SBB coaches in different liveries, some in the Cisalpino livery (no logo), some in the ex-Cisalpino livery with <+> SBB CFF FFS logo and some in the most recent livery. I noticed that the ex-Cisalpino coaches are missing the gray band at the lower edge of the coach body. When the Cisalpino colours were removed, the blue band was replaced by this gray band. These sets cost over CAD$600. The designer tells me that there was a mistake at the manufacturer. The company (LSM) has not reacted and the commissioning distributor (PiRATA) was dismissive, brushing it off as "not noticeable".

As a manufacturer, when you commission a firm in Asia (or anywhere else) to produce your models, it should not be difficult to a) verify that all moulds are inspected before they go intro production, b) that an initial production run be made to ensure that all details are correct to design and c) that at each step, samples are either inspected or submitted for approval. I know that there is pressure to get the product delivered quickly, but I don't think that anybody wants to feel that they are obliged to accept minor flaws for no reason. I know that putting a production on hold so that a paint flaw can be corrected can lead to a long delay, but the customer should not have to accept a model with an error because somebody did not take the time to get it as correctly as possible. It is up to the manufacturer to either hire somebody to inspect random items at the factory or to develop a system where the models can be photographed and the images inspected so that errors can be corrected in real time.

At a time where Piko is asking over $2000 for the 2022 model of the SBB Giruno, there is a lot of hesitance to commit to a pre-order, sight unseen.
I wonder how many dealers would accept a conditional order, subject to verification upon delivery? It is not just up to the customer to pressure the manufacturers to get it right. The dealers and distributors also need to step up and let the companies know that their customers are not happy about this type of incident. The companies must then put pressure on the manufacturers to make sure that the models are delivered as per spec.

If that works, the end result will be satisfied customers and better reputations for the shops, distributors, brands and manufacturers.

Regards

Mike C

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Offline river6109  
#2 Posted : 26 November 2021 01:28:41(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 13,852
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
Mike, to fulsfill your wish I think you trying to climb a mountain, current conditions with Covid19 would put more pressures on dealers and distributors because of the lack of sales, I assume they just close thier eyes and hope as many sales or preorders go through., sofar manufacturers are concerend I can't invisage , that when the product is ready for delivery and they've discovered a mistake that the will remove the item from sale., as you'v mentioned 1 dealer said its hardly noticable., there could be a corroboration between maniufacturer and dealer/distributor to avoid any delays and just ignore any issues.; I think we had plenty of samples when it came to HAG models whereas Herr Unholz exposed paint defects.
I think these days there is nothing on the market without defects, recalls, items not working, dangerous and faulty.
I also think the model train market is so hungry and demands are high, competition is fierce putting these factors together makes it pretty hard for manufacturers to comply with items ' going through quality controlled or removing them from sale to rectify any mistakes they've made.
It has to be seen whether Piko's latest new SBB Giruna item at a cost over Euro 1000.00 will be a success story ? but people in Switzerland aren't short of money., I'm sure soemone calculated the risks and potential buyers.
I've just complained about Mr.Kipplings fruit mince pies gone up from A$ 4.00 to A$ 5.00 at the locol supermarket.

good luck

John

https://www.youtube.com/river6109
https://www.youtube.com/6109river
5 years in Destruction mode
50 years in Repairing mode
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Offline David Dewar  
#3 Posted : 26 November 2021 10:37:00(UTC)
David Dewar

Scotland   
Joined: 01/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 7,034
Location: Scotland
I just buy Marklin which has been available for months and often check on here with other members who have the model. I never preorder something which is not yet in the shops. So far not had any problems and lead a happy life with model rail. I might miss out on a new model but that does not bother me.
Relax and enjoy the hobby is my view.
Take care I like Marklin and will defend the worlds greatest model rail manufacturer.
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Offline marklinist5999  
#4 Posted : 26 November 2021 14:57:28(UTC)
marklinist5999

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 1,312
Location: Michigan, Troy
That Piko SBB Giruno train has 11 cars. That's a looooong train, and is that price so high for that? Piko quality ius also high. You can likely trust it will perform flawless, and the couplings and digital parts are well made and connected.
Offline Mman  
#5 Posted : 26 November 2021 15:20:49(UTC)
Mman

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/05/2021(UTC)
Posts: 152
Location: England, Guildford
There is currently on TV in the UK a series of programs about the company Hornby in Margate Kent and how they handle the design and production of train and other models - they have the brands Hornby, Airfix, Corgi and Scalextric slot cars.
They count the rivets and match colours etc on pre-production samples of whatever and give instructions back to China to rectify shortcomings before putting items into production. Very impressive and I assumed that similar companies would do the same - but perhaps they don’t. They even entrust some of their injection moulding to a firm in the UK.
I do order from Märklin sight unseen and in most cases feel grateful to actually get my hands on some of the stuff, provided it works OK I’m usually satisfied.
When I was a lad we had to endure all sorts of inaccuracies in railway models but they were durable if not too detailed.
ChrisG
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Offline kiwiAlan  
#6 Posted : 26 November 2021 20:34:54(UTC)
kiwiAlan

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/07/2014(UTC)
Posts: 6,554
Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
Originally Posted by: Mman Go to Quoted Post
There is currently on TV in the UK a series of programs about the company Hornby in Margate Kent and how they handle the design and production of train and other models - they have the brands Hornby, Airfix, Corgi and Scalextric slot cars.
They count the rivets and match colours etc on pre-production samples of whatever and give instructions back to China to rectify shortcomings before putting items into production. Very impressive and I assumed that similar companies would do the same - but perhaps they don’t. They even entrust some of their injection moulding to a firm in the UK.


Having watched some of these programs I find some of the attitudes a bit lackadaisical. The testing seemed to be pretty limited. While I admire the attention to detail of the young guy designing Churchills Funeral Wagon, resulting in a wagon that was getting rave reviews in the magazines, some of the other attitudes appeared a bit slap dash on the surface. It may be that various bits of filming that would disabuse me of this opinion may be on the cutting room floor to get the program to fit the time available, but i'm sure the filming could have been a bit more aimed at this.

It also isn't clear if they make the molds in the UK, and do the test castings here, or if all that is done in China.

Offline mike c  
#7 Posted : 26 November 2021 22:09:07(UTC)
mike c

Canada   
Joined: 28/11/2007(UTC)
Posts: 7,324
Location: Montreal, QC
I remember watching a TV program. I don't remember if they were visiting Hag or Maerklin, but they showed how each model (locomotive) was given a test on a track and visually inspected before it was prepared for boxing.
Today, with companies subcontracting the production to third parties in China or elsewhere in Asia, the question is whether the company has an employee who does on site inspection, whether they have also outsourced quality control to the manufacturer, or whether a local employee records images of the model and submits those images for approval before the production enters the next stage?
I thought that the designs would be made in Europe, sent to the company for approval, then sent to China to the manufacturer, who would produce the molds, who would then manufacture a sample, which would then be subject to approval before the project went into final production. The need to book production slots means that there is pressure to get things done as quickly as possible, as any need for correction can result in your production slot being bumped, ostensibly delaying production by up to 6 months.
Yet, the days of $19 models from Hong Kong are over and today, we are asked to pay $80 to $100 for a model and $300 to $600 for a locomotive, so I would hope that companies would include potential correction delays in their production plans, so that we get a final model that does not leave us with a bad taste in our mouths.
The end result might be that these companies who rely on pre-sales of their models might find more and more customers adopting a wait and see attitude and demanding to see the goods before they commit to buying them and given the recent instances, this might not be a bad thing... Companies might learn that taking the extra time is a good thing.

Regards

Mike C
Offline David Dewar  
#8 Posted : 26 November 2021 23:46:14(UTC)
David Dewar

Scotland   
Joined: 01/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 7,034
Location: Scotland
When there was dealer in Scotland selling Roco and Marklin they checked each item before it was sold by mail and if in the shop they would let you see it working before buying. Here liability. and warrant is with the seller not the manufacturer. Too many just pick a model off the shelf parcel it and post it without looking at it. I think MSL run locos before shipping.
Take care I like Marklin and will defend the worlds greatest model rail manufacturer.
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Offline jcrtrains  
#9 Posted : 27 November 2021 01:33:11(UTC)
jcrtrains

Canada   
Joined: 31/10/2009(UTC)
Posts: 560
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Originally Posted by: David Dewar Go to Quoted Post
When there was dealer in Scotland selling Roco and Marklin they checked each item before it was sold by mail and if in the shop they would let you see it working before buying. Here liability. and warrant is with the seller not the manufacturer. Too many just pick a model off the shelf parcel it and post it without looking at it. I think MSL run locos before shipping.


MacKay model’s? I bought quite a bit from them pre internet as they always had a big advertisement in Continental Modeller. Great service and prices.
Online PJMärklin  
#10 Posted : 27 November 2021 07:25:29(UTC)
PJMärklin

Australia   
Joined: 04/12/2013(UTC)
Posts: 2,031
Location: Hobart, Australia
Originally Posted by: David Dewar Go to Quoted Post
... I think MSL run locos before shipping.


Hello David,

Yes, MSL definitely assess and run the trains or locos before packing them.

I have seen this when visiting them. They have a dedicated small (track-only) layout for testing the trains.

I also once had a delay in shipment of an order that was reason-detailed as "quality control" on my website order and what this meant was that they were unhappy with the model (presumably the only one they had in stock or one that had to be ordered (usually within 7-10 days) from the manufacturer) and asked for another from Märklin, hence the delay.

One other occasion I received a six-unit EMU Märklin train from MSL that "would not join up" (but my fault). I emailed MSL about my concern. They told me it assembled fine and tested OK in their shop; they also told me how to connect the train correctly and indeed I could then run it fine.

I find this very comforting with MSL given that I live on the other side of the earth to them and Australia Post charges are prohibitive of the postage to return a model on warranty.

Regards,

Philip
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Offline river6109  
#11 Posted : 27 November 2021 10:05:20(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 13,852
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
My recent purchase from Lippe, Roco ÖBB Rh 1142 (new) had a support arm missing on the pantograph., they may check the loco if it runs but I don't think they check the pantographs as there is no electrical connection., if they would have lifted the pantograph they would have realized it would have collapsed, I didn't expect them to do that., the parcel was so well packed it wouldn't have been damaged or lost in the parcel as I looked for the wire but couldn't find any., I would say it came like that from the factory. since than I've made up a wire and installed it and its all fine now.

John
https://www.youtube.com/river6109
https://www.youtube.com/6109river
5 years in Destruction mode
50 years in Repairing mode
Offline Goofy  
#12 Posted : 27 November 2021 11:28:23(UTC)
Goofy


Joined: 12/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 8,485
I did and do have sometimes problem by use Märklins product.
My worse nightmare was BR 64 made of Märklin and produced in China.
Return back locomotive and finally after three months Märklin did send a new BR 64 and the old still left at factory.
The second BR 64 was some design flaws too and i was force to shop small details to change out the faults.
Still warranty it was not worth to wait another months to fix the problems!!
Yeah...sure an open letter to Märklin would be fine too.
Trust me...i did it but nothing happens until Märklin decides to stop produce in China.
Offline David Dewar  
#13 Posted : 27 November 2021 14:12:35(UTC)
David Dewar

Scotland   
Joined: 01/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 7,034
Location: Scotland
Originally Posted by: jcrtrains Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: David Dewar Go to Quoted Post
When there was dealer in Scotland selling Roco and Marklin they checked each item before it was sold by mail and if in the shop they would let you see it working before buying. Here liability. and warrant is with the seller not the manufacturer. Too many just pick a model off the shelf parcel it and post it without looking at it. I think MSL run locos before shipping.


MacKay model’s? I bought quite a bit from them pre internet as they always had a big advertisement in Continental Modeller. Great service and prices.




Indeed it wasMackays models. Shame Mr Mackay died quite young. His wife Janette lives quite close to me and is now retired.
Take care I like Marklin and will defend the worlds greatest model rail manufacturer.
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