Hornby DCC

I sold a Hornby Elite DCC control system a couple of weeks ago to a customer who also purchased a couple of Digital sets which included Select
controllers and a whole host of other Hornby items.
The Elite was returned on Tuesday. Initially it worked to the customer's total satisfaction, but after a short period it completely refused to programme either loco or accessory decoders, although both of the Select contollers which our customer also owns worked fine when wired into his layout, confirming that the problem was with the Elite controller.
My first course of action when faced with this problem was to phone Hornby's Help Line to ask them to supply an immediate replacement controller for this customer (who had subsequently spent in excess of one thousand GB pounds during the past month on Hornby products). After speaking to both me and my customer, Help Line refused to supply a replacement controller without having the original returned for investigation.
This of course puts us, the retailer, in a totally impossible situation. The customer is of course (under the Sale of Goods Act) entitled to either an immediate refund, or an immediate replacement (if he is willing to accept one). He is not obliged to allow a faulty product to be sent away for investigation.
Firstly Hornby claimed they had no Elite controllers to allow them to exchange this faulty item (they really mean they have none for sale) then claimed they only had our word &/or that of our customer that there was a problem with the customer's existing controller. When I politely, but firmly pointed out the customer's rights under the Sale of Goods Act, I was told by their Help Line staff member that he didn't like my attitude.
Anyway the end result of this story is that the Elite controller has been returned to the manufacturer and we're still waiting a response. In the meantime our customer, who was present throughout this mind-numbing exercise with Hornby, is totally disenchanted with their attitude and went away with a pile of Bachmann products and a new Lenz DCC system.
John, 53A Models, Hull.
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Not good (for Hornby, that is, obviously it's 'good' for Bachmann and Lenz).
Ian J.
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No not good....with the shoddy treatment from Hornby are you going to continue stocking their products John.?

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"gene" wrote

Very difficult to drop a range that accounts for probably one third of my sales. The issue has been reported to my Hornby rep and to Simon Kohler, and I'll wait and see what happens.
Fortunately in the main this sort of problem doesn't arise with either Hornby or Bachmann, and is more likely to be the reaction of one individual who is our of his depth with DCC.
John.
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Yes, haveing been in retail sales myself I understand the situation.. I know there is a Yahoo Hornby DCC group that somebody from Hornby monitors on a daily basis...they claim on the group that they really want input on their DCC systems, both good and bad. Might be worthwhile posting your story there also John.

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gene said the following on 22/06/2007 02:02:

I think that would be cutting his nose off to spite his face. I would hazard a guess that the layman would still think of Hornby as being *the* manufacturer of model railway stuff, unlike this new upstart, Bachmann :-)
--
Paul Boyd
http://www.paul-boyd.co.uk /
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"Paul Boyd" wrote

Very true, but it's amazing how quickly the great unwashed learn otherwise.
When I opened my model shop in 1987 Bachmann didn't exist as a UK model train manufacturer, and yet now we sell more Bachmann locos & rolling stock than we do Hornby. Hornby still, however, have the larger market share because of all the accessories they sell (Skaledale etc) but the gap seems to be constantly closing.
John.
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A friend of my has a son about 12 years old. He's into 'model trains', which I kind of found unusual in itself, as there's so much else around to take a boy's interest (especially now he's nearly a teenager - I wonder how long it'll be before girls take the trains interest away?). Anyhoo, my main point is that he and his father still see things the 'Model Trains = Hornby' way. Until the son deepens his model railway interest (if he does), the existence of other manufacturers simply isn't a factor. They've even been to quite a few model railway exhibitions, with plenty of non-Hornby packaging for the eye to see, and still Hornby has the position in their minds as representing the model railway industry.
So to not stock Hornby is almost a death sentence to any dealer interested in making even a modest profit.
Ian J.
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wrote:

Sadly.
30 years ago I was in the local model shop drooling over the then-new Airfix range - more, finer detail, flush windows etc.
A father and son came in and the kid went straight to the new stuff. Daddy told the kid he wanted quality British stuff, Hornby instead of "that Chinese rubbish".
A disappointed kid left with an engine that was a one-piece body/handrail moulding, and carriages with one-piece glazing behind thick sides..
I wondered if the hobby had lost another recruit when the kid grew up but I didn't say anything until after they had left.
And I left with a far more detailed Caerphilly Castle and Centenary stock with flush glazing, individual roof ventilators etc.

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Three years, bu tit wasn't just girls in my case. I got fed up with "experts" in model magazines telling me there was only one correct and proper way of making a model and if I didn't do it their way I was wasting my time. The result was I spent so much time on trivial details I could never finish anything any more.

It's funny how people assume this is always a "father and son" thing. My mother is the artist, modeller and railway enthusiast in our family (although she doesn't actually model railways). My dad has never been technically minded, he wouldn't even know which end of a screwdriver to hold.
(kim)
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kim wrote:

Some people eventually feel like that. It's not the experts' fault, however. It's each modellers choice to use what advice you like and discard the rest. If you don't choose, you loose.
--
Venlig hilsen
Erik Olsen
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Hehe, well my friend isn't much of a handyman when it comes to model railways. He always gets me to help out his son when something's not working right...
Ian J.
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The blunt end.
--
Martin S.

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kim wrote:

I think my father knew - although he never actually did hold one.
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Probably one the one's who realised that letting in be know he could "mend things" would would be the end of any personly favoured recreational activities and the start of "can you just..." ;-)
Richard
--
www.beamends-lrspares.co.uk snipped-for-privacy@beamends-lrspares.co.uk
I have become... comfortably numb
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On 22/06/2007 17:12, kim said,

I think there was some subliminal thinking in that sentence ;-)
--
Paul Boyd
http://www.paul-boyd.co.uk /
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Sometimes publicising an issue like this posting (which was copied to Simon Kohler at Hornby) gets quite pleasing results.
I've had two emails from Simon Kohler offering to 'restore my customers faith in Hornby' and an email and phone call from Hornby's Customer Care Manager apologising on behalf of the company, and confirming that a replacement Elite controller is now in the post for my customer.
Those on here who think think I'm anti-Hornby, will note that I offer praise when it's due, and I believe it's due here.
Thanks to all at Margate who took an interest - good result. :-)
John, 53A Models, Hull.
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John Turner wrote:

Excellent, good that they have corrected what was clearly a mistake.
--
To Reply, delete what is "Not Required" in abbreviated form

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That remains to be seen. All they've done so far is "promise". I doubt very much that the person who "didn't like John's Attitude" has been removed from their position or that the same thing won't happen again at some time in the future.
(kim)
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Why remove them from their position? Just give them some "retraining" (i.e. a severe dressing down on SK's office carpet, and being told not to be so stupid in future).

--
Jane
British OO, American and Australian HO, and DCC in the garden
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