although I've never actually used them, the website itself apears to
be professionally run and meets all legal requirements. It's also a fairly
busy website, by model railway standards, which is also a good sign.
The two things that would put me off buying from them are the lack of an
email address on the "contact us" page - instead, they just supply a web
form for email - and the requirement to register before making a purchase.
But that's poor design rather than any indication of bad practice; if
neither of those bother you then that's not a problem.
Rails of Sheffield have a very good reputation; I've bought from them in
the past and would have no hesitation doing so again. If you're looking for
second hand stuff then their eBay shop is also worth perusing, although you
do need to bid sensibly as a lot of eBay auctions tend to end up at
They can be a bit slow in delivering and not very helpful when you
enquire about your order, in my limited experience. I prefer to use
hattons or support my local shopd wheer possible. Kernow are alos
worth a look if you are buying on price.
I have not looked at the site, but if it does not provide a trading address
and the names of the proprietors who are conducting the business, then
it does NOT "meet all legal requirements" under EU law.
It does. It's got all the legally required information on it, including
trading address and VAT number. it's just that these aren't really relevant
from a customer services perspective - email is far more useful in this
It is important that those who would be the customers of Internet-based
mail order know that they are dealing with a bona fide business and not
a fly-by-night operation that will disapppear as soon as credit card
details are revealed.
Why did you bother to post?
I did at least take a quick look at the site and was please to see a telephone
number and proper details ... I can quite understand why the 'email' is not
included and the contact page is a suitable secure replacement. I would expect
to receive a reply with a usable email address if I wanted to contact them.
Posting a warning if you did NOT find the site met your requirements would have
had a point, but not bothering to even check ........
Had you bothered to simply glance at the site you would have seen that your
coments were a waste of time. The reasurance would have been appropriate if you
said 'I've dealt with them' rather than 'I can't be bothered to look' ;)
Had *I* found something that was suspect THEN I would have reported that ...
As it is all I find is a site that is out of stock of anything that I might be
interested in buying :)
Hattons and bargepole - although it is nearly 10 years since used them. If
going on price then I like Rails, theyve always been quick at delivery for
me as well.
However if you want reasonable price, quickest delivery and highest
confidence in product and retailer then go for John at 53a models. he doesnt
have website ordering, but answers emails very quick like. Phone him in the
morning and if its in stock is usualy in the post by the afternoon to be
delivered the next day. Thats just standard post as well.
Both of the above are a pleasure to deal with. They are well used to
dealing with overseas clients and automatically deduct VAT outside the EU.
Hattons provides a personal touch by identifying the staff you deal with,
as well as providing a range of ways of contacting them by phone, fax,
email, snail mail or in person at their retail shop. Gaugemaster adds a
£2.00 "small orders handling charge".
Perhaps if you had worded your message differently? As it was, quoting
from the person who had checked and reported that it was OK, it just
looked like you were trying to implying that poster didn't know what
they were talking about.