ZTC's Dreadful Service

Hi All This might be of interest to those of you seeking to purchase DCC chips and bits from ZTC.
While I don't really object to paying 7.5 pence per minute to ring the
states etc, this kind of charge made by a UK company to contact their order line to order their products seems to be a bit rich. Rip off springs to mind.
I do however object to overcharging for the manual supplied - after I had been told it would be supplied free of charge with the chip. Another 12.50 [plus VAT] to ZTC. Well as a British company they probably need all the help that they can get and who knows they might actually survive if they keep at it :0)
Then of course we come to support. No don't laugh [although it is laughable] I can just hear those of you who know better saying "Wot another idiot" :0) It is as always only as good [or not] as the guy who answers the telephone [at 7.5 pence per minute of course]. Then when this fails because the guy was clueless [a very with hindsight problem with lighting] you can always phone back to speak to someone better informed, [yes at 7.5 pence etc] and take the opportunity to complain to the boss. Lots of excuses [expensive excuses on that number] and promises of better service in the future. Along with a refund [still waiting].
The above is generally meant to be a tongue in cheek swipe at the sadly too usual sort of service supplied by UK companies. However I "was" quite interested in ZTC equipment. Sadly no longer. So please be warned. After all you might be the next idiot in line for a repeat of my enlightening experience. [Couldn't resist the pun]
Cheers.
--
Roy

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wrote:

an aside on call costs: goto www.telestunt.co.uk - use their 0844 number and calls to the states are 2p per minute.
My missus calls her folks in Hungary for 2p/min, down from 18p with previous carrier that we thought was a good deal :o)
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snipped-for-privacy@talk21.com writes

I used the US purely as an example. I use VOIP and always pay usually less than 1p per minute to the US under the "cheapest carrier cheapest route" scheme and of course all calls to others on the VOIP system within the UK are completely free. However I strongly object to rip off merchants fooling the unwary punter, who will possibly not be able to check charges on a per call basis as a matter of routine until his itemised bill arrives and so gets ripped off with 0845 numbers used by organisations to take advantage of the unwary. Incidentally [still OT] even the UK Pensions Service uses the 0845 number scam.
As you so rightly state calls to the US are indeed much cheaper than the 0845 numbers used by various organisations within the UK. The cure - is to refuse to use an 0845 number using the look up alternative direct dial on the net, or even better by using E-mail and forcing the organisations concerned to either give you a standard toll number to call them or to write to you. Great fun this and costs them a fortune.

VOIP at both ends will allow you to make the call for either a half pence per minute or indeed for free :0)
Thanks for the info.
--
Roy

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Roy wrote:

I assume you mean 0870, 089* or 09* - as an 0845 number is the same cost as a local call. Finding a geographic number for an 0845 number will cost you *more* than ringing the 0845 number, if the geographic number is not local to you.
0870 is the same as a national call, and can be saved on if you live near where the calls terminate, but most of the country will not benefit from knowing the real number - the calls will cost the same to either.
The real vicious ones are the 089* or 09* numbers. They can be several pounds per minute. Knowing the real number can be very useful if you have to ring one of these.
James Moody
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(\ | aka: Major Denis Bloodnok
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James Moody wrote:

For most people an 0845 number is considerably more expensive than a geographic local call (while still not very expensive in absolute terms).

Ditto. 0870 is no longer the same as a national call (at least with most telecom providers).
Mark Thornton
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Dead right. The previous poster is mistaken. There was a time when 0845 was the same as local and 0870 the same as national. But that has all changed in the last couple of years. There are deals around all over the place and local calls can be free and national calls almost free. But 0845 and 0870 numbers are not included in those deals. Just like ISP numbers for your computer dial up. Result? There are tons of punter's money to be given away. I had a very nice chap around my office today explaining how we could make money out of 0845. Basically we get big rebates off the 0845 provider. All we have to do is think of something to make people phone our answering machine. Perhaps a deliberate defect in our product would do it. Nothing too drastic, maybe just a vital step missing from the assembly leaflet.
Oh, and the main difference between BT and the other telco's? You won't be surprised that it comes down to BT giving smaller rebates and keeping more of the punter's money for themselves. Greed is good and is the future of the British economy.
Cheers, Steve
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Not so! 0970 calls can be charge loaded at the request of the account holder. This was confirmed by the account holder at ZTC this morning. I now have the geographical number for this company. 01458 837830. This is handy for those who have opted out of the BT charging system and are using cheaper carriers.
Some companies charge anything up to two pounds a minute on 0970 as the numbers are used as support lines. It is also impossible to ring these calls at a much cheaper rate from VOIP providers as the numbers are not geographical across the system and access is controlled by BT. In most cases the excuse BT use for persuading companies to use these numbers by the way is portability.

Knowing the 'real' number should be a right and this kind of deliberate rip off used as a trap for the unwary should be outlawed.
Apologies to all for the OT posting. At least we have the number now that can be used at half a p per minute peak.
Cheers.
--
Roy

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Roy, why are you banging on about 0970 numbers, when the post you are replying to was about 0870 numbers?
--
Jane
OO in the garden http://www.yddraiggoch.demon.co.uk/railway/railway.html
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Comes from late nights and real ale - 'Hic' The original posting concerned a single 0870 number but which developed into the misconceptions about both 0845 and 0870. Both being BT perpetrated rip off systems that seem to go unnoticed by the greater majority who seem to like large telephone bills :0)
Incidentally as a follow up to the original post I finally managed to get my refund out of ZTC which the MD assured me had been done by a card refund first thing on Monday. He then sent me the refund slip which arrived this morning dated and timed at 09.36 on 17/08, which happened to coincide with a frank exchange of views over the phone.
I will not be using this company again I assure you.
Cheers.
--
Roy

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Here in Canada (at least) VOIP carries a monthly charge which is greater than what I usually pay for long-distance calls through a pay-per-call discount provider, plus you have to buy the modem. VOIP is useless during a power outage (as are cordless landline phones) or internet service interruption. Many package plans from Bell Canada and other suppliers carry hidden monthly "network charges", or have monthly minimums.
Of course, unlimited local calls are included in the basic ~11 monthly landline rental (not including those "features" they keep trying to push like Call Display, Call Waiting, Call Answer, etc...) I got so fed up with Bell begging me to use their long-distance service and "frill" features I had them put me on their do-not-call list - twice!
--
Martin S.

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Yuk! Here we have a number of choices somewhat sullied by the fact that one has to pay line rental to BT as a penance for having an Internet connection. A levy is also made against part of the payment made to the ISP used so it's very much a case of pay twice. However calls between VOIP units are free. Modem costs are minimal and any old PC can be used as a PBX unit and made to do all sorts of 'interesting' things.

Very true. Very much a case of mobile to the fore and hope the power outage is local.

I can run all of these systems from the 'old' PC used as my server. I especially like having lots of telephone numbers which can be directed to specific handsets or extensions
Cheers.
--
Roy

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If it's major, the mobile/cell system overloads and/or the transmitters go down. Furthermore, you can't charge your battery.
Anyway, I don't have a mobile (well, I do but I haven't used it in 5 years and it's obsolete).
--
Martin S.

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Roy wrote:

Not true anymore, you can shift your line rental to other providers. I now get broadband and line rental from TalkTalk plus free evening and weekend calls plus free calls anytime to other talktalk customers (ie most of the family).
MBQ
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I am extremely fussy about broadband and require a broadband facility not just a simple connection to the Internet through some sort of proxy. TalkTalk do not provide the type of broadband facility that is suitable for my needs.
I don't really want to swap one bunch of extortionists for another either :0) I would like to cease the line rental altogether and retain my existing AAISP broadband connection. BT will not allow that unfortunately. They will not even allow you switch to the light user scheme or at least wouldn't the last time that I tried the ploy.
Cheers.
--
Roy

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snipped-for-privacy@talk21.com wrote:

From Canada we can phone China for 2p a minute - the same as phoning 50 miles! But it's 4p to Western Europe (or a flat 45p for 20 minutes).
When I came to Canada (40 years ago this month) it cost 1 a minute to phone the UK, and you had to book ahead and wait for the operator to call you. That would be close to 20 today! Airmail was 15 cents, now $1.45.
Also, I can buy a 32" LCD flat/widescreen TV for a lower equivalent price than I paid for a 20" VHF-only colour set in the early 1970s.
--
Martin S.

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------------ snipped -----------

Roy, if you are not already a member, may I suggest that you join the DCCUK newsgroup?
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DCCUK /
Firstly you will get good advice from proponents of all of the various companies equipment. It can of course get difficult sorting all the advice out! Bad advice generally gets jumped on!
Secondly, well it just would be fun to see the replies there to your problem! Nothing malicious intended on my part, but I don't think you are the first to have these sort of problems with this particular company.
We don't live in a perfect world and there isn't a perfect DCC system. Some are definitely better than others though.
The buy UK argument doesn't sway where my hard worked for cash goes. But I wouldn't tar all UK companies with the same brush, far from it.
Regards
Len
OT PS
http://www.telediscount.co.uk/ give me 1p/min to Germany etc.. Very useful for keeping in touch with friends and family.
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"Len" wrote

I'm a great believer in buying British, but the product has to be worthy of attracting my cash which is why when I switched to DCC I bought Lenz. I'd heard so many indifferent comments about ZTC and its reliability and that, coupled with the outrageously expensive prices convinced me that British was not best in this instance.
John.
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I dunno why you would want to buy British, John, when there is no national will to actually make anything. One of my clients was the last company making jewellry in Britain. We had a visit from some local authority chaps who made it clear that there were over 100 government agencies with the power to shut us down, and if we didn't see sense and stop making things, we would find ourselves getting visited by every one of them at least once a week. They then dangled some government money in front of us. A re-zoning of our street from industrial to leisure, a quick compulsory purchase order for the site, and the developers could move in and sling up apartments, casinos, and bars. Binge drinking and gambling are the government's greatest money-spinners after motoring and parking penalties.
Well, what could I advise my client? We took the money and ran. Sacked over 200 production workers and moved production to China. Relocated 15 designers and became a jewellry design and marketing company. It's wonderful - no more nasty soldering, acid processes or toxic alloys. And as for the prices...
The elimination of British manufacturing industry is good. Media PR and compliance monitoring are the future of employment in this country.
Cheers, Steve
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"Steve W" wrote

Because at the end of the day it keeps British workers in jobs.
In the model railway industry there is a serious will to manufacture in this country, but sadly only Peco of the bigger players actually do so. The hobby is however supported by scores of small manufacturers who produce excellent British made & designed kits & detailing parts all of which greatly enrich my/our enjoyment of the hobby.
If we were to rely totally on the big boys with their Chinese produced models, then we'd have nothing capable of taking us beyond the basic train set stage of the hobby.
John.
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What about Dapol (if you include Wales)?
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Martin S.

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