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Having had some experience in the retail industry, I really can't believe the service standards generally in the UK. I'm not just talking hobbies here, but all retail in general.
Perhaps this standard of service is becoming the norm now, but I have found many UK companies very lax as far as customer care is concerned.
My pet hates are:-
1) "Railway Modeling" shops that sell all sorts of other models, where the staff don't know about the goods they sell (If you are a UK based modeller, you know the model shop chains who are the chief culprits).
2) "Railway Modeling" shops that treat you as if you are an idiot for asking any type of question (stand up and take thunderous applause Pecorama)
3) Mail Order shops / internet sites that don't like you contacting them with anything but an order (more rapturous applause for Rails of S)
4) Manufacturers who can't tell the difference between Mid 2006 / November 2006 / Early 2007 / any time we get it done, when announcing the release dates for new models (cue Bachmann, Hornby, Heljan, Old Uncle Tom Cobly and all) --- oops sorry Bachmann, didn't mean to upset you, please don't stop sending me press releases.
5) People who accept bad service with a shrug of the shoulders and an air of inevitability --- Because it's your fault (and mine) for putting up with bad service for so long.

I'll get off my soapbox now because there are many shining lights in this hobby of ours. Mainly the local model shop, the small mail order "cottage industry" suppliers and our cousins across the pond, who for some reason seem to be genuinely interested in being as helpful as possible.
I'm glad I'm not a British Outline modeller living abroad, that must be hell.

To all our UK suppliers that may read this --- Have a nice day !!!
 
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