Being jinx I could be, rather would think manufactured consumer goods are not the same quality as years gone by.
It is a fact that modern manufactured goods no longer are checked or tested when leaving the assembly line - the modern method now is to take a percentage sample of say 100 in 5000 and the rest of the batch sent out for distribution to the retailers. Now it leaves 4900 items that probably has a percentage of rejects or at least something faulty. The manufacturers, reckon it is both labour saving and less costly, for the consumers to send back a few of the 4900 for replacement, than to employ several people to check and test all 5000 items.
No doubt that my engines were part of the say 4900 and most unlucky to be part of buying one faulty engine.
Reason for dealing direct and not with the retailer, is simple - usual talk is that the retailer has not the facilities or staff to diagnose a fault or the capital to carry higher stocks to cover replacement. The retailer will certainly say that he will send back the faulty item to the manufacturer - how long will the item remain at the retailers premises? It is long enough to wait as it is for the manufacturer to get round and examine the said faulty item. If a retailer exchanges and item over the counter, it is because the retailer has been told by the manufacturer to do so at no cost to the retailer.
With regards to Heljan, I enquired as to possible reasons for the Class 47 slowing down for no reason - Heljan said it was difficult to diagnose trouble by exchange of correspondence and much quicker for me to send the Class 47 to their factory for examination.
On several occasions, where a model has been returned for examination to the manufacturer - model is sent back in the same condition as sent and no enclosed note to say what had been found.
I certainly envy people who never or have ever bought a defective item - you lucky people.
All my model engines and rolling stock, were bought from model shops and authorised dealers. I am now determined not to buy any future models from retailers by post or any retailer located in excess of thirty miles radius from my home address - choice will be curtailed but hope a reduction in being a hassle.