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In the press reports, Hornby is concerned at present, with slow sales of their products.
Manufacturers should think, of their attitude and lack of interests to customers requests for service and spares, at the moment is non existant.

Bachmann and Fleischmann come to mind, at their after sales attitude. Bachmann shows no interest in general to customer's plea for spares and charge £8.50 before examining a model out of guarantee. I required to send a DMU back to Bachmann for examination - after weeks of waiting, the DMU was returned with the existing fault still apparent - no explanation given.

Fleischman will examine a faulty model under guarantee - taking weeks to return a model and in between correspondence just ignored.

Hornby and Heljan, certainly treat their customers with respect by answering all correspondence sent to them. Hornby on many occasions have posted me small spare parts FOC.

I know that in future, my railway model buying will be with Hornby and Heljan, knowing that my after sales requirements will not be ignored.
 

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With regards to Fleischmann I think it may be the lack of coordination between them and their English distributers. In Germany there are certified repair outlets all over the map which you can find listed in any of the German model railroad magazines.

Which brings me to a totally unrelated matter. I send my locomotives to Vermont which is more than 3,000 miles away to be chipped and order new stuff from an outlet in Canada but you Brit's would think twice about dealing with any German shop that's got to be a lot closer. In this day of a European Market why is that?
 

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In a couple of words, Dennis, it's language and country.
Vermont may be 3,000 miles away but it's still your own country - you could drive there if you wanted to. Canada is so closely related to USA that it makes little difference that there is a border between them. The language is of course the same and this helps enormously.

But for all the European Union's long standing, there are still language difficulties between countries and some mistrust that comes along with that, on top of ancient historical mistrust that goes back for many centuries. I think this will gradually change, given enough time, but UK's 'offshore' island' status makes its inhabitants extremely resistant to 'outsiders', as they are seen.

Hornby in particular do seem to have customer care at the core of their business ethos and that is exemplary. Long may that continue.
 

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I've looked for and almost given up on Fleischmann products.

The Germans have more domain names than anyone in Europe, double that of UK domains. Their web is expansive, but they have perhaps the worst e-commerce netiquette and style that anyone I've seen, combined with a national distrust of online payment systems. Their hobby business is very closed. You can find the same products across the whole country in every little dorp that there is, but the prices will be exactly the same with very little competition and virtually no offer of service to anyone out of their region.

If anyone can, please show me a German site that I can navigate around in English, that has a full range of [German] products at reasonable [competitive] prices, that offers online payment with credit cards or PayPal.
 

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Doug,

Since you live in France can't you just drive to Germany every so often? There are to online shops I deal with for Fleischmann. One is Reynauld's Euro-Imports and the other one is Euro Rail Hobbies the North American importer of Kiss Modellbahnen and Marklin Dealer of the Year (Whatever that means)


I've dealt on a personal level with Walter Menzel of Euro Rail Hobbies and have gotten good service from him.
 
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