Customer Service & Support

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Bruette

Well-Known Member
I have to start this thread with Lionel. In my experience they are by far the best and not just in the toy train market. They are the best company I have ever dealt with. Even better than Microsoft or Intel. I never thought I would say that! Being self-employed for most of my life, in a plethora of successful business ventures I can conservatively say I've dealt with hundreds of vendors.

Lionel repaired a locomotive I bought, but never opened until it was months past the expiration of the warranty. They sent me a free shipping label to send the locomotive to them. Once they received it they repaired it in a matter of days and returned it to me free of charge. They included a letter thanking me for being a Lionel customer!

They have quickly answered any and every question I have had, no matter how stupid. Looking back, some of those first questions were pretty stupid!

The online Lionel Store can be a bit expensive, that's understandable. But if you wait and watch for sales and specials you can save 30% or more and get free shipping on orders over $150. Order fulfillment is usually very quick and they communicate with you every step of the way.

Countless videos and documents of support are available from the Lionel website, Lionel YouTube channel and more. My favorite is talktous@lionel.com but I always do my due diligence and try to find an answer in my manuals, books or on the web before I write to them.

I could go on and on about the good experiences I have had with Lionel, but I think you get the point.

Lionel is the Best!
 

Bruette

Well-Known Member
A close second to Lionel in my experience has been MB Klein/Model Train Stuff

I've posted before how Ted Klein and his staff treated me so well over the years. Even when I was only an 11 year old with a few dollars in my pocket.

The sad news is the retail store is no longer open and Ted has retired. I'm also disheartened to see their Lionel and other O gauge inventory shrinking in recent times.

On the bright side, they still have great pricing, service and support!

They are always quick to respond to questions, provide answers and provide return authorizations for warranties.

I've had countless positive experiences with MB Klein over these many years and I have never had even a single truly negative experience.
 

Bruette

Well-Known Member
Graham's Trains has been good for me to deal with. Good pricing, nice variety of used Lionel and quick, reasonably priced shipping. Everything I have bought has always been just as it is described/shown on his website.
 

Bruette

Well-Known Member
Train World has been good for me over all. Pricing could be better, but specials are not bad. Shipping is reasonably priced and fairly quick. I like that they take back orders and preorders.

They have a large Lionel inventory, that's a good thing for me!

I was recently disappointed, I had a question about 2 MTH products on their website. I emailed them on April 27th and I have yet to hear anything from them.
 

Bruette

Well-Known Member
Amazon as a toy train supplier is a horse of another color.

Sometimes Amazon has prices that can't be beat! Nobody can beat Amazon for Lionel RTR sets when they are on sale, nobody! If you are looking for a Polar Express set wait until it get close to thanksgiving and save over $100! The Polar Express and other Lionel sets also go on sale throughout the year.

Amazon has a huge selection, but there is no continuity and much of what they have listed for toy trains is from third party sellers.

If the item is for sale by Amazon don't bother with questions, unless it's related to price or availability. You can contact third party sellers, but the level of service depends on the individual seller.

Amazon service and support is mostly limited to returns, but they will stand behind your purchase no matter who sells it on Amazon.com.

It's not only Lionel they sell cheap. I bought a Bachmann HO GG1 PRR "4935" Brunswick Green 5 Stripe DCC Sound Value for $79.95 from Amazon and it was at my door in two days!

If you are looking for something, anything, a quick search of Amazon is worth your time. You might be surprised how cheap they can be!
 

Selector

Well-Known Member
Don't want to be a Debbie Downer, but trainworld is not all okay in my books. They ask how you want your purchase delivered, and I dutifully tell them to please send it USPS because the couriers will charge me about 15% of the purchase price for 'customs brokerage fees' at the Canadian border. That means I pay them twice since I pay them to take possession at the seller's place of business, and then once again for the privilege of having them deliver my purchase to me. Last time, and I do mean last time, trainworld sent it via courier, and it did indeed cost me another $30 to have the item in my hands. When I complained, they sent back a word shrug, saying it amounted to the same cost.

Microsoft will not help you with their software much unless you agree to their 'Assure' maintenance plane. It's a paid subscription service to chat or to converse over the phone with reps from off-shore.
 

Bruette

Well-Known Member
Crandell, you are not a "Debbie Downer" You have to tell it like it is!

Sounds like Train World has a communication problem. I have not bought very much from them. A little over $1500, that amounts to only a dozen transactions. I'm not a good representative sample.

Microsoft and I go back to the Systems Builder Program. I bought operating systems and other software for my own brand of private label computers and they treated me fantastic!

My only retail experience with Microsoft is buying software and Xbox support for my grandson. Xbox support is great, but I have never needed support for anything else. Now that I think of it; I did have a problem. A few years ago Microsoft screwed up my automatic subscription renewal for Office. They gave me 6 months free to make it up. Again, I'm not a good representative sample.
 




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