I began some few years back by buying an MTH R-T-R set and have since purchased 2 more engines, various cars and various accessories and additional RealTrax pieces. Recently, I've begun to wonder if I went the wrong way. By that, I mean NOT my decision to go with O gauge, but my decision to go with MTH.

I have, at various times over the past several months/years, tried to communicate with MTH regarding various topics such as service, sales, product information, to name 3.

It hasn't been pleasant. I am now wondering if MTH is anything other than some folks who have contacts in the Chinese manufacturing community and are able to arrange for delivery of those products to the port of Baltimore for subsequent shipment to dealers.

I'm wondering if any of you train enthusiasts out there have any interesting experiences along the lines I've mentioned, I'd be interested in hearing about them.

For example, have any of you sent an email regarding anything other than sales and received a reply within the advertised 3 days?

One of the things I'm not sure about is whether the MTH company intends for the ordinary customer to be able to deal directly with them concerning parts/service/information, or do they intend for the customer to communicate with one of the company's "authorized" service facilities or dealers!

If people don't buy MTH O gauge, what do they buy -- Lionel?

RayL

RTFM

Original Post

Nothing wrong with your decision to go with MTH. I have had very good service from them. By far, my preferred method of contact is by phone, that has worked every time for me. That is true with both MTH and Lionel.

I have emailed MTH about their MTHRRC and gotten a reply. If I remember correctly the reply didn't take too long, but I can't say for sure how long it actually took as it has been a few years. I don't normally use email to contact them.  

I have items from MTH, Lionel and Atlas and I think they all provide good products and service. I have contacted them all more than once by phone with very pleasing results every time. I am very happy with the service that all of these folks have provided me. 

As a side note, I got back in the hobby a few years ago, also with an MTH starter set and it has grown from there. And grown quite a bit.

rtr12 posted:

Nothing wrong with your decision to go with MTH. I have had very good service from them. By far, my preferred method of contact is by phone, that has worked every time for me. That is true with both MTH and Lionel.

I have emailed MTH about their MTHRRC and gotten a reply. If I remember correctly the reply didn't take too long, but I can't say for sure how long it actually took as it has been a few years. I don't normally use email to contact them.  

I have items from MTH, Lionel and Atlas and I think they all provide good products and service. I have contacted them all more than once by phone with very pleasing results every time. I am very happy with the service that all of these folks have provided me. 

As a side note, I got back in the hobby a few years ago, also with an MTH starter set and it has grown from there. And grown quite a bit.

Thank you very much, rtr12, for your reply. It is well written and addresses exactly what I was asking about. So often replies are both minimal and address only a small portion of what the post is about.

Sounds like we have similar experience. Perhaps I over reacted and should just hang in there with MTH -- I do like the trains I bought!

I'm currently building 3 tables to support my new layout (6.5 ' x 10 '). It uses 6 RH & 6 LH switches, which I'm in the process of acquiring. I'm also planning a new wiring arrangement. I buy my wire, spade lug terminals and barrier strip terminal blocks from DigiKey in Thief River Falls, MN.

I currently use an MTH DCS Commander and thinking about going with the remote approach (TIU Remote Handheld Set and 1 AIU).

I must have stripped the screw on the output connection of the Commander and am trying to find out from MTH if I can buy the terminal block that houses the 2 screw-down compression connections on the connector board inside the Commander. This is what caused me to wonder about my decision to stick with MTH and prompted my post on this forum.

I have a feeling that MTH only knows how to sell something that has a part number and appears on an exploded drawing of parts. So far, I've failed to find such a drawing or list of parts.

Maybe, they'll sell the connector board which provides a home for all connectors on the back of the Commander? We'll see how it goes in the next few days.

Do you have any DCS Remote experience?

I'm also wondering about the wisdom of updating PS2 to PS3 in the engines I have (about $175/engine). Any thoughts?

Again, thanks for the excellent reply.

Ray

RTFM

Are you talking about the DCS Remote Commander or the DCS Commander?  If you're talking about the green terminal strips on the DCS Commander, I'd be a bit surprised if they have them, but you can buy them from places like Digikey or Mouser.

DCS Remote Commander

DCSRC

DCS Commander

DCSC

 

Attachments

Photos (2)

I purchased my first PS3.0 engine last fall and e-mailed MTH a question about an instruction manual and never got a reply. Fortunately, my engine has been working - although I am still not sure how long I need to wait after powering up before addressing and moving out.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

Are you talking about the DCS Remote Commander or the DCS Commander?  If you're talking about the green terminal strips on the DCS Commander, I'd be a bit surprised if they have them, but you can buy them from places like Digikey or Mouser.

DCS Remote Commander

DCSRC

DCS Commander

DCSC

 

Thanks 'gunrunner'. I am talking about the DCS Commander (What MTH calls the "DCS Commander Controller" (50-1028).

My terminals are black but otherwise the same. I think you're correct about MTH not carrying them as a replacement part. I'll try DigiKey or Mouser.

Thanks again for your reply.

Ray

RTFM

Paul Kallus posted:

I purchased my first PS3.0 engine last fall and e-mailed MTH a question about an instruction manual and never got a reply. Fortunately, my engine has been working - although I am still not sure how long I need to wait after powering up before addressing and moving out.

Paul, does it have the factory manual? Think some of the detailed ones can be downloaded from the item page. And then there is always Barry's book to assist.

Over the past 15 years I have been consistently disappointed in response from MTH parts and service. I don't like to criticize without a possible solution but I am stumped here. The people who work for MTH are dedicated but long waits for parts and lack of response to questions seems to be a major problem. 

 Seems if I have a problem I post it here. I used to E-mail MTH and always got a reply from  Kirstin or was it Kristin. (very knowledgeable with  dcs  )

Lately  I haven't had a  need to call them.

Anyway ,Barry and other s(Marty F and other  techies  keep us up to date.  I sometimes forget that Barry doesn't actually work for MTH  and take  MTH's short comings out on him... He can take it though.   I think this forum is a the way to get things done. 

Paul Kallus posted:

I purchased my first PS3.0 engine last fall and e-mailed MTH a question about an instruction manual and never got a reply. Fortunately, my engine has been working - although I am still not sure how long I need to wait after powering up before addressing and moving out.

Paul; I forgot to address the issue you raised about how long to wait after power-up before "addressing" and moving out.

I'll share what I do using the DCS Commander:

If the Commander is not powered up, I plug it in and then I note the screen -- it comes up in conventional mode ('conv'). I then select DCS mode with the DCS button which applies power to the track as evidenced by the brightly lit lockons. Also, at this point, I may have to select which engine to address commands to. If the engine I want is currently selected, then I press the "startup" button and the engine begins its noise. I can then immediately set the scale speed by scrolling the speed wheel.

I suppose the total time from applying power to the Commander to the point where I set the speed may be around  6 seconds or so.

I hope my comments above actually address what you were asking about -- I never realized there might be a concern over how long a period of time may have to elapse between applying power and addressing the engine to get it moving.

I suppose the electronics might have some 'settling' time.

Are you asking about the time to wait before addressing and 'moving out' because you're doing these operations with a computer rather than manually?

I could imagine the need for building in delays if commands were being issued by a computer rather than physically pressing a button!

Let me know if I'm anywhere near providing any useful comments to you or if I'm 'out in left field'.

Ray

RTFM

RayL posted:
rtr12 posted:

Nothing wrong with your decision to go with MTH. I have had very good service from them. By far, my preferred method of contact is by phone, that has worked every time for me. That is true with both MTH and Lionel.

I have emailed MTH about their MTHRRC and gotten a reply. If I remember correctly the reply didn't take too long, but I can't say for sure how long it actually took as it has been a few years. I don't normally use email to contact them.  

I have items from MTH, Lionel and Atlas and I think they all provide good products and service. I have contacted them all more than once by phone with very pleasing results every time. I am very happy with the service that all of these folks have provided me. 

As a side note, I got back in the hobby a few years ago, also with an MTH starter set and it has grown from there. And grown quite a bit.

Thank you very much, rtr12, for your reply. It is well written and addresses exactly what I was asking about. So often replies are both minimal and address only a small portion of what the post is about.

Sounds like we have similar experience. Perhaps I over reacted and should just hang in there with MTH -- I do like the trains I bought!

I'm currently building 3 tables to support my new layout (6.5 ' x 10 '). It uses 6 RH & 6 LH switches, which I'm in the process of acquiring. I'm also planning a new wiring arrangement. I buy my wire, spade lug terminals and barrier strip terminal blocks from DigiKey in Thief River Falls, MN.

I currently use an MTH DCS Commander and thinking about going with the remote approach (TIU Remote Handheld Set and 1 AIU).

I must have stripped the screw on the output connection of the Commander and am trying to find out from MTH if I can buy the terminal block that houses the 2 screw-down compression connections on the connector board inside the Commander. This is what caused me to wonder about my decision to stick with MTH and prompted my post on this forum.

I have a feeling that MTH only knows how to sell something that has a part number and appears on an exploded drawing of parts. So far, I've failed to find such a drawing or list of parts.

Maybe, they'll sell the connector board which provides a home for all connectors on the back of the Commander? We'll see how it goes in the next few days.

Do you have any DCS Remote experience?

I'm also wondering about the wisdom of updating PS2 to PS3 in the engines I have (about $175/engine). Any thoughts?

Again, thanks for the excellent reply.

Ray

You are welcome, glad it helped. MTH can sell you parts without the part numbers, you just have to call Midge in parts, if she does not answer, leave her a message and she will call you back. If you talk to her you don't need a part number, you can just describe the part and she will find it for you. As for engine manuals they are mostly online now. For the terminal you are looking for, I would try gunrunnerjohn's suggestions first, and yes Digi-Key is a very good outfit to order from, I use them often and have been very happy with them. Large selection of parts, very fast delivery and very reasonable shipping costs.

Not every engine has a manual listed and you have to find them under similar engines. Like if you have a BNSF SD70ACE and it does not have a manual, look at their same models in say a NS or CSX or UP SD70ACE and you may find it there. It will be available under one of the same models somewhere. Maybe others can suggest a better way to find the manuals, but that has worked for me in the past.

I also have a layout of similar size to yours (6'x16') and I am wanting to expand it, but can't figure out what I want to do with it? I have both the full DCS system (TIU and Remote) and a Lionel Legacy 990 system. They work very well together. I wired for DCS as it seems to be the most particular. I later added Legacy by just connecting the one signal wire to the commons on my TIU outputs. I followed the recommended wiring practices described in Barry's book, The DCS Companion. I would recommend it to anyone, lots of good info there.

If you have PS2 I personally don't see a need to upgrade to PS3 unless you have a board failure and it can not be repaired. Then a PS3 upgrade would be in order. Although there some very good advantages to PS3, I don't think it's worth it just to be upgrading. You can replace your PS2 battery with a BCR if you have problems with a battery, much cheaper than upgrading to PS3.

I run all command control and never wait for anything with my PS3 engines, just start them up and run them. If I remember correctly the wait only applies to conventional operation (I'm sure someone will correct me if I am wrong here). My LHS runs a conventional layout in their store and their PS3 engines take a 10-20 seconds or so to even start up after power is applied. They won't do anything until they are ready.

The DCS Commander you have is really for HO. I think you will be much happier with the full DCS system of TIU and remote. I like walking around with my trains while running them which you can easily do with the remote. I also started out with the idea of controlling everything with an AIU, but I didn't have one at the time so I wired all my switches to their included control switches. I have been happy with operating all my switches that way so far and still have not purchased an AIU. I probably will add one when I expand so I can use it to set up routes and things, but I will probably also leave the other switch controls in place as well.

Good luck with your parts ordering and layout construction. This is a great place for help should you need more. Lots of very knowledgeable folks around here and all are willing to help if they can.

one disadvantage about PS 3 engines are that when they have a board problem, the board generally cannot not be repaired, where as if you have a PS 2 3 volt board I would say about 90 % of the time the older ps2 3 volt boards can be repaired pretty reasonably by GGG , George ASC repair Tech who lives in Virigina and is on this forum and is always glad to help some one or repair your ps2 3 volt boards as well!

I think Mth make great trains and have excellent support, helped me many a time and ship rather quickly!

Alan   

o gauge  trains ,music ,computer repair windows 7 and 10!

ASC Tech MTH school completed! 2019 !

gunrunnerjohn posted:

Are you talking about the DCS Remote Commander or the DCS Commander?  If you're talking about the green terminal strips on the DCS Commander, I'd be a bit surprised if they have them, but you can buy them from places like Digikey or Mouser.

DCS Remote Commander

DCSRC

DCS Commander

DCSC

 

gunrunner;

I thought I'd update you on the issue about getting the part I needed (the green connector). I got a call back yesterday(1-15-2015) in response to a message I left for the parts people at MTH. They knew exactly what I wanted and rather than give me a part number so I could order it over the web, the gal just took my info and said she'd send it to me. The part was about $6 and the S/H was about $10. I was told the repair people keep them on hand and that must have been why they were able to sell me one. It's not something you would ordinarily be allowed to order. I probably could have gotten it from DigiKey for much less but I was not willing to struggle to find it in DigiKey's massive inventory of parts (If only I knew the mfg. and the part #).

Thanks for your help.

Ray

RTFM

rtr12 posted:
RayL posted:
rtr12 posted:

Nothing wrong with your decision to go with MTH. I have had very good service from them. By far, my preferred method of contact is by phone, that has worked every time for me. That is true with both MTH and Lionel.

I have emailed MTH about their MTHRRC and gotten a reply. If I remember correctly the reply didn't take too long, but I can't say for sure how long it actually took as it has been a few years. I don't normally use email to contact them.  

I have items from MTH, Lionel and Atlas and I think they all provide good products and service. I have contacted them all more than once by phone with very pleasing results every time. I am very happy with the service that all of these folks have provided me. 

As a side note, I got back in the hobby a few years ago, also with an MTH starter set and it has grown from there. And grown quite a bit.

Thank you very much, rtr12, for your reply. It is well written and addresses exactly what I was asking about. So often replies are both minimal and address only a small portion of what the post is about.

Sounds like we have similar experience. Perhaps I over reacted and should just hang in there with MTH -- I do like the trains I bought!

I'm currently building 3 tables to support my new layout (6.5 ' x 10 '). It uses 6 RH & 6 LH switches, which I'm in the process of acquiring. I'm also planning a new wiring arrangement. I buy my wire, spade lug terminals and barrier strip terminal blocks from DigiKey in Thief River Falls, MN.

I currently use an MTH DCS Commander and thinking about going with the remote approach (TIU Remote Handheld Set and 1 AIU).

I must have stripped the screw on the output connection of the Commander and am trying to find out from MTH if I can buy the terminal block that houses the 2 screw-down compression connections on the connector board inside the Commander. This is what caused me to wonder about my decision to stick with MTH and prompted my post on this forum.

I have a feeling that MTH only knows how to sell something that has a part number and appears on an exploded drawing of parts. So far, I've failed to find such a drawing or list of parts.

Maybe, they'll sell the connector board which provides a home for all connectors on the back of the Commander? We'll see how it goes in the next few days.

Do you have any DCS Remote experience?

I'm also wondering about the wisdom of updating PS2 to PS3 in the engines I have (about $175/engine). Any thoughts?

Again, thanks for the excellent reply.

Ray

You are welcome, glad it helped. MTH can sell you parts without the part numbers, you just have to call Midge in parts, if she does not answer, leave her a message and she will call you back. If you talk to her you don't need a part number, you can just describe the part and she will find it for you. As for engine manuals they are mostly online now. For the terminal you are looking for, I would try gunrunnerjohn's suggestions first, and yes Digi-Key is a very good outfit to order from, I use them often and have been very happy with them. Large selection of parts, very fast delivery and very reasonable shipping costs.

Not every engine has a manual listed and you have to find them under similar engines. Like if you have a BNSF SD70ACE and it does not have a manual, look at their same models in say a NS or CSX or UP SD70ACE and you may find it there. It will be available under one of the same models somewhere. Maybe others can suggest a better way to find the manuals, but that has worked for me in the past.

I also have a layout of similar size to yours (6'x16') and I am wanting to expand it, but can't figure out what I want to do with it? I have both the full DCS system (TIU and Remote) and a Lionel Legacy 990 system. They work very well together. I wired for DCS as it seems to be the most particular. I later added Legacy by just connecting the one signal wire to the commons on my TIU outputs. I followed the recommended wiring practices described in Barry's book, The DCS Companion. I would recommend it to anyone, lots of good info there.

If you have PS2 I personally don't see a need to upgrade to PS3 unless you have a board failure and it can not be repaired. Then a PS3 upgrade would be in order. Although there some very good advantages to PS3, I don't think it's worth it just to be upgrading. You can replace your PS2 battery with a BCR if you have problems with a battery, much cheaper than upgrading to PS3.

I run all command control and never wait for anything with my PS3 engines, just start them up and run them. If I remember correctly the wait only applies to conventional operation (I'm sure someone will correct me if I am wrong here). My LHS runs a conventional layout in their store and their PS3 engines take a 10-20 seconds or so to even start up after power is applied. They won't do anything until they are ready.

The DCS Commander you have is really for HO. I think you will be much happier with the full DCS system of TIU and remote. I like walking around with my trains while running them which you can easily do with the remote. I also started out with the idea of controlling everything with an AIU, but I didn't have one at the time so I wired all my switches to their included control switches. I have been happy with operating all my switches that way so far and still have not purchased an AIU. I probably will add one when I expand so I can use it to set up routes and things, but I will probably also leave the other switch controls in place as well.

Good luck with your parts ordering and layout construction. This is a great place for help should you need more. Lots of very knowledgeable folks around here and all are willing to help if they can.

 

rtr12;

Once again, thank you for your excellent very well thought out comments -- lots of good stuff. I am very much encouraged by all the responses I've received from the folks on this forum. I think I am convinced to stick with MTH and follow your advice regarding using Midge in parts when I need a part. I'll soon receive the connector and I'll solder it on the PCB connector board in the Commander and be back in business. I'm progressing nicely with the construction of the 3 tables I'm building to support the layout and soon I'll order the cable I need for the wiring (from DigiKey). I recently purchased a O31 LH switch on eBay for $32 and will shortly begin acquiring the additional switches and track for the new layout.

As for the DCS Commander vs. the DCS Remote TIU/AIU setup, I'm going to first get things working with the Commander and then retire it in favor of the Remote setup.

One of my upcoming tasks is to clean and lubricate the engines I have (GG1, GP9 Diesel and 2-8-0 Steam) all Pennsylvania. I'm somewhat concerned about cleaning the wheels with a cotton swab moistened with denatured alcohol. The problem I have to to safely apply power to get the engine running while it's upside down so I can access the wheels. I've heard some remarks about boards getting fried doing this. Any thoughts on cleaning the wheels.

You are certainly right about the forum being a good place to get help.

I just hope I can be on the giving side occasionally rather than always receiving.

Thanks again;

Ray

RTFM

docsavage posted:

Over the past 15 years I have been consistently disappointed in response from MTH parts and service. I don't like to criticize without a possible solution but I am stumped here. The people who work for MTH are dedicated but long waits for parts and lack of response to questions seems to be a major problem. 

I am discouraged when I read comments/experiences like yours. I'm hoping the long waits for parts and lack of responses to questions is something we might be able to bring to their attention more forcefully than might have been done in the past. I'm not sure right now how to go about it, but I' considering arranging for a company visit where I might be able to emphasize the need for better customer responses.

I don't live that far from Columbia, MD, so a visit is something I could do. Whether it produces any results will have to be seen later.

I'll be sure to post on this forum the results of my visit to the company, should I go that route.

Did you ever get your issue resolved? (I'm not sure what it was!).

Ray

RTFM

You are very kind.

The person you talked to at MTH may have been Midge? She handles most all of the customer parts orders. I think she has some help, but I also think she knows all the parts and does all the part finding. She is a very devoted employee at MTH and very good at getting you the parts you need. Sometimes it may take her a while, but she is very good at her job. Glad you got your part anyway.

Both Lionel and MTH have a minimum of $9-$10 shipping per order, and there are other companies that have the same policies. I have also ordered things from both MTH and Lionel that were much less than the shipping. Now I try to get multiple items together before placing an order so you can spread the shipping out over all the parts.

Engine maintenance should be described in the engine manuals. When I got back in the hobby I bought an MTH lube kit and that is what I have been using for the lubricants. I lube my engines and rolling stock, but I don't clean much, and to be honest I have never cleaned any of my wheels. I believe some folks use a Dremel tool to clean their wheels, but I forget what Dremel wheels they use? You might try a search here on wheel cleaning, it has been discussed several times? Be sure to wear safety glasses if you try the Dremel method. I probably should take a look at my wheels though. Anyway, I am not a good source for wheel cleaning tips.

Good luck with your layout and getting it all set up. One more tip for the OGR forum, there is a LOT of good information already here too, but I sometimes have difficulty finding it.

Over the past three years in O Gauge I've called MTH several times on service related issues.  Wait times can be 10-30 minutes.  When contacting through the site it has typically been 2 to 4 days before I've received a reply.

Using the Forum has either saved me from sending an engine back for repairs when Troubleshooting would solve the prblem, or has allowed me to be very specific with MTH Service when finally reaching them by phone.  Forum use really streamlines the process.

Thanks for the info Rick K.

I think I may have experienced the 10-30 min hold time when I've called them in the past -- it's been awhile so I probably forgot how long it took. I'm not too concerned about that amount of waiting -- it's been worse with some other folks I've dealt with!

The 2-4 days you mention, I'm assuming is when one uses the capability of the web site to send a message?

The jury is still out on that one but I suspect I'm going to experience just what you've indicated! I think I may actually be in 'wait' mode on a recent message I sent via the website.

I think I'll take the approach you mention and depend heavily on the forum for advice before I invest a lot of time in emailing or calling MTH.

Thanks a lot for your comments.

RTFM

rtr12 posted:

You are very kind.

The person you talked to at MTH may have been Midge? She handles most all of the customer parts orders. I think she has some help, but I also think she knows all the parts and does all the part finding. She is a very devoted employee at MTH and very good at getting you the parts you need. Sometimes it may take her a while, but she is very good at her job. Glad you got your part anyway.

Both Lionel and MTH have a minimum of $9-$10 shipping per order, and there are other companies that have the same policies. I have also ordered things from both MTH and Lionel that were much less than the shipping. Now I try to get multiple items together before placing an order so you can spread the shipping out over all the parts.

Engine maintenance should be described in the engine manuals. When I got back in the hobby I bought an MTH lube kit and that is what I have been using for the lubricants. I lube my engines and rolling stock, but I don't clean much, and to be honest I have never cleaned any of my wheels. I believe some folks use a Dremel tool to clean their wheels, but I forget what Dremel wheels they use? You might try a search here on wheel cleaning, it has been discussed several times? Be sure to wear safety glasses if you try the Dremel method. I probably should take a look at my wheels though. Anyway, I am not a good source for wheel cleaning tips.

Good luck with your layout and getting it all set up. One more tip for the OGR forum, there is a LOT of good information already here too, but I sometimes have difficulty finding it.

As usual, a well written (free of spelling errors and proper grammar) reply. Just in case you're wondering; I didn't major in English -- I simply think we should be able to write well. I majored in Mathematics.

I think it was Midge who called me. I believe you're correct in your assessment of her abilities! She was very precise and matter-of-fact in the handling of my request.

As to the engine maintenance-- I did purchase the lube kit and I intend to follow the recommendations in the manual regarding maintenance. That's why I'm doing the cleaning and lube. Just an hour ago, I was testing the GP9 and wouldn't you know, one of the neoprene tires came off the wheel. I read the manual about how to replace the tire and decided it was too involved (had to remove the trucks). So I got out my handy-dandy spring tool, which I rarely use, and used it to replace the tire. It was much easier than removing trucks.

As for cleaning the wheels, I use denatured alcohol on a cotton swab -- takes off lots of grime.

I have to re-make my engine cradle I built to hold the engine upside down while I clean the wheels. (I'm lining it with soft material of some kind so as to not mar the finish on the engine.)

I'm really appreciating this forum for the sheer volume and broad based experiences it provides for us.

Thanks again.

Ray

RTFM

I would have to say that I have not honestly been happy trying to get to a service tech with an issue. This could be difficult due to the 3 hour time difference being in California.

However, I cannot say enough about Midge and the parts department. She always calls or email me back with what I need.

Quite frankly, I am not sure what I would do without this forum? There is such a wealth of knowledge here, I think I receive better suggestions/recommendations here, as I believe the members here have actually experienced more of the issues brought up here, and the authorized repairmen that chime in have done many more repairs than MTH Service.

That being said, I just enjoy the MTH products too much to stop buying their products, starting from numerous starter sets to top of the line tinplate.

Hope this helps,

JoeG

I had a service issue with one of my PS 3 engines and emailed MTH service.  I sent the email on 1/16/16 and because of the Holiday I didn't a reply until Tuesdays or later.  With the help of Forum members they helped me get the issue resolved.  The point I want to make is that I did get a reply from Kirstin of MTH at 9:23pm last night.  They do reply to emails, it may take a day or so and I'm pretty sure that they receive a lot of them.  I had emailed Midge for some parts and actually received a call from MTH telling me that Midge had received my email and would be in contact with shortly.  That she had a lot of request but would get to me. 

To me that's service with smile.

Joe

 

Trainlover160 posted:

I would have to say that I have not honestly been happy trying to get to a service tech with an issue. This could be difficult due to the 3 hour time difference being in California.

However, I cannot say enough about Midge and the parts department. She always calls or email me back with what I need.

Quite frankly, I am not sure what I would do without this forum? There is such a wealth of knowledge here, I think I receive better suggestions/recommendations here, as I believe the members here have actually experienced more of the issues brought up here, and the authorized repairmen that chime in have done many more repairs than MTH Service.

That being said, I just enjoy the MTH products too much to stop buying their products, starting from numerous starter sets to top of the line tinplate.

Hope this helps,

JoeG

Thanks for your reply, Joe -- it does help. I have heard so many good things about Midge that I'm convinced she is the one who make the parts department shine.

I agree completely with your assessment of the OGR forum -- without it we'd be in a heap of trouble!

Thanks again.

RTFM

JOEP posted:

I had a service issue with one of my PS 3 engines and emailed MTH service.  I sent the email on 1/16/16 and because of the Holiday I didn't a reply until Tuesdays or later.  With the help of Forum members they helped me get the issue resolved.  The point I want to make is that I did get a reply from Kirstin of MTH at 9:23pm last night.  They do reply to emails, it may take a day or so and I'm pretty sure that they receive a lot of them.  I had emailed Midge for some parts and actually received a call from MTH telling me that Midge had received my email and would be in contact with shortly.  That she had a lot of request but would get to me. 

To me that's service with smile.

Joe

 

Joep;

I've received many replies to my initial post regarding whether MTH replies to email requests and whether it make sense to call them. It turns out that when using the phone, you just have to be willing to wait up to 30 min. for service. With email you can get help in 1-3 days but the help will eventually get there.

I did get a call from someone I think was Midge although I'm not really sure and it was in response to me leaving a voice mail about wanting to buy a part.

I ordered the part with the person when they called, but haven't yet received it -- it's been a few days and I'm not really in a hurry anyway.

The bottom line for me regarding my original post is I'm satisfied things are working -- sometime slower, sometime faster, but the system actually works and I've decided to stay with MTH!

Thanks for the reply, joe.

RTFM

I have purchased MTH products exclusively for the last few years; (3) locomotives, (2) transformers and many rolling stock.  I have to say, i'm not satisfied.  I don't run the trains enough for them to break down as often as they seem to do.  For $400, I expect it to work for all the more I use them.  I too have NEVER got a response from MTH by email and frankly their website is horrible.  I'm not an electrical engineer and rely on shops for repairs.  I have a two year old 30-20361 which has malfunctioned twice requiring repair at the factory.  I too think I need to look elsewhere.

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