Received Damaged - Kalmbach looking at their system for replacements

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Received Damaged - Kalmbach looking at their system for replacements
Posted by wrmcclellan on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 9:12 AM

Edit - changed the post title to reflect discussions yesterday with Kalmbach Cust Svc - the discussion summary is in my post below.

_________________

The "Winter 2017" Classic Trains issue did not arrive intact this week.

In fact all I received was the magazine outer wrapper with a stamp in red from the USPS that read "RECEIVED DAMAGED".

It is rare that I have to contact Kalmbach about a missing issue. The last time I called was years ago and I was able to speak to a human being and the issue was resolved in about 1 minute.

Yesteday I used the website to locate the contact phone number for CT and the number I finally found lead me into an IVR (Integrated Voice Response) system. As the system did not directly address my issue and it was somewhat inspecific, I may have accidentally directed the system to "add a magazine" to my subscription vs receiving a replacement. There is no case or tracking # provided so I have nothing as proof of contact or to use to contact Kalmbach to assist them in fixing my mistake.

So I proceeded back into the Kalmbach web page abyss for electronic contact and again faced a system that turned out to be incorrect to address my particular issue.

The "system" only provided the Fall 2017 issue to select as a missing issue. At the time I was forced to assume that the "September 1 2017" was the most recent issue as the system did not provide a later choice and I could not find my Fall issue to check the picture.

The system does not use Spring/Summer/Fall/Winter as used by CT on the covers. If one checks the Index page of the magazine - in fine print at the bottom it states "published quarterly in January (Spring), April (Summer), July (Fall), and October (Winter). So CT on the replacement issue web page is not even using the publication months specified in the magazine.

I fnally found my Fall 2017 issue to figure out afterwards that in neither case with the IVR or the web contact will I receive a replacement for the Winter 2017 issue.

I tried to correct my issues with an electronic contact and again was faced with having to select 'general inquiry' or something to that effect. All I recieved in return was a generic web page response with something like 'thank you for contacting us'.

Thus this post.

1. Editors (or whoever) - please correct any errors I have made and send me a replacement for the Winter 2017 issue.

2. Please correct me on any errors I may have made in attempting to contact you. My issue could certainly be self-inflicted, but in my defense it is not a clean, well thought out, system (see my further comments below).

3. Please fix your inaccuate descriptions of the magazine on the "replacement" page (i.e. use Spring/Summer/Fall/Winter and publication dates as listed in your magazine index page).

4. If you are going to use IVR and your automated web system, then have the IVR provide a tracking # and the web system automatically send an email (to the email on file and that was used to log in) that reiterates your original inquiry and that you contacted CT for a specific issue (with a tracking #) - (as as most similar systems provide). This response allows one to ensure you have received the issue and that I can check that I entered the issue correctly.

5. The IVR system is very inspecific with comments such as "the issue is in the mail" and you may receive it shortly? Please go through the IVR in detail and ensure it is useful.

This missing issue has cost me over an hour of my time. Something that could have been resolved in 1 minute with a simple phone call with a human being.

 

Regards, Roy

            

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 9:31 AM

May I suggest that in addition to this posting, the you contact the Editor at his Kalmach website.  Not sure I got the name or spelling right, since I do not have the magazine directly in front of me (may correct thsi tomorrow moring), but I think your email should be sent to:

rmacdonals@classictrains.com

If you can, scan the  "package" as received from UPS and use the resultling jpg or bmp or pdf as an attachment.

You will get the results you want.

Dave

 

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Posted by wrmcclellan on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 10:51 AM

Dave,

I did send a mail to editor@classictrainsmag.com (as noted in the mag welcome page) and sent the scan separately since many systems today reject unsolicited mails with attachments due to security/malware concerns.

I will further note I have been a subscriber to Classic Trains and Classic Toy Trains since the inception of both magazines. I have been a subscriber to Model Railroader on and off since the mid-60's with the last stretch since 1989.

Regards, Roy

            

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Posted by Rob McGonigal on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 10:55 AM

Roy,

I'm sorry for the difficulties you have had. I also received your email on this and will respond further to that.

Editor, Classic Trains magazine

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Posted by wrmcclellan on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 11:43 AM

Rob,

Thank you.

All, Rob sent me an email and looped in the Cust Svc Mgr to see what could be done about the issues I raised, some of which others have encountered. A replacement magazine will be sent. I should add there was never any doubt that a replacement would be provided. Kalmbach has always been good about replacements.

Thanks again!

Regards, Roy

            

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Posted by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 12:03 PM

I miss talking to the girls who worked for Kalmbach's customer service department in Waukesha.  Wonder what A.C. Kalmbach, DPM, Rosemary Entringer and Lynn Westcott would think about this malarky today?

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Posted by Deggesty on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 1:14 PM

Trinity River Bottoms Boomer

I miss talking to the girls who worked for Kalmbach's customer service department in Waukesha.  Wonder what A.C. Kalmbach, DPM, Rosemary Entringer and Lynn Westcott would think about this malarky today?

 

Having talked, in person, with Mr. Morgan and Miss Entringer, I am confident that they would be horrified at such reaction, or lack thereof, to your request.

Johnny

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 4:28 PM

It appears that the 21st Century can't afford 20th Century civility.  Heaven forbid that a REAL PERSON answer a customer service line.  Jump through 10 hoops and a dozen hurdles and then you MAY be able to contact a living human organism (hopefully not located in Mumbai).

         

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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Posted by Goodtiming on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 7:45 PM

delete

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Posted by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer on Thursday, November 30, 2017 5:05 AM

Friend Greg M. of Tampa FL purchased Winter CT off the newsstand last week.  I'm still waiting to receive my pre-paid subscription copy in the mail.

So far this year, the USPS has lost two registered letters I mailed from Germany to my credit union in Tampa with no explination as to why they were not delivered.  The Deutsche Post traced them and they did leave Frankfurt!  Wanna bet the USPS "lost" your copy of CT too!

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Posted by wrmcclellan on Friday, December 01, 2017 1:15 PM

I had a nice phone discussion with Ms. James of Kalmbach's cust svr department yesterday.

She is looking into the issues I encountered, agreed with many elements, and will be looking into how things could be improved.

Particularly - request for replacement issues, how they are described (i.e. make sure of appropriate publication "dates"), and when they are available via the web site.

Availability of the damaged issue in my case was an issue I encountered. The Winter issue just shipped recently and there is a lag from when they are shipped to when one can access replacements. The lag is to try and prevent requests for "missing issues" (vs damaged) prior to allowing sufficient time for the issue to arrive. We discussed how this could be noted so a subscriber feeling an issue was not delivered would know when it is appropriate to request a replacement.

The damaged issue is a bit different in that this occurred before the visibility of the Winter issue (for replacement via the website) and she understood this. Note that as of yesterday the Winter issue now shows up on the web site when earlier this week it di not. So we are not talking an extreme amount of time.

Had I tried a couple of days later I likely would have found the Winter issue in the replacements selection.

So Kalmbach is looking into this in addition to further examining the IVR system as it is a bit too generic for the quarterly distribution of CT. This item is a little tougher.

Thanks to the folks at CT and Kalmbach for taking the time to work on improving the system!

 

Regards, Roy

            

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Posted by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer on Friday, December 01, 2017 4:42 PM

What happened to the girls who worked for Kalmbach customer service in Waukesha?  It was always a pleasure to talk with them.  You can't beat real human beings to handle your problems.

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