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No response from Customer Service?

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  • Member since
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  • From: AU
  • 20 posts
No response from Customer Service?
Posted by rventura on Thursday, December 20, 2018 7:31 PM

Hi. Can anyone give me an alternative method of contacting Kalmbach’s Customer Service? I have sent three emails via the contact page asking about an issue with my subscription. In each case I’ve received the automated “your enquire has been assigned to one of our team” email, but I’ve not had any response.

The reason I sent the email is that my digital copy of the December MR hasn’t appeared in my ZINIO library, like it normally does. I checked my subscription online and it doesn’t expire until December 2019. Oddly, the status says I owe $60, and I wanted to know what that was about, because as far as I know I don‘t owe anything. 

So, is there a backdoor way of contacting the good people at Kalbach? I’m in Australia so I’d rather not have to make an international phone call.

I’ve always had good response from Custoer Service in the past, so this radio silence has come as a surprise.

Thanks for your help, and Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays (choose all that apply Smile).

Regards,

Ron Ventura

Melbourne, Australia

Ron Ventura
Melbourne, Australia
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Posted by BigDaddy on Thursday, December 20, 2018 7:43 PM

rventura
So, is there a backdoor way of contacting the good people at Kalbach? I’m in Australia so I’d rather not have to make an international phone call.

Unless Steve Otte sees this, no.

There are "Free Trials" of VOIP phone calls.  VOIP is a computer phone call.  You would need a headset of some sort.  The international number is 

Outside the U.S. and Canada 1-903-636-1125

Seems to me there was a recent post by someone in the US with a similar problem.  I don't remember if a solution was posted.

Good luck and happy holidays to you too.  You've been here 16 years and 19 posts.  They don't charge you for posting.  Join in the fun.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by Drumguy on Thursday, December 20, 2018 9:16 PM

I’ve had the exact same problem. Generic “your request has been submitted to blah blah...” reply, zero actual response. Three times in last 2 weeks, same result. And this time of year I don’t have 45 minutes to sit on a phone trying to get stuff I already paid for. So far the “new and improved“ customer service needs to be thrown down a stairwell. At this point I’m convinced queries sent via the contact page are being “answered” by a generic reply bot and not forwarded anywhere. 

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Posted by mbinsewi on Thursday, December 20, 2018 9:25 PM

I had to call CS today about the digital archives, and the first thing she asked me "was this about Zino".  So call the CS number.

The whole site seems to be interupted by whatever update they are trying.

Mike.

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Posted by ricktrains4824 on Thursday, December 20, 2018 11:08 PM

I will say this: Zinio has been having "issues" with "losing subscription data" if you don't purchase directly through them.

They "lose" mine every three months, like clockwork. 

When I email them, I get a "The publisher didn't send us your name on the subscription file" response, so I send a screen shot of my subscription info, including the expiration date, and they send the digital mag.

For two months.

Then they do the "The publisher failed to send us your name in the file" excuse again.

So I send them (Zinio) the exact same screen shot, which clearly shows the expiration date of my subscription. (And a screen shot date from like 6 months ago when this became a regular thing... I'm going to need to update my screenshot soon...) And they (Zinio) release the digital mag in about 2 hours or so.

And every time, Zinio blames the publisher for "forgetting" to send the data, when I have sent it too Zinio twice now. (Feb will be 3 Months, as they also "lost" my December info, so, might want to set a reminder in your calander now that you won't get the Feb. edition(s) without contacting Zinio again then if the same pattern holds true...) 

And, the only reason I know it was Zinio? I had called Kalmbach CS number, and they said that this happens with a group of subscribers every month, and Zinio every time says it's the publishers fault, and Kalmbach sends the exact same file every month, minus any expired subscriptions, and it is not the same group missing 2 months in a row. 

Yet, Zinio still says it's a publisher issue... 

So, I also reccommend a phone call. (I know the international phone call was what you didn't want, but it's the best answer I have right now.)

Also, keep in mind that many places are on a holiday break already, (although not likely the entire month, so something else needs to explain that, unless the automated system is not doing its job and forwarding info like was suggested...), and also keep in mind that the Zinio issue is not unique to only you, so many people are probably inquiring about it, so CS may legitimately be busy trying to figure out what in tar-nation is going on with digital subscriptions.

(Caveat time: I don't have a balance due showing on my account, so that part is different than my experience, so only contacting Zinio will most likely not resolve the issue you are having, as if they see a screenshot that says that you owe Kalmbach money on the subscription, you will still probably not get the missing mags. Hence why I say to contact Kalmbach CS directly, something I have not done the past two times, as it wastes both their (Kalmbach CS) time, and mine, when my issue lies with Zinio...) 

Ricky W.

HO scale Proto-freelancer.

My Railroad rules:

1: It's my railroad, my rules.

2: It's for having fun and enjoyment.

3: Any objections, consult above rules.

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Friday, December 21, 2018 2:08 PM

Outsourcing may save money, but it seldom generates good will.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by dknelson on Friday, December 21, 2018 3:52 PM

Yeah I am also on week three of non-response to an emailed inquiry about a subscription issue.  Calling on the phone can be annoying (and use up lots of battery while you are on hold) but as a rule you do get attended to eventually.

I will say however that the "new" Texas-based customer service area which Kalmbach Media has boasted about as an improvement MIGHT be more helpful than the prior one in Florida -- it could hardly be less helpful --but at least the Florida youngsters were either genuinely friendly or under orders to be friendly.  The person in Texas I talked to was very bored and annoyed by my call and took pains to convey that fact to me.

In my experience there is no such thing as out-sourced customer "service."  The outsourcing alone is an indicator of how little your business means.  

Dave Nelson

  • Member since
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  • From: AU
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Posted by rventura on Friday, December 21, 2018 6:40 PM

As they say, ”what a difference a day makes”. I posted a message on the MR Facebook page, and this morning had a message asking me to supply my subscriber number, and they would pass it on to CS for me. Win #1. Also in this morning’s email a notification from Zinio that the February MR was ready to download, which I’ve done. Win #2. Finally, I sent an email to Zinio CS about the January issue, and within an hour had made it available for me to download. Win #3. I still have the question about the $60 account balance, but at least there’s been progress. I thought it only fair to acknowledge the person from the FB page for their help, seeing so many of us have dumped on MR’s Service in here.

Ron Ventura
Melbourne, Australia
  • Member since
    November, 2013
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Posted by Drumguy on Friday, December 21, 2018 9:19 PM

Oddly, February issue showed up in Zinio today, and I didn’t have to throw anyone down a stairwell. Still no January, but I can access that thru the app. Digital Archive is still dead, at least via links on MR sites. Which blows because this is the time of year I really start to use the archives, wether for knowledge or nostalgia.

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Posted by slammin on Saturday, December 22, 2018 7:46 AM

I responded to an email renewal offer from MR in early October. A nice lady found my information and mentioned a better offer which I agreed to. I wanted to pay at that time, but was told a new company was taking over the subscription service and would bill me shortly. Still no bill and sitting on hold several times hasn't solved the problem. My last issue is April, so I do have time to find a solution. This is very frustrating after being a subscriber for decades! 

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Posted by rgetty on Saturday, December 22, 2018 8:12 AM

The Archives has been inaccessible since Sunday, Dec 16th. My TWO contacts to Customer Service have gone unanswerd (except for the auto-generated message about being contacted within 2 business days). 

I must say, I am quite unimpressed with Kalmbach at this point. Nice people and all but my money may be better spent elsewhere. I'm sure not getting the value I expect for what I am paying for.

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Posted by BigDaddy on Saturday, December 22, 2018 8:30 AM

It's disheartening that these threads keep coming up.

Kalmbach is a media company.  They produce books, magazines and online content.  Customers have to be able to pay for it and access it.  We aren't exactly in the pioneer days of the Internet.

Today all sorts of transactions can be done online, with ease.  There are companies most have never heard of, that specialize in the computer end of putting your business online.  You don't need to be a company the size of Amazon or the New York Times to have a successful website. 

Someone high up in management doesn't get one or the other of these concepts.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by richg1998 on Saturday, December 22, 2018 10:01 AM

I am surprised this thread is still here.

I was in a similar one about not being able to log in for at least three weeks and snail mail to Steven did not help. Suggestions did not help.

The thread disappeared.

All of a sudden, I was able to log in.

This company has some issues. They have some great forums.

Rich

 

N

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Posted by Mark R. on Saturday, December 22, 2018 1:29 PM

richg1998

I am surprised this thread is still here.

I was in a similar one about not being able to log in for at least three weeks and snail mail to Steven did not help. Suggestions did not help.

The thread disappeared.

All of a sudden, I was able to log in.

This company has some issues. They have some great forums.

Rich

 

 

I had the exact same problem. Couldn't log in for a few weeks. Customer service e-mail just got the canned response as well. I DID get some responses to the problem by messaging to them on their Facebook page, but they couldn't determine the problem. I kept trying the log-in page every few days and was finally able to get logged back in last night.

Mark.

¡ uʍop ǝpısdn sı ǝɹnʇɐuƃıs ʎɯ 'dlǝɥ

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Posted by chatanuga on Saturday, December 22, 2018 1:56 PM

I'd preordered the 2019 issues of GMR and MRP.  Then in October I see GMR on the shelves of my local supermarket.  I kept expecting my issue to show up in the mail, but by the end of October, it never did.  I e-mailed customer service, and they said it should have been received by then and said that a replacement should be to me in 10-15 days.  By November 29th, I hadn't received it yet.  I looked over my credit card statements and saw that I'd never been charged for it.  I e-mailed them and told them to cancel both issues and that I'd just get GMR from my local supermarket and then search for where to get MRP when it's released.  I'm also wondering if I should even resubscribe to both MR and Trains next year or just look for them in my local hobby store and elsewhere.  Customer service did respond back on December 12th that they cancelled my order.  Very slow response time and no apologies for losing my business.

Kevin

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Posted by JohnnyB on Saturday, December 22, 2018 2:32 PM

Glad I'm not the only one having major problems with the archive.

John is retired and loving it!

https://jmrailroad.wordpress.com/

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Posted by csxns on Saturday, December 22, 2018 2:48 PM

I tried to renew my MR and can't.

Russell

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Posted by maxman on Saturday, December 22, 2018 3:24 PM

richg1998
I am surprised this thread is still here.

That's because Vinnie is away.

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Posted by mgilger on Saturday, December 22, 2018 4:51 PM
Try this. I had to get a problem with my subscription fixed and I used this number: Should you have any questions or concerns please call 1-800-533-6644 to speak with a Kalmbach Customer Service representative. Good luck, Mark

M. Gilger - President and Chief Engineer MM&G web

Web Site: http://mmg-garden-rr.webs.com/

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Posted by slammin on Wednesday, December 26, 2018 3:14 PM

mgilger
Try this. I had to get a problem with my subscription fixed and I used this number: Should you have any questions or concerns please call 1-800-533-6644 to speak with a Kalmbach Customer Service representative. Good luck, Mark
 

This is a different number than I used in the past. Today it worked!!! After less than a minute on hold, Kathleen answered but could find no record of my renewal order from October. She did take care of my order. I would urge anyone having subscription problems to call 800-533-6644. Any other problems, I'm afraid you're on your own. Good luck!

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, December 26, 2018 5:04 PM

richg1998
I am surprised this thread is still here.

.

I am too.

.

-Kevin

.

Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by Bubbytrains on Wednesday, December 26, 2018 6:09 PM

Me three! But until the Significant Other shuts it down, I’d like to take the opportunity to add that when I had a problem with my subscription a month ago, calling 1-800-533-6644 and speaking to a c.s. rep solved it. Like many people, I’d rather avoid phone calls for such an issue, but in this case it might be best for anyone with subscription issues at this time. I’m not sure what’s going on, but I think customer service is in the process of relocating. 

 

SeeYou190

 

 
richg1998
I am surprised this thread is still here.

 

.

I am too.

.

-Kevin

.

 

Bubbytrains

  • Member since
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Posted by chatanuga on Thursday, January 10, 2019 8:17 PM

chatanuga

I'd preordered the 2019 issues of GMR and MRP.  Then in October I see GMR on the shelves of my local supermarket.  I kept expecting my issue to show up in the mail, but by the end of October, it never did.  I e-mailed customer service, and they said it should have been received by then and said that a replacement should be to me in 10-15 days.  By November 29th, I hadn't received it yet.  I looked over my credit card statements and saw that I'd never been charged for it.  I e-mailed them and told them to cancel both issues and that I'd just get GMR from my local supermarket and then search for where to get MRP when it's released.  I'm also wondering if I should even resubscribe to both MR and Trains next year or just look for them in my local hobby store and elsewhere.  Customer service did respond back on December 12th that they cancelled my order.  Very slow response time and no apologies for losing my business.

Kevin

 

So, even though my order was supposed to have been cancelled on December 12th, guess what showed up in my mailbox this evening when I got home?  Yep, the 2019 issue of GMR, which I already purchased in November after cancelling my order on November 29th since my local supermarket had it on their shelves for five weeks after it was released.  Still waiting to hear if they've charged me for it since it was no longer wanted.  Hopefully they don't ship MRP as well since I got that at my local hobby store last night after work.

Kevin

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