Trains.com

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Trains.com what a joke

5680 views
65 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    September 2020
  • 105 posts
Trains.com what a joke
Posted by JDawg on Friday, April 9, 2021 7:05 PM

Look, I'm a pretty calm person, but I'm not gonna lie, this new trains.com has me pretty riled up. This whole membership fee on top of the magazine is just dumb. That and I can't look at the digital issue of MR. Zinio doesn't have it and I can't find anywhere to get it on trains.com. Hate posting just to rant so I'll ask for some help. How do I see my digital issue of the magazine. It says I need to renew but when i view my account it says I am paid up to April... 2022! Seriously guys, (MR headquarters) what the what?

JJF


Prototypically modeling the Great Northern in Minnesota with just a hint of freelancing. Smile, Wink & Grin

  • Member since
    September 2020
  • 105 posts
Posted by JDawg on Friday, April 9, 2021 7:12 PM

Also, contacTed customer service about the whole deal, they haven't gotten back.

JJF


Prototypically modeling the Great Northern in Minnesota with just a hint of freelancing. Smile, Wink & Grin

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 19,820 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Friday, April 9, 2021 10:34 PM

Well, the transition from the original 13 colonies to the United States of America wasn't easy, either.  It took almost as long, but it ended up OK.  Nobody is thrilled about this, but please have patience.

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

  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
  • 2,769 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Friday, April 9, 2021 11:22 PM

MisterBeasley
Nobody is thrilled about this, but please have patience.

Not to be snarky, MisterBeasley, but we shouldn't have to have patience. Kalmbach should not have put this mess out until it was ready, even though it was already months late.

They also shouldn't have given the proberbial "go off yourself!" to their entire subscriber base of MRVP by moving most of the new content to Trains.com and posting very little new content to the outlet we were all paying for!

Just my opinion...

  • Member since
    March 2002
  • From: Milwaukee WI (Fox Point)
  • 10,877 posts
Posted by dknelson on Saturday, April 10, 2021 11:22 AM

Pruitt
shouldn't have given the proberbial "go off yourself!" to their entire subscriber base of MRVP by moving most of the new content to Trains.com and posting very little new content to the outlet we were all paying for!

THAT in my opinion is the outrage.  I have no beef about trying to monetize their assets but some of us are paying customers and -- paying for what exactly?  There is no refund.  There is no "we'll credit what you pay, just pay the difference."  MRVP subscribers are treated like a dirty shirt.

Dave Nelson

  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
  • 2,769 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Saturday, April 10, 2021 12:31 PM

dknelson
I have no beef about trying to monetize their assets but some of us are paying customers and -- paying for what exactly?  There is no refund.  There is no "we'll credit what you pay, just pay the difference."  MRVP subscribers are treated like a dirty shirt.

Dave Nelson

No refund? When I contacted MRVP customer support about cancelling my subscription I got a refund for the unused remainder of my subscription with no trouble at all. They said they couldn't just transfer me over to a Trains.com subscription and apply the remaining money on my MRVP subscription, but that wasn't a big deal.

What annoyed the heck out of me was that Kalmbach apparently isn't ethical enough to let the MRVP subscribers know that the content was being diverted and very little would be going onto MRVP in the future.

  • Member since
    October 2011
  • 262 posts
Posted by MARTIN STATION on Saturday, April 10, 2021 1:11 PM

 Yeah, when I cancelled my MRVP I also got a refund. I will not be doing the Trains.com thing, I didn't even bother to take the free trial offer. By the time I pay for three magazine subscriptions, adding another $84 was just a bit much for me. Plus I didn't like the way the whole MRVP thing was handled either.

Ralph

  • Member since
    April 2016
  • 209 posts
Posted by Lazers on Saturday, April 10, 2021 3:25 PM

This new website is Pants - IMO

I have regrettably cancelled my subs to MR magazine, Digi-archive and MRVP and received a prompt refund from Kalmbach. I had only just renewed (1-year) in March - ready for the June issue onwards.

I only hope that Kalmbach will return the website to it's previous format. Then I will re-subscribe. There is a simple saying (in the UK at least) "If it ain't broke - don't fix it".

I am not interested in 'Classic Trains', 'Garden Railways' etc.

For the moment, my conclusion is that to create this new website, Kalmbach hired the person who created W.8

If this was not the case, then perhaps they should have done, since he would probably made a better job, including communication. Politely yours, etc.

"It's the South Shore Line, Jim - but not as we know it".

  • Member since
    February 2005
  • From: Vancouver Island, BC
  • 22,650 posts
Posted by selector on Saturday, April 10, 2021 6:19 PM

Pruitt

 

 

 
MisterBeasley
Nobody is thrilled about this, but please have patience.

 

Not to be snarky, MisterBeasley, but we shouldn't have to have patience. Kalmbach should not have put this mess out until it was ready, even though it was already months late.

 

They also shouldn't have given the proberbial "go off yourself!" to their entire subscriber base of MRVP by moving most of the new content to Trains.com and posting very little new content to the outlet we were all paying for!

Just my opinion...

 

I have a couple of dogs in the fight, which would not have been the case just four months ago.  For some reason, hubris...who knows...I purchased an MR subscription for the first time ever in December. By February, I had also purchased one from Classic Trains, a subscription that lapsed maybe three years ago when a local store brought it in.  So, I have two relatively fresh mag subscriptions.

Then came reports that you have to call to ask to get the charges reversed, or to get your remnants rolled over, or deducted, or whatever the aitch ee double hockey sticks a person must do to join to get all the benefits.  Have we lost vimeo, or whatever that e-zine thingy is/was?

Why does the first page where the forums are shown have three separate entreaties to get a foothold in the site, whether it's to join, to register, or to log-in?  

I understand that they have offered everyone a 30 day trial. I guess I have to do the 'join' thing even though I also had to refresh my separate magazine log-ins. Or, maybe I was mistaken, but that's what it seemed.  

It's all rather confusing, and I don't think it ought to have been.  Someone has screwed the pooch here, or dropped a ball, or was more than a bit hasty.

My intemperate language is surely not going to be taken kindly, and I know better....but dang...this just isn't good.  We've had three weeks now of adverse comments.

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 16,370 posts
Posted by Overmod on Saturday, April 10, 2021 6:52 PM

Lazers
For the moment, my conclusion is that to create this new website, Kalmbach hired the person who created W.8

This is not Windows 8, which was just an example of the kind of incredible missing the boat on IxD that Apple committed with their 'redesign' of some important types of software to run on iOS as well as Macs.  (Or Microsoft with Word 6.0 for Mac, but I digress...)

This is full-on Yahoo Groups /neo/ incompetence, possibly by the same teams of 'contract outsource' programmers that committed that monstrosity.  It has all the hallmarks: live changes without warning that break functionality; random patches to fix what broke which break still more; letting the users find the bugs but not giving them any way to report them; randomly monetizing whereever possible with fancy ads that break the UI or even the underlying OS (!) when they fail to load as they want; cancelling features without advance warning... the list is long, and I find still distressing when I see it being "implemented".

Perhaps Kalmbach needs to hire the 'emergency response team' that built 8.1 Whistling

  • Member since
    October 2009
  • 192 posts
Posted by Jeff1952 on Monday, April 12, 2021 4:36 PM

I have no objection to Kalmbach trying to make some $$, but it does seem to show a lack of respect for us as readers/viewers to charge us again for something we are already paying for. And then to "bundle" the offering like a cable company so that in order to get back what you already had, you need to pay extra for features you neither want, need, or have any interest in...

  • Member since
    February 2005
  • From: Vancouver Island, BC
  • 22,650 posts
Posted by selector on Monday, April 12, 2021 6:13 PM

Exactly, Jeff.  Exactly.  It's not as bad as the 'opt out' debacle of ten years ago that some corporations attempted to foist off on their customers.  But I don't think they have done a great job of making it clear just what one stands to get in improved service or access/features by ponying up with more bucks that many of us have already shelled out.  Why not publish a comprehensive list of what the entire package offers?  There should have been an email sent out saying, here is what we want to do, and why, and here is what you will get access to over an above your current magazine subscriptions.  Further, if you decide you'd like to try it for a year, we'll roll the residual value of your subscriptions into the price of the full package.  We'll do it for you and bill you for the rest.  Or something like that.

It seems like sleight of hand here.

  • Member since
    December 2015
  • From: Shenandoah Valley
  • 8,046 posts
Posted by BigDaddy on Monday, April 12, 2021 6:22 PM

It would be different if Kalmbach was still alive.

Management aren't model railroaders.  They don't read the magazine, they don't look at the forum, they pay consultants who tell them how great the new website (created by the consultants) is.

You see it in families.  Granddaddy worked hard built a business.  The son started working in the business when he was a kid, built it bigger and better.  The grandkids expect the business to run itself and squander their money and the business.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

Shenandoah Valley

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • 657 posts
Posted by trwroute on Monday, April 12, 2021 6:29 PM

I have to say, it's not that bad.  While I haven't played with it a whole lot, I did subscribe.   

I am one of those that likes several of the other magazines and having the archive, makes it worth it for me.  Just like everything else, it will take some getting used to and hopefully the bugs will be worked out.

Chuck - Modeling in N, HO scales and anything narrow gauge

  • Member since
    June 2007
  • 8,347 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, April 12, 2021 6:30 PM

MisterBeasley
Well, the transition from the original 13 colonies to the United States of America wasn't easy, either.  It took almost as long, but it ended up OK. 

Well, for a number of years, but it seem to be going to you know what in a hand basket.  We are more divided than ever and the future is looking not so hot.  Eventually one of our advisaries (Russia, China etc) may just decide to take advantage of us while we fight amongst ourselves.  I have always enjoyed the fantasy of Star Trek that Gene Roddenberry created, but sadly the depraved nature of mankind seems to be asserting itself every day more and more.  Turned out ok?  For a while maybe, but we seem to be headed the wrong way anymore.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

  • Member since
    October 2007
  • From: Fullerton, California
  • 1,165 posts
Posted by hornblower on Monday, April 12, 2021 6:34 PM

If I have to pay for anything more to simply maintain my subscription to the print copy of MR, my answer will be a simple, "No."

I did not join MVRP because the ONLY host I like is David Pop but it has become painful to watch his hand tremors get worse and worse. Besides, I don't want to watch him hurt himself with that hobby knife.  I find the other hosts to be either boring or just plain obnoxious.  Yeah, Jenny's cute but she can't host every video, or could she?

Hornblower

  • Member since
    March 2020
  • 250 posts
Posted by Engi1487 on Monday, April 12, 2021 6:36 PM

I understand now. I reissued my subscription for both a digital magazine and access to the archives. It was even on sale for $50. Unfornunity I now realize in order to access the archive I need to pay a new unlimited subscription fee of $83 per year. I forgot if this was the same arrangment last year when I started on the forums.

I do hope to get this fixed.

 

  • Member since
    April 2018
  • 130 posts
Posted by Outsailing86 on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 7:31 PM

I think the Jones Island project was the only thing keeping me around. 
but I see my log in no longer works. I don't know... YouTube is free

  • Member since
    January 2009
  • From: Maryland
  • 10,714 posts
Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 8:31 PM

OK, my access to the archives which was working has stopped working. Kalmbach will be hearing from me tomorrow.

I may not be their oldest continous MR subcriber, but I have pretty good streak going - 1968 to now.

Lets see if it lasts past tomorrow?

Sheldon

    

  • Member since
    October 2009
  • 192 posts
Posted by Jeff1952 on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 12:31 AM

I think we're all pretty much coming from the same place. We're getting screwed as readers/viewers so Kalmbach can try to milk more money out of us... maybe before they pull the plug on the entire operation? I can't even watch the MR newsletters now because I've exceeeded my EIGHT free views for this month. WTF? Even sadder...they DON'T CARE! The MR magazine has been getting thinner also, more ads and less content. And is MRVP even around anymore? As many of you have already said...might be time to cancel the subscriptions and watch on youtube...

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: west coast
  • 6,202 posts
Posted by rrebell on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 10:01 AM

I really don't have a dog in the fight but what is going on is the people in charge are not techies. Part of the problem is that things need to be veiwed on multiple platforms and this is a real problem. At MRH they came out with two downloads, one for mobile and one for computers, the computer one works but it is not nearly as nice as they were before they put out two formats. That along with all the other changes make the task harder. Even Amazon is having problems with control but it is not noticable to the average user and being they have a large staff, things get fixed faster.

  • Member since
    April 2007
  • From: eastern Nebraska
  • 214 posts
Posted by binder001 on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 10:24 AM

Yes, I have been a loyal supporter for a number of years.  I subscribe to MR in print (I'm old, I like print magazines!) and I have subscribed to MRVP since the beginning.  I was a happy camper. I had print articles and some wonderful videos - life was good.  I finally got my rear in gear and started build a layout because I was inspired by Dave, Cody and the gang at MRVP.   Now the higher-ups at the company have really messed up the whole system.  I signed up for a sample of Trains.com and I still can NOT access any of the material.  This was supposed to be the "best thing since buttered bread" but I cannot find anything, MRVP doesn't seem to be producing any new content (but I still have a paid subscripton).  So basically what I am getting is a hugely expensive magazine!  The whole thing reeks of consultants who have no vested interest in the company's future.  Somebody (besides me) got sold a real bill of goods.  I guess I get spoiled by going to the various hobby websites that actually WORK and have content.  

Personally, I think that Kalmbach should swallow their pride (what they have left anyway) and back away from this mess.  They should sue the people who were supposed to be putting this together and start over!  The basic IDEA isn't bad, it has just been very POORLY executed.  Lots of promises with little product - it reminds me of the GRB Rail debacle in the early 1980s, and we saw how that ended.

  • Member since
    May 2002
  • From: Massachusetts
  • 2,802 posts
Posted by Paul3 on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 10:43 AM

Before everyone breaks out the torches and pitchforks, might I make a suggestion? 

Delete your Trains.com cookies from your computer/device and try logging in again.

I am a long-time print-only subscriber and I, too, had the problem of logging in to the new website in order to read Newswire, etc.  I could log into the forums here, I could log in to my Kalmbach account and check my bill, but every time I tried to log into the new Trains.com it kept rejecting my log in attempts.  It was the same on my desktop PC or my iPad.  I asked a friend who is also a print-only subscriber and he couldn't log in, either. 

On Thursday, I sent in a complaint form to Trains.com and I got a reply last night:

"We recommend clearing your browser history/cookies for “all time” and using an alternate browser to access the site. Additionally, please make sure you close out your browser completely before trying to login again."

I went into my browser history and manually deleted the cookies for all Trains.com related websites on my desktop PC and my iPad.  I then went to Trains.com, logged in using my old user name and password, and now it works!  I now have access to the Trains Newswire, etc. on all devices that I've cleared the cookies from.  It worked for my friend, too.  So give it a try before giving up.

 

  • Member since
    January 2009
  • From: Maryland
  • 10,714 posts
Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 12:38 PM

Archive working after the usual cookie cleanup, customer service spared a conversation with me.

Sheldon

    

  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Morristown, NJ
  • 605 posts
Posted by nealknows on Thursday, April 15, 2021 7:24 AM

Paul3

Delete your Trains.com cookies from your computer/device and try logging in again.

 

On Thursday, I sent in a complaint form to Trains.com and I got a reply last night:

"We recommend clearing your browser history/cookies for “all time” and using an alternate browser to access the site. Additionally, please make sure you close out your browser completely before trying to login again."

 

We shouldn't have to do that (clear cookies and log back in). There's a reason I don't clear the cookies, and that's for business reasons. Today I received the weekly MR email and when I went to review the new items, it states I've used my 8 views for the month. 

As a subscriber, I am seriously thinking about not renewing. These BASIC emails and views should be FREE to us. 

  • Member since
    February 2008
  • 1,732 posts
Posted by kasskaboose on Thursday, April 15, 2021 7:28 AM

Odd that I couldn't get on the forum yesterday from home.  I got on remotely and will try from home later today.  Would clearing the cookies, etc. grant access?

  • Member since
    April 2021
  • 2 posts
Posted by DaveCCI on Thursday, April 15, 2021 8:47 AM

I have to agree with JDawg.  I am generally an easing going person and have enjoyed my MR and MRVP subscriptions for years without complaint or problem.  Then along comes Trains.com.   This has been and still is the most frustrating experence I've had - it has even exceeded the pain of finding a Covid vaccine appoinitment.   I am not seeing the same stuff in MRVP that is on here - they started Gary Leone's new series and moved it over to Trains.com, which meant another subscription cost for video that I am already paying for.  I have reluctantly signed up for Trains.com which means I'm payiing double for to get the stuff I used to get.  But his videos are still locked,  content is scattered all over the place and on top of it everytime I try to go see something  I get the signup message.  When this whole thing started I called and was assured that I could keep my current subscriptionis and nothing would change.   So I antied up the bucks and guess what - everything has changed and the rug has been pulled out from under me.   Frankly, I don't care about the other content - if I did I would have had a subscription to that.  You have really screwed this up for us MR and MRVP subscribs.

  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
  • 2,769 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Thursday, April 15, 2021 8:50 AM

My 30 day Trains.com trial was coming to an end in the next week or so. Today I canceled prior to the automatic conversion to a paid subscription.

While I would really like to see Gerry Leone's layout development, the monthly cost is just too high for how much I would use the site.

I was an MRVP subscriber from the start, and thought it was a fair cost for what I got, but I won't be going back to that either (if that's even possible). The reduced volume of new content due to the diversion of new series onto Trains.com not only does not sit well with me (seems a bit unethical the way it was done, with current subscribers no longer getting what they paid for), but is simply not worth the cost anymore.

Sorry Kalmbach, but what you did and the way you tdid it has lost you at least this one revenue stream.

Whether I renew my MR subscription next year is also an open question at this point. 

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: west coast
  • 6,202 posts
Posted by rrebell on Thursday, April 15, 2021 8:57 AM

What is really sztrange is they have not locked any of these types of threads. I get the feeling there are people bailing from the ship.

  • Member since
    June 2014
  • From: Ohio
  • 178 posts
Posted by josephbw on Thursday, April 15, 2021 9:13 AM

I decided to not renew my subscription some time ago when it expires. My biggest gripe is that the content of the magazine has shrunk in direct proportion to the price increases. To me, It's just not worth it anymore.

All this other recent nonsense just made that decision easier.

Joe

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Users Online

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!