I currently have mixed views....
I've placed a lot of orders with Hatton's over the years and had no issues, but one thing I've been guilty of is buying locos and immediately putting them away into storage, for the day that I "get round to" building my layout....
Anyway, that day came recently, so once I had track down I started running locos. At this time, I discovered issues with Heljan's Class 14 and 17 models via the internet, so was wary of checking out those particular locos first.
First, the Class 17, after finding this forum and reading up on the issues. Sure enough, tight wormshaft bearings on the drive towers causing high current drain, dismantled and resolved, all back together and sound installed, job done.
Next, the 14.... opened the box, to find a loco with broken steps, headcodes cut from the sheet and already installed, glue marks on the body at the horn blocks and replacement etched cabside running numbers fitted! Oh, and it ran like a bag of bolts, with two pickups bent out of shape as well!! Not what I expected. Now, it's a number of years since I bought it, so I knew there was no question of any warranty, so I decided (with the help of info on this forum) to resolve the running issues myself. This I did, and now have a good running model, which I have installed sound into (with a degree of difficulty!).
I decided I would email Hattons and touch base, explaining the situation, as this had actually been bought as a new item.... various emails later, people not wanting to believe me that I had bought it "new", someone else talking about "damage" when it was actually modifications, and a steadfast refusal to acknowledge that something had gone wrong their end.... at one point I was more or less called a liar by one of their staff, which really angered me! Sadly, I don't have the original purchase docs as it was an internet purchase that would have been saved on the hard drive of my previous computer, which went to the big silicon valley in the sky about 2 years ago, haha. I am absolutely convinced that I was accidentally sent someone else's returned item as a new one, by mistake.
Lessons learned, 1. check everything on receipt. 2. print and keep paperwork. 3. don't trust a retailer just because they are big and have been around for a long time!
This was my first ever occasion that I felt the need to contact Hatton's about anything I have ever purchased from them, and in all honestly it leaves a slightly bitter feeling towards buying from them again in the future!