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Art Dent

Do Olivia's Trains actually WANT to sell trains??

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2 minutes ago, Art Dent said:

 

Hi Keith,

 

How do you know what decoder would be supplied - as far as I can tell, there is no information about exactly what 'Standard' means.

 

Why purchse from them - to support a local model shop!

 

Art

Quite so, another reason to avoid them, especially as a basic 8 pin Lok Pilot isn't that expensive = £20-22.

They are probably putting in Hornby R8249 chips.:jester:

 

Olivia's have had a lot of negative comments on RMWeb due to their, at times, somewhat offhand attitude to prospective customers.

 

You could get one of these and have it weathered (say Grimy times or TMC)

https://www.bourtonmodelrailway.co.uk/Hornby-r3460tts-br-060-fowler-4f-class-44198-late-br-with-tts-sound.ir

 

https://lordandbutler.com/Hornby-r3460tts--fowler-4f-0-6-0-44198-br-late-crest-tts-sound-fitted-792-p.asp

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Arguably the longest running saga on this forum.Nothing under the sun is new,it seems.Neil ,shall we say,divides opinion.There are some who swear by him .....and those who do the opposite.You take it or leave it.He does not have anything to do with this forum.Try the emporium on Chesterfield Road....much more congenial.

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54 minutes ago, melmerby said:

If that's what is wanted, why go to Olivia's in the first place? That's what is puzzling me.

 

Olivia's quite clearly state Analog, DCC fitted with their choice of decoder or Sound fitted with ESU V4.

They probably remove any TTS decoders when they buy Hornby stock (and no doubt they are sold on somewhere).

That is what they have set up their business model as. They are not in the market or trying to compete with retailers selling Hornby TTS fitted locos.

 

Their attitude to anyone asking for anything other than their standard options, however seems to be bordering on plain rude, where a simple "sorry we can't do that" would suffice.

 

Why go to Olivia's in the first place?  Obviously in this instance Art has confirmed that it's a desire to support a local retailer, but it could equally be that if you type "Hornby R3460TTS" into Google, Olivia's website is on the first page of 'hits'.  Furthermore, this particular model seems to be out of stock at a number of retailers, so as a retailer that appears, at first glance, to still have stock of a TTS Sound fitted model, an e-mail enquiry to them to clarify whether they can provide the catalogue version seems perfectly reasonable, in my opinion.

 

The problem is that Olivia's Trains seem to have built up a bit of a reputation for responding to customers asking about what they consider to be a non-standard option in a rude manner.  As a business, it certainly doesn't have a reputation as a customer friendly retailer, although some appear to have no problems.  However, I suspect part of the reason why they may still have stock of this particular model when many others don't, is that they are not many people's supplier of choice.

Edited by Dungrange
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2 hours ago, MrJack47790 said:

However there is a difference between a £40 soud chip and a £115 sound chip in terms of functionality.

For example the ESU loksound V4 will give out sounds on analogue but the TTS doen't.

The ESU loksound V4 can be reblown but the TTS can't

Really it bows down from people trying to get more out of the option of DCC sound.

ESU v4=£115

TTS=£40

Using your own logic Olivias should be charging £75 because they have removed £40 worth of sound chip from a £115 model, but are still advertising it as TTS fitted which it isnt.

 

How can they advertise it as new when they have opened the box and taken the body off to remove the chip?

 

If I bought a loco advertised with TTS, the advert didnt mention that it had been messed with and it turned up without the TTS chip I wouldnt be very impressed.

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1 hour ago, melmerby said:

Quite so, another reason to avoid them, especially as a basic 8 pin Lok Pilot isn't that expensive = £20-22.

They are probably putting in Hornby R8249 chips.https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_jester.gif

 

Olivia's have had a lot of negative comments on RMWeb due to their, at times, somewhat offhand attitude to prospective customers.

 

You could get one of these and have it weathered (say Grimy times or TMC)

https://www.bourtonmodelrailway.co.uk/Hornby-r3460tts-br-060-fowler-4f-class-44198-late-br-with-tts-sound.ir

 

https://lordandbutler.com/Hornby-r3460tts--fowler-4f-0-6-0-44198-br-late-crest-tts-sound-fitted-792-p.asp

 

 

 

Thank you.  I have had some locos weathered by Steve at Grimy Times - I was very impressed with his results and at a reasonable price too.

 

I've heard that the Folwler 4F TTS doesn't actually sound too bad.

 

In reply to Ian H, the folks at the Emporium (and the main shop a few doors down) are very helpul and I can't fault Rails' customer service.

 

My last thought on this is why a retailer would respond to a request for further information/clarification about an item of stock in such a way?

 

A similar enquiry to a different retailer (about a factory-weathered loco where one of the options was 'no weathering') elicited a pleasant and helpful response.  This company may well end up getting my Fowler 4F order too!

 

Art

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2 minutes ago, royaloak said:

Using your own logic Olivias should be charging £75 because they have removed £40 worth of sound chip from a £115 model, but are still advertising it as TTS fitted which it isnt.

 

How can they advertise it as new when they have opened the box and taken the body off to remove the chip?

 

If I bought a loco advertised with TTS, the advert didnt mention that it had been messed with and it turned up without the TTS chip I wouldnt be very impressed.

 

Bit in blue:

 

Agreed.  Even ebay have a category of 'New -Other'.

 

Bit in red:

 

This is precisely my point and something that Neil (at Olivia's Trains) and some other folks on here don't seem to appreciate.

 

Art

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7 minutes ago, Winter123 said:

If you only live 3 miles away, why didn't you go in and inspect the actual model itself?

 

Because in my naivety, I assumed that a simple email would answer my questions rather than make a (probably in this case) fruitless 6-mile round trip.

 

I can see that I'd arrive, buy the £115 TTS loco, get home, unbox it, find that not only did it not have sound but it didn't have a decoder either, then have to return to get it sorted out.  So make that 12 miles in total and a complete waste of several hours.

 

My game of email 'ping-pong' means I don't have to waste the time or effort purchasing from Olivia's nor add to any CO2 emissions by such an exercise.

 

Art

Edited by Art Dent
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8 minutes ago, Winter123 said:

If you only live 3 miles away, why didn't you go in and inspect the actual model itself?

Do you think they would be impressed if people wanted the model removed from the box to inspect?

How would inspecting the loco tell you if the chip had been removed, are you going to ask them to remove the body?

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1 minute ago, royaloak said:

Do you think they would be impressed if people wanted the model removed from the box to inspect?

How would inspecting the loco tell you if the chip had been removed, are you going to ask them to remove the body?

 

You could always ask them to pop it on the test track as you'd like to hear the sounds.  It would probably be at this point where they told you that your TTS model didn't acually have sound and that you'd need to fork out another £141 (more than doubling the cost) to have their sound-fitted version.

 

What I absolutely don't get is that I asked, specifically, what you would get if you ordered the £115 analogue version to be told (and this is copied verbatim from their email reply) "The Model is R3460TTS as described on the Box."

 

Maybe ask Sheffield Trading Standards to look into this?  To my mind this is misrepresentation.

 

Art

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3 hours ago, Art Dent said:

 

No,  what I am saying is that I am in the market to purchase a sound-fitted Fowler 4F.

 

Olivia's seem to have the Hornby TTS version in stock.

 

I was puzzled by their webpage:

 

Link: https://www.oliviastrains.com/trains/mt/Hornby-steam/Hornby-steam-4f-class/Hornby-r3460tts-4f-44198-br-black-late-crest/

 

 . . . so made an enquiry by email.

 

Their reply (from a chap called Neil) (1) didn't answer my specific question and (2) was rather rude (I can post an excerpt below if required).

 

I sent a further email shortly after receiving their initial reply - seeking further clarification - which was then ignored.

 

This puzzles me as it is a genuine enquiry.  Somebody, somewhere, will get my order but I'm not going to order a sound-fitted 4F from company through a website where I ask a reasonable question only to have (1) my original question ignored and (2) the reply phrased in a rude way!  It doesn't help matters that TWO further email enquiries have simply been ignored.

 

[ Take a look at that webpage and see if you can tell me what you would get in the box if you (a) ordered the £115 'Analogue' option or (b) the £143 'Standard decoder' option.  Would either of these deliver a sound-equipped TTS loco? ]

 

If they care so little about potential sales then surely they aren't going to stay in business (even more so in challenging economic times) - particularly so, as has been noted elsewhere, they aren't particularly cheap.

 

Personally, given their response so far, I couldn't care less whether they survive or not.

 

Kust wondered what other forum members had found or whether I caught Neil on a particularly bad day.

 

Art

 

Art

If this place had a Trip Advisor rating it would be f#####g s###e and I have no hesitation in confirming that short statement as being absolutely correct.

Quick tip, go somewhere else for your loco and delete this thread as it will just cause thousands to get very wound up an say things they may have already said that are not good to see.

ATB

P

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4 hours ago, Art Dent said:

Hi Folks,

 

Just wondering if anyone else has had a recent negative experience with Olivia's Trains or if i am simply unlucky and caught someone having an 'off day'?

 

I am looking for a sound-fitted Fowler 4F in OO-gauge (hopefully weathered).  Olivia's seem to have a Hornby 4F TTS in stock - but their website is confusing (at least to me) so I sent an email enquiry.

 

What I didn't understand was that the loco - described as "Hornby R3460TTS 4F 44198 BR Black Late Crest", was priced as follows:  'Analogue £115, Standard Decoder £143 and £256 for Olivia's ESU V4 Sound Fitted.  My query asked what would be supplied if I ordered the £115 loco - since the description was for a TTS model and TTS decoders don't support analogue running.

 

Their reply said that they offer the model with the sound decoder removed - but nowhere on the page does it seem to be stated that the £115 Analogue option equates to this 'sound decoder removed' option.

 

A further TWO emails asking them to clarify have simply been ignored.

 

I know that they are under no obligation to sell to me (or indeed anyone) but I found the tone of their initial reply curt to say the least (and it certainly didn't do anything to answer my query).

 

Are Olivia's Trains so successful a retailer that they can ignore a genuine query regarding a model for potential purchase and operate a 'There's plenty more fish in the sea' policy ?

 

I have bought models from them before but this response (or rather, the lack of it) is completely baffling.

 

Just wondered what the experience of other forum members was regarding this trader.

 

Art

if I remember correctly the Hornby 4f is Tender Drive / Ex Lima, at least the last one I had a couple of years back was.

 

I wouldn't touch it if it is, it was dreadful.

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5 minutes ago, Art Dent said:

 

You could always ask them to pop it on the test track as you'd like to hear the sounds.  It would probably be at this point where they told you that your TTS model didn't acually have sound and that you'd need to fork out another £141 (more than doubling the cost) to have their sound-fitted version.

 

What I absolutely don't get is that I asked, specifically, what you would get if you ordered the £115 analogue version to be told (and this is copied verbatim from their email reply) "The Model is R3460TTS as described on the Box."

 

Maybe ask Sheffield Trading Standards to look into this?  To my mind this is misrepresentation.

 

Art

Maybe a case of buying it as proof and then, when you find the loco is not as advertised and has had parts removed, taking it up with trading standards.

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8 minutes ago, Art Dent said:

 

You could always ask them to pop it on the test track as you'd like to hear the sounds.  It would probably be at this point where they told you that your TTS model didn't acually have sound and that you'd need to fork out another £141 (more than doubling the cost) to have their sound-fitted version.

 

What I absolutely don't get is that I asked, specifically, what you would get if you ordered the £115 analogue version to be told (and this is copied verbatim from their email reply) "The Model is R3460TTS as described on the Box."

 

Maybe ask Sheffield Trading Standards to look into this?  To my mind this is misrepresentation.

 

Art

Went there with a mate, asked to hear an 08 before re blowing a Hornby one, and the answer was WHY, it's right. After a tussle he eventually put one on the Track and it was awful to say the least, I asked if it notched up and down like both the Hornby one and the prototype and the answer was; Why should it.

 

WE LEFT.:no:

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Could have been worse, a few years ago you might have ended up with a bathroom suite.

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26 minutes ago, Mallard60022 said:

If this place had a Trip Advisor rating it would be f#####g s###e and I have no hesitation in confirming that short statement as being absolutely correct.

Quick tip, go somewhere else for your loco and delete this thread as it will just cause thousands to get very wound up an say things they may have already said that are not good to see.

ATB

P

Another "sit on the fence" post

Edited by woodenhead

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30 minutes ago, Andrew P said:

if I remember correctly the Hornby 4f is Tender Drive / Ex Lima, at least the last one I had a couple of years back was.

 

I wouldn't touch it if it is, it was dreadful.

Looking at the underneath view from Triangman, it looks like a loco drive model not tender.

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41 minutes ago, royaloak said:

Do you think they would be impressed if people wanted the model removed from the box to inspect?

That (& giving it a run on a test track) ought to be part of the service at a decent shop - not something else to take offence at!!! :rolleyes:

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1 hour ago, Andrew P said:

if I remember correctly the Hornby 4f is Tender Drive / Ex Lima, at least the last one I had a couple of years back was.

 

I wouldn't touch it if it is, it was dreadful.

 

The Hornby 4F is the Aifrix variant not Lima. They retooled the chassis about 10 years ago so that it is now loco drive instead of tender driven. Bodyshell is still the same as it was in the past though. 

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Due to many comments on various threads I would not touch this firm with a barge pole.

 

I ordered a bargain loco from Rails of Sheffield's web site (first time user) on Tuesday morning, Wed evening at teatime there it was delivered. I will use them again.

 

Brit15

 

 

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2 hours ago, F-UnitMad said:

That (& giving it a run on a test track) ought to be part of the service at a decent shop - not something else to take offence at!!! https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_rolleyes.gif

Giving a loco a test run is rather different from taking the body off and removing the TTS chip though isnt it!

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14 minutes ago, royaloak said:

Giving a loco a test run is rather different from taking the body off and removing the TTS chip though isnt it!

Yes - thats why I only quoted the first part of the post that I commented on!!! ;)

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7 hours ago, jonny777 said:

Sorry if I am not understanding this thread, but are you saying that if you purchase nothing from them they will automatically go bankrupt, and cease trading? 

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_diablo.gif

No, what he's clearly saying is why should he give a **** about (a) supporting them, and (b) whether or not they go bankrupt. I didn't see anything in his posts that suggested that he considered withholding his custom as making any impact on the latter.

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