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Markits - very bad experience


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I've just had an extremely bad experience dealing with the proprietor of Markits, basically who cannot be bothered to price up a reasonably-sized order where I needed to seek advice.

 

I will happily post details but to give the proprietor the benefit of the doubt,  would like to see whether I am alone in experiencing this.

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I've never had a problem when ordering from them, even when I called up to change an order just it was about to be posted!

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In the current situation a lot of suppliers are very busy dealing with actual orders. I can understand a lack of willingness to deal with quotes for possible orders. Hardly a bad experience in my book. Certainly not an extremely bad experience as you describe it.

Bernard

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Perhaps you need to see his email to me to grasp my irritation and offence after waiting three weeks - having been told how terribly busy he is.

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3 minutes ago, 97xx said:

Perhaps you need to see his email to me to grasp my irritation and offence after waiting three weeks - having been told how terribly busy he is.

Why dont you post it so the rest of us can see it?

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I think its probably fair to say that Mark prefers to manufacture rather than retail, and even large trade  buyers find his style of trading 'interesting'.

 

You could try buying from Roxey Moldings - Dave keeps a lot (but not all) of the Markits range, however as his deliveries from Mark are usually hand delivered at exhibitions, his stock may have been depleted, and not replenished, and there are other factors that may cause a delay in his response at the moment, but it will definitely be a more professional response than you have had so far.

 

Jon

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Fair enough - here it is...

 

I'm trying to rebuild a Q1, and rang Markits on 1st May to ask for advice around wheelsets, gears, loco, tender and chassis details.

 

Following that I sent an email itemising what I thought I needed, plus requests for advice as to other details that the supplier indicated might be available but weren't in the price list online.

 

I did my best to itemise part numbers for what I thought I needed.

 

So my request was:

 

"Thanks very much for your help today re motors - Scalelink shut up shop at 4pm at the mo, but managed to order a Mashima 1628 straight off of the website.

 

So, looks like I will need the following.

 

Hope you don’t mind a bit of a wish list, but if you could (a) price up and (b) suggest any alternatives/additions/corrections I will consider them.

 

Full loco wheelset: wheels NS tyred (half and half), crankpins, rods, axles, nut covers?

Tender wheelset, inside bearing as discussed, prefer NS tyres - is that BFB14BNS?

Gearbox MM-3L-2338  or would you go 46:1?

Flywheel MFLYdL12-2DL

Safety valves: M4SftyV11

Handbrake: M4HBtb

Buffers: M4BufLocoSR (loco and tender)

Ladders for loco front, tender side F&R, and tender rear (M4StepsTbrR?) 

Tender filler(s), vent?

You mentioned mech lubricator?

Vac pipes?

Any other suggestions?"

 

I heard nothing for two weeks, so dropped an email asking about progress, having been told how busy he was when I first spoke.

 

Nothing back.

 

Rang again today and had a pretty obtuse conversation where it was clearly all my fault that I had sent the enquiry by email. My fault that the original email didn't say Q1 in  the title (even though I sent it after he and I spoke, plus the bits are pretty obviously Bulleid).

 

After much ado, he finds the email, plus the follow up. And agrees to price the list up.

 

After 5 mins I get this email:

 

"I have now had another look at your order and realised that apart from the Water Tank Lid , no further action was taken because the computer does not like just an email address… we have lots of xxx's……No postal address and no phone number…you didn’t seem very keen on parting with either.…sadly , particularly now we do not have time to play ping-pong with Estimates which might or might not turn into orders, which in turn delay our rother customers who are already champing at the bit for THEIR actual orders.

Because of that, I’m afraid Enquiries and Estimates get pushed to the back of the queue.

 

I’m sorry but time is at a premium at the moment and the Company is also undergoing a major change in manufacturing which allows even less time."

 

My phone number is on the bottom of every email.

 

It was a simple "tell me how much all this is please" and the reason the list became extended was because HE offered additional parts not listed, as you can see.

 

Cannot buy what I don't know price or availability of.

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I'm new back to RM, tried to do my best, was patient and polite, but have been told in no uncertain terms that I'm not welcome.

 

If anyone knows him and has any influence perhaps he can be persuaded to be a little more accommodating.

 

Oh, and 'let' me buy from him...

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I know you feel hard done by but it would appear that you were asking for both modelling advice and a price for a list of parts that you might or might not buy.

 

It might have had a better outcome if you had sought the modelling advice here on RMWeb and then, once you had obtained the relevant information and knowledge, put in a firm order with a name and a billing/delivery address.
 

Darius

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52 minutes ago, Darius43 said:

I know you feel hard done by but it would appear that you were asking for both modelling advice and a price for a list of parts that you might or might not buy.

 

It might have had a better outcome if you had sought the modelling advice here on RMWeb and then, once you had obtained the relevant information and knowledge, put in a firm order with a name and a billing/delivery address.
 

Darius

 

I understand your point Darius, but for the fact that he openly offered me lots of options when I spoke to him. As you can see my base list was one I had listed part numbers and so on. 

 

If he'd said just give me parts you want from my list I would not have had any reason to extend the conversation.

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1 hour ago, 97xx said:

I'm new back to RM, tried to do my best, was patient and polite, but have been told in no uncertain terms that I'm not welcome.

 

If anyone knows him and has any influence perhaps he can be persuaded to be a little more accommodating.

 

Oh, and 'let' me buy from him...

 

I don't quite know how to tell you this, you might have caught Mark on a good day... ;) I'm pretty certain there are others who could tell worse tales, which is not to say bad service is acceptable, but his turnings are very good (when you can get them) so the hobby is probably better off with him in the manufacturing business.

 

I suspect his view might be that his first mistake was being marginally helpful during the first phone call (my tongue very much in cheek! ).

 

Jon

 

 

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1 minute ago, jonhall said:

 

I don't quite know how to tell you this, you might have caught Mark on a good day... ;) I'm pretty certain there are others who could tell worse tales, which is not to say bad service is acceptable, but his turnings are very good (when you can get them) so the hobby is probably better off with him in the manufacturing business.

 

I suspect his view might be that his first mistake was being marginally helpful during the first phone call (my tongue very much in cheek! ).

 

Jon

 

 

 

You are spot on.

 

The whole experience was like walking on eggshells, and the classic one of a supplier doing you a favour by selling you something.

 

When you ask if you've got through to Markits on your first interaction and they respond  "I'm afraid it is" it does somewhat set the scene.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Inthe ordinary world, the customer is king etc etc, but once you get down to the cottage industry of scale model parts made by people who are never going to get rich but do it because it is their calling, a degree of leeway is required to accommodate certain individual idiosyncrasies. There are many tales in these threads and elsewhere of traders past and present who probably wouldn't pass the 'how may I be of service' test, but without them we would be without certain parts that make all sorts of models possible or better.

 

Hopefully you will find a way to identify the parts you need and buy them, but please don't be put off as a new returner to the hobby, it's really not personal to you....:)

Edited by andyman7
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I have only ordered things direct from Markits a couple of times and done it by telephone. No problems at all, an interesting conversation that went on a bit more in depth than it probably needed to and my goods arrived promptly.

 

I think it helped that I knew what I wanted before ringing. Saying that you want vacuum pipes that suit a particular loco is expecting somebody to find out exactly what sort they had and if their product is right or near enough. If every order or enquiry needed that, the workload would be enormous and if they don't have the right type, the time would be wasted. So I would do my research first and not expect a busy manufacturer to do it for me.

 

Of course that only works if there is a good illustrated catalogue on line!

 

 

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He is definitely the Marvin of the model world. I've managed one personal order through him, with several unanswered queries for costs of bulk parts (torpedo vents etc.). I usually end up buying from Roxey or Wizard or Peter's Spares.

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Just checked my notes and of the last 5 orders every one has been wrong when delivered and cost me postage to send back.

 

The last one was what I think is typical, I ordered over the phone a set of all insulated drivers for an N2 plus some crankpins and a few other things, the order arrived with a set of drivers for an N7 (smaller) so I phoned and he said to send them back and he would replace, I sent the wheels back (which was at my cost) with a note of the original order and after a fashion the N2 wheels turned up, trouble is they were live and insulated which were no good to me. I phoned again and said that the order was wrong and was promptly told that I needed to learn how to use a live chassis, it may have been tongue in cheek but I wasn't impressed. I suggested he send the insulated in the post and I would return the unwanted live ones, he agreed but said he would only do so upon receipt of the live wheels. When I pointed out I'd already paid for one lot of postage and was now going to have to pay for another the reply was "what do you want me to do about it" ....I suggested he just listen to what was being ordered not send what he thought you should have.  

An initial £60 order ended up costing me another £10 in postage.

 

The product is fine but I order from anywhere else but direct (Wizard, Roxey etc) 

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Nobody is good at everything, and the products are excellent.  This isn't to say anyone should or has the right to be rude, and sometimes things are difficult to translate in emails...

 

I get my Markits stuff via 247 Developments, other outlets available.  Not all stockists stock everything (247 don't stock all the wheels - you can do the maths on the size of the range as to why this is seen as impractical) - but most will add extra bits to their next order with them if requested.

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22 minutes ago, chris p bacon said:

Just checked my notes and of the last 5 orders every one has been wrong when delivered and cost me postage to send back.

 

The last one was what I think is typical, I ordered over the phone a set of all insulated drivers for an N2 plus some crankpins and a few other things, the order arrived with a set of drivers for an N7 (smaller) so I phoned and he said to send them back and he would replace, I sent the wheels back (which was at my cost) with a note of the original order and after a fashion the N2 wheels turned up, trouble is they were live and insulated which were no good to me. I phoned again and said that the order was wrong and was promptly told that I needed to learn how to use a live chassis, it may have been tongue in cheek but I wasn't impressed. I suggested he send the insulated in the post and I would return the unwanted live ones, he agreed but said he would only do so upon receipt of the live wheels. When I pointed out I'd already paid for one lot of postage and was now going to have to pay for another the reply was "what do you want me to do about it" ....I suggested he just listen to what was being ordered not send what he thought you should have.  

An initial £60 order ended up costing me another £10 in postage.

 

The product is fine but I order from anywhere else but direct (Wizard, Roxey etc) 

 

I'm afraid that the above typifies my experience.

 

At one time, I would phone Mark and, largely at his instigation, we would have a good chin-wag before the order was accepted and promptly delivered.

 

Then, out of the blue, phone calls were (eventually) grudgingly answered; orders half-heartedly taken; and goods eventually, and after a lot of to-ing and fro-ing, the requisite items were received.

 

After a while, converstaions about mis-packed items became heated (from his end) and then I was point-blank declared 'persona non grata'; ie. he will no longer speak to me at all.

 

I now have to get what I can from stockists, and much of the Markits mouth-watering range; (according to the ancient and defunct online list); is denied to me.

 

What a way to run a business - if Mark hates customer contact, he needs to employ someone who has the necessary skills.

 

John Isherwood.

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 The model railway business is full of charters and Mark is one of them, he treats everyone the same. He runs a one man band trying to supply both retail and wholesale at the same time, which I think is almost impossible. Like most of us he's getting on a bit, He has had issues with one of his contractors recently and either himself or a member of the family had health issues last year. I assume he is under pressure at the moment as many model railway retailers are very busy. As I help out one retailer as a few shows, some people do waste your time or are very difficult. Mark may have been reacting to something which happened earlier, or just under extreme pressure getting work out. I am not making excuses for him but we never know what's going on in the background

 

If possible I give Dave Hammersley at Roxey Moulding a call for Markits products, recently used 247 Developments and Andrew at Wizard Models is very helpful

 

As for gearboxes use High Level Models, Ghris Gibbon is a real gem and seems certainly makes the most popular gearboxes.

 

Tip of the day, let the retailers take the flack from Mark

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I have never found the proprietor to be anything other than helpful and friendly, personally. 

 

It is a very busy time for cottage industry suppliers if testimony from Chris from High Level is anything to go by. 

 

Paul A. 

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2 minutes ago, 1whitemoor said:

I have never found the proprietor to be anything other than helpful and friendly, personally. 

 

You must have rung Colin at Alan Gibson by mistake :D

 

Don't misunderstand me, the product is very good and a pleasure to work with and I'm sure he's a very nice person, but customer services aren't his forte so it's better to order from someone who stocks his products.

 

I agree about Chris from High Level, absolutely top bloke with a superb product and a pleasure to deal with. :good_mini:

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2 hours ago, chris p bacon said:

 

You must have rung Colin at Alan Gibson by mistake :D

 

Don't misunderstand me, the product is very good and a pleasure to work with and I'm sure he's a very nice person, but customer services aren't his forte so it's better to order from someone who stocks his products.

 

I agree about Chris from High Level, absolutely top bloke with a superb product and a pleasure to deal with. :good_mini:

 

Whilst I do agree with your summing up, if you do get to chat with Mark he is a very nice chap. But he has a business to run and has a very full product range, unlike Colin has no staff and is the type of business where unless you have a very detailed understanding of the product range what seems to be help can be a hindrance. Mark's background is engineering not diplomacy.   

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Posted (edited)

Hi All, I must say that as a pro builder I find Mark to be an excellent, helpful supplier that I have dealt with for decades. I do know that he's very busy, sends his products globally and has recently had some extensive building/plant/machinery work done. Most of my orders with him have been fairly substantial, come complete and during my sometimes quirky conversations with him we have established a common ground and a sense of humour never goes amiss. I always use the 'phone and whilst Mark is sometimes difficult to contact in this way it has never failed me. HTH

Steve

Edited by Carnforth
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On 28/05/2020 at 21:29, Bucoops said:

He is definitely the Marvin of the model world. I've managed one personal order through him, with several unanswered queries for costs of bulk parts (torpedo vents etc.). I usually end up buying from Roxey or Wizard or Peter's Spares.

I always identified somewhat with Marvin.  Glad to know I have a fellow traveller in the trade...

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37 minutes ago, The Johnster said:

I always identified somewhat with Marvin.  Glad to know I have a fellow traveller in the trade...

 

 

Oh it certainly wasn't meant to be derogatory. Marvin is a misery and a right pain in the rear to deal with, but under it all like-able.

 

Having said that I just remembered that the one direct order I managed, he overcharged the quoted price by about £40. I did get it back fortunately.

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