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TrainController UK price hike


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I just saw this extraordinary reply from Mr Freiwald who owns the TC company. This was to a UK customer querying the UK price increase on 1st Jan. It's on the TC forum. I have put my own reply but wondered what others thought of this?

 

Here is his quote:

"By the way, in the future we will focus more and more on the countries where it is fun to sell our software or to work with users. And we will more and more withdraw from other countries. Fun before business. Before we decided to make the said changes for the UK it has been a serious alternative for us to withdraw completely from there."

 

Barry

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Allegedly he did similar in the US where he refused to sell to States that voted for Trump! (there was a statement on the website but I can't find it anymore). Frederick may recall the issue and be able to say if it still applies.

 

At least we know his arrogance is consistent.

 

EDIT - here is a link to the statement http://www.freiwald.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=28317 - unfortunately I dont have a registration for the forum anymore (Herr Freiwald disabled it because I asked technical coding questions!)

 

Here is a link to another forum where the issue was described and makes interesting reading

 

https://www.marklin-users.net/forum/posts/t37558-TrainController--Freiwald----a-study-in-odd-and-poor-business-decisions--slightly-OT

Edited by WIMorrison
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Well in his reply to me, it seems it is politically motivated!!

 

"Hello “Barry”;

Quite right, currently the UK is not fun to do business with. Like Switzerland. Or the USA.

 

But this has to do with general conditions - political, legal, econimal, administrative etc. But not with the people living there.

 

Hence my statements may be taken as aggressive to the administrations of these or other countries for making live less fun as necessary. But not as aggressive to the users living there."

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Wow. I was already hesitant to consider traincontroller as a future software - because I need a turntable on my proposed layout I pretty much have to go for the Gold version. Even less likely to go with them now.

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"Hence my statements may be taken as aggressive to the administrations of these or other countries for making live less fun as necessary. But not as aggressive to the users living there."

But unfortunately the "users living there" are the ones who suffer from his decision. Unlike the instigators of the things he doesn't like, who couldn't care less that one bit of specialist software isn't available in certain countries.  So while he may not have agressive intentions, the result is just the same. 

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Quite right, currently the UK is not fun to do business with. Like Switzerland. Or the USA.

 

But this has to do with general conditions - political, legal, econimal, administrative etc. But not with the people living there.

 

Hence my statements may be taken as aggressive to the administrations of these or other countries for making live less fun as necessary. But not as aggressive to the users living there

 

I'm assuming that 'not fun to do business with' means 'makes political decisions I don't like'......

Edited by pete_mcfarlane
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A look at the Traincontroller website shows that he considers that Brexit will create problems in supplying direct to the UK and that he proposes supplying through a UK based third party. Given that English is not his first language he may not have expressed himself very well in his PR and replies to enquiries.

 

Or, as has already been stated, he may have found dealing with some UK consumers such a PITA he would rather get someone else to do it. Adding a further stage in the supply process will add cost, so explaining a price increase.

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Try looking up who the fired party agent is, I can't find any info fo

A look at the Traincontroller website shows that he considers that Brexit will create problems in supplying direct to the UK and that he proposes supplying through a UK based third party. Given that English is not his first language he may not have expressed himself very well in his PR and replies to enquiries.

Or, as has already been stated, he may have found dealing with some UK consumers such a PITA he would rather get someone else to do it. Adding a further stage in the supply process will add cost, so explaining a price increase.

His English is absolutely perfect as I have met him.

 

Try to find out who this third party agent is, as I can't find info on them as there so obscure. But I have a theory as to why it not someone more mainstream. As I know of one person who used to sell it as a third agent who got lumbered when he updated the software and another retailer who told me his conditions to sell it are to restrictive.

 

Rita's post on the the forum was to highlight they wanted software but he had put his price up before the stated date and time

Edited by Andymsa
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I understand that this price hike is unwelcome, but all Mr Freiwald is doing is putting us on the same footing as all other non-EU countries. Switzerland caused him a real pain with their import controls which is why he now ships through an agent to them at the increased price of €574. But from his point of view how will Brexit work out? Will we/won't we leave? Deal or no deal? So handing over responsibility for UK sales to the same agent as Switzerland relieves him of all that hassle. I appreciate he has a real attitude problem at times, probably because his real love is running trains and not all the hassle that comes from international sales. The EU demanding that he should charge VAT at the rate of the country he was selling too didn't help either.

 

Basically his price structure is

 

€499 - Germany

€509 - all other EU countries

€574 - all non-EU countries. Some are priced at $649 which is about the same.

$709 - USA.  Don't know why they pay a premium here.

 

But let's not lose sight of the impact of Brexit. Before the vote to leave, the pound was trading at €1.40, and if that were the rate today (and we were not leaving the EU) the Gold price of €509 would apply, and that would work out at about £360. Today however €574 becomes  £513. 

 

As far as Rita's issue is concerned, I have little sympathy. She knew the price increase was from 1st January, so why wait till 31st December to decide to make the purchase, especially as their shop was closed on that day? 

Edited by RFS
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I understand that this price hike is unwelcome, but all Mr Freiwald is doing is putting us on the same footing as all other non-EU countries. Switzerland caused him a real pain with their import controls which is why he now ships through an agent to them at the increased price of €574. But from his point of view how will Brexit work out? Will we/won't we leave? Deal or no deal? So handing over responsibility for UK sales to the same agent as Switzerland relieves him of all that hassle. I appreciate he has a real attitude problem at times, probably because his real love is running trains and not all the hassle that comes from international sales. The EU demanding that he should charge VAT at the rate of the country he was selling too didn't help either.

 

Basically his price structure is

 

€499 - Germany

€509 - all other EU countries

€574 - all non-EU countries. Some are priced at $649 which is about the same.

$709 - USA.  Don't know why they pay a premium here.

 

But let's not lose sight of the impact of Brexit. Before the vote to leave, the pound was trading at €1.40, and if that were the rate today (and we were not leaving the EU) the Gold price of €509 would apply, and that would work out at about £360. Today however €574 becomes  £513. 

 

As far as Rita's issue is concerned, I have little sympathy. She knew the price increase was from 1st January, so why wait till 31st December to decide to make the purchase, especially as their shop was closed on that day? 

 

All businesses are in the same boat and if he limited himself to providing an explanation based on import/export processes it'd be fair enough. If he wants to mix politics with his business (the stuff on blacklisting US states who provided a majority for Trump is the sort of immature reaction most grow out of at a young age) and make things up as he goes along (note use of words like "certain" and "probably" in some of his GAQs on the matter which is basically a way of telling customers he doesn't know) it is of course his right (freedom includes the right to be an idiot) but he can't then complain when people see this stuff for what it is.

Edited by jjb1970
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I understand that this price hike is unwelcome, but all Mr Freiwald is doing is putting us on the same footing as all other non-EU countries. Switzerland caused him a real pain with their import controls which is why he now ships through an agent to them at the increased price of €574. But from his point of view how will Brexit work out? Will we/won't we leave? Deal or no deal? So handing over responsibility for UK sales to the same agent as Switzerland relieves him of all that hassle. I appreciate he has a real attitude problem at times, probably because his real love is running trains and not all the hassle that comes from international sales. The EU demanding that he should charge VAT at the rate of the country he was selling too didn't help either.

 

Basically his price structure is

 

€499 - Germany

€509 - all other EU countries

€574 - all non-EU countries. Some are priced at $649 which is about the same.

$709 - USA.  Don't know why they pay a premium here.

 

But let's not lose sight of the impact of Brexit. Before the vote to leave, the pound was trading at €1.40, and if that were the rate today (and we were not leaving the EU) the Gold price of €509 would apply, and that would work out at about £360. Today however €574 becomes  £513. 

 

As far as Rita's issue is concerned, I have little sympathy. She knew the price increase was from 1st January, so why wait till 31st December to decide to make the purchase, especially as their shop was closed on that day?

 

You may not have sympathy for her case, but what would be said if a train ran early and you missed it, or you got a parking ticket and still had time on it. If something is advertised as such then the timeline should be adhered too. I agree with her if she was within the deadline regardless if the office was closed or not, which I don't believe so as this is when the price changed then any order should be honoured at the original price. I'm not disagreeing with the reasons behind the price change just the timing of things.

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All businesses are in the same boat and if he limited himself to providing an explanation based on import/export processes it'd be fair enough. If he wants to mix politics with his business (the stuff on blacklisting US states who provided a majority for Trump is the sort of immature reaction most grow out of at a young age) and make things up as he goes along (note use of words like "certain" and "probably" in some of his GAQs on the matter which is basically a way of telling customers he doesn't know) it is of course his right (freedom includes the right to be an idiot) but he can't then complain when people see this stuff for what it is.

 

I think you have to take these occasional pronouncements from him with a pinch of salt, as they seem to be very much tongue-in-cheek. I don't think there was any real intent to reject sales from anywhere on this basis. After all, his business relies on new sales and upgrades (ie users don't pay an annual licence fee), and he has very little work to do to sell a new licence. However, from a PR point of view, he's being very silly. 

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Allegedly he did similar in the US where he refused to sell to States that voted for Trump! (there was a statement on the website but I can't find it anymore). Frederick may recall the issue and be able to say if it still applies.

 

At least we know his arrogance is consistent.

 

EDIT - here is a link to the statement http://www.freiwald.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=28317 - unfortunately I dont have a registration for the forum anymore (Herr Freiwald disabled it because I asked technical coding questions!)

 

Here is a link to another forum where the issue was described and makes interesting reading

 

https://www.marklin-users.net/forum/posts/t37558-TrainController--Freiwald----a-study-in-odd-and-poor-business-decisions--slightly-OT

Hi Iain

 

That first link is barred to me and I am logged on as a forum member

"You are not authorised to read this forum."

 

Keith

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Hi Iain

 

That first link is barred to me and I am logged on as a forum member

"You are not authorised to read this forum."

 

Keith

 

I think it means the topic has been locked - possibly to all but administrators. 

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"Does this change also affect other aspects like download of the software, technical support, treatment of defective USB sticks, etc.?

Not yet. Aspects not mentioned here are not affected so far. Whether and how this will change in the further course of the Brexit, is currently not foreseeable."

 

This really does have cause for concern

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I’m minded to buy it at the new price to show my support to his approach!

 

How neatly this thread explains another reality of Brexit: how Europeans see us, our own surprise at the new value of our currency, the impact on free trade and the folly of this self inflicted misery (in the narrow terms of model railway software).

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"Does this change also affect other aspects like download of the software, technical support, treatment of defective USB sticks, etc.?

Not yet. Aspects not mentioned here are not affected so far. Whether and how this will change in the further course of the Brexit, is currently not foreseeable."

 

This really does have cause for concern

I see two problems.

1. Herr Freiwald gives the impression he thinks on his feet rather than planning for all eventualities, and also seems to make irrational business decisions/announcements based on politics, not good business practice.

2. How Brexit plays out.

 

Also how did the VAT changes introduced by the EU affect software causing a previous price change/increase?

 

I have since then bought items direct from German businesses and the VAT didn't seem to come into it.

I paid the price in Euros including the local VAT not UK VAT.

 

Keith

Edited by melmerby
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I see two problems.

1. Herr Freiwald gives the impression he thinks on his feet rather than planning for all eventualities, and also seems to make irrational business decisions/announcements based on politics, not good business practice.

2. How Brexit plays out.

 

Also how did the VAT changes introduced by the EU affect software causing a previous price change/increase?

 

I have since then bought items direct from German businesses and the VAT didn't seem to come into it.

I paid the price in Euros including the local VAT not UK VAT.

 

Keith

 

Not sure why it came up in this post on the TC forum in June 2017, but here is Mr Freiwald telling us what will happen to UK prices in 2019.

 

http://www.freiwald.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=29058

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