Author Topic: Intermountain no longer servicing non-warranty items  (Read 1274 times)

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MK

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Intermountain no longer servicing non-warranty items
« on: May 01, 2021, 03:33:09 PM »
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I don't remember reading this so I don't know if this is recent or old news.

https://www.intermountain-railway.com/customerservice/csrepair.html

A club member stumbled upon this.

JMaurer1

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Re: Intermountain no longer servicing non-warranty items
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2021, 02:38:58 PM »
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Looks like IM is breaking out a bigger shovel to dig themselves a bigger hole. Cab Fwds are not accepted without prior authorization...and may be returned without any work done...
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mmagliaro

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Re: Intermountain no longer servicing non-warranty items
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2021, 06:36:18 PM »
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What's with singling out the Cab Forward specifically, apart from everything else they make, with extra stern warnings about how it may be returned without any work done?  They are almost saying, "Cab Forwards are a lot of trouble and people return them a lot"

wvgca

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Re: Intermountain no longer servicing non-warranty items
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2021, 08:42:20 PM »
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not having service on out of warranty items will probably hurt their sales a little, but then again they aren't making much money on this type of service ..

peteski

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Re: Intermountain no longer servicing non-warranty items
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2021, 09:01:26 PM »
+1
I wonder if they simply ran out of spare parts?
. . . 42 . . .

CBQ Fan

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Re: Intermountain no longer servicing non-warranty items
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2021, 09:30:18 PM »
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I wonder if people are screwing them up somehow and just shipping them back.
Brian

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pmpexpress

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Re: Intermountain no longer servicing non-warranty items
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2021, 09:42:18 PM »
+1
I wonder if people are screwing them up somehow and just shipping them back.

Given that Bachmann eliminated its decades old lifetime warranty policy and began charging for repairs after the advent of eBay, where buyers were/are buying supposedly new, but old products, and sending them in for warranty repairs or replacements, there might be something to this line of thinking.

pmpexpress

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Re: Intermountain no longer servicing non-warranty items
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2021, 09:48:53 PM »
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I wonder if they simply ran out of spare parts?

Along with the low profitability factors commonly associated with the sale of mostly inexpensive model train components and low cost repair work, a lack of replacement parts is a highly plausible explanation.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2021, 09:51:02 PM by pmpexpress »

MK

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Re: Intermountain no longer servicing non-warranty items
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2021, 11:24:14 PM »
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Given that Bachmann eliminated its decades old lifetime warranty policy and began charging for repairs after the advent of eBay, where buyers were/are buying supposedly new, but old products, and sending them in for warranty repairs or replacements, there might be something to this line of thinking.

But that's different from IM not doing any repairs other than those under warranty.  So if something broke after the warranty period, you're on your own.  Your money is no good at IM!

pmpexpress

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Re: Intermountain no longer servicing non-warranty items
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2021, 12:01:36 AM »
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But that's different from IM not doing any repairs other than those under warranty.  So if something broke after the warranty period, you're on your own.  Your money is no good at IM!

Although I might be mistaken, my recollection is that Athearn, Atlas, Broadway Limited Imports, Con-Cor, and Fox Valley Models have never provided an out-of-warranty repair service.

In N-Scale, Bachmann and Katousa are the only firms who are still providing out-of-warranty repairs.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2021, 12:06:15 AM by pmpexpress »

drgw0579

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Re: Intermountain no longer servicing non-warranty items
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2021, 09:10:09 AM »
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"No parts available" is a fact of life in many product areas.   When I worked for Hewlett-Packard, they were very diligent about making distinctions on when "end of life" would occur.  Back in the old days, some products, like instruments sold to the government, would be serviceable for a long time.   But in the last 10 years, computers became really hard to maintain even when they were 5 years old.  Blame the pace of new product introductions.

Those Cab Forwards, aren't they going on more than 10 years old since they were originally imported and last available from the company?   My son worked for IMR when he was in high school doing repairs on them, and even then they had been available for a couple of years.  He's now in his upper 20's and graduated to 1:1 SD40-2's.  From what I remember from his then-boss, who no longer works there, the Cab Forward was a special product that AFFA wanted to produce and got special attention from their head owner.   There weren't "spare parts" as we know them; if they needed something to fix a customer unit they had to scrap out another.   Since that was THE factory that closed and caused all sorts of problems, the ability to reissue or make parts unique to that model doesn't exist.   Now it's likely (my speculation) that the supply of donors has simply run out.

What are we to do to keep our older models running?   I had a Kato SD45 that I messed up something.  That model hasn't been imported for a long time (and probably unlikely to be again any time soon).   I checked Kato's website from time to time and it was obvious that they weren't going to have parts available.   But I got lucky and found a replacement on EBay.  The Cab Forward is a different beast, and it's too bad IMR finally had to give up on them.   I'd really like to have one myself.

Bill Kepner
« Last Edit: May 04, 2021, 09:14:15 AM by drgw0579 »

JMaurer1

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Re: Intermountain no longer servicing non-warranty items
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2021, 12:19:32 PM »
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I think that the difficulty of taking apart and re assembling the cab forwards may have also added to this. They are quite the puzzle, but what do I do with my very expensive loco when it has a problem now...
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Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Intermountain no longer servicing non-warranty items
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2021, 02:46:09 PM »
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I think that the difficulty of taking apart and re assembling the cab forwards may have also added to this. They are quite the puzzle, but what do I do with my very expensive loco when it has a problem now...

The same thing you do with your car!

mmagliaro

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Re: Intermountain no longer servicing non-warranty items
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2021, 08:33:02 PM »
+1
The same thing you do with your car!

... which is take it to a dealership or a 3rd party repair place.   Nobody is asking IM to fix this stuff for free.  To cut everybody off who owns an IM product that is out of warranty is a bad idea.  If the problem really is that they cannot get parts anymore, especially for the cab forward, then they should openly say that.  Unlike a dealership, which can probably source parts for your car even if it's 20 years old if they really have to, IM has to rely on what they have on hand.   I realize the situation is more difficult for them.   They say, "We are no longer able to accept returns for non-warranty repairs."
"No longer able" ... why?  Because they don't want to?  Because they don't have the technicians?  Because they can't get the parts?  Because they want to save their parts for warranty work?   They should just explain.   Issues like this go much better for everybody, with less wrankled customers, just by being open with customers about what's going on.

thomasjmdavis

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Re: Intermountain no longer servicing non-warranty items
« Reply #14 on: Yesterday at 11:57:24 PM »
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The same thing you do with your car!
So, if I add a quart of 5W-30 every 1000 miles or so, the cab forward will keep running?
Tom D.

Dear manufacturers,
If you don't make it, I can't buy it.