Fleischmann / Roco Warranty Blues
I miss my Deutsche Bundesbahn Class 64!
I discussed some of my issues with my Fleischmann BR 64 locomotive in a post last winter. The BR 64 was performing very poorly and it was obvious something was really wrong. According to my dealer, the issue is that there is a gear issue and it is causing the wheel drive to get stuck and thus the poor performance. It seems that this is a clear design flaw that cannot be repaired and the locomotive needs to be replaced (good for him!) :-) He also informs me that my locomotive is one of four he has seen with the same problem (ouch! Bad for Fleischmann/Roco!).
It seems that when Roco acquired Fleischmann last year, all the Fleischmann managers were let go and there was also some signficant reorganization (both physical and organizational) which helps to explain the delay. That doesn't mean that I think this delay is acceptable, however. This is one of those occassions where a good dealer really pays off, they've already made their margins on this deal, and they do this all to support their customers. The benefit to the dealer (in this case) is that I definitely have high confidence in purchasing from them in the future! Thanks Walter!
For Fleischmann / Roco, however, another story. Given the relative premium they charge for their products (they seem to be the highest, even compared to Minitrix) I would like to expect a bit more from them right out of the box (especially as this locomotive came as part of a 'starter set'! What kind of impression does this leave with someone new to the hobby! Arg!!!) and despite a two year warranty, one certainly does not expect that a locomotive will spend a good portion of that time somewhere in a warehouse waiting to get 'looked at' rather than quickly replaced!
I hope this is not the future direction for the new Roco company and its Fleischmann acquisition, but we have seen similar sad developments in this hobby in the past. I would be interested to know if any others are also experiencing these sort of problems with Roco / Fleischmann?