I got banninated from oguagerr, advice?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by BonoboWannabe, Nov 8, 2006.

  1. BonoboWannabe

    BonoboWannabe New Member

    As far as I can tell for simply expressing strong dissatisfaction with the reliability of my MTH 2-8-0 train. Has this happened to anyone else? I had a really bad experience(I'm very new to model trains) and was looking for advice. They banned me. It was strongly worded, but no profanity. My original post did, but then I re-wrote it and cleaned it up, but got banned again anyway. I'll re-post it below and you can decide for yourself, and hopefully offer some advice which I would greatly appreciate.

    It has some anger, I fixed some typos and minor things too, and it is "G" rated I assure you:

    Subject: My apologies

    For my last post if some of my language was inappropriate, but I am FURIOUS with MTH for their business practices. Not to mention the quality of product as I have experienced so far.

    As I mentioned, I had TWO controllers on my 2-8-0 Great northern LM blow out within the first month.

    I am very new to O scale trains. Are they just incredibly delicate?

    They were still on warranty, so the guys at the Kirkland train store fixed them, but not without giving me a LOT of grief like I had done something wrong. Even giving me grief about how many scale miles I had put on the locomotive.

    Don't you buy these things to actually use? Or are they just for looking at?

    So now that it's about to go off warranty, I am scared to run my locomotive. At the very least, since they seem to be so unreliable, they could sell me a spare controller(or control board, or whatever they call the PC board in the tinder that controls the motor and produces the proto-2 sound).

    I called them up and asked them about it and they said they don't sell them to the general public? Why not? Are they questioning my soldering skills? I can haul out my O-scope and do my own diagnostics.....

    Forgive me if I am off base here, but I really feel like I'm dealing with con men. They get me to buy a high priced locomotive, and then start hitting me for money every few scale miles. When it breaks.

    How many hours should I expect to get out of this thing before it breaks?

    My second concern is the way they treated the guy who wrote software to interface with his TIU. That is inexcusable. They should be encouraging this kind of thing, not threatening legal action.

    When I bought my train, I bought it because I wanted to learn about how they work. Same thing I do with my cars, computers, you name it. Sure it's fun to watch it go around in circles, but I really want to be able to do my own maintenance, upgrades, "hotrodding"(whatever that may mean in a model train context), etc.

    I didn't even get to that part. Just through normal use and running it around a simple layout I had the two main controller failures. Doesn't inspire confidence.

    MTH needs to understand that a lot of the people who can afford their products these days may have a strong scientific and engineering background, and expect a higher level of involvement in the technology of their purchase.

    I did a lot of work in logic chips(eeproms etc) and electronic control systems in college, so this stuff doesn't seem like rocket science.

    I also REALLY want to play around with the sound files(which I know also have the motor control code embedded) to upload my own sounds.

    Has anybody done any data analysis on these files?

    I should be able to upload any sound I want to my train. It's *MY* train.

    MTH needs to understand that they are driving newcomers away from this hobby with their behavior. I'm one of them.

    My experience with Lionel is just about as bad.

    There's a company I found called Southern Digital that seems to offer "aftermarket" control/sound systems, but it looks like they are only for G scale. Too big for me right now, plus I really like O scale.

    Any advice appreciated.
  2. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    If you used some vulgar language in the original post, perhaps they saw that and banned you for it despite the editing. Have you tried to contact them ask why you were banned?

  3. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!


    Different forums make different rules and are entitled to do so. At the Gauge we do ask that members not engage in bashing of a manaufactuer (as in " __________ company stinks and their products are rotten!") but we do permit members to express personal experiences with products and ask others if they have similar issues. Sometimes members gain information from others that is helpful in repairing a poorly working model or advice regarding the best way to proceed with a complaint with a manufacturer.

  4. BonoboWannabe

    BonoboWannabe New Member

    Thank you for the advice, I will try to keep it in mind. How about expressing dissatisfaction with a companies policies? I would think if others shared the same experience, it would not only be a positive thing for them to commiserate, but might lead to positive change on the company's part as well. Kind of a grass roots thing.

    Honest question: After reading my above post, did you find it to be innapropriate? I'm new to this, and from my point of view I spen a *LOT* of money on their product, and it feels like they are hanging me out to dry.

    All I want to do is be able to work on my own trains when the warranty runs out. I suppose everyone who gets into this hobby has their own reasons. My reason was so I could work on my own trains. That's the fun part for me. Some people liek scenery or layout. I like working on my own locomotives, etc.

    It seems that both major companies have no problem with taking away my entire reason for getting involved in this hobby in the first place.

    I can't help it - I'm an engineer/sysadmin by trade. I work on my own cars and have always fixed all my own electronics. It feels like they're intentionally depribing me of what I want/need most out of this hobby just so they can squeeze a few extra nickels out of me.

    Very disappointing for what should be about fun.

    In their email, the folks at the other forum accused me of essentiall trying to incite brand warfare. The whole idea was completely alien to me since I am comepletely new to this hobby.

    Thank you for your feedback!

    One quick question - where could I post technical questions about DCS? I want to see if it's possible to chage/edit my sound files so I can put my own sounds on my lm.

  5. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    Just shrug it off. You'll meet a lot of people online, some you'll like and some you won't. There are plenty of other railroad forums out there and The Gauge would be glad to have you aboard.

    According to the staff at Trainboard I'm a "well-known Internet troll." Granted, I'm not the most personable online but I do find their comments rather troll-like in and of themself. This is ironic because I don't use the same login name at any two forums and rarely sign my posts with my real name when it's not already apparent. I guess they just had an axe to grind because I didn't agree with their utopia, either.
  6. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Well, again, other forums will have their own expectations and rules regarding posting, especially I'd imagine when it comes to discussing specific manufacturers. One needs to keep in mind issues of defaming a company on a public board. That said, it is Ok to post questions about a product to see if others have had similar problems and might have had some success in solving them.

    In general the best practice would be to contact the manufacturer ( more than once if necessary) to express concerns you have with them. They probably have reasons why they won't sell certain components to the general public and may be willing to explain them to you. Maybe you can try your persuasive skills in letting you buy one.

    You'll find that modelers sometimes rally to the defense of their favorite brands much like the Famous Ford vs. Chevy debates :) so it doesn't surprise me that some posters became upset when reading critical reveiws of products. I believe one can still report a difficulty with a product in a tacful way that might just prompt a helpful response from some one elese who's been there, done that.

    As for DCC stuff we do have a DCC forum and a Technical forum on the Gauge where you could post questions regarding sound files etc.

  7. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

    The more posts of yours I read the more you grow on me ;)
  8. Knighthawk

    Knighthawk Member

    If they've banned you for a post like that, after you've cleaned it up, and edited it, it's their loss, forget about 'em, and move on to better forums, like The Gauge.
  9. BonoboWannabe

    BonoboWannabe New Member

    Thank you! That's all good to know. Is the DCC thread good for DCS issues too? All I really want is a locomotive I can load my own sounds onto. Heading over there now.....
  10. Knighthawk

    Knighthawk Member

    Well, you're right about these companies shooting themselves, but from my point of view, it's in the head, not the foot. I knew that was the cleaned up version, and I have no trouble with what you said. It was right on the money! I'm relatively new to the hobby myself. I model N Scale, and my LHS will bend over backwards to make sure that I get what I want, and if there is ever any trouble with a product, they will either fix it themselves, or got to bat with the company for me.

    Anyway, welcome aboard, and good luck!
  11. jflessne

    jflessne Member

    I think what you ran into was something that seemed to happen on Trains.com message boards alot. I suspect they may have a written or un written rule concerning negative comments about compaines. Essentailly someone who owns a MTH train might take what you wrote personelly. (I know it's dumb) Some people have certain perceptions of good and bad companies.

    For example I've own a MTH train for 2 years now and I love it. Been very reliable. Can't say anything bad about MTH. I called them a couple times to ask some silly questions and I recieved satifactory answers.

    I think model train companies need something like a Bizrate ranking system. Compiled comments and rankings. The potential buyer makes his own assumptions.

    FYI I have the exact same Great Northern setup. :)
  12. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    POst 1000balloon6 bounce7 hamr and I am shareing it with you.

    I hold the record for being banned from OGR and forums in general.

    Just send a sincer email, very briefly explaining what you did and you are sorry. ASk for a second chance.

    I asure you if you do they will he honest with you.

    You cant use profanity there nor slander an advertiser.

    The are strict, for example when my mom died in July I did not post it as that was an on going problem with folks posting birthdays, sicknesses, dead pets, ect.

    Good luck and hey look at me, banned but once here, quit twice in a huff and still made it to post 1000!:thumb:
  13. Knighthawk

    Knighthawk Member

    :thumb: Congrats Gil!balloon6
  14. BonoboWannabe

    BonoboWannabe New Member

    Thanks for sharing #1000 on my questions! As for the MTH, I would like it too if I could change the sounds to my liking. Having only a choice between freight and passenger sounds, plus I have to buy like $300 worth of gear to even be able to change it between just those two is really lame in my book.

    Plus like I said, two total controller failures in the first month. The warranty fixed them, but I had to take a lot of crap from the guys down at Eastside trains. They acted like it was all my fault. It could have been, but I'm new at this, and just got the setup they recommended.

    I just want be able to fix it myself if/when it breaks off warranty, rather than have to pay them a fortune. I'm not into that - like I said, I got into this specifically so I could work on them myself.

    Thanks a lot for all the replies/info/encouragement!!
  15. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    It is tuff to spend those big somolians and get a piece of brightly painted junk.

    I had a problem out of the box with a K Line big boy and I was mad, had to drive 50 miles back to the dealer.

    He however had ordered one for the shop when he placed my order and traded me.
    I get it home and guess what, wont run.

    He sent both back and in 3 weeks all was right.

    Hang in there, it happens.
  16. bob_aiwa

    bob_aiwa New Member

    Do to: sodigi.com


  17. Quinn222

    Quinn222 Member

    I didn't think your post was that bad but every forum is different. I can't really speak to your problem with MTH since I have several of their locos in both O and HO and have never had a problem

    However, reading your post and what you actually want to do with your locos then I think maybe you make a poor choice in what to purchase. If you want to fool around with the settings and the decoders and download sounds etc. then I'd recommend you buy either a DCC ready loco (as opposed to one that already has dcc on board) or if you really want to play around inside get a plain old DC loco and install the decoders that you want in them.
  18. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    How is going for you now. ever get back onto OGR?
  19. COMBAT

    COMBAT Member

    I want to thank the mods for allowing me to share my experince with a Online retailer and not deleting the thread. Being a mod myself at two other forums I know how those threads can get out of hand and I have tried VERY HARD to control those situations.

    Thanks again! :thumb:
  20. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    I read your posting. I would be mad too. I never owned a MTH product but I know they are not cheap! As a customer, I would like to know how a company treats it's customers. You have the right to be mad. Did you ever think you up setted MTH fans on that forum? Besides, The Gauge is the ONLY model railroad forum I am very active in!:thumb:


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