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Junkman

Warning! Beware of shopping at Model Car World in Germany!

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Model Car World sent me (among other in this shipment) a 1/18 MCG Rolls Royce model with so severe manufacturing defects that it is hard to believe it passed the manufacturer's quality control, and they should have been obvious enough when the model was packed for dispatch. The base plate is so warped, it hangs out half an inch below the sills and the model does not rest on all four wheels. Also, the roof is severely scuffed.

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No big deal, I thought, it's a reputed dealer, so they will replace it with no fuss. I mean, this always was the case when I ordered from different dealers in the past and a defective model arrived. So I entered a claim via their website.

To my surprise, MCW had different ideas. After a few days I received an email from their so called Service Team, explaining they wanted me to send the model back (OK) to be either refunded, or a replacement being sent out WITH MY NEXT ORDER (most definitely NOT OK!).

I replied that I don't want a refund, since the model is intended as a Christmas gift for a friend and I find it unacceptable that a replacement is dependent on me making another purchase, which wasn't planned from my side in the foreseeable future, let alone before Christmas, until which the replacement model would be required. I also clearly told them my opinion about their business conduct to make the replacement of a defective model dependent on a new purchase from my side.

After a further few days, I received another eMail from the MCW Service Team repeating this unreasonable offer, to which I replied that I am not agreeing to their demands and asked to please involve a manager. This was on Dec 18th.

Christmas came and passed, so on Dec 27th I decided to post a comment on their Facebook page. They threatened me to report it to the Facebook authorities, since I mentioned the name of the Person of their so called Service Team, so I obliged to their demand, deleted the post and posted another one not mentioning any names. Today they replied to it MENTIONING MY NAME(!) and posted only the part where they offer to refund the model if I send it back, to which I do not agree.
They failed to mention part two, that a replacement would be dependent on further purchases altogether.

Regarding the timeline, I waited for well over a week until I took this into the public domain. I gave them a fair chance to handle this in privacy. I have also been a customer for years.
 

This is the first time in my life the replacement of a defective new item is made dependent on further purchases.
Since I canno longer trust them, I will not send back the model. I will try to fix it.

But I am fuming about their practices and urge everyone to think twice before ordering from them.

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I perused the website and they don't even cover exchange of damaged/defective items. Pretty bad business model.

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2 hours ago, SfanGoch said:

...Pretty bad business model.

I believe the name of that is "We have your money, chump. Whistle."

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Thanks for the alert. I occasionally deal with companies in other countries and appreciate good business practices. I don't understand why anyone would be this way as it certainly will hurt them eventually.

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If they were customer savvy, they would have replaced your model and looked at the rest of their stock of that car for faults and taken it up with the manufacturer.

 

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It is like this: When I enter the URL of the model car manufacturer, which is on the box, into my browser, I'm automatically redirected to the Model Car World Germany website!

They are the manufacturer, i.e. the models are manufactured exclusively for them. Hence I am unable to complain to the manufacturer about their practices.

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This is a great example of why I prefer shopping at "Brick and Mortar" stores. This is not an isolated internet sales problem.  

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And where would I find such a "Brick and Mortar" store?
I'd be forced to give up the hobby altogether.

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I know of several good 'brick and mortar' hobby shops that I frequented from 1995-2005.   Not so much today. 

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1 hour ago, stitchdup said:

Did you mention ze war? (john cleesefaulty towers reference)

I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it...

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11 minutes ago, Junkman said:

And where would I find such a "Brick and Mortar" store?
I'd be forced to give up the hobby altogether.

 

4 minutes ago, Rob Hall said:

I know of several good 'brick and mortar' hobby shops that I frequented from 1995-2005.   Not so much today. 

Sorry I didn't stop to think of those who aren't as blessed with a real store that can provide for their needs. In this I'm truly fortunate to have a great Hobby Shop a short drive away as well as  a Hobby Lobby and a Michel's store. Yes I'm spoiled. 

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3 minutes ago, espo said:

 

Sorry I didn't stop to think of those who aren't as blessed with a real store that can provide for their needs. In this I'm truly fortunate to have a great Hobby Shop a short drive away as well as  a Hobby Lobby and a Michel's store. Yes I'm spoiled. 

Yeah, I'm in a county with 1.25 million people, not sure if I have any regular independent hobby shops left, so I'm pretty much 100% online. 

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20 minutes ago, Rob Hall said:

Yeah, I'm in a county with 1.25 million people, not sure if I have any regular independent hobby shops left, so I'm pretty much 100% online. 

I know from my time I spent delivering groceries in the area you live in before medical issues forced me into retirement Rob, there are a few but not many brick and mortar shops in that area, and one of the largest closed around 2016. The couple I had the chance to stop in while I had a little spare time on my runs really didn't impress me for being in a larger metropolitan area when a few in the Pittsburgh, PA area that is closer for me seem to be much better stocked and not quite as large of a metro area. 

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28 minutes ago, Rob Hall said:

Yeah, I'm in a county with 1.25 million people, not sure if I have any regular independent hobby shops left, so I'm pretty much 100% online. 

Interesting commentary on our times that a county with 1.25 million people can't support one real hobby shop. I wonder how many vape shops there are.

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5 minutes ago, highway said:

I know from my time I spent delivering groceries in the area you live in before medical issues forced me into retirement Rob, there are a few but not many brick and mortar shops in that area, and one of the largest closed around 2016. The couple I had the chance to stop in while I had a little spare time on my runs really didn't impress me for being in a larger metropolitan area when a few in the Pittsburgh, PA area that is closer for me seem to be much better stocked and not quite as large of a metro area. 

Yeah, there was one only a few miles from me (Parma Hobby) but it closed the year before I moved here.   When I lived in Kent in the early 90s there was a good shop in Cuyahoga Falls and one in Canton.     There is a decent one in Geneva-on-the-Lake I visit when I go up that way to the beach. 

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21 minutes ago, Richard Bartrop said:

That's the population of Calgary, and we have 4.

Which four?

I know Chinook Hobbies, and of course PM Hobbycraft. Who are the other two, and are they any good? Always looking for more place to stop when I venture down there.

Red Deer has a really good one. Wildside Hobby and The Game Store. The Game store rivals Hobby Wholesale, if not surpasses them.

 

Here in Edmonton, we have the same population, roughly a million, and we have basically 3 stores. Hobby Wholesale, and two locations for Comex Hobby.

I do most of my purchasing in person, but still do a lot of internet buying.

 

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Chinook is online only now.  There's Model Land, which has a huge selection of kits, and a nice little Italian deli beside it you want to make an afternoon of it.  There's also Action Hobbies, which I haven't been to , and Trains and Such, which specializes in trains, but also has models, and a huge selection of tools and materials.  I think there are a few other specialty places.

Edited by Richard Bartrop

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And in each and every one of these shops you can buy the full assortment of MCG 1/18 scale diecasts?
I don't think there is one in the entire United Kingdom that carries them. Let alone here in the North West.

Besides, I have been ordering by mail order and later online from the entire World for the past forty years, but I have never ever encountered the sort of business conduct Model Car World in Germany displays.

Edited by Junkman

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How did you pay for the item ?? If you paid either using a credit card or PayPal, get in touch with them, they will more than likely refund the money to you and make a chargeback with the seller 

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6 hours ago, Rob Hall said:

Yeah, there was one only a few miles from me (Parma Hobby) but it closed the year before I moved here.   When I lived in Kent in the early 90s there was a good shop in Cuyahoga Falls and one in Canton.     There is a decent one in Geneva-on-the-Lake I visit when I go up that way to the beach. 

Parma Hobby was the one I was thinking of Rob, because I used to pass it on one run I made quite often because the Walmart stores in the Parma Mall and just down the main road (OH 17 if I remember correctly, it's been a while) from where Parma Hobby was located were on the same route.

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I'd do something soon while you're still in the EU. Once that's over, you're done. 

Contact bank, stop payment/reverse charges, and send it back signature required and insured. Photos of damage,all of it, and photos of return packing, outside of box (video better), and shipping receipts. If they "lose" the return, insurance covers you. Good luck.

Guys, he's in UK, not Ohio or CAN. 

Edited by DukeE

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Let's clarify a few things.


1. Being inside or outside the EU has the exact square root of bugger all bearing on this. The EU is a political alliance, nothing else.

2. I'm not going to invoke a reverse charge, since this would be illegal. I would find myself in possession of a model I haven't paid for.
Model Car World would refund me if I send the model back. But this is not what I want. I want to own a model, not money.

3. The only thing Model-car-world Ltd in the UK and Model Car World GmbH in Germany have in common is that their names sound the same when you say them, but notice that even the spelling is different. They have nothing whatsoever to do with each other.
Model Car World in Germany is affiliated with a company in the USA, American Excellence, but is an independent legal entity incorporated in Germany.
I hope what I am doing here does not negatively affect Model-car-world in the UK, a small stand alone company that has hitherto never done anything to me I could complain about.
I might send them an email suggesting they change their name.

4. The very same customer rights applicable in the UK are also applicable in Germany, since they are EU statutes written into the law of all EU member states (Fernabsatzgesetz/Remote Sales Act). As an interntional trade specialist for over thirty years, I'm well aware of the legal situation and the legal actions I can or can not take. Since MCW would refund the model if I send it back, they act in full compliance with the Remote Sales Act. But to make the delivery of a replacement model dependent on further purchases is just morally wrong, IMO not befitting a respectable business and it could be illegal within German legislation, see point 5.

5. I'm currently testing whether them making the replacement of the model only possible if I purchase more from them is legal in the sense of the uniquely German (not EU, not UK) Verbundgeschäftsgesetz (Combined Transaction Act), which is written into the German Handelsgesetzbuch (commercial code).
According to this act, a combined transaction - also known as a coupled transaction - is always present when the conclusion of a transaction (contract) includes the conclusion of a second transaction (contract) and a direct dependency between the transactions or contracts is established. The act contains a number of special legal features, but making the replacement of a defective good directly dependable on a further transaction (contract) could be illegal in Germany. If it is, all I could do is threaten them with it, since any court would dismiss the case because it's below the marginality threshold.

 

I opened this thread merely to warn you of the shady wheelings and dealings of Model Car World Germany, to prevent you from finding yourselves in some similarly frustrating position I am currently in.

I did open threads on other forums and have meanwhile been contacted by numerous people who can tell similar stories about the so called customer service of Model Car World in Germany, such as no longer honouring discounts when replacing defective models, i.e. if the exchange is happening after the sale ended. One guy received a model (purchased when it was on sale), was unhappy with it and wanted to exchange it for a more expensive model of better quality and pay the difference. In his case, they also refused to still honour the discount. The list goes on. Nothing they do seems downright illegal, but it's just dismal customer service and leaves people frustrated who pursue the opposite - happiness by having a hobby.

 

You have been warned. That's all.

Edited by Junkman

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