Fair warning: A Vent Post!

mtntrainman Dec 24, 2014

  1. ckblum

    ckblum New Member

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    Oh booooy... I was just thinking of buying the Digitrax Zephyr system.......
     
  2. jhn_plsn

    jhn_plsn TrainBoard Supporter

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    What was the topic?:question:
     
  3. jhn_plsn

    jhn_plsn TrainBoard Supporter

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    Ah, that's right. The lag with Digitrax service.

    Unfortunately we are at their mercy so plan accordingly.

    Any good stories from experiences at Digitrax?

    I have my unexpected UT4 show up on time, but our group had a good experience with the tech support. They (Rick?) helped coach us into a successful DCC plan for our modular set ups.
     
  4. maxairedale

    maxairedale TrainBoard Member

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    I understand your frustration George, right now I'm waiting for a non train related item (brand new, defective when opened) to get home. Like you I don't have any idea when it will arrive.
    While you have been waiting for the throttle to get home have you been getting ready for the change by:
    • Removing the Digitrax system,
    • Ordering the Powercab System, don't forget PCPs you need to replace the UP3/UP5s you have,
    • Ordering an extra throttle or two?

    I just watched this video on the NEC web site, which has me wondering if the NEC system will work if the Powercab is not attached?

    These questions are for the Powercab owners here -
    • Can you run trains with the Cab04, Cab05 or the Cab06 without the Powercab plugged in?
    • How many PCPs can you daisy chain together?
    Gary
     
  5. maxairedale

    maxairedale TrainBoard Member

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    I have had use the Digitrax service three times, one warranty claim and two repairs. Each time I had my items repaired or replace and back within 10 days of sending it. The last time was my programing throttle that came with a straight cable. I requested that when repairing the throttle (dropped it one time too many due to snagging the cord) that they replace the cable with a curly cord. They changed it at no additional cost.

    Since the command modal is separate from the throttles, I could still run trains without the programing throttle (I have 2 universal throttles also).

    Gary
     
  6. cf7

    cf7 TrainBoard Member

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    I can answer your first question. The PowerCab has to be plugged in...Always! That is where most of the electronics are stored and the system will not operate otherwise.

    I have a PowerCab, but I am not going to use it on the layout. I have purchased 2 DC walk around throttles with memory and am going to use that. After 17 years of using Digitrax, EasyDCC, and NCE, I want to go back to simpler times. Besides, I like to wire control panels!
     
  7. jhn_plsn

    jhn_plsn TrainBoard Supporter

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    First to answer your two questions;

    The Powercab is the command station and it must always be plugged into the right slot in the PCP panel if the light is mounted above the slots. You can daisy chain additional UTP (universal throttle panels) off the PCP, but you cannot add additional PCP's. The only way to get around having the Powercab plugged into the specified slot is to upgrade to a command station like the SB3/5. My way around the upgrade at the time was to add a 10' long 6 wire coil cord for the Powercab.
    Also the NCE UTP's can be used with the Digitrax system, but the Digitrax UP3/5's panels cannot run on an NCE system.

    In the end all systems have their weakness. I started with a Powercab from when they started selling and have been very happy with it. After many years the buttons are getting a bit unresponsive so it may end up in the repair department at NCE. I cannot complain after about 12 years of service. I also liked the fact that the NCE Powercab can program just about anything.

    The freemoN club I am a part of uses Digitrax and since I have some experience with it now I can see why people like it. I can now run trains without the manual in one hand and I don't call it Digitrash anymore.
     
  8. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

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    George,

    Again, I think your expectations are simply off.

    1. Digitrax doesn't have 500 employees, or even 100 employees...certainly not thousands like Amazon does. Doubt they even have a dedicated shipping department or even dedicated shipping employee for that matter.
    2. Small companies take time off over the holidays. It's a fact of life....been done for decades. In fact I think it was even more prevalent when I was a kid 30+ years ago. Small companies sometimes cannot pay like larger corporations...so to have competitive benefits you get time off. Ask any federal employee...they don't get raises, they get new holidays.
    3. Turnaround time for something like this is measured in weeks, not days, and that is not even considering that you're doing it during the holidays or factoring in their holiday break.

    It's easy to demand top-notch customer service and insist that it's your right as a human being. But keep in mind...white glove customer service costs money, and it's not from the bottom line, it's from YOU as a part of the price of the item. So you're big on complaining that "everyone else" is driving up the cost of the hobby....well, welcome to the club.

    I think your idea to move to another system is excellent. I don't want Digitrax bogged down in answering "Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?" e-mails. I want them to keep making great products.
     
  9. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    Doug...

    All the BS flung by me as well as others through this whole thread boils down to one simple fact. I dont care if Digitrax has 1 employee...or 1000. SOMEONE could have come in on either of the Fridays after the holiday...which seems to be their shipping day. They would have only needed to clock in for a few hours while they waited for UPS to pick up outgong packages. NOW THAT would be customer service. Once again...Digitrax has no clue.

    No worries on the Digitrax system. THE Wife and I discussed it. Once the throttle gets back here...I'll be using it...until it breaks again. I have already paid for the complete system...and now additionally for the repair on the throttle. There is no way to recoup enough of my investment to move on to a diff system. For now.

    I guess you will have to put up with my rants...or put me on ignore. The choice is yours. Have fun either way :)
     
  10. Jeepy84

    Jeepy84 TrainBoard Member

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    Wouldn't the thing need to be repaired before the hypothetical Friday guy coming in to ship it be useful? Unless they're just sending you a new one, at which point I guess I missed that somewhere in this thread, ha.
     
  11. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

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    They could have, but they shouldn't. 99% of their customers are reasonable and "get it". If you're running your business to please the 1% that obviously will never be pleased no matter what you do, then you are operating foolishly. Even companies with "good customer service" recognize that.

    I would never block you... (a) we're having too much fun and (b) you help me understand how *my* 1% of customers think. :-D
     
  12. Ryan Wilkerson

    Ryan Wilkerson TrainBoard Member

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    How did I miss this vent/rant thread? Here is mine about Digitrax...I started my venture into DCC by purchasing at least a dozen of their decoders. I had problems with 2 of them so sent them back. They were new in the package but Digitrax said it was an older version and that they weren't supported and wouldn't be fixed. The only remedy was to purchase the new versions at a discount. They were $17 each, which is about $10 less than street price. Since that hassle, I've stuck with TCS decoders because the 3 times I've needed a decoder fixed, they have been awesome. Full replacement back in my hands in about a week for no charge. I like having that peace of mind, even if it costs a few more dollars.
     
  13. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    Does this mean I have to take you out to dinner and a movie ???

    ROFLMAO !!! :teeth:
     
  14. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

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    Last Chime on this thread for me.......

    George, you have my phone number, use it when you have problems. I could have loaned you a throttle to use while yours was in for repairs. Getting that disturbed is just not worth it.

    Short deviation back to education, I left teaching at a Major Engineering school because the students were so poor I couldn't see passing any of them. I can not send engineers out into the workplace knowing they were completely incompetent.
     
  15. mopguy1957

    mopguy1957 New Member

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    I agree, this is becoming a trend.
     
  16. termite

    termite TrainBoard Member

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    I feel I have to respond to the customer service side of the issue. I work as a customer service rep for a MAJOR phone/cable/internet company. Our call center is open 365 days a year, if a holidays comes on a day you are scheduled to work, too bad. Now, that being said, roughly 1/3 of my calls on an average day are issues that other techs can't fix (probably because they slept through their training classes) or sales dept people that didn't set the customer's account up to start with. Sad thing is, we have checklists and guides for every possible issue, but some "experts" won't use them, because they "know what the problem is, and how to fix it" , and those are the calls I end up getting. Sadly, I see customer service getting worse overall, instead of better. Alan
     
  17. JASON

    JASON TrainBoard Supporter

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    At risk of upsetting the mods (Eagle2 hope this is ok here?),
    Id like to have a sook about customer service at a well know online K book store.
    Ordered & paid for back in Nov.Recieved a confirmation email from them that they got order & payment etc.
    Nearly 2 months later still no books.Emailed them 3 times before I got a reply.Told that "1 book is on back order"......
    Asked them when can I expect the order to be shipped,no reply.Nearly 3 months later & many emails still no reply.Too late to go through cc provider & now have to go through the AGO to try & get my money back,nearly 500 hundred dollars.Ill also be loosing out again because of the AUD devalue & exchange rate etc etc.....
    Just really annoyed that such a large & well known book seller can treat customers like that.But anyways live n learn & thanks to a patient person on this board for the good advice.
    EOR ;-)
     
  18. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    I think a good rant or vent now and then is healthy. Just My Opinion
     
  19. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hmm. Well, I can see your point. It is proven fact that keeping emotions pent up inside is not good for a person. This has been non-destructive, so is OK. It's just when they become beyond having a slight edge, then.... :(
     
  20. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    I agree...

    Chewing barbed wire and spitting nails vs spitting venom...is a fine line.

    BTW...on a positive note...my throttle shipped today. I will hopefully have it before my birthday in March !!!
     

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