LHS Customer Review

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Mountain Man, Nov 30, 2007.

  1. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

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    Today I made a special trip to Denver to visit The Caboose for the first time. Big ad in the MR Mag.

    1. You cannot phone for directions, as they do not accept calls from a lot of cell phones.

    2. Staff is roughly as friendly as the guards at Auschwitz.

    3. Rather than ask for assistance, you would have better luck asking for either money or a date with the owner's wife. Helping people is not on their to-do list.

    4. Large store with a lot of products, but no labeling on which of many isles displays what products. See #3 above re asking for assistance.

    Summary: I will not be going back. I do not give money to peole who are not at least minimally polite.
  2. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

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  3. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Well, if they don't want to give out directions on how to get to the store, you probably ruined their day by showing up. :p;)

    On the bright side, at least they let you leave after not buying anything. :-D

    So, just how does the owner's wife look? ;) :twisted: :eek:

    Geez, what an annoying customer you must be!! :rolleyes: If you had bought something, they probably would've had to actually speak to you, assuring that their day truly was a total write-off. :lol::-D:-D

    All this is very informative, but did you like the store or not? :p :-D:-D

    It's too bad that it's such a long drive for me, otherwise I'd stop in just to bug 'em. The one thing that I expect from any hobbyshop that I deal with is courtesy. The one I go to, Niagara Central Hobbies, in St. Catharines, Ontario, not only has friendly and knowledgeable staff, but a great selection of products and decent prices. And there's usually some good conversations goin' on too, among both customers and staff. Sorry your experience was so crummy, especially after making a special trip.

    Wayne
  4. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

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    I thought I was the only one thinking about what the wife looked like. :mrgreen:
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    They don't accept calls from cell phones? They probably won't get business from us travellers, either.
    That's like the folks who put a 1-800 number in their ads, but it only works in the lower 48 states (or some of them) and there's no local number for those of us in Canada who're desperate enough to pay long distance.
    I was in another shop looking for a particular kit. The young man behind the counter said "it'll be in that box if we have it."
  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    My local hobby shop, Hobby Warehouse, here in Lakewood, Ca is like a hang out to me. I'm on a first name basis with everyone behind the counter or in the train dept. I don't know the guys in the rc dept. On most of my trips there I don't buy anything, just stop by to visit. When I do need something for modelling, I go there first, and they know I support them instead of buying on line or mail order.
  7. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    Wow! There's a recent thread about a company's good response to a customer problem to which I just replied, "That the way to do business!". I guess I'd have to say just the opposite in response to your experience!
    Ralph
  8. iis612

    iis612 Member

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    I have been to Caboose a few times. Obviously it was before I moved out of CO. One of the employees was actually reprimanded me for taking time to answer some of my questions.
    When I stood up for the young man the manager told me to "Get the F%^$ out"
    This was almost 5 years ago though
  9. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

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    I don't know what the wife looked like, as no information was available on anything from the staff.

    The store is 18,000 square feet according to their ad, so I was excited about visiting...until I encountered the pit bulls who work there.

    My favorite LHS so far is in Colorado Springs, where the owner will go out of his way to assist anyone and everyone, and will gladly discuss the pros and cons of anything in his shop.
  10. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

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    Interesting. I've been to Caboose Hobbies just once...January '99 and it was a pleasant experience. I received help from a clerk on finding PSC's DSP&P harp switch stand...and then he opened it for me to make sure that it was complete...they provided a tube for me to get the bulk rail I purchased back home (via a 2.5hr flight)...and it was just a great experience.

    I suppose they used to be too helpful...and management decided that they weren't effective enough. Or maybe it was Gary Coleman's fault...he's a part owner in the store.
  11. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    Or maybe it's not Gary's fault and he would like to know what everyone's experiences were. Someone should call him up and let him know. I can just hear his response now... "Whatcha' talkin' 'bout?!" sign1 sign1 sign1

    Okay, bad joke. Seriously, though. Crummy service is common these days, but rude service is unacceptable. Many times I will walk into home despot and either not find anyone to help, find employees working slow, or not find anyone knowledgeable to answer my question. But when I do find someone to ask, rarely is the person rude.

    Kevin
  12. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

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    That's never happened to me at Home Depot :p

    I've never seen a place so chronically understaffed at all times. One of my uncles refuses to go there because of it.

    Btw, the joke was good.
  13. MidnightRR

    MidnightRR Member

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    I live in Denver and have been to Caboose Hobbies many times.

    I have never experienced the treatment you describe.

    The staff has been uniformly helpful, willing to root around in "The Back" for merchandise, and ready to point out anything I've been unable to find, even if I did not ask for help.

    And, honestly, even when new in town, I had no trouble finding what I needed despite a lack of a store map.
  14. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

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    That just deepens the mystery, doesn't it? Or do you by chance always enter the store on a mission to buy something?

    The incident reminded me of the guy who used to like to shop in expensive stores with a wad of cash in his scruffy jeans. He noted that everyone would ignore him until he whipped out the wad, at which time an amazing transformation took place and he became not only acceptable, but apparently a "valued customer".

    I'm glad the place works for you; however, my experience should never have taken place in a store like this. Incidentally, I called the store from an "acceptable" phone yesterday, told the person on the line that I wanted to complain to the manager, and they "couldn't locate him". They couldn't say when he would be available, either. That is the precise definition of the type of place that sullies the LHS market.
  15. w8jy

    w8jy Member

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    A couple of weeks ago, I decided to go visit a hobby shop that advertises in the hobbyist magazines. It is about 70 miles away, so I got my list together and headed there with great anticipation. En route to that shop, I drove through a small town and noticed a hobby shop! I stopped in and was greeted immediately by the owner. The shop was very small, but had an amazing quantity of stock, including a lot of N scale. I even found some items that were out of stock at all the on line stores. The prices were comparable to most of the on line stores. He offered to order anything else I needed, and said he would ship items to me to save me a trip (he is about 40 miles from my home). After a great deal of wear and tear on my credit card, I loaded my goodies in my vehicle and headed for my original destination.
    When I got to the store that does all the advertising, I got a rude awakening. The two people working(?) there weren't willing to stop their conversation to even say hello. The very large store had a lot of empty shelves, and the prices were 20 to 30 per cent higher than the first store.
    When I asked a question, I was ignored. Naturally, I left without buying anything.
    I do a lot of traveling, and I have stopped in hobby shops all over the country. I have to say that the store in Mt. Pleasant MI is the first and only one where I have received rude treatment. I haven't been to Denver, but obviously both shops have the same public relations theory!
    The good news is, I accidentally found a LHS within 40 miles of my home that I will be doing a LOT of business with.
  16. CRed

    CRed Member

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    "A couple of weeks ago, I decided to go visit a hobby shop that advertises in the hobbyist magazines. It is about 70 miles away, so I got my list together and headed there with great anticipation. En route to that shop, I drove through a small town and noticed a hobby shop! I stopped in and was greeted immediately by the owner. The shop was very small, but had an amazing quantity of stock, including a lot of N scale. I even found some items that were out of stock at all the on line stores. The prices were comparable to most of the on line stores. He offered to order anything else I needed, and said he would ship items to me to save me a trip (he is about 40 miles from my home). After a great deal of wear and tear on my credit card, I loaded my goodies in my vehicle and headed for my original destination."

    Sounds like Carr's Hobbies here in Duluth.It's a small store,but every nook and cranny is filled with something.even as small as it is it stocks a lot of different products at fair prices including a good selection of RC,O/N/G scale and even brass.I know the owner well as I worked there about 17 years ago,he is one of the nicest and helpful guys I have ever met.

    Chris
  17. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

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    I cannot understand how a store can expect to stay in business by alienating customers. Perhaps they do a lot of internet business. Maybe they're even looking for an excuse to close the physical store and this is how they go about it. Otherwise, it just doesn't make sense.

    I am very lucky to have 2 excellent LHS's in my area. George's Trains is downtown where parking and traffic is often an issue so I visit there only when I'm already in the area. Credit Valley Railroad Co is a short trip down the 401, and I drop in there at least once a month, sometimes even once a week.

    I'm on a first name basis with all the staff and the owner, and really enjoy chatting with the guys there, who are knowlegable and very generous with their time, whether it's product info or just general RR conversation. The store is extremely well-stocked, with new items arriving constantly. And when the Cdn dollar went up, they dropped their prices right away, despite the fact that much of their inventory was bought well before.

    Oh, and they also have a massive detail parts wall which is one of my favourite areas!!

    With the hobby being so competitive, I think maintaining a large inventory, and good customer service are absolutely critical to success.

    Val
  18. MidnightRR

    MidnightRR Member

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    Not always, and I don't always spend a lot when I am there to buy.

    I am suprised, though, at how many people are willing to read your comments and immediately dismiss the store as being customer unfriendly, despite the good experiences I (and others) related.
  19. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

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    All things are a matter of perception. Some things look a lot different to different people, depending on how they're looking at something. I went to a LHS and asked to clerk a question that could have resulted in my spending a considerable amount in the shop. I got a curt answer and the clerk turned away as if he was way too busy to spend time talking to me. I rarely go back, but when I do, I don't get a warm fuzzy feeling I have to be really disparate for something and I don't buy much there when I do. The clerk was rude and uncaring, and I'll never forget that. Now this store is still in business, and has customers, so they may not treat everyone the same way, or perhaps they are customers that are recognized by the clerks. Maybe the clerk was having a bad day when I approached him but in any event, they wouldn't be still in business if they treat all their customers the way I was treated. So by my perception, they are rated about two out of ten. Others may rate them a lot higher since their first experience may have been different.

    Your experiences is different than someone else's but that doesn't make either one of you wrong. If anyone asks me about this shop in Phoenix, I'd certainly have to recommend they go somewhere else. Someone else might say they are the greatest, and we'd both be right.
  20. CRed

    CRed Member

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    While it's nice your experiences have been good and I have no doubt it has been for others,what Mountain Man has described shouldn't happen at all.I have never been there so I can't say from personal experience what they're like,but I would go at least once and find out for myself.

    Chris