Since when did M.B. Klein become so slow?

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#1
I placed an order early Monday morning and they still have not shipped it...what gives??? This is pretty unusual for them but I find there are complaints of this all over the web now. Anyone else had issues recently?
 

montanan

Whiskey Merchant
#2
I just received an order the other day. 4 working days from Maryland to Montana. It did take two days from when I put the order in until it was shipped. I think the slow down is getting orders put together to be shipped.
 
#4
Normally, it takes MBK two days to process, then two to four days for the shipment to go through the post office. I don't think that is unusual either. Some times they are real quick, and at peak season, they are slower.
 
#5
I placed an order early Monday morning and they still have not shipped it...what gives??? This is pretty unusual for them but I find there are complaints of this all over the web now. Anyone else had issues recently?
Probably nothing gives. It actually isn't all that unusual for items to occasionally take 3 days although 2 days is closer to the norm as mentioned above.

BTW, where are all these complaints all over the web? You know, MBK just shrunk their walk-in store to 1/3rd of the size it was a year ago because online sales are so brisk. Of course if you are not happy, there are other vendors out there.

I've been using MBK for a good 15 years and never felt the need to walk away; their service, on the average, has been very good.
 
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wombat457

Active Member
Staff member
#8
I placed an order early Monday morning and they still have not shipped it...what gives??? This is pretty unusual for them but I find there are complaints of this all over the web now. Anyone else had issues recently?
Absolutely. I placed an order Monday week ago with Kliens and didn't get it until last Tuesday. I am only a 5 hour drive from them as well. This has been an on going problem with Klein's for the past year, year and a half and when confronted about it, they only come up with excuses and it gets worse and worse.

Here is something to thin about - on the same evening that I placed my order with Klein's I placed two other orders, one with Mid West Model Railroads and one with All Electronics Corp. I received BOTH those orders BEFORE my Klein's order had been processed. A day later I placed another three orders, one with All Electronics, one with Digikey and one with a company in THAILAND (half way around the world. I received ALL 3 of those orders before I got my Klein's order.

Now for something very interesting - Klein's "claim that an order has been shipped". That is a complete deception! The last three orders I placed with Klein's got me the "Your Order HAS been shipped" email. Apparently Klein's believes that putting a label on a box constitutes the order being shipped. Why, because when I finally get the Tracking Number for the order they have ALL shown that the items had NOT been shipped until the day AFTER Klein's claims it was shipped. Bottom line - don't believe a thing Klein's tells you.

Klein's claims it can take up to 3 days to process an order - why? Ask them and they won't tell you OR come up with some pathetic excuse. What it boils down to is incompetence, laziness on the part of the processing people or most likely because they don't care when your order goes out, they have YOUR money. I'll bet my bottom dollar, if THEY didn't get paid until the customer got their order, orders would all of a sudden be going out within 24 hours, like they used to.

Chet mentioned the problem being with the processing and I agree. Last time I was physically IN their shop it took them 1/2 an hour to find and get me an engine from their ware house or stock room or whatever they call it while I was left waiting. an you imagine what they do, or won't do, when the customer ISN'T in the shop. That reeks of incompetence or being ridiculously unorganized.

I am so fed up with their indifferent attitude, all of my purchase are going to be from Mid West or from a Hobby Shop (Hutton's) in London (UK). Both will process and deliver my order's much quicker than Klein's will.

By the way, I USED to support Klein's and have only dealt with them since being in this hobby; however, I am so fed up with their indifferent attitude, all of my purchase are going to be from Mid West or from a Hobby Shop (Hutton's) in London (UK). Both will process and deliver my order's much quicker than Klein's will.
 
#9
Absolutely. I placed an order Monday week ago with Kliens and didn't get it until last Tuesday. I am only a 5 hour drive from them as well. This has been an on going problem with Klein's for the past year, year and a half and when confronted about it, they only come up with excuses and it gets worse and worse.

Here is something to thin about - on the same evening that I placed my order with Klein's I placed two other orders, one with Mid West Model Railroads and one with All Electronics Corp. I received BOTH those orders BEFORE my Klein's order had been processed. A day later I placed another three orders, one with All Electronics, one with Digikey and one with a company in THAILAND (half way around the world. I received ALL 3 of those orders before I got my Klein's order.

Now for something very interesting - Klein's "claim that an order has been shipped". That is a complete deception! The last three orders I placed with Klein's got me the "Your Order HAS been shipped" email. Apparently Klein's believes that putting a label on a box constitutes the order being shipped. Why, because when I finally get the Tracking Number for the order they have ALL shown that the items had NOT been shipped until the day AFTER Klein's claims it was shipped. Bottom line - don't believe a thing Klein's tells you.

Klein's claims it can take up to 3 days to process an order - why? Ask them and they won't tell you OR come up with some pathetic excuse. What it boils down to is incompetence, laziness on the part of the processing people or most likely because they don't care when your order goes out, they have YOUR money. I'll bet my bottom dollar, if THEY didn't get paid until the customer got their order, orders would all of a sudden be going out within 24 hours, like they used to.

Chet mentioned the problem being with the processing and I agree. Last time I was physically IN their shop it took them 1/2 an hour to find and get me an engine from their ware house or stock room or whatever they call it while I was left waiting. an you imagine what they do, or won't do, when the customer ISN'T in the shop. That reeks of incompetence or being ridiculously unorganized.

I am so fed up with their indifferent attitude, all of my purchase are going to be from Mid West or from a Hobby Shop (Hutton's) in London (UK). Both will process and deliver my order's much quicker than Klein's will.

By the way, I USED to support Klein's and have only dealt with them since being in this hobby; however, I am so fed up with their indifferent attitude, all of my purchase are going to be from Mid West or from a Hobby Shop (Hutton's) in London (UK). Both will process and deliver my order's much quicker than Klein's will.
As of last night they still have not shipped the order. I emailed them with their very convoluted help ticket system so we shall see if and what they respond with. I have been in and around retail for most of my adult life either on the sales side or on the vendor side which is where I am now and I don't think its incompetence or laziness. I think it is their inventory I think they sold the stuff and didn't have it which means their system is not as accurate as they claim. This explains much because I have seen retailers do this before they are "speculating" on when product will arrive and update their system as if they have it. In essence they are "floating" your money in the hopes the product arrives in a timely manner so they can ship it out. I wouldn't really have a problem with this if they let you know up front this was going to be the case but implying they have it when they obviously don't is dishonest.
 
#11
Probably nothing gives. It actually isn't all that unusual for items to occasionally take 3 days although 2 days is closer to the norm as mentioned above.

BTW, where are all these complaints all over the web? You know, MBK just shrunk their walk-in store to 1/3rd of the size it was a year ago because online sales are so brisk. Of course if you are not happy, there are other vendors out there.

I've been using MBK for a good 15 years and never felt the need to walk away; their service, on the average, has been very good.
Do a Google search for "M.B. Klein slow orders" and you will find what you are asking about. The 3rd - 5th search hits reveal forum posts that discuss this very thing.
 
#12
I also want to ad that I think some of it is arrogance. They are THE low price leader in the U.S. and they know it and if a consumer wants that low price then they are going to wait ...regardless. In comparison I ordered from Trainworld up in NJ at the same time, and my order was shipped within 24 hours which means it will arrive today. I have ordered from Trainworld twice now and find their prices and selection very close to MBK and will probably be using them more if this is the way MBK is going to be. I have also ordered from Brooklyn Locomotive Works again in NJ and they have accurate inventory and fast service. We won't give them credit though for their archaic 20 + year web design though....lol.
 

tootnkumin

Active Member
Staff member
#13
I actually phoned them once (and from Aus that means 1:00AM or so) for an answer about some trucks (Trucks'n'Stuff), not delivery related though. I talked to one of the ladies (or maybe the only lady) in the office, and I jokingly asked if there were any vacancies for her sort of job, 'cause she was run off her feet (her words). This was quite a few years ago now. She said "C'mon over, but they'll probably steal you for the warehouse dispatch, we're so busy". "They'll squeeze you in somewhere." So, I figured, space for packing and dispatch was tight, product was taking up too much. I've been shopping with them for a good number of years, not as much as before. I love their website and their service/packing. It's 10-14 days to a port here (usually Sydney) and then often another week or mostly more for Auspost to get it to me, so I don't complain.
 

wombat457

Active Member
Staff member
#14
TexasAndy,

I'll give you a heads up ... first, you will receive (ironically) the "shipping email" without any response from their "help desk". OR, the response you will receive is they say it takes "UP TO 3 days" to process your order. From my experience, that should read "takes 3 days" as I have never had order processed and quicker than 3 days in the past 18 or so months. Then, ask them why it takes them up to 3 days and they will tell you "it is their busy time of the year,or similar" However, I'm betting you wont get a reply but will get the shipping email and they will consider that the answer to your "complaint".

Perhaps what you said about their "in stock" status being incorrect and hoping stock comes in is part of it as well. As said though, I would bet my bottom dollar if THEY had to wait until the customer received (in their hot little hands) their order before they got paid, orders would magically be going out within 24 hours or close to it.

As you said, in this day and age, it shouldn't take 3 or 4 days to process an order, and evidently it doesn't going by other companies I have worked with. I do believe they are incompetent or, at the very least, inefficient in the way they handle orders received. As mentioned, 1/2 an hour to pick an item they had in stock of a shelf while the customer waits?

D&J and those who responded similarly,

Your arguments are mute, it isn't prior planning or the method of shipping, it IS about Klein's inability to process orders received in a timely manner when many other companies seem capable of doing just that.

You can pay for over night shipping BUT it isn't the delivery times by the shipper that is in question, it is the time, and the honesty, that it takes Klein's to get the order processed AND in the physical possession of the shipper, any shipper.

The problem nowadays is most things are internet orientated, where a business no longer has to deal a customer "face to face". As such, they (the business) is in a position to do and act however they want and, basically, that is why the write up "policies", so as to protect them (on paper) from having to do anything expediently or efficiently. The majority of business' now adopt the attitude of "if you want the item then you'll play by our rules or go without" and "we have your money so your at our mercy and our policy say's...".
 

Bruette

Active Member
#15
I've been dealing with M.B. Klein since I was 11 years old. Most of the people working for M.B. Klein are modelers, many are our age. I know the GM, Dallas, I know the store Manager, Andy and I know many of the staff.

Most recent problems are probably due to the remodeling they have done to expand their warehouse. Most of us know what happens when we remodel and rearrange, things don't go to smoothly around the house. Imagine trying to keep up with the world's busiest train web site.

Dallas told me his goal is to ship like Amazon, fast! The reality is nobody can yet compete with Amazon when it comes to shipping. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon has invested a fortune of his own money to build the huge infrastructure that powers Amazon's shipping. Amazon even has it's own drivers and contractors along with all the other shippers; USPS. UPS and FedEx. Even Walmart can not yet compete with Amazon in shipping speed.

Amazon is willing to lose money to keep growing. M.B. Klein is not and I don't blame them. Ted Klein was going to close the store when he sold the store property in downtown Baltimore. The only reasons he did not were to keep his staff working and to keep serving his customers. I am thankful they are still open. I wish they had a bigger Lionel inventory, but I am glad they sell at a discount. They keep their inventory as low as possible to avoid "dead inventory", again to keep their prices low.

Amazon's investment is not to survive today, they are looking long term and they sell a lot more than trains! I am a contractor for Amazon and even Amazon has customers that complain. Anybody that works in retail can tell you no matter how hard you try there will always be customers who complain.

It's not arrogance, it's not indifference and it is certainly not incompetence. Some days are busier than others, that's all. No matter how hard you try or how much staff you have there will always be days when you have to many orders to process.

When M.B. Klein says your order has shipped it only means the box is packed, a tracking number has been generated and a label has been affixed to it. If the carrier has already been to the store for pick up the package will wait until the carrier returns on the next business day. The same as with most vendors.

What do you expect, they run to the post office with each order? How much do you think that will cost? Even M.B. Klein's shipping rates are lower than most. We can't have everything, to keep cost low their has to be trade offs.

M.B. Klein was built on keeping costs low so that they can sell at a discount. If you want something consistently faster order from Amazon, but don't expect consistently low prices across the board. In addition if you do order from Amazon keep in mind that not all the items will come from Amazon. Many specialty items will be coming from 3rd party vendors and their shipping times are usually much slower.

We need to keep things in perspective. We are buying toys, hobby items. I doubt your life or lively hood depends on getting things from M.B. Klein a few days sooner.

Like Ken of the D&J said "If ya need it sooner, order it sooner and pay for overnight delivery." otherwise be patient and wait for your discounted item/s to arrive.
 

wombat457

Active Member
Staff member
#16
I also want to ad that I think some of it is arrogance. They are THE low price leader in the U.S. and they know it and if a consumer wants that low price then they are going to wait ...regardless.
Andy,

That may have been the case a few years back but now places like Mid West and Hattons (UK) are cheaper and far more reliable. For example, Hatton's sells 25 Peco Code 80 track for 64 pound or $85 (US) on today's market. Mid West sells the same item for $87. Both companies process and ship quicker than Klein's could imagine processing and shipping. By the way, Klein's sells it $97.

As said, once upon a time they were the price leaders but not anymore.

Toot'n,

The times I was physically in the store, there was one female and all she did was take your money, she was a check out chick so to speak. The last time I was in the store, there were 5 or 6 employees standing around talking and/or playing with trains. I was in the store for about an hour while I waited for the engine they were getting from the out back stock and just browsing. If they were THAT busy, as they claimed to be back then, then those employees should have been out back working, not playing with trains and or socializing with each other.
 

Bruette

Active Member
#17
...

The times I was physically in the store, there was one female and all she did was take your money, she was a check out chick so to speak. The last time I was in the store, there were 5 or 6 employees standing around talking and/or playing with trains. I was in the store for about an hour while I waited for the engine they were getting from the out back stock and just browsing. If they were THAT busy, as they claimed to be back then, then those employees should have been out back working, not playing with trains and or socializing with each other.
The store accounts for less than 10% of M.B. Klein's sales. There are many more people behind the scenes that you never see, including woman. It's a lady who runs the shipping department and there are other woman as well. Having been behind the scenes I know first hand they are normally very busy!

As for people standing around; workers are entitled to breaks and lunch, how they spend their time is up to them. Many retailers forbid their employees from being in store because they know customers often get the wrong impression. M.B. Klein is friendly with their workers and they know they enjoy playing with and talking trains while on breaks.

Busy, that depends on the day or even the hour. Even the busiest stores have off times. Life is feast or famine, nothing more so than retail.

One snap shot out of one day does not tell the complete story.
 
#20
Your order still apparently hasn’t shipped 4 days after placing your order , These are really first world problems. It wasn’t too long ago that one would place an order and be happy if it showed up within 2 weeks....heck that still happens to me with stuff from Tony’s Trains(50 miles away, 1 hour drive) or Micro-Mark down in NJ. It used to frustrate me me,especially when my order from the UK would be in my hands within 7 days of placing the order. But come on guys, it’s just a hobby...so what if it takes a week to arrive, nobody is going to die.
 



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