• Kalmbach - anybody have subscription problems?

  • Discussion related to railroads/trains that show up in TV shows, commercials, movies, literature (books, poems and more), songs, the Internet, and more... Also includes discussion of well-known figures in the railroad industry or the rail enthusiast hobby.
Discussion related to railroads/trains that show up in TV shows, commercials, movies, literature (books, poems and more), songs, the Internet, and more... Also includes discussion of well-known figures in the railroad industry or the rail enthusiast hobby.

Moderator: Aa3rt

  by BR&P
Is anybody else having problems with Kalmbach, or am I just the unlucky one?

I have subscribed to CLASSIC TRAINS for several years. Renewed for 2 years last May. It seems you start getting renewal notices as soon as the previous check clears the bank so I did not make any calls when I got a couple. But my latest issue did not show up in late November.

After a few days I emailed their customer service department and almost immediately got a computer-generated response saying thank you, your case is assigned #1234 and we'll be in touch soon. That was December 4th.

On the 13th I get an email saying we recently asked you to do a survey on how we handled your problem. Huh? I had no response from the inquiry, and never received the survey.

So late on the 19th I sent another email, saying I am still waiting for a human to respond, and I still don't have the magazine. Again, I immediately got a computer response saying my case number was #5678 and someone would be in touch. So far, nothing.

Interestingly, they have no problem bombarding me at least daily with all sorts of offers for calendars, gift subscriptions, etc, etc, etc.

Has anybody else had similar issues, and if so how did you resolve them? Especially at this time of the year I have no time to sit with a phone to my ear waiting for the next available operator, if that's what they do. This isn't a knock on the magazine itself, I love it. Which makes missing out on it all the worse!
  by BR&P
I just now (8PM 12-21) received an email with an apology for the missing issue, an apology for slow customer service, and the promise of a replacement being sent out. So assuming that comes through OK, it appears they have handled it to my satisfaction. I will leave this thread up just in case others have problems.

Anybody can make a mistake, it's how they respond to it that matters. It appears they are doing the right thing here.
  by BR&P

After getting the response mentioned above, I sent a reply saying "thank you for fixing the problem, Merry Christmas."

I just got a computerized response saying my correspondence has been assigned ID number XXXX and I will be hearing from someone soon! :P

I should have quit while I was ahead!
  by charlie6017
Didn't see this until now, but did this ever get sorted out? I have a subscription for Trains but was thinking about tacking
on Classic Trains because I enjoy it even more than Trains mag itself. But an issue like this gives me pause.

Nothing worse than being cast into computer-generated hell. 😳

  by BR&P
Well, as of Saturday the 13th's mail I have yet to receive the promised issue. They DID say it might take 2-3 weeks to get to me, and I'm cutting them a little slack because we had the holidays in there. But it should be showing up pretty soon I would hope. Image
  by BR&P
Well, a month to the day after they said a replacement would be sent out, and almost 2 months since the issue should have arrived, I still have not received it.

I take back what I said above about they seem to be doing the right thing. Image
  by BR&P
Well, I'm struggling to write this update in language that will not get me a forum vacation at "banned camp". Image At about the same time as I posted the above at 9:20AM Sunday the 21st, I sent Kalmbach a follow-up saying gee, guys, it's been a month since you said it would be sent, where is it?

So 11PM tonight, 4 business days after I sent that, I get an email saying we have not received the issue returned back to us, you need to check with the post office, you need to verify your address, etc. I sent back that I have not moved, the address they quoted is correct, and since it's been 2 months since the issue was supposed to arrive, it ain't GONNA come back to you!

So now, I get a response "Sorry about the problem, we'll send you a replacement, please allow 10-16 business days for delivery" The same exact email they sent me December 21st! Given that the issue is now about 2 months overdue, methinks they should send it 2-day USPS Priority and close the matter out.

Given the time of day for the responses, I suspect either they have farmed out the "customer service" to a third world country, or else they have added that job to the janitor to do after the floors are polished and the trash has been emptied. If anybody is walking past a cemetary in Milwaukee and hears a whirring noise, that's Al Kalmbach spinning in his grave!
  by BR&P
This is ALMOST getting to the point of being humorous. I am STILL waiting for that issue due the end of November. Since I have sent multiple requests, they now seem to think I'm missing multiple issues! The part about "opportunity to be of service" about made me choke from laughing.

Thank you for contacting CLASSIC TRAINS Customer Service.
We see we have replaced and/or extended the issues more than once. None have been returned back to us as undeliverable. We need you to check with your post office to make sure that any future issues or replacements will be delivered. We cannot continue to send replacements if your post office is going to continue not to deliver the magazine and the replacement magazines that are being mailed to you.

We appreciate this opportunity to be of service.
  by Backshophoss
Have you ever considered checking with the Post Office? there has been mail theft from mail boxes and Cluster Boxes happening across the US
for purposes of ID theft.
  by BR&P
I live in suburbia and we have zero problems. I have had no problems with other mail and neighbors have had no problems either. Even if that is the case and the issue got lost/stolen whatever, they have not actually communicated that another issue has even been sent. Everything has been either auto-response, or has been generic - nothing suggests an actual human has made any serious attempt to address the situation.
  by BR&P
In case anybody is following the ongoing saga (and maybe has a pool going on when I'll actually get the issue) here's the latest.

Since emails don't seem to work, I called the 800 number (actually an 877 number). They have very nice soft jazz on the "HOLD" line, but after over 6 minutes of waiting I gave up. Since they take several days to answer an email, I was afraid I'd starve before they answered! :wink:
  by Bigt
I have never had a problem with my Classic Trains subscription. However, I have never
done business with them via email.....it has always been by phone, or, letter....and the
service has been excellent. Once, I even wrote them a letter asking for the titles of two
articles / stories that had appeared in past issues, and, whether these were still available
for purchase. All I was able to give them to go on was a short description of the story, nothing
more. Within five days (remember, "snail mail" response) I received a very nice letter with all
of my requested information, including ordering procedure. Maybe I have been lucky with them,
but, I have had no problems with these good folks. I look forward to knowing your final outcome!
  by BR&P
Today I approached Kalmbach through their Wisconsin office instead of the previous email contact. In the span of one hour, their Customer Relations Supervisor contacted me, we exchanged a couple emails, and the problem has been resolved. The woman was prompt, professional, and I have no doubt the issue is now on its way.

I don't know, nor need to know, how their organization is set up internally. But this is how it SHOULD work and I wanted to put it out here that they are interested in doing the right thing.

Hopefully I will have only one more post to make in this thread, when the issue actually is delivered.
  by BR&P
Well, somebody bake a cake! At 4:50PM today, the mail carrier delivered my Winter 2017 CLASSIC TRAINS.

I have to say Ms. Becky James, Kalmbach's Customer Relations Supervisor, came through big time, and cut through whatever red tape was holding things up. She said she would have an issue sent right out, and she did so. Thank you Ms. James! Image

(I won't belabor the matter, but WILL note that neither of the two issues supposedly sent by the original "customer service" email contact ever showed up. From my first contact with Ms. James until I received the magazine was only 4 days.).