Jerry Calabrese, President and CEO of Lionel, received this message January 28, 2014 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 2, 2014 Lionel model trains: problems with lights in cars continue. And TWO new locomotives fried.
Jerry Calabrese, President and CEO of Lionel, received this January 3, 2014. His e-mail: email@example.com
71-2000-250 (1/13) 7-12000 2-8-4 Berkshire Passenger (New York Yankees™ Berkshire Steam Set) purchased online from Train World 7/16/2013.
The Yankee steam train set locomotive was indeed fried.
I sent it to Lionel for repair. It was purchased in July 2013 so it was well within the one year warranty. Nevertheless, Lionel still required me to pay for shipping it from New York to Ohio. Lionel did not even supply a proper return box. I had to fashion one by cutting off part of the Styrofoam that all the cars in the set were originally packed. It was returned in the same pathetic material.
I had hoped that Lionel would replace my locomotive with a new one. There was no message either in the box nor via e-mail explaining what, if anything, had been done. When I removed the locomotive it had a wire hanging loose so I called Lionel. After multiple calls I finally spoke to a Lionel technician.
The tech guy stated that Lionel had replaced dc motor and driver, whatever that means. It seems to me that if Lionel had any sense it would have provided me with a new locomotive. Tech guy said that Lionel ran my locomotive for three hours non-stop to be sure that it would not fail. I mentioned that I would never run my trains that long.
I probed the tech guy about the problem, especially since BOTH locomotives I had purchased online from Train World 7/16/2013 had fried and that both were from the Major League Baseball (MLB) promotion. He said there was not a general manufacturing problem. Say what? TWO locomotives fry within a few months of purchase and there's no manufacturing problem?
71-2016-250 (2/3) 7-12016 M-7 Commuter Train (New York Yankees™/ New York Mets™ Subway Series™ Set)
I also told him that within days of receiving a completely new set in December 2013 from a Lionel authorized repair shop, the non-locomotive cars lights on the Yankee subway train set again failed as they had on the original set before the locomotive fried. I asked if I could replace the bulbs myself. He said yes but that it would void my one year warranty. If I returned them to Lionel to have the bulbs replaced, I would have to pay for shipping again.
Lionel did repair the one locomotive that I returned. However, other than that there was no hint that Lionel took any responsibility for these many failures nor that any form of compensation would be offered. Customer satisfaction is a low priority at Lionel from the top down. Lionel has displayed a shocking lack of integrity. It's not my father's Lionel.
P.S. In Grand Central Terminal in New York City on 1/25/14 I viewed the model train display in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) store. It's pretty good with trains running on a large layout. There was a New York Yankees™/ New York Mets™ Subway Series™ Set but it was not exactly on display. It was sitting under some overhead tracks with lights on but only in two cars. It was not running. The MTA must be having problems similar to mine.