customer service

No, this isn't going to be a faerie tale. I want to make sure that two very worthy vendors get some public credit for doing a damned fine job.

1) Books for Business - This all sounds a bit unreal, BUT... Recently I wanted some books on machining techniques. I found a company in Toronto, Ontario called Britnell Books that had two of the three volumes I was after in stock at a terrific price. I called the phone number on their website and Books for Business answered. Turns out that they are co-located in the same building, and B4B answers the phone for Britnell after hours. Once I explained what I was looking for, the B4B staffer said she would pop into Britnell in the morning to see if the two books I wanted were still there. The next day I called to check if they were present. The lady said, "Yes, and there was a third volume by the same author on the shelf so I picked it out too, in case you wanted it." Brilliant! I had looked to see where they were located - right in the middle of the financial/legal district downtown. When I asked about parking in the area I was told, "We could just curbside it for you." ??? "Just pre-pay now and, as you are approaching the store in your car, give us a call and we'll step out onto the sidewalk and hand them to you." Absolutely amazing! B4B handled the transaction, was thoughtful enough to think ahead for my 3rd volume needs, and smart enough to come up with a lateral pass at the curb! All this for books that were not even in their own inventory and for a new and unknown customer. Frankly, I'm still stunned by it.

2) S Helper Service - I was looking for some components for a locomotive conversion project. I needed quite a bit of an SW9's running gear and realised I should go right to the source. Their product comes with a thin, but useful, illustrated instruction book/catalogue with all parts clearly laid out. I was able to contact their very responsive staff via email for answers to my questions, phone at a reasonable time to place the order, and received the parts with great speed via the US and Canadian postal services. At the time of the order, they were unsure of the shipping cost. When I received the parcel, I noted that the actual postage was $5 US. The receipt in the box indicated $15 Shipping & Handling. I had no problem with that whatsoever - I've been charged a much higher premium for attrocious service. HOWEVER, the very next day I received a letter from SHS with a refund of $10 US for the excess postage. Unbelievable!

Could it be that there are more companies like these two paragons of purveyance? I certainly hope so. This level of service demands some recognition and commendation. I heartily endorse them and wish them continued prosperity.


Toronto Christmas Train Show 2007

Another year, another show at the International Centre. It seemed much less well attended than previous years however the aisleways were nice & wide and the hall was kept very clean.

The S Scale Workshop fielded 110' linear feet of Free-mo inspired modules in 1:64 scale. Many of the visitors commented favourably on the overall display quality. We realise there is more work to do, but we are very pleased with the progress to date.

The scenery on my own siding module turned out very well. The next show will be in Hamilton in 2008. This should allow plenty of time to make more progress with the structures and scenery.