i writeth, you readeth

Ramblings of an improvident lackwit

Beloved Ertl now sucks!

4. November 2010 | Category Interests, Rant

Recently, I had obtained a Model Kit made by Ertl for a John Deere JD 8020. It was a kit and took some time to assemble, so when near the end, I found that it was missing parts and that removing cellophane from around the tractor’s cab removed large amounts of paint with it, I was a little unnerved.

I sent the now parent company of Ertl, RC2 an email inquiring about possible replacement by the company.

This is the response I got from ‘Karen’ in Customer Service:

Thank you for your inquiry regarding model kit parts.

The Company announced on 1/11/2007 that it will discontinue its Racing Champions, Joyride, Ertl, and AMT die-cast and model kit automotive collectible product lines. The Company plans to continue with its strategy to reposition its Johnny Lightning Brand. Production for 2007 will remain as planned at this time.

We are sorry to hear of your problem with our product. We focus on producing quality toys and collectibles, however on a rare occasion quality issues can arise.

With the wide range of products and items we market, it is impossible for RC2 Brands to keep replacement parts or stock on hand. The Company has established return policies with the retailers who purchase our products directly. Please return the product along with your receipt to the place of purchase for an exchange or refund. The return is subject to the discretion and return policies of the retailer.

You can also try contacting one of the following retailers: Gold Coast Hobby 516-759-4094 or Model King 732-240-3987 for purchase of replacement parts.

Thanks for your support of Learning Curve Brand products.

Consumer Services

to which I responded

Your response somehow didn’t surprise me.

Given that I too work in Quality Control, it’s extremely difficult to imagine that our respective companies would put out a product that is less then perfect in the eye of the customer. But it does happen from time to time, as we both can attest to. The big difference is that for my job, I have to claim responsibility for the quality of my company’s product and do what I can to make it right in the eyes of the end user/customer.

Evidently, your company does not believe in quality or customer service, based on my exchange with you. Furthermore, the fact that your product is made in China and your customer service information is not existent in any tangible way via your company’s website should have been huge red flags to me.

I am disappointed as a customer, as for a good, joyful part of my childhood growing up on a family farm in the rural Midwest was spent carpet-farming with what was viewed as the best in farm toys ~ Ertl. I attended numerous toy shows and purchased numerous toy farm machinery for my carpet-farm. All these products were made with the Ertl logo.

While it’s easy to see why you’re company continues to use the Ertl brand, I am extremely disappointed in the product you currently put out and lack of response to quality concerns. (By the way your email response in corporate speak is so vague it actually means little. Numerous mention of the year 2007 are made, but what that has to do with present day issues are not addressed. I suggest you fire your copy writer)

While we live in the age of the Internet and Social Media, I will take it upon myself to spread the experience I’ve had with your company. It should be a hoot to hear my relatives that currently own Ertl toys and their response to this saga.

Enjoy making your cheap Chinese shit, I wish your company nothing but the worst.

So, there you have it, a part of my childhood has been sold out and now peddles cheap crap under the priceless memories of a once quality brand!


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