Yes Bob I must put my hands up to stirring it, hopefully with the best
of intention, just to make us think of the poor manufacturer. As our
hobby is their business (and frequently their hobby and passion as well)
the enthusiasm can sometimes lead us to forget the economics. Frequently
a telephone call produces a better result than a letter for the modeller
and despite its cost is frequently cheaper for the manufacturer than
time lost writing replies.
However, having lived until a few months ago in Spain for 8 years, my
perception of telephone costs are still instinctively tinged with
Spanish charges or British charges 8 years ago. In Spain even a call to
3 miles away, if it just happens to be across the border into the next
Province, costs an arm and a leg. This correspondence has made me look
at UK charges in this day and age, where I am delighted to see that a
National call at 2pm is literally only a few pence an hour more (approx
25p) than a local call was in Spain and is at a level that would not
break the bank, only dent it very slightly.
As an aside, as a manufacturer, I also instinctively return customers
calls however long they take, and also being enthusiastic about my
business/hobby am guilty of letting the call take the time neccessary to
discuss the problem regardless of the cost. Now I have seen the costs I
will not have quite such a gutted feeling when a call finishes after
half an hour, as I have on occasions in the last few months. When I was
checking my bill before writing this I was suprised to find one call I
thought had cost me at least an arm was in fact 63p.