(Topic ID: 223382)

American pinball and Pinballstar make pinball great


By jrio101

1 year ago



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  • Latest reply 1 year ago by PtownPin
  • Topic is favorited by 6 Pinsiders

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There are 454 posts in this topic. You are on page 4 of 10.
#151 1 year ago

Like Lloyd was saying - these type of electronic items go bad earlier than later. Rules' is Rules' but good customer service goes a long way.

Nordstrom returned a car tire once and the story is legendary within the customer service arena. The store she bought if from was long gone when Nordstrom built in the same location. She brought the tire in and the store manager gave her a $100 or something for the tire even though they don't sell them. I'm sure this story alone has brought the company more business than turning someone away.

#152 1 year ago
Quoted from zaki:

that's terrible. i know the feeling. i had a sony 4k tv break a few years back. ...just 14 days out of warrenty and they wanted more for panel inside to fix it than the tv cost. i'll never buy a sony again.
did you contact your distributor for help?

Experiences can be unique. I absolutely love my Sonys, I have a Sony LCD monitor I bought when LCD monitors were invented and two Sony Bravia TVs that are cooking right along and still look fabulous. I've probably been through about 10 other brands of TVs and monitors since.

#153 1 year ago

Damage done.... I won’t be buying one of their machines ever regardless of what they make.

Big thumbs up to to Stern,JJP and Spooky for taking care of their customers.

All this trouble for AP over a crummy $95 part. It’s not like everyone is asking for free parts, I’m assuming this is likely an isolated failure. If not then there are bigger issues for them.

#154 1 year ago

Didn't stern have a playfield fall apart out of warranty and said the same thing, sorry out of warranty

#155 1 year ago
Quoted from Nepi23:

Apparently the consumer protection laws are non-existent in the US?

Oh, they are alive and well. Just drive down the highway and look at all the signs for attorneys.

Unfortunately, there has been a shift to the mentality that we are entitled to everything we want regardless of what we agreed to or what the law says.

I'm still trying to figure out how this company is "not standing by it's product?" It is not THEIR product anymore. When the money was exchanged for the machine the money became their property and the machine became the buyer's property. The buyer has no right to THEIR money any more than they have any right to HIS machine. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

It is unfortunate it broke, but that is the way it goes.

#156 1 year ago
Quoted from glasairpilot:

It is not THEIR product anymore.

Yes, it is still their product.

#157 1 year ago
Quoted from glasairpilot:

Oh, they are alive and well. Just drive down the highway and look at all the signs for attorneys.
Unfortunately, there has been a shift to the mentality that we are entitled to everything we want regardless of what we agreed to or what the law says.
I'm still trying to figure out how this company is "not standing by it's product?" It is not THEIR product anymore. When the money was exchanged for the machine the money became their property and the machine became the buyer's property. The buyer has no right to THEIR money any more than they have any right to HIS machine. You can't have your cake and eat it too.
It is unfortunate it broke, but that is the way it goes.

I don't think anyone is saying that legally, American is doing anything wrong. However when other vendors go the extra mile to help customers with these very expensive toys, most people are saying, "Why wouldn't I buy from them instead?"

#158 1 year ago

I think a much better question - maybe for this thread, maybe a new one - is: what is a reasonable warranty period for a pinball machine and its various components? I don't think the literal warranty here is much different than the other manufacturers, the issue is the gray area of what happens beyond the warranty. Cars come with 3-year warranties, and pins are costing nearly 50% of cars these days...

#159 1 year ago
Quoted from Pinphila:

The thread was started 12 hours ago. I don’t think Rosh and Barry live on pinside like you some folks. Give them time to respond before casting judgement.

Exactly why you take care of this problem correctly the first time so you don't wake up the next day and find a 4+ page post of negative comments about your company

#160 1 year ago
Quoted from BMore-Pinball:

Exactly why you take care of this problem correctly the first time so you don't wake up the next day and find a 4+ page post of negative comments about your company

Like it or not, we live in a "Facebook speed" world. I personally hate it, I hate when I'm needed to respond to something for my own business, instead of letting it sit till the next day. I hate it, but I acknowledge it. To not acknowledge it gives you exactly what you said, waking up to 4 pages of negative commentary.

#161 1 year ago
Quoted from Sinestro:

You'll have to try Scientific Games.
702-897-7150

Scientific Games has had nothing to do with Pinball for many years now. We sold those right longs ago.

#162 1 year ago
Quoted from westofrome:

I think a much better question - maybe for this thread, maybe a new one - is: what is a reasonable warranty period for a pinball machine and its various components? I don't think the literal warranty here is much different than the other manufacturers, the issue is the gray area of what happens beyond the warranty. Cars come with 3-year warranties, and pins are costing nearly 50% of cars these days...

The problem is some games really get abused on location so I can see how manufactures don't want to get burned by having a long comprehensive warranty on paper. That said many of us have had experiences (at least with JJP and Stern) when things were covered well beyond the warranty, so potential short comings in the official warranty weren't a major issue.

#163 1 year ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

For me, stern can make these deals because they have been around for forever.

Let me get this straight. OP had problems loading new code and asked AP for help. They helped him install the new code and then after the code was installed his flipper didn't work? Now they won't warrant his board?

With this practice they won't be around forever!

#164 1 year ago

People drawing similarities between warranties for early 90s $1000? $800 mrsp Pins to a $7000 game made in 2017? Shaking my head.

Also I have had experience with stern sending replacement harnesses for free long after warranty and long after the first owner.

#165 1 year ago
Quoted from Boat:

People drawing similarities between warranties for early 90s $1000? $800 mrsp Pins to a $7000 game made in 2017? Shaking my head.

Pretty sure games cost more than a $1000 in 1990

-6
#166 1 year ago
Quoted from chad:

Pretty sure games cost more than a $1000 in 1990

I honestly don’t think so. I’ve seen old price lists. Maybe an Addams family but even then I bet I’m not that far off.

#167 1 year ago
Quoted from westofrome:

I think a much better question - maybe for this thread, maybe a new one - is: what is a reasonable warranty period for a pinball machine and its various components? I don't think the literal warranty here is much different than the other manufacturers, the issue is the gray area of what happens beyond the warranty. Cars come with 3-year warranties, and pins are costing nearly 50% of cars these days...

The market should determine the warranty period just like it does in every other product. Don’t like the warranty? Don’t buy the product. GM previously had a 5 year 100000 mile power train warranty. They dropped it a few years back when sales became stronger. They lost some customers over the decision, but figured that into the big picture.

#168 1 year ago

I have to say I am fascinated by social media and it's use and expectations.

1st off, the folks at AP have some of the best customer service going. How many other manufacturers come to this forum anymore to solicit ideas and feedback? How many besides AP are here helping troubleshoot issues, including that of the OP? That in and of itself is worth a lot in my books.

The warranty is what it is....for those that think it is "crappy" then don't buy the machine, plain and simple. A smart person evaluates the risk in any $7,000 purchase, and if you cannot live with that risk, then the answer is not to buy. If you did not ask, then that is on you. It is not like they hid it or changed the warranty after the fact.

You are talking about electronic items. Very few folks give lengthy warranties on electronics these days because of the millions of things out of their control. Surges, spikes, lightning hits, low voltage, missing ground, static electricity, etc....can all affect electronic items. Do ANY of us here know WHY the board failed? Nope, we have no idea, yet the majority of folks that have never owned an AP game are really eager to jump in and tell the world how they should have just replaced the board out of good faith. I think the OP said something like if it were 6 months (or somewhere along those lines) and the board failed, he would understand......why is there a dividing line between 90 days and 6 months? Where exactly is that line and why there? why not a year?

It is all subjective, based on the situation you are in at the time. These games have a lot of electronics and mechanics in them that are going to all fail over time. Yes, it sucks this failure was within a few months, but HUO has nothing to do with it, and should have no effect on the warranty. If it would have failed during the written warranty period, they would have replaced it with no issue. A lot of the reason Stern and other companies replace the boards and such out of warranty, might just be because they have a known defect, or their software damaged a component, such as what happened with Star Wars.

#169 1 year ago

This hobby is going to kill itself again. It’s a miracle anybody is making new machines or parts with all the entitlement that is expected beyond what’s in writing. Manufacturers have replaced things for me beyond written warranty. I have always been grateful in those cases. I’ve never played Paul Revere when my “feelings” beyond written warranty weren’t met.

Lots of speculation going on for a one sided story. Who knows how the conversation went between the Op and API.

I don’t know the Op or the conversation and I’m not speculating. I do know one thing....it’s easier to “help” or “bend” the rules for somebody that is kind, humble and respectful than it is for an “entitled” or disrespectful person. Ive always experienced a little respect goes along way, a little disrespect goes even further in the opposite direction.

#170 1 year ago

In MA we have this thing called Implied Warranty of Merchantibility. It basically says, an item should work for a reasonable amount of time, regardless of what they say in the warranty. I've used it a couple times for out of warranty things. One was a TV that broke just out of warranty. The attorney generals office helped me, it took a long time but eventually a repairman came to my house and fixed the TV at no charge to me. Another case just mentioning the law got my item replaced, again , out of warranty. Check if your state has something similar.

#171 1 year ago
Quoted from Boat:

I honestly don’t think so. I’ve seen old price lists. Maybe an Addams family but even then I bet I’m not that far off.

Are you talking used??

#172 1 year ago
Quoted from yfz450:

Let me get this straight. OP had problems loading new code and asked AP for help. They helped him install the new code and then after the code was installed his flipper didn't work? Now they won't warrant his board?
With this practice they won't be around forever!

I doubt the code update had anything to do with the transistor popping, I think the OP was just stating the they worked with him to resolve the update problem but wouldn't agree to replace the driver board.

#173 1 year ago
Quoted from chad:

Are you talking used??

No, I’m talking a new 1989 data east game. Maybe b/w’s were higher.

16
#174 1 year ago
Quoted from Bud:

This hobby is going to kill itself again. It’s a miracle anybody is making new machines or parts with all the entitlement that is expected beyond what’s in writing.

I guess I'm one of those people that expects the flippers on a HUO $7k game will still work 4 months after its manufactured. I'm sorry if I'm ruining the hobby for those that disagree.

#175 1 year ago
Quoted from frolic:

To not acknowledge it gives you exactly what you said, waking up to 4 pages of negative commentary.

I wouldn’t worry too much about that. Negative commentary is losing steam pretty fast. It’s the same old same old every time. Whether people have a real gripe or not doesn’t matter. Interwebs are just full of complaint after complaint. One expects it now. It’s power has been diluted by sheer volume.

#176 1 year ago
Quoted from twenty84:

The problem is some games really get abused on location so I can see how manufactures don't want to get burned by having a long comprehensive warranty on paper.

I don't think it is so much the type of after sale use as it is the state of the electronics industry these days. Many electronics components and assemblies have a much shorter life cycle than the products they go into - hence the choice to have the 90 day warranty, and the monitor is probably covered by the monitor's manufacturer warranty for one year. The problem of this case is not the actual length of the warranty, this could just as easily have been the monitor blowing out at 366 days. This is more of a debate about the hard line stance of not bending the rules just a little for one specific case. It's one thing to have a short warranty. It's another to build consumer confidence by bending the rules, and that is something that newer companies should not take likely....especially if it is known to the manufacturer that the hit they are taking isn't huge.

#177 1 year ago

This was a used game correct?

#178 1 year ago
Quoted from RebelGuitars:

This was a used game correct?

That’s what I was wondering. Did the OP even buy this NIB from a dist?

#179 1 year ago

there is a warranty period. there are also times you may ask for a concession and get policy from a manufacturer. policy is good will towards a customer to address an issue outside of the warranty period or an item warranty does not cover. the manufacturer really could issue a policy adjustment towards op and send a board. then they can throw that board on the pile of warranty boards since its so new and get paid for it. not a big deal. all the lawyers coming out on this thread, ridiculous. people vote with their wallets. as a business you have to make good decisions and part of that is to not get bad PR. send the customer the board and avoid bad PR and call it a day. good business decision.

#180 1 year ago
Quoted from yfz450:

Let me get this straight. OP had problems loading new code and asked AP for help. They helped him install the new code and then after the code was installed his flipper didn't work? Now they won't warrant his board?
With this practice they won't be around forever!

Yep you have the facts straight. Time will tell as far as the longevity of AP as a company.

#181 1 year ago
Quoted from twenty84:

I guess I'm one of those people that expects the flippers on a HUO $7k game will still work 4 months after its manufactured. I'm sorry if I'm ruining the hobby for those that disagree.

Don’t we all, shit happens, stuff breaks. I’m pretty sure a manufacturer wants the products to work too. When you don’t have the tools or skills to fix a $4 component, you have to pay up when the warranty is up.

#182 1 year ago

Situations like this hurt all NIB sales now to some degree (IMHO). The point here is not the warranty, it's the damage to the brand on inaction to protect the brand. I have my own business and I have had to service my customer in no fault situations, just so that they are happy. Not resale or warranty. Lets remember that the success of a pinball company is not in just one machine, it's in return customers. So why not just invest in your future customers and replace the board for the guy?

#183 1 year ago

Man, where are the pitchforks? Were they all used up in the Stern node-board threads?

The tone here a lot more conciliatory for AP than it was for Stern when they were replacing node-boards way past the warranty period.

I guess when you are Evil you don't get credit for going above and beyond, but the new, small company is allowed to protect themselves with the same terms.

#184 1 year ago

I don’t know? This sucks all around. The bad pr that AP is getting and the fact someone’s new game isn’t working. On one hand I’m not sure why you would complain about a 95 board when you could afford to spend 7k on a toy. On the other I see your point. You were very close to the end of the warranty. They should have just taken care of it...To the people stating they will never buy anything from AP in the future at all seems silly. I have had good and bad experiences with the other guys Stern included. Those that have been in the hobby a while seem to come to an understanding that this stuff breaks period. When it does we fix it and move on to the next shiny new toy coming down the pipe. Anyway good luck and I hope you get your game fixed quickly.

#185 1 year ago
Quoted from jrio101:

I don't have anyone local that does surface mount work and this is what AP told me[quoted image]

Did they / can they give you the part number for the chip that needs to be replaced? I don't see schematics posted for these boards but maybe I haven't looked in the right place yet.

-1
#186 1 year ago

Its really too bad that a new company spends 100's of thousands of dollars developing, marketing, and manufacturing a new pin (with a lot of success), and then makes horrible business decisions. This should have never happened, and frankly they deserve the bad press...its the old saying "you get a 1000 at a boys, and one Oh shit, and u go back to zero"

#187 1 year ago
Quoted from PtownPin:

Its really too bad that a new company spends 100's of thousands of dollars developing, marketing, and manufacturing a new pin (with a lot of success), and then makes horrible business decisions. This should have never happened, and frankly they deserve the bad press...its the old saying "you get a 1000 at a boys, and one Oh shit, and u go back to zero"

Not siding with API but shouldn't we let the OP give AP the opportunity to evaluate the situation? The OP started this fire after business hours and the only correspondence he had with them Barry offered "what do you want to do with this" which to me means they need to evaluate the circumstances, distributor warranty offerings, and a possible negotiable agreement to solve this. I didn't see any FU response to the OP and I am certain you would Never get that from the API team or company. They care Way to much about this title and their clients and have proved so overwhelmingly. If they did anything wrong, they trained customers through kind correspondence on a public forum that this is where you ask for help and interact with service. NO bad habit. Support should go directly to the company and be one on one with the client. Not in a public forum. There is a reason No OEM likes to play on this forum. They can't win. We love to see them and most respect why they are on Pinside but as they grow this portal of support will prove damaging as All laundry good and bad will be aired here. They should consider bringing on a shoulder to cry on (#LTG) to buffer these all hours needs but take it off line in the companies best interest. At this point the fire is to hot and I respect why they are staying out of the thread fire. This really IS a great company and they are More than loyal to their clients and product success. Might be why you don't see many posts like this.... Let them work with the OP and I think he to will see how much they love what they do if he gives them a chance to help him. JMO

#188 1 year ago
Quoted from Bud:

Don’t we all, shit happens, stuff breaks. I’m pretty sure a manufacturer wants the products to work too. When you don’t have the tools or skills to fix a $4 component, you have to pay up when the warranty is up.

I could agree with this if it was a Fliptronics board with a through hole transistor, but I think we are talking surface mount here.

88
#189 1 year ago

Hello all, this comes to screeching halt right here...

I was the distributor that sold the game to first buyer... I have nothing to do with the 2nd owner on this Houdini. I just got notified of this this AM by an email from my initial customer here:

Joe,
I recently traded my Houdini with a friend and shortly after he set it up a flipper driver board failed. He contacted American Pinball and they wouldn’t cover the defective board under warranty which is apparently only 90 days. I know you take great care in deciding who to distribute for, but this seems ridiculous to me. I’m not writing this expecting it will change the outcome of their decision. I just wanted you to know. Again, this is nothing against you Joe. You are one of the best in the Hobby.
Jim

My reply with echoes the sentiments of many - on BOTH sides... I get it, but AP technically did nothing wrong here and there are reasons rules are rules and why it's on page 3 of the manual.

Jim :
That's the warranty - actually it's 90 days with most all companies... some are even 60 on the electronic stuff. Additionally some companies will not warranty even under the time frame for a 2nd owner - initial owner only. Now that said that's how the warranty reads and what I have to repeat... AP is no different in their terms than any other and actually offer longer time frames for the electronic stuff than others. I will reach out to see if there is any wiggle room - sometimes these companies won't budge because it's the old, if they do it for one, they have to do it for everyone and the warranty timelines become worthless. I do know that if a company has a 'known' problem with something like say the JJP light boards where it is an across the board problem or Stern's node boards, those timelines get ignored and the issues are taken care of because it's a design issue that is inherent with every part in every game. I do see both points, but that's the warranty they are just adhering to what it is. I'll reach out and get back, I owe you that much.
Joe

So... I emailed AP, no reply yet...

THEN, I came on Pinside for the day, not even knowing there was a post here... and saw the 2nd buyer who I did not know was Jason Rioux, who has bought a game from me in the past.. I have no idea if Jason would buy more games or not, and don't care, but he was a total pleasure to deal with.. .So I have Jim my original / regular customer and now Jason who I know and is a customer both involved in this... So... Jason, PinballSTAR is sending you a check for $ 95. I'm not sure if I'm opening up a can of worms as this can't be done in all cases and I'm not sure if AP will be upset with me, but I've got two customers I like and I'm making this right and ending it.

I will echo that the folks at AP are AMAZINGLY caring folks... From ownership / management to design team to programmers to tech support - top to bottom these people care to do that right thing for their customers and the community.. .I've seen it over and over. If they didn't I wouldn't be saying so. So as many of you came to their defense, they didn't do anything wrong here. But the timing of it just over the warranty and the fact I know both these folks and I made money on this transaction makes me feel I owe it to put this one to bed.

Love and kisses to all... All is fine here - go pet a puppy or something today no need for negativity... Case closed here... I think I'll even send Jason a Houdini Tshirt and a tote bag ! : )

Joe Newhart
PinballSTAR Amusements
Sales@PinballSTAR.com

#190 1 year ago
Quoted from PinballSTAR:

So... Jason, PinballSTAR is sending you a check for $ 95. I'm not sure if I'm opening up a can of worms as this can't be done in all cases and I'm not sure if AP will be upset with me, but I've got two customers I like and I'm making this right and ending it.

You just earned my Deadpool business I think. I'll be in touch.

#191 1 year ago
Quoted from Shredso:

I could agree with this if it was a Fliptronics board with a through hole transistor, but I think we are talking surface mount here.

The pinball community is going to have to start coming to grips with SMD technology, it's not even new anymore and it's not going away. If you want to own games it's like anything else with pinball, you better know how to fix it or ready to pay someone else who can.

#192 1 year ago
Quoted from bobukcat:

The pinball community is going to have to start coming to grips with SMD technology, it's not even new anymore and it's not going away. If you want to own games it's like anything else with pinball, you better know how to fix it or ready to pay someone else who can.

Your new avatar is sick.

#193 1 year ago
Quoted from PinballSTAR:

Hello all, this comes to screeching halt right here...
I was the distributor that sold the game to first buyer... I have nothing to do with the 2nd owner on this Houdini. I just got notified of this this AM by an email from my initial customer here:
Joe,
I recently traded my Houdini with a friend and shortly after he set it up a flipper driver board failed. He contacted American Pinball and they wouldn’t cover the defective board under warranty which is apparently only 90 days. I know you take great care in deciding who to distribute for, but this seems ridiculous to me. I’m not writing this expecting it will change the outcome of their decision. I just wanted you to know. Again, this is nothing against you Joe. You are one of the best in the Hobby.
Jim
My reply with echoes the sentiments of many - on BOTH sides... I get it, but AP technically did nothing wrong here and there are reasons rules are rules and why it's on page 3 of the manual.
Jim :
That's the warranty - actually it's 90 days with most all companies... some are even 60 on the electronic stuff. Additionally some companies will not warranty even under the time frame for a 2nd owner - initial owner only. Now that said that's how the warranty reads and what I have to repeat... AP is no different in their terms than any other and actually offer longer time frames for the electronic stuff than others. I will reach out to see if there is any wiggle room - sometimes these companies won't budge because it's the old, if they do it for one, they have to do it for everyone and the warranty timelines become worthless. I do know that if a company has a 'known' problem with something like say the JJP light boards where it is an across the board problem or Stern's node boards, those timelines get ignored and the issues are taken care of because it's a design issue that is inherent with every part in every game. I do see both points, but that's the warranty they are just adhering to what it is. I'll reach out and get back, I owe you that much.
Joe
So... I emailed AP, no reply yet...
THEN, I came on Pinside for the day, not even knowing there was a post here... and saw the 2nd buyer who I did not know was Jason Rioux, who has bought a game from me in the past.. I have no idea if Jason would buy more games or not, and don't care, but he was a total pleasure to deal with.. .So I have Jim my original / regular customer and now Jason who I know and is a customer both involved in this... So... Jason, PinballSTAR is sending you a check for $ 95. I'm not sure if I'm opening up a can of worms as this can't be done in all cases and I'm not sure if AP will be upset with me, but I've got two customers I like and I'm making this right and ending it.
I will echo that the folks at AP are AMAZINGLY caring folks... From ownership / management to design team to programmers to tech support - top to bottom these people care to do that right thing for their customers and the community.. .I've seen it over and over. If they didn't I wouldn't be saying so. So as many of you came to their defense, they didn't do anything wrong here. But the timing of it just over the warranty and the fact I know both these folks and I made money on this transaction makes me feel I owe it to put this one to bed.
Love and kisses to all... All is fine here - go pet a puppy or something today no need for negativity... Case closed here... I think I'll even send Jason a Houdini Tshirt and a tote bag ! : )
Joe Newhart
PinballSTAR Amusements
Sales@PinballSTAR.com

Well done sir. You already had my business, now you have my respect.

#194 1 year ago
Quoted from Nokoro:

I’ve had lots of companies honor their product well past the written warranty. JJP is one. That goes a long way with me and builds loyalty. On the flip side, I’ve had companies be overly restrictive, and I’m hesitant to buy from those companies again.

Stern does too ( or did for me, even as a second owner ).

#195 1 year ago
Quoted from PinballSTAR:

Hello all, this comes to screeching halt right here...

I see many upvotes in your future, well done sir!!

#196 1 year ago

Great job Joe.

So in summary, we have a second owner with a warranty claim outside of warranty.

12
#197 1 year ago

Hell hath no fury like the fragile entitled male ego when told 'no'.

#198 1 year ago

Joe Newhart/Steve Ritchie -2020
"Tote bags for all Americans"

That's what good service looks like. Well done, sir.

#199 1 year ago
Quoted from Pinphila:

Great job Joe.
So in summary, we have a second owner with a warranty claim outside of warranty.

Fact. It shows there is Usually another side of the story. The original poster failed to mention he bought this used from a dealer with a used warranty yet never gave him the opportunity to hear his issue. Joe backs ALL of his sales new and used but you have to give him a chance to help! As suspected API simply needed to evaluate the warranty terms, distributor, and owner to make see what is going on. API got torched for no real reason other than evaluating a situation with several unknown factors. PinballStar like several of the distributors API partnered with have a vested interest in keeping customers happy. They just need to know how to help and be asked.

#200 1 year ago

JOE pinball star is amazing!
API is amazing company!
Customer service is top notch on both parties!
OP started thread without saying he was second owner.
Barry did the right thing here.
Also noted that Barry helped second owner with code problem.
Bottom line about pinball in general.
Ive turned first time pin buyers away talking them out of machines for one reason.
You want to own a pinball machine? Better learn to fix it.
I am going to go play with puppies today!
Joe, best line on pinside in weeks.

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