So here is the full version that was requested as it was a busy holiday weekend.
I put in my ticket on the CGC online system. I received an email and call promptly the next day, I returned the call the following day. The call was from “Doug” as he is referred to on this thread. He started the call off asking about where I live etc. His children live here and he went to College around here etc. Asked about my business’s etc. We then began the topic on the AFMr and the issues regarding the playfield. He said they would immediately send out the plastics and they use the same manufacture many others are using and not sure why they are having the issues. He said that the playfield manufacturing is mostly by hand. Only the routing is automated. It was stated they purchase their wood from a “secret source.” It is cedar and ash. I asked which the ball surface was. He stated that cedar was the playfield surface but said he may have that backwards. Since it is a handmade product no two are alike. I mentioned the color issues and was told that this was “artistic character” and was to be expected on a handmade product. They view this as completely acceptable. He said in their view they build the world’s finest pinball machines. They use a 13 layer screen process where Stern only uses a 5 layer process. Other playfield manufactures use a more automated process which they believe is inferior. I mention the wrong screen colors and again was told that is up to the “artist.” He said the inserts are also hand installed and also will be “unique” between play fields. I asked about the planking and he said it is not planking but was in the surface prior to screening from not being “a fully prepared surface” and that it would not get any worse. This is expected when you are dealing with a handmade natural product. I stated that it is getting worse. He disagreed. I also stated that I own many pinball machines and many of the recent pinball playfields were made in his shop and they aren’t doing this or look like that. I also stated my MMr LE does not look like this. I also stated I can’t find a AFMr in Colorado that is not doing this. Even the one at the local dealer looks like this. He stated that they have only received a few complaints and these artistic characteristics are to be expected and acceptable. He also stated that the Warranty is at CGC’s sole discretion and is only 12 months on the LE playfield which he was willing to extend to 5 years. (Medieval Madness 12 month’s electronic/6 months other, AFM CE, 6/3, AFM SE 12/6 and the AFM LE 24/12) He did agree to send me the diffusers that I could never get from my dealer on my MMR and that I could not get CGC to send directly to me in the past. At this point he went into pinside and the things people are posting on there. He said he has a few employees and friends on there. He said all these things are completely normal and people need to stop posting. At that point I told him I was a poster and had posted things on there. He said people need to understand we make the best pinball machines and this is not like manufactures issues. He said that I need to stop posting. I changed the subject and asked if they were going to send me an email in writing on what we chatted about. He said it will be in the ticket. At this point he brought up the posting again and began pressing that they do not want people posting issues. I finally had enough and politly said thank you for his time and I am looking forward to the parts.
After I hung up I felt like I was just bullied and smoothed talk to believe and accept what they are telling me. I immediately notified my dealer that I was uncomfortable with the solution.
Fact #1 The warranty is 100% discretionary by CGC and the customer has no recourse.
Fact#2 The CGC system is great for small items but large items are phone calls with no documentation. One can’t record a phone conversation with a person in Illinois or PPS in Nevada as you need all parties to consent to the recording. Many have recorded them but can’t publicly display them.
Fact#3 The product comes in a box. One can’t inspect a game until it is opened at that point one owns it and it is under the full discretion of CGC if they deem it is “defects in material or workmanship”
Fact#4 When I bought this game the sales sheet did not disclose that this was a handmade product and it would be different than pictured. It did not disclose that playfield chipping may occur, grainy lines and planking are acceptable, putty maybe in the shooter lane and colors will not match. When I buy a “remake” I assume it is going to look like the original that it was re manufactured from. This includes the correct playfield surface and colors. Chipping is not acceptable in my other games and should not be accepted here. If the above disclosure was made most of us would not purchase the product.
Fact#5 The sales sheet did not disclose that only the original purchaser is covered by the warranty and that "CGC, at its sole discretion, will be liable to repair or replace components which are returned to CGC during the warranty period. CGC will repair or replace any covered part at no charge, exclusive of shipping and handling charges or any labor to install the part. Unless instructed otherwise, all defective parts be properly packaged and returned to CGC freight prepaid…No one is authorized to make modifications to this limited warranty."
CGC or “Doug” will not fix these items immediately once someone opens a ticket as many believe. They do this only on small items. The customer is just talked to with a silver tongue. CGC is illustrating to consumers chipping, wrong colors, insert ghosting, planking, poorly prepped surfaces, and putty are all acceptable. They can increase the warranty 20 years if none of these issues are covered. Everyday for the next 4 ½ years I get to look at playfeild that looks like crap is the bottom line. If CGC is not going to Warranty their products on major issues then I will warn suspecting new buyers. We all are doing that. I wish mine looked like some of yours. I have had a few friends just sell their games and take the loss. It is the luck of the draw and you will never know what yours looks like until you open it. If new major issues emerge lots of luck.
I currently own 27 pinball machines which I believe are the top games and ones I enjoy. I also bought and sold around 75 games to find the games I like and ones that are in better shape with great mods. I am not a new person to pinball. I have bought games from every major manufacture and have never seen such a disregard for the customer. Don’t tell me you are the best but show me. No one would be posting on here if that was the case. I bought both the MMr LE and the AFMr LE from CGC with matching numbers. Few can claim that. I have talked to many other customers/friends that wont post on here that have moved on. I will receive hate emails and pm’s. Some of these are friends of the manufacture and others I assume are employees. If I too take the loss and move on, CGC is off the hook since it would be a second owner. Great way out. Only way to sell is huge discount as looks like crap. This is what they prefer one does. No more warranty liability for them. They are the only large manufacture that wont warranty the second owner during the original warranty period. CGC has a reason for that. No one posting has any personal agenda as we all have games only a few months old. I got lucky on GBLE but unlucky here. QC is not there. I want my game to look the way it should and the warranty to be the way it should. I am a pinball customer and I buy new games and share experiences with no agenda. This is a Buyer Alert!