(Topic ID: 169917)

Awful first experience with PBR, any good alternatives?


By Otaku

2 years ago



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  • Latest reply 2 years ago by ForceFlow
  • Topic is favorited by 8 Pinsiders

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    #101 2 years ago
    Quoted from ovfdfireman:

    I think you are making this too difficult. PBR is doing exactly what you are used to.
    They are giving you credit.......he is like a credit card.
    1. Your order
    2. He "charges" your account
    3. You get a bill
    4. You go to your "online billing" enter PBR as a payee
    5. Press submit
    To me it sound just like any other credit card/credit account. Unfortunately now you don't have a PBR black card anymore. I just don't see how it is any different from ordering from any other store.
    I could see your frustration of you had to send a check prior to shipment, that would be old school. But, this ships right away, and you pay the bill (same as your Visa).

    This is like humping a pillow and trying to argue you had sex. It's not, you didn't, and it's weird.

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    #102 2 years ago

    People are too used to the completely bullshit retail experience presented by corporate America. Customers have come to expect fake smiles and pleasantries, and somehow, after all these years, they've actually convinced themselves that "the customer is always right."

    That, my friends, is one large load of horseshit. Customers can be jerk offs just like anybody else, and they most certainly can be wrong, and Steve has no problem letting them know about that.

    In a society that has become a sea of bullshit, Steve is a welcome oasis of honesty and justice!!!!

    #103 2 years ago

    Sometimes you earn your chops, and it's worth it.

    #104 2 years ago

    I just miss him going to shows. He's way friendlier in person.

    #105 2 years ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Customers can be jerk offs just like anybody else

    Yep. I was a jerk off because I needed a screw-in post that didn't have a part number in the manual, or on his site, and I asked him if he knew what part it was. Then he berated me for breaking the post, saying there's only so many of these left and I should be more careful. What a jerk-off of me, to ask a question. I really should be put down, with how big a jerk-off I am.

    #106 2 years ago
    Quoted from Richthofen:

    Yep. I was a jerk off because I needed a screw-in post that didn't have a part number in the manual, or on his site, and I asked him if he knew what part it was. Then he berated me for breaking the post, saying there's only so many of these left and I should be more careful. What a jerk-off of me, to ask a question. I really should be put down, with how big a jerk-off I am.

    Don't be so hard on yourself.

    While you were clearly acting like a jerk-off, your biggest problem was completely misreading Steve.

    Like I said, years of being mollycoddled at places like Wal-Mart has robbed you of the ability to interact with a salesperson in a human fashion. I highly doubt you were "berated," you were simply told something in curt fashion. You were given valuable information about how to care for a valuable part and prevent issues in the future, and since he didn't dress it up with apologies or call you "sir," you felt like you were mistreated.

    This simply isn't the case, and you weren't being put down. In fact, you were being treated with RESPECT, as someone who can handle straight talk without all the phony bullshit that might have wasted time and clouded the message. And while you became defensive and acted like a jerk off, I doubt Steve really took it personally. He's been doing this a long time.

    So like I said, don't be so hard on yourself. It's a learning process.

    #107 2 years ago

    Capture (resized).JPG

    #108 2 years ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    In fact, you were being treated with RESPECT

    Look, I can call out my friends, who I have known for half my life or more, like that. We've earned that trust through mutual shared experiences. But I don't know Steve from Adam. If someone passing me on the sidewalk in my neighborhood who I didn't know talked to me like that, I'd tell them to go fuck off, at the very least. There's nothing he communicated to me that he couldn't have communicated to me using a decent amount of politeness. Which is how you are supposed to interact with people you don't know.

    #110 2 years ago

    It always seems to me that people who have problems with Steve want to argue with him, or act like they know more than he does.

    I figured out right from the start that he's forgotten more than I'll ever know, so if you call him to order, just give him your order, and if there's a part you can't find a number for, just be straight up with him and he's going to help you.

    He yapped at me a bit one time over some Bally flipper coils when I was first getting started, but I didn't take it personal and get all huffy and act like nobody should ever talk that way to me. I seldom call them, usually it's all over email, but the few times I have talked to Steve he's been helpful and fun to deal with, and actually a couple of times I've had to get rid of him, he just wanted to talk on and on about the games. I'd have loved to do that too but I was at work and couldn't.

    He's a national treasure for pinball and I pray he's got some succession plan in place because if he goes, us EM guys are going to really feel the pain.

    #111 2 years ago

    Sorry for my Ignorance but is Steve just sitting on a huge pile of hard to get parts and is the only one who can/will sell them, and when they are gone they're gone. Or does he order them somewhere else?

    #112 2 years ago
    Quoted from Richthofen:

    Look, I can call out my friends, who I have known for half my life or more, like that. We've earned that trust through mutual shared experiences. But I don't know Steve from Adam. If someone passing me on the sidewalk in my neighborhood who I didn't know talked to me like that, I'd tell them to go fuck off, at the very least. There's nothing he communicated to me that he couldn't have communicated to me using a decent amount of politeness. Which is how you are supposed to interact with people you don't know.

    He's from NY, you're from Boston. I can understand the friction... you need a thicker skin, you're too delicate for the way they do business over there

    #113 2 years ago
    Quoted from cosmokramer:

    Sorry for my Ignorance but is Steve just sitting on a huge pile of hard to get parts and is the only one who can/will sell them, and when they are gone they're gone. Or does he order them somewhere else?

    Steve produces Gottlieb parts and paperwork under exclusive license (I believe, don't tell Steve I said that). So yes, for much of the old stuff he's the only game in town. He also has NOS parts from various manufacturers but I also think that stuff has dried up over the years. There was a time when he was selling NOS CFTBL holograms for like 30 bucks.

    #114 2 years ago
    Quoted from cosmokramer:

    Sorry for my Ignorance but is Steve just sitting on a huge pile of hard to get parts and is the only one who can/will sell them, and when they are gone they're gone. Or does he order them somewhere else?

    As I understand it he owns the rights to Gottleib intellectual property. Has some manufactured/printed as needed.

    #115 2 years ago

    When I know I'm going to have some questions, I make sure to say 'yes sir', 'thank you sir', etc. Works like a charm. Old school respect and manners goes a long way with Steve, in my experience.

    #116 2 years ago

    Heh, that's probably the only piece of technology that can survive in that type of environment. Auto shops can be rough for computer hardware.

    #117 2 years ago

    I have never dealt with steve or PBR, but I can honestly say, I don't think I will ever get a Gottleib game. that way I wont have too...

    #118 2 years ago
    Quoted from Richthofen:

    Look, I can call out my friends, who I have known for half my life or more, like that. We've earned that trust through mutual shared experiences. But I don't know Steve from Adam. If someone passing me on the sidewalk in my neighborhood who I didn't know talked to me like that, I'd tell them to go fuck off, at the very least. There's nothing he communicated to me that he couldn't have communicated to me using a decent amount of politeness. Which is how you are supposed to interact with people you don't know.

    At the end of the day, who gives a shit?

    Did you want a handjob or did you want a part?

    #119 2 years ago

    Spit take!!

    #120 2 years ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    At the end of the day, who gives a shit?
    Did you want a handjob or did you want a part?

    Point is, if it weren't for the exclusive license and someone were offering both, he probably wouldn't be buying a part from Steve.

    #121 2 years ago

    Steve and pbr are much needed... he's old school for sure .. but I stil mail all my checks for bills .. he is even a great tech on the phone.. and he has what you need ...

    #122 2 years ago
    Quoted from cosmokramer:

    Sorry for my Ignorance but is Steve just sitting on a huge pile of hard to get parts and is the only one who can/will sell them, and when they are gone they're gone. Or does he order them somewhere else?

    All of the above

    He's the exclusive license holder for the GTB stuff
    He has a huge inventory of stuff... way more than they've ever put into their website
    He has parts remanufactured
    He has parts remanufactured that you can't get elsewhere

    The issue is always the same. PBR wants to run the business.. but doesn't want to grow. They are happy where they are. They like their business model and feel they go very far to help people (they do).

    The friction comes when people want PBR to operate how THEY think they should.. or do not accept PBR that PBR has no interest in operating like a Marco/amazon/whatever.

    If you do what the OP did.. which is flip flop like 4 times.. they just don't need to deal with you.

    #123 2 years ago

    I will say the only thing about Steve that rubs me the wrong way...when I ask for a part and he barks out "No Longer Available," I always swear I feel a hint of sadistic joy in his voice.

    But, he also then works with me to find a solution, and we usually come up with something.

    #124 2 years ago

    The whole check's thing is over blown. Go on your bank website, send a payment from there. If you don't have bill pay from your bank... then check y0 self bef0re you wr3ck y0rself

    #125 2 years ago

    I'm looking forward to my first order from PBR - haven't used em yet but it sounds like it might be fun from this thread

    #126 2 years ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    I will say the only thing about Steve that rubs me the wrong way...when I ask for a part and he barks out "No Longer Available," I always swear I feel a hint of sadistic joy in his voice.
    But, he also then works with me to find a solution, and we usually come up with something.

    "NLA" is right there with "DQ" as one of the most hated acronyms in pinball...

    #127 2 years ago
    Quoted from snakesnsparklers:

    I'm looking forward to my first order from PBR - haven't used em yet but it sounds like it might be fun from this thread

    He doesn't have any Whisker Biscuits or Whistling Bungholes, so don't ask.

    #128 2 years ago

    Levi you have been living in NY too long

    I love pinball and buying parts but no way can I defend him. That would never fly down here. I have called a few times and either the phone is busy or he is rude and very short. I teach career class in high school and my students all have to get jobs as Seniors. I try and get kids to try and act nice and be respectful. Most companies hate hiring teenagers cause of the behaviors Steve exhibits. If he is old school then that's when people were patient and polite. Even if they had to fake it.

    You want good customer service? Order LEDs from Comet and read their shipping email:

    Dearest mike,

    Thanks for ordering from Comet Pinball! Dan happily skipped through the aisles, grabbing each of the items you asked for, putting them into a special blue plastic container with little black dividers between each item. Then it got placed on the Ready Rack with dozens of other eager bulbs - before being double checked by Janet, the only member of the team brave enough to undergo Lasik.

    All the while, we couldn't help but wonder: what *is* mike going to do with all this stuff? What game(s) will it be going into? What will the finished product look like? Feel free to send us pics your creation - we love seeing them!

    After a misty goodbye, your order (#13185) was shipped via USPS, USPS First Class Mail on 9/19/2016. If you're someone who doesn't like to be surprised, you can track your package at any time using the link below.....

    Thank god Steve does not sell LEDs Pinball needs more humor like Comet does now.

    #129 2 years ago
    Quoted from billsfanmd:

    Thank god Steve does not sell LEDs Pinball needs more humor like Comet does now.

    Fair enough, but in case you haven't figured it out yet, many of us actually find Steve funny.

    I would think a Bills fan would have learned to find humor in most any situation by now!

    #130 2 years ago
    Quoted from Anth:

    He doesn't have any Whisker Biscuits or Whistling Bungholes, so don't ask.

    But does he have Battletoads?

    #131 2 years ago
    Quoted from snakesnsparklers:

    But does he have Battletoads?

    NO LONGER AVAILABLE!!!

    #132 2 years ago

    I ordered from them one time. Had an issue with their software not pulling the paypal delivery address I had specified. The email exchange wasn't fantastic. There's too many other players in this space now so I just order elsewhere.

    On the other hand, if I ran an ecommerce site and someone was switching pickup dates, delivery modes, etc numerous times I'd drop them too. It matches the fraud profile too closely, not worth the risk.

    -E

    #133 2 years ago

    I was told how steve operated by a pal..
    So I was ready .. I actualy talked for 45 minutes on the horn with him .. helped me out a bunch ... expecially with my ol electro machine .. and had the parts I needed ..
    Cool dude . And once your past that first order it's a easy cruise ..

    #134 2 years ago

    Sounds like such a joy. So glad I don't have to deal with being involved in that kind of pleasure. I'm more of an order it online type of person anyway. I can't imagine what it's like dealing with people calling in orders for the last however many years. I'd probably be the same way, but at least have the decency to start off cordial.

    #135 2 years ago

    Only in pinball can you find a bunch of grown men lining up to be scolded about fifty year old plastic parts before they're allowed to buy them and then talking about what a wonderful experience it was! Stockholm syndrome much?

    And yes, I order from PBR. I try to keep it to email whenever possible.

    #136 2 years ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Fair enough, but in case you haven't figured it out yet, many of us actually find Steve funny.
    I would think a Bills fan would have learned to find humor in most any situation by now!

    Ill let you know after Patriots game

    #137 2 years ago
    Quoted from canea:

    Stockholm syndrome much?

    Nail hit on head much? I knew there was a term for what I was reading in this thread and couldn't think of it. Thanks!

    #138 2 years ago

    One of the reasons I spend my money at PBR, is because I was collecting pinball way before the internet. Steve used to advertise in the back of magazines, and he made flyers he sent out. he has been there thru the booms and busts. before the net, and I hadn't discovered PBR, I was screwed. Once I found him, and figured out how he likes to do his buznus, easy peasy. I like that he is old school, and he may be younger than me. But, point is, for hangin in there all these years, and always being fair, I try to send him my biz (for certain stuff).
    Like many said, I would wait a couple months and when you have another order try to do it right the first time and establish a biz relationship with him. you wont regret it. Everyone who has worked with steve has pissed him off. Dont take it personaly, he dosent. He reminds and sounds like a cleche' new yorker.
    another worthless opinion. cheers. kruzman

    #139 2 years ago

    I never though of setting PBR up as a bill-pay at my bank.
    It's been a while since I've done that. Do you just need the business info & the bank verifies it?
    I wonder if it's possible with me being in Canada.

    #140 2 years ago
    Quoted from Topher5000:

    I never though of setting PBR up as a bill-pay at my bank.
    It's been a while since I've done that. Do you just need the business info & the bank verifies it?
    I wonder if it's possible with me being in Canada.

    In the US it's done out of the view of the customer. If the bank can do it electronically, they do.. if not, they just mail the check. Customer doesn't know or care.. they enter the same info. Name, address, phone, amount. Done!

    #141 2 years ago
    Quoted from desertT1:

    Sounds like such a joy. So glad I don't have to deal with being involved in that kind of pleasure. I'm more of an order it online type of person anyway. I can't imagine what it's like dealing with people calling in orders for the last however many years. I'd probably be the same way, but at least have the decency to start off cordial.

    He does. He just doesn't have the time to dick around and he is very blunt. He has no patience for people whining about how the business is ran. In many ways he is like Tim Arnold... they know what works for them, and they aren't really interested in all the armchair quarterbacks telling them what they SHOULD be doing. Ignoring that both have ran businesses that survived periods were they were supposed to be dead...

    They are non-apologetic and stubborn... and both long worn by dealing with idiots I'm sure You can say they should put on a prettier face and be ready to be nice to everyone... but they don't need to (to keep doing what they are doing).

    11
    #142 2 years ago

    Here is a recent interview with Steve.

    Get to know the man, the myth, the unsung, Steve Young:

    http://foramusementonly.libsyn.com/episode-376-interview-with-steve-young-8-7-16

    #143 2 years ago
    Quoted from Topher5000:

    I never though of setting PBR up as a bill-pay at my bank.
    It's been a while since I've done that. Do you just need the business info & the bank verifies it?
    I wonder if it's possible with me being in Canada.

    Not sure about Canada, but to transfer money from Australia to Europe requires different information than Aussie to Aussie

    #144 2 years ago

    I'd like to know if possible to pay online from Canadian bank. I hate having to pay $10 or whatever just to get a money order/bank draft.

    #145 2 years ago

    I love Steve at PBR. He's where I get all my real solenoid quicksteps.

    #146 2 years ago
    Quoted from canea:

    Only in pinball can you find a bunch of grown men lining up to be scolded about fifty year old plastic parts before they're allowed to buy them and then talking about what a wonderful experience it was! Stockholm syndrome much?

    #147 2 years ago
    Quoted from Richthofen:

    Look, I can call out my friends, who I have known for half my life or more, like that. We've earned that trust through mutual shared experiences. But I don't know Steve from Adam. If someone passing me on the sidewalk in my neighborhood who I didn't know talked to me like that, I'd tell them to go fuck off, at the very least. There's nothing he communicated to me that he couldn't have communicated to me using a decent amount of politeness. Which is how you are supposed to interact with people you don't know.

    I think we're going a bit deeper into the topic than I had originally intended with this thread, but that's okay, so: I agree with a lot of what you're saying.

    I understand he has a monopoly on the Gottlieb parts but I don't understand the whole "Ohhhhh, that's just a Steve thing! Respect him! You should be thankful when he yells at you!" after he tells you off. I hate that, so much, when anybody gets that 'right'. Usually you hear about it with snobby old celebrities (who even insult their fans, i.e. paying customers in this situation)... but they're legends... so it's okay and it's your fault! (Not really, and not really)

    I understand some people think modern customer service is too fake and cheery, but there's also a thing called basic decency, no matter how old you are or your business and what state you operate from, it shouldn't be "just a New York thing" or "he's just old school" either, it's a very very personal, unique problem that shouldn't be written off to something silly like that. Personality flaw. If the rest of your business is not up to the times IMO the one thing that should be, should be the customer service.

    The reason he does this is because he has no reason to stop:

    A) Because he knows he's the only one who can legally reproduce all of these parts, again, monopoly

    B) Because apparently he has such a solid following as seen here, where somehow even being an asshole gains him more respect by the people who "initiate" onto his good side

    I'm going to order by e-mail for now and be content with my orders, and that's that. Hallelujah.

    #148 2 years ago
    Quoted from Anth:

    Nail hit on head much? I knew there was a term for what I was reading in this thread and couldn't think of it. Thanks!

    Saying "much" too much after a statement to emphasize it too much?

    Yes, for sure.

    My god are you people ridiculous. Stockholm Syndrome?!

    Look, I NEVER had a bad experience with Steve. Not once. And I don't think I'm special. I've never understood this perception among some of Steve as some kind of ogre. In 16 years dealing with him on the reg I've never gotten why people say that.

    I really think that people misinterpret "curt" and "to the point" as rude.

    You know another secret? And don't tell him I said this or I'm sure he'll ban me for life...but I hardly EVER have a part number for Steve, unless it's some out of the ordinary part I know he'll have to look up.

    And yet I'm still alive.

    #149 2 years ago
    Quoted from Otaku:

    I understand he has a monopoly on the Gottlieb parts but I don't understand the whole "Ohhhhh, that's just a Steve thing! Respect him! You should be thankful when he yells at you!" after he tells you off. I hate that, so much, when anybody gets that 'right'. Usually you hear about it with snobby old celebrities... but they're legends... so it's okay and it's your fault! (Not really, and not really)

    Except this was your fault. Don't waste his time and you won't get yelled at.

    Quoted from Otaku:

    The reason he does this is because he has no reason to stop:
    A) Because he knows he's the only one who can legally reproduce all of these parts, again, monopoly
    B) Because apparently he has such a solid following as seen here, where somehow even being an asshole gains him more respect in some initiation (see video above, LOL) stockholm syndrome sort of way

    Considering the HUGE amount of time and effort Steve undertakes to get these parts to us, he can act however he damn well pleases. If you are incapable of interacting with real human beings with emotions and tons of history in their head, and prefer soulless, corporate politeness, then by all means stick to email. I would MUCH rather have Steve yell at me that I'm doing it wrong (and subsequently tell me how to do it right), than listen to some call center schmuck who hates their job, telling me how much their conglomerate company cares about me (bullshit) and how he's trying hard to solve my issue (which he is not) and if he could just please place me on hold (again) so he can check with a supervisor (take a piss) .. thank you very much.. not.

    #150 2 years ago
    Quoted from mbaumle:

    Like Cody Chunn has said, everyone has had their ear chewed up by Steve at some point or another. Hell, he once ripped me up just because he thought I wasn't ordering the right parts (or maybe it was too many parts, I don't remember. That was years ago.)

    I still remember one of the first times I called in an order to Steve. I had zero pinball friends, didn't know what I was doing, but was really proud of the fact that I was getting ready to work on my second machine. I triumphantly requested as my first item on that call a rubber ring kit for that second game, and without missing a beat Steve replies deadpan "you DO know that Popeye was just voted the worst pinball machine of all time, don't you??". Threw me for a loop, I was stunned for a second, but eventually managed to utter, "OK, but I would still like a ring kit for it if you don't mind". From that point on Steve and I got along great, but I have to admit early on I would hope that Gloria would answer. By the end I would hope that Steve would answer. He is not a jerk at all, he is just a busy businessman that sells parts and doesn't have time for a lot of nonsense.

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