(Topic ID: 169917)

Awful first experience with PBR, any good alternatives?


By Otaku

2 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 237 posts
  • 117 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by ForceFlow
  • Topic is favorited by 8 Pinsiders

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    #201 2 years ago

    NO PINBALL PARTS FOR YOU!

    #202 2 years ago

    Well, after having read through all of this thread, I've placed my first PBR order. I feel as though I am adequately prepared for whatever may come.

    #203 2 years ago

    Wow - glad I stumbled on this thread. I have been buying from Steve since the 90's. Been less active in the hobby in the last 5 years but getting active again with 17 games in the collection and several projects. Dug out my old customer # and called him last month with a big order (or as he called it small order but big amount). He was typical Steve which to me is cool cuz I am an old fart like him and don't suffer fools either. WELL - reading this thread made me react "OH SH*T I never paid PBR!!"
    Yes I have a checkbook and know how to use it -- I just flat out forgot to pay my bill so thanks to Pinside I won't get the Jersey Collection Agency banging on my door

    mob-enforcer (resized).jpg

    #204 2 years ago

    I haven't ordered since the '90s and three address changes, and they let me pay on receipt.

    Zero issues ordering, either. Totally painless. Not sure why I waited so long!

    #205 2 years ago

    Looks pretty clear that the OPs experience (or the way he handled it) was WAY out of the "norm".

    Might be time to change the thread title to more accurately reflect the high quality of service provided by the vendor slighted in the opening of this thread.

    #206 2 years ago

    Yup, even ordering from PBR internationally is pretty damn simple from a process perspective.

    #207 2 years ago
    Quoted from Blackjacker:

    First-time email orders at PBR need to be paid before they're shipped.

    Not always. I did not. It all matters (I think) by how you come across in your communication. I either got lucky or he liked how I worded things. I did not have to pay in advance. Order total was about $25.

    I am super happy with PBR!!! Great selection!!! Awsome merchant and asset to the pinball hobby!!! Only place I know that has all 3 Shadow switches for up in the Sanctum ball lock curve! Bailed me out or I was SOL

    In addition. I think O.P. was a lil off kilt on his order process. He admits it. He also very maturely responded back in this thread after the constructive criticism he received...very mature attitude!!! I hope he can order from PBR in the future and we all can get along

    #208 2 years ago

    First time I talked to him I had a SS Bally Black Jack. I ordered a ring kit and a manual, then said I needed a flex stone contact file. "You don't use that on that game!" he practically yelled at me. Was taken aback but I said "It's for the flipper buttons! I know it's not for the score contacts!" After that he calmed down.

    By saying stuff like that, he's probably saved a few games over the years.

    1 week later
    #209 2 years ago

    I called and placed an order with Steve Young this morning. Nice guy! He answered the phone right away. I had all my chips in order and told him what I needed. I really would have liked to have talked with him a while longer because he is a wealth of knowledge and information and has a great sense of humor, but I know it's a busy time of year and a holiday weekend is ahead so I left it at that.

    #210 2 years ago
    Quoted from RoyGBev:

    First time I talked to him I had a SS Bally Black Jack. I ordered a ring kit and a manual, then said I needed a flex stone contact file. "You don't use that on that game!" he practically yelled at me. Was taken aback but I said "It's for the flipper buttons! I know it's not for the score contacts!" After that he calmed down.
    By saying stuff like that, he's probably saved a few games over the years.

    He said the same thing to me when I wanted a flex stone for my Big Game. He yelled it at me. No flex stones on that pin !!; It got my attention.

    For anyone who said they do not like dealing with Steve, you should reconsider how you judge any shop that will talk to you on the phone. No names here, but there is another supplier I have dealt with and he is email only. He is busy; I get that. And email only works for him and I have made it work for me. But I prefer contacting suppliers by phone whenever possible.

    There used to be three commonly used in the old days. They were:

    1) I'm from the government and I am here to help you.
    2) The check is in the mail.
    3) Yes. I will still love you tomorrow.

    I have a couple more to add in this internet age.

    4) Call a company on the phone today and you no longer get a receptionist to help you. Instead, you get an answering machine that
    says: "We are experiencing high call volume. You might have to wait a little longer than normal. "

    5) From number 4 above, after you have been on hold for just a few seconds, the recorder comes back on and falls into an infinite loop telling you that, "Your call is very important to us. Please continue to hold (as I watch my cell phone battery slow lose its charge).

    For a REAL phone call I'll take a dressing down phone call from Steve any time.

    #211 2 years ago

    I've ordered from Mr. Young in the past without issue. I knew what to order, what the part #'s were and that's it. I have no love or hate for him. BUT-his yelling at and "chiding" people whom he THINKS are going to mis-use a tool is just plain discourteous and ill mannered. A person can disagree without being disagreeable. I don't think Mr. Young has ever mastered that.

    #212 2 years ago
    Quoted from CubeSnake:

    I've ordered from Mr. Young in the past without issue. I knew what to order, what the part #'s were and that's it. I have no love or hate for him. BUT-his yelling at and "chiding" people whom he THINKS are going to mis-use a tool is just plain discourteous and ill mannered. A person can disagree without being disagreeable. I don't think Mr. Young has ever mastered that.

    "disagreeable" is a subjective term. I'd rather a competent Steve talk to me like a real person and give real advice than deal with fake customer service reps at large (not pinball) companies who are as nice and polite as can be while they completely f*ck up the simple task they're supposed to be helping with.

    #213 2 years ago

    steve is a complete a-hole. Back in the mid to late 90's when I was collecting pinball games in albany NY, I ordered some parts from him from time to time. That was back in the day of brick cell phones and the internet was in its infancy SO paying by check through snail mail didn't seem as ridiculous as it does now.

    In 1999 I sold all my games and stopped collecting until I moved to Ga in 2015.

    Anyway... fast forward 17 years and I need some parts. I email PBR and steve asks me to call him. I do and he tells me I'm a "slow pay". I'm baffled and ask if I owe him money or something. He says no but I'm a "slow pay". Well, a check through the mail is not exactly the fastest way to get paid PBR!

    So, Steve wants me to go through my past and explain to him why I was a slow payer and why he should allow me to buy his parts now.

    I basically told him to go screw himself. I would never do business with that jerk. I know he doesn't need my business and acts the way he does because he's the only game in town for some parts. I think if I met him I'd kick him in the nads.

    kitnlogo (resized).jpg

    #214 2 years ago
    Quoted from d0n:

    steve is a complete a-hole. Back in the mid to late 90's when I was collecting pinball games in albany NY, I ordered some parts from him from time to time. That was back in the day of brick cell phones and the internet was in its infancy SO paying by check through snail mail didn't seem as ridiculous as it does now.
    In 1999 I sold all my games and stopped collecting until I moved to Ga in 2015.
    Anyway... fast forward 17 years and I need some parts. I email PBR and steve asks me to call him. I do and he tells me I'm a "slow pay". I'm baffled and ask if I owe him money or something. He says no but I'm a "slow pay". Well, a check through the mail is not exactly the fastest way to get paid PBR!
    So, Steve wants me to go through my past and explain to him why I was a slow payer and why he should allow me to buy his parts now.
    I basically told him to go screw himself. I would never do business with that jerk. I know he doesn't need my business and acts the way he does because he's the only game in town for some parts. I think if I met him I'd kick him in the nads.

    Wow. I feel your frustration, I felt a lot of similarities between my case while reading through yours, took me right back to my own phone call. He could of at least said "Hey, I'm going to need to wait for your payment to come in before I ship these parts out, is that alright?". Surprised he still operates that way if he's that concerned about getting screwed over.

    I'm thinking of just setting up the "bill pay" feature with my bank like many have suggested, then you can still basically buy online. Then I can just toss Jimmy an e-mail with my account number & what I would like to order and click a button and let my bank deal with it. Avoids having to deal with checks, and y'know, the other thing.

    Unfortunately he does have the monopoly. I won't lose sleep over buying from him (got to tell myself: it's for the MACHINES! ), I'm just happy there's alternatives for ever having to get on the phone with him again - even if I was the one who made the mistake.

    Sorry about your experience - it seems a lot of people have similar ones, while others have had great experiences. I've always thought that is a person is a dick half the time and nice half the time their niceness doesn't really "fix" their other actions like some people like to think (reminds me of those people that stay in relationships/marriages because the person is real sweet two days of the week but is insulting and rude for the rest of them - I'll never understand that awful excuse, have some self respect), not the kind of people I keep around in my personal life, thankfully this is just a transaction. I'll use PBR when I have to. Marco has been great to me for the rest though so if I can get something there for only a little more I'll continue to shop there based on their great service and personal decency.

    Thankfully though this ordeal did end up saving me like $125 and the machine looks pretty much just as good - I'll still buy a little bit of parts for it for the things that still don't make the cut to me, but likely only $10-20 worth.

    #215 2 years ago

    I understand how younger people may not understand how a guy like Steve operates. At the same time, at one time, that was the only way to operate. And it is still a valid method.

    So, if you can't relate to somebody that's been doing business since long before you were born,
    maybe have your dad give him a call.

    #216 2 years ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    I understand how younger people may not understand how a guy like Steve operates. At the same time, at one time, that was the only way to operate. And it is still a valid method.
    So, if you can't relate to somebody that's been doing business since long before you were born,
    maybe have your dad give him a call.

    Damn straight

    #217 2 years ago

    I have researched PBR and needed a new monkey for Central Park. He sounds like a good old school guy for sure but after searching around I saw the same part on Marco and said F'k it, Marco is easier, if not more expensive. Now about that vari-target assembly for Silver Slugger. . . Christ help me if i can find that part number!

    #218 2 years ago

    Some of you may disagree but I still respect all of you and will continue to coexist here on Pinside with you, lol. I'm not writing down names for what is said on this thread and hopefully others feel the same. I get that some of you have different views about this and other things than I. In the end I am just looking to enjoy this hobby, meet new people, and share the love of pinball with people here that feel the same way I do about these wonderful machines. That being said:

    I think this is going to be my final say on the matter:

    Quoted from o-din:

    I understand how younger people may not understand how a guy like Steve operates. At the same time, at one time, that was the only way to operate. And it is still a valid method.
    So, if you can't relate to somebody that's been doing business since long before you were born,
    maybe have your dad give him a call.

    *I understand how* he operates his business, I get the whole check thing, doesn't wanna deal with PayPal, whatever. I am okay with that. In addition to that, I've definitely learned a lot of tips about that ends of things throughout this thread as well which will be very helpful! *I do not understand* how he operates his behavior is all.

    Like I said, I have no issues with ordering and paying him for his products (and in that method), but I, like many others, still think he's generally a d*** and that's that, we all don't have to love each other, just one of those things that kind of is what it is and I'm happy with leaving it alone and closing the book on this, I'm not looking for an apology from Steve or anything like that, it's over, lesson learned kind of thing. I don't think my thoughts on him are just because I'm naive like you claim - because if I have to "learn" how to work with Steve and learn how to talk to Steve to make him not an asshole even when I'm being respectful, I'd rather be naive then and just not fuck with it. Same with anybody else, not just Steve. Sure, putting up with people like that is a part of life but I very strongly do not agree with "grow up, you should have to deal with an asshole and give him your money, it's a part of life and being mature". Why I am putting in the work to deal with somebody like this just to get shit on in return? I mean, sure, you're getting pinball parts - but I'm not getting them for free! The money pays for that.

    I have worked with many people in this hobby who are able to be nice by default, as well as in life, because that's a basic human trait - kind of thing your mom tells you when you're growing up. There have been a lot of people who were very generous and helpful during my time in this hobby without needing some secret code to get them to be decent and I offer the same back to everybody else. Those are also often the people who earn my return business, of course. Like I'm not asking him to send me a birthday cake with extra love sprinkled on top, I'm barely even asking him to be nice, I'm just saying at least be "neutral". I've had better experiences at the DMV and going through TSA with people who aren't allowed to smile. They're not very nice either, but they get their job done without being assholes, i.e. the "neutral" thing I was talking about. Even if Steve could operate like that I would feel much better about calling him. But he cannot, apparently, and I'm not alone in experiencing this. Meanwhile in other pinball retailers I've dealt with people who weren't just even neutral but were generally really nice and helpful, above and beyond "neutral" - not to mention the non-retailers (Pinsiders) who have helped me out tremendously and have been very kind to me.

    Meanwhile, it seems like it's some kind of "I got past Steve's bad side by sucking up!" cult going on around here, like it's some kind of accomplishment to get him on a good day for your first call or just manage to wave through the ocean of shit long enough before you finally can have a decent conversation with him. I've dated high school girls less confusing and complicated than him. Not his site (I'm over that, fine by me), himself as a person.

    That is all. I do not think I need to reconsider having to put effort in to deal with somebody like that if they cannot have basic human decency, perhaps it is others who need to do the reconsidering. All of this of course isn't all just stemming from my own encounter with him as that would be ridiculous (as I knew that was my initial fault - regardless if the following things said were needed or not) and way blown out of proportion, but the entire huge general consensus from both supporters/customers and people who no longer shop with Steve that you have to pass some kind of test with flying colors to get him to treat you nicely and with some basic respect. That is ridiculous. Why even bother, especially since I'm the paying customer? Does that not sound like a waste of time and self worth/self respect?

    As said earlier, I want to buy pinball parts not deal with some kind of fraternity paddle initiation - that is EXACTLY 100% what this is equivalent to, seriously, think about it. People who get through it feel accomplished and closer with Steve, some even taking those insults and rude notes in stride. (Reminds me of "Thank you sir, may I have another" initiation scene from the movie Animal House, also posted earlier, albeit slightly more joking) That's all cool if that's what you want to deal with that (lol...) but frankly I just want to spend some money, buy some parts, and receive a little respect while of course giving it not only in return but in advance as well. I didn't ask for that ridiculousness.

    #219 2 years ago

    Steve has a system in place. If someone hinders his workflow too much, I imagine he gets annoyed since time is money and he's always busy.

    The pinball business is full of characters. Steve is only an exception in that he still uses an older method for his ordering & payment process. But Steve is one of the good eggs. He is the source for many, many parts that other vendors carry. He ships parts out quickly and keeps prices low, and since I don't need any extra hand-holding when it comes to the ordering process, I'm content to work within his process. So, I order from him direct, get the parts I need for good prices, write that check, and call it a day

    #220 2 years ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    So, I order from him direct, get the parts I need for good prices, write that check, and call it a day

    Even given the circumstances, I am looking forward to doing this through e-mail. In the end, to me, it's about the parts I'm receiving, not who's getting the money.

    #221 2 years ago

    I believe those that pay him the fastest, also get their orders the fastest.

    Flash Gordon drop targets by Thanksgiving.

    Oh, wait a minute, maybe the day after.

    #222 2 years ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    I believe those that pay him the fastest, also get their orders the fastest

    I've kind of suspected that might be the case. I mail the check promptly after recieving each order. No matter how large or small my order is, it's out the same day or early the next, and I get it at my doorstep a day or two after that. Then I check the parts and if everything looks ok, I send out the check.

    #223 2 years ago

    I just do a funds transfer from my checking account. No hassle writing a check, no wasted stamps. Quick & easy.

    Seriously, can you call Marcos, Bay area amusement, or Pinball life and get solid advice on repair issues? I think not. No one gives better service than PBR.

    #224 2 years ago
    Quoted from Otaku:

    Meanwhile, it seems like it's some kind of "I got past Steve's bad side by sucking up!" cult going on around here, like it's some kind of accomplishment to get him on a good day for your first call or just manage to wave through the ocean of shit long enough before you finally can have a decent conversation with him.

    No, it's called simply being an adult. You need to get over this whole Steve thing. You screwed up and got off on the wrong foot with someone and instead of just apologizing and getting on with things, you write books on forums about it. It's not a cult, it's just learning to deal with different kinds of people. If you can't deal with him, then yea, email is the way.

    #225 2 years ago

    Yeah.......

    I like you Steve, you're a good guy, but it's time to get over it and move on.

    Eric

    #226 2 years ago

    One thing that Otaku will eventually learn, is long drawn out debates even with good intent and no ill will are not percieved as that.

    #227 2 years ago

    To confirm something said earlier in the thread - it appears that if the order is small enough, PBR doesn't necessarily require payment up front from new customers. I put in my order for a bunch of Gottlieb parts to revive a Card Whiz, order total was around $30, and they showed up at my post office within 3 days. Thanks to advice here, I issued a check through my bank, so assuming that got to them in a timely manner, all went well.

    I was tempted to go with Marco for just about everything (I've ordered plenty through them for my Blackout), but the price differential even on a small order was pretty significant.

    #228 2 years ago
    Quoted from dasvis:

    Damn straight

    I agree too!

    #229 2 years ago

    I do all my orders by email, and then imagine that Steve, Jimmy, and Gloria are these people on the other end responding to me. Makes it easy.ag (resized).jpg

    #230 2 years ago
    Quoted from electricsquirrel:

    Yeah.......
    I like you Steve, you're a good guy, but it's time to get over it and move on.
    Eric

    Like I already said I'm over it, and if that doesn't count or is good enough, I did mention it was my final say on the matter. Simply put - it's over with, but in the end I'm just not going to like him. Which is fine. It's done with and that's how things settle sometimes - no problem. Thanks Eric.

    Quoted from metallik:

    No, it's called simply being an adult. You need to get over this whole Steve thing. You screwed up and got off on the wrong foot with someone and instead of just apologizing and getting on with things, you write books on forums about it. It's not a cult, it's just learning to deal with different kinds of people. If you can't deal with him, then yea, email is the way.

    Yes, looking forward to using e-mail. I'm not upset over the "whole Steve thing" or my own particular interaction with him anymore, I'm just responding at this point to those who think he isn't the one who is flawed in general as a person - clearly lots of others have had similar experiences but have not spoken up about it. Maybe one day he will find it in himself to be a nicer person and generally more accepting and helpful not only to his friends but to newcomers or those who slip up as I did regardless of his previous transactions and bad deals - those shouldn't be taken out on us. A little kindness goes a long way, and I don't think anybody can argue about that.

    Case closed. I'm done with this.

    #231 2 years ago
    Quoted from Swainer80:

    I have researched PBR and needed a new monkey for Central Park. He sounds like a good old school guy for sure but after searching around I saw the same part on Marco and said F'k it, Marco is easier, if not more expensive. Now about that vari-target assembly for Silver Slugger. . . Christ help me if i can find that part number!

    From the 1992 Premier Parts Manual: "Silver Slugger Vari-Target Assembly" Part Number MA-1422

    #232 2 years ago
    Quoted from Otaku:

    I'm just responding at this point to think he isn't the one who is flawed in general as a person - clearly lots of others have had similar experiences but have not spoken up about it. Maybe one day he will find it in himself to be a nicer person and generally more accepting

    Everyone has flaws. Standing around singing kumbaya won't make certain character traits disappear overnight. You simply have to learn to get along with people despite their shortcomings and take them for who they are.

    #233 2 years ago

    How can this thread possibly be still going?

    LET

    IT

    GO

    #234 2 years ago
    Quoted from cody_chunn:

    How can this thread possibly be still going?
    LET
    IT
    GO

    I've asked ForceFlow (and then made a thread in the mod section) to close it, but I guess he doesn't want to as he replied but never closed it.

    #235 2 years ago
    Quoted from Otaku:

    I've asked ForceFlow (and then made a thread in the mod section) to close it, but I guess he doesn't want to as he replied but never closed it.

    I stepped away for lunch for a few minutes after posting my comment. Don't be so quick to make assumptions.

    That said, I don't want to be unfair and close it before you or anyone else had a chance to respond, but if you feel things have run their course, I can close it as requested.

    #236 2 years ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    I stepped away for lunch for a few minutes after posting my comment. Don't be so quick to make assumptions.
    That said, I don't want to be unfair and close it before you or anyone else had a chance to respond, but if you feel things have run their course, I can close it as requested.

    Hey, no problem! I'm just saying it was a bit confusing is all, just a button press after all. Didn't mean to sound rude about it if I did.

    Yeah, I think it has run its course.

    #237 2 years ago

    Ok, closed by request of the OP. Thank you everyone for participating in this discussion.

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