Quoted from DrMark12PA:
This seems pretty clear that if Steve Kulpa doesn't return the boards to myself and at least one other person (Forceflow) while he has clearly a website advertising repairs, that would constitute a fraudulent scheme.
Also, in consulting with my postmaster, any interstate mailing would constitute a federal issue because it is crossing state lines.
While a simple sound board may not sound like a big deal, it is a big deal to me when it's an obsolete item that is technically an antique not easily replaced. I'm not going to just go away if Kulpa is planning on keeping my board. My intent on starting this topic was to hopefully flag his attention and warn anyone else to avoid him in the meantime even though it clearly appears he is no longer doing board repair. It seems he is more likely selling the boards he obtained from persons perhaps.
Okay, I literally can't take this anymore.
I've already stated part of this earlier in this thread, but I want you to calm down for a sec and hear me out. I'm not trying to upset you further, or anything of the like... I want to explain a side of this from my point of view. I have owned an online store and dealt with customer service due to my music career for literally the past 10 years.
I don't know Steve Kulpa, and he doesn't have any of my parts to repair. However, I feel like no one is representing the small business man directly in this thread, so that's why I'm here.
Look man, I'm not saying I'm right, and I'm not saying you're wrong... But the chances that this Steve guy is scamming you ARE VERY VERY VERY VERY SLIM.
Seriously, from the update directly from Steve that was shared from someone at the top of this thread he LITERALLY states:
"I have come to the realization that I can no longer maintain a reasonable schedule for repairing pinball equipment. Couple that with personal situations at home that consume more of my time and mental energy. In the end, I am drained both physically and mentally and can no longer muster up the enthusiasm that I once had when it comes to pinball repair. I’ve realized I have some boxes waiting their turn for over 2 months now and that is not acceptable to me, but there is nothing I can do at this time to improve my turnaround."
If I have stuff of yours, rest assured I will do all I can do to finish it up and get it back to you as fast as I can. If that is OK with you, I appreciate your patience and promise you I will get to your stuff and get it back to you, repaired as we initially discussed. If, on the other hand, you have waited long enough and would like your stuff back in the same condition as when you originally sent it, just let me know and I will return it back to you, or ship it to any U.S. address you prefer, at no charge to you."
"but for now, I just have to stop everything for a while and catch my breath."
Okay, with all of that in mind...
Clearly this Steve guy is going through some kind of hardship. Is it bad that he hasn't responded to you directly since your most recent correspondence, yes, absolutely. However, after hearing others talk about how they've known him to do good work and be a pretty stand-up guy, I highly doubt he's all of a sudden become some evil mastermind trying to sell pinball soundboards in the super secret pinball black market.
Some people have mentioned that it's TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE for a business owner to not respond to them in 1-2 business days. And you know, I agree in a LOT of ways with that. However, holy freaking crap, life can freaking suck sometimes. This guy isn't the Walmart corporation or Apple. He's one dude. In 2006 (in the early years of running my music business), you know what happened? I had to have a major kidney surgery out of nowhere. I was college student, running a successful business, and had much more than just my sudden medical problem at the time.
I did the exact same thing Steve did. I posted an honest statement online, because I didn't have the time, energy, or health for a good couple of months to respond to people one by one. (I was lucky, and every one understood.)
I'm just trying to point out, that Steve probably isn't evil and totally scamming you, man. Seriously, Steve is not you, or me, or any of the people that have said they get upset with no response from a business in 1-2 days. Hell, Steve might be damn depressed, and had a death in the family, and have the work hours, and ten other things on top of that right now. Who knows?
The good thing is, HE ADDRESSED YOUR EXACT ISSUE. Shit happens man. Life can suck. This Steve guy isn't Superman. He's a dude, running a small business on the side that he seemingly really enjoyed. Instead of burning him at the stake, people should be asking what they can do to help him out.
P.S. - Please don't take my post the wrong way. I typed in all-caps in parts literally just for emphasis, not to seem like I'm yelling here on the other side of the screen.