Calling out Steve Kulpa

(Topic ID: 151425)

Calling out Steve Kulpa


By DrMark12PA

3 years ago



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  • Latest reply 3 years ago by Xerico
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    #1 3 years ago

    I'm trying to reach Steve Kulpa who is supposedly doing a KISS pinball sound board restore for me. I sent him the package at the end of October knowing it would take some time. Then he sends an email out stating he has decided to stop doing board repair due to time constraints. I've emailed him 4 times in the past weeks and yet no response. It would appear I'm being scammed and he's just keeping my board at this point.
    If anyone has anyone of contacting him I would appreciate this as my next course of action is to contact his local police since I have all of the shipping details including tracking.
    In the meantime, I would recommend avoiding this website or this person.
    http://stevekulpa.net/pinrepair/pinrepair.htm

    #2 3 years ago

    My antivirus warns me not to visit that page. Interesting.

    #3 3 years ago

    Rally the lynch mob

    #4 3 years ago

    After reading this ,it seems like you should be getting the board back.
    He updated 12/23/15
    Sounds like he has enough stress outside the hobby,maybe give him more time before getting to extreme.

    Heres what he wrote :

    Dear loyal customers and friends,
    After weeks of self-deliberations, I have come to the realization that I can no longer maintain a reasonable schedule for repairing pinball equipment. The work schedule at my job has me working 10-12 hour days on a regular basis. 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.

    It saddens me to have to do this because I really do enjoy working with you and your pinball stuff but I just have to give it a rest. For how long I cannot say at this time but until my situations change at work and/or at home, I can no longer pursue this hobby of mine.

    I truly appreciate all the business and support I have received from folks like you, and perhaps sometime in the near future my situation will change and I can take it up again, but for now I have to stop. As of today, I will no longer accept new work. 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.

    Again, I honestly appreciate your business, and cherish the many relationships I have made over the years. In the future, I may resume repair services for the Bally Home Version machines, since I don't think there are many others offering such service, but for now, I just have to stop everything for a while and catch my breath.

    Sincerely,
    Steve Kulpa

    #5 3 years ago

    I don't know Steve personally, but he has done board repair for me several times. The post above is all I know as well, but I know he has a full time gig that keeps him very busy. From my interactions with him I'd be extremely surprised if you didn't hear back from him.

    Sorry you're having an issue; I'm sure it's frustrating. Again, I don't know Steve other than my interactions with him. But if he does decide to do board work in the future I wouldn't hesitate to use him. Just throwing that in if anyone searches for him in the future and finds this thread.

    #6 3 years ago

    He did send me that email back in mid December and I said I had no issue waiting for additional time as I was in the process of restoring my playfield at that time. However, after an additional 1.5 months, I emailed and have emailed several times without so much as a response. I would at least hope for a response so this makes me believe that I'll be looking for a new sound board and taking legal action. I understand being busy as I work up to 55 hour weeks at times, but I've never not responded within a few days to emails especially if I have multiple emails from the same person.... so this just is causing some significant irritation especially in light of the collectability/rarity of this kind of board.

    25
    #7 3 years ago

    There is no excuse for not responding to emails within a few days time....ever. Everyone has shit going on in their lives so I'm tired of that excuse. I work 80 hour weeks, have had deaths in the family, kids in trouble, etc., but if someone has spent their time crafting me a message the least I can do is find 15 seconds in my life to respond. Sorry for the rant but I've never understood the mentality of just blowing off people.

    #8 3 years ago

    I've been overseas and not been able to get any email.

    The servers seem to be blocked in some countries. Can't access by phone or by web.

    #9 3 years ago

    He does quality work. Repaired a sound board for me that no one else could figure out. Even when he was "in business" his correspondence was slow. I wouldn't worry. I'm sad to see him retire from the hobby.

    #10 3 years ago

    I have been to Steve's house as he is local and he did some board repair work for me. I cannot justify his delay in responding to you, but he is a genuinely good guy that does great work. There is no scam here; just poor communication.

    I hope that helps put any fears to rest.

    #11 3 years ago

    I have been unable to reach him by email as well.

    He has an MPU that someone sent him back in November 2015 that I was waiting to get shipped back to me. I didn't need any work done on it; I just was trying to get it back as-is.

    I finally heard back on December 18th and again on December 30th, and it sounded like he was just about ready to ship it. However, he hasn't responded since then, even though I've been sending him an email every week or two about it since November.

    *sigh*

    #12 3 years ago

    Hopefully nothing has happened to Steve.

    Pinballer Mike Bodak had a stroke a few months ago and does not remember his password to his email or his phone.

    His inbox is now full....

    33
    #13 3 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Hopefully nothing has happened to Steve.
    Pinballer Mike Bodak had a stroke a few months ago and does not remember his password to his email or his phone.
    His inbox is now full....

    see, this is the kind of shit that I worry about with my customers and their playfields. that's why on everyones playfield, I put a return mailing address , phone number and email address. so in the event I die, or something happens and I forget my name. the wife knows to ship everyones playfield back to them, in whatever stage it's at. So even in my death, nobody would get screwed over.

    #14 3 years ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    I have been unable to reach him by email as well.
    He has an MPU that someone sent him back in November 2015 that I was waiting to get shipped back to me. I didn't need any work done on it; I just was trying to get it back as-is.
    I finally heard back on December 18th and again on December 30th, and it sounded like he was just about ready to ship it. However, he hasn't responded since then, even though I've been sending him an email every week or two about it since November.
    *sigh*

    I would have hoped for at least a response from him as well. Statsdoc, could you possibly get ahold of Steve and see what the issue is?

    #15 3 years ago

    I truly understand being upset and/or concerned by not receiving a direct email response, especially over such an extended timeframe. However, as a business owner myself, I feel like Steve covered all the bases in that update on December 23rd. Seemed like a pretty genuine message, and everyone here seems to back up that he's a stand-up guy when it comes to this work - so I wouldn't get too worked up over it yet. Yeah, it sucks, but it seems like there's some realistic hardship going on in this guy's life, especially since it's never fun posting such an open message like that for all to see.

    That being said, I literally don't know the guy at all, and he doesn't have any of my stuff in his possession, so it's much easier for me to look at it this way than I'm sure it is for you. I guess my real point is: if he hadn't posted that update so recently, I'd be losing my sh*t with worrying, but I'd say from all the clues you'll get a response or your board back somewhat soon.

    #16 3 years ago
    Quoted from robertmee:

    There is no excuse for not responding to emails within a few days time....ever. Everyone has shit going on in their lives so I'm tired of that excuse. I work 80 hour weeks, have had deaths in the family, kids in trouble, etc., but if someone has spent their time crafting me a message the least I can do is find 15 seconds in my life to respond. Sorry for the rant but I've never understood the mentality of just blowing off people.

    Amen. I recently had a similiar issue and it is very frustrating when you try and communicate with another and you go for days without as much as a "hang tight"!!

    G

    #17 3 years ago
    Quoted from chadsugg:

    but I'd say from all the clues you'll get a response or your board back somewhat soon.

    From all appearances, and especially now seeing that others are having the same problem, I'm not too optimistic about it being "soon".

    In my particular case, I'm simply looking to get a board returned as-is with no work done. It's been over 3 months at this point

    -6
    #18 3 years ago

    I ended up getting stuff from a local guy a few months back who had to BEG Steve to get his boards back. I am so very glad someone called him out - he knows nothing about electronics but was a whiz at setting up a slick web site and drawing people in. Oh, the days when he would write me and ask me technical questions so he could have an "air of knowledge" without actually having qualifications to do repair. These are the people the hobby does NOT need......

    #19 3 years ago
    Quoted from ChrisM:

    he knows nothing about electronics but was a whiz at setting up a slick web site and drawing people in.

    Untrue. His guides on repairing Bally displays were pretty much dropped into the old Clay guides and are still the best resource on the web. And calling his web site "slick" is being generous. I'd call it "functional".

    http://stevekulpa.net/pinball/bally_disp6.htm

    Again, I'm not making excuses for him not getting back to people. But this guy provided a good service and web site for years.

    #20 3 years ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    From all appearances, and especially now seeing that others are having the same problem, I'm not too optimistic about it being "soon".
    In my particular case, I'm simply looking to get a board returned as-is with no work done. It's been over 3 months at this point

    Yeah, my optimism is a pretty moot point in this situation since I'm just an outsider here. I just say it all in light of the fact that I would personally be much more concerned if he hadn't posted that update.

    Hopefully this topic will help kick some things in the butt for getting you all responses though. Squeaky wheel gets the oil!

    #21 3 years ago
    Quoted from DrMark12PA:

    I would have hoped for at least a response from him as well. Statsdoc, could you possibly get ahold of Steve and see what the issue is?

    I wish I could help. I looked through my files and can't find his phone number. He lives about 25 minutes from me, but I am not going in that direction anytime soon. I am sorry.

    11
    #23 3 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    I've been overseas and not been able to get any email.
    The servers seem to be blocked in some countries. Can't access by phone or by web.

    I recommend you try uninstalling Java

    #25 3 years ago
    Quoted from johnwartjr:

    I sent Steve a note.

    Thanks for the help. I am concerned that if I don't at least get my sound board back without repair that I will be without any sound board for a 1978 pinball machine which could prove to be an issue finding another.
    My next step is to contact his local authorities since I have his address, email exchanges, and tracking.

    #26 3 years ago
    Quoted from DrMark12PA:

    Thanks for the help. I am concerned that if I don't at least get my sound board back without repair that I will be without any sound board for a 1978 pinball machine which could prove to be an issue finding another.

    Although I have not beta tested it yet, brand new Bally soundboards are coming soon; I've been told by the manufacturer.

    14
    #27 3 years ago
    Quoted from ChrisM:

    I ended up getting stuff from a local guy a few months back who had to BEG Steve to get his boards back. I am so very glad someone called him out - he knows nothing about electronics but was a whiz at setting up a slick web site and drawing people in. Oh, the days when he would write me and ask me technical questions so he could have an "air of knowledge" without actually having qualifications to do repair. These are the people the hobby does NOT need......

    I have nothing but respect for you, Chris, but I think this might be just a little bit over the top.

    Let's not forget that everyone starts as a novice. I don't care if you are a doctor, lawyer, mechanic, or bag boy at your local grocery store.

    We are all here because we love pinball, and think it's fair to say that we all want to learn. We have all had that person or people who was/were helpful to us along the way that we are forever grateful to - and we all have those people who did nothing to help us, perhaps even did things to hinder us, that we used for inspiration to get better at what we do.

    If it wasn't for Clay's guides, I would've quit very quickly after I bought my first pin. All I could afford was a complete POS junker that probably should've been somebody's parts machine. I couldn't figure out how to lift the playfield, and I didn't have a piece of playfield glass for the first few months I owned it.

    Now, I know the source of Clay's guides are up for debate, and I'm not gonna participate in that debate, as it serves no purpose for anyone, it's been beat to death and it's to the point where the remains are stinky.

    I sent a note to a small company in Florida - Centsible Amusements - who helped me learn how to lift the playfield. They sold me some parts - probably added up to a few hundred bucks worth of parts over the course of a few months. I was an annoying pain in their side who didn't put a lot of money in their pocket - but they helped me.

    Over the course of a few years, I learned to fix my own stuff. Yeah, I turned out some real crappy repairs along the way.

    Now, I know not everyone wants to share information, and I can appreciate that. I think I have a different take than some of the pros out there - because I only do this part time, it's not my primary source of income. I don't have to protect it.

    I'm not the best communicator in the world, but I am trying to improve. I try to do too much, but that's nobody's fault, other than mine..

    I have zero formal training in electronics - everything I do, I've learned by doing. I've made plenty of friends in this hobby, and I've enjoyed myself along the way.

    Steve's saved a lot of games. You've saved a lot of games. I've saved a lot of games. Lots of guys have saved lots of games.

    We don't all do everything the same way, we all have opinions, many of them are STRONG opinions.

    #28 3 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Although I have not beta tested it yet, brand new Bally soundboards are coming soon; I've been told by the manufacturer.

    I've replaced the other boards in my machine already so a new modernized sound board would be welcomed! Also, just about every Bally board from that era has a replacement. I have the power supply, solenoid, lamp drive, and MPU board now.

    #29 3 years ago
    Quoted from DrMark12PA:

    I've replaced the other boards in my machine already so a new sound board would be welcomed!

    A lot of people are looking forward to them.

    So many people have old ones with all bad caps so the pitch of everything is way off....

    #30 3 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    A lot of people are looking forward to them.
    So many people have old ones with all bad caps so the pitch of everything is way off....

    Or don't have a board at all... I am also looking for one.

    -6
    #31 3 years ago
    Quoted from johnwartjr:

    I have nothing but respect for you, Chris, but I think this might be just a little bit over the top.
    Let's not forget that everyone starts as a novice. I don't care if you are a doctor, lawyer, mechanic, or bag boy at your local grocery store.
    We are all here because we love pinball, and think it's fair to say that we all want to learn. We have all had that person or people who was/were helpful to us along the way that we are forever grateful to - and we all have those people who did nothing to help us, perhaps even did things to hinder us, that we used for inspiration to get better at what we do.
    If it wasn't for Clay's guides, I would've quit very quickly after I bought my first pin. All I could afford was a complete POS junker that probably should've been somebody's parts machine. I couldn't figure out how to lift the playfield, and I didn't have a piece of playfield glass for the first few months I owned it.
    Now, I know the source of Clay's guides are up for debate, and I'm not gonna participate in that debate, as it serves no purpose for anyone, it's been beat to death and it's to the point where the remains are stinky.
    I sent a note to a small company in Florida - Centsible Amusements - who helped me learn how to lift the playfield. They sold me some parts - probably added up to a few hundred bucks worth of parts over the course of a few months. I was an annoying pain in their side who didn't put a lot of money in their pocket - but they helped me.
    Over the course of a few years, I learned to fix my own stuff. Yeah, I turned out some real crappy repairs along the way.
    Now, I know not everyone wants to share information, and I can appreciate that. I think I have a different take than some of the pros out there - because I only do this part time, it's not my primary source of income. I don't have to protect it.
    I'm not the best communicator in the world, but I am trying to improve. I try to do too much, but that's nobody's fault, other than mine..
    I have zero formal training in electronics - everything I do, I've learned by doing. I've made plenty of friends in this hobby, and I've enjoyed myself along the way.
    Steve's saved a lot of games. You've saved a lot of games. I've saved a lot of games. Lots of guys have saved lots of games.
    We don't all do everything the same way, we all have opinions, many of them are STRONG opinions.

    John: not surprised that you would defend him being cut from the same "fabric"; just interesting that you would reply to my STRONG opinion while ignoring the actual people who are "suffering" at Steve's hands. If anyone is gonna do repair, they need to communicate well, price reasonably, turn in a decent time, and be consistent. I could have made the same statements of you BUT respect the fact that you don't exhibit these poor behaviors. And as far as "being a novice", well, pinball repair isn't packing grocery bags, period. If you wish to tear me down because of my STRONG yet HONEST opinion, so be it. I depend on you as a resource for ROMS, and freely promoted you in my board repair post. Remember that. If you choose not to support my ROM needs in the future, please let me know. Otherwise, your negative comments outweigh your positive comments about my abilities. I think how he has treated his customers is shameful, and if you did the same I'd be on the same bandwagon of "calling you out". This is where the whole "Clay" thing of "being a professional" is SUCH ABSOLUTE BS, and I've watched you buy into it. Do things his way or you're a nobody - a la "media blasting". Enough said. I'll repeat again, if you choose to continue to be a ROM resource for me is up to you. But I've NEVER cut you or your opinion down in a public forum, as a first strike. I take it personally, regardless of your "respect".

    #32 3 years ago
    Quoted from ChrisM:

    John: not surprised that you would defend him being cut from the same "fabric"; just interesting that you would reply to my STRONG opinion while ignoring the actual people who are "suffering" at Steve's hands. If anyone is gonna do repair, they need to communicate well, price reasonably, turn in a decent time, and be consistent. I could have made the same statements of you BUT respect the fact that you don't exhibit these poor behaviors. And as far as "being a novice", well, pinball repair isn't packing grocery bags, period. If you wish to tear me down because of my STRONG yet HONEST opinion, so be it. I depend on you as a resource for ROMS, and freely promoted you in my board repair post. Remember that. If you choose not to support my ROM needs in the future, please let me know. Otherwise, your negative comments outweigh your positive comments about my abilities. I think how he has treated his customers is shameful, and if you did the same I'd be on the same bandwagon of "calling you out". This is where the whole "Clay" thing of "being a professional" is SUCH ABSOLUTE BS, and I've watched you buy into it. Do things his way or you're a nobody - a la "media blasting". Enough said. I'll repeat again, if you choose to continue to be a ROM resource for me is up to you. But I've NEVER cut you or your opinion down in a public forum, as a first strike. I take it personally, regardless of your "respect".

    While I am quite disappointed in the current situation, that shouldn't invalidate Steve's (or anyone else's) contributions to the hobby over the years. Techniques come, go, and evolve over the years. Just yesterday, I discovered that under the right conditions, triple thick can come out crystal clear instead of slightly cloudy, and once I can hopefully do that consistently, I'll plan on refining the instructions on pinwiki so others can do the same.

    #33 3 years ago
    Quoted from ChrisM:

    John: not surprised that you would defend him being cut from the same "fabric"; just interesting that you would reply to my STRONG opinion while ignoring the actual people who are "suffering" at Steve's hands. If anyone is gonna do repair, they need to communicate well, price reasonably, turn in a decent time, and be consistent. I could have made the same statements of you BUT respect the fact that you don't exhibit these poor behaviors. And as far as "being a novice", well, pinball repair isn't packing grocery bags, period. If you wish to tear me down because of my STRONG yet HONEST opinion, so be it. I depend on you as a resource for ROMS, and freely promoted you in my board repair post. Remember that. If you choose not to support my ROM needs in the future, please let me know. Otherwise, your negative comments outweigh your positive comments about my abilities. I think how he has treated his customers is shameful, and if you did the same I'd be on the same bandwagon of "calling you out". This is where the whole "Clay" thing of "being a professional" is SUCH ABSOLUTE BS, and I've watched you buy into it. Do things his way or you're a nobody - a la "media blasting". Enough said. I'll repeat again, if you choose to continue to be a ROM resource for me is up to you. But I've NEVER cut you or your opinion down in a public forum, as a first strike. I take it personally, regardless of your "respect".

    Chris,

    I don't disagree that he should communicate and return the guys boards. I'm not defending that action because I agree 100% that it is not right to do that to anyone. That's absolute BS to leave somebody hanging. I dropped Steve a line about that and asked him to reach out to the guy and rectify the situation. I'm not his Mom, so I can't make him do anything, but I reached out and tried to help the guy.

    If you can't respond to an inquiry from someone within a business day or two, you shouldn't be doing business. Faster is better, but life happens and most pinball guys are small shops - not a whole staff where someone is there to answer the phone every day from 8-5. It sounds like Steve recognized this and started to bow out properly, but it's clear there was a mistake made, and it needs to be corrected.

    I *do* disagree with the tone of your post. Or perhaps I interpreted it in a way you didn't mean it. I viewed it as taking a shot at his abilities. We all started with nothing and have picked up skills along the way. Just saying that he should return the boards would've been adequate, and I wouldn't have disagreed one bit. The way I interpreted it was saying that someone with his skills didn't belong in the hobby.

    I value your business, as I do everyone's business. I know I'm not the only ROM guy out there. But I still have opinions too.

    Please accept my apology if I offended you - that wasn't my intention.

    #34 3 years ago

    I wrote you offline John, to share my strong opinions and not air them publicly. That is all I will say here, except that I would have rather you'd addressed the original accuser rather than my response. I hope you have not caused me harm because I do not deserve it regardless of my opinion. I've been at this for more than 15 years and have known my share of hacks and people who think they can pick up a soldering iron, solder, and wire and be "A PROFESSIONAL PINBALL TECH" by the definition of another's name I shall not mention here.

    #35 3 years ago
    Quoted from ChrisM:

    John: not surprised that you would defend him being cut from the same "fabric"; just interesting that you would reply to my STRONG opinion while ignoring the actual people who are "suffering" at Steve's hands. If anyone is gonna do repair, they need to communicate well, price reasonably, turn in a decent time, and be consistent. I could have made the same statements of you BUT respect the fact that you don't exhibit these poor behaviors. And as far as "being a novice", well, pinball repair isn't packing grocery bags, period. If you wish to tear me down because of my STRONG yet HONEST opinion, so be it. I depend on you as a resource for ROMS, and freely promoted you in my board repair post. Remember that. If you choose not to support my ROM needs in the future, please let me know. Otherwise, your negative comments outweigh your positive comments about my abilities. I think how he has treated his customers is shameful, and if you did the same I'd be on the same bandwagon of "calling you out". This is where the whole "Clay" thing of "being a professional" is SUCH ABSOLUTE BS, and I've watched you buy into it. Do things his way or you're a nobody - a la "media blasting". Enough said. I'll repeat again, if you choose to continue to be a ROM resource for me is up to you. But I've NEVER cut you or your opinion down in a public forum, as a first strike. I take it personally, regardless of your "respect".

    Wow. This response seems like it would have come from a personal attack. The only thing John said was that he thought your statement was "a bit over the top." I read no personal attack. Not knowing you from Adam I read your post as rather scathing of Steve as well. While I can understand where that might come from, the tone of John's post wasn't attacking at all but rather that of a mediator.

    Again, don't see where he 'cut you down' at all.

    #36 3 years ago

    Chris,

    What the hell, man. Might as well rake me over the coals, too.

    -2
    #37 3 years ago
    Quoted from DrMark12PA:

    Thanks for the help. I am concerned that if I don't at least get my sound board back without repair that I will be without any sound board for a 1978 pinball machine which could prove to be an issue finding another.
    My next step is to contact his local authorities since I have his address, email exchanges, and tracking.

    Seriously? You go for it. Call the DA in Steve's town, explain that you sent him a broken $10 circuit board, that he hasn't returned it yet, and that you want the DA to file theft charges and have Steve arrested.

    You're an idiot.

    #38 3 years ago
    Quoted from JoeGrenuk:

    Seriously? You go for it. Call the DA in Steve's town, explain that you sent him a broken $10 circuit board, that he hasn't returned it yet, and that you want the DA to file theft charges and have Steve arrested.
    You're an idiot.

    Is it really only worth $10?

    As an aside, they aren't going to do much even if the value were $1,000.

    #39 3 years ago
    Quoted from JoeGrenuk:

    Seriously? You go for it. Call the DA in Steve's town, explain that you sent him a broken $10 circuit board, that he hasn't returned it yet, and that you want the DA to file theft charges and have Steve arrested.
    You're an idiot.

    Hey

    Quoted from Mike_J:Is it really only worth $10?
    As an aside, they aren't going to do much even if the value were $1,000.

    Hey Joe, why are you even posting on this topic being a total asshat? If you knew anything that your limited IQ would allow, you'd understand that this is mail fraud, a federal offense, to scam persons whether it be 10 cents or $10k. Also, since you are quite up to date on current pinball replacement parts, show me where one would obtain a 1978 sound board in working condition for $10.

    #40 3 years ago

    Moderator's comment: Folks, let's try to keep it civil please. Thanks

    #41 3 years ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    Moderator's comment: Folks, let's try to keep it civil please. Thanks

    Civil is not jumping onto someone's topic calling them an idiot when they are trying to resolve a legitimate issue. If one doesn't have anything to add to the discussion, stay out of it.

    #42 3 years ago
    Quoted from DrMark12PA:

    Hey

    Hey Joe, why are you even posting on this topic being a total asshat? If you knew anything that your limited IQ would allow, you'd understand that this is mail fraud, a federal offense, to scam persons whether it be 10 cents or $10k. Also, since you are quite up to date on current pinball replacement parts, show me where one would obtain a 1978 sound board in working condition for $10.

    I don't have a dog in this show, and in fact I don't know any of the folks you are referring to. However, with over 25 years in Law Enforcement, and I think I can say first, it is not mail fraud, and not a Federal case. And even if you could convince someone otherwise, I doubt very seriously if any "G-Men" are going to be assigned to track down the dastardly criminal that stole your 1978 Sound board. It's obvious the guy is having some issues, and it sounds like he wants to do the right thing and is just a bit overwhelmed. I'm sure you will get your board back. My suggestion is to send a registered letter if you now his address, and politely ask him to return it to you. Key word being "politely". In the great scheme of life and death, and with all of the issues going on in the world.....this is hardly something worth getting upset over. It is just a material object that can be replaced...........now pardon me while I slip away from the computer to go hug my kids.

    #43 3 years ago

    Boilerplate blurb from Web sites of several lawyers specializing in defense of mail fraud charges:

    "In order to obtain a conviction of mail or wire fraud, prosecutors have to prove a knowing and willful intent to defraud. Accidental or unintentional actions that result in the loss of money or property do not constitute a crime."

    #44 3 years ago

    Only if your a Lawyer can you make it a crime, happens constantly, every day.

    -2
    #45 3 years ago

    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.

    #46 3 years ago
    Quoted from DrMark12PA:

    It seems he is more likely selling the boards he obtained from persons perhaps.

    Doesn't seem like that to me. I'd take that advice and send a Registered /Return Receipt letter requesting the return.

    #47 3 years ago
    Quoted from DrMark12PA:

    It seems he is more likely selling the boards he obtained from persons perhaps.

    Be careful, his lawyer could consider that slander if it got to that point. And yes, it is worth a lot to you, it is not worth a lot to authorities.

    You did your service with the base post. Thank you. Everything after has seemed to turn into the usual internet mob mentality.

    #48 3 years ago
    Quoted from Patofnaud:

    Be careful, his lawyer could consider that slander if it got to that point. And yes, it is worth a lot to you, it is not worth a lot to authorities.
    You did your service with the base post. Thank you. Everything after has seemed to turn into the usual internet mob mentality.

    I'm not overly concerned about slander when clearly there is a crime that exists, and I have overwhelming evidence including email exchanges as well as confirmed receipt of delivery to prove it. With slander, one has to prove some loss or damages. If this causes him to lose business, I'm simply warning others to stay clear based on my experience with him and not returning (ie stealing) my board. The crime of stealing is going to be far more problematic for an offender than slander.

    11
    #49 3 years ago
    Quoted from DrMark12PA:

    I'm not overly concerned about slander when clearly there is a crime that exists, and I have overwhelming evidence including email exchanges as well as confirmed receipt of delivery to prove it.

    There is no crime - read post above. No intent. What if Steve is in a hospital right now? Having known him from RGP days, I can say there is no way he would steal your board. I suspect something unfortunate has happened and you're a victim as well. Sit tight; someone will find out what is going on soon enough.

    22
    #50 3 years ago
    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.

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