(Topic ID: 184739)

Class Action Lawsuit for TBL? The Big Lebowski / Dutch Pinball

By Davidus56

3 years ago

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  • Latest reply 46 days ago by lexi
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Post #70 Link to Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets Posted by Damon (3 years ago)

Post #105 Key posted, but no summary given Posted by RTR (3 years ago)

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#4 3 years ago

Please change the title to include DUTCH PINBALL/Lebowski to get attention from other buyers.

I just sent Jaap my "refund or else" email.

If he doesn't refund me, I'm in on any and all legal action.

#8 3 years ago
Quoted from mgpasman:

For some reason I do not think getting into a class action suit like this will help the matter forward. Chances of your machines ever being released by ARA will only get slimmer if DP needs to fight off two parties at the same time.

I want proof of DP's lawyer's existence & some proof that they've started legal proceedings. We don't even know if they really ARE having a legal battle with ARA. For all we know, they just flat out haven't paid them.

#30 3 years ago
Quoted from EternalLife:

No refunds..Only hurting our chances of ever receiving the game at all. Try and stay cool, the only way out is forward.

Actually, I think refunds will benefit the project in the long run. Why? First, it will shut up those of us who are super f'ing over it. Second, it shows that DP has cash which would give confidence to buyers who want to stay in & figure customers.

By not acknowledging their customers with refunds, there kind of proving us right that this is just a money issue and everything else is bullshit. Prove us wrong. By issuing refunds to those who want them, it lends credibility to their ARA story & gets rid of a lot of negativity.

#36 3 years ago
Quoted from RTR:

I don't see the value in contacting Universal

Here's the value: if it's such a bad thing to do, refund those of us who want refunds and I won't do it. My game and money is held hostage. This is my hostage negotiation tactic.

I'm not trying to fuck things up, but I believe nothing Dutch says and want to see if I can get REAL information about the situation from a vested party who we haven't heard from. I live close to Universal. My plan isn't to send them an angry rage email. My plan is to introduce myself and request a meeting & see if anything comes of it. I think something face to face could be beneficial.

#42 3 years ago
Quoted from rai:

Quite right, didn't see eye to eye with Jjp endless wait so refund was prompt and no fuss whatsoever, would deal with them again.

Yup. I was in on WOZ and Jack promptly refunded me. I bought my MMr through Jack and even when I was complaining about the delay, they treated me with respect and walked me back from the ledge a few times. I now have a Hobbit, which I bought 2nd hand - but Jack has called me personally and helped me out when I had some issues. JJP is a class act and Dutch could learn some lessons. Sometimes losing money short term brings you gains long term. Reputation = $$$

#43 3 years ago
Quoted from RTR:

Going solo and threatening to burn the house down if you personally don't get your money back isn't my idea of a great plan Greg. But if that's what you want to do, go for it. It only fucks things up and you know that.

Again, not trying to burn it down. Jaap & Barry have burnt it down. It's burnt. I'm just trying to get to the truth, and we can't expect that from Dutch Pinball at this point. Texas should have been an apology tour with an action plan. We saw them try to Ponzi scheme us. That's on them. I didn't do that.

#92 3 years ago
Quoted from unigroove:

Haven't seen the other thread yet and as I'm traveling I doubt I'll see it today as I'm about to leave. If I can help I will. Please note my post above was posted before I saw my name was mentioned in this topic.

Johnathon, if you're willing to be a "3rd party arbitrator" of sorts, I think that's a fantastic idea. You're someone we all trust. I'm willing to lay low and chill out if you're in our corner digging for answers and helping with solutions.

#111 3 years ago
Quoted from rvdv:

Lot of information can be requested on Dutch Pinball or any company registered with KVK
I would suggest start making a list of all people involved with money tide up for when they go belly up
Any assets will be sold and pay creditors or people money owed

This is interesting...but what are we looking at here? What is KVK? What's this list under Dutch Pinball B.V.? Thanks Robert!

#117 3 years ago
Quoted from zsciaeount:

Wanted to offer my two cents, though I'm not in the same boat as many here as I have my TBL.
We all acknowledge the inherent risk in crowdfunding a project, since we, the customers, bear a large part of the burden of financing the project often in its incipient stages, making that investment in good faith with the expectation that it will be returned in kind. We have seen this model work brilliantly, and we have seen it fail. I think a lot of us have a short memory, and forget how trying the delays with Wizard of Oz were when they hit issues with their supply chain. But, to their credit, Jack and his company had a vision and a commitment, and they ultimately delivered.
Like many of you, I kept my wager on the table with DP and TBL through some rocky times: the licensing issues, the Phil debacle. What kept me faithful wasn't just my absolute adoration for the theme, but I also truly believed that the guys at DP were committed to releasing a great game to those who believed in their ability, and I will say that I think that they have made a truly great game with TBL.
I know some people are getting irritated, and they are starting to find Barry and Jaap to be aloof, but I'd recommend you take a moment to consider how complicated the situation is. We are dealing with a game produced outside the USA for distribution in the USA. There are a lot of moving parts to this, and the situation is both logistically and legally complex. I doubt Barry and Jaap's counsel want them directly responding to inquiries without ensuring that the responses don't break any terms of their agreements that could further jeopardize their position.
As many of you read on here, my initial TBL delivery was a nightmare, with the delivery guys destroying the game; the damage was so extensive that the game was totaled and they had to rebuild a new one for me. This was before the ARA dispute, but I found both Cointaker and DP to be absolutely wonderful at making a very bad situation good again, and I got to witness first-hand how much these guys care about their customers.
I also see it with the quality of their BoP 2.0 kits, which I also own. The design and the BOM increased from pre-order to the final product, but they honored their commitment to my order and delivered a hell of a package.
Bottom line is that these guys are talented designers and programmers. They care about their product and their fans/customers. I don't for a minute believe this to be a "take the money and run" situation.
The last NSNL brought a lot of the issues into the light, and they did so honestly. It certainly sounds like ARA decided to change the terms of the deal after it had closed, and are holding the games hostage as a negotiating tactic. It sounds sketchy, if DP's account is fair and accurate. I don't know what the laws are in The Netherlands, but here, that's a breach of contract, and I am sure there would be grounds to force the manufacturer to release the games and parts, and then to allow both sides to negotiate new terms, or go their separate ways. Given that DP isn't distributing in the US, there's another party that can be leveraged here. It sounds like a mess.
In my mind, DP giving in and paying the extra $1000 or so per game (or passing that cost along to customers) totally undermines their position, and essentially sets a precedent that ARA can continue to hold their materials hostage and force a price hike any time they want.
In short, I believe in the DP guys. They've done right by me with my investments in both of their properties released to date. I think these guys truly want to find a solution, but I think they realize--and we all should realize--that disputes which require litigation can take years to resolve. But a resolution will be found that will find everyone honoring their commitments.
We've all waited a long time. Pulling your investment means also pulling your support in their fight with ARA. Ultimately, it could bring the project and the company down. I know it's hard to think about waiting more, but I'm going to assume that none of us who put down this kind of money actually needs the money to avoid losing the house and the car. It's money we wrote off on our personal budgets a long time ago. I'm hoping that with a little patience, everyone will have their TBLs someday soon. Because it is an awesome game.

Easy for you to say. You got yours.

We didn't join a Kickstarter. We bought a product. Give us the product or a refund. End of story. Their fuck ups are theirs alone, and we bear no responsibility to "believe in them" or whatever. We're in cold hard facts zone ...and Dutch isn't giving us the facts. They're feeding us more stall tactic BS.

#127 3 years ago
Quoted from spfxted:

At this point they should just be honest. Make the deal with ARA. Get a total cost and divide it up between all the buyers. If everyone had to add another $1k or so to get the game I think many will do it. Better than letting this drag on forever with only lawyers making the dough...just MO.

Exactly. It's not ideal, but no party has an ideal endgame where we are right now - so a a solution like this is probably the way to go. I'd rather pay a little more than lose it all, ARA would probably rather get a little than get nothing and sit on the games, Dutch would get some reputation back which is as good as cash IMO.

#138 3 years ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

For about a year I was able to think about the initials "DP" without chuckling and thinking about Double Penetration.
That time is over.

Nah, it's just begun! Once for Lebowski, another for BOP Stupid LE!

#143 3 years ago
Quoted from Nibbles:

I always thought it stood for Don't Preorder

We have the luxury of that knowledge in 2017. Always remember the context of 2014. Jpop and Skit-B hadn't blown up yet....and even if you were onto their scam, DP didn't come off like they did. They had already started production of BOP 2.0, proving they could license, code and ship a product. They brought 3 beautiful working prototypes to Chicago Expo, proving they had a flipping game (unlike Jpop) and could make multiple units that felt Williams quality (unlike Skit's garage fanboy game).

Pre-order NOW? HELLS TO THE NO!!! But in 2014, there were no super obvious red flags concerning DP. Even into 2016 - games were shipping!!! The only time the alarms started going off were very recently.

#148 3 years ago
Quoted from Skins:

I agree with everything you said but this:

Philgate was the first sign that everything may not be what it seems to be on the surface. So much so, roger sharpe had to be brought in. It was clear to many then, DP played fast and loose with the rules. That was my getting off point with the Dutch train. It's eye opening to go back and read the posts from the philgate era.

True, Philgate was a red flag...I hadn't paid in full at that point and held back future payments until I was comfortable again. I think I waited until my BOP 2.0 kit had arrived...that and ironically the ARA announcement are probably what made me feel OK about it again.

#151 3 years ago
Quoted from rvdv:

It's clear now that DP was put in a rough position by not putting a cap on spending in their contract with ARA.

That's not necessarily clear. ARA is a contract manufacturer...if anyone knows how to budget for parts and builds, its them. It's entirely more realistic that Dutch spent our money unwisely in other ways.

#153 3 years ago
Quoted from OLDPINGUY:

How about entertaining an honest mediation with the 3 sides represented?

Bingo. Only way this ends well for all parties.

#171 3 years ago
Quoted from rlslick:

Can someone explain to me why we should trust everything that ARA has said so far in the matter?

Because they're a successful business that doesn't really need pinball. What's in it for them to lie? Dutch Pinball is 2 or 3 dudes winging it. Dutch was caught in a lie.

#277 3 years ago
Quoted from Russell:

Although, aren't the DP guys still arguing that ARA broke their contract, by demanding more money?

I posted this in the Pre-order club thread, but I'll post it here too:

I just had a nice chat with Barry....and as bonkers as I've been lately, I have to say - I'm feeling pretty positive. With the firing of Rene from ARA...it truly seems like things have the possibility of moving forward. I've heard about Rene from a few different people - and none of it was positive. So, I'm starting to now believe the Dutch extortion story and that Rene was the villain...after all, Rene was just fired! Barry said he didn't mind me posting this, but communication with ARA is happening again and they're meeting with them next week with high hopes to get things back on track.
This information is enough for me to back off from my anger over the situation...new shit has come to light, and I want to see how it plays out.
My apologies to those I have raged on in these heated and emotional times...and if all goes well, I will repeatedly and humbly apologize to DP. Sometimes it's really tough to balance hobbyist friendships when there are customer/seller relationships involved.
So....anyway....here's to the next chapter and hopefully happy ending to this saga.

#283 3 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

I really wish all my fellow pin heads luck with this but I cannot sit back because someone was fired from ARA. They still lied, its business, and people who lie in business should never get away with it. Its other peoples money not there own

That being said - now it's looking like ARA's version of the story wasn't true...and if that's the case and this Rene guy was extorting them...then Dutch's lie was indeed to protect the project. While I completely understand people still being cynical (hey, I still am!) ...the firing of Rene seems to validate Dutch's story and reasons...I think it makes sense to see how the discussions with the new ARA bosses go. It's pure dumb luck for all of us that this happened....but it's something and the potential for progress is there.

#296 3 years ago
Quoted from Pimp77:

Yeah, but DP basically said they're selling BOPs at $12k a piece to fund this...right? If so, then I see no path forward. If not, then what is the path? Renegotiate with ARA now that a new "dude" will be there?

Well - now it's debatable whether BOP was to "fund this" if ARA's non-payment story wasn't true. Since ARA has the BOP proto, that means they were working with ARA on the BOP project around summer of last year, or earlier. To me, that kind of scraps the notion that this was a last minute desperation money attempt. The fact that Cointaker is taking deposits and none of that money goes to DP until the games are done also shows that the money-grab logic doesn't seem to make sense.

#297 3 years ago
Quoted from PinBalt:

Jaap said at TPF that one of the achievers was attending the planned party in Nov and wanted to pick up his TBL. Ara (Renee) said no way (arguements began between DP and ARA (Renee) at that point) and this board malfunction issue was the stall tactic taken. He owned up to that and personally stated regret to me for that afterwards. I thanked him for that and it was sincere. Just wanted to put that out there if that was unknown. I tried recording the talk but my phone had issues.

Barry explained this exact thing to me this morning & apologized as well.

#309 3 years ago
Quoted from rvdv:

What happened to this thread ??
been quite for 15 hrs.
No good news or bad news ??
Emailed Jaap but he does not want to talk , busy Skyping he says

I think with the news of Rene's firing at ARA & talks starting again next week, it really doesn't make sense to be all amped up, angry and speculative at the moment.

#314 3 years ago
Quoted from highdef:

Meanwhile inside the ARA factory, #56 is alive and well....

It's the Urban Achievers! And proud we are of all of them.

#359 3 years ago
Quoted from Hawkeyepin:

I don't think you guys should throw money at these start ups that haven't made a sufficient product number yet and have no operational experience.

Thanks for warning us in 2014, Mr. Knowitall McFuckleberry.

4 weeks later
#454 3 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

Is this really the way you do business? Wait two weeks for a meeting then wait another two or three weeks for an answer? All the while the machines parts and line take up room in a factory? Really?

If I had to guess:

After Rene got fired, the bosses at ARA had a lot of paperwork and history to sort though. While they figured out what the hell was going on with this project, the Dutch dudes put together their proposal. I'm sure ARA had to spend some time comparing the proposal to what's going on with their side of things, and now they're ready to meet. Seems like a reasonable amount of time has passed for both sides to get their houses in order, review all documents, and now come to an agreement. If there are any more delays after this week's meeting - then I'd get crabby again.

1 week later
#469 3 years ago

Don't wanna jinx it, but I heard some good news that I hope is true and pans out. If this news is correct, we are going to be very happy in a few days. Fingers crossed!

#471 3 years ago
Quoted from Tuna_Delight:

I heard this too. I sure hope K's sources are correct!

I didn't hear it from K

#474 3 years ago
Quoted from Hoss_Coog:

Spill the beans please.

I don't wanna jinx it. If all goes well, we'll all know by tomorrow or Friday.

#480 3 years ago
Quoted from Rensh:

I have no clue what Rarehero is talking about and neither do my little birdies. So very interested to hear this news. Personally I don't expect any kind of news soon, good or bad.
So temper the excitement guys please.


3 months later
#544 2 years ago
Quoted from Tuna_Delight:

DP seems to be moving forward and communicating regularly in good faith at this point. I vote to give them a chance to complete our games as proposed.
Early Achiever #59

Actions speak louder than words. Right now, DP's words are meaningless. Your game is #59 - it's been sitting at ARA for a year now. Is that still your game, or will #59 now be one of the new alleged redesigned games? ARA hasn't been paid and is sitting on inventory they can't use while DP claims they're starting from scratch with a new company - paying them how with what money?

I'm surprised this whole deal isn't knee deep in lawsuits already. The patience that buyers is baffling in a post-Jpop, post-Skit, post-Heighway world.

I hope everyone gets their money or a game, but jeeeeeeeeze this whole friggin' thing.....

#546 2 years ago
Quoted from Tuna_Delight:

Why a lawsuit now as opposed to three or 6 months ago? Because some folks are suddenly surprised or upset that businesses in the Netherlands close down for part of August? Because DP isn't following thru fast enough on their current plan that they announced a few months ago, has been regularly communicated on, and will obviously take time to complete?
Yes - thank you, my game has apparently been sitting in Holland since last fall and I'm understandably unhappy about it as well as the CRAPPY options I have available to me for ever seeing it or my money. Spending additional funds on lawyers for a legal action in a foreign country and potentially killing any remaining possibility for getting my game just doesn't seem like the best option at this point though. I am open for viable solutions - but not the simple "Sue 'em!" solution offered, without any logical plan, by various posters with no apparent real knowledge of or financial stake in this matter.

If I had an answer, I'd have an answer. I'm just surprised that people are still pretty chill and have faith when we've seen one new pin operation after another blow it. What is DP doing or saying that makes anyone believe they'll be able to pull this off?

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