(Topic ID: 112377)

DP USA Refund - Still Want the Game


By JDinNOVA

5 years ago



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11
#2101 5 years ago
Quoted from starfighter:

I will Paypal $100 to the first stern employee that writes this on the corporate mensroom wall at Stern Inc. !!

Now what would be cool is if Gary is reading this - which I bet he is - and goes and writes it on the men's bathroom himself and takes a selfie for the $100. I would LMAO and applaud loudly that sense of humor.

#2103 5 years ago
Quoted from Cenobyte:

I'm not sure if that would be a good development. Lot's of pinheads still despise Stern and keep tellin' that Stern "plays differently" than B/W pinballs or that their build quality is not up to B/W. I'm not supporting this theory, but it would sure hurt TBL when it was built at Stern.

That's the old guard being naive. The Stern games stand up to the Bally/Williams stuff now for sure. It took some time but the games are great now. There's only so much of the same 20+ years of Bally/Williams pinballs I can take. Yes, they stand up to the test of time, (most Data East stuff does not), but the Stern stuff in the last 5-6 years plays just as well if not better. People just won't give the stuff a chance but I can assure you those people aren't sitting there playing their games 10x a day still either.

#2104 5 years ago
Quoted from DreamTR:

That's the old guard being naive. The Stern games stand up to the Bally/Williams stuff now for sure. It took some time but the games are great now. There's only so much of the same 20+ years of Bally/Williams pinballs I can take. Yes, they stand up to the test of time, (most Data East stuff does not), but the Stern stuff in the last 5-6 years plays just as well if not better. People just won't give the stuff a chance but I can assure you those people aren't sitting there playing their games 10x a day still either.

Yes, we both feel that way, but seeing all the paranoid stuff going on in this thread, I guess there are also quite a lot of people still using that old reason not to buy a TBL when it would be built by Stern. Especially after TBL got so much credit for giving back the old B/W feel.

#2105 5 years ago
Quoted from DreamTR:

That's the old guard being naive. The Stern games stand up to the Bally/Williams stuff now for sure. It took some time but the games are great now. There's only so much of the same 20+ years of Bally/Williams pinballs I can take. Yes, they stand up to the test of time, (most Data East stuff does not), but the Stern stuff in the last 5-6 years plays just as well if not better. People just won't give the stuff a chance but I can assure you those people aren't sitting there playing their games 10x a day still either.

I would agree that they play well, but build quality is not as good compared to the classic Bally/Williams era games IMO.. I mean they aren't horrible but still not up to those glory years.

#2106 5 years ago
Quoted from paulywalnuts23:

I would agree that they play well, but build quality is not as good compared to the classic Bally/Williams era games IMO.. I mean they aren't horrible but still not up to those glory years.

I'm convinced that a lot of people still think that. And whether it's true or not, choosing Stern for this would certainly cost TBL clients.

-3
#2107 5 years ago
Quoted from tamoore:

Phil acted like kind of a jack-wagon here, but it really has to land at the feet of the other two partners who didn't act when Phil requested they act. That's the first and underlying issue.

The first and underlying issue was Phil's behavior, deliberately creating panic, causing a run on refunds. The way he chose to handle his dilemma was unnecessarily adversarial to the company.

Operations are now disrupted. Many of the pre-order folks did not seem to know that their money was ever at risk. The more money returned, the weaker DP becomes to pay for continued operations.

Phil wanted out at all costs, and the future success of DP didn't factor into his equation. His unauthorized decision to refund is the single cause of the hysteria demanding refunds that may kill the game. He had other ways to handle it.

However, I think DP is doing what they can to the best of their ability, but who knows if it will be enough. There might not be enough cash. I still believe they are motivated and driven to succeed. Unfortunately, they are learning about running a business the hard way.

Post edited by RTS: removed unnecessary name-calling.

#2108 5 years ago
Quoted from Cenobyte:

I'm convinced that a lot of people still think that. And whether it's true or not, choosing Stern for this would certainly cost TBL clients.

If Stern were in charge of assembling TBL I would still buy it, if it is anything like the proto units that have been shown off.

#2109 5 years ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

Why can't they give people refunds out of the other accounts and replenish it with the money Phil has once they get it from him?

It is safe to assume the other accounts are empty.
The last bit of cash was in the USA account.

That is why they had Phil paying the bills.

#2110 5 years ago
Quoted from RTS:

His unauthorized decision to refund is the single cause of the hysteria demanding refunds that may kill the game. He had other ways to handle it.

After six weeks of trying to separate and being blown off and ignored, and with end of year deadlines looming, what "other ways" would you have had him try?

#2111 5 years ago
Quoted from tamoore:

Phil acted like kind of a jack-wagon here

Quoted from RTS:

The first and underlying issue is that Phil was an absolute jack-wagon

What I want to know is where the hell did "jack wagon" come from? Is it a retro insult lifted from Deadwood, or a substitute curse for the prudish? Either way, it sounds ridiculous.

Also, Dude, "jack wagon" is not the preferred nomenclature. "Human paraquat," please.

#2112 5 years ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

What I want to know is where the hell did "jack wagon" come from? Is it a retro insult lifted from Deadwood, or a substitute curse for the prudish? Either way, it sounds ridiculous.
In any event, the preferred nomenclature in a TBL thread is "human paraquat."

Here you go...

www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=jack+wagon

#2113 5 years ago

Well, I've said this before and I will say it again. I will never quite get how we support a business model where you pay for a product that isn't even done yet. That simple. Few industries would get any support for this business model, Kickstarter aside (and those people understand there is risk...it is spelled out). Our industry, and I have been in for 35 years, is chock full of companies now in the graveyard with companies that promised products that never came out, and companies that quickly came and went. I think those that received a refund are fortunate. If the game is completed and is produced, I have no doubt most will be able to purchase one. I do applaud the trust people are placing in new start ups...it is refreshing. But I don't get the need those feel for prepaying for a pinball machine.

#2114 5 years ago

Great! Now we can argue about name calling.

#2115 5 years ago
Quoted from Pinballfantexas:

The best thing DP could do at this point is to refund all the money, take care of the Phil side of things and only ask for the money when they go into production. That is the way to restore the faith back in DP.

The game will not be made in that scenario. I hate that it is that way, but it is the truth.

#2116 5 years ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

The game will not be made in that scenario. I hate that it is that way, but it is the truth.

How do you know?

26
#2117 5 years ago
Quoted from RTS:

The first and underlying issue is that Phil was an absolute jack-wagon, deliberately creating panic, causing a run on refunds. The way he chose to handle his dilemma was unnecessarily adversarial to the company.
Operations are now disrupted. Many of the pre-order folks did not seem to know that their money was ever at risk. The more money returned, the weaker DP becomes to pay for continued operations.
Phil wanted out at all costs, and the future success of DP didn't factor into his equation. His unauthorized decision to refund is the single cause of the hysteria demanding refunds that may kill the game. He had other ways to handle it.
However, I think DP is doing what they can to the best of their ability, but who knows if it will be enough. There might not be enough cash. I still believe they are motivated and driven to succeed. Unfortunately, they are learning about running a business the hard way.

You can make that completely valid argument about Phil's actions, but you are completely discounting the actions by DP-BV and Barry in particular that people are having the most trouble with.

Regardless of how it came to light or who is at fault for this public fight, it is obvious that DP had/has a completely amateur-hour accounting set up that has lead to a complete inability to respond to customer inquiries about their money. Again, I have a friend who paid with a check and asked for a refund way before any of this began, and they have never been able to give her a straight answer.

Regardless of who's fault it is, DP is having a lot of customers asking them to make good on their promise that they can get a refund at any time. Dp is understandably in a difficult situation where they do not currently have access to a good chunk of their funds (and haven't had access to those funds for about a month.) Rather than take responsibility for the situation, they passed the buck. They could have said, "We are doing everything we can right now to re-secure the funds and will refund those who request as soon as possible" (even if that meant refunding from their other account until access to the DP-USA account was restored). Instead they said "Don't blame us, blame the other guy. Ask him for your money". they took something that is THEIR problem and made it the CUSTOMER/CREDITORS problem. That's the kind of shit you pull when you are filing for Bankruptcy, not when you are trying to get those same customers to trust you with their money all over again.

Regardless of how ethical you think the release of information is, there was enough actual evidence presented in this thread to reveal that DP-BV used EXTREMELY poor judgement in handling Phil's quitting. He quit very publicly Nov. 1, and as late as a month after the fact, on Dec. 4, they were still insisting that this disgruntled ex-partner stay in control of all of the US funds.

There is no need for conspiracy theories. You don't need to put forth wild speculation. Look at the facts we know, in addition to their only existing track record with the 4 year long BOP 2.0 project, and it is not unreasonable to have zero faith in this company's competency with the business side of things.

NO ONE is saying they did not accomplish something incredible with their prototypes, but the Dutch Defender Squad is holding their design skill and intense motivation up as evidence that they will be competent at running the business and taking the game through production. What a lot of us are saying is that we have solid evidence that, regardless of their obvious design and marketing competence, they clearly don't know what they are doing with the business side of things, and at the very least made a huge blunder with how they address the refund situation. You can legitimately think Phil is full of shit and his actions horrible and still come to this conclusion.

You have valid reasons for looking at everything and still having faith in them. They definitely made a proof of concept that people want, and perhaps that will outweigh everything else in the end. But people have equally valid reasons, created entirely by DP themselves with no need for additional speculation, to conclude that they have blown all of their credibility as a company.

#2118 5 years ago
Quoted from metallik:

After six weeks of trying to separate and being blown off and ignored, and with end of year deadlines looming, what "other ways" would you have had him try?

A lawyer.

Wait.. why am I even still reading this thread?

#2119 5 years ago
Quoted from paulywalnuts23:

I would agree that they play well, but build quality is not as good compared to the classic Bally/Williams era games IMO.. I mean they aren't horrible but still not up to those glory years.

Yeah, except no one can ever define build quality. For working right out of the box, pretty much all operators say that Stern games are much better day one than Bally / Williams were.

#2120 5 years ago
Quoted from RTS:

Phil wanted out at all costs, and the future success of DP didn't factor into his equation. His unauthorized decision to refund is the single cause of the hysteria demanding refunds that may kill the game.

Huh?

If he really wanted to cause hysteria and screw with DP he could have caused much more damage by doing things other than giving people their money back!

How is receiving your money back, even if not requested, such a horrible thing?

#2121 5 years ago
Quoted from AloneMordakai:

A lawyer.
Wait.. why am I even still reading this thread?

Once the lawyers come in, it's all over. Lawyers are expensive, both "sides" will need them, and all that preorder money goes *poof* in legal fees. Don't think any of the three want to go this route.

#2122 5 years ago
Quoted from goatdan:

Yeah, except no one can ever define build quality. For working right out of the box, pretty much all operators say that Stern games are much better day one than Bally / Williams were.

Yes but what about as time passes. That is where the build quality really starts to show itself. Also just from the product you get from day one, you can see that a lot of corners have been cut to save on money... For example, a single halogen light in the back box.. What ever happened to the idea of a light show in the back back.... With the newer games that have actual LCD screens in the back box, i.e. WOZ I can see only having a single bulb, and you can do the light show with the screen, but for all the Stern stuff, just a money saver..

#2123 5 years ago
Quoted from scott_freeman:

It is safe to assume the other accounts are empty.
The last bit of cash was in the USA account.
That is why they had Phil paying the bills.

Not necessarily - it could have just been them trying to pay bills in the domestic market and currency. The problem comes with the accounting, not motivation or necessity.

I personally have little doubt in DP's financial situation. They've managed to build tons of custom parts in finish quality, they've built several custom games, they've made several trips including multiple people and expensive freight... all without selling anything yet. Certainly the money may have all run out after all this... but they didn't seed with the change in the couch. Someone in the mix has deep pockets.. and if so, they'd want to get their project to the actually selling part. If that means fronting a few dozen refunds.. I'd imagine that wouldn't kill them.

Someone is rich in this story...

#2124 5 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

Huh?
If he really wanted to cause hysteria and screw with DP he could have caused much more damage by doing things other than giving people their money back!
How is receiving your money back, even if not requested, such a horrible thing?

When the intent is to completely undermine the project by shaking consumer confidence and causing a general shitstorm, I can see why some thought it was a horrible thing.

I'm not sure what he could have done beyond this without getting himself into serious trouble. If he wanted to screw his former bros and the entire project, this is about as far as he could go.

#2125 5 years ago
Quoted from metallik:

Once the lawyers come in, it's all over. Lawyers are expensive, both "sides" will need them, and all that preorder money goes *poof* in legal fees. Don't think any of the three want to go this route.

I disagree. Phil could have easily talked to a lawyer to get advice, draw up something on letterhead etc. It wouldn't have been that expensive, especially for someone who claims to have given thousands to DP anyway.

And the same is true for DP as a whole -- they should have some sort of lawyer on retainer anyway!

Yes - Full blown lawsuits would be messy and expensive, but not basic consultation. Of course, we have no idea if they did or didn't....

#2126 5 years ago
Quoted from paulywalnuts23:

Yes but what about as time passes. That is where the build quality really starts to show itself. Also just from the product you get from day one, you can see that a lot of corners have been cut to save on money... For example, a single halogen light in the back box.. What ever happened to the idea of a light show in the back back.... With the newer games that have actual LCD screens in the back box, i.e. WOZ I can see only having a single bulb, and you can do the light show with the screen, but for all the Stern stuff, just a money saver..

*shrug*. My single bulb backboxes burn out way less often than bulbs in my lots-of-bulb boxes.

Oh, and my RFM has a single bulb.

#2127 5 years ago

Yea I'm talking the nuclear lawyer option, not just basic consultation. I'd hope all three of them at least have someone in legal they can talk to right now... if not, probably most of the reason they're in this mess in the first place.

#2128 5 years ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

When the intent is to completely undermine the project by shaking consumer confidence and causing a general shitstorm, I can see why some thought it was a horrible thing.
I'm not sure what he could have done beyond this without getting himself into serious trouble. If he wanted to screw his former bros and the entire project, this is about as far as he could go.

I understand what you are saying, but I think if he was dead set on causing as much damage as possible, there are worse things that he could have done than give people their money back.

I'm not saying that what he did didn't cause a shit storm. I think this thread is pretty much proof positive that it did.

#2129 5 years ago
Quoted from goatdan:

*shrug*. My single bulb backboxes burn out way less often than bulbs in my lots-of-bulb boxes.
Oh, and my RFM has a single bulb.

Yeah and RFM also only has half a playfield... Bulbs can be replaced, unfortunately the creativity that was included in the older back boxes can not with a single bulb...

#2130 5 years ago
Quoted from paulywalnuts23:

Yeah and RFM also only has half a playfield... Bulbs can be replaced, unfortunately the creativity that was included in the older back boxes can not with a single bulb...

RFM playfield is 3 inches shorter than WPC and 1 inch longer than System 11. I think the biggest failure of all designers since Pinball 2000 was to not use the pull out playfield that the Pinball 2000 games used. It is incredible to be able to slide the whole playfield out to work on it.

#2131 5 years ago
Quoted from jackofdiamonds:

Better yet ask PPS how they plan on QCing their MMr. Assembled,with pride,by Stern.

This has been well advertized.

Assembled games go from Stern to CGC where QC and packing and shipping then happens.

LTG : )™

#2132 5 years ago

I got a credit from amex as I disputed the 4,500 charge with them. I am still pissed for all the other customers who are out of $ to GoldFinger! Anyone who used a credit card for deposit call them and dispute!

#2134 5 years ago
Quoted from Sjsilver:

You can make that completely valid argument about Phil's actions, but you are completely discounting the actions by DP-BV and Barry in particular that people are having the most trouble with.

Regardless of how it came to light or who is at fault for this public fight, it is obvious that DP had/has a completely amateur-hour accounting set up that has lead to a complete inability to respond to customer inquiries about their money. Again, I have a friend who paid with a check and asked for a refund way before any of this began, and they have never been able to give her a straight answer.

Regardless of who's fault it is, DP is having a lot of customers asking them to make good on their promise that they can get a refund at any time. Dp is understandably in a difficult situation where they do not currently have access to a good chunk of their funds (and haven't had access to those funds for about a month.) Rather than take responsibility for the situation, they passed the buck. They could have said, "We are doing everything we can right now to re-secure the funds and will refund those who request as soon as possible" (even if that meant refunding from their other account until access to the DP-USA account was restored). Instead they said "Don't blame us, blame the other guy. Ask him for your money". they took something that is THEIR problem and made it the CUSTOMER/CREDITORS problem. That's the kind of shit you pull when you are filing for Bankruptcy, not when you are trying to get those same customers to trust you with their money all over again.

Regardless of how ethical you think the release of information is, there was enough actual evidence presented in this thread to reveal that DP-BV used EXTREMELY poor judgement in handling Phil's quitting. He quit very publicly Nov. 1, and as late as a month after the fact, on Dec. 4, they were still insisting that this disgruntled ex-partner stay in control of all of the US funds.

There is no need for conspiracy theories. You don't need to put forth wild speculation. Look at the facts we know, in addition to their only existing track record with the 4 year long BOP 2.0 project, and it is not unreasonable to have zero faith in this company's competency with the business side of things.

NO ONE is saying they did not accomplish something incredible with their prototypes, but the Dutch Defender Squad is holding their design skill and intense motivation up as evidence that they will be competent at running the business and taking the game through production. What a lot of us are saying is that we have solid evidence that, regardless of their obvious design and marketing competence, they clearly don't know what they are doing with the business side of things, and at the very least made a huge blunder with how they address the refund situation. You can legitimately think Phil is full of shit and his actions horrible and still come to this conclusion.

You have valid reasons for looking at everything and still having faith in them. They definitely made a proof of concept that people want, and perhaps that will outweigh everything else in the end. But people have equally valid reasons, created entirely by DP themselves with no need for additional speculation, to conclude that they have blown all of their credibility as a company.

I agree with you. I see two distinct issues.

Phil created deliberate mayhem to hurt DP.

DP failed to handle business operations correctly and are not doing well in appeasing customers right now.

Quoted from RobT:

I think if he was dead set on causing as much damage as possible, there are worse things that he could have done than give people their money back.

The unrequested refunds weren't intended to help those content with their pre-orders, although he may have hoped it would be seen that way. It's clear such an unauthorized action would create a problem.

#2135 5 years ago
Quoted from madscientist101:

I got a credit from amex as I disputed the 4,500 charge with them.

When was the charge dated? I'd consider this, but the payments are spread out over a year and the first one was a direct bank wire to their account in the Netherlands.

For the record, I have not requested a refund yet. But I'm tempted.

#2136 5 years ago
Quoted from metallik:

After six weeks of trying to separate and being blown off and ignored, and with end of year deadlines looming, what "other ways" would you have had him try?

A lawyer's letter.

And it costs about $350.

#2137 5 years ago

If Barry wasn't paying attention to requests by universal what makes you think he'd pay attention to a letter from a lawyer in the usa?

#2138 5 years ago

You know maybe should put this monster thread on ice for a while too...it's the like a reel to reel tape, every angle has been covered ad nasuem. At least till some one posts a new development in this saga.

#2139 5 years ago

No financial commitments in this pinfee-ascal ( yet ) but raising a few white russians for the cause tonight.

I hope the pin enter the manufacturing stage, and I'd love to play one up here in the great white north . . .

#2140 5 years ago
Quoted from RTS:

The unrequested refunds weren't intended to help those content with their pre-orders, although he may have hoped it would be seen that way. It's clear such an unauthorized action would create a problem.

Yes, I agree. But that in no way counters what I said.

#2141 5 years ago

Dutch Pinball will take care of this. They simply have to because if they do not, the machine will never get made. If Universal gets a wiff of this turd, the deal will be off.

#2142 5 years ago

2014-12-18-18-35-10-763106873.jpeg

-14
#2143 5 years ago
Quoted from ozno:

Dutch Pinball will take care of this. They simply have to because if they do not, the machine will never get made. If Universal gets a wiff of this turd, the deal will be off.

Dude, come back from la la land. This shit ain't never getting made.

#2144 5 years ago
Quoted from eggbert52:

Dude, come back from la la land. This shit ain't never getting made.

Wanna bet?

#2145 5 years ago

I think a few weeks will make the difference here for most folks. Hopefully any work needed to settle items between Barry and Phill will get resolved.

Personally I'd think it would make more sense to have payments more in line with the stages of manufacturing.

First deposit based on a prototype with final approval. Second deposit based on opening stages of manufacturing. Third stage of deposit when initial run of pinball madhine are completed and pass inspection and final payment when these are ready for shipping.

This sort of payment system would allow funds to be available as the stages are met. It helps a company grow and it keeps them hungry to compete each stage. It's also based on common construction loans.

-5
#2146 5 years ago

Might get made under the JJP or Stern name but ain't gonna happen with DP. Besides, even if they do release it, way too many games and the wind is out of the sails.

#2147 5 years ago

Hopefully these guys have the personal wealth or can quickly secure some new outside capital to honor refunds and continue to fund the company. Given the state of the game and how well it was received prior to this debacle, they should have a good chance of securing some outside financing or investment if needed. I don't see any way that they will be able to restore enough confidence to rely on pre-order money. The only way to build trust will be to move to production, even if it's a small initial run, and get the games into collectors' hands - in the US. They where smart to quickly hire Roger. Now they need an equally good finance person. I don't care how good of friends they are, you don't establish a Paypal account that only one of the partners can access and give them total control of $100k's. Even if they didn't have a falling out, any number of things could sideline one person.

#2148 5 years ago
Quoted from anubis2night:

I think a few weeks will make the difference here for most folks. Hopefully any work needed to settle items between Barry and Phill will get resolved.
Personally I'd think it would make more sense to have payments more in line with the stages of manufacturing.
First deposit based on a prototype with final approval. Second deposit based on opening stages of manufacturing. Third stage of deposit when initial run of pinball madhine are completed and pass inspection and final payment when these are ready for shipping.
This sort of payment system would allow funds to be available as the stages are met. It helps a company grow and it keeps them hungry to compete each stage. It's also based on common construction loans.

So when can I get a refund? If I were ever to be convinced to get into something like this, I would require my funds to be reimbursed at any time before my machine is being assembled, and that's the issue with what happened here. The money is gone you guys, any money you invested in this is gone and been absorbed by DP, unless it went through DP USA.

-1
#2150 5 years ago
Quoted from eggbert52:

Might get made under the JJP or Stern name but ain't gonna happen with DP. Besides, even if they do release it, way too many games and the wind is out of the sails.

He asked you if you want a bet, dont chicken out now.

What do you want to be, a pussy or a troll?

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