Well, I suppose Barry has left me no choice, but to discuss this publicly.
This topic is closed.
Quoted from sd_tom:
We did everything in our power to settle issues in a normal way with Phil, but unfortunately he decided to take matters in his own hands and is doing whatever he's doing for reasons we don't know. We really regret your involvement in this situation and we hope we can settle this as soon as possible so we can focus on fun things again.
I have been asking Barry and Jaap to find someone to take over Dutch Pinball USA Inc since November 1. As you can all imagine, having MY social security number on this company and its PayPal account puts me in a very uncomfortable position.
Barry and Jaap asked me to come on board several months ago, when they were having some major difficulties with universal studios licensing. I had helped out since the pinme girl stealth campaign, but this was to make it official.
They had been using unauthorized assets (screen grabs, other graphics), and had been using artistic renderings to make the translite, and Julie Margules (email address removed by moderator) was fed up with them "pushing the limits"
Post edited by moderator: removed email address
I went in, worked hard to get the mess cleaned up, and step-by-step, layer by layer, we all worked together and got the translite with the oil painted style approved.
Of course, at the same time, I had also put together a pretty good marketing campaign.
I also contributed on the game as well -- look around... if you see something that skirts the licensing, but doesn't touch it... it was me. (the movie cells / center playfield.. i gave that idea to barry from the scaffolding of our house during the renovations. the white russian light up, in the plane).
So, we were having fun, working hard, and had our share of disagreements. But, I could live with it.
So here's the first problem... I'm getting flooded with emails, calls, messages... where's my Bride?
I ask Barry. Jaap asks Barry. And all he says is, he's working on it. Months go by, I have no idea what to say to the customers, until I find out
that Barry had taken the €60,000. Jaap and I realized that we had no choice but to put back the money ourselves. I started buying parts from all over the world on my credit cards. Shipped stuff on my personal fedex account. all to cover his theft.
keep in mind, jaap and i had NOTHING to do with bride. this was a koen / barry project, but we knew, if this thing didn't ship, nobody would by TBL.
i paid for all our flights. all our hotels, parts, our regus office in the states, you name it. i even wired in about $25,000 in cash to Jaap to help pay the bills.
of course, when I talked to Jaap about being 1/3 owner of DP BV (Holland), he said sure, and he'd talk to Barry. Barry didn't want three owners, because he thought he could be outvoted. So, I put in the cash and kept working.
Don, no attention man... all I've been asking Barry and Jaap is to get my name and social off this company. they don't respond, i try harder. they again don't respond, i push harder.
I could overlook the bride thing. Barry needed money, and we weren't making any. But when I got to chicago, i got pissed. You many have noticed Kahlua and Time on the playfields... both not authorized by their respective owners. Those call-outs from the actors? Not approved by universal. In fact the entire playfield wasn't approved... and yet there we were.
And I wasn't told ANY of these things would be here.
So, my concern is this. If uni pulls the license, and I've been paying for a crap load of bills, and Barry's been pulling out cash -- sometimes as much as €6000 per month, and my social is on this business... yeah, that's not a good place to be.
One thing I had been telling all distributors - we will discuss options in a few months. Well, Jaap decided to invite one to meet us in Chicago. I got upset because if one distributor gets an invite, and he starts telling others that he's bringing TBL to toronto, it makes me look like an ass for saying otherwise.
And when I confronted Jaap about it, he just flat out lied.
So, we get back from Expo and talk about DPO. We decided to raise the price and drop the swag. I was really adamant - no show specials at DPO. People on pinside have big mouths (ahem ahem) and if we give away rugs at DPO, then those poor schmucks that bought TBL between Oct 20 and Oct 31, would be the ONLY people to not get a rug. they'd be pissed.
Also, unless with ship Bride, do not bring it to DPO. I'm tired of the question, where's my kit. (we just got really lucky that Rick shipped the stickers late -- and I really apologize for any implication that it was his fault the kits shipped late).
I left at 4:30 in the morning to get to DPO. Bus, tram, plane, train, bus, long-ass walk and 8 hours later, I get to the show. First thing I see... there's the bride. Second thing, a cheaply made show special flyer for both bride and tbl. From a marketing strategy perspective, completely wrong. From a respecting your parter and friend's request perspective, even worse.
I questioned the flyer, and I asked Jaap, did you sell any TBLs? He said, yes, I sold one to Jonathan.
I replied, I saw his order a few days ago online.
"Oh, you know about that one" --
He had lied to me again. So, I grabbed my stuff, and took the next bus, train, train, train, tram, bus back to Switzerland.
And as some of you know, I don't know how many good years I've got left, but I am sure as hell not leaving my family with a crapload of debt for pinball machine refunds, and I am not leaving my legacy as someone who was involved in something like this.
I've been telling Barry since Nov. 1. Get a Taxpayer ID (ITIN) and take over DP USA. Or find an American to take over. I don't care what you do. I even agreed to give up ALL the profits of both businesses. That's how much I want to get the hell away from this thing.
Here we are, 6 weeks later, nothing. I bugged him a few times in November, not as much as I would have liked -- blame it on oncology -- and then a harsh reminder on Dec. 1.
But now, pics from NYC come out... Sorry, but I cannot assume this risk. They have no social security numbers. They don't have the same risk in this.
I asked them to please take over, you'll have full access to paypal, customer lists, and I'll keep my mouth shut.
I won't even tell Gary or Jack my idea of using a machine as a jukebox. Plugging in a USB with music, and using the flippers to forward and reverse, having the machine light up to the beat.
And I won't give them my idea for putting a real speedometer on the center shot (two sensors), so not only does your shot have to be perfectly straight, but it also has to be (scaled speed) faster than 88 miles an hour to light the flux capacitor.
or any of those other crazy ideas that couldn't come from "just a marketing guy"
All I want is out. When I was in DP, I didn't have the strength to argue the legal and ethical way to do business, and now, I certainly don't have the strength to fight to get out of it. Cancer's a cruel bitch, right?
All I want is to get out of this company. One way or another. Burningman, you're an honest guy, with a wife that keeps you that way. You want the company, it's yours -- IF you agree to push Barry and Jaap towards doing things the RIGHT way. You promise: Integrity First. Service Before Self. Excellence in ALL You Do.
You agree to that, and I sign this thing over to you right now.
Email dated March 7, from Julie at Universal to me:
Hi, Phil. I have been swamped this and I’m catching up on emails and voicemails. I’m very pleased that you are stepping in to help. It sounds like that will aid in getting this project on a good trajectory.
I don’t think our frustration has stemmed from any cultural differences. Our frustration arose from their lack of understanding that the Big Lebowski assets are restricted to the approved set we have, and that while additional talent approvals are possible for most of the cast, they are just not possible for John Goodman. Frankly, I’m also worried that DP do not understand what an artistic rendering is.
I will do everything in my power to process all refunds as quickly as possible. If they are over 45 days old, I will probably have to go through PayPal support. I'll call them on Monday. I suppose that gives the boys two days to figure out how they want to proceed.
I have to get some rest. It has not been one of my good days.
Quoted from Soltic:
Phil please, if I'm understanding this right, To move the funds from u to dp it needs to be done by first issuing refunds...?
Please please answer.
No, Rod, if Barry (or anyone) takes over DP USA, all assets, including the paypal account, would transfer to that person.
That's why I'm refunding all the money. Preorder money is NOT revenue. It's not earned. It's a debt. Only when the machine is shipped does it become revenue.
I just want to reduce the amount of liability this company has.
Quoted from iceman44:
As for your refund. Phil was in charge of the Paypal and I asked him multiple times to do the refund to you. He just didn't responded.
Sorry, I don't know your real name, but I can tell you this. On Wednesday Dec 10 at 17:25, Barry emailed me 3 names for refund. I did a name search, but couldn't find them, so I replied to him at 18:40. By the time he wrote back, I was already at home having dinner with the family.
I refunded two of the three either the next day or the day after, and one of the three got flagged for additional questions from PayPal.
Barry has NEVER asked me multiple times do to a refund with no response.
Thank you for posting this publicly. It's good that I am given the opportunity to address these types of issues. If you message me privately, I can look at your refund issue.
I've said it before, and it will never change. Barry is one of the best designers I've ever met, and given the right circumstances, he can make amazing games.
Yes, this game can still get made, and if it does, I'm sure it will be very good. I truly hope they succeed, but I just do not feel comfortable being a part of it.
I have been trying like hell to get out of this, and all my requests were ignored, or I was given one BS line after another -- and let's just say that it felt very familiar.
So that's why I've done this. I hate that I am left with so little recourse, but I have to put the well being of my own family above all else, and given the choice, I would do the same thing again.
Barry, I've practically begged you to find someone to take DP USA. I've iMessaged you, I emailed you, I've called you. I've even emailed you all the paperwork pre-filled out. I'll even help you put the company back together. You know that.
Take me off this company so we can all move on. Please.
Quoted from Plungemaster:
So, why did you get in?
I got in because they are my friends.
I helped with universal because I'm pretty good at the talking thing, and because they are my friends.
I paid for bride kits because I care about DP's reputation, and because they are my friends.
I paid in an extra €20,000 because I want TBL to succeed, and because they are my friends.
I told them to stop using unlicensed assets because I understand risk, and because they are my friends.
I walked away from one third of the profits because it's best for all of us, and because they are my friends.
And I am even doing this right now, so hopefully they will get their act together, whether they believe it or not, because they are my friends.
And I'm sorry that you don't understand that.
Quoted from Plungemaster:
Real friends go sit around the table and talk about the bad air. Trying to solve the problems. Not go out in public with the dirty laundery.
You're right. Friends talk. But friends also listen. And if they don't listen, I get louder. And then I do everything in my power to make them listen. But when it is apparent, that no matter what I do, or what I say, or even where I say it, they simply joke it away and call me the "No no no no no" guy...
Yeah, friends are important, but family comes first.
Quoted from Plungemaster:
I am easy. Only telling that friends would never do this. Think i am right about that.
Feel free to disagree.
What would you do, if you went into a legitimate business with your friends, investing about $100'000, and a year's worth of (pretty darned good) free labor. You then found out they were doing something illegal. You try to talk them out of it, but they keep doing it. You scream, stop, but they keep doing it. You say fine, I quit, keep the profits, keep the money, just please take my name off the business so I don't get in trouble if you get caught. They don't.
Yeah, I disagree.
Quoted from iceman44:
Here is what I would do.
Let's negotiate a promissory note with DP for all the $$$ you have invested into the project, payable out over a reasonable amount of time. You get paid back if they succeed.
Some of it might be sunk cost but hey, anything is better than nothing.
The best outcome for you and everybody is that DP is successful.
I've already said they can keep the profits. If they need the money, they can keep everything in PayPal. All I wanted was for Barry to fill out the 8822-B Change of Responsibility form, so I am not responsible for Dutch Pinball. With an ITIN, he can put himself there. Or, anyone with an ITIN or Social can go on the form.
OK, 4:30, gotta make a bottle for the baby before she starts crying and wakes up my wife.
Quoted from flynnibus:
I'm confused... you paint him in the wrong for playing the company line... and not being a whistleblower on the topic.
Then paint him in the wrong for being the whistleblower now.
What should he have done in your opinion, when by his account the team show up with a game with decisions made that he was not aware of until that point in time?
The guy didn't have the power to stop the other DP folks from doing what they were doing. He couldn't make the games disappear or forbid the other DP guys from doing their thing.
Thank you. I always tried to fight for what I thought was right, for my partners and my customers. That's why I didn't want them abusing the licensing. That's why I didn't want those "show specials" at DPO. That's why I didn't want special "one-off" meetings with distributors.
There is only one right way to do business, and that is the RIGHT way.
Quoted from Phil-DP-USA:
But in September.
And yet in Chicago in October, when I saw TBL for the very first time, there was Kahlua.
I tried to get Barry to cover it with tape, but he said it would hurt the flow.
All I could do was address it head on -- and put tape over every bottle of Kahlua.
(Turn the threat into an opportunity.)
At the time, if I did not believe in Dutch Pinball, I would not have sold a single machine.
EVEN TODAY, I STILL THINK DP CAN MAKE A VERY GOOD MACHINE. I would not say it, if I did not believe it. They just have to play by all legal and ethical rules. Until they do, I do not want my name associated with it.
Regarding my choice of day, I had no idea about Jaap's mother as he and I no longer speak. My condolences to his family.
However, I asked Barry for six weeks to get me off DP USA. Again, all he had to do was get himself a Tax ID Number. I told him on December 2 that I would give him 2 more days. Unfortunately, I wasn't well, but when I saw the pictures from New York (including Kahlua still on the playfield) I had to act.
I called him and I told him that morning to find someone. I messaged him throughout the day with no reply -- he certainly didn't mention Jaap's mom.
I told him that I wouldn't say a word about anything DP, as long as he did the same about me, but he sent the message to all the customers. I don't even have their email addresses. I actually have no idea what orders are being taken in. Deposits do not go in to DP USA, but are instead sent up to DP Holland. Worst of all, I have no control whatsoever over the actions of Barry and Jaap.
But i still bear responsibility to its customers and for the debts of the firm and for the consequences of their actions and inactions.
To address some of the issues raised above:
1. I'm unhireable. Really? Thanks.
2. How much of the Bride money did Barry spend? All of it. I had to buy parts from scratch.
3. The Callouts were not approved. For months I asked Barry to send me an Excel spreadsheet of start/stop timecodes, the clip, and the shot where it would be used so that I could upload it to STRATA. I never got it, so no clips were ever approved. That does not mean they won't be, just that when I left, they were not even submitted for approval. When I got to Expo, I had never even seen a working TBL before.
4. My being in "control" of the money. I have no access to any of the order histories, DP USA doesn't get new payments, in fact I have no clue who the existing customers are. I don't have access to SQUARE (my dp email address was on it, and my social is stuck to it). If I didn't keep the PayPal login (because my Social Security Number is on it), I'd have absolutely nothing -- but I would still be liable for the company. I'm sure the Americans know that it's only because of my good credit that we could get and maintain a 1.7% rate on our charges (yes, really. internet too.). Credit histories matter.
5. Kahlua - I think it would be even funnier to have an image of a kahlua-ish bottle with black duct tape over the label - it's a nice thank you to P-N for saying no.
6. Changes to the playfield - those are the changes I was expecting, which means the status is "conceptual" in STRATA, and not even in the PRE-PRO phase. That means making a prototype is a violation, and given the history there, could put the license in jeopardy. That's why I was always the no-no-no-no guy. I see things from the perspective of all stakeholders. It's not just about the next quick sale. It's about building long-term trust based relationships with all your stakeholders. It's a small industry. Screw up one license deal, you may never get another.
7. My responsibility to find a replacement - Barry's been telling me to wait, he's got an idea, he's taking care of it, etc. for 6 weeks now. Sorry, but I had one of my mini-vacations already, and I have another vacation on Tuesday, and I'm out of it for a while. (I never use the "H" word - my 5 year-old freaks).
8. OK, so it's my responsibility. If that's what he now says, is there anyone here who would like to take over Dutch Pinball USA, Inc? You'll be in charge of the Park Ridge office, skype, the entire paypal balance, and be in charge of all the US sales. Serious inquiries, PM me.
9. You didn't like the flux capacitor thing? OK, how about this one... You're playing. LCD gets wobbly for a split second. What was that? Ring ring. You reach to the side of the cabinet, and out of the box you take out an old fashioned black telephone receiver. Put the phone up to your ear but KEEP PLAYING! You hear, "To escape the Matrix, shoot the left ramp." Skill shot that, Mr. Anderson.
10. Why I'm doing this. Between my Professor job, dad to 2 little girls, supportive husband to a wife working on her PhD, and fighting testicular, lung and thyroid cancers (stage 4, but the first two are NO LONGER DETECTABLE!!! -- just the third one we can't seem to beat) - I really don't have the time or strength to deal with this any longer. I left 6 weeks ago because I do not want to be liable for actions which I believe are not in the best interest of all stakeholders. Yet here we are, mid-December, and I'm still stuck.
And yes, this has really been going on for 6 weeks. I'm sick of it. (Email attached)
November 26, 2014: Here's where Barry wants me to use Dutch Pinball USA money to buy 30 Zotac ZBOX-CI320NANO-U Barebone PCs at 130.00 each for a total of $3,900.00 for the US Bride Kits.
I said no.
Quoted from RandomGuyOffCL:
Read the email from the post right after this quote...Phil was ok with DP draining the US funds as long as his name was off of it. Thoughts?
He took in the revenue for Bride, not DP USA. But once he owns BOTH companies, it's all the same parent organization.
Quoted from edmorex:
Phil, I opened to tickets on PayPal to refund my 2 deposits. They are both "Awaiting other party's response" which I assume is going to your @gmail.com address listed as the Sellers email. Do you have the ability to take action on these PayPal tickets?
I already clicked "Did not ship" (which means I do not dispute it).
Actually, I'll click "Did not ship" for every dispute.
If anyone can get through to Barry, please tell him to just take this company already.
I really don't like the path he's forcing me down. He won't take my calls. He won't reply on iMessage. He won't reply via email.
It's so damned simple. He has the paperwork filled out.
I really don't get why he doesn't want to assume the liability for Dutch Pinball USA.
And I don't want to turn this into a fight over the other stuff - licensing / Bride. It's about one thing. I left DP USA, and I'm stuck with hundreds of thousands of dollars in a big pot, but no customer list / spoon to serve it back.
Quoted from Rick432:
Phil recognized he ultimately did not have authority over DP, BV, the European entity. Only DP, USA, which has his name all over it. So over the entity with which he has formal responsibility, he said no. It doesn't mean he approves/disapproves over what DP, BV did with ITS funds (though I'm fairly sure he disapproved...), just that it was out of his sphere of control.
And he actually was actively pursuing getting DP, USA ALSO out of his sphere of control, but couldn't get DP, USA to take it over.
At least that's how I read it.
Nail, you've just been hit head on.
Any refund that I cannot do automatically, I email to PayPal's MRO customer service, and ask them to do manually. It takes a bit longer, and I have lots to get through.
Quoted from sd_tom:
Since you're tearing down the entire company and liquidating the assets.. Where is his motivation now?
I can legally close a PayPal account with a zero balance.
If I give everyone their money back, they can repurchase through Barry's new PayPal account. I just don't want the liability.
do we transfer Dutch Pinball Inc to Barry / Dutch Pinball BV
do I refund all the money, drain PayPal to zero, and shut the business down.
Quoted from lllvjr:
Send people their money... Let them decide to reinvest
That's what I've been doing, man. But I was at Oncology on Nov 24, and I'm back at the doc on Tuesday. I really don't have the strength to deal with this crap,
And again, they are funneling what should be DP USA payments directly to Holland
I have no customer list
no order history
no dutch pinball email address
I have no way of knowing who makes payments
BUT I am still liable.
All because he won't take DP USA -- for 6 weeks now.
Quoted from Cenobyte:
BARRY IS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE PLANET FROM HIM.
Yes, Barry is on the other side of the planet - taking in sales/payments for Dutch Pinball USA Inc., but funneling the money to HIS PayPal account in The Netherlands.
So he won't officially take ownership of DP USA, but he will make sales under its name, but send the money to himself? --Leaving me with the responsibility for Inc.
At this point, I'm about considering filing a police report. I'm already filing a complaint with PayPal to block his new account.
Barry, please, just take over the rest of Inc. Then it's ALL yours to manage as you see fit.
Mario, tell Barry that what he is doing is illegal. Tell him to STOP following Jaap's advice. Tell him to stop going to these shows - I told him NO on Houston. No to NYC. With no finished machine, they just cost lots of money, for little return.
Tell him to ignore fake deadlines and made up sales targets. Let him just focus on making a good machine, and be open about it. The sales will come LATER.
We know the Pin community is harsh, but it is also VERY understanding if they know what's going on.
Quoted from Benboogaard:
It's not that simple to take over a company over in the US if you are not a US citizen. So it isn't just a formal paper.
For nearly NINE MONTHS I've told Barry and Jaap to go to the IRS and get an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. I even gave them the forms and told them exactly what to fill out.
So yes, it is just a simple paper.
Quoted from Benboogaard:
presume that the USA company isn't free
Don't presume that. They can have it. I've already said, I make ZERO claim to any future profits.
Quoted from pinballslave:
I'd have gone about getting their attention while at the same time pulling myself out from the burden of having the cash in an account I don't want responsibility for, then I'd have made the refunds with a calming note explaining why I'm doing it, but at the same time trying not to freak the customer out
That was actually the plan. I gave HIM the choice how to proceed.
I even told Barry that I would write a nice text about how we just wanted to transfer the funds from my PayPal account to his PayPal account.
Barry has control of the whole dutchpinball.com domain, and after I left, he locked me out of my email account, which is ok, but I just found out this morning that he used my old email address to create a new PayPal account.
So, anyone thinking they were making payments towards their account with Dutch Pinball USA Inc. has actually been paying directly to Barry.
That's why no payments have come to DP USA in December. From the customer's perspective everything looks normal.
***PAYMENTS MADE TO MY OLD EMAIL (PHIL@) SHOW UP AS PAYPAL *PHIL AND ARE NOT DP USA!***
The real Dutch Pinball USA, Inc. account with the Tax IDs is G88R6QGWR8T7A.
Barry, you've cut off my access to the account list, taken my email address to open a new account, are taking all the new payments to DP USA, BUT ARE STILL LEAVING ME WITH THE LIABILITY FOR EVERY SINGLE PAYMENT?
WTF DUDE. Is THIS why you've been stalling me for SIX WEEKS? And you KNEW I had oncology on November 24 and was on "vacation" until at least January. This is a new level of LOW.
Someone, anyone that knows Barry and Jaap: Let them know. Either these guys take full control of this company, so it doesn't matter where the funds are deposited, and they can legally stick the cash in their mattresses for all I care, or I am officially filing a complaint with IC3.gov for this.
Now you all know why I went public. It was the only way to find out what the hell was going on.
BTW: someone better explain to them what IC3.gov is, and my phone better ring today, Barry.
Now I am pissed.
He's still my friend, and I still car about his family. I'm sitting here crying my eyes out becaus of what iu have to do.
this is my credit history, and if i die, my shares in dP USA go to my wife and kids. i wont give them this burden. dont make me choose!!!!!!
answer your fiucking phone or i will report you for fraud man
Quoted from metallik:
"We did everything in our power to settle issues in a normal way with Phil." Well, someone is bullshitting
Here was their (corrected spelling - oops, already took my meds) attempt to settle. I stay. We vote on decisions. Majority (2 out of 3) rules.
I say pull the prototypes, destroy the unauthorized playfields, remove all unapproved marketing.
I lose, 2 - 1.
Today he finally writes back, "Please stop posting on Pinside. You are harming the business (which includes yourself). We made you an offer on December 4 (see attachment) and are waiting for your reply."
My reply. You've blocked me from accessing customer order information. You've hijacked my email and are using it to take DP USA Inc payments to Holland. (I called PayPal: The Name Barry Driessen IS the one associated with phil@).
Multiple lies. Using IP that's not authorized. Why the hell would I want to go back and work with them? I already quit once. Barry, again, let me go.
sorry, I forgot to add, and DP USA will not pay for Bride.
DP BV (the Dutch one) shouldn't pay for Bride either.
Bride was made under Dutch Pinball, NOT Dutch Pinball BV. Dutch Pinball is a subsidiary of Insert Media, Barry's company.
I mention that only for those of you who say it's all the same company, so the same money. No, these are not.
This topic is closed.
Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside