(Topic ID: 112377)

DP USA Refund - Still Want the Game


By JDinNOVA

4 years ago



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#1424 4 years ago

Hiring Roger Sharpe as an outside consultant to address the licensing issues was a good long-term move, but the most serious issue for Dutch Pinball (BV and Inc.) at the moment is the entity's short-term viability as a going-concern.

The two Dutch partners would be wise to hire a business turnaround specialist behind the scenes... someone with crisis management expertise, financial skills and contacts, and the ability to raise capital quickly. Regardless of the licensing concerns (which appear to be real), DP is facing a potential liquidity crisis due to the actions of one of its partners and a collapse of confidence amongst its most important stakeholders (i.e., pre-order customers who have been financing this company throughout the development cycle).

If the business can't survive in the short-term, due to liquidity issues, the long-term issues related to licensing are moot.

-1
#1487 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

As for PERSONAL LIABILITY, there is no liability with any corporate entity from a personal standpoint UNLESS the creditor is able to pierce the corporate veil, no matter what type of entity it is.
You pierce the veil by the owners NOT following the corporate formalities, shareholder meetings, proper accounting practices, etc....
In a "partnership" the liabilities are "joint and several".
They should shut down DP USA, Inc., distribute the deposits back to the original depositors, file the articles of dissolution, get a certificate of good standing from the comptroller and it could be done tomorrow.

If Inc. doesn't have enough assets (i.e., cash proceeds) to fully satisfy all liabilities of the estate (e.g., unreimbursed customer deposits, unpaid taxes, unpaid vendors), then Inc. is technically insolvent, and the alleged upstreaming of funds to related entities could be considered grounds for piercing the corporate veil. Of course, that could be cured if the funds were returned to Inc., assuming funds are still available.

#1492 4 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

Here's a theory:
Assuming no TBL get built in 2014 / no parts or labor, wouldn't the money collected this year be completely taxable as there's no losses incurred yet against it?
As an example, let's say 1 million collected to build something a company will make a 20% margin on. That's 800k in parts, 200k profit. A company (or employees taking the profit as salary) would pay tax on the 200k. At 30%, say 60k tax liability.
But without operating expenses perhaps they would be facing taxes on total revenue? So 300k taxes instead of 60k? That's a pretty big hit!
Please chime in as I am no tax expert, but I've always heard it's a bad idea to do Kickstarters near end of year for this reason.

Quoted from chuckwurt:

No. It is unearned revenue. They do not report that income until the product's title passes to the customer. It would be cash receipt and also a liability on the balance sheet until the games were complete and title passed to the customer. Then DP would move get rid of the liability and record the revenue.
Edit: this is of course assuming they are filing their returns on the accrual basis.

Maybe Inc. is reporting on a cash basis?

Perhaps the December 2nd date on the two screenshots below is not purely a coincidence?

Tax Delinquency Notice 12-02-2014.jpg
331945.png

#1816 4 years ago
Quoted from Elvisinmypants:

Oh, I am disappointed I thought TBL was The Bad Lieutenant. I read all of this, for nothing.

H-hey, this is a private residence, man!

#1830 4 years ago

Thanks, Nate. I've been waiting for those to post.

Have fun with the new AMH, you lucky bastard!

#2034 4 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

I listened to the Roger one (first half so far) and I fear that he is as he said, being naive. I really hope he does some more due diligence as he jumps in on DP project as at this point he just sounded like damage control and like he has not done all his research yet, but is repeating what was told from one side.
As mentioned the internet goes by 100x the speed of real life, but he has stepped into a sticky situation and the immediacy of the interview just comes off as attempted damage control with no real substance to me.

I listened to Nate's podcast with Roger, too, and I came away with the exact same impression. Attempted damage control with little substance.

Roger's involvement appears to be strictly as a consultant and focused only on licensing issues. He didn't seem to be aware of specific accusations that Phil had made, and he never once mentioned some of the more critical issues like liquidity, accounting practices, fiduciary obligations, corporate governance, and risk management. He also seemed very quick to dismiss some of the online criticism as jealously by individuals who wish they were building pinball machines and think they can do a better job than DP.

#2036 4 years ago

Hey, cool it Walter. Look, pal, there never was any money. The big Lebowski gave me an empty briefcase, so take it up with him, man.

#2043 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

That's all he should be doing. I'm not sure what else anyone would expect? That he's going to suddenly become a partner in the business or something? He's a hired gun, brought in to finish the license stuff.

Aurich, I agree with you. I never thought he was doing anything other than consulting on licensing issues, but several of the posts made on this thread after he was hired suggested a much deeper, more impactful role on the lines of a business partner or angel investor (i.e., a white knight riding in to save the damsel in distress). The podcast interview was solely focused on licensing issues, implicitly dispelling those other notions.

#2157 4 years ago

1 week later
#2292 4 years ago
Quoted from highdef:

I'm out-of-town so I can't verify I received the shirt, but I would've preferred it without the added tagline ("it's a whole new game!"). I was under the impression that it was just the logo on the front based on the first round of shirts that were circulated before the "chaos."

Definitely a missed opportunity for a relevant movie quote. It should have simply said:

~~~~ dutch (dp) pinball ~~~~
"Nothing is fucked here, Dude."

#2313 4 years ago
Quoted from Matt_Rasmussen:

They've decided they want you to stay in, even if you don't want to. Evidently that's the way it works in the Netherlands.

Just when I thought I was out.jpg

#2317 4 years ago
Quoted from Hwawonyu:

Funny as it sounds it's true and until phils meltdown those things were part of why folks fell in love with the theme and game. It's called marketing.
They had two girls and yes you get a to shirt . But honestly they are not going nuts on expenses even with these things.

Well, they had to spend a LITTLE more money for the new T-shirt design (rev 2.0).

New T-Shirt Design Rev 2.0-281.jpg
#2368 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

I think 1-4 are fair, 5 isn't. I don't think there's any real sign that DP can't survive.

Aurich, there are a couple of notable red flags in this very thread regarding the company's liquidity (e.g., upstreaming of funds to pay for affiliate expenses, some refunds issued while others are still on hold). The latter appears to be in direct conflict with the company's stated policy that customer deposits are fully refundable.

Frankly, the liquidity issue is quite possibly the biggest threat to Dutch Pinball right now, and they may need to address that issue through external financing, an equity infusion from the owners, or a new JV partner, if necessary, to maintain a going concern. Doing so would also provide much needed assurance for the company's stakeholders (i.e., existing depositors, vendors, employees, future customers).

If liquidity is NOT an issue, then they need to break their silence and communicate that message clearly to stakeholders and then reinforce that message with tangible proof (e.g., ALL requested deposits refunded to depositors, new credit line with ______, €________ additional equity infusion from owners, new JV partner named _______).

#2387 4 years ago
Quoted from Hwawonyu:

So folks need to decide if they want it made.

It's not that simple. Lots of business start-ups fail despite strong commitment from the owners/employees and a clearly defined market of buyers willing and able to purchase a product.

It takes cash to fund payroll, finalize mechanical designs, develop shippable code, purchase parts, manage inventory, ramp up production, man the assembly line, conduct QC testing, process invoices, manage & account for cash receipts, and ship final product.

Cash is the life blood of a business, not the desire of stakeholders. If a business runs out of cash, it dies. That is the essential liquidity test for operating a business as a going concern.

#2427 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Agreed, 100%. But that can also all be explained by simply being bad at business. Which I think it's pretty obvious is a fact, even if they're great at designing pinballs.
From what I've heard they have outside financing, which is how they got all this great work done before taking any money. I don't know if that's true, or what the details are. But obviously there was a ton of work done before pre-orders opened, something paid for that time.
Here it is, the literal end of the year, and they're not saying anything (edit: apparently a newsletter email tomorrow?). I'm not super hopeful it's all going smoothly. But I also think it's a little early to say they've collapsed.

The amount of financing required for the development stage is typically MUCH lower than the amount of financing required for the production stage, so even if they had some outside financing during development, that doesn't necessarily mean that they have enough for production.

The fact that they haven't refunded all the deposits requested could be for a number of reasons (e.g., bad management, poor record keeping, insolvency). None of us know the real reason right now, but people smell smoke and they understandably think "fire".

I'm not arguing that DP has collapsed. I'm simply saying that their liquidity is in doubt, and that is a MUCH bigger issue than the licensing EVER was. DP's management needs to clearly address this concern and either completely dispel it with definitive proof, or acknowledge it and demonstrate what they are doing to correct it. Failing to address the issue with explicit words and actions could very well accelerate the recent "run on the bank".

#2437 4 years ago
Quoted from Pdxmonkey:

Not really I think its delayed production
Which is probably his plan…if he's the sole controller of the paypal account why does he not refund everyone's money so we can buy back in if we wish and he can dissolve DP USA?
I think he enjoys having this amount of power, he's certainly not behaving like a dude who just wants out, despite saying so in a public forum.

Dude, Phil is battling stage 4 cancer. This is not a power trip for him. He wants OUT!

There are several possible reasons that he's not refunding the money (e.g., the account may already be depleted, he may not know who the remaining funds belong to because he doesn't have the customer records, he may be under a temporary restraining order preventing him from taking further actions). No one knows right now except the current partners, but the DP management team can clear a lot of these issues up by communicating with their stakeholders. Hopefully that will occur sooner rather than later.

#2443 4 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

A plaque doesn't sound like much of a carrot to me. Am I missing something?

Yeah, you're missing the part where they clearly addressed the company's liquidity issue before asking for more deposits.

#2498 4 years ago
Quoted from pinballslave:

The only thing making DP seem like an unstable and risky company are Phil´s actions, and the panic that that caused via Pinside.

The PRIMARY thing making DP seem like an unstable and risky company is the lack of liquidity implied by requested deposits not being refunded.

#2613 4 years ago
Quoted from Phil-DP-USA:

Nail, you've just been hit head on.

Quoted from pinballslave:

Nail, you have just been hit on the head!

Good to see that you and Phil are now in sync.

#2634 4 years ago

Correction:

Old-fashioned glass
Ice
K̶a̶h̶l̶u̶a̶ Coffee-flavored rum-based liqueur from Mexico*
Vodka
Cream

* Specific contents not yet approved.

#2700 4 years ago
Quoted from lowepg:

Aside from the pissing match of who owns a business and who doesn't, I'd submit you don't need to own a business to know how customers should be treated.
I could understand DP confusion in the DAYS following Phils departure. However, at this late date, one would think DP would have their shit together.
Let's be honest, we're not talking about rocket surgery here. This is not complicated accounting! There's what, a couple hundred customers? For chrissakes the whole damn thing could be organized on a single excel spreadsheet.
If people believe DP is somehow stymied by the complexity of all this weeks later, then you're kidding yourself OR the guys at DP don't own a calculator, a spreadsheet or an abacus.

The accounting issues should be relatively straightforward, and the CPA that they hired is a tax specialist, which may have been intentional, if some of the issues were tax-related liabilities. Figuring out where all the money went, or how it should be accrued and booked, is not that complicated.

The fact that the Company is still not issuing refunds almost a month later suggests that it's not simply an accounting issue. Liquidity is a finance issue. The business needs cash to: (a) survive (operating cash flows), and (b) refund customer deposits (financing cash flows). If there is not enough cash available to service both demands, they need to get more cash through an equity or debt infusion. This takes time, especially if the principals don't have deep pockets, because then you have to talk to external parties (e.g., banks, investors) who need to conduct their own due diligence and then hire lawyers to document the funding agreements. Due diligence and documentation are time-consuming processes, even for a company as small as DP.

#2737 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Pinball Strife

Is that the name of Robin's new Pre-Order forum?

1 week later
#2811 4 years ago

Meanwhile, on the liquidity front... *crickets*.

#2835 4 years ago
Quoted from ozno:

There is a real question whether they can survive. If they were solid, they would have immediately issued a statement that DP USA is no longer, but everyone's money is safe with DP. They refuse to do that. They seem to be heading towards some resolution where they blame PHil for taking our money and absolving themselves of responsibility. Only problem is DP is liable for all the money as there was never any legal distinction between DP and DP USA. The machine is dead if they don't sort this out. I cont care that much about my $5500, but after I get done talking with Universal, DP won't have a TBL a license. The machine is going to rock if it gets made, so I am really hoping that DP fixes this.

Quoted from ozno:

The lack of detail in the update is disappointing, but I have some hope. I'm going to give them two weeks before I panic.

Quoted from ozno:

Some new shit has come to light. I've decided that fuck it dude. I'm in. Just made next payment.

Quoted from ozno:

Talked to Barry and I think they will sort it out.

Quoted from ozno:

DP does not have the money to issue the refunds without bankrupting the company. That's why the crickets and no mention of liquidity. So basically we all need to just sit and pray that they will have the cash to build everyone's machine. There will be no refunds.

Quoted from ozno:

For those of you who are wondering how I know that my previous statement is true, here is my answer:
The simplest explanation is usually the correct one. If DPU can hold out long enough and begin production, then customers will recind their requests for a refund. That's their plan. They don't want to refund anyone else and are using the PHil PayPal situation as an excuse.
I have given up hope for a refund, and am eagerly awaiting production and my machine.

Dude, you're all over the place. One minute you're going on about talking to Universal and blowing up the licensing deal. The next minute, you're talking to Barry, saying "new shit has come to light" and doubling down with the next payment. Now you're talking about liquidity again (even though that situation has never changed). I wouldn't worry about other people reading too much into your posts, because it seems pretty clear that you haven't even made up your own mind.

May I suggest that you sit down, relax, and mix yourself a White Russian? The Kahlua is sitting on top of the bar. It's the one with the electrical tape over the brand name.

#2853 4 years ago
Quoted from Plungemaster:

Dp had never had financial issues until Phil came out of the closet.

Quoted from sd_tom:

Would you not agree that there likely would be a ton less refunds needed at this point? That people who actually wanted a refund would get it promptly

Some of you guys have VERY selective memories...

Quoted from Phil-DP-USA:

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.

Quoted from Phil-DP-USA:

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.

Quoted from Phil-DP-USA:

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 Curtis_Playfield:

I dunno...I requested my refund prior to all of this hullabaloo. And nothing. So to say that DP's problems are exclusive to this thread seems a touch short sighted.

#2874 4 years ago
Quoted from pinballslave:

I think the answer is 'yes', unless they issue all the refunds that are being requested, in which case they'll probably go bankrupt, and then the answer is more likely 'no'.

That's very short sighted. It assumes that capital is fixed and financing is a zero-sum game. "If refunds are processed, the company goes bankrupt. If no refunds are processed, then the games can be made." It all assumes that the amount of cash in the pot is fixed.

The company needs more capital. When they get more capital, they can issue refunds, build the games, make a profit on the venture, and then repay the investors and/or lenders who provided the capital.

#2901 4 years ago
Quoted from calvin12:

no one here other than DP has any money invested in the company, stop acting like you are have an investment. You have a purchase request and deposit. You are a consumer, not an investor.

Actually, customers who have paid deposits but have not yet received delivery are classified as priority unsecured creditors. For an insolvent corporation -- one which cannot pay its financial obligations as they become due -- there is no value in equity, so the creditors have first claim on the company's assets. The fiduciary duties of directors and officers of an insolvent corporation expand to include creditors as well as equity shareholders.

#2905 4 years ago
Quoted from calvin12:

Like I said, not investors. They have no standing to demand info. Unsecured creditor, priority or not, trends to get screwed. Unless your a secured creditor, chances of getting your assets back in full are low if a company goes under.

They have every standing to demand information from an insolvent company, and a trustee will fight for their rights every single day over the rights of your so-called "investors" (i.e., equity), who are at the absolute bottom of the totem pole. The right to information doesn't have a damn thing to do with the likelihood of recovery.

10
#2913 4 years ago
Quoted from calvin12:

The problem with your argument is they aren't insolvent, haven't filled for bankruptcy, and are foreign held. Good luck with that if it happens.

I realize that this is not your area of expertise, but please stop claiming that DP's customers have "no standing to demand information" because they are "not investors". This argument of yours, which you've regurgitated from the MMr thread, doesn't work in the Dutch Pinball situation. The companies making MMr (PPS and CGC) are *not* insolvent, and the right to information in this particular situation doesn't have anything to do with your low-likelihood-of-recovery argument.

Dutch Pinball USA, Inc. is arguably insolvent, because it cannot pay its financial obligations when they become due. The angry complaints in this very thread from customers demanding that their deposits be refunded is clear evidence of that, and the only thing keeping Dutch Pinball USA, Inc. out of bankruptcy at the moment is a simple, 2-page form filed in federal bankruptcy court (Chapter 7 Involuntary Bankruptcy petition) and a $335 filing fee.

Petition: http://www.uscourts.gov/uscourts/RulesAndPolicies/rules/BK_Forms_1207/B_005_1207f.pdf
Fees: http://www.ilnb.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/fee_schedule.pdf

Venue could be established in either Illinois (principal office) or Wyoming (state of incorporation).

https://wyobiz.wy.gov/Business/FilingDetails.aspx?eFNum=141190084199124060157201028180106126092020171249

The principal officers listed in the Wyoming public filing are Barry Driessen (President) and Jacob Pieter Nauta (Vice President), with a publicly-listed US address of 350 S Northwest Hwy, STE 300, Park Ridge, IL 60068.

In the event of a bankruptcy filing, Dutch Pinball USA, Inc. would CLEARLY be subject to US bankruptcy court jurisdiction and to the EXACT same reporting requirements of any other company in US bankruptcy court.

Shortly after the petition is filed, the Company's officers would be required under federal law to file a comprehensive Statement of Financial Affairs ("SOFA") and a detailed Schedule of Assets and Liabilities ("Schedules").

SOFA: http://www.uscourts.gov/uscourts/RulesAndPolicies/rules/BK_Forms_Official_2010/B_007_0410.pdf
Schedules: http://www.uscourts.gov/uscourts/RulesAndPolicies/rules/BK_Forms_1207/B_006_Summary_1207f.pdf

Those standard bankruptcy filings would provide the court with detailed information about the company's finances and give the bankruptcy trustee information about recent financial transactions, such as payments to insiders and related parties, payments to trade creditors, transfers of property, and gifts to others. In some circumstances, the trustee would be entitled to take back property or cash transferred to others prior to the bankruptcy filing and distribute the proceeds for the benefit of the unsecured creditors.

Those initial filings must be signed by a corporate officer under penalty of perjury. The penalty for making a false statement is a fine of up to $500,000 or imprisonment for up to 5 years, or both. 18 U.S.C. §§ 152 and 3571.

Bottom line: The possibility of bankruptcy in a situation like this is a serious matter, and people shouldn't be flippant about it. It's very easy to get into bankruptcy (i.e., $335 filing fee and a 2-page form), but it's very difficult to get out. If Dutch Pinball's directors and officers want to continue operating without the oversight and restrictions of a US bankruptcy judge, they would be well advised to do *whatever* they can to raise enough capital to refund deposits and eliminate even the appearance of insolvency.

#2919 4 years ago
Quoted from DnDPins:

I think you are missing the point that they are not in bankruptcy and until that point, people with pre-orders have no right to financial disclosure.
There is no reason for DP to declare bankruptcy (which I certainly hope they do not do as I want to see them survive and make great games) until creditors demanding payment push them to seek that protection.

Quoted from DnDPins:

No...what you are missing the very significant distinction of bankruptcy filing which DP would not do unless creditors were pushing legal action requiring them to declare bankruptcy.

Neither of us are missing that point.

Claiming that people with pre-orders have no right to financial disclosure actually INCREASES the risk of an involuntary bankruptcy petition, because when creditors are denied financial transparency in situations like this, they subsequently get all of the detailed information that I outlined earlier when they file an involuntary petition. An involuntary petition is initiated by creditors without the consent or support of the company involved. That's why it's called "involuntary".

Denying requests for financial transparency is a dangerous game of chicken to play with creditors, and it can have very serious consequences for the directors and officers if the decision-makers miscalculate.

#2939 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

DP could easily shift it to a Chapter 13 and pay off the deposits on a schedule and over a much longer time period.

Really, counselor? I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that this was a simple typo on your part, because you're much too smart to think that a corporate debtor can file in Chapter 13.

Let's just say that some Nihilists walked up behind you while you were typing your response, and they caused you to drop your beverage and hit the '3' key instead of the '1'. Perfectly understandable. Happens to the best of us. "Nothing is fucked here, Dude!"

Quoted from iceman44:

There are SIMPLE steps that could be put in place before pinheads give these terrible stewards of our funds anything.
It starts with a "TRUSTEE" and escrow in the first place.

Being serious for a moment, I totally agree with you here. To your credit, you first mentioned the idea of a trustee watching over the funds a month ago, and I gave you a thumbs up for that suggestion at the time. I definitely agree that an escrow account managed by a trustee is the best way to go here. Hopefully, DP management will give serious consideration to that suggestion, especially since it is being repeated a month later.

1 week later
#3041 4 years ago
Quoted from twominds:

It has been 7 weeks since I first requested a refund. I have gotten the same bullshit responses everyone else has. I just emailed Barry and told him I want to money immediately. I have a very strong business relationship with Paypal and have already spoken with them. They asked me if I wanted to file a Fraud case with them which could pretty much lock DP's ability to take more money and would lock whatever funds are in the account...especially if they receive additional complaints. But again, Paypal said this may take time. If I do not hear from Barry in the next day or two I will file these charges and I will also contact my Credit Card who can at least help in getting the money back...hopefully.

Good news! Dutch Pinball will be at the Dutch Pinball Open EXPO 2015 in November, and production of The Big Lebowski is scheduled to start soon!

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/dpo-expo-2015-announced

#3085 4 years ago
Quoted from zucot:

I have always gotten prompt replies from Barry, including today.
The reality of the situation is that there will be no news until a transfer agreement is signed. The worst thing that they could do is announce a date for an update and then miss it.
Consider that all of this started going down over the holidays, while Phil was undergoing treatment, and with multiple timezones involved.
Anyone stepping in to engineer the transfer needed time to dig into the history, both perspectives, negotiate a mediation and then paper and sign it. That stuff just takes time.
Should it have been handled before? Yes. Posturing to get their PayPal account frozen isn't going to help anyone at this point.

Well, hopefully Barry is actually trying to raise some capital in the interim.

But if not, perhaps he should at least listen to his new advisor regarding his communications strategy?

Quoted from fattrain:

JUST RECEIVED THIS:

<snip>

We took several actions and we are happy to welcome Jeff Marchetti (CGMA, CPA) to help us restoring DP USA Inc.

Mr. Marchetti has some experience in handling customer complaints, and he has even published some tips about this issue in the public domain.

Marchetti & Company, P.C.
Certified Public Accountants
http://marchetticpa.com/

Business Tip from December 2014 - "How to Handle Customer Complaints"
http://www.planningtips.com/6802/prior1412.asp?Co_ID=55556&Tip_ID=6802

I would hate to see Barry simply trod down the same communications path pioneered by JPop et al, leaving his company exposed to the unpredictable moves of angry creditors who have recourse available, even if those options don't appear logical to Barry. That's a dangerous game of chicken to play with unpredictable opponents, and it could have serious negative consequences for the company if he loses.

#3090 4 years ago
Quoted from Plungemaster:

Lmao, and you call other people dumb?

Plungemaster, I realize that you have a vested interest here, and it is no doubt affecting your comments, but I have seen you make very thoughtful and constructive comments in one of the Spooky Pinball threads. Can you please ask THAT guy to participate in this thread, too?

#3094 4 years ago
Quoted from Plungemaster:

Ps. I have no vested interest at all, just interested in a new pin. From a new company. And other topics i am discussing dont suffer from a few cry babies that assume only negative stuff without any aknowledge.

You can have a vested interest without a financial stake in the matter, my good Dutchman.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vested_interest_%28communication_theory%29

#3132 4 years ago
Quoted from highdef:

Finally! I'm sure everyone is tired of reading the current source of updates: aka "The Dutch Pinball Dispatch"

The Law of Information Flow: Information, like electricity, WILL flow, and it will ALWAYS take the path of least resistance.

If you don't communicate with stakeholders, the grapevine will thrive. If you communicate with stakeholders, you can keep the grapevine in check.

Exhibit A: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/dp-dutch-pinball-the-big-lebowski-site-visit

#3272 4 years ago
Quoted from pinballslave:

New Dutch Pinball team members
Jeff and Don joined the team of Dutch Pinball USA, Inc. to help us in the transition of the company.

Hey, it's Jeff and Don from the Pinball Podcast.

http://www.thepinballpodcast.com/

Welcome aboard, guys!

10
#3278 4 years ago
Quoted from HENSBROOKER:

If you can't stand the heat, you never should have come close to the kitchen...

"Will I get my money back if I want to cancel my order?

Yes, you will receive a full refund if you cancel your order. Please note that since we are shipping on a first-come, first-serve basis, if you do cancel your order, you will lose your place in the production line."

http://www.thebiglebowskipinball.com/faq

#3352 4 years ago
Quoted from anubis2night:

Yeah it's great to see how well pinball has thrived around the world. It's funny because I asked my buddies in Japan about it and they said its not as popular there, though they mentioned a guy that has a serious collection that's pretty decent (but several hours away). It's kind weird because I would think that pinball would be huge there with Japan's fascination with toys and mechanics.

One of my friends is a former IFPA champion in Japan, and we discuss the local pinball scene occasionally. Pinball is definitely undergoing a renaissance in Japan. Check out the Silver Ball Planet in Osaka.

http://www.pinballnews.com/sites/silverballplanet/index.html
https://www.facebook.com/silverballplanet

14
#3360 4 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

If you want a contrasting style of going toe to toe with Pinside, read the MMR thread. Rick from Planetary will answers a concern and it only creates more questions and criticism no matter what he says. Much of it from non owners involving themselves just like in this thread.

Quoted from Aurich:

It's really not that complicated. I sell things on Pinside, and I don't get into huge fights with people. Spooky sells games on Pinside, no drama. Laseriffic, Hooked, etc etc.
It just takes a little communication and understanding. The drama happens when you hide things, you don't keep your word, you go silent.
Rick's his own worst enemy. I'm still getting pissed off emails from him over posting his MMr photos. Accusing me of committing a crime etc.
Think about that for a moment. Someone who was happy to sell Pinsiders $8,000 games is freaking out that pictures he took of them being made are available to those same people. That's how petty this is.
Somehow I'm not shocked that someone with that kind of personality has drama on a forum.
My take is simple: If you're happy to be hear when people are lining up to stuff cash in your pockets then you should be happy to be here for those people later when they have questions.
Rick, Kevin, Barry, whoever.

Quoted from Aurich:

I simply cannot explain it. Here is Rick, finally at his freaking moment of triumph. All the delays and doubts and bullshit, and he has photos of Medieval F-ing Madness remakes on the line, and he's furious that someone posted them where all his customers (and potential customers) could see them.
Then after he seems to wise up and let it go days later he starts emailing me again, and tried to call me.

Quoted from iceman44:

Count me in the group that will never buy from PPS. Maybe after the fact, 3rd party, but I doubt it

Hopefully, Dutch Pinball doesn't take public relations cues from Rick at PPS, because Rick is his own worst enemy when it comes to PR. Only Rick could snatch defeat from the jaws of a PR victory like fresh MMRs rolling off the production line at Stern!

Rick freely uses Pinside when he wants to hawk new wares or selectively release good news, but he retreats to his controlled, private forum (the "bunker") when he has bad news, wants to limit it's reach, or wants to scrub and delete follow-up comments. I suspect in his own mind, it makes sense, but the reality is, the very existence of a controlled, private forum for public relations is a problem, and that's why it receives little traffic, despite Rick's continual efforts to drive people there, yet the Pinside grapevine, which Rick cannot control, thrives.

-----
The Law of Information Flow: "Information, like electricity, WILL flow, and it will ALWAYS take the path of least resistance."
-----

Question: Does Spooky Pinball have a controlled, private forum?
Answer: No, because they don't NEED one.

Rick's PR problems are easily fixable:

1] Engage with the community.
2] Treat people with respect (actual customers, potential customers, lurkers, and critics).
3] Be open and honest.
4] Under-promise and over-deliver.
5] Apologize when you make a mistake or let people down.
6] Listen to feedback.
7] Try to improve.
8] Make customers happy.
9] Lather, rinse, repeat.

Personally, I'd like to think that Dutch Pinball will be a little more proactive than PPS in the future, and follow the simple guidelines above to build a positive, healthy communication style going forward.

Instead of asking "What would Rick at PPS do?", they should instead be asking "What would Charlie at Spooky Pinball do?"

I truly believe that would bode well for the long-term health of Dutch Pinball.

1 week later
#3389 4 years ago
Quoted from Curtis_Playfield:

I dunno...I requested my refund prior to all of this hullabaloo. And nothing. So to say that DP's problems are exclusive to this thread seems a touch short sighted.

Quoted from Curtis_Playfield:

Don what's your plan for prioritizing deposit refunds? Squeakiest wheel, or are you going in some particular order?

Hopefully your refund request has been processed, too.

#3428 4 years ago
Quoted from Hwawonyu:

Razorback you disagree ? Are you in?

Yes, I disagree, because I think you "achievers" or "strong hands" are being short-sighted by trying to divide the buyers into different groups.

This company still needs financing, and now that management have lost working capital through requested (or unrequested) refunds, they may desperately need those funds to come back into the fold to fund production so the games can get made for EVERYONE. If management is smart, they will throw out the welcome mat to entice those "non-achievers" or "weak hands" to return back home.

Bottom line: You "achievers" don't want to give those former buyers easy reasons to stay away.

JMHO, but speaking from experience. And no, I'm not "in". I'm just spectating, but I don't need to be "in" to voice an opinion.

FWIW, I would love to own TBL someday -- it's on my wish list -- but if/when I do, it will be purchased HUO second-hand. Based on what I've seen so far, I would never pre-order from this company, but I would also never criticize those who choose otherwise.

#3523 4 years ago
Quoted from Hwawonyu:

Celebrating DP!

image.jpg 227 KB

Now yer talkin! I've been to that distillery. Lived in Aberdeen for two years, and spent many a weekend visiting distilleries throughout the Highlands. Good times!

#3539 4 years ago

I'm sure all will be revealed in the upcoming New Shit Newsletter, hopefully to be released sometime this weekend.

Hopefully you can find it amidst all of the Soup Nazi pics Ozno keeps posting every 15 minutes.

13
#3554 4 years ago
Quoted from ozno:

Barry's weekend ride:

image.jpg 12 KB

Dude, lay off the Nazi shit, OK? No matter how mad you may be at Barry, *NO ONE*... and especially a Dutchman... deserves having a swastika thrown in their face. It is highly offensive, so please just stop.

#3557 4 years ago
Quoted from ozno:

Soup nazi not nazi

Yeah, whatever.

You and I both know that I was referring to your comment, since edited, that said "Barry's weekend ride:" followed by the photo of a WWII airship with a swastika on the side. Not cool.

Nevertheless, thank you for editing the post and removing the photo.

#3624 4 years ago
Quoted from sd_tom:

I do think the contract manufacturing changes the game some from JPop, Skitb, JJP, Heighway etc. Like with MMR ; they will need to have all their parts loaded, people trained,etc.. Maybe make a couple production prototype, then it will go flat out until the initial run is done. The contract manufacturer will then move on to their next customer. So also like with MMR, there may be unexpected delays getting started but at least not some slow trickle of games for a year like WOZ either.

Contract manufacturing definitely changes things, but it also means they have to have all parts in hand for at least an initial batch of games before production will begin. Then they would preferably re-supply the next batch of parts before the first batch is complete. A contract manufacturer won't want to start building machines and then have the entire production line go idle or have work-in-process moved off the production line and into storage while awaiting re-supply, because overhead costs are burning every day, whether the production line is active or idle, and somebody has to absorb that cost, either the manufacturer or the buyer. (Stern didn't start production of MMR for PPS/CGC on schedule for this very reason.) This places a premium on timely parts delivery, which requires designs to be complete, purchase orders to be placed, initial payments to be made (if required), and vendors to be cooperative. Suffice it to say that a lot of detailed advance work is required when you use contract manufacturing that isn't necessarily required if you build the machines in your own facility.

1 week later
#3754 4 years ago
Quoted from sd_tom:

So.. Its march 1; people are in or out on the pre order, refunds have been issued. Thread resolved?

I've never understood why some people try to close down discussion threads on Internet forums?

When this thread is closed, another one will spring to life. The same stuff that's being talked about here will be talked about in the new thread, and people will still link back to this thread when they want to dig stuff up and rehash it.

#3757 4 years ago
Quoted from zucot:

I dont think he wants to close it down, its more about finding out if theres anything related to refunds that is unresolved.

I don't think so. If you look at some of his recent posts, it seems pretty clear that he doesn't like this particular thread and he wants it closed.

Quoted from sd_tom:

All I know is the forced to take a refund group should keep their plight out of the other pre-order threads

Quoted from sd_tom:

maybe all this cool stuff could move to the other threads.. I feel that this thread being the primary TBL thread sorta is a downer (plus off topic for any remaining refund issues) am i wrong?
Can pick from many others here:
https://pinside.com/pinball/archive/big-lebowski/forum
or start your own!

Quoted from sd_tom:

Or the op asks to close it to force move of topics

Quoted from sd_tom:

So.. Its march 1; people are in or out on the pre order, refunds have been issued. Thread resolved?

#3799 4 years ago

Cool! Eggbert promoted Hwawonyu to moderator. Congrats, dude!

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