(Topic ID: 207103)

Feeling Ripped Off by Pinsider on Board Repair


By tomdrum

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 45 posts
  • 27 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by tomdrum
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

You

Linked Games

No games have been linked to this topic.

    Topic Gallery

    There have been 2 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

    IMG_0916 (resized).PNG
    s6-e10-host-blacklists-elaine (resized).png

    #1 1 year ago

    I don't do board repairs and for many years Steve Kulpa did all my board work. Since he's no longer doing repairs, I placed a ad on Pinside to find someone else. Many of the boards I have that needed repairs already had new caps and headers installed previously but a malfunctioning component caused damage. Got a response from a Pinside member who claimed he had many years in board repair. I had 3 Bally Solenoid boards with issues, a lamp board plus 2 MPU's. One was fully working, it had a replacement battery installed in 2004 that I wanted a memory cap installed. Price quote was reasonable so I shipped all 7 boards to him. After 1 month I called and he said he's waiting on parts from China via eBay. A WTF moment for me since I know you can get stuff from GPE, Big Daddy or other sources quickly. He is an operator with games on location. A couple weeks later I called and he has health issues which prevented him from working. OK, I understand. After 3+ months I call and he hasn't fixed them but apologies profusely and agrees to return my stuff. Health issues again so I feel bad for him. Get them back and now both MPU's are missing. I've called for 3 days (phone disconnects) and texted without a response. I hate to out someone here, so if you're familiar with a operator in Richmond VA with the initials JT and know anything about his health please PM me. I'm hoping it was a simple mistake with the unreturned boards.

    #2 1 year ago

    Hope you get your boards back.

    #3 1 year ago

    Hope it all works out. If he's been doing this for awhile maybe the solder got him.

    #4 1 year ago
    Quoted from Buzz:

    Hope it all works out. If he's been doing this for awhile maybe the solder got him.

    He said he has COPD and soldering is difficult. I can understand that easily. But why take work you can't do or return my stuff?

    #5 1 year ago

    That shit is toxic and used to be worse back in the day. Hopefully he's still alive or hasn't lost his mind. I completely understand your point of view.

    #6 1 year ago

    Sorry to hear. This is like closing the barn door after the horse bolted, but it's usually best to ask around to see if someone you are going to send stuff to has a good reputation or not. There are several members on the forums who do repairs, and several more who advertise via their Pinside biz listing.

    I have heard of some disreputable folks who take in stuff to repair and just abscond with it and either resell, use it in their own games, or use it in other peoples' games they are called on to repair.

    Try calling from another number. He's obviously ducking your calls.

    #7 1 year ago

    This industry is weird. I have used three different repair techs and two of them had the whole "health/family/personal" excuses going on. Brilliant techs, but too many personal issues. Great service from CoinopCauldron but backed up for months. Sorry, but just buy new boards now.

    #8 1 year ago
    Quoted from Buzz:

    or hasn't lost his mind.

    I already have, so I don't take anyone's boards in for repairs. Good luck, hope it gets resolved.

    #9 1 year ago

    I live in the Richmond area but do not know any operator with the initials of JT do you know his name?

    #10 1 year ago

    I hate to harp on this but if you can't repair the boards yourself, these days you should really buy new (from a current manufacturer) or professionally refurbed boards. Nearly every new board I've bought has either had a long warranty, never fails, or has been easily repaired or replaced by the place where I bought it.

    I've repaired boards for many years but these days, I will only repair boards from others if it's a local service call or local friend. Otherwise, keeping my own stuff up and running is enough spare time work for me!

    #11 1 year ago

    Sucks! But at least you didn't pay 50 cents extra for Blu-Ray and later realize that the rental doesn't include the normal extras found on the retail version!

    (Not to make light of your predicament. There are rip-offs and then there are rip-offs!)

    #12 1 year ago
    Quoted from snyper2099:

    I hate to harp on this but if you can't repair the boards yourself, these days you should really buy new (from a current manufacturer) or professionally refurbed boards. Nearly every new board I've bought has either had a long warranty, never fails, or has been easily repaired or replaced by the place where I bought it.
    I've repaired boards for many years but these days, I will only repair boards from others if it's a local service call or local friend. Otherwise, keeping my own stuff up and running is enough spare time work for me!

    Cost saving is the reason I would prefer to get boards fixed. It doesn't pay to put $475 worth of new boards in a $600-800 player condition game.

    #13 1 year ago
    Quoted from snyper2099:

    I hate to harp on this but if you can't repair the boards yourself, these days you should really buy new (from a current manufacturer) or professionally refurbed boards. Nearly every new board I've bought has either had a long warranty, never fails, or has been easily repaired or replaced by the place where I bought it.
    I've repaired boards for many years but these days, I will only repair boards from others if it's a local service call or local friend. Otherwise, keeping my own stuff up and running is enough spare time work for me!

    Or maybe people that claim to repair boards as part of their living should do the job they agreed to. I know of tons of people that are very skilled pinball techs but do not work on their own boards. It doesn't make sense to put new boards into a players condition game and many of these games would simply be dead in a warehouse if not for people repairing them and sending of boards for service.

    #14 1 year ago
    Quoted from tomdrum:

    Cost saving is the reason I would prefer to get boards fixed. It doesn't pay to put $475 worth of new boards in a $600-800 player condition game.

    So how much did you save? Hell, boards aren't that expensive. If you have 5 MPU or power supplies needing repaired, the parts/labor/shipping shouldn't really be that much cheaper than new boards if it's a reputable repair person. If they charge $75 per board (cheap!), that's $375 plus shipping. Buying new boards with a warranty is more like $700. I keep spare boards that fail often on hand. That way, I can replace and diagnose without the burden of a time crunch. It's really the way to go if you have a lot of machines or anything at all on location.

    #15 1 year ago

    If you can diagnose, you can take it to an electronic repair shop. I found a bad zener diode so I took it to a local shop who replaced it in a day.

    #16 1 year ago
    Quoted from jgentry:

    Or maybe people that claim to repair boards as part of their living should do the job they agreed to. I know of tons of people that are very skilled pinball techs but do not work on their own boards. It doesn't make sense to put new boards into a players condition game and many of these games would simply be dead in a warehouse if not for people repairing them and sending of boards for service.

    I hear you but a lot of times you get what you pay for in pinball. I know many folks in my league and pinball circle (local ops) that just need a reliable game and buy new boards for a $500-$700 game that isn't necessarily worth that cost (beater Eight Ball or beater Flash). Unfortunately, if you are trying to have a game work 100% of the time and and if it breaks down, you need to have a quick test or resolution (league or on location), new boards is the was to go. It's the cost of having reliable pinball.

    #17 1 year ago

    Another vote for Chris Hibler who does great work and is responsible.

    #18 1 year ago
    Quoted from pintechev:

    Another vote for Chris Hibler who does great work and is responsible.

    This right here. I send him boards and get them back in a couple weeks. Great price, great work, great service.

    #19 1 year ago
    Quoted from snyper2099:

    I hear you but a lot of times you get what you pay for in pinball. I know many folks in my league and pinball circle (local ops) that just need a reliable game and buy new boards for a $500-$700 game that isn't necessarily worth that cost (beater Eight Ball or beater Flash). Unfortunately, if you are trying to have a game work 100% of the time and and if it breaks down, you need to have a quick test or resolution (league or on location), new boards is the was to go. It's the cost of having reliable pinball.

    I have no problems repairing original boards. They don't usually "break down" if you do the repairs correctly and do the recommended bulletproofing.

    #20 1 year ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    I have no problems repairing original boards.

    Nor do I.

    #21 1 year ago

    Some people's interest evolves into other aspects and some don't. That's ok. Chris is the guy if you read enough on here for good board repairs unfortunately you didn't find him before this. I hope you get your boards back.

    #22 1 year ago

    We need a name. GIVE US A NAME!

    s6-e10-host-blacklists-elaine (resized).png

    #23 1 year ago
    Quoted from snakesnsparklers:

    We need a name. GIVE US A NAME!

    Probably a good idea so no one else sends the guys boards.

    #24 1 year ago
    Quoted from woody76:

    Probably a good idea so no one else sends the guys boards.

    Jay Tomlinson "Thunderfoot" on Pinside. Lynchburg VA

    #25 1 year ago

    That user was "last seen" on Pinside last November.

    #26 1 year ago

    They don't call it Lynchburg for nothing.

    #27 1 year ago
    Quoted from Buzz:

    That shit is toxic and used to be worse back in the day.

    Actually...the chemicals used in the newer ROHS solder "lead free" is much more hazardous to the technician working with it than the older lead based solder ever was; it's just safer for the environment.

    #28 1 year ago

    Oh great I'm screwed. I thought I was part of the environment.WTF. Thanks for the heads up.

    IMG_0916 (resized).PNG

    #29 1 year ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    I have no problems repairing original boards. They don't usually "break down" if you do the repairs correctly and do the recommended bulletproofing.

    Agreed! One of the boards I sent was a Bally Xenon MPU. Worked perfectly. When I bought the machine it had been upgraded and had a "new" battery installed. Game has played fine for the last 16 years. Since the battery was getting old, I wanted a memory cap installed and the battery removed. I was just being proactive to avoid a later problem. I do keep a full set of Alltek's for diagnostic work on new purchases. I have sold a dozen Bally games to friends and others over the last 15 years, all with upgraded OE boards and none has failed yet I know of.

    #30 1 year ago

    No wonder we don't know him. Lynchburg is really far from Richmond.

    #31 1 year ago

    Just a recommendation for vlive at Yhe Coinop Cauldron. Excellent work!! Answers phone calls!! Knows how to communicate in a timely fashion. Does what he says he will do and offers Express service for a bit more coin. Can’t beat him

    I am sorry for your hassles. Truly

    #32 1 year ago
    Quoted from GPS:

    Just a recommendation for vlive at Yhe Coinop Cauldron. Excellent work!! Answers phone calls!! Knows how to communicate in a timely fashion. Does what he says he will do and offers Express service for a bit more coin. Can’t beat him
    I am sorry for your hassles. Truly

    I second this. Clive is professional and does an excellent job!

    #33 1 year ago

    Another endorsement for Master Tech Chris Hibler, top notch all the way and well trusted. Hope things work out for you.

    #34 1 year ago

    if you where in Australia I would help you out .

    #35 1 year ago

    He claimed he was in hospital after a month went by. What concerns me is why he would package & ship and pay to return 4 of the 6 boards I sent without receiving a dime in payment? I offered to pay return shipping because of his health issues last time we spoke and he stated he wished he could fix them for free due to the time delay. If the goal was to rip me off why return some of them?

    #36 1 year ago

    I sent Chris Hibler five driver boards for repair. He was very communicative, quick and reasonably priced. I don't agree with replacing boards with new ones. It seems very cost prohibitive.

    #37 1 year ago
    Quoted from tomdrum:

    He claimed he was in hospital after a month went by. What concerns me is why he would package & ship and pay to return 4 of the 6 boards I sent without receiving a dime in payment? I offered to pay return shipping because of his health issues last time we spoke and he stated he wished he could fix them for free due to the time delay. If the goal was to rip me off why return some of them?

    Yea its a bit strange to send only 4 boards back out of 6 , is he answering your emails or have you tried to ring him .

    #38 1 year ago
    Quoted from Raff:

    Yea its a bit strange to send only 4 boards back out of 6 , is he answering your emails or have you tried to ring him .

    I have called every day for the 10 days almost, 2 rings then a disconnect. Texted as well.

    #39 1 year ago
    Quoted from tomdrum:

    I have called every day for the 10 days almost, 2 rings then a disconnect. Texted as well.

    Have you tried calling from a different phone number?? He may have your number on ignore.....

    #40 1 year ago
    Quoted from AUKraut:

    Have you tried calling from a different phone number?? He may have your number on ignore.....

    Tried with my number blocked, same thing. After looking at his address on google maps I can see his house. Same cube van parked for the last 6 years of photo's. A bunch of coin op equipment stored outside under a carport.

    #41 1 year ago

    I do appreciate the board repair recommendations. Most of the stuff I have now that needs repaired already had new header pins, caps etc. They were damaged from a malfunctioning component. Seeing some "flat rate pricing" for a Bally SDB for example, I thought it would cost less to find someone who could repair what was mostly a single component that needed replaced. That's was why I was looking for someone who could test and fix that one chip/socket or whatever. Jay (Guy who got my boards) had commented that by boards had been repaired previously by a very skilled tech. (Steve Kulpa).

    #42 1 year ago
    Quoted from pintechev:

    Another vote for Chris Hibler who does great work and is responsible.

    All my board work has been done by Chris. Great guy and very helpful with questions. Board repair is done at a great cost and also in a timely manner. Highly recommended.

    1 week later
    #44 1 year ago

    I agree, Clive over at coin op cauldron is the man. He's fixed a number of items for me. Always pretty fast and very reasonable with pricing.

    13
    #45 1 year ago

    UPDATE! Remaining boards just showed up without any communication or note.

    Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
    $ 11.95
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    ULEKstore
    From: $ 39.00
    Cabinet - Toppers
    Full Tilt Pinball LEDs
    $ 49.00
    Cabinet - Other
    Chrome Candy
    $ 48.00
    Cabinet - Other
    ModFather Pinball Mods
    $ 94.95
    Cabinet - Shooter Rods
    Super Skill Shot Shop
    $ 23.25
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    The MOD Couple
    $ 219.99
    $ 109.99
    $ 99.00
    Cabinet - Toppers
    Docquest Pinball Mods
    $ 24.25
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    The MOD Couple
    $ 999.00
    Flipper Parts
    Mircoplayfields
    From: $ 22.95
    Apparel - Men
    Great American Pinball
    $ 229.99
    Lighting - Other
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    From: $ 220.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    CzTV Mods
    $ 49.99
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    From: $ 19.99
    Eproms
    Matt's Basement Arcade
    From: $ 38.00
    Playfield - Other
    Pin Monk
    From: $ 21.95
    Apparel - Unisex
    Pinball Wheezer
    From: $ 99.99
    Cabinet - Other
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    $ 9.95
    Playfield - Protection
    ULEKstore
    $ 5.00
    $ 89.95
    Cabinet - Shooter Rods
    Super Skill Shot Shop
    $ 999.00
    Flipper Parts
    Mircoplayfields
    $ 25.00
    Apparel - Unisex
    Project Pinball Charity

    Hey there! Got a moment?

    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