Heighway Pinball support (Full Throttle and Alien)

(Topic ID: 201079)

Heighway Pinball support (Full Throttle and Alien)


By PartyKing

9 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 649 posts
  • 119 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 days ago by Kneissl
  • Topic is favorited by 41 Pinsiders

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Topic poll

“How well is Heighway supporting it's customers?”

  • I don't own a Heighway game 100 votes
    70%
  • I own a Heighway game, and the support has been great! 7 votes
    5%
  • I own a Heighway game, and the support has been OK. 13 votes
    9%
  • I own a Heighway game, and the support has NOT been OK. 11 votes
    8%
  • I own a Heighway game, and have received ZERO support despite many requests. 11 votes
    8%

(142 votes)

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16
#1 9 months ago

I've created this thread to discuss the support that customers receive from Heighway Pinball. I'd like to hear from as many folks as possible - both positive and negative. I also added a poll above.

I'll start. Despite MANY promises from both old and new Heighway, I still have not received the updated parts I need for my Alien. I have a pre-production machine that needs updated LED's, a new Xeno mech, and new drop targets in order to update the software. Until then, I'm stuck on version 0.94.

So as of now, I'd give new Heighway a failing grade on customer support, and you may want to consider that when thinking of buying a Heighway game.

EDIT: As of 2017/11/04, I have received some good communication from Heighway. So I would give them a 'B' on communication, but at the moment still failing on following through.

#2 9 months ago

Don't have one yet, but as an LE preorder, this is the kind of BS that really scares me and makes me want to jump ship even though it seems like a great game and is a dream theme of mine.

Good luck with getting your parts.

11
#3 9 months ago

It would be nice if they'd put manuals on their website.

#4 9 months ago

I posted on Heighways Facebook page, and received a reply from Helmut a short time later.

"Hi Brad, Sorry for the delay. I will get in contact with you shortly. Thanks"

So yes, at least for me, the communication hasn't been bad. But the actual follow-up .....still waiting.

#5 9 months ago

I just bought an alien and 10 lights in the middle are out, side art and backbox lighting might have an issue too. Game plays well otherwise. CT has reached out to HW and apparently they are talking through it now (10/24). I will keep this thread updated but the latest is that board replacements will be send to correct it. CT has been responsive and from what I've seen thus far, HW is speaking with them often. Let's see how this plays out but I would expect replacement parts should be sent quicker than full pinball machines just based on common sense.

#6 9 months ago

You might want to add to Poll #1 : I don't own a Heighway game, but want to in the future.

-1
#7 9 months ago
Quoted from spfxted:

You might want to add to Poll #1 : I don't own a Heighway game, but want to in the future.

Nope, try again.

#8 9 months ago

While I don't own Full Throttle or Alien, I do have a Cuba Libra from Heighway. I've contact them several times about extra parts they might have. Mainly was in contact with the "old" heighway pinball. Got a few messages of "we'll get back to you soon"; but never heard anything. Tried replying to the same email thread, got some bounce backs on the address; assuming because of the switch. Send a new message to whatever the generic contact email is, never heard anything back yet. Seems to be more of the same so far.

#9 9 months ago

Disappointing stuff. After service support will be critical here. Otherwise, we’re going to see a lot of disappointed owners a year or two from now.

#10 9 months ago

I wouldn't even consider buying a used Alien until I see many more buyers finally get theirs they paid for. THEN I'll wait longer to see what issues there are (already quite a few), THEN will wait longer to see if they are resolved and how long it took to receive support.

Oh, Aliens is a "grail theme"? Hang a nicely lit poster on the wall for now.

#11 9 months ago

we need a new poll option
I'm thinking about buying a Highway pinball, but want to see how this plays out first.
posted before I saw ted's post..

#12 9 months ago
Quoted from delt31:

I just bought an alien and 10 lights in the middle are out, side art and backbox lighting might have an issue too. Game plays well otherwise. CT has reached out to HW and apparently they are talking through it now (10/24). I will keep this thread updated but the latest is that board replacements will be send to correct it. CT has been responsive and from what I've seen thus far, HW is speaking with them often. Let's see how this plays out but I would expect replacement parts should be sent quicker than full pinball machines just based on common sense.

The big question is, did they really ship the game like that? or did it happen during shipping?

That's a bummer man.

#13 9 months ago

Don't know of any others in Minnesota but we got 3 coming in to the shipping depot tomorrow eve. Picking up Thursday.

#14 9 months ago

Thanks for starting this thread. These issues definitely need to be documented.

This weekend should be interesting, with many of the first batch CT units out for delivery. Curious to hear any issues new owners have out of the box.

#16 9 months ago

I suspect part of the reason for the silence, and stuttering recommencement of production, is because they are struggling to make board revisions (and probably Xeno mechs) which work reliably, and underestimated just how bad things were.

The new owners wanted to revise rather than totally redesign, in most cases, I think.

Whilst that decision may have been taken in good faith, in the end it may well end up costing them more time, money & frustrated customers than necessary. Certainly they should not have dribbled out handfuls of games through the summer, many of which broke down immediately, before the first larger shipments went out recently. A month or so was nowhere near enough time to get the house in order.

But they inherited a monumental mess, and had they not stepped in, with no realistic prospect of making money in the near term, everyone was totally screwed anyway. They are trying, I think, and they were screwed as much as anyone by Andrew, which people should try to remember, before they crucify them.

#17 9 months ago
Quoted from PoMC:

I wouldn't even consider buying a used Alien until I see many more buyers finally get theirs they paid for. THEN I'll wait longer to see what issues there are (already quite a few), THEN will wait longer to see if they are resolved and how long it took to receive support.

Then I'd wait to see if they're still a viable company in the first or second quarter of 2018.

#18 9 months ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

I suspect part of the reason for the silence, and stuttering recommencement of production, is because they are struggling to make board revisions (and probably Xeno mechs) which work reliably, and underestimated just how bad things were.
They wanted to revise rather than totally redesign, in most cases, I think.
In the end, that decision may well end up costing the new owners more time, money & frustrated customers than necessary. Certainly they should not have dribbled out handfuls of games through the summer, many of which broke down immediately, before the first larger shipments went out recently. A month or so was nowhere near enough time to get the house in order.
But they inherited a monumental mess, and had they not stepped in, with no realistic prospect of making money in the near term, everyone was totally screwed anyway. They are trying, I think, and they were screwed as much as anyone by Andrew, which people should try to remember, before they crucify them.

That might all be true. But making promises, not honoring them and then stop communicating is going to have fatal concequences for them in the end. Their culture has to change to customer intimacy and Heighway should do anything now to make all their current customers happy. Only that will generate new business and open a possible window for them to survive the hard world of Pinball manufacturing. If they do not get their act together now and provide their (potential) customers with open and transparant communication and actions they will be out of business sooner than later.

#19 9 months ago

It’s amazing how much crap people will go through, and how crappy a company people will put up with.
Who’da thought threads like this were coming...... next up ...... “I can’t believe HW closed their doors” thread.

#20 9 months ago
Quoted from PinballRulez:

That might all we'll be true. But making promises, not honoring them and then stop communicating is going to have fatal concequences for them in the end. Their culture has to change to customer intimacy and that should do anything now to make all their current customers happy. Only that will generate new business and open a possible window for them to survive the hard world of Pinball manufacturing. If they do not get their act together now and provide their (potential) customers with open and transparant communication and actions they will be out of business sooner than later.

Whether intended or not, the pre-existing staff will have developed many bad habits under the previous regime. Some of which are probably all too easy to continue, especially as the job is probably hard, thankless, and there is little good news to give anyone; even if they are now paid consistently.

There needs to be new, permanent on-site management that can be trusted, and a team, not one person. None of the investors are going to permanently relocate.

Anyway, yeah. They're between a rock and a hard place. But they knew they'd be up to their necks, going in, so hopefully they can achieve something more than just bailing out some people & businesses who were out a lot of money.

-1
#21 9 months ago

Well, delt31 just had his playfield LCD crap out on him... see his pic below.

29974151f23ac49798cbc454d398a59a9e446701 (resized).jpg

#22 9 months ago

Don't own HP pin.. I thought Full Throttle was very fun and challenging... Waited... So not sure what to do now... Hurry up and be patient I am thinking. NT> Hope they can all get along and get things up and going soon.

#23 9 months ago

Took a year for us to get our replacement playfield monitor for Full Throttle.
Just got it in a few weeks ago and then sold the game.
Had enough.

#24 9 months ago

Yes - my playfield monitor just crapped out. This is 3 days owning a brand new production Alien (along with a board issue impacting lights and likely another impacting backlight and side lights not working).

I'm not looking for a refund - working with CT on a replacement that I can check out first as I plan on bringing back in person (live 4 hours away).

The game is a huge hit in my house - great pinball game - I just hope I got a lemon. Will keep you posted.

#25 9 months ago
Quoted from Arcade:

Took a year for us to get our replacement playfield monitor for Full Throttle.
Just got it in a few weeks ago and then sold the game.
Had enough.

A few weeks ago means the new Heighway at least has some of their tech support gears turning. Hopefully they get that ramped up now that a decent stream of games are moving out of the factory.

#26 9 months ago
Quoted from SunKing:

I've created this thread to discuss the support that customers receive from Heighway Pinball. I'd like to hear from as many folks as possible - both positive and negative. I also added a poll above.
I'll start. Despite MANY promises from both old and new Heighway, I still have not received the updated parts I need for my Alien. I have a pre-production machine that needs updated LED's, a new Xeno mech, and new drop targets in order to update the software. Until then, I'm stuck on version 0.94.
So as of now, I'd give new Heighway a failing grade on customer support, and you may want to consider that when thinking of buying a Heighway game.

I'm in the exact same situation. Helmut sometimes replies to my emails, but for the most part, i can't get any response. I'm pretty patient, but it's been like 6 months. If they could just give updates as to what the issues are, that would be most helpful. I really like this game too. And it gets tons of attention at the museum. Would really like to show it off in the best possible light...

#27 9 months ago
Quoted from delt31:

Yes - my playfield monitor just crapped out. This is 3 days owning a brand new production Alien (along with a board issue impacting lights and likely another impacting backlight and side lights not working).
I'm not looking for a refund - working with CT on a replacement that I can check out first as I plan on bringing back in person (live 4 hours away).
The game is a huge hit in my house - great pinball game - I just hope I got a lemon. Will keep you posted.

Quoted from cfh:

I'm in the exact same situation. Helmut sometimes replies to my emails, but for the most part, i can't get any response. I'm pretty patient, but it's been like 6 months. If they could just give updates as to what the issues are, that would be most helpful. I really like this game too. And it gets tons of attention at the museum. Would really like to show it off in the best possible light...

It sounds like they still haven't gotten a handle on all the issues, so it may be of limited usefulness to even get replacement parts at the moment.

#28 9 months ago

I don't blame anyone for wanting one of it's there grail. But.....as soon as there were new investors that should have been a big red flag for anyone with money/games at risk. I said this in the main thread but will state again here....
No one wants to see this company fail and I truly hope they don't. If these new investors truly have the money to see this through the only way to make everything right is to immediately refund EVERYONE. Once they are ready to ship then and only then should they take a dime from anyone. This would show buyers they are for real and do not need new sales to pay for games that have not shipped. They have done nothing to show anyone they have enough to refund everyone and many had a hard time getting refunds. People should be running away from this as fast as they can. This company has a lot to prove if they are gonna be around for the long haul....in 2-3 years what are owners gonna do when they need parts/support? Not being able to get parts or support......I will pass and shocked anyone would want in at this point.

I hope they turn it around as I like some of the ideas they had and would have considered a pin from Heighway at some point.

Hope they make it right for everyone!

#29 9 months ago
Quoted from delt31:

Yes - my playfield monitor just crapped out. This is 3 days owning a brand new production Alien (along with a board issue impacting lights and likely another impacting backlight and side lights not working).
I'm not looking for a refund - working with CT on a replacement that I can check out first as I plan on bringing back in person (live 4 hours away).
The game is a huge hit in my house - great pinball game - I just hope I got a lemon. Will keep you posted.

Not off to a great start...... hopefully it gets worked out but id be worried if i were in your shoes.

#30 9 months ago
Quoted from bigd1979:

Not off to a great start...... hopefully it gets worked out but id be worried if i were in your shoes.

No need to worry bigd. Game will be replaced/fixed or money back. Dealing with CT here and I'm not going to sit around for months to figure it out. The game itself is amazing and I'm enjoying it even more than DI right now. It's a good time to pinball if you ask me.

#31 9 months ago
Quoted from delt31:

No need to worry bigd. Game will be replaced/fixed or money back. Dealing with CT here and I'm not going to sit around for months to figure it out. The game itself is amazing and I'm enjoying it even more than DI right now. It's a good time to pinball if you ask me.

Yep ct are great people.... just a shame about aliens....it has potential but not sure if its all gonna work out.

-3
#32 9 months ago
Quoted from delt31:

No need to worry bigd. Game will be replaced/fixed or money back. Dealing with CT here and I'm not going to sit around for months to figure it out. The game itself is amazing and I'm enjoying it even more than DI right now. It's a good time to pinball if you ask me.

Id be terrified and pissed considering the backbox is out, it scores by hitting the flippers, playfield lights are out or flash the wrong color, and the monitor is dead..... that’s amazing? Give it a few days and maybe one flipper still works but I’m sure you will still enjoy it more than DI
PS: Who is going to fix or replace or refund these?

#33 9 months ago
Quoted from mountaingamer:

Id be terrified and pissed considering the backbox is out, it scores by hitting the flippers, playfield lights are out or flash the wrong color, and the monitor is dead..... that’s amazing? Give it a few days and maybe one flipper still works but I’m sure you will still enjoy it more than DI
PS: Who is going to fix or replace or refund these?

MountainGamer - you need to buy a new iphone and calm down. CT is all over this. The flippers don't score by themselves - that was a stuck switch already fixed by me. There are 10 lights out same string def solder issue. The backlights were going to be replaced anyway with RGB but I would like to figure it out with HW. Monitor the same - although it rebooted and worked again - need to keep an eye on it but I've been told it might be a loose connection apparently.

Bottom line - the game itself plays well but I need to get these issues resolved and I'm confident they will. I'm still enjoying the hell out of the gameplay, sound, etc. It's a very good game. Behind me is a dialed in and that is really good too. Again two different games but Alien is right up there with it and is my leading pin right now.

#34 9 months ago

Can’t wait to take your advice!

3D88AE34-DEC4-4950-824F-E126DF193236 (resized).png

#35 9 months ago

haha - I knew I could count on your for the X! It does look nice but that price : (

#36 9 months ago
Quoted from delt31:

haha - I knew I could count on your for the X! It does look nice but that price : (

Dang delt - we all buy things that make us happy..... sorry ive been raining on the HW parade and hope all you new owners are taken care of...... you all deserve better so here’s hoping they come around!

#37 9 months ago
Quoted from delt31:

Game will be replaced/fixed or money back.

Is this from Ct? Phew! That's at least some relief for your mind...

#38 9 months ago
Quoted from mountaingamer:

Dang delt - we all buy things that make us happy..... sorry ive been raining on the HW parade and hope all you new owners are taken care of...... you all deserve better so here’s hoping they come around!

no worries - enjoy the phone.

spfxted - that's CT. Replacement lined up already as I still very much want the game. It's awesome.

#39 9 months ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

I suspect part of the reason for the silence, and stuttering recommencement of production, is because they are struggling to make board revisions (and probably Xeno mechs) which work reliably, and underestimated just how bad things were.
The new owners wanted to revise rather than totally redesign, in most cases, I think.
Whilst that decision may have been taken in good faith, in the end it may well end up costing them more time, money & frustrated customers than necessary. Certainly they should not have dribbled out handfuls of games through the summer, many of which broke down immediately, before the first larger shipments went out recently. A month or so was nowhere near enough time to get the house in order.
But they inherited a monumental mess, and had they not stepped in, with no realistic prospect of making money in the near term, everyone was totally screwed anyway. They are trying, I think, and they were screwed as much as anyone by Andrew, which people should try to remember, before they crucify them.

Could not agree more. I discussed with a friend last week who has first hand experience in (wood) manufacturing. He visited the HP "factory" during the UK pinball party in 2015 (?). According to him a single device was actually really functional at that time (the one creating foam for final packaging of the games - Oh the irony...). I wish I had known earlier - I would have posted it.

The new team probably underestimated the colossal mess HP was. Andrew managed to keep a smoke screen and everyone daring to criticize HP was shot down in flames. I love how I was myself reported to the mods (!) when I simply copied/pasted quotes Andrew made since 2014 (posts made in the main Alien thread).

The new team may not be the best at communicating, but at least they are trying. Without them, the company would be bankrupt and all preorder money would be lost. The game currently has some flaws, but it also has merits with excellent theme integration (very immersive) decent artwork package, a nice Xenomorph toy and an original layout. Hopefully problems will be sorted out.

#40 9 months ago
Quoted from mountaingamer:

Can’t wait to take your advice!

As a die hard Apple fan, I had to go with the 8. I use Apple Pay multiple times daily and having to auth the phone with facial recognition is a non starter to me. I have no problem with the feature for certain things but I’m not going to stand in line at a shop and pre-auth Apple Pay by looking like a teenage girl taking a selfie.

#41 9 months ago
Quoted from Drenden:

As a die hard Apple fan, I had to go with the 8. I use Apple Pay multiple times daily and having to auth the phone with facial recognition is a non starter to me. I have no problem with the feature for certain things but I’m not going to stand in line at a shop and pre-auth Apple Pay by looking like a teenage girl taking a selfie.

1. Is facial recognition the only way way to authorize a payment? I thought you could still use thumb.
2. Is the iPhone X also the 10 (Roman numerals)?

#43 9 months ago

It’s a real shame. Alien is brilliant. They are very creative, but execution remains to be seen. Right now they should concentrate on PR. Be honest, explain the challenges. Even if the news is bad. If you are honest, I think prospective owners will give them a lot of rope (slack). I met Andrew in person. He convinced me that if I bought Full Throttle and Alien up front, he would put me to the front of the production line. I took a chance, finally ‘pulled the plug’, paid for both games in full including air freight, only to discover a few weeks later that he was ‘on the way out’. I didn’t expect he would look me in the eyes and lie so flagrantly. He committed fraud, plain and simple. He was the CEO of Heighway. The company is obligated to fill that order in a reasonable period of time.... or they can pay legal fees to try and defend against a lawsuit. Hopefully they will see the logic in doing the former. I’m not sure the new owners are going to be able to pull this off. Maybe it takes an American company like JJP or Spooky to offer a true competitive alternative to Stern.

#44 9 months ago

@ delt31 are you exchanging you Alien with another that CT got in the first shipment(21 or whatever was the first number sent)?
If so then does the person who was supposed to get your replacement have to now wait for the next shipment, or is your replacement coming in another shipment?

#45 9 months ago
Quoted from jlm33:

He visited the HP "factory" during the UK pinball party in 2015 (?). According to him a single device was actually really functional at that time (the one creating foam for final packaging of the games - Oh the irony...).

Ha. I was on the same factory tour and other than the fancy printer your bang on. Everything else was two weeks out. It’s a good job they never pursued commissioning that big CNC router for the play fields as think we would still be waiting now for the white wood !

#46 9 months ago

We got 3 Aliens coming in Minnesota today at the shipping depot. I'm sure there will be pics and input coming by the weekend.

#48 9 months ago
Quoted from Davidus56:

I didn’t expect he would look me in the eyes and lie so flagrantly.

Me either, but you are not alone. At TPF, Andrew told me several times that all I needed was a new board for the Xeno, and that it should be available "in a couple weeks". I asked him "are you sure it's not months away?" "No, no, it won't be months - promise"

I was optimistic when new ownership was announced, but here it is over seven months later, and I'm still stuck on code version 0.94. Turns out I need much more than just a new Xeno board. In order to update code I need an all new Xeno mech, replace every GI LED, replace the drop target mech - and I'm hearing a new PC too. And that's not to mention the other issues like the playfield LCD that doesn't work, or the broken facehuggers. I've been 'promised' a completely populated playfield replacement with new PC - was promised that would be in the container Cointaker received last week. ....I'm loosing count of the broken promises.

#49 9 months ago
Quoted from cosmokramer:

@ delt31 are you exchanging you Alien with another that CT got in the first shipment(21 or whatever was the first number sent)?
If so then does the person who was supposed to get your replacement have to now wait for the next shipment, or is your replacement coming in another shipment?

Your question is a good one but it presumes that all machines were pre-sold. I have doubts if they were.

#50 9 months ago
Quoted from cosmokramer:

or is your replacement coming in another shipment?

He said second shipment I believe....

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