(Topic ID: 102150)

Pinside Ethisist: Informing Operators


By Robotoes

6 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 25 posts
  • 20 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by phishrace
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 6 years ago

I've already reconciled this in my head, but just wondering what the consensus was.

Is it wrong to not inform an operator (who you do not agree with - about upkeep, business practices, etc) about a problem with one of their machines on location? An issue that only minorly effects game play, but poses problems for the quality of the machine over the long-term?

#2 6 years ago

Not if you never want to deal with them again. Operators know their machines, and they also know that as long as quarters keep dropping into them, they are fine. Your telling them that something is wrong is akin to telling your wife that dress doesn't make her look THAT fat.,

#3 6 years ago

I told a local op about a problem with his theatre of magic years ago.

He pulled it off route, sold it to Treasurecove, and put a LW3 in its place.

The LW3 was just as broken as the TOM was...

Didn't help me out. Maybe your luck will be better than mine

#4 6 years ago

Operators will do what they want and do it for money not for pinball or to even make the businesses they are in happy in the end. It's about getting every last quarter out of a game until they must part it out or sell it.

If you find an operator that gives a shit then thank them and help them however you can.

No, collector operators like myself should be told whenever they can be about any issue no matter how small.
No, we will no fix every tiny little thing you make not like about our games, but we'll do our best.

#5 6 years ago

In times of internet you have to listen to your customers otherwise they complain in forums .
I have my cell phone number on every machine and people call me if there is a problem .
I have also a good relation to some players .
In general they write positive about my machines , me and the locations .
The best advise to operators is love your machines and play , repair them yourself .
Money earning is second .

-1
#6 6 years ago
Quoted from Robotoes:

I've already reconciled this in my head, but just wondering what the consensus was.
Is it wrong to not inform an operator (who you do not agree with - about upkeep, business practices, etc) about a problem with one of their machines on location? An issue that only minorly effects game play, but poses problems for the quality of the machine over the long-term?

That's quite the quandary you have there. On one hand, you want to do the right thing and report an obvious problem, small as it may be. By doing so, you would help not just yourself, but everyone else who plays the game. On the other hand, you obviously don't care for how he conducts his business.

Ordinarily I usually recommend folks try to contact the operator at least once to get repairs made. You've obviously already made contact with this op in the past and have not had satisfactory results. As a regular location player, I also have to consider your location. Things are getting better in your area, but there's still a long way to go.

As a location player first and an operator second, I give my blessing for you to play the hell out of his games and not tell him about minor issues. Nothing that would hurt the game obviously, but if it's good enough to have fun on, by all means get selfish and keep the minor problems to yourself. As long as your dropping quarters, you're doing good for the hobby. Thank you.

Quoted from Patofnaud:

Operators know their machines, and they also know that as long as quarters keep dropping into them, they are fine. Your telling them that something is wrong is akin to telling your wife that dress doesn't make her look THAT fat.,

Nonsense. My games are just about always clean and working 100%, but I appreciate when folks let me know about problems. If it's a legit concern, it's fixed within 24 hours.

#7 6 years ago

A good op will welcome feedback and want to know if something needs fixing, no matter how minor. A bad op won't want to hear it and will only check to see that the coin mechs and dba are working. If an op pulls a machine that isn't working properly, I know I wouldn't miss it because I wouldn't put money in it anyway.

#8 6 years ago

As a collector operator, PLEASE TELL ME of any problem you experience. No matter how small, I like to know when things go woring so I can address them.

I don't do it for the $$$, because if I did it woudl be stupid. I do it for the love of pinball and there is nothing better than the smiling faces and new people I meet from doing it. On the rare ocassion when I walk in and see a family or a group of buddies playing on 4 perfect playing machines (that they personally can not do anywhere else in the immediate area) it is all the payment required to keep going with this silly experiement.

Tell your operators when you notice issues and if they blow you off then THEY are the one with the issue.

#9 6 years ago

Interesting responses. I'm not convinced that "operators know their machines" -- at least not this one. I do agree that they'll do whatever they want, and unless they're a collector/member of the community, this will usually = the least amount possible to keep pulling dollars.

Quoted from phishrace:

Nothing that would hurt the game obviously, but if it's good enough to have fun on, by all means get selfish and keep the minor problems to yourself. As long as your dropping quarters, you're doing good for the hobby. Thank you.

I was really on the fence about this one because it's something that will hurt the game. Missing shooter rod rubber. If his attention to previously missing rubbers is any indication - this could sit unattended to for a long, long time. I also know that the balls in the machine haven't been replaced in quite some time. So - spinning ball of death, tearing up a pf.

Ho hum. I informed him. Hate to see games damaged.

#10 6 years ago

We really don't get to see the machines very much. It depends on the size of the operation, but here collectors are the only ones who see machines in the field, unless someone is called for something else. Even then, unless the problem is glaring, the field techs won't notice it most of the time.

#11 6 years ago

it depends on the place and the operator. I would like to think that you shouldn't have to worry about "hurting someone's feelings" in telling them about issues with the games that they have on route. a good operator will take the comment as constructive criticism and address the issue.

operators that don't care or those that give you grief for pointing out issues shouldn't be in the business in the first place. they have to remember that if their machines aren't playing well or parts are broken/worn, people won't drop money into them. additionally, those people will tell their friends (and other nearby customers) to avoid the machines as well.

#12 6 years ago

At Modern Pinball no-one seems to have a problem with pointing out an issue with a machine.

Some point out issues as if you caused the issue to happen to them on purpose.

Most want you to stop working on a machine to fix the one they are playing YESTERDAY.

Some point out issues more than others, much more than others, as they find something wrong with any machine they play.

Had a guy come over to me just yesterday complaining that the machine Tilted on him when he shook it!!!!!!

Many more complain about a LOCKED ball as being stuck!!!!!!!!

However, I appreciate it when someone finds something wrong and try to correct it right away.

Typical are complaints that a machine isn't level and I have to prove to their unbelieving eyes that it is .

Once I had to stop working on a machine as the player was insistent that the machine he was playing was not level. I used 2 different levels on two points on the playfield to prove him wrong. The guy didn't believe the results or the levels and used his own iPhone leveling app and it showed the machine was perfect and HE still grumbled that it was not.
He then took a ball in hand placed it in the center of the playfield and released it. It drained dead center between the flippers . He said under his breath "I don't know" shaking his head. I could see he was still not satisfied but decided to deal with it.

Bottom line is if an operator does not know that a problem exists they can't fix it so please inform them but please do so in a nice manner.

#13 6 years ago

I have no problem telling an operator if their machines aren't working. In fact, at our league location, I will often send the operator an email with the issues I've noticed so he can fix them before league night.

As for machines in poor condition, I never hesitate to tell an operator that their machines aren't up to snuff. Maybe they make some money in poor condition, but I'd wager that is money that is spent by a series of people who walk up, pop in 50 cents and then walk away disgusted. It does the hobby a disservice to have machines that aren't well maintained on location, because it discourages new players from trying again.

I also light them up on pinball map and Yelp.

Does that make me a dick? Maybe. I'd like to think more along the lines of crusader.

#14 6 years ago

One of our biggest local operators still has a bunch of pins from 70's-90's on route. They started operating pins before they had flippers. MM and SP were their last NIB pins and they're happy if they eject balls and collect money. He calls me to fix or buy the broken pins because they don't have any employees that can properly maintain or repair them anymore.

#15 6 years ago

I was thinking about putting a couple of my pins on location. What is the typical deal with operators and business owners? 80/20 ? 70/30 ?

#16 6 years ago

50/50

#17 6 years ago

I've had deals from 50/50 to 70/30. depends on value of game and prices to play.

#18 6 years ago

I emailed an operator about a location where all 6 of their Stern games all had old code …I went back a week later, and they were all updated!

#19 6 years ago
Quoted from Eddie:

At Modern Pinball no-one seems to have a problem with pointing out an issue with a machine.
Some point out issues as if you caused the issue to happen to them on purpose.
Most want you to stop working on a machine to fix the one they are playing YESTERDAY.
Some point out issues more than others, much more than others, as they find something wrong with any machine they play.
Had a guy come over to me just yesterday complaining that the machine Tilted on him when he shook it!!!!!!
Many more complain about a LOCKED ball as being stuck!!!!!!!!
However, I appreciate it when someone finds something wrong and try to correct it right away.
Typical are complaints that a machine isn't level and I have to prove to their unbelieving eyes that it is .
Once I had to stop working on a machine as the player was insistent that the machine he was playing was not level. I used 2 different levels on two points on the playfield to prove him wrong. The guy didn't believe the results or the levels and used his own iPhone leveling app and it showed the machine was perfect and HE still grumbled that it was not.
He then took a ball in hand placed it in the center of the playfield and released it. It drained dead center between the flippers . He said under his breath "I don't know" shaking his head. I could see he was still not satisfied but decided to deal with it.
Bottom line is if an operator does not know that a problem exists they can't fix it so please inform them but please do so in a nice manner.

I've still yet to meet you, but when I do - I will make sure and give you a really hard time about the level!

Kidding aside - you have to expect that kind of thing there. So many random walk-ins.

#20 6 years ago
Quoted from Eddie:

I used 2 different levels on two points on the playfield to prove him wrong.

That's hilarious.. nah nah, that bubble has an agenda, use the other one!

If it helps, I thought the games at Modern played great while I was out there. I was impressed to see a tech working his way around the games. Knowing how grumpy I get while working on fixes, I kept my distance, but appreciate the work you and others do on location games.

#21 6 years ago

Letting an operator know about issues saves him time. Of course, "the game is messed up " doesn't help much at all. Players can usually be more specific. Thanks

#22 6 years ago

As an op, I would prefer that someone tells me of any issue even if I seemingly ignored notifications in the past. And then leave it to me to prioritize the repair. Dialog with the player would be welcomed, to help understand the issue more clearly.

#23 6 years ago

I just ask for my quarter back.

#24 6 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

I just ask for my quarter back.

Most locations won't refund lost money or for games not working.

LTG : )™

#25 6 years ago
Quoted from Robotoes:

I was really on the fence about this one because it's something that will hurt the game. Missing shooter rod rubber. If his attention to previously missing rubbers is any indication - this could sit unattended to for a long, long time. I also know that the balls in the machine haven't been replaced in quite some time. So - spinning ball of death, tearing up a pf.
Ho hum. I informed him. Hate to see games damaged.

Painful as it may have been, you did the right thing. Nice work. In the future, option C could be the post it note trick. Write problem on post it, then tape post it to top of playfield glass (don't use duct tape). I'm not a fan of this as a player or an op, but it might work for your situation. Technically, you're sorta defacing his game by taping a note to the glass. But, you're also both reporting a potentially damaging problem to the operator and letting others know of the problem. You get in a quick jab, but he can't call a foul.

Quoted from LTG:

Most locations won't refund lost money or for games not working.
LTG : )™

Mine do, even though the signs say no. It doesn't happen often, but the business owners are savvy enough to know if it's legit or not. Last week I cleared 8 dimes and a bunch of quarters out of a coin slot on WPT. I hope whoever put the 8 dimes in wasn't expecting their nickel in change!

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