This topic is closed.
1. Kev is not a scammer. He's a hobbyist like us. He wouldn't go to every show displaying Predator if he was a scammer. Anyone who states he is a criminal mastermind is absurd. Seriously, check your meds and stop trying to create false drama.
2. Predator is behind. Yup, sure is. So is (insert game name here besides Stern & DP).
3. Skit B sucks at communication. Let me say it again for dramatic purposes - sucks at communication. Whether you're an owner (especially an owner) of Predator or not it's lacking poorly.
4. Refunds should be honored based on Skit B's stated agreement to owners. Before official production begins, full refunds will be honored. No excuses here - you stated a policy and brand promise to your customer, keep it - period. Otherwise as an indy pin developer you're as bad as the big boys you positioned yourselves against. OP has right to come to boards if you don't reply to his emails. See #3 - this could all be avoided.
5. The only people that need to know when production will start and their game will be delivered are the 250 owners. See #3 unfortunately. Owners hope to one day have a private board to know what's happening.
So what did we learn? Communication could eliminate much of the natives carrying pitchforks jumping from MMr, Hobbit, JPOP and now Predator boards. You pinball makers want to embrace the community and leverage online to position yourselves as different than Stern and sell boutique pins - then act that way after you get our money not just before. You are one of us when you go back to acting like one of us - communicating honestly whether we like the message or not.
Marketing 101 - big or small you can't escape the basics once you have our deposit.
Quoted from DCFAN:
I would be freaking out right now if I had $3000+ down on this game with this lack of information.
I am already having a sick feeling in my stomach thinking about a couple of local friends that are in on this game.
I feel good. Whysnow is ready to up the bet and include his house. Predator will be here this year.
Quoted from RobT:
If anything, both examples are going to give more people serious pause before laying down cash on pre-orders from unproven companies.
I'm in on RAZA and Predator (For Jammer #9, build ~19) and bought a WOZ. I don't think I will ever go in on a preorder again based on my experience with all. I support what they are doing and wish them success. But will do so in the future without my preorder deposits. If we all spoke with our money and said enough with preorders maybe then all the boutiques would listen better.
Quoted from RobT:
If people like you didn't put money down on a game and company like JJP, and take a risk, that game (and company) probably wouldn't have made it.
I agree. Like many, at first I was happy - proud even - to help fund a start-up pinball company each of the three for different reasons. Each have disappointed for different reasons as they strayed from their mission statements to owners. Always time to mend those wounds but the lackluster effort to remedy by all is disappointing regardless if I eventually get my game or not.
I have WOZ in my possession and enjoy it. Still not erasing my disappointment in handling of things. But I wish them super success as I wait for the Hobbit in the secondary market.
Quoted from PopBumperPete:
No, only half
The other half are CEOs of fortune 500 corporations
Why aren't you waving the flag defending SkitB? I thought there is no reason to read the internet if your a small business owner. Now bake me a cake as fast as you can. You can roll it and knead it and mark it with a B for Badbilly
I'd suggest we move this discussion to
Maybe add a few community suggestions. I'm in on RAZA, Predator and was in on WOZ from start (now in my possession). I will not be in on another new boutique pin if the start ups continue to play David Copperfield.
Glad OP got his money back.
In summation & lessons learned:
1. If you invest/decide to buy a pinball machine from a boutique pinball company with "any" deposit down you are taking a risk.
2. Once money is given the (insert name here) boutique company SHOULD be communicating with owners progress & timelines; if not Danger Danger Will Robinson!! Consider getting out unless you plan to stay in for the long ride and roll dice on risk.
3. If you decide you want out, request a refund early per company stated policy. Expect that, while not right, it may take time as they are usually a few person shops. But you should get your money back.
4. Remember risk #1. As small shops gear up for production they order parts with....drum roll....your money. All the deposits are invested in parts to build said machines. If you want out close to this start, you will likely be delayed in your refund. The money is gone/invested. This is not a $10K machine, it's lower priced and thus lower cash reserves left once parts have been paid for - especially since waiting for final payment from most. There simply is little to no money to give back until final payments are made. Number 2 could help explain this if the boutiques subscribed to it.
Thus, new pinball start ups are a risk. You're not buying from Stern with a huge manufacturing company and legacy behind them. We all need to tread carefully before handing our money over in the future.
That's why the model is broken. Great, start ups are offering us choice (finally) and I applaud the nads on these guys. But you need to come in with some capital rather than relying on hobbyists to fund you then turn into David Copperfield with slight of hand changes or disappearing acts. How many small businesses fail each year? Expect the same in pinball. Australia MM will not be the only one once this golden age of pinball story is written. Mark my words.
This topic is closed.
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