(Topic ID: 294291)

TAF Purchase - Need feedback, was this restored, should we keep?

By TAFSWFL

4 months ago


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  • Latest reply 4 months ago by bsobie
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There are 95 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 4 months ago

EDIT: Wow, thank you for all the fast responses. I am unable to reply on my new post due to the fact that I am not verified yet. This was what was written on the company website: "we take pride in our pinball restoration process, which is why all our refurbished pinball machines come with the most competitive warranty in the business. This machine has been fully refurbished in both playability and appearance."

Obviously, this is not what we received. My husband had asked for pictures, but they didn't provide them until right before delivery. When he asked where the machine came from the owner stated that he did not know. We do realize that the game is not worth what was paid in the current condition. What we are not sure of is whether this machine is salvageable and what the cost range would be to get it to where it should be if we tried to negotiate a significant discount and send it to be redone ourselves. (The mansion wasn't stickers, I appear to have stated this wrong, but the playfield has peeled up so that the sills are missing). Trying to add some photos below. Again, this was not the condition we expected, but being new, we wanted to ensure our gut was right.

Original Post:
My husband purchased a TAF machine for me for my birthday. It was delivered Friday afternoon. We have wanted one for years, but this is our first pinball game so excuse my lack of knowledge of technical terms. It was purchased from a game room company (can be found in malls, etc). They stated that they had the machine in the shop for 2 weeks working on it prior to delivery, site says that they do a full restoration. It arrived with a freshly painted cabinet, new playfield glass, and new flippers and bumper rubbers.

There are a number of things we noticed, get to that list in a second, but within 24 hours of delivery the lower right flipper started flipping at 1/2 speed. We opened it up and found that a wire had come free. We re-soldered the wire and were good to go within an hour. After another few hours of playing the center piece of the left triangle bumper where Morticia sits, got stuck in the out position. This created a hot smell and smoke in the cabinet. We immediately shut it off. We turned on again in a few minutes to see if it was just hot or needed to reset, and it was still stuck so we shut it off immediately. Prior to this, we felt that the triangle bumpers were loose, and less reactive than we expected. We had called the owner when the flipper started acting up, and he said he would send someone out Tuesday morning (birthday party is Tuesday night) and that he would make it right, and doubled down on the fact that it had been in the shop and worked on for 2 weeks.

We tend to feel that they painted the cabinet, replaced a few bulbs, and flipper rubbers, and called it good. We are obviously incredibly disappointed. We have been doing a ton of research, reading, and watching YouTube tutorials, and the more that we read the more disappointed we are. Understanding that this is a 30 year old game, we had a different expectation of what the condition of the machine should have been, given a full restoration.

These are the items that we have noticed, aside from the 2 listed above:
- Thing flips does not engage/work
- Flicker lights in top cabinet were removed and replaced with solid LEDs (1 is out)
- Left speaker does not work
- Ball constantly catches on swamp to left, requiring tilt to release - also catches behind bookcase, but the machine releases this fine
- Volume will not go below 8
- Plunger box is cracked and overlaps at left side
- Mansion stickers are peeled and torn, along with a small raised fissure just above left flipper
- Ball falls off of bear kicks ramp just before hitting round cage at right approximately 20-25% of the time
- Thing hits ball on lower half of box when pulling in, and is really filthy
- 2 Tower lights not working at all
- Wear in wood at tunnel entrances
- Upper cabinet interior very dusty, lower cabinet appears to have no new soldering or items
- Top of playfield measures 1.4 degrees higher at top of playfield than bottom (not sure if this is normal, based on leveling of another machine it didn't appear to be)

At this point, we are unsure how to proceed. We are not sure if we should keep this cabinet, let him fix the issues, and restore to our specs, ask for a discount, so we can have this done ourselves, or return the unit and look elsewhere for a machine that has been restored properly. The machine was around $12K (not sure of actual as it was a gift but I know that is in the ballpark). We liked the fact, being newbies, that the machine was under warrantee and guaranteed for a year, as we do not have a lot of experience, but not sure if we have confidence at this point. I appreciate your advice, input, as I have monitored this site for awhile and used it to look for games in the wild to play.

Happy to upload any pictures, I honestly wasn't sure what would or wouldn't be helpful.
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#3 4 months ago

Send it back. A $12k The Addams Family should be perfect, all new parts and playfield, no cabinet damage or blemishes.

#4 4 months ago

A 12k TAF should have no real issues and should look pretty close to new or better. A lot of retail sellers ask/get absolute top dollar and a lot of time more than fair market value.

If the seller sticks with great and timely service for the year they stated and you are happy with the appearances of the pin itself, then I wouldn’t worry with it.

Personally I think you overpaid being there are “stickers” peeling off the playfield and the other issues you pointed out.

#5 4 months ago

Did they actually market it as restored? What you described is shopping the game, not restoring it. Basically they cleaned it up and replaced the rubbers and probably a few bulbs. A fully restored TAF would probably be pushing on $12k, but the game would have to be perfect. The TAF you're describing is robbery at that price-point.

#6 4 months ago

Real classy response to a lady making her first post asking for help.

#7 4 months ago

Contact the company immediately and ask to return the machine.
If you receive any pushback, contact your credit card company and file a chargeback.

#8 4 months ago

I would remove this post. Posts like this make new pinball owners uncomfortable and do nothing to add positivity to the hobby.

#9 4 months ago

There is a degree of shakedown after a game gets a LOT of work done, but with what you paid you would hope that had all been done.

It sounds like you guys have a good understanding of that. The wire coming off the flipper or a switch sticking, bulbs coming loose, things like that are all understandable... but a slingshot locking on is a significant issue.

Plus some of your other descriptions, especially of the playfield, are alarming. There certainly shouldn’t be any stickers on mansion.

Addams is a desirable game but you’d hope for 12k you’re getting damn close to perfection... let’s see if your seller can make it right.

#10 4 months ago

It would be nice to get some pics.flipper assemblies and inside backbox etc. The people on this group can help determine if it's worth returning or some simple adjustments.

-2
#11 4 months ago

Sorry for the bluntness but it is what it is

-1
#12 4 months ago
Quoted from pinballplusMN:

I would remove this post. Posts like this make new pinball owners uncomfortable and do nothing to add positivity to the hobby.

Sorry I only speak the truth and I'm rough on the edges.moderators can do as they please.

#13 4 months ago

To address one of the minor issues; go into the adjustments and look for one called Minimum Volume Override or something like that. Turn it to Yes and then you can adjust the volume all the way down to Zero if you want.

*After seeing the pictures; take the refund and run. Not worth trying to fix the known issues on a game you paid over twice what its worth.

#14 4 months ago
Quoted from pinballplusMN:

It would be nice to get some pics.flipper assemblies and inside backbox etc. The people on this group can help determine if it's worth returning or some simple adjustments.

Pictures would definitely help, but the description of issues and condition alone certainly makes it sound like they paid $6k too much. If they can I think they're better off returning it and going elsewhere.

#15 4 months ago

Sorry for your experience. Based on your description. if it was advertised as a full restoration, you should seek a refund/return. Everything you describe sounds like a typical players condition TAF machine and hardly anywhere near restored. Restored means a new playfield (or stripped and redone) and many new parts, you should not see worn to wood, broken anything or peeling mansion inserts. Hopefully you paid by credit card and not check or cash.

Balls flying off the ramp or getting stuck might mean the game isn’t pitched steep enough so raise the back legs up higher.

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#16 4 months ago

Wow, after seeing the pictures in your updated post...you were absolutely robbed. That thing is beat and has some pretty bad insert wear. Do whatever you can to return it, that game is worth maybe $6k in today's market.

#17 4 months ago

Just one picture - of the inserts at the mansion shows that OP was ripped off by the seller. Just the mansion wear alone makes this a $6k game without seeing anything else.

#18 4 months ago

Wow. Sorry to hear you got robbed. Hopefully you can send it back and get a refund.

Also please share the name of this company so other know to avoid them in the future.

#19 4 months ago

Omg return it ASAP if at all possible. For 12k it should be flawless and then some. It that condition it’s half that price. Look for a seller here on Pinside, buy from a collector who has cared for the machine, and go see the game in person and play it and inspect it using all you’ve learned before buying. Sorry this happened try to get through it and join this great hobby. People here will help.

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#20 4 months ago

I donated so I could reply:

The owner messaged back with this response: "Well the chat groups are a good place for objective insight. Restoration means different things to different people that's why I told XXX to invite you down to the shop to play the machine before we delivered it if you'd like we can pick it up and refund your money or we can pick it up and go through your punchlist whatever you prefer."

My husband was invited to come down (1.5 hour drive), but after talking to the restorer, who stated that it had been taken apart and had a "full resto" and looked great, he just wanted to have it delivered asap to surprise me. I am so disappointed for my husband, as he was attempting to buy me the perfect gift, only for this to happen and I know he feels bad at the way that it all went down. However, I would have been more disappointed if we had kept it. <sigh>.

I sincerely appreciate everyone's feedback on this, and confirming our gut feelings on this. Now that I am a "bona-fide" member I hope to lurk more and be in a better place to have the knowledge to purchase our next one.

#21 4 months ago

That's a $6K TAF????? With that level of PF wear???? I woukdnt touch that for above $3K.

You're talking a full playfield swap, which I'm betting 95% on here won't even think of attempting. I cant imagine the electrical issues in this game as well. That is a THOROUGH project waiting for someone with skilled labor.

For example, the slideshot solenoid being stuck is probably a failed transistor, which means more than likely the power driver board is coming out and a desoldering gun will be needed to swap out a new transistor.

I am digressing here. The original poster needs to get a full refund and than deal with someone like Little Shop of Games (local distributor is going to be their best friend while the "hand holding" phase of ownership is completed).

If this is a $6K TAF, mine is going to be $10K plus after PF swap, ramps swap and plastics swap....holy cow.

#22 4 months ago

Get your money back and buy a machine from a collector here on Pinside with a good reputation.

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#23 4 months ago
Quoted from TAFSWFL:

if you'd like we can pick it up and refund your money

Do this and run away.

#24 4 months ago

As they are offering to take the return just return it and move on. Dont get further entangled with this seller.

#25 4 months ago

Just looking at the pics I can see why the left sling is bad. You can see the lugs almost shorting on the bracket. Coil in wrong. Looks to be wrong bracket too. Flipper mechs look almost original.

#26 4 months ago
Quoted from TAFSWFL:

I donated so I could reply:
The owner messaged back with this response: "Well the chat groups are a good place for objective insight. Restoration means different things to different people that's why I told XXX to invite you down to the shop to play the machine before we delivered it if you'd like we can pick it up and refund your money or we can pick it up and go through your punchlist whatever you prefer."
My husband was invited to come down (1.5 hour drive), but after talking to the restorer, who stated that it had been taken apart and had a "full resto" and looked great, he just wanted to have it delivered asap to surprise me. I am so disappointed for my husband, as he was attempting to buy me the perfect gift, only for this to happen and I know he feels bad at the way that it all went down. However, I would have been more disappointed if we had kept it. <sigh>.
I sincerely appreciate everyone's feedback on this, and confirming our gut feelings on this. Now that I am a "bona-fide" member I hope to lurk more and be in a better place to have the knowledge to purchase our next one.

What is the name of this company?

#27 4 months ago

At least they are heading in the right direction with you.

Looks like LEDs and some rubber rings were their idea of a restoration. That’s a pit stop in my opinion. I see flippers needing rebuilding and more dirt in areas on the playfield. Some of those issues are easily fixable but you shouldn’t have to worry about those things for a game just received…and at that price.

#28 4 months ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

What is the name of this company?

Yeah, let's hear it. They're probably a member here. This is total bullshit, definitely return it for a full refund. That thing is beat to hell

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#29 4 months ago

Restoration does not mean different things to different people when you are talking about something this far off from the implied definition.
If you can return this for a full refund definitely do so.

#30 4 months ago
Quoted from TAFSWFL:

I donated so I could reply:
The owner messaged back with this response: "Well the chat groups are a good place for objective insight. Restoration means different things to different people that's why I told XXX to invite you down to the shop to play the machine before we delivered it if you'd like we can pick it up and refund your money or we can pick it up and go through your punchlist whatever you prefer."
My husband was invited to come down (1.5 hour drive), but after talking to the restorer, who stated that it had been taken apart and had a "full resto" and looked great, he just wanted to have it delivered asap to surprise me. I am so disappointed for my husband, as he was attempting to buy me the perfect gift, only for this to happen and I know he feels bad at the way that it all went down. However, I would have been more disappointed if we had kept it. <sigh>.
I sincerely appreciate everyone's feedback on this, and confirming our gut feelings on this. Now that I am a "bona-fide" member I hope to lurk more and be in a better place to have the knowledge to purchase our next one.

You’ve been had. They are run of the mill “I can change some rubbers so that’s a restore!” The playfield and severely damaged inserts in non-negotiable. That machine is a low-end player. The fact the slingshot burned up like that is a joke.

Those guys are clowns, no better than a Craigslist “handyman”

A quick rule of thumb, if anyone ever says “I don’t trust Pinside” that’s a good indication they’ve been called out on here for being scammers, or a similarly unscrupulous character. You can buy a really nice Addams players game that’s been well cared for here for under 9k

That particular machine is the condition that you’d scoop up to send to a quality restorer.

Refund, don’t trust those chumps, they have no clue what they’re doing. This isn’t the normal “buyer has insane expectations” that game is really screwed right up. Any reasonable Pinhead would be disgusted

#31 4 months ago

Welcome to pinside.

I recommend getting your money back and returning the game. This forum is a good resource (in general) and there are many good collectors on here. I am sure a pinsider in Florida can help you find a much nicer Addams Family for less money.

#32 4 months ago

So many shiesters taking advantage of all the new people getting into this awesome hobby. I'm sorry this happened to you but I wld return it and actually get a beautifully restored taf from someone well known on pinside.

10
#33 4 months ago

Quick, act on this today.
Have them come get it and get a full refund.
Dont look back. There were 20,000 Addams made. You will find a better one at a better price.
Good Luck and welcome to pinball. Don't let this sour your future pinball purchases.

#34 4 months ago

Pinside is an amazing well run resource for pinball enthusiasts.Without it I think there would be a lot more of this kind of crap going on.
I almost bought a routed,pretty rough looking Lethal Weapon 3 on eBay for 5k,because all I knew was I wanted a pinball machine that I had enjoyed when I was a kid.I didn’t know anything or even what I should be looking for as a first time buyer.But after doing a lot of research I found Pinside.Its like I have access to the best machines,collectors,and knowledge about pinball in the country or even world!

#35 4 months ago

I'd return it ASAP too, then come back to the this website and let the community help you find some reliable collectors in your area that that can help you find and evaluate a pinball before you throw down cash on it.

As others have said, $12 is almost double what that pin should cost... granted you're buying from a business (so, you need to account for that). Still though, at $12K that game should look nearly brandnew. Take, for example, the Addams Family for sale in New Hampshire. It's a high-end restore from the best in the business and the seller is asking for $15K or best offer. That's likely worth about $12-13K... maybe a tad more in this hot market.

I'd listen to the advice on this forum and then track down an Addams through known collectors in your area... hopefully you can find someone with some experience that can help you evaluate things before you buy.

Good luck!

#36 4 months ago

That game is a good candidate for a full restoration. Starting with a new playfield. For $12k, hell no!

#37 4 months ago
Quoted from High_End_Pins:

Restoration does not mean different things to different people when you are talking about something this far off from the implied definition.
If you can return this for a full refund definitely do so.

This is by far the most qualified person in this thread to not only define what a restoration is but also give you sound advice. Refund and dont look back. And tell us who the seller is so we can help others steer clear of this experience.

#38 4 months ago

Just took a look at their website and they're charging 12k for a "restored" Stern POTC. Yikes.

#39 4 months ago

I'm sorry to hear about your bad experience - I hope everything gets straightened out soon!

#40 4 months ago
Quoted from DeeGor:

Just took a look at their website and they're charging 12k for a "restored" Stern POTC. Yikes.

Maybe I missed their business name.

Please tell us whobitbis. Dont pull your punches on this one.

#41 4 months ago
Quoted from NPO:

Maybe I missed their business name.
Please tell us whobitbis. Dont pull your punches on this one.

https://elitehomegamerooms.com/product/pirates-of-the-caribbean-pinball-machine/

Copied the quoted text from the Op and it matches perfectly.

#42 4 months ago

Get your refund and don’t feel rushed to have a game for the party on Tuesday, as disappointing as that may be. Rushed decisions are rarely good ones. And happy birthday by the way.

#43 4 months ago

Pinside is a great resource for comparing current games available and archived sales.

Here’s a pretty nice one for $9600 for comparison to yours.

https://pinside.com/pinball/market/classifieds/ad/113544

And here’s the archive to help you get idea of what games are selling for and their condition.

https://pinside.com/pinball/market/classifieds/archive?s=1&ad_machine_key=2

If you can get a full refund and move on, consider yourself extremely lucky.

#44 4 months ago
Quoted from TAFSWFL:

"we take pride in our pinball restoration process, which is why all our refurbished pinball machines come with the most competitive warranty in the business. This machine has been fully refurbished in both playability and appearance."

Searching the OP’s quote brings up https://elitehomegamerooms.com/product/baywatch-pinball-machine/
Area of the country is similar.
EHG is a Stern dealer according to Stern’s website.

#45 4 months ago
Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

Searching the OP’s quote brings up https://elitehomegamerooms.com/product/baywatch-pinball-machine/
Area of the country is similar.
EHG is a Stern dealer according to Stern’s website.

If they took the legs off it would be in imamculate condition.

#46 4 months ago

Very helpful with the links to archived posts. Thank you!
I am not looking to bash anyone. Just was looking for advice as to whether we should keep or return, even though we were 99% sure we were making the right call in advance.
Already looking at the marketplace here, eBay, Craigslist, etc to continue to educate ourselves and look for our new machine.

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#47 4 months ago

I’m not looking to bash anyone either, I just want to know what companies to avoid. Don’t you as well?

#48 4 months ago

Your husband did a nice thing, and it's an unfortunate experience. Try and avoid eBay and Craigslist, and I am very sure that when you get your money back you'll find a superb one on Pinside. Also we finally, FINALLY got a dealer called out for bad practice and I hope they either try to explain what happened (did they ship the wrong machine?) or just get placed on a list.

#49 4 months ago
Quoted from alexmogil:

Your husband did a nice thing, and it's an unfortunate experience. Try and avoid eBay and Craigslist, and I am very sure that when you get your money back you'll find a superb one on Pinside. Also we finally, FINALLY got a dealer called out for bad practice and I hope they either try to explain what happened (did they ship the wrong machine?) or just get placed on a list.

Actually, my husband did tell him that he hoped that this was just a big mixup and my fully restored game was still waiting in the warehouse, to which he replied that restoration means different things to different people. He delivered it personally, so he was aware of at least the playfield condition. Made a point to tell us how some of the lighting had been replaced with LEDs and the rubbers and bumpers were replaced.

#50 4 months ago
Quoted from TAFSWFL:

Actually, my husband did tell him that he hoped that this was just a big mixup and my fully restored game was still waiting in the warehouse, to which he replied that restoration means different things to different people. He delivered it personally, so he was aware of at least the playfield condition. Made a point to tell us how some of the lighting had been replaced with LEDs and the rubbers and bumpers were replaced.

Cool, now its worth 6,035. Glad you got away from this deal. Welcome to the crazy hobby but Know that one is never enough....

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