Hey guys - This is from the other thread. Jonathan Joosten aka Unigroove on pinside has agreed to act as an outside party to speak with DP and ARA. Jonathan is big in the pinball community in the Netherlands and owns the magazine over there. He was nice enough to volunteer his time to help. I don't know if it will help or not. I wrote him this in the other thread:
This is a list for Jonathan Joosten aka Unigroove on pinside.
First, thank you so much for being willing to intervene and act as an outside party between DP, ARA, and the Unfulfilled Achievers (those of us who have paid for a TBL, but not yet received one).
Emotions and ideas are all over the board on this issue - ranging from class action lawsuits (not a fan) to pitchforks and torches. I am not speaking for everyone in this letter and others may chime in and add to or throw darts at what I write.
I am sure you know more than the average person about this problem, but will give a short summary anyway. Our main problem is that we do not have a machine and we have been unable to get straight answers from DP on why the machines have been held up. Jaap has lied to us on several occasions regarding these reasons and therefore anything he now says is viewed with suspicion and distrust. The most egregious and recent example was late last year when he blamed the hold up on board issues. He has since admitted that was a lie.
We have heard a small amount of information from ARA and from their point of view, money was the hold up. We don't know how much or what the terms are. From ARA, we would like to know what the severity and nature of the problem is. I can't think of a legal reason for them to withhold at least a summary of that information from us. We would also like to know if they are currently suing DP, how many machines are built and boxed up, and how many complete machines can be built from the parts they have on hand. Does ARA have an ownership position in these parts, or could they be moved to a new manufacturer if ARA and DP cannot come to terms? If they have an ownership position, how much money? And if it is not too much to ask, it would be nice. For us to have a contact person at ARA or get some information from them that corroborates anything that DP says if they decide to work together again.
From DP, we would like a new spokesperson. We have lost complete confidence in anything that Jaap tells us and need someone who is going to shoot completely straight. We would like to know what their cash position is and if they owe money to anyone but ARA (parts vendors). We would like to know what DP believes they owe ARA and what they believe they have in inventory in regards to completed but undelivered machines and parts that could be utilized to build new machines. There is no legal reason they cannot share this information with us, only embarrassment reasons.
This is probably a question for ARA and DP - There are approximately 150 TBLs that only have a $1000 deposit on them and presumably do not have parts ordered yet. Could these machines be built at a new contract manufacturer (maybe even in the states) and the proceeds from those machines be utilized to satisfy the debt at ARA and get that line moving again?
Lastly, let DP know that it is no secret that they are essentially having a money issue. In general there are still enough Achievers out here that are willing to work with them on this, but the 'work with' part has to happen soon and with more transparency than we are currently receiving. We generally believe that the fastest way to get these machines done is through ARA and DP working through this without suing each other.
There are some very upset clients over here that are planning on hiring attorneys and in general creating more headaches and legal problems for them. If they act quickly, they can head this off. But I can assure DP that if all they are going to do is hand us emails like the last one we got and then move on to new projects, that this could get messy quickly.