Please read this in the tone it was intended, an informative update to what’s going on at Rottendog. Not upset, not angry, not bashing, simply facts.
I’ve been waiting for more than a month for someone at Rottendog to make an announcement, but it hasn’t happened. In light of some recent events, I think the pinball community needs to know what’s going on. In late July of last year, Jim at Rottendog sent out an email that he was retiring, that there was no new owner, and he was selling off his remaining stock, both finished and unfinished goods. I bought a large amount of it to be stocked until I could find replacements.
Exactly 2 months ago I got a call from Jim with another person that was “a long time friend” and who would be the new owner. Good news, pleasant conversation, talked about ramping up some out of stock product, and more. Was told an announcement would be made in 30 days so I kept quiet to allow them time to make that announcement. We exchanged phone numbers and I asked for a call later so we could discuss future business. Big Daddy Enterprises has been selling Rottendog products for the past 10 years so I thought I’d get a little attention especially since the other top sellers, K’s Arcade and Arcadeshop, have been removing product as they sold out.
Looks like instead of that happening, the new owner has decided to become my competitor. I happened to notice on eBay, a lot more Rottendog product was showing up and undercutting me by pennies or a buck. I also noticed he copied my pictures and my wording:
Here’s my listing of the last MPU327 I had: www.ebay.com/itm/Brand-New-MPU327-MPU-Driver-Board-for-Williams-System-3-4-6-pinball-machines/274614469253
And his listing www.ebay.com/itm/MPU327-Pinball-MPU-DRIVER-COMBO-WILLIAMS-SYSTEM-3-4-6-New-Free-Shipping/114604445419
The picture of the board in the pink bag is my picture, on my carpet. I added those stickers on there 2 years ago when System 7 games weren’t working right. Phrases I added to my listing that he just copied and pasted are “I do suggest you replace your power supply or rebuild it with new caps.” and “Please note, original Williams’s games use regular incandescent light bulbs and you may have to buy non ghosting LEDs or use regular light bulbs for switched lamps.”
While Jim at RD had been overwhelmed with support calls and response has gotten worse in the last few years, he would often and usually replace boards that were reported defective; even if it was pretty obvious the board was not at fault. Many people think a board popping fuses are a fault of the board and often refuse to believe the game caused a problem, but Jim would refund or replace, seen it many times. Recently a customer of mine in Costa Rica was having some problems and contacted Rottendog. The “Rottendog Team” replied and basically replied that it was probably something NOT board related and also to contact the distributor for a replacement. That’s poor customer support, and if it’s not a board problem, why suggest a replacement? And it has never been policy that the Rottendog resellers replace under warranty items, that’s Rottendog’s job and has been for 10 years, and these are boards I purchased UNDER THIS CONDITION. But then again, what is the warranty? Well, it’s vaguely insinuated “manufacturer’s defects”. And in this case, after 2 replies from the “Rottendog Team” and 20+ between me and the customer, my customer was able to find a bad transistor on the driver board, not likely caused by the game, just a bad part. There has been no response from the “Rottendog Team”. That’s not the only lack of response. I have requested some replacement parts on December 3rd and have followed up a few times and no replies or parts. I have emailed the new owner through the eBay system on 12/31 telling them not to copy my listings and they needed to remove my pictures, and I’ve had another customer email them on 12/31 with an apparently bad board. No response. I have also called Jim’s number at least 10 times in the past 30 days with no answer or no calls back, I now just conclude that Jim has washed his hands of it.
So, my customers are my income, and I will support the Rottendog boards I sell. I may not have the technical knowledge that is needed but I’ve had enough go through my hands that I can make some suggestions and I will do exchanges if needed. I will warranty any Rottendog boards for 6 months from date of purchase and will be clarifying this on my site and eBay listings. I actually do have faith in Rottendog boards for what they are, modern but a cheap replacement for 40 year old boards, but it’s obvious that improvements need to be made.
If you don't know, I partnered with XPin Pinball back in August and 90% of the Rottendog boards are either available now, or will be soon as an XPin product, and they are better. Brett and I are passionate about pinball, talk nearly every day and have amped up production. Just look at what we have available or will be available soon:
• Every power supply offered by Rottendog is available with an XPin product; including a new version of the XP-GTLB-SYS1 Gottlieb system 1 power supply has LED indicators for voltages and fuse protection from bad displays.
• Every display offered by Rottendog is available, but more choices of colors and more displays for games like High Speed, 6803 games, Taxi, Police Force, Riverboat Gambler, Harley, Millionaire and more. We also offer custom colors.
• The Solderless -18/-49/100 rectifier board has been a big hit.
Brett at XPin is working on filling the gaps on the product offerings and adding new ones, and other boards under the Big Daddy name are in production. We have a LOT in the works.
I’m glad to answer any questions regarding this, and like I said this is not about bashing anyone. The new owner will announce himself and his support policies when he has time. Meanwhile I want my customer to know I will support what I sell.