I debated for a long time about posting this. I'm new to Pinside and I don't want to cause any issues, but eventually, after hearing some other stories, decided to post the story of purchasing my first pinball machine. I have all the pictures and documentation to back up everything I say here but the thread is already huge, if you want more info, just ask.
April 30th I found a pinside ad for a Black Knight 2000 while searching google. I think at the time I was already a Pinside member, but relatively new. Cory's Pinside ad (Now deleted) Said the machine had some minor cosmetic issues but was fully working and playing and had been recently shopped. Choggard was asking $3000 for this machine on his ad. After a few days of going back and forth we settled on $2500. Before paying, I reiterated multiple times that this machine needed to be %100 working and that I did not want a project. I stated on multiple conversations with him that I was paying a higher price with him because I needed the machine working. I verified with him that there was no known issues with the machine other than some bubbles in the mylar, a couple broken plastics and the magna-save was a little worn. All cosmetic issues, nothing that would need to be fixed.
Cory was very nice to talk to and was more than happy to explain things to someone new to owning a pinball. He even told me how this particular machine had a diamond plate mod and chrome trim that cost him over $100. He arranged everything with the shipping and packaged the pinball nicely. He even added some corner protection at my request.
Here's the Black Knight 2000 I received:
The RANSOM lights were not working correct, they just flashed with the playfield lights
The playfield lamp matrix had a short across 4 columns
The GI connector on the interconnect was removed and had all of the GI soldered together, directly to the board
The drawbridge motor was getting a motor error about every 5-10 games (Now completly gone and had to replace the motor for $49 +sh)
There was a smashed flasher socket with a broken bulb still stuck in it. One of the wires for this socket was disconnected and dangling under the upper playfield.
Some of the GI lights in the backbox insert had been disconnected, left bare and bypassed
Game had an F-14 Tomcat board in it. https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/fs-f-14-tomcat-by-williams-1650
Playfield was filthy, not waxed, machine was not shopped.
All but 5 of the flasher bulbs were burnt out.
The fancy 'Diamond Plate Mod' was stickers that were hiding damage to the sidewalls
The chrome trim was hiding damage to the edge of the backbox where it meets the playfield when folded down.
A mason jar's worth of spare parts were found in the bottom of this 'shopped' pinball machine
When I called Choggard to explain the issues, Choggard blamed it all on the shipper and stated that the machine worked fine when it left his house.
After some research and speaking with some local Pinsider's I was able to determine that all the 'Damage' except for possibly some of the flasher bulbs were definitively pre-existing. When I called and explained this the Choggard he started to do the right thing and told me to have it serviced and he would pay the bill. I was pretty upset because I specifically bought his machine because I did not want to have to work on it, I wanted to play it, that's why I payed his inflated price, but something is better than nothing and at least he was trying to make it right.
I'm new to the "pinball scene' and don't know any repair techs, I found one online, but he charged $100 just to come out ($50/hr and the trip was an hour each way), I thought that this could end up real pricy, especially if he had to return with parts or something, so I asked around some more and found a local tech that would do the work for the same price ($50/hr) without charging for the travel time. It took him a couple evenings but he got most of the issues fixed, I payed him and sent the invoice to Choggard.
He refused to pay. He said he needed to talk to me about it.
We get on the phone and he tells me that $350 is too much that his tech is way cheaper and I should have had the work done for less and that he's not paying that much.
I've already Paid premium from him to get a good working machine that was undeniably broken before it shipped and then had to shell out another $350 out of my pocket because I'm and Idiot and trusted him. Then he steals $100 more from me by only paying me back $250 of the service bill that he said he would pay for, after I went out of my way to try and save this jackhole some money.
This guy is a scammer, a liar, a cheat and a dirtbag pin flipper. Be warned. I didn't find out until after the sale that he had this reputation, here are some examples.
Hopefully we both end up at the same pinball show someday...
My replacement drawbridge motor should be here today, I'm super excited to play my Black Knight 2000 for the first time since all the issues have been worked out.