Every machine is different. We may not have every part for every machine necessary. Therefore we may have to come back for another visit, but will not charge a second trip charge.
If we sold you a pinball or an antique slot machine, we will always stand behind our games and fix them if they need to be. (Most of our games have been out for 5 to 10 years and we are starting to get repair requests on the games we sold back in 2005...) If you bought a game from someone else, we may decide to fix it (especially if it is in the Bally/DE 1977-1985 boardset, Bally/Willams 1990 - 2000 board set, or newer Sterns). But we do not need to take on someone else's problems if we do not think we can fix the game in a reasonable amount of time.
Trip charge is $150 including the first hour of work. Trips over 50 miles are $250 for the first hour.
Additional repair work is performed at a rate of $100 per hour.
Parts are also charged as used.
Ocassionally, I will fix games outside my usual area. If so, there will be an additional per mile charge at the current IRS mileage rate.
ESTIMATED MINIMUM CHARGE
Please count on a repair averaging about $250 ($350 if over 50 miles away). I will provide an estimate over the phone. I will also provide a better estimate when I come out. As stated in the next paragraph, since I choose which repairs to do, you can just about be assured that if I come out, I can fix the machine.
We reserve the right to choose not to repair a machine if you live too far away, have a machine that is too difficult (and/or not worth my time or your money), or any other reason that would cause me to lose more money and time than I would earn.
If I cannot figure out the problem within 2 hours, then I will not charge for the trip and stop trying. This doesn't mean that I can't fix the game. It just means that it will take more time and thought to do so, which I don't have the luxury to do when at your home. This will limit the time I spend on a machine at your home. Sometimes games just need to come to my shop to be worked on.
Our repair hours are normally in the evenings and on weekends. Hopefully our repair schedule matches when you are not at work.
Although we fix many different types of pinball, video and slot machines, we specialize in Solid State and Electro-Mechanical (EM) Pinball machines. Solid State means games with a computer from 1977 onward. Electro-Mechanical pinball machines are from the early 1970s and before that are all mechanical. New for 2015, we are no longer fixing EM Pinballs. They take too much effort and we cannot reasonably and fairly charge you for our time. See my new New for 2016 note below in EM repairs.
New for 2015: Some games are just not worth fixing, such as Gottlieb System 1 and System 80 games. We reserve the right to not fix a game if we do not feel that we can do so in a reasonable amount of time.
If we cannot fix the machine* we will charge a nominal fee of $25 to cover time and gas. (Since I never really ask for this nominal fee it is easier to simply not even try to fix a pinball if we don't feel like we can.)
*See exception in my EM description below.
We warranty our repair work for 1 month.
1. We come to your home to fix a machine. These are quoted at the above rates. Count on a 2 to 3 hour repair charge. (Most Common Method)
2. You bring the machine to us. We charge you at the above rates. This way we can figure out problems 5 minutes here and there if necessary. Why do we charge a higher rate for the first hour even when you bring the machine to us? We have to spend the time to bring the machine into and out of our shop.
3. We take the machine from your location and fix in our shop. This is for very hard to fix or long fixes. We can research the issue, test the problems and order the parts. We can work on a fix 5 minutes here and there and get the machine working. Minimum charge for this service is $900. This includes two trip charges (within 50 miles - $1,100 over 50 miles) and up to 3.5 hours of repair work. Additional charges apply to parts and additional hours at above rates. If we can solve the problem in less than 3.5 hours, we will use the extra time to clean the playfield. We can also clean the playfield, change the lights, replace the rubbers, etc for an additional fee.
NOTE ABOUT REPAIR - ESPECIALLY ELECTRO-MECHANICAL PINBALLS
New for 2016, since I am a fool and help people but do not charge them for the very valuable help I provide, especially on EM games I am changing my policy: If the EM game is totally not working, it will take 10s to 100s of hours to restore. I will come and help you. I will teach you valuable information, such as using a Digital Multi-Meter and Reading Schematics. I will help to isolate the issue so you can go forward on your journey and do the rest of the repairs. Or even bring me back at a later point when you are further along. BUT I WILL CHARGE FOR MY TIME.
New for 2015, we are no longer fixing EM Pinballs. They take too much effort and we cannot reasonably and fairly charge you for our time. I wrote this and still went on a repair call. My bad. I will refine this statement to state I **may** decide to help you fix an EM machine if it was working and a specific component stopped working.
Once a machine is repaired, you will get to use it. Maybe even for the first time in years. We will make every effort to completely test the machine before we leave. However, once you really start playing the machine, other problems may appear. We will fix them, but you must understand that these are new, additional problems and not a continuation of the original problem. This is the reason there are so few people willing to repair older pinball machines. People will assume that the machine was not completely fixed and will expect the person to come back and fix a totally different problem.
ELECTRO-MECHANICAL SLOT MACHINES
We CANNOT fix Electro-Mechanical Slot Machines. (Based on talking with other people that repair slot machines, it seems like no one bothers to work on these since they are not worth the time to repair.) [In other words, if you go to an auction and find one not working and they say it just needs a minor repair, they are lying. Do not buy the machine unless you want a pretty heavy paperweight.]
If you have a slot machine with an error code that states voltage is low or some other similar message that means that the battery is dead, I would highly recommend that you call Rec Room Specialties. You can get more detailed information from them to remove the board and they will fix it for you.
If you want to buy a newer slot machine....
There is one company I would buy a newer slot from, Rec Room Specialties in Toledo Ohio. They actually change their games to use AA batteries. If you change the batteries before the batteries go dead, you have no problem. If you wait for them to go dead, they have a dip switch and detailed simple instructions to reset the game so the slot machine works! I may try to resell some games from them next Christmas if there is any interest.
INCLEMENT WEATHER POLICY
These are just pinball machines. If the weather is bad or may be bad, I will not schedule repairs and will reschedule repairs. It is not worth dying over or messing up my car. I look forward to April...
I am being silly here, but wanted to add the following subtitle to the repair header at top:
(Also known as "I just bought 'the perfect pinball from eBay working 100% and now I really need it fixed".)
Think of us when you need a machine moved or shopped!
Please click on the Contact menu above to contact us. If you email us, please provide as much information as possible.
Moving a Machine
Minimum cost for moving a machine from one person's house to another person's house is $475 ($650 if over 50 miles away). These moves usually take at least 3 hours. Part of this time includes showing you how to use the machine and doing minor repairs and changing lights. If more work is needed, additional charges apply at $100 an hour beyond 3 hours. Any parts are also extra.
We WILL NOT move a machine from a basement where the only exit is the inside the house staircase.
Finishing a Delivery
Minimum cost for finishing a delivery is $250 within 50 miles ($400 over 50 miles). This includes one hour of time. If additional time is required, additional charges apply at $100 an hour. Any parts are also extra. Finishing a delivery means that you may have purchased a new machine on the internet and it was delivered to your garage and you need it moved to your basement. (The additional cost above the usual first hour rate includes the use of my equipment and using my truck [to carry the equipment] rather than my car.)
We will do everything in our power to fix a game if there is an issue, but we do not take responsibility. The company you purchased the game from should offer the warranty. If you need a receipt to show that the game required additional fixes besides installation and minor adjustments (which are always going to be needed) we can provide a written receipt.
We WILL NOT move a machine into a basement where the only entrance is the inside the house staircase.
Helping You Buy a Pinball or Slot
(See my What's New page on August 1, 2012 for more information on the genesis of this section.)
If I know of a project pinball (or you know of one), I will come with you and inspect it to ensure that everything works and report what does not. But I CANNOT tell you that something works today and will not work tomorrow. (If I could, I would buy a lottery ticket and not waste my time with pinballs.) What I will tell you is "expect at least $100 in board repair work." Then you can negotiate appropriately. I will make you buy the machine directly from the person. I will charge you a "consulting/delivery fee" to get the game to your house. But then it would truly be sold to you directly from the seller "AS IS" and I will be out of the transaction. I would only be the delivery agent. And everything that worked, worked. Anything that breaks tomorrow, I am not responsible for. And since you have seen the condition of the cabinet, play field, plastics, ramps, and back box, you will have already made the decision to accept the quality of the cosmetic work.
This is SIMILAR to MOVING A MACHINE so the fee will be at least $400. It may be more for the time I inspect the machine at the person's house. Plus there will ALWAYS be little things to fix up when it arrives at your house. (This takes at least 3 hours to do and usually 4 or more.)
The important part of this transaction is that I AM NOT THE OWNER OR SELLER of the game. So my job is to advise, deliver, set up, and perform minor adjustments. Anything that goes wrong with the game is NOT WARRANTEED by me.
We WILL NOT move a machine from or to a basement where the only exit is the inside the house staircase. (I just violated my own rule and did so and it added time to the move to prepare the staircase by removing the banister and removing the door.)
The type of BAsement entrance that is not ideal
The picture below is an example of a basement staircase that is difficult to move a pinball. It would be better if the lip of this staircase was flush with a deck or a patio or a bigger slab of concrete. The information tells you what is ideal for moving a pinball.
If you are thinking about buying a pinball machine and you are looking for a house to put them in here are some tips:
1. Buy a house with a basement.
2. Ensure it is a walk out or walk up. (Outdoor entrance.)
3. Ensure the door is at least 32". 36" is better.
4. Ensure landing at the bottom allows the game to be moved straight in. If a 90 degree turn is necessary, try to have a pad bigger than 3 feet by 3 feet at the bottom.
5. Ensure bottom landing does not have obstructions like pipes.
6. Top landing should have enough space to stage a pinball. The picture below is an example of what NOT to have. This needs a deck area or bricks or something flush with the lip of the stairs.
7. Staircase should be wider than 32" after taking the bannister into account.