Pinball survey email from L.E.K.

I received this mail to an address that I use exclusively for IFPA. This means that either IFPA sold their address list to this survey company, or this survey company acquired an address list from a company that already had access to the IFPA player database. Either way, yuck.


Pinball, ping pong, pool table. I didn’t go further in the survey, it may eventually get around to asking about specific titles. Script running to try and prevent copying text from the screen so rather laborious extracting it.
My link is
but the survey ran with a couple letters changed and info that doesn’t match me so either their tracking controls aren’t very robust or they’re using other methodology to filter results.

They aren’t a sponsor at a level that gets the mailing list. Very few actually have it so I’ll follow up with them to see if any of them sold/passed that list on. I agree that would be in very bad form for one of our sponsors to do that.


Yep I got it also and auto deleted it. I did not go to TPF or Pinburgh or any of the other tourney’s listed so not sure where the e-mail list was acquired from. Screams spam/click bait to me when they want you to click on some link and then they’re going to send you $15…


Josh, can you confirm you have now stopped the policy of handing out our email (and other?) details to third parties?
Sponsors could still access the email list by requesting that the IFPA send emails to the list on their behalf. This has a number of benefits:

1 - It’s not illegal
2 - Our email/other details aren’t at risk of spreading beyond the third party
3 - It means the sponsors have a reason to repeat their subscription (because once they stop paying, they can no longer access the email list)
4 - If I want to stop receiving email, or update my email address, I only have to contact the IFPA, not everyone you might have passed the email along to (and their partners too)
5 - The sponsors are forced to use the latest, up to date email list that you hold, rather than a list that is years old and has invalid details, or people that have since explicitly opted out.
6 - You can verify mail before it is sent to the list. We don’t want no virus mails etc
7 - If your email list is kept private, but we get unexpected spam mail from third parties, it’s a good sign your security has been breached. Knowing this is better than not knowing.
8 - Did I mention the legal thing? :slight_smile:


I agree with some others. Has to be the IFPA list. I didn’t give my email to any organization except for the ifpa.

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It 100% stemmed from the IFPA list. Both Joe and I (and I assume a small number of others) use unique email addresses when registering for services so that we can track where the spam comes from.

What is less clear is how they got the email addresses. Either the IFPA list got hacked, or (more likely) one of the third parties that IFPA gave the list to has either further distributed the list, or themselves been hacked.

Took the full survey, semi-honestly, to see what they ask for. Nothing about specific titles. Did ask which manufacturers you’re familiar with, and how likely you’d be to buy from each if you saw a machine you liked. As one would expect, they asked about price points, e.g. how much is too much to pay for a new machine, and how much is so low you’d be suspicious of quality.

Some of the more revealing questions were about what type of place you play in (bowling alley, bar, restaurant, skating rink, movie theater, etc.) and how much if at all would you reduce how often you go to that establishment if they removed their pinballs.

Most intriguing was the presentation of a “lease option” where you’d pay a monthly fee to have a game and could swap it out for a different title whenever you chose.

Sidebar comment: I remember when you felt “safe” filling out surveys completely and totally honestly because you were confident that the surveyor was preserving your anonymity and that the data would be discarded after the survey results were analyzed. Now, neither my wife nor I tend to respond to any surveys, even ones we care about, because “data is forever” today and can be used for something other than its original purpose and by other parties at a later date.

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I also got it.

This was my first thought as well. Someone doing consulting for Deeproot. Seems totally up their alley/business approach from what I’ve read.

After checking with all of our Premiere level sponsors, I was able to confirm that one of them did hire this consulting firm to do some market research on their behalf utilizing our email list. The list wasn’t shared improperly to any parties that shouldn’t have access to it.


Linkified for convenience.


So did anyone get the 15 bucks?

Not yet. But if it is anything like academic surveys they tend to verify that the data you submit looks legit before sending you the $$$.

Edit: Ok, it looks like no-one really cares, but still - with the introduction of GDPR in the EU, and the decades old CAN-SPAM act in the USA which makes selling email lists that didn’t have explicit opt-in illegal - it would only take one person complaining (correctly) that they never opted-in when they originally signed up to the IFPA, and you’re at risk of ridiculous fines and criminal prosecution.

I love the IFPA and everything you guys do, so please, pretty please with sugar on top, look after our data and stop selling it to the lowest bidder. :kissing_heart:


Agreed, but not on IFPA’s Premiere Sponsor list.

It said up to 3 weeks for delivery

They’re more likely to get legit data regarding the survey subject if they omit all demographic questions.

While I agree with the sentiment, IFPA’s privacy policy makes it pretty clear that they can sell any information they collect.

Yes, but that doesn’t automagically wave a magic wand and make the historical data that was collected prior to the privacy policy even existing legal. That privacy policy was only created last time we had a discussion about poor spam handling.

Back when I signed up there was no opt-in process that explicitly at the time of signing up said ‘tick here to allow us to sell your email address and other details’. I presume they now do that… right? That’s the only legal way to perform explicit opt-in

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I care and appreciated the link you posted! The fact that there are nearly 40 responses to this thread (and 350+ views) within 24 hours indicates that we are not alone. There was also a thread started on another forum I frequent that expressed concern that it was a scam/phishing.

Thank you for speaking up.