Pinball survey email from L.E.K.


They’re not going to do that though. Getting demographic data is super important for them in establishing both a representative sample and interpreting that sample.

Imagine they get their results and the vast majority of respondents say they own no pinball machines and have no interest in owning one. “That’s interesting! Better let Stern know that no one wants to buy new pinball machines.” But then it turns out that everyone who took the survey is a college student without a job yet and they actually would be interested once they have some disposable income. Huge difference in the results all because demographic data is important.


All true. The realist in me though says: So?

You could change your IFPA email address to something spam-trappable, like others have done. You could remove your contact info altogether, but you are then forgoing participation in some IFPA-sanctioned things. Other than complaining about it and making IFPA aware that we aren’t happy about it, I’m not sure anything can actually be done. The list is in the wild. You can’t undo that.

I know this sounds defeatist, but I’m really struggling to figure out what we can do about this going forward.


I took the full survey and NEVER got that question! Must have something to do with the way that I answered one previous question or a group of them…


As someone else mentioned, Deeproot isn’t on the list. However, I’ve had discussions with Betson and they have mentioned leasing numerous times to me. Not sure if that’s a definitive link or not.


I got the email. It looked suspicious. I deleted it. End of story.


Same here. I think my saying I would only ever buy a used game curtailed some of the things they would have otherwise asked. My favorite part was when they asked me to list every pinball manufacturer I had ever heard of, then did not have remotely enough blanks for me to do that. Also when it asked me how many times a year I play in a bar and I had to work out how often I’m at my two leagues… or preparing for the league I run by testing games… or making non-league social visits… it came to some ridiculous number that they’re probably going to think is a fib.


It targets your most common place to play.

I got a bunch of questions about brand loyalty - like I’m going to be a Dutch Pinball or a Gottlieb 1-trick or something…

Actually, Gottlieb DMD one tricking sounds fun!


Got the email and won’t be taking the survey, though I do admit I’m torn. On one hand, it’s refreshing that a company, new or old, would seek input on which direction they should go. We’ve seen what happens when one guy thinks he knows it all. OTOH, I won’t help this company because I have no idea who they are and what their motives are. Why should I help you if I don’t have any idea who you are? I can be bought, but not for $15.

I’m a lifelong location rat and former operator. I’m guessing I’m someone they’d really like to fill out their survey. Give me a clue about who you are and why you want my info and I’d be much more inclined to take your survey.


I work in the web advertising and tracking industry, and my alarm bells went off reading the email.

That said, after some quick consideration and research into LEK, I had zero issue filling out the survey, expecting that it came from one of the manufacturers looking to check the pulse of pinball fans. I want to help. Call me naive.

I did inquire how they got my email and who was behind the survey (David declined to say for both), but I was going to fill out the survey regardless.


Did the survey too. I also asked how he got my email address, but in my case he responded. Something about the Internet/third parties, nothing too big (gotta check) He linked to the company’s privacy policy or something.


I took it, looking forward to spending the $15 buying ifpa credits for our next tournament.

Not a grammar major, so not an educated statement, but I didn’t find it that poorly worded - it wasn’t like a Nigerian Prince wanted to share his inheritance. I checked out where it came from before I took it, felt pretty confident it wasn’t a scam. After taking it, was certain it was exactly what it claimed to be.

Didn’t get the question about leasing - one of the questions asked if you would be more likely to buy new or used - I picked used, perhaps if you picked new it generated the leasing question.

Seems to me like a perfectly fine use of the email list - one mans opinion.


Sure, if you opted-in to receive marketing surveys.


To each his own.

I remember getting tons of mail in the mailbox back when people used those, ads for stuff I didn’t need, offers for this or that. I don’t remember ever ‘opting in’ for any of that stuff, nor hearing the gnashing of teeth because it landed in our old fashioned ‘in box’. We just threw it away and went on about our business.

This was a single email that asked if I would like to take a survey. Deleting or ignoring would have been quite simple. So would marking it as junk so I wouldn’t receive any more from that company. As it was, I took the survey, and I hope whatever research they develop might help the community in some way. I also hope I get the 15 bucks - that will buy a cup of coffee or two.


You don’t get to decide how other people spend their resources.
Physical mail is paid for by the sender. Email costs are also paid by the recipient. You spam at your peril on today’s internet. Many hosts will kick you off for doing so.
There are responsible ways to conduct surveys. Confirmed opt-in is acceptable. Spamming is not.
Many hosts (including L.E.K.'s dns provider ) have prohibitions against spam. If it were not for these policies and their enforcement email would be nearly completely useless. It looked like we were headed that way in the 90s. It’s gotten better but still not great.

TLDR: It’s spam, and cooperating with a spammer encourages them. If you want to do your part, fill out their survey with nonsense. A poisoned database is less useful and raises their cost of doing business.


Ehhhhh… I take a pretty anti-spam stance on bulk mail (a huge part of my day job is fighting spam), but this use doesn’t seem abusive. The IFPA has made it very clear that they intend to sell your information. It sounds like the sender of this e-mail has only sent a single message out to folks, and seems receptive to being told to go away. This all seems like it was on the up and up?

That said, I haven’t personally seen the e-mail, so I’m happy to assume suppressed player contact info isn’t being sold. :stuck_out_tongue:


It is. Or the data could have been given to the sponsor long ago.


Huh. That’s disappointing.


FWIW, it is still possible to dereference suppressed player info via the IFPA API. Combine that with email and suppressed players really aren’t suppressed, with a little effort.


I went to that website, and from what I saw, I would never ever deal with them. I don’t know how they get clients. It looks like they’re a garbage operation. I would expect better info from pinside polls.


TIL I need to go register a couple dozen more IFPA accounts so when the next survey rolls around I can make a couple hundred bucks.