- About Us
- Amusement Expo
- Coin-Op Cares
- State Associations
- Government Affairs
- News & Communication
Ask and You Shall Receive
Yesterday, I received a piece of mail that caught my attention. Why?
First, it's quite rare for me to receive a typewritten letter sent via USPS from anyone these days.
Second, the writer identifies himself (or herself) as "A Confused and Disillusioned Operator."
Third, its content essentially "calls out" AMOA for its inaction on a particular issue.
So here goes:
I am an operator of coin-op and have been for many years. I have a question for AMOA which requires an answer: Why has your organization been so silent about the activities of NSM?
Attached are two marketing letters from NSM which conflict greatly (letters attached). The strong message in the first letter is 'hey, screw the operator,' then the second letter says 'hey Mr. Operator—how can we help you?'
And ... in the meantime, AMOA apparently stands by and Says Nothing in response to this nonsense.
Does NSM seriously expect an operator to take advantage of the low-cost upgrade of its jukebox, only to find that the same company is targeting their location and telling the location owner to buy a jukebox directly from NSM, kick out the operator and keep more money?!!
Generally, AMOA is quite vocal when it feels that their operators are being threatened. On this occasion, AMOA's silence is deafening.
I am expecting to see that AMOA will continue to defend the business practices of its operators by publishing a response to these activities by NSM.
A Confused and Disillusioned Operator"
To which I respectfully reply:
"Dear Confused and Disillusioned Operator:
Thank you for your letter.
First, I hope you are an AMOA Confused and Disillusioned Operator, because our organization represents the best and the brightest of the industry. I'd like to think the vast majority of our members have established strong working relationships with their customers, to the point that when the 'direct to location' topic comes up, it is quickly muted by the value they/you bring to the equation: Experience and expertise, superior service, a partner in profit and promotion.
Second, AMOA has been far from silent on this issue, has "weighed in" on this topic several times and continues to do so.
When Jukes Direct surfaced in 2007, in this newsletter, I wrote:
'This latest saga underscores some inalienable truths: One, as long as there is a coin-op industry, there will always be threats. Two, there will always be operators who care enough to rise to the occasion and take on these challenges. And three, while we may not always prevail, it won't be due to any lack of effort or emotion on our part.'
In April 2009, when the controversy over Ecast selling direct first came to light, the commentary read:
'AMOA condemns the practice—ANY practice—that attempts to undermine, threaten or otherwise circumvent the coin machine operator. After all, our membership is an operator-dominated organization.'
And last year, when the news broke about NSM's new business model for the U.S., the editorial stated:
'... just because NSM's strategy of selling direct to locations has apparently been successful in other parts of the world doesn't translate, literally or figuratively, to success here in the U.S. market. In fact, history has shown quite the opposite. A few years ago, Jukes Direct brazenly marketed digital jukeboxes directly to locations and made nary a dent in the industry. It's just not a model that, long-term, holds much promise ... at least domestically ... It's simple really. Operators do not want to be customers of companies who ultimately compete with them for their customers.'
AMOA remains engaged on this issue. Earlier this week, it was a key discussion topic during meetings in New York.
Not everything AMOA does on these kinds of industry concerns is reported on in the evening news. But, there is sufficient, strong support for the view that AMOA has made its position—on behalf of its operator members—crystal clear on this whole topic. Perhaps we're guilty of not having repeated it often enough, loud enough or recently enough for some, but rest assured, AMOA's stance on this remains as vigilant and firm as ever.
And, third, since you were expecting to see AMOA continuing to stand up on behalf of its members, I hope you're satisfied now ... as well as unconfused and enlightened.
Again, thanks for taking the time to write."