This thread is embarrassing. It's everything I hate about The Internet, and Pinside wrapped up in a tidy bow!
I'm sorry that anybody is having issues. I've had plenty of issues with my machines over the years. Usually, I write to Stern, or call them, we start a dialogue, and the issue gets solved. Also happens with JJP, and Spooky.
Change.org is a place to go demand clean water for people living on Reservations. It's a place to raise awareness about deplorable conditions at home and abroad that demand action... It's not a place for rich dudes to whine about tiny defects in their $8K toys. What sort of reality distortion bubble do you guys live in??!
KPG, I don't know you at all, and I have no desire to insult you, or make this personal.
You have some issues with your playfield. You raised a stink, and Gary CALLED YOU PERSONALLY!!! He assured you Stern would look after you, and that they were working out the logistics. We are seeing it happen. There have been some more issues, and they are also being addressed.
Stern is not Sony. They are not Ford. They are a SMALL Manufacturing company, making machines in the USA for a VERY niche market. They care about their products. They care about their customers. There are infinite examples of this, it's ridiculous to suggest otherwise.
BM66 was a very expensive pinball machine, eh guys??! Did anybody notice that?! I saw it mentioned here. Did the extra money Stern took in on that title somehow all become profit?! Did Stern have ZERO expenses while they sold that machine??! WTF are you guys on about?! The dime-store financial analysis that goes on here is mind blowing. Now somebody is saying they made a change to save $15/playfield. Likely something pulled right out of the poster's arse, but then it starts getting repeated on here as if it's gospel.
The piling on, and ill will that gets directed towards Stern is really baffling to me.
It strikes me that there are a whole bunch of dudes who spend WAY TOO MUCH time on here revelling in the ability to spew negative nonsense about things they are BARELY informed of.
Stern announces Aerosmith. It's a race to Pinside to make the snarkiest post about how shitty it is. It's a rehash, code sucks, QC will blow, Cash Grab, etc etc.
I wish that the world's biggest site dedicated to the hobby I enjoy the most wasn't such a cesspool of whinging and drama.
Stern are not the evil empire ruining Pinball for the masses. They are the ONLY real player in the game. JJP is making headway, and I've purchased BOTH the machines they've produced. Spooky is AWESOME, and I've purchased 2 of the 3 pins they've produced. My WOZ had tons of issues. I was chasing problems with it from day one. JJP was great about working with me, sending me the parts I needed, and eventually the problems got sorted. Hobbit has been no cake walk either. Those Beast Mechs have been a disaster. The fix is no walk in the park either. It's a MAJOR install that's not for the faint of heart by any stretch. Even after installation, I still have lots of issues with the mechs... That's pinball Baby! Not trashing JJP, just saying EVERYBODY has issues. Also, luckily, outside of JPOP and SkitB, the issues are being dealt with. Stern is the only company cranking out great titles year after year. Everybody likes different titles, and different eras. I love my Fathom, and my Centaur, also my Fast Draw... but in my opinion MET, ACDC, and TWD are simply THE BEST pinball machines ever made. My opinion... others certainly disagree.
I will continue to support Stern because they manufacture pinball machines. I like to purchase, and play pinball machines. Stern has made ALL of my favourite pinball machines. They have been excellent with me from a customer service standpoint since I picked up my first NIB Stern (LOTR) in 2004.
Looking for defects with a magnifying glass, and a bright light is just OCD insanity. You're buying commercial vending equipment. Its a game. You're meant to play it. It's NOT supposed to be a museum piece.
It's as if a bunch of us got SUPER in to lawn tractors, and started collecting them and displaying them in our living rooms. Then we start complaining to John Deer when the grease from the blade deck leaks on the carpet. "I PAID 15K for this thing, and I expect perfection!!!!"
I think if you expect perfection, you might want to collect Dyson fans, and Vacuums instead of pinball machines.
I hope that everybody who has serious playfield issues will be looked after.
I wish you all the best, but most of all I wish you some perspective.
As I've said before... This is supposed to be fun, people.