You know, there has been a bit of "Rawr rawr rawr" lately with Stern, and I wanted to take the time to publicly thank them for handling a problem on my TWD Pro so quickly.
So long story short, I bought my TWD Pro from GEX over in Denver, Colorado (GREAT distributor to do business with, A+ customer service all around with them...more on that later). Bought it 23 Dec, it showed up here in Dayton on 28 Dec, which given the holidays was pretty darn fast! Got the game home, unboxed it, played a couple games, and then realized both my backbox speakers were dead. I made a jumper from the ground strap in the backbox to the negative terminal on the right speaker, and both speakers came to life right away. Everything was hooked up correctly from the factory, so I was a bit at a loss as to why it was not getting a proper ground. I was bypassing something, but without a solid understanding as to what and with a fresh warranty, I knew this was not a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
Talked with Kai (sp?) at GEX, who directed me to Stern, and I talked with Chas (engineer tech) for a good 10 minutes. He was super helpful, explained that the problem was in the cpu/sound board, and since it was a recently purchased NIB game the warranty was good, and they would get a new board out right away. He was very polite and listened to my explanations of what I did to diagnose the problem, and answered all of my questions. This was on Thursday, 31 Dec.
New board arrived today (had to wait a bit due to New Years), and it was a super simple, plug and play job. Took me maybe 10 minutes. Game fired up, and the sound works as it should.
Look, guys, I know we've been a bit frustrated lately with Stern in terms of shipment of NIB pins, recent VE releases, price increase trends, and overall handling of certain marquees, but I am flat-out going to give them a major thumbs up. This could not have gone any smoother. The only way it could have been handled any more smoothly is if the holidays had not hampered the mail delivery; however, woe-is-me first world problems are not Stern's fault.
Anyone else have some great and positive stories to share? By all means, go for it! We need a change of pace in terms of mood, and I think this is an excellent place to start!