(Topic ID: 148582)

Giving Stern Some Positive Praise. Share your story too!

By NPO

5 years ago


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  • 43 posts
  • 39 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by DaveH
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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#1 5 years ago

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.

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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.

Thank you, Stern, for taking care of this in a rapid manner, and allowing me to finally enjoy my TWD Pro in all its NIB glory !

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!

#2 5 years ago

I was looking for an IM made a poll asking if Stern could sell 500 more Ironman pins? I had no inside information but I was looking at the state of the price of old IM and thought Stern could sell new ones for less.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/could-stern-sell-another-500-im-pins

A few months later IMVE was announced, I won't say I had anything to do was a coincidence but nonetheless glad Stern filled the need.

#3 5 years ago

I had a very similar customer service experience with my LUCI that I bought from GEX. A+ support from Stern all the way.

And I will give them kudos to putting out 3 great machines that I'm currently enjoying - TWD, MET and KISS!

#4 5 years ago

Stern built TRON, AC/DC & KISS, thank you.

#5 5 years ago

I LOVE my TWDLE, greatest pinball machine ever. And I really like SM, AC/DC, WPT and LOTRLE!

#6 5 years ago

Stern has ALWAYS been on top of their game when I have had issues with any of my stern titles in past.

#7 5 years ago

Thank you Stern for keeping pinball alive through the dark ages so some hipsters building wooden pure mechanical pins or something aren't the only company doing this today.

#9 5 years ago

My NIB Star Trek had a small board with a bad RGB LED. Chaz sent me one out and I got it within 2 days of the call. 10 minutes to swap out. Super great service!

#10 5 years ago

My KISS Pro needed a new board out of the box, one call, two days and I was back up.
No complaints and much love to them.

#11 5 years ago

Back when my AC/DC was new they shipped me 4 cannon motors out as they were not up to the job and would not work very long, until the ones with the purple star came out! They were always easy to get in touch with and helpful shipping out new motors each week or two. Purple Star motor is going on over 4,000 games with no trouble.

#12 5 years ago

Simple, right now I can walk into my distributor and have delivered in timespans of immediately to 8 weeks..

Met
ST
Mustang
TWD
WWE
Whoa Nellie
KISS
GoT
SMVE

#13 5 years ago

LOVE my Stern games and Gary Stern is a fun guy to share a round of "adult waters" and talk pinball with!

#14 5 years ago

Thank you Stern, for ignoring the A-holes on this website who think they know how to run a pinball manufacturing company.
Also the seers who can predict the future, and know what's going to happen with the economy, markets, and pinball prices.

Most of all, for producing the only games I would pay to have in my home, and in my opinion, the best pinball machines ever made.
Keep up the great work!

#15 5 years ago
Quoted from rai:

I was looking for an IM made a poll asking if Stern could sell 500 more Ironman pins? I had no inside information but I was looking at the state of the price of old IM and thought Stern could sell new ones for less.
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/could-stern-sell-another-500-im-pins
A few months later IMVE was announced, I won't say I had anything to do was a coincidence but nonetheless glad Stern filled the need.

I had a conversation with Gary Stern a year prior to that about how he should re-run IM. He spent 20 minutes explaining how unlikely that would be... licensing issues, minimum runs, they would rather focus on new games, etc. I'd like to think that conversation helped make it happen, but I already had one by the IMVE announcement

Stern as a company rarely admits they take action on customer requests as such, but they definitely listen... GOT Premium is a rare example of direct action based on customer feedback, and I think both examples served them and their customers very well.

#16 5 years ago

My dealings with Stern have been top notch! I had serious play-field issues with my last NIB purchase IMVE and they warrantied the play-field for me (populated) and walked me through the swap. I was so happy about how they treated me, I bought another NIB from them TWD. Aces in my book, Aces!

#17 5 years ago

I now have 8 Stern and 9 (counting the SM, which I sold 4 months ago). I'm a big Stern supporter.

I bought AcDc second hand and it was probably out of Warranty time anyway but was sent a new sound board free, same with XMLE where I got parts well after the warranty had expired.

#18 5 years ago

From their designers to their programmers to the service techs to the installers; stern have always been pros that act like pros. At least in the 9 years I've been dealing with them.

#19 5 years ago
Quoted from rai:

I now have 8 Stern and 9 (counting the SM, which I sold 4 months ago). I'm a big Stern supporter.
I bought AcDc second hand and it was probably out of Warranty time anyway but was sent a new sound board free, same with XMLE where I got parts well after the warranty had expired.

That's pretty amazing that they still send parts after warranty for free. Cannot think of another company that does that.

#20 5 years ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

That's pretty amazing that they still send parts after warranty for free. Cannot think of another company that does that.

to be honest, EVERY XMLE had or will have a broken Aux board, it simply was not designed properly. So, if you figure like a car it was simply repairing a defect they created. But other instances like the sound board for AcDc and a flipper assembly on XMLE they sent that even though they didn't literally have to.

I had an old Tspp controller board which I messed up, they sold me a replacement, it wasn't cheap but they sent it out proto and I am glad they had it in stock and helped me out of a jam.

#21 5 years ago

Hulk smashed a plastic after warranty and Stern sent me a new one free of charge.

Thanks guys

#22 5 years ago

Thank you Stern for keeping pinball alive and well in our home. Stern replaced the CPU board on WPT in 2013 free of charge. Our distributer (AMD) and Stern had the CPU board to us in less than 2 weeks. Outstanding service. We have 5 late model Sterns in our home and play them nearly every day.

If Stern was not around we would have no pinball machines in our home. If you don't love it... leave it.

Go Spidey!

#23 5 years ago

The lead programmer on Game Of Thrones worked personally with a local operator to help diagnose his reset issues with GOT pro on location. I thought it was pretty cool to have that personal and direct connection, and they were able to get the game working.

#24 5 years ago

I know some tend to get, err, "frustrated", with Stern for whatever reasons on here... But I always get a good vibe from them and Gary. The fact that they are releasing the volume of pins they are in 2015 is great for us and pinball and themselves - and I'm glad it's good for them because they didn't decide to run off and drop pinball to start making casino/lottery machines!

#25 5 years ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

That's pretty amazing that they still send parts after warranty for free. Cannot think of another company that does that.

They do have great support. I have purchased a few second hand and they have always been willing to send me replacement parts even though I was not the original buyer.

#26 5 years ago

Thanks to Stern for keeping their manufacturing here in the US and continuing to produce fantastic games despite having essentially a monopoly for the past decade. I'm glad there will soon be some serious competition to light a fire under Stern, but I still love my Stern machines.

#27 5 years ago

Stern kicks ass.

#28 5 years ago

Of my 10 games 3 are Sterns. I love all my games, but honestly the Sterns get played the most.

I'm glad modern pinball is still alive, and it's that way because Stern survived.

I have issues with this and that, but I'm glad they're around.

#29 5 years ago

3 NIB purchases and not one problem with any of them.

#30 5 years ago
Quoted from Baiter:

I had a conversation with Gary Stern a year prior to that about how he should re-run IM. He spent 20 minutes explaining how unlikely that would be... licensing issues, minimum runs, they would rather focus on new games, etc. I'd like to think that conversation helped make it happen, but I already had one by the IMVE announcement
Stern as a company rarely admits they take action on customer requests as such, but they definitely listen... GOT Premium is a rare example of direct action based on customer feedback, and I think both examples served them and their customers very well.

I suggested a bonus hold in GoT and they added it. So they do listen.

Rob

#31 5 years ago

I'd like to thank Stern for pricing SMVE too high.

Why so? Because I sold old SM 4 months ago with the $$ earmark for the new SMVE, but I found a super nice Met pro for even less money. Money's gone, I could still buy one if it were priced where I'd like to see it, but my wife wouldn't be happy.

If Stern had come out with SMVE at a street price ~$5400, I would have had to figure something out for the time being might have had to sell one of my current pins.

I'm happy now to wait for JJP#3 or some other future pin. I think I got my yearly quota (I brought home Met on Jan 1).

#32 5 years ago

Thanks Stern for shaking loose games from other people's collections that I am interested in when they are trying to make space for your latest game!

#33 5 years ago

I've owned 3 modern sterns and have never had any thing blow, short or significantly Break. Stern made the greatest game ever TRON nuff said.

#34 5 years ago

Purchased IMVE and MET Pro a couple years ago. Haven't had a single problem with them over that time span. Awesome machines priced just right for me at the time. Thanks for getting me into this kick ass hobby Stern!

#35 5 years ago

Bought AC/DC Pro in 2012 new in box and now I'm hooked. Stern machines are now the games that I keep coming back to again and again and again. Fantastic service from there Australian distributor on any warranty issues.

#36 5 years ago

Gary Stern called me Christmas Eve to discuss my GOTLE and my thoughts, it was really a shock and a nice reminder that he is still in touch with the customers.

#37 5 years ago

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We party.

1 week later
#38 5 years ago

Bump! Thank you Stern!

#39 5 years ago

Bought AC/DC Premium a couple years ago. It was my first NIB purchase ever. Have had virtually no problems with it despite it being played more than my other machines.

#40 5 years ago

Say what you will about Stern, but they have excellent customer service. Whenever I call them with a problem, they always treat me respect. They have even replaced a few parts free of charge that were no longer under warranty.

#41 5 years ago

Thank you stern for making pinball machines. I feel proud when I buy something that says built in the usa. Please keep that in mind as you grow your buisness.

#42 5 years ago

In addition to all the stuff already mentioned, I simply appreciate that they make really cool toys which appeal equally to 5, 8, 10, 40, and 41 year-olds of both genders! There's nothing better in life than having fun and "bonding" with Mrs. Thermionic and our little guys, and Stern's approach to pinball is one activity which accomplishes this in our family.

Another benefit is that our sons' friends all like to hang out at our house, so we know them. As they grow into adolescence I'm hoping this will continue because it will allow us to know who they are hanging out with, which I think is essential in helping them to stand strong in the face of possible negative influences.

#43 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

I LOVE my TWDLE, greatest pinball machine ever.

Right, like that could happen with Game of Thrones Pro now in the game. TWDLE might have been the greatest pinball machine ever at one time, but it has been replaced. In the fight for the Iron Throne, you win, or you die.

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