(Topic ID: 335709)

Is Stern's Warranty Really Only Good 2 Months?????

By Mjesposi

1 year ago


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  • 48 posts
  • 24 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by TheLaw
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    #1 1 year ago

    As title states, is this really the case? Purchased and opened up a brand NIB Rush LE on Feb 4th and recently had an issue with Shaker motor starting to squeal loudly. They told me to put a drop of oil on each spindle where it goes into the housing. That did not help so I asked them if they could send me a new one and I would send this one back.

    They came back with an explanation that I would have to buy a new shaker motor as it is past their 2 month warranty period. WOW!!!! You spend over $12K on a machine that includes the shaker, have bought 7 other Stern games and this is the customer service you receive for a $100 part that is obviously bad.

    #2 1 year ago

    My understanding is that they are usually better about handling things out of warranty, but it's not even two months.
    Here's how it reads:
    Stern Pinball Inc (‘SELLER’) warrants only to the initial purchaser of its
    products that the items listed below are free from defects in material
    and workmanship under normal use and service for the warranty period
    specified:
    • Printed circuit boards (game logic): 2 months
    • Dot Matrix / LCD Display: 9 months
    No other parts of seller’s product are warranted.
    Warranty periods are effective from the initial date of shipment from
    seller to its authorized distributors.
    Seller’s sole liability shall be, at its option, to repair or replace products
    which are returned to seller during the warranty periods specified,
    provided:
    1. Seller is notified promptly upon discovery by purchaser that
    stated products are defective.
    2. Such products are properly packaged and then returned
    freight prepaid, to seller’s plant.
    This warranty does not apply to any parts damaged during shipment
    and/or due to improper handling, or due to improper installation
    or usage, or alteration. In no event shall the seller be liable for
    any anticipated profits, loss of profits, loss of use, accidental or
    consequential damages, or any other losses incurred by the customer
    in connection with the purchase of a Stern Pinball Inc Product.

    So the shaker motor isn't really warranted at all beyond startup.

    21
    #3 1 year ago

    pretty crappy for something you spent $12k on.

    #4 1 year ago

    Thanks for the details RCA1 - much appreciated. So frustrating that they would not take care of something like this especially when I am willing to send the one back that is not working the right way. I know people complain about customer service, but I have been one that has supported Stern in the past as they have always taken care of me. This is just so frustrating when you spend this much money and you have been loyal.

    -2
    #5 1 year ago
    Quoted from woody76:

    pretty crappy for something you spent $12k on.

    If he bought it from a distributor he should be dealing with the distributor. I’m sure they’d be happy to ship him a new shaker motor.

    If he didn’t, not sure why you’d think it’s stern’s problem. He bought a second hand machine.

    And it’s a squeaky shaker motor. I’m sure most of us could figure out how to fix it. Just be careful that you don’t break a finger!

    17
    #6 1 year ago

    A 2 month warranty for items that cost $7k - $13k...If that doesn't say "We don't have faith in how are products will hold up" nothing will. Should be at least a year. The playfields are not even on the warranty list...guess that's what happens when they marble like a prime fillet after a couple hundred plays.

    JJP's warranty is not much better sadly. Chicago Gaming is offering one of the better warranties.

    #7 1 year ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    If he bought it from a distributor he should be dealing with the distributor. I’m sure they’d be happy to ship him a new shaker motor.
    If he didn’t, not sure why you’d think it’s stern’s problem. He bought a second hand machine.
    And it’s a squeaky shaker motor. I’m sure most of us could figure out how to fix it.

    Bought it from a Stern distributor but it is Stern's issue not theirs and I have always went through Stern direct for any issues. As for the fix, I am pretty good about fixing my own problems through research on Pinside, but in this instance it sounds like not as fixable as sealed system and it is not a gentle squeak - it is a loud over powering issue that you can clearly hear over the music.

    #8 1 year ago
    Quoted from Mjesposi:

    As for the fix, I am pretty good about fixing my own problems through research on Pinside, but in this instance it sounds like not as fixable as sealed system and it is not a gentle squeak - it is a loud over powering issue that you can clearly hear over the music.

    I had the same issue on my RUSH LE. Even at a relatively loud volume, mine had a VERY loud squeak that was not fixable using any normal means.

    They did send me a new shaker motor. Reported it to them 03/05/22, so it was within 2 months.

    14
    #9 1 year ago
    Quoted from Mjesposi:

    Bought it from a Stern distributor but it is Stern's issue not theirs and I have always went through Stern direct for any issues. As for the fix, I am pretty good about fixing my own problems through research on Pinside, but in this instance it sounds like not as fixable as sealed system and it is not a gentle squeak - it is a loud over powering issue that you can clearly hear over the music.

    Your distributor sucks. You bought a brand new LE from them (their highest profit margin product), they should be able to scrounge up a non-squeaking shaker motor to trade you. It doesn’t even have to be new. And they’ll likely be able to repair your squeaky shaker in about 5 minutes and put it in some other game.

    I would focus on them instead of letting them pawn you off on stern. This is why distributors exist.

    I’ve never had issues like this but I have friends who have, and the squeaky shaker gets the grease.

    #10 1 year ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Your distributor sucks. You bought a brand new LE from them, they should be able to scrounge up a non-squeaking shaker motor to trade you. It doesn’t even have to be new.
    I would focus on them instead of letting them pawn you off to stern. This is why distributors exist.

    Agreed, the distributor is making money on the sold game. Time for them to earn that money. Some distributors will help customers more than others.

    #11 1 year ago
    Quoted from Mjesposi:

    Bought it from a Stern distributor but it is Stern's issue not theirs and I have always went through Stern direct for any issues. As for the fix, I am pretty good about fixing my own problems through research on Pinside, but in this instance it sounds like not as fixable as sealed system and it is not a gentle squeak - it is a loud over powering issue that you can clearly hear over the music.

    Sorry, cargument incoming, but when you have an issue with a vehicle do you call the manufacturer and insist on new parts? There are multiple reasons to go through the distributor:

    1) It's part of their job. Stern isn't setup to handle a ton of direct customer support because they rely on the distributor/dealer chain.
    2) The distributor should have a vested interest in keeping you happy if you have bought multiple machines directly from them.
    3) The distributor, if of any size, will have way better leverage to get you a part than you will. They buy the machines directly from Stern, in volume, and have access to people at Stern (sales reps, managers, etc) that they can also leverage to get your situation resolved.

    If the distributor isn't going to bat for you, then as CrazyLevi pointed out, your distributor sucks and you should get a new one.

    #12 1 year ago
    Quoted from Mjesposi:

    Bought it from a Stern distributor but it is Stern's issue not theirs and I have always went through Stern direct for any issues.

    Time to out your Distro...but I have a guess.

    #13 1 year ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    Time to out your Distro...but I have a guess.

    It's not time to out the distro!! They have a chance to make it right.

    It's not even time to threaten to out the distro. But I mean, if they can't find some fuckin non squeaking old shaker motor to send to a guy who bought one of their brand new non-Godzilla LEs...I mean...then it could be time.

    #14 1 year ago

    Wow a lot of hate on the distributor side. To be very fair here, I did not and have not reached out to my distributor yet as out of all the Sterns I have owned, I have only reached out to one of my distributors once. I hear the points from Paul 8788 but I have to challenge the fact that if we should only be going through distributors, then Stern should not have the ability to reach out for customer service, tech support, etc.

    Stern has been great about help with the Rush LE ball lock switch and any other fixes to date that the Rush LE have experienced to date. Just frustrating that they have not supported this issue. I can and will eventually reach out to my distributor but in the end, Stern makes the item and includes the part in their LEs and should stand behind their product for more than 2 months. Sorry but a 2 month warranty is just shady.

    #15 1 year ago

    "Warranty periods are effective from the initial date of shipment from seller to its authorized distributors."

    Does no one else find it strange that Stern's wording of their warranty says that it starts when they ship it to their distributor?

    So if they ship it and it takes a week to get to the distro, it sits at the distro for 3 weeks before you buy it - you then get only a one-month warranty?

    If you buy a machine that has been sitting in the distro's warehouse for two months - you get no warranty at all?

    10
    #16 1 year ago
    Quoted from Mjesposi:

    Wow a lot of hate on the distributor side. To be very fair here, I did not and have not reached out to my distributor yet as out of all the Sterns I have owned, I have only reached out to one of my distributors once. I hear the points from Paul 8788 but I have to challenge the fact that if we should only be going through distributors, then Stern should not have the ability to reach out for customer service, tech support, etc.
    Stern has been great about help with the Rush LE ball lock switch and any other fixes to date that the Rush LE have experienced to date. Just frustrating that they have not supported this issue. I can and will eventually reach out to my distributor but in the end, Stern makes the item and includes the part in their LEs and should stand behind their product for more than 2 months. Sorry but a 2 month warranty is just shady.

    The entire point of distributors is to deal with minor issues like this.

    Yes, we get that you are outraged that Stern won't send you a new shaker. So noted.

    But you didn't buy the game from Stern you bought it from your distributor.

    So once you get over the outrage, maybe consider bringing it up to them and see if they'll help.

    I mean...the point is to get a new shaker, right?

    #17 1 year ago

    Had similar issues with Stern. Again, with a Rush LE. Shipped directly from Stern through " Estees" trucking, vendor was out of state. Delivered on no pallet and damage to the side decals. Took close to 9 months to get them after numerous complaints. Then the center trough upgrade, Stern conveniently sends a box full of parts to me on behalf of the vendor to install. Vendor is approx 900 miles away, so obviously they're not going to service it. Customer service doesn't exist with Stern. It's all about money. It was only after I met a Stern rep at Pinfest and voiced my complaints that the customer should NOT be responsible to install corrective parts due to defective design flaws, did I get anywhere. He furnished me a technical representatives name and after 2 months he had an authorized Stern repair tech perform a service call. Bottom line, prepare for a long drawn out frustrating battle to have a warranty claim addressed.

    #18 1 year ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    The entire point of distributors is to deal with minor issues like this.
    Yes, we get that you are outraged that Stern won't send you a new shaker. So noted.
    But you didn't buy the game from Stern you bought it from your distributor.
    So once you get over the outrage, maybe consider bringing it up to them and see if they'll help.
    I mean...the point is to get a new shaker, right?

    Understood - point here is more about the warranty period and how they will handle and fix certain issues directly but then have to execute work arounds on other items. In the end, it is $100 for a new shaker even if I end up buying my own. It's the point of the terms of their coverage.

    Also, when you take a car to your "dealer / distributor" they still need to have GM, Ford, etc approve the warranty work and parts. they do not cover on their own.

    #19 1 year ago
    Quoted from Mjesposi:

    Understood - point here is more about the warranty period and how they will handle and fix certain issues directly but then have to execute work arounds on other items. In the end, it is $100 for a new shaker even if I end up buying my own. It's the point of the terms of their coverage.
    Also, when you take a car to your "dealer / distributor" they still need to have GM, Ford, etc approve the warranty work and parts. they do not cover on their own.

    As you've figured out, consumer pinball is still a bit of a wild west. I mean...we are about 15 years removed from this being a completely new thing. Distributors used to make most of their sales to route ops, who were infinitely less picky than we are. Pinball has been a "consumer product" for about a decade, whereas it was a solely commercial product for 100 years.

    The car companies have been at this current model for over a century, and their primary buyers were ALWAYS the general public.

    Anyway, good luck with your quest. I think most of us would agree any distributor worth his salt should help you out here.

    #20 1 year ago
    Quoted from ScubaScott:

    Had similar issues with Stern. Again, with a Rush LE. Shipped directly from Stern through " Estees" trucking, vendor was out of state. Delivered on no pallet and damage to the side decals. Took close to 9 months to get them after numerous complaints. Then the center trough upgrade, Stern conveniently sends a box full of parts to me on behalf of the vendor to install. Vendor is approx 900 miles away, so obviously they're not going to service it. Customer service doesn't exist with Stern. It's all about money. It was only after I met a Stern rep at Pinfest and voiced my complaints that the customer should NOT be responsible to install corrective parts due to defective design flaws, did I get anywhere. He furnished me a technical representatives name and after 2 months he had an authorized Stern repair tech perform a service call. Bottom line, prepare for a long drawn out frustrating battle to have a warranty claim addressed.

    You chose a vendor 900 miles away, and it is Stern's fault there was no one local to help you service? Stern doesn't have a fleet of tech people that they send out to your house like a Maytag repair person of old. That is what the distributors/dealers are supposed to handle. Next time, choose someone closer?

    #21 1 year ago
    Quoted from woody76:

    pretty crappy for something you spent $12k on.

    I believe the expression is vote with your wallet.
    ‐Mike

    #22 1 year ago
    Quoted from paul_8788:

    You chose a vendor 900 miles away, and it is Stern's fault there was no one local to help you service? Stern doesn't have a fleet of tech people that they send out to your house like a Maytag repair person of old. That is what the distributors/dealers are supposed to handle. Next time, choose someone closer?

    Sorry, but you're way off. Stern indeed has certified techs throughout each state. That's who came to my home. If a local vendor in my state had the game I wanted, yes I would have purchased it.

    #23 1 year ago
    Quoted from Mjesposi:

    Understood - point here is more about the warranty period and how.....

    Sadly we all know the warranties are pretty useless these days.
    They have an easy out even I'd they tend to give people a lot of replacement parts when needed.
    Edit: I'm sure they had to adjust a bit when all the fixing calls turned into "So after hooking up 6 aftermarket dolls on my machine and tapping power from 3 node boards something doesn't work anymore..."

    #24 1 year ago
    Quoted from ScubaScott:

    Sorry, but you're way off. Stern indeed has certified techs throughout each state. That's who came to my home. If a local vendor in my state had the game I wanted, yes I would have purchased it.

    Hey, who knows, maybe I do have it wrong. I don't know the internal workings of Stern. But it would be the first time I have ever heard of Stern having some sort of employed or directly contracted network of tech people who just roam around helping customers fix their pins.

    The whole reason distributors exist is that they are supposed to act as a sales and support arm for Stern. It is really your distributor that should've been working with you and Stern to get your pin fixed.

    The fact that Stern went through the effort to find and pay for one to come to your home is more of an "above and beyond" service example than a reason to call them out.

    #25 1 year ago

    I would go through the distributor. The days of calling 1800 kickers are long gone. It was great when you could call Chaz and get something resolved immediately. Rest his soul.

    The email back and forth system sucks.

    11
    #26 1 year ago
    Quoted from Mjesposi:

    it is not a gentle squeak - it is a loud over powering issue that you can clearly hear over the music.

    You sure that's not just Geddy Lee's voice you're hearing?

    brian-baumgartner-badumtss.gifbrian-baumgartner-badumtss.gif

    (I'm actually a big Rush fan, but that was low-hanging fruit.)

    #27 1 year ago
    Quoted from ScubaScott:

    Had similar issues with Stern. Again, with a Rush LE. Shipped directly from Stern through " Estees" trucking, vendor was out of state. Delivered on no pallet and damage to the side decals. Took close to 9 months to get them after numerous complaints. Then the center trough upgrade, Stern conveniently sends a box full of parts to me on behalf of the vendor to install. Vendor is approx 900 miles away, so obviously they're not going to service it. Customer service doesn't exist with Stern. It's all about money. It was only after I met a Stern rep at Pinfest and voiced my complaints that the customer should NOT be responsible to install corrective parts due to defective design flaws, did I get anywhere. He furnished me a technical representatives name and after 2 months he had an authorized Stern repair tech perform a service call. Bottom line, prepare for a long drawn out frustrating battle to have a warranty claim addressed.

    Quoted from ScubaScott:

    Sorry, but you're way off. Stern indeed has certified techs throughout each state. That's who came to my home. If a local vendor in my state had the game I wanted, yes I would have purchased it.

    This is the weirdest complaint ever. You did absolutely everything wrong and you want to blame Stern? Then Stern does you a HUGE solid by sending out one of their "certified repair techs" AKA a guy in jersey who works on pins that they asked to do them a favor and you're still bad mouthing them? You should have never accepted the damaged game in the first place, so its extremely weird that they didn't just replace the game. By vendor do you mean distributor? You should have been talking to them the whole time and not Stern. Stern went way above and beyond to help you out and you should be grateful. Jesus.

    Guys its real simple. If you're having a problem, reach out to your distro. They are the ones who are supposed to be helping you with this stuff.

    #28 1 year ago
    Quoted from mbeardsley:

    "Warranty periods are effective from the initial date of shipment from seller to its authorized distributors."
    Does no one else find it strange that Stern's wording of their warranty says that it starts when they ship it to their distributor?
    So if they ship it and it takes a week to get to the distro, it sits at the distro for 3 weeks before you buy it - you then get only a one-month warranty?
    If you buy a machine that has been sitting in the distro's warehouse for two months - you get no warranty at all?

    That’s such garbage. Another reason I am done with NIB Stern. Love or hate Spooky games, but can’t deny their customer service is awesome.

    #29 1 year ago
    Quoted from BallyKISS1978:

    That’s such garbage. Another reason I am done with NIB Stern. Love or hate Spooky games, but can’t deny their customer service is awesome.

    Exactly. A two-month warranty (that starts when the manufacturer ships it to the distributor) could easily turn out to be no warranty at all by the time it gets to the actual customer.

    #30 1 year ago

    For what it’s worth, stern and my local distributor both have helped me out on every single issue that has ever come up - even when clearly outside the warranty period.

    #31 1 year ago

    98% of the in-warranty issues I've had were handled directly with Stern. It was much simpler than the one time I went through my old distro (who botched it and lied about it and lost a customer). And while a two month warranty sounds absurd, they indeed have went far above and beyond, including a replacement playfield for me, the third owner, on an 18 month old pin with playfield chipping. Everyone needs to take a breath.

    Quoted from ScubaScott:

    Sorry, but you're way off. Stern indeed has certified techs throughout each state. That's who came to my home. If a local vendor in my state had the game I wanted, yes I would have purchased it.

    Please tell me about the Stern Certified Techs that are throughout VT!

    #32 1 year ago

    Guys... I tell people "if you wanna be in this hobby, you better be willing and able to do repairs yourself." Pinball machines break all the time.

    If I had a damaged part and stern sent me a replacement, I'd be absolutely thrilled. If you can't replace something on your own, perhaps this hobby is a little over your head.

    #34 1 year ago

    Has anyone bought one of these to see what it is? I’m going to order one and find out. My guess is that it just reverses the polarity.

    #35 1 year ago
    Quoted from 1963BSARGS:

    Has anyone bought one of these to see what it is? I’m going to order one and find out. My guess is that it just reverses the polarity.

    Can't be much more. Maybe it adds a resistor to help it slow down faster?

    #36 1 year ago
    Quoted from 1963BSARGS:

    Has anyone bought one of these to see what it is? I’m going to order one and find out. My guess is that it just reverses the polarity.

    I can't wait to hear the results. That's a very good guess indeed.

    #37 1 year ago
    Quoted from arcyallen:

    98% of the in-warranty issues I've had were handled directly with Stern. It was much simpler than the one time I went through my old distro (who botched it and lied about it and lost a customer). And while a two month warranty sounds absurd, they indeed have went far above and beyond, including a replacement playfield for me, the third owner, on an 18 month old pin with playfield chipping. Everyone needs to take a breath.

    Please tell me about the Stern Certified Techs that are throughout VT!

    There should be a local or somewhat local repair tech near you in the industry. Some are "authorized " Stern repair technicians and have a working relationship with them. Just ask when you speak with one. They will then perform and bill Stern directly. My issues carried on for close to a year, relentless phone calls, parts they " Stern" claimed were sent, but never received over and over. It was a long drawn out draining process, but apparently to some on here, it was all my fault.

    #38 1 year ago
    Quoted from ScubaScott:

    There should be a local or somewhat local repair tech near you in the industry. Some are "authorized " Stern repair technicians and have a working relationship with them. Just ask when you speak with one. They will then perform and bill Stern directly. My issues carried on for close to a year, relentless phone calls, parts they " Stern" claimed were sent, but never received over and over. It was a long drawn out draining process, but apparently to some on here, it was all my fault.

    I've never had anything close to an experience like this when I have had to have issues addressed. Because I have worked through awesome distributors....

    Also, to be fair, I actually did some work myself to install parts that I was sent. I understand things would be more difficult if someone is unable to do so.

    #39 1 year ago
    Quoted from paul_8788:

    I've never had anything close to an experience like this when I have had to have issues addressed. Because I have worked through awesome distributors....
    Also, to be fair, I actually did some work myself to install parts that I was sent. I understand things would be more difficult if someone is unable to do so.

    A good 65% of fixes have to be "Replace node board."

    #40 1 year ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    A good 65% of fixes have to be "Replace node board."

    That's the kind of thing you need an authorized Stern tech for!

    #41 1 year ago
    Quoted from ScubaScott:

    There should be a local or somewhat local repair tech near you in the industry. Some are "authorized " Stern repair technicians and have a working relationship with them. Just ask when you speak with one. They will then perform and bill Stern directly. My issues carried on for close to a year, relentless phone calls, parts they " Stern" claimed were sent, but never received over and over. It was a long drawn out draining process, but apparently to some on here, it was all my fault.

    lol

    #42 1 year ago
    Quoted from EternitytoM83:

    You sure that's not just Geddy Lee's voice you're hearing?

    Quoted from EternitytoM83:

    (I'm actually a big Rush fan, but that was low-hanging fruit.)

    I was just scrolling down to say the same joke and my love of their music. I'm always amazed how many people like Rush except for Geddys voice.
    Makes absolutely no sense to me. Here's a guy playing an instrument with a low register, with complicated bass lines, and to top it off singing at the same time cutting through his bass. Oh and let's not even talk about what the words mean.

    #43 1 year ago

    Definitely going to give this a try as it is worth a $5 flyer to see what it does.

    #44 1 year ago
    Quoted from 1963BSARGS:

    Has anyone bought one of these to see what it is? I’m going to order one and find out. My guess is that it just reverses the polarity.

    It reverses the polarity. I bought one and it actually fixed the annoying squeaking I was having in my one machine. Highly recommend!

    #45 1 year ago
    Quoted from Strummy:

    I would go through the distributor. The days of calling 1800 kickers are long gone. It was great when you could call Chaz and get something resolved immediately. Rest his soul.
    The email back and forth system sucks.

    So did Chaz die? Is he no longer with Stern? He has helped me out countless times on the 1800 kickers line over the years? I have not had a reason to call in the last several years.

    #46 1 year ago
    Quoted from pinzone:

    So did Chaz die? Is he no longer with Stern? He has helped me out countless times on the 1800 kickers line over the years? I have not had a reason to call in the last several years.

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/chas-an-amazing-tech-support-engineer-at-stern-has-passed-away-#post-5791947

    #47 1 year ago

    Thanks for the link. Very sad indeed. He was the very first person to help me with Tales from the Crypt back in the Data East days! Will be sorely missed.

    #48 1 year ago
    Quoted from pinzone:

    ...Will be sorely missed.

    Already has been and it was very immediate.

    Reply

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