(Topic ID: 178720)

Open Letter to Gary Stern re: Defective Playfields


By kpg

2 years ago



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  • 333 posts
  • 93 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by ExtremePinball
  • Topic is favorited by 10 Pinsiders

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There are 333 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 7.
10
#1 2 years ago

Hello All,

I have formally drafted an open letter to Gary Stern, requesting a public response and acknowledgment of the promised "Playfield Replacement Program".

This is combined with the petition that has received almost 100 signers, amounting to well over 7 figures of Stern Pinball Inc. purchases.

I am simply looking for Stern to communicate to us customers better, and nothing more at this point.

Please see the petition here:

https://www.change.org/p/gary-stern-replace-defective-stern-pinball-machine-playfields

Please read my open letter to Gary Stern of Stern Pinball Inc. here:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/23412786/Stern/Open%20Letter%20to%20Gary%20Stern.pdf

I have also emailed Gary a copy of the letter, the petition, and also the link to this post on Pinside so he sees it is a topic of public discussion.

Please provide feedback and let Gary know of your support of the requests in my letter, and how better communication regarding the significant playfield defects will only make us appreciate and support Stern Pinball Inc. in the long term.

Thank you for your support.

Kris

#2 2 years ago

Did you send a copy traceable courier like FedEx?

#3 2 years ago
Quoted from shlockdoc:

Did you send a copy traceable courier like FedEx?

I will tomorrow or the next day.

I just emailed it to Gary.stern@sternpinball.com, also CCd my distributor Trent @ Tilt, along with Patrick Powers and the info@sternpinball.com address.

-79
#4 2 years ago

hey gary, if your reading this, thanks for all you've done for our small hobby. It is unfortunate that due to a number of preventable problems on your newest machine a lifetime of dedication is being dismissed by the community you are trying to please. They think that because they are shelling out the most money, that they are the largest contributors to the hobby. they are not. They think the more threads they create, the more urgent something becomes. it does not. We understand that even though you are the figure head of the company that does not mean you personally oversee every machine as it leaves the factory. Keep doing youre best, and as long as these consumers are willing to pay for what youre selling, dont let them tell you they deserve better. Your company alone kept pinball alive during its darkest hour, and for that we will always be grateful. whether we act like it or not.

Ray

#5 2 years ago

The Attorney General complaint should should gain positive results. Respectful requests don't always get results in matters involving larges sums of money.

28
#6 2 years ago
Quoted from SHOOTTHEPYRAMID:

hey gary, if your reading this, thanks for all you've done for our small hobby. It is unfortunate that due to a number of preventable problems on your newest machine a lifetime of dedication is being dismissed by the community you are trying to please. They think that because they are shelling out the most money, that they are the largest contributors to the hobby. they are not. They think the more threads they create, the more urgent something becomes. it does not. We understand that even though you are the figure head of the company that does not mean you personally oversee every machine as it leaves the factory. Keep doing youre best, and as long as these consumers are willing to pay for what youre selling, dont let them tell you they deserve better. Your company alone kept pinball alive during its darkest hour, and for that we will always be grateful. whether we act like it or not.
Ray

Ray,

Your Stern Army shirt is in the mail.

#7 2 years ago

As a business owner myself I've got to say that I'm shocked by your lack of professionalism and decor. Gary contacted you and made personal commitments. If those promises where not kept then the appropriate response would be to call Gary back and have a one-on-one conversation. Starting a petition and posting a personal letter on a public forum without first discussing the issue with Gary is beyond tacky.

P.S. - I am not a Stern fan and think their quality and communication are lackluster at best.

14
#8 2 years ago
Quoted from terryb:

As a business owner myself I've got to say that I'm shocked by your lack of professionalism and decor. Gary contacted you personally and made personal commitments. If those promises where not kept then the appropriate response would be to call Gary back and have a one-on-one conversation. Starting a petition and posting a personal letter on a public forum without first discussing the issue with Gary is beyond tacky.

Terry,

If that is tacky and unprofessional, what do you consider Stern since they ignored my emails and calls from both myself and my distributor for updates for months, before I took these steps?

Would love to hear the advice from you, a business owner.

I'm also a business owner, and not one of my clients would complain of being ignored and given inaccurate dates of resolution, as customer service is what keeps me in business.

Curious to how you and your company would address customers who you have shipped many defective products to. Maybe you like taking the silent road and hoping people shut their mouths over time and forget about it?

#9 2 years ago
Quoted from shlockdoc:

Did you send a copy traceable courier like FedEx?

Quoted from kpg:

I will tomorrow or the next day.
I just emailed it to Gary.stern@sternpinball.com, also CCd my distributor Trent @ Tilt, along with Patrick Powers and the info@sternpinball.com address.

Be sure to have it notarized, too! He'll have to acquiesce once he sees that your letter is notarized.

-3
#10 2 years ago
Quoted from kpg:

Would love to hear the advice from you, a business owner.

If you called Gary to address the issue directly and your call was not returned then I will rescind part of my statement, but I stand behind my opinion that posting a personal letter to a CEO on a public forum is unprofessional. As a business owner I would back off the public statements and send a registered letter to Gary (again if you first tried to call him, which my impression is you have not).

I know you've had unhappy customers, no matter how good we are, we all have. Is this how you would want them to deal with you?

#11 2 years ago
Quoted from SHOOTTHEPYRAMID:

as long as these consumers are willing to pay for what youre selling, dont let them tell you they deserve better.

Seems they were willing to pay for quality manufactured pinball playfields as part of their overall purchase and ultimately that is not what they received. Are you okay with Stern selling defective products?

#12 2 years ago
Quoted from terryb:

If you called Gary to address the issue directly and your call was not returned then I will rescind part of my statement, but I still stand behind my opinion that posting a personal letter to a CEO on a public forum is unprofessional.
I know you've had unhappy customers, no matter how good we are, we all have. Is this how you would want them to deal with you?

I've never had an unhappy customer in 12 years. I had a couple that had some valid issues they wanted addressed, and rather than ignore them and not provide a timeline, I went the extra mile and that only strengthened our business relationship. Many years later, we still do business on a regular basis.

Had I ignored them, I wouldn't have blamed them for going above and beyond to call me out and find resolution in a public way. Welcome to 2017.. this is how it works now. Look at restaurant reviews on YELP. Companies must acknowledge this now.

Gary called me initially, but many subsequent times of reaching out were not returned after that, and the "Playfield Replacement Program" he mentioned never came into fruition.

That, is unprofessional.

-8
#13 2 years ago

Honestly..... They are going to blackball you and all that you have accomplished will be discredited.

All we heard on your last thread was about lack of communication and how you have accepted the fact that you had to wait.

They gave you an answer with a personal call from the CEO and you totally did a 180. There is no doubt since you have decided to keep going down this path once you where informed that you will be getting a new PF.................. well lets just say if theres 50 people waiting, you will be #51.

12
#14 2 years ago
Quoted from hoby1:

Honestly..... They are going to blackball you and all that you have accomplished will be discredited.
All we heard on your last thread was about lack of communication and how you have accepted that fact that you had to wait.
They gave you an answer with a personal call from the CEO and you totally did a 180. There is no doubt since you have decided to keep going down this path once you where informed that you will be getting a new PF.................. well lets just say if theres 50 people waiting, you will be #51.

If that is true that is bullshit. Speak out and get punished ?

#15 2 years ago
Quoted from kpg:

Gary called me initially, but many subsequent times of reaching out were not returned after that, and the "Playfield Replacement Program" he mentioned never came into fruition.
That, is unprofessional.

Didn't they just get back to your distributor Trent today? And you follow up immediately with this letter? Not the way I'd handle it but let's see what happens.

#16 2 years ago
Quoted from Chrizg:

If that is true that is bullshit. Speak out and get punished ?

Read his entire last post..... He was only concerned about getting some response and an answer, not about wait time. They contacted his dist and him, then he stirs the pot again. All I can say is WOW, talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

I sure everyone at Stern is saying " lets help this guy out ASAP"

#17 2 years ago
Quoted from kpg:

Welcome to 2017.

Yes it is 2017 and people don't have the balls to address issues man to man (or woman to woman--so pezpunk doesn't get upset) so they post anonymously on the Internet (speaking generically not addressed at you).

I must have missed your answer about if you called Gary back directly and gave him the chance to make things right.

#18 2 years ago

You defenders are all nuts! BM66 owners are reporting issues! WTF! Hell yes I signed the petition, there is more here than just what happened to KPG

19
#19 2 years ago

After six months of waiting with no information, the op is entitled to make some noise. Also can the Stern defenders please explain how a customer with ghosting received an older playfied with the date smudged? I'm afraid that type of behaviour is inexcusable. Also, if Stern is struggling to find a solution that works, why are they continuing to manufacture machines with defective playfieds? Shouldn't they have stopped the line until they could figure out a solution?

The Japanese apparently authorize anyone on the stage shop floor to pull the alarm and stop production...perhaps no one at stern has the authority? Just feels like stern is now beholden to the investment bankers rather than their customers. Anyhow these thoughts are just the ramblings of a pin/arcade aficionado.

#20 2 years ago
Quoted from hoby1:

Read his entire last post..... He was only concerned about getting some response and an answer, not about wait time. They contacted his dist and him, then he stirs the pot again. All I can say is WOW, talk about shooting yourself in the foot.
I sure everyone at Stern is saying " lets help this guy out ASAP"

What you are saying is partially true maybe, but in KPG's defense how long should he and others wait to have their 8 thousand dollar games fixed? He was also told that the program has been pushed back with no explanation of why or how long. I think what people are really pissed off about is Sterns complete disrespect and lack of communication toward them and quite honestly I dont F'ing blame them. I wrote Stern an email telling them I wanted to buy a new GB Premium but was concerned about some issues that the game had and ask if they were going to be addressed. They didnt even have the decency to respond back to me. I love Stern and want them to be in business forever, but their customer relations flat out SUCK!

#21 2 years ago
Quoted from hoby1:

Honestly..... They are going to blackball you and all that you have accomplished will be discredited.

How could they "blackball" him or any other end user for that matter?? Stern only sells to distributors, which then retail machines to customers...

#22 2 years ago
Quoted from Who-Dey:

What you are saying is partially true maybe, but in KPG's defense how long should he and others wait to have their 8 thousand dollar games fixed?

What part of what im saying isn't true ?

I dont know what acceptable time frame is. That would vary from person to person. What I do know is, that they have acknowledged the fact and are willing to take care of the major ghosting and chipping issues.

When GM had paint literally pealing off their cars in the mid to late 90s, it took years before they did anything. Hopefully thats not the benchmark but it certainly is the case.

#23 2 years ago
Quoted from TKDalumni:

How could they "blackball" him or any other end user for that matter?? Stern only sells to distributors, which then retail machines to customers...

Shipping box with new PF appears to be coming direct from Stern, first contact being made straight to the consumer. Thats how.

21
#24 2 years ago
Quoted from hoby1:

What part of what im saying isn't true ?
I dont know what acceptable time frame is. That would vary from person to person. What I do know is, that they have acknowledged the fact and are will to take care of the ghosting and chipping issues.
When GM had paint literally pealing off their cars in the mid to late 90s, it took years before they did anything. Hopefully thats not the benchmark but it certainly is the case.

Thats the thing, they said hey dont worry buddy, we will fix your playfield. Thats all he wanted them to do, then a bunch of time goes by and he tries to find ou the status of his playfield and they say.....sorry the playfield program has been pushed back and then dropped all communication with him. Im sorry but that is not acceptable.

-8
#25 2 years ago
Quoted from Who-Dey:

Thats the thing, they said hey dont worry buddy, we will fix your playfield. Thats all he wanted them to do, then a bunch of time goes by and he tries to find outthe sstatus of his playfield and they say.....sorry the playfield program has been pushed back and then dropped all communication with him. Im sorry but that is not acceptable.

Better to be pushed back then receive a second bad playfield........ right ?

Wait a month then contact them again, dont start a ruckus less than 24 hours after a response.

#26 2 years ago
Quoted from hoby1:

Better to be pushed back then receive a second bad playfield........ right ?
Wait a month then contact them again, dont start a ruckus less than 24 hours after a response.

Stern has had plenty of time to get things in order, they should be tackling the problems head on not hiding behind "stay tuned"

How has Sterns lack of communication affected you? I'm happy to explain again how it has driven me crazy.

#27 2 years ago
Quoted from hoby1:

Better to be pushed back then receive a second bad playfield........ right ?
Wait a month then contact them again, dont start a ruckus less than 24 hours after a response.

He waited way longer than a month before he called back and ask them what was going on. Blowing off your customers is wrong, stupid as F, and very disrespectful and unprofessional and they have lost a sh*tload of business over all of this also.

15
#28 2 years ago

Look, I own a business as well and our number one goal is to give customers quality service and of course a working product. If the customer is not happy or if some thing fails we do everything in our power to correct the issue. We do not ignore our customers. Communication is so important. Being that Stern has failed in these most principle aspects of any company, I feel it is the OP's right, and any other who has had similar problems, to take his claim wherever he feels will give them a resolution.

13
#29 2 years ago

I am holding off on buying a NIB Stern because I am afraid of getting a crappy play field, and it not being addressed.

#30 2 years ago
Quoted from vicjw66:

I am holding off on buying a NIB Stern because I am afraid of getting a crappy play field, and it not being addressed.

Good idea!

-1
#31 2 years ago
Quoted from Who-Dey:

He waited way longer than a month before he called back and ask them what was going on. Blowing off your customers is wrong, stupid as F, and very disrespectful and unprofessional and they have lost a sh*tload of business over all of this also.

I agree, but they just got back to him today. ( according to his posts )

#32 2 years ago
Quoted from vicjw66:

I am holding off on buying a NIBitStern because I am afraid of getting a crappy play field, and it not being addressed.

Same here, I want a new GB Premium so bad that I cant stand It but 7-8 thousand dollars is a lot of money to me. It takes me a hell of a long time to save that money and a lot of hard work too, I cant just piss that kind of money away and not care. For that kind of money I demand a quality product.

11
#33 2 years ago
Quoted from hoby1:

I agree, but they just got back to him today. ( according to his posts )

All I was told was "Stern got back to me and said you were officially accepted into the playfield program, and they are waiting on new playfields"

Sorry, but WTF. That's what Gary told me 6 months ago. Literally, nothing has happened in that timeframe. That's not an update, that's a re-run of my conversation with Gary from half a year ago.

#34 2 years ago
Quoted from hoby1:

I agree, but they just got back to him today. ( according to his posts )

I dont think you know the whole story. Also, the only reason they are speaking to him again is because he's pissed off and they want to quiet him down. They should be talking to him ANYTIME he calls them, not just when its convenient for them.

#35 2 years ago
Quoted from kpg:

All I was told was "Stern got back to me and said you were officially accepted into the playfield program, and they are waiting on new playfields"
Sorry, but WTF. That's what Gary told me 6 months ago. Literally, nothing has happened in that timeframe. That's not an update, that's a re-run of my conversation with Gary from half a year ago.

Nothing to be sorry about ...... its your choice on what you want to do. The process has started, it appears it has been pushed back, thats what they relayed to you today, you are on the list and will be getting a new PF.

Im sorry KPG ...... but I just can't see how this will help your cause.

#36 2 years ago
Quoted from hoby1:

Shipping box with new PF appears to be coming direct from Stern, first contact being made straight to the consumer. Thats how.

They got back to his distro not him. Try again.

-2
#37 2 years ago
Quoted from hoby1:

Nothing to be sorry about ...... its your choice on what you want to do. The process has started, it appears it has been pushed back, thats what they relayed to you today, you are on the list and will be getting a new PF.
Im sorry KPG ...... but I just can't see how this will help your cause.

hoby1 I reported you for being a broken record, as I don't think you are gonna ever understand, so should just stop.

#38 2 years ago
Quoted from hoby1:

Nothing to be sorry about ...... its your choice on what you want to do. The process has started, it appears it has been pushed back, thats what they relayed to you today, you are on the list and will be getting a new PF.
Im sorry KPG ...... but I just can't see how this will help your cause.

He deserves some kind of a time frame. At the rate they are going it may be ten years before he gets a playfield. He also wants to sell his game and he cant because its got a trashed playfield.

-11
#39 2 years ago
Quoted from Who-Dey:

He deserves some kind of a time frame. At the rate they are going it may be ten years before he gets a playfield. He also wants to sell his game and he cant because its got a trashed playfield.

My wife had a 1993 Olds Cutlass Calais with blue paint that she bought new, The paint started pealing off the hood and fenders right down to the gray primer after about a year. Looked sooooo bad we could not trade or sell.
Took 3 years before they painted the car but not before evaluating it for % of total paint loss. SUX but just the way stuff goes sometimes

I feel his pain.

#41 2 years ago
Quoted from hoby1:

My wife had a 1993 Olds Cutlass Calais with blue paint that she bought new, The paint started pealing off the hood and fenders right down to the gray primer after about a year. Looked sooooo bad we could not trade or sell.
Took 3 years before they painted the car but not before evaluating it for % of total paint loss. SUX but just the way stuff goes sometimes
I feel his pain.

Sorry to hear about your problem that occurred TWENTY FOUR YEARS AGO!

#42 2 years ago
Quoted from hoby1:

My wife had a 1993 Olds Cutlass Calais with blue paint that she bought new, The paint started pealing off the hood and fenders right down to the gray primer after about a year. Looked sooooo bad we could not trade or sell.
Took 3 years before they painted the car but not before evaluating it for % of total paint loss. SUX but just the way stuff goes sometimes
I feel his pain.

IMG_3618 (resized).JPG

#43 2 years ago

Mr. Stern how about releasing a "Retro" line of games. This would be fantastic!

Retro = Laser Wars
Retro = Secret Service
Retro = Torpedo Alley

Start from game 1 Laser Wars. Thanks!!

#44 2 years ago
Quoted from kpg:

Man, I hope the next NIB Stern game you purchase with your money is GHOSTED AS FUCK and your clear coat turns into powdered dust and fragments of chips.. so we can tell you how much we don't give two shits about your situation and to sit tight, and STFU.
Get outta here with that shit

Was using as an example not as a frame of reference. People will see the real you and wishing that upon someone just shows what type of person you really are .... I wish you well with your GB

#45 2 years ago

In the age of crowd sourcing, social media and electronic feedback, I don't see anything wrong with the letter's verbiage or tone. These guys deserve much worse. How much time has been wasted by owners and non-owners on these QC issues. I had to do some serious reaching out to several Pinsiders while deciding on a GBLE trade. I finally backed out cause there was no guarantee. Buying a new game is supposed to be fun, let's ask the BM66 owner with the cratered pf if he's having fun.

#46 2 years ago
Quoted from kvan99:

In the age of crowd sourcing, social media and electronic feedback, I don't see anything wrong with the letter's verbiage or tone. These guys deserve much worse. How much time has been wasted by owners and non-owners on these QC issues. I had to do some serious reaching out to several Pinsiders while deciding on a GBLE trade. I finally backed out cause there was no guarantee. Buying a new game is supposed to be fun, let's ask the BM66 owner with the cratered pf if he's having fun.

Let's see, a huge chuck of money deposited on GBLE DECEMBER 2015, then more money paid in until it was fully paid then months more waiting, then PF started exploding on Pinside so I bailed and moved down to a GBPREM, and now January 2017 I asked for a refund, so yeah not having $6k-8k in my account for a YEAR, and people say Hang Tight Stern needs more time, buncha idiots. PLUS I send Stern money for a NIB LED MET PRO while waiting for the GBPREM, because well ONLY GB has PF problems, so yeah I am barely been able to play it due to the continuous mechanical issues and now PF clear is chipping, so yeah hoby1 what is your Stern story?

#47 2 years ago

What about contacting bbb also. They have to respond to them, i believe?

#48 2 years ago

(to follow)

#49 2 years ago
Quoted from hoby1:

My wife had a 1993 Olds Cutlass Calais with blue paint that she bought new, The paint started pealing off the hood and fenders right down to the gray primer after about a year. Looked sooooo bad we could not trade or sell.
Took 3 years before they painted the car but not before evaluating it for % of total paint loss. SUX but just the way stuff goes sometimes
I feel his pain.

So just because GM sucks, that means that its ok for all companies to suck? I got screwed on a couple of GM cars real bad myself and guess what? They lost me as a customer many years ago for life! GM probably wouldn't be in business right now if Obama hadn't bailed them out 8 years ago. My last GM car was back in 1987, 30 years ago. Thats probably at least 5 new cars that they lost out on selling me because they didn't take care of me as a customer.

#50 2 years ago

I don't think I would be a happy customer the way Stern is handling their affairs. Plus I feel bad for distributors , seems like they have to a lot of customer service on sterns behalf for what I'm assuming is small profit per unit!
Hope there is a resolution!

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