(Topic ID: 194915)

Say what you want about Stern, but.....


By Manimal

2 years ago



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  • 32 posts
  • 23 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by Manimal
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    #1 2 years ago

    Say what you want about Stern, but one thing they have going for them is their tech support. I know we have all been critical of the company for one reason or another (Some deserved, some not), but besides the pinball industry, where do you call tech support and right away get to talk to someone that actually knows how to troubleshoot their products, and isn't just reading a menu off of a screen? Luckily I don't have to talk to them often, but yesterday I was running into an issue on an older S.A.M. game that just had me perplexed. After trading a couple of emails with symptoms/suggestions, Pat called me direct and was able to walk me through a troubleshooting process that I was overlooking because of stubbornness. I had it in my head a new part was functioning correctly because it was new. In reality, that new part wasn't working in this machine for some reason I am still trying to figure out. I overlooked the obvious testing because of that assumption, and it would have taken me a long time to come to that realization. As I said, this was a game that was many years out of warranty, and I am probably the third or fourth owner. I have had this type of experience with Stern and JJP before, and it is always good to know they are willing to help with a challenge. Not trying to be a shill, but if we are going to complain about what is bad, we need to also recognize what is right.

    #2 2 years ago

    Nice to hear some good about this company. I just acquired a stern game and while I realize that it may not possess the manufacturing pedigree if a Bally Williams, it is a pretty nice game. Wish the playfield apron were a bit beefier. I always support the bottom of the playfield as I raise the playfield for fear I will crack the apron. No big deal.

    #3 2 years ago

    It's good to hear that a big company offers that type of support - I don't own a stern yet but if I decide I want one (ie. Metallica) this makes me feel good about getting it

    #4 2 years ago

    Agreed! Support has always been stellar for me.

    #5 2 years ago

    Also entirely agree. Stern support and in particular Chas has been extremely helpful each time I have required help.

    #6 2 years ago

    They have treated me good also. Pat has gone so far as to check in with me on his free time to ask how my games working on a holiday break.

    #7 2 years ago
    Quoted from JMK:

    Also entirely agree. Stern support and in particular Chas has been extremely helpful each time I have required help.

    You mean Chaaaaaaaz...

    #8 2 years ago

    I have 2 playfields that ghosted and are being replaced by Stern.

    I give a lot of credit to my distributor. If it wasn't for him, I may not have been approved for replacements on both machines.

    #9 2 years ago
    Quoted from JMK:

    Also entirely agree. Stern support and in particular Chas has been extremely helpful each time I have required help.

    Same here

    #10 2 years ago

    I've never had negative experiences with support after the sale. Sometimes things take a little longer than you hope for, but they generally take care of things. I know a few people have been left out in the cold, but they are in the extreme minority and there's always some part of the story that gets left untold, I'm sure.

    I can't imagine how many times the tech support team quietly curses at the QA team for letting stuff go out that should have been caught in inspection though. Dudes in support are unimaginably patient.

    #11 2 years ago

    Quick related question....as someone who bought Aerosmith secondhand...can I still get the same tech support as someone who bought the game new?

    #12 2 years ago
    Quoted from ejacques:

    Quick related question....as someone who bought Aerosmith secondhand...can I still get the same tech support as someone who bought the game new?

    Same tech support...not sure about warranty. The tech support guys are always willing to help with one of their games no matter how old.

    #13 2 years ago
    Quoted from Manimal:

    ...get to talk to someone that actually knows how to troubleshoot their products, and isn't just reading a menu off of a screen?

    Funny because I had Samsung fridge crap out on me and the younger repair folks came over and basically do the phone tree to fix a major appliance

    I've only had 1 issue with a Stern game, talk to Chaz the next day & they shipped out the part toot sweet.

    #14 2 years ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    the next day & they shipped out the part toot sweet.

    I don't know what this means, but I'm sure it's good.

    For second (and beyond) owners, they're usually pretty good about giving you the same level of support, and often times warranty coverage if the build date is fairly recent. You can't really expect them to step up and replace stuff after a game has been through three or four owners and seen thousands of plays though.

    #15 2 years ago
    Quoted from jar155:

    I don't know what this means, but I'm sure it's good.

    "right away"

    #16 2 years ago

    Stern's tech support is top notch. I agree completely. Those guys are outstanding.

    #17 2 years ago

    Another vote for Chas and company. Great guys, great service.

    #18 2 years ago

    I have spoken to Chas about 10 times in the last 7 years, every time he was able to resolve the issue quickly.

    #20 2 years ago
    Quoted from jar155:

    I don't know what this means, but I'm sure it's good.

    Tout de Suite actually. "Toot duh Sweet".

    http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/390125.html

    Carry on...wayward son...

    #22 2 years ago

    Great tech support.

    Crappy customer service. I've sent many emails about code issues and never even got a reply back.

    I'm done with Stern. I love my Stern pins but the company is dead to me now unless they do something about code and QC.

    #23 2 years ago

    Stern has provided solid tech support to me over the years. I am not happy with Stern releasing games with known playfield isssues. I don't have confidence that any game Stern is currently making, will be free of deficiencies. However the prices have increased so fast and gotten so high, that combined with the quality issues, means I am out of the Stern nib market. Will still be targeting HUO Sterns for purchase going forward so I can tell if it's ok first. Buying a new pin should not be stressful.

    #24 2 years ago

    OK, please can someone explain to me, why i never got any response to my ( two) questions over the years. Really never.

    One time i wanted to know if it is planned to produce a 3D-Translite for Shrek, no answer. OK, no tragedy. Did buy Shrek and played it over years.

    One time i wanted to know if i can get a new plastic which was broken from the beginning (GoT, the plastic on the right behind edge, where never comes a ball to, so i think it was too strong drilled). No answer.
    So i have to buy a whole set (120 Euro or so)..... or what i did, removed the plastic and the LED and glued a raven there to cover the hole. Works. Works without you Stern.

    So i am absolutely disappointed about support.

    But i will remember....

    #25 2 years ago
    Quoted from Metengo:

    OK, please can someone explain to me, why i never got any response to my ( two) questions over the years. Really never.
    One time i wanted to know if it is planned to produce a 3D-Translite for Shrek, no answer. OK, no tragedy. Did buy Shrek and played it over years.
    One time i wanted to know if i can get a new plastic which was broken from the beginning (GoT, the plastic on the right behind edge, where never comes a ball to, so i think it was too strong drilled). No answer.
    So i have to buy a whole set (120 Euro or so)..... or what i did, removed the plastic and the LED and glued a raven there to cover the hole. Works. Works without you Stern.
    So i am absolutely disappointed about support.
    But i will remember....

    Your distributor may be able to get you a single plastic, if you make it clear which one you need.

    #26 2 years ago

    I think some folks here are confusing customer service with tech support. I will readily admit Stern can sometimes be less than a stellar in customer service. General questions about code, artwork, parts, quality, etc....those all go through customer service. I was referring to Technical Support. These are the guys you call when you have an electrical gremlin, or some other functional issue. They know the games inside and out, and they work with you to figure out the issue and get the game back functional.

    #27 2 years ago

    Ah OK. Sorry, missed the differences, for me it was only one company.

    But now i know it is not the same standard in this company.

    OK.

    But nevertheless they lost me (also) for a little peace of plastic. I did not want the stars above only the feeling of a good CRM for nearly zero invest from their side.

    Did not happen.

    Maybe i need someday (because i have a Spike-System-Stern) their Tech help and be satisfied. We will see.

    #28 2 years ago

    Chas has always helped me, regardless of what Stern game I was contacting them about. Stellar service!

    #29 2 years ago

    Chas is awesome.

    #30 2 years ago

    manimal couldn't have said it better myself. I couldn't believe what it would be like if Chas wasn't around. This is a department they don't have to change. My only suggestion would be to clone Chas.

    #31 2 years ago
    Quoted from Manimal:

    I think some folks here are confusing customer service with tech support. I will readily admit Stern can sometimes be less than a stellar in customer service. General questions about code, artwork, parts, quality, etc....those all go through customer service. I was referring to Technical Support. These are the guys you call when you have an electrical gremlin, or some other functional issue. They know the games inside and out, and they work with you to figure out the issue and get the game back functional.

    Stern Customer service

    IMG_3262 (resized).JPG

    #32 2 years ago
    Quoted from rai:

    Stern Customer service

    Maybe....but I think like any company they have their good and their bad. I see a lot of complaints scattered around Pinside, and I always have to keep in mind we only hear one side of the story. Taking them at face value, there are many complaints that I would say are valid, but then there are a lot that I personally believe result from unrealistic expectations. We want what we want when we want it, but we don't often stop to put ourselves on the other side of the issue and look at it from a different view. Like I said, I am not lumping every gripe into this category...god knows some of the Stern folks are their own worst enemy, but we unfortunately tend to lump them all together.

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