(Topic ID: 298636)

Stern Customer Service

By Blznearl

3 months ago


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  • 44 posts
  • 27 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by fishmanrob
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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Stern marketing 1 (resized).jpg
JPsternWarranty2 (resized).png

-10
#1 3 months ago

Just wanted to let everyone know about my recent experience with Stern Customer Service. Bought a new JP Premium and it arrived safely enough in May. After 3 months and maybe a 100 games the Jeep toy stopped spinning. Called 800Kickers (Stern customer service number) and a recording basically says we don’t answer the phone anymore you will need to email our service department (not a good sign). Sent an email about my concern and did receive a “here is how to fix it yourself” response. Gave it the old college try to no avail. Wrote back requesting a warranty repair and crickets. Wrote back two more times in two weeks and nothing. $7,000 machine that is 3 months old and the mere mention of a warranty repair freezes them up. Don’t expect any after purchase warranty support from Stern, they do not stand behind their products.

#2 3 months ago

You need to go through the distributor for your warranty repair. The place that you bought the pin from. They will put pressure on Stern to get it fixed for you.
Sorry that happen. Good luck.

-2
#3 3 months ago

Fantastic suggestion! I guess it is too much to ask that Stern tell you that. I really hate being ignored! Going to try this route and will follow up.

#4 3 months ago

I had the same problem and a little 100 % silicone lubricant on the washers worked perfectly

Sorry to hear about problem from Stern
We never had anything but positive experience with their customer service

Stay safe
matthew

#5 3 months ago

I emailed them a question on my Metallica pro with less than 100 total plays that was messed up from the factory. Never received a response. It’s pathetic. Where can you get away with that buying 10k plus toys- assets and have no customer service?

You buy appliances for your whole kitchen or a car and you have a problem, you can get great warranty customer service.

You buy a boat or a four wheeler brand new, you have a warranty and great customer service.

Not at Stern. You have to go back to your distributor and beg your distributor to help you.

#6 3 months ago
Quoted from Blznearl:

Fantastic suggestion! I guess it is too much to ask that Stern tell you that. I really hate being ignored! Going to try this route and will follow up.

Distributor first always, why else would we need distros? I have always had great Stern CS.

#7 3 months ago

Ive only had to use it once but they got back
To me pretty quickly about my Stranger things TK lock. I forget the guys name but he was pretty responsive.

#8 3 months ago

Resurrect Chaz.

#9 3 months ago

Go through your distro , but it sucks you don't get a response to emails .
The Pinball companies are too busy these days to care .

#10 3 months ago

Pablo has been amazing at Stern. Helped me resolve a few issues. He is very busy. I would just send a weekly reminder and try not to be too pushy and see if he can get it sorted for you.

#11 3 months ago
Quoted from Blznearl:

Fantastic suggestion! I guess it is too much to ask that Stern tell you that. I really hate being ignored! Going to try this route and will follow up.

Your distributor should’ve told you how this works. It’s on them. Always start with them when you have an issue.

#12 3 months ago
Quoted from fishmanrob:

You have to go back to your distributor and beg your distributor to help you.

If you have to beg your distributor for help then you obviously need to find a new one.

#13 3 months ago
Quoted from screaminr:

Go through your distro , but it sucks you don't get a response to emails .
The Pinball companies are too busy these days to care .

If you had bought a new Stern you would realise the distro in Australia does a fantastic job of looking after and caring about their customers. That is how it is supposed to work.

#14 3 months ago

Are they really not answering the tech line anymore?

That is a shame as had great help via phone and crickets via email in the past.

#15 3 months ago
Quoted from Blznearl:

After 3 months... Sent an email about my concern and did receive a “here is how to fix it yourself” response. Gave it the old college try to no avail. Wrote back requesting a warranty repair and crickets.

Your machine isn't covered under warranty. Read page 59 in your manual.
Your distributor or Stern may help you anyway but you're not entitled to warranty coverage.

JPsternWarranty2 (resized).png
#16 3 months ago

First post and glad it garnered interest.

The point of this was to pass along frustration...unearth support...and maybe, if lucky, make a few pin head friends. Didn’t really expect so many to run to the rescue of Stern....love the one where the guy snips contract at me...kinda like scripture for the red....digressing

I paid my local Pin tech 50 big ones to get the machine right today... thanks Andrew!!...Planning to send Stern an email on Monday and ask for the $50 bucks back as a warranty refund for a known problem...”A check will do and here’s my address”...next I will hold my breath.

Guys...it’s not that they are a bad company...admittedly the toy is awesome!...it’s the fact they stopped responding...called ghosting, right? They blocked me..they stopped caring.

If the answer is “hey dummy...read the fine print in your contract”...or maybe “We just don’t have time right now”...perhaps as many suggested...”please reach out to your distributor to request service”...fine...dammit..I am a big boy, I can take it...just give me the answer so I can move on...don’t stall...don’t ignore...Respond...Respond like you care....Respond like you care there is someone on the receiving end of your sentence...a real person on the other end of your sentence...a customer on the other end.

#17 3 months ago

Get a better warranty with a $300 55” 4k tv. Glad my next NIB pin will be Halloween. I hear their customer service is top notch. Will be my first spooky pinball.

#18 3 months ago
Quoted from pinballaddicted:

If you had bought a new Stern you would realise the distro in Australia does a fantastic job of looking after and caring about their customers. That is how it is supposed to work.

If you had read my post properly , you would realise I was talking about manufacturers and not distributors .
My tech does all the Victorian warranty work for AMD and you couldn't get better .
And I've always had great service from Zax's .

#19 3 months ago
Quoted from Blznearl:

First post and glad it garnered interest.
The point of this was to pass along frustration...unearth support...and maybe, if lucky, make a few pin head friends. Didn’t really expect so many to run to the rescue of Stern....love the one where the guy snips contract at me...kinda like scripture for the red....digressing
I paid my local Pin tech 50 big ones to get the machine right today... thanks Andrew!!...Planning to send Stern an email on Monday and ask for the $50 bucks back as a warranty refund for a known problem...”A check will do and here’s my address”...next I will hold my breath.
Guys...it’s not that they are a bad company...admittedly the toy is awesome!...it’s the fact they stopped responding...called ghosting, right? They blocked me..they stopped caring.
If the answer is “hey dummy...read the fine print in your contract”...or maybe “We just don’t have time right now”...perhaps as many suggested...”please reach out to your distributor to request service”...fine...dammit..I am a big boy, I can take it...just give me the answer so I can move on...don’t stall...don’t ignore...Respond...Respond like you care....Respond like you care there is someone on the receiving end of your sentence...a real person on the other end of your sentence...a customer on the other end.

You’ll have a better chance getting your $50 from your distributor. I suggest talking with them about it.

#20 3 months ago

So if you buy a new car and have an issue with it do you call Honda/Ford or call the place you bought it from? If you buy a TV and have an issue do you call Sony/LG or call Best Buy where you bought it from? I don’t know why pinball should be any different…start first with your distributor.

#21 3 months ago

I think we’ve explained to death that pinball purchases are in no way similar to car purchases. I don’t know why we keep comparing them.

#22 3 months ago
Quoted from Yesh23:

I don’t know why pinball should be any different

Completely agree. But it is.

#23 3 months ago

Confused. You reached out to Stern and they replied with a “how to repair” to help. You had no luck and replied back with a request for “warranty service” which is not an option nor in warranty? Why did you not contact them and say I tried your suggestion and I couldn’t do it and they Likely would have responded with a call or an alternate fix? Sounds to me like they did try to help but you are waiting for something that is not offered.

#24 3 months ago
Quoted from Blznearl:

just give me the answer so I can move on

You can and will move on whether you get an answer or not. Your sense of entitlement gets you no special treatment.

#25 3 months ago

Pablo at Stern has responded to all of my emails and helped resolve my issues.I think you may have had better luck going on the thread for your machine here on pinside and someone could have helped walk you through your issue.

#26 3 months ago

because of the positive responses from Pablo and Stern I will not hesitate to buy another Stern.Thats my experience ,cant speak for others.

#27 3 months ago

Im sorry some of you have had not so great experiences. I have had dozens of new Sterns over the years and have NEVER had an issue at all with their CS. I would say exactly the opposite of that. I have had nothing short of excellent service from them over the years.

#28 3 months ago

Some people really shouldn’t own pinball machines.

#29 3 months ago

I’ve also largely had good CS from them, far better than JJP, but that doesn’t dismiss someone else’s legitimate issue. There are certainly enough examples on here that Stern obviously has room to improve. They encourage buyers to call 1800Kickers so there’s no good excuse for not responding one way or another to multiple, polite requests.

#30 3 months ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Some people really shouldn’t own pinball machines.

You are right, but when Stern started to market to a different customer base problems for their customer service is inevitable. Everyone says that pinball being compared to other appliances at this price point is different, but if their new customers look like the ones in the picture, distributors and Stern are going to get a lot more calls from people that just want it to work. This isn't the 90's when owners had pins on route and were more concerned about what was in the coin box versus pooling around a post.

Stern marketing 1 (resized).jpg
#31 3 months ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Some people really shouldn’t own pinball machines.

True, but the pinball companies decided to charge big bucks and go after the type of customer that they are not prepared to service.

#32 3 months ago
Quoted from Mike_J:

True, but the pinball companies decided to charge big bucks and go after the type of customer that they are not prepared to service.

How is a pinball company possible supposed to offer the “warranty service” the OP craves?

If you can’t tinker or follow instructions - or be willing to pay someone who can - pinball ownership isn’t for you.

I do think these companies need to be a little more up front about this. TNT Amusements has had a disclaimer on their web site for decades pointing this out, while also marketing to home users.

#33 3 months ago

You guys also always assume people are buying from authorized dealers or distros.

That not always the case... remember ASOA?

There are no lack of random people around with NIB games they get one way or another to resell.

#34 3 months ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

How is a pinball company possible supposed to offer the “warranty service” the OP craves?

I don’t think they can, but these are the kind of customer cravings they should expect at the prices they charge.

#35 3 months ago
Quoted from Mike_J:

I don’t think they can, but these are the kind of customer cravings they should expect at the prices they charge.

So what’s your suggestion? They hire a full time fleet of field techs in every town in America to keep these people happy?

Wouldn’t they have to double or triple their prices on pinball machines to make this work? Stern sells the cheapest pinball machines on the market, by far. This isn’t a stern issue, it’s an industry issue. What happens when the OP buys a $9000 spooky game and a wire comes loose from a flipper coil or a rubber breaks? Exact same problem.

I think they need to be more upfront to the brand new market of noobs who they are trying to sell games to. Pinball will never be a maintenance free product; it’s simply impossible once you get beyond the “star explorer” type of game.

Selling pinball machines to people who expect owning them to be similar to owning a toaster is still a relatively new phenomenon. There’s a lot of kinks to be worked out still obviously. This is a very old industry that suddenly has a very young market and a very new problem.

#36 3 months ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

So what’s your suggestion? They hire a full time fleet of field techs in every town in America to keep these people happy?
Wouldn’t they have to double or triple their prices on pinball machines to make this work? Stern sells the cheapest pinball machines on the market, by far. This isn’t a stern issue, it’s an industry issue. What happens when the OP buys a $9000 spooky game and a wire comes loose from a flipper coil or a rubber breaks? Exact same problem.
I think they need to be more upfront to the brand new market of noobs who they are trying to sell games to. Pinball will never be a maintenance free product; it’s simply impossible once you get beyond the “star explorer” type of game.
Selling pinball machines to people who expect owning them to be similar to owning a toaster is still a relatively new phenomenon. There’s a lot of kinks to be worked out still obviously.

Most customers shelling out 10K-15K have expectations which are not unreasonable when compared to other consumer luxury goods. These companies are now swimming in the deep end of the pool and should have anticipated these customer service issues. And I’m not singling out Stern, this is a growing problem for the entire industry which I do not envy.

#37 3 months ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

I think they need to be more upfront to the brand new market of noobs who they are trying to sell games to. Pinball will never be a maintenance free product; it’s simply impossible once you get beyond the “star explorer” type of game.

Selling pinball machines to people who expect owning them to be similar to owning a toaster is still a relatively new phenomenon. There’s a lot of kinks to be worked out still obviously. This is a very old industry that suddenly has a very young market and a very new problem.

You are right. There is no way pinball will ever be a maintenance free product. Stern needs to either change their marketing, or change how they service this new base. If they don't, you are going to see more and more people reach out on here. It wasn't too long ago that Stern was selling pins at Costco and Best Buy. Different customer base = different problems. It can't be said these new customers knew what they were getting themselves into.

#38 3 months ago

Pinball owners have two choices: learn how to maintain their own games or pay someone else to do it for them. No other way around it.

If OP couldn't figure out how to make the JP2 truck spin, he's very likely in latter category. Unless something's broken, it's a disassemble/adjust/clean/reassemble operation. If something's broken, take a pic and Stern will send you a new part.

#39 3 months ago

It took longer to make all those posts than it would have to clean the truck.

10
#40 3 months ago
Quoted from ectobar:

It took longer to make all those posts than it would have to clean the truck.

Also...he found a guy willing to do this simple task for FIFTY BUCKS and he's still complaining?

I wouldn't have answered this call for less than $250. This is the exact kind of guy who is gonna call you back in three weeks and blame your repair call for a light bulb that just went out.

#41 3 months ago
Quoted from screaminr:

If you had read my post properly , you would realise I was talking about manufacturers and not distributors .
My tech does all the Victorian warranty work for AMD and you couldn't get better .
And I've always had great service from Zax's .

I cannot understand how you would assume the manufacturers have no care for customers when you have no access to them. Distros are meant to be the representative of the manufacturers so if your mate does such a great job you would think the manufacturer is good too.

#42 3 months ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Also...he found a guy willing to do this simple task for FIFTY BUCKS and he's still complaining?
I wouldn't have answered this call for less than $250. This is the exact kind of guy who is gonna call you back in three weeks and blame your repair call for a light bulb that just went out.

One of the MANY reasons folks are fleeing new York. Gotta pay that rent.

#43 3 months ago

Blznearl This is definitely going to happen again. If you didn't see what your tech did, here is a Key Post from the owner's thread about the jeep:
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/jurassic-park-stern-2019-owners-club-welcome-to-jurassic-park/page/106#post-5683784

In the future, do a search in the Club Thread. Odds are someone has already dealt with any issues that might arise.

#44 3 months ago
Quoted from Only_Pinball:

If you have to beg your distributor for help then you obviously need to find a new one.

Yes, I guess I need a new one.

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