Stern NEW policy - GHOSTING IS NORMAL....OR IS IT?

(Topic ID: 194604)

Stern NEW policy - GHOSTING IS NORMAL....OR IS IT?


By capguntrooper

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 839 posts
  • 224 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 10 months ago by leonml
  • Topic is favorited by 21 Pinsiders

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Topic poll

“Are Cloudy inserts, stress cracks and GHOSTING often seen on NIB pins and should that be normal?”

  • NO WAY ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! 596 votes
    77%
  • YES, ghosting is often seen on NIB pins and is normal. 45 votes
    6%
  • I don't care I am never buying a NIB from STERN again 135 votes
    17%

(Multiple choice - 776 votes by 750 Pinsiders)

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There are 839 posts in this topic. You are on page 11 of 17.
15
#501 1 year ago

It's unfortunate that such an incredible resurgence in this popular industry is in jeopardy of going backwards because of "The worlds leading pinball producer". Instead of being the leading of confidence, the are becoming the leader of cutting corners, excuses and turning the NIB experience into Odds listed in Vegas. Hate this. Some of the most enjoyable moments for my family and I is the excitement of opening your brand new machine. With all the risk and lack of confidence given by Stern we will not be purchasing NIB anymore or at least until they rebuild our confidence and respect the $6,000 to $8,000 that I consider my hard earned money. I want nothing more than for this to get better, heck I wanted the new Star Wars but again must wait to see what happens. Hate to see that they are now printing these new failures in the instructions in an attempt to get the excuses out early and save a buck for potential poor quality. Please Stern, get back to doing it right ... we all understand the sales margin is awesome and necessary in business however if you can't selling machines due to poor quality and no confidence in your brand then the margin will not matter because your company will not survive. Rooting for you to make a change and make a change soon ... I want this hobby to survive! Want to have faith ... maybe someday.

#502 1 year ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Well I'm assuming the Stern letter yesterday was partly the result of people dropping out after seeing SW and then they have ghosting issues again?
People are worried they are drinking Jim Jones Kool aid.
I think Stern will react and get it right. We will see

Do you have a link to this letter? I have had trouble keeping up with everything going on, but it seems like several people including myself missed that!

Thank you in advance for any help...

#503 1 year ago
Quoted from BC_Gambit:

Do you have a link to this letter? I have had trouble keeping up with everything going on, but it seems like several people including myself missed that!
Thank you in advance for any help...

See JJ's post. He has offered to verify it on this thread.

Quoted from Gexchange:

I will Confirm the letter is not a fake. I received it from Stern direct. It's the real deal.
If you got any questions feel free to email me at jjb@gameexchange.biz and I will forward you the message as it came to me.
JJ

#504 1 year ago
Quoted from PinballHog:

After JJ talked to them several times Stern decided this was normal and they did nothing. So I fixed it all myself.

While I commend you for fixing the game and putting in the effort I have to say that its wrong that you had to do that.
You bought a brand new, and very expensive piece of machinery. If you bought a brand new Car, and a month in the engine went or the paint started to peel off you wouldn't put it in the garage and rebuild the engine and repaint it would you? I know a pinball machine and a car are much different in price but the concept is the same. I think its fair to expect that if something that you just purchased broke within an unreasonable amount of time, the company should warranty it with no questions asked. Look at companies like LL bean, they allow their customers to warranty anything they purchase with no questions asked. Some experts attribute this policy to their continued success. I'm not suggesting that stern adopt the same warranty policy, but they should standby their product. I was personally going to buy a NIB pro and after reading these threads I've decided to wait it out.

#505 1 year ago

Cost cutting looks like its finally catching up to them. I'm still a fan of their games, but it's easy to see the gradual cheapening and quality over the years.

#506 1 year ago
Quoted from BC_Gambit:

Do you have a link to this letter? I have had trouble keeping up with everything going on, but it seems like several people including myself missed that!
Thank you in advance for any help...

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen:

The pinball market continues to expand around the world.

With that in mind, we recently added language to the front cover of our Service and Operation Manual.

The language is intended to inform new participants in pinball about common occurrences associated with the game including dimpling, crazing and ghosting.

The language does not impact our warranty coverage.

We stand behind our products and services.

We will continue our research and development efforts to further improve our games with the goal of delivering a compelling entertainment experience for all players.

Please feel free to contact me, John Buscaglia or any member of our Sales staff if you have any questions or concerns.

Best,
Gary Stern
President
Stern Pinball, Inc.
2001 Lunt Avenue
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007-5605 USA
Tel: +1-708-786-7036 Fax: +1-708-345-7813
Mobile: +1-847-278-1398
gary.stern@sternpinball.com

#507 1 year ago
Quoted from mountaingamer:

I was told by a distributor that Stern was bringing / had brought playfield manufacturing in house, and spent a ton of money to do so - this was right around the start of the ghosted insert issue or shortly after. Any one else hear this?

I was also told this recently by one of Stern's biggest distributors that Stern is now making playfields themselves in house.

#508 1 year ago
Quoted from PinB:

I was also told this recently by one of Stern's biggest distributors that Stern is now making playfields themselves in house.

Doesnt suprise me at all. Another way to cut costs in the long term. Margins on the current pins must be crazy, what, like 40% + ?

#509 1 year ago

nvm, please delete.

#510 1 year ago
Quoted from bounoun:

Doesnt suprise me at all. Another way to cut costs in the long term. Margins on the current pins must be crazy, what, like 40% + ?

It's also possible that they needed more production capacity then they could get from their supplier. They are producing a ton of machines and Churchill was making playfields for more than just them.

I'm sure the initial investment wasn't saving them any money, but long term I could see it working out to save money (and reduce risk). I just hope they get their process figured out if they are making them in house, or even if not get the supply chain fixed.

#511 1 year ago

Might want to delete Gary's cell number...or not

29
#512 1 year ago
Quoted from PinB:

We stand behind our products and services.

Gary Stern

Stern Clear (resized).jpg

#513 1 year ago

LMAO !! Wow.. I can only imagine if you bought a brand new dirt bike and the frame cracked after a month of low use so the manufacturer sends you a welder.... I wonder if that Stern kit includes lube.

18
#514 1 year ago
Quoted from fisherdaman:

I wonder if that Stern kit includes lube.

No, it doesn't. That's what the sandpaper is for.

#515 1 year ago
Quoted from fisherdaman:

LMAO !! Wow.. I can only imagine if you bought a brand new dirt bike and the frame cracked after a month of low use so the manufacturer sends you a welder.... I wonder if that Stern kit includes lube.

In all honestly, no hard feelings with Stern. Patrick did all he could. In the end, I had it professionally cleared. Now I have a great game with a perfect playfield.

#516 1 year ago
Quoted from xfassa:

In all honestly, no hard feelings with Stern. Patrick did all he could. In the end, I had it professionally cleared. Now I have a great game with a perfect playfield.

"Professionally" is the key work there

#517 1 year ago

In Stern's defense, that "repair" is meant for areas where there is no art.

I'm not defending the clear chipping. But in reality, all shooter lanes take a beating. That's why I put Mylar and Cliffy's there.

#518 1 year ago

Out of curiosity, how much does it cost (ball park, I know it will vary) to have a playfield professionally cleared. Sounds like a ton of work dismantling the playfield and putting it all back together.

#519 1 year ago
Quoted from dnapac:

Out of curiosity, how much does it cost (ball park, I know it will vary) to have a playfield professionally cleared. Sounds like a ton of work dismantling the playfield and putting it all back together.

~$450. Money well spent. I like tearing into playfields so the work is fun.

#520 1 year ago
Quoted from dnapac:

Out of curiosity, how much does it cost (ball park, I know it will vary) to have a playfield professionally cleared. Sounds like a ton of work dismantling the playfield and putting it all back together.

Yeah that's one issue right there...and it takes a long time as the clear has to cure and all that jazz.

#521 1 year ago
Quoted from xfassa:

~$450. Money well spent. I like tearing into playfields so the work is fun.

If Stern wasn't replacing my ghosted playfields, I would definitely have them professionally cleared.

12
#522 1 year ago

I have decided to back out of my LE. My main problem is that I am spending $8500 for an LE. If there are ghosting issues, it will affect the resale value, or I will have to spend the time and money to repair the game. I don't feel comfortable with the issue, so I am out. Also, the more I have seen and read, the more I want to play the game first.....A novel approach, I know.

#523 1 year ago
Quoted from sinnisterjsb:

I have decided to back out of my LE. My main problem is that I am spending $8500 for an LE. If there are ghosting issues, it will affect the resale value, or I will have to spend the time and money to repair the game. I don't feel comfortable with the issue, so I am out. Also, the more I have seen and read, the more I want to play the game first.....A novel approach, I know.

Please stop. You're making too much sense.

#524 1 year ago
Quoted from Trekkie1978:

If Stern wasn't replacing my ghosted playfields, I would definitely have them professionally cleared.

If anything, it will make ghosting worse.

Too much clear is one of the main reasons for ghosting inserts.

It is possible to de-ghost a PF and make it very "ghosting secure", but that's a huge effort and will cost WAY more than $450.

#525 1 year ago
Quoted from someoneelse:

If anything, it will make ghosting worse.
Too much clear is one of the main reasons for ghosting inserts.
It is possible to de-ghost a PF and make it very "ghosting secure", but that's a huge effort and will cost WAY more than $450.

Wait. If clearing a playfield doesn't de-ghost it, why do it unless there is wear through the original clear?

10
#526 1 year ago
Quoted from sinnisterjsb:

I have decided to back out of my LE. My main problem is that I am spending $8500 for an LE. If there are ghosting issues, it will affect the resale value, or I will have to spend the time and money to repair the game. I don't feel comfortable with the issue, so I am out. Also, the more I have seen and read, the more I want to play the game first.....A novel approach, I know.

Pretty much that simple. The way I felt on dropping LE

Def have hit a crossroads with Stern. I love my pins BUT you can't keep raising the price, cutting costs and continue to sell me LE/premium pins

Shakers, real backglass, high end PF glass, better protection in high wear areas and of course PFs that don't chip and ghost

Need to get with what the premium buyer wants at that level.

The pro takes care of itself

#527 1 year ago
Quoted from Beez:

It's unfortunate that such an incredible resurgence in this popular industry is in jeopardy of going backwards because of "The worlds leading pinball producer". Instead of being the leading of confidence, the are becoming the leader of cutting corners, excuses and turning the NIB experience into Odds listed in Vegas. Hate this. Some of the most enjoyable moments for my family and I is the excitement of opening your brand new machine. With all the risk and lack of confidence given by Stern we will not be purchasing NIB anymore or at least until they rebuild our confidence and respect the $6,000 to $8,000 that I consider my hard earned money. I want nothing more than for this to get better, heck I wanted the new Star Wars but again must wait to see what happens. Hate to see that they are now printing these new failures in the instructions in an attempt to get the excuses out early and save a buck for potential poor quality. Please Stern, get back to doing it right ... we all understand the sales margin is awesome and necessary in business however if you can't selling machines due to poor quality and no confidence in your brand then the margin will not matter because your company will not survive. Rooting for you to make a change and make a change soon ... I want this hobby to survive! Want to have faith ... maybe someday.

This really is the best post in this entire thread.

#528 1 year ago
Quoted from dnapac:

Wait. If clearing a playfield doesn't de-ghost it, why do it unless there is wear through the original clear?

Nice shiny look maybe?

It does protect the wooden PF surface very well, so the nice shiny thick clear will protect e.g. slingshot areas or your Sanctum area in TS reliably. And if the PF did not show ghosting before it will most likely not cause it. But just adding clear on a lightly sanded ghosting PF will not stop the ghosting at all, the higher surface tension may even accelerate the process.

Very hard thin clear will tear if the inserts move while the clear on the insert itself will stay intact (no ghosting). If you know original IJ PFs you will know what that looks like, Diamond Plate PFs often have that typical tiny crack all around each insert. Thicker clear will not tear, a moving insert will detach from the clear instead = ghosting.

Of course it also plays a huge role how well the plastic insert material and the clear are adjusted to each other. If the connection is weak ghosting is more likely to occur.

#529 1 year ago
Quoted from someoneelse:

Nice shiny look maybe?
It does protect the wooden PF surface very well, so the nice shiny thick clear will protect e.g. slingshot areas or your Sanctum area in TS reliably. And if the PF did not show ghosting before it will most likely not cause it. But just adding clear on a lightly sanded ghosting PF will not stop the ghosting at all, the higher surface tension may even accelerate the process.
Very hard thin clear will tear if the inserts move while the clear on the insert itself will stay intact (no ghosting). If you know original IJ PFs you will know what that looks like, Diamond Plate PFs often have that typical tiny crack all around each insert. Thicker clear will not tear, a moving insert will detach from the clear instead = ghosting.
Of course it also plays a huge role how well the plastic insert material and the clear are adjusted to each other. If the connection is weak ghosting is more likely to occur.

Ah. Thanks for the info.

#530 1 year ago

Is it a joke or it's for real?

#531 1 year ago
Quoted from colonel_caverne:

Is it a joke or it's for real?

its real i got a kit and it works great if you are handy with a palm sander, many grades of sandpaper and alot of waiting between coats. Heres my old GB before and after picture.

20160630_201039 (resized).jpg

20160717_144954 (resized).jpg

#532 1 year ago

It's like I'm taking crazy pills.

Going back to the Data East days, this company has *always* been about the lower quality option. When WMS packed up in '99 there was much moaning and wailing that the only place left was Stern (recently renamed from Sega) and they only made crap.

Now it's the "premiere pinball maker" that's cutting costs and making lower quality games? Guess what, that's always been the way!

#533 1 year ago

Not to defend Stern, but they were the only ones who survived. Without their business savvy (not that that's good for the consumer) we'd not have these boards or new pins. Really excited about the new upcomers (Spooky, JJP, Heighway, etc).

#534 1 year ago
Quoted from Phbooms:

its real i got a kit and it works great if you are handy with a palm sander, many grades of sandpaper and alot of waiting between coats. Heres my old GB before and after picture.

Great Job!!!

#535 1 year ago

I wish they would sell that kit. I'd love to re-clear the shooter lanes on my Star Trek and transformers.

#536 1 year ago
Quoted from PinB:

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen:
The pinball market continues to expand around the world.
With that in mind, we recently added language to the front cover of our Service and Operation Manual.
The language is intended to inform new participants in pinball about common occurrences associated with the game including dimpling, crazing and ghosting.
The language does not impact our warranty coverage.
We stand behind our products and services.
We will continue our research and development efforts to further improve our games with the goal of delivering a compelling entertainment experience for all players.
Please feel free to contact me, John Buscaglia or any member of our Sales staff if you have any questions or concerns.
Best,
Gary Stern
President
Stern Pinball, Inc.
2001 Lunt Avenue
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007-5605 USA
Tel: +1-708-786-7036 Fax: +1-708-345-7813
Mobile: +1-847-278-1398
gary.stern@sternpinball.com

That is a very, very ,very gray area, and I would certainly be hesitant to buy a NIB game after reading that. So, if you experience ghosting, what happens? It is mentioned that the "warranty coverage is not affected", so......Playfield will keep getting replaced? Is the customer SOL? There's some serious ambiguity there.

#537 1 year ago

I'm sure the language is intentionally ambiguous. The warranty doesn't cover ghosting at all. Any playfield replacements are done at Stern's discretion/whim.

#538 1 year ago
Quoted from Spelunk71:

I'm sure the language is intentionally ambiguous. The warranty doesn't cover ghosting at all. Any playfield replacements are done at Stern's discretion/whim.

Exactly, the Gary Stern letter is bullsh*t.

#539 1 year ago
Quoted from Phbooms:

its real i got a kit and it works great if you are handy with a palm sander, many grades of sandpaper and alot of waiting between coats. Heres my old GB before and after picture.

Wow, can you come over and clear some of my games?

#542 1 year ago
Quoted from PinB:

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen:
The pinball market continues to expand around the world.
With that in mind, we recently added language to the front cover of our Service and Operation Manual.
The language is intended to inform new participants in pinball about common occurrences associated with the game including dimpling, crazing and ghosting.
The language does not impact our warranty coverage.
We stand behind our products and services.
We will continue our research and development efforts to further improve our games with the goal of delivering a compelling entertainment experience for all players.
Please feel free to contact me, John Buscaglia or any member of our Sales staff if you have any questions or concerns.
Best,
Gary Stern
President
Stern Pinball, Inc.
2001 Lunt Avenue
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007-5605 USA
Tel: +1-708-786-7036 Fax: +1-708-345-7813
Mobile: +1-847-278-1398
gary.stern@sternpinball.com

Now we can all call Gary

#543 1 year ago
Quoted from cooked71:

Exactly, the Gary Stern letter is bullsh*t.

That may not be the technical legal term, but you are correct, sir!

#544 1 year ago
Quoted from jwilson:

It's like I'm taking crazy pills.
Going back to the Data East days, this company has *always* been about the lower quality option. When WMS packed up in '99 there was much moaning and wailing that the only place left was Stern (recently renamed from Sega) and they only made crap.
Now it's the "premiere pinball maker" that's cutting costs and making lower quality games? Guess what, that's always been the way!

First off - DE/Sega/Stern Whitestar & SAM games weren't $5k-$15k. Price has everything to do with the context of this discussion. Second, most people were pretty happy with the SAM era of games and considered them an improvement in almost every way from Sega and Whitestar.

Look at the layouts and features of some of the "cheap" Sega/Stern games like Goldeneye, Batman Forever, Austin Powers, etc - they're starting to not look so cheap compared to SW and GOT. Say what you will about Austin Powers, it is packed with features compared to today's games. It has a hidden bash toy reveal, a magnet that catches the ball from a ramp with a spinning time machine effect, a dancing character, a magnet divertor and a cannon.

#545 1 year ago

yeah, i can fix and sand, and clear, not a problem.

the bottom line is... i should not have to. not on a new pin.

thats classed as defective manufacturing. but we get to fix it ourselves.

#546 1 year ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Look at the layouts and features of some of the "cheap" Sega/Stern games like Goldeneye, Batman Forever, Austin Powers, etc - they're starting to not look so cheap

totally spot on.

#547 1 year ago

This thread is depressing, go over to the AFMr threads.....Thats some happy stuff! Awesome quality machine

#548 1 year ago
Quoted from WackyBrakke:

This thread is depressing, go over to the AFMr threads.....Thats some happy stuff! Awesome quality machine

Of course it is. It's not built by Stern. The box AFMR comes in is probably better designed and of higher quality.

#549 1 year ago
Quoted from Spelunk71:

I'm sure the language is intentionally ambiguous. The warranty doesn't cover ghosting at all. Any playfield replacements are done at Stern's discretion/whim.

The "Warranty" is pretty clear that they don't cover the playfield (much really). I *think* they consider the playfield a wear and tear item. Much like tires on a car: if they wear out it's not the manufacturer/dealer issue to replace for free. So, if you have ghosting or other issues, it's completely up to Stern's discretion if they will do anything about it. I'm sure there are some other consumer protection "things" that go into receiving a new defective product, but I don't know what those are precisely.

Here is a quote from page 55 of the Star Wars Pro Manual:

STERN PINBALL INC LIMITED WARRANTY
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 Display boards: 9 months
No other parts of seller’s product are warranted.

#550 1 year ago

Stern better fix their problem or there is going to be a major nerd riot

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