(Topic ID: 194604)

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


By capguntrooper

2 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 839 posts
  • 224 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year 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!!! 599 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 - 779 votes by 753 Pinsiders)

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There are 839 posts in this topic. You are on page 4 of 17.
38
#151 2 years ago

I'm amazed that Stern can keep digging themselves further into a deep hole. This market is theirs to lose. A company which employs that much expertise, experience and talent should completely close out the competition. It's not hard for them. Stern knows what's required.

Yet they keep kicking home goals, and leaving the door wide open. To the point many of their loyal customers are desperately looking for alternatives. They really don't want to buy from Stern.

Case in point: Dialed In and Total Annihilation. Don't get me wrong, both are fantastic games, and I have/will order both. But those games should be dead on arrival up against Star Wars.

But with Star Wars, Stern has taken the greatest theme of all time, stripped it back so much that it no longer represents its own theme, then introduces some bullshit legal caveats on the FRONT PAGE of the Star Wars manual, that are the equivalent of saying "we don't give a f*ck about pinball or our customers". On the FRONT PAGE of the biggest license Stern has had in the last decade - or ever.

So now, I cancel my Star Wars LE order, and can't wait to receive my DI and TNA. Two games whose themes I could care less about. One a simple layout about nuclear reactors (!) with no ramps, by a designer I'd never heard of until a few months ago, and the other a game about freakin' cell phones that takes selfies of me when I'm playing (!). These games should not stand a chance against Stern and Star Wars. Yet I can't wait!!

The game is Sterns to lose and they have left the door so wide open it's debatable whether they can close it again. Or more likely they couldn't be bothered closing it.

#152 2 years ago

I think this gives Stern more control in what they deem a replaceable defect. I think exceptionally ghosted inserts or other major defects would be warrantied.

My SMVE was ghosted badly and replacement would have been the only acceptable outcome in my situation. My GB Pro had minimal ghosting, but was approved as well. I almost didn't submit because overall it wasn't that bad in comparison to my SMVE.

I think it gives them an out if you have an exceptionally picky customer.

#153 2 years ago
Quoted from cooked71:

I'm amazed that Stern can keep digging themselves further into a deep hole. This market is theirs to lose. A company which employs that much expertise, experience and talent should completely close out the competition. It's not hard for them. Stern knows what's required.

Yes, but they know they don't have to do anything because people keep buying new machines. The ONLY way to get these problems fixed is to suck it up and NOT buy any more machines from Stern. No revenue stream is the only way to get their attention.

But people seem not to be willing to do this. I've seen quite a few posts complaining about quality issues in one sentence, and saying they are buying another machine in the next sentence.

I am a classic SS person, and never even considered a New "modern" machine as I just never liked them, and they were too complicated. I never played any machine after Taxi or Whirlwind. But when Stern put out the Spider-Man Home Edition machine, it looked like a lot of fun. Despite the price, I bit and ordered one as I figured this would be my one chance to have the NIB experience.

The machine was almost perfect out of the box. I had to adjust two of the switches as one was stuck closed, and the other did not make contact. No, this should have not left the factory this way, and is not something that would normally happen in transit. Sure, I was pissed off about this, but I fixed the switches and moved on.

Playfield was in excellent condition otherwise, and still is. I'm kind of expecting that over time, things might deteriorate, but as long as I can still play the game, I'm ok with that. The game is a lot of fun.

#154 2 years ago
Quoted from Toasterdog:

I think this gives Stern more control in what they deem a replaceable defect. I think exceptionally ghosted inserts or other major defects would be warrantied./blockquote>

What you think and what Stern states are entirely different.

#155 2 years ago

This is an example in which Stern's legal department imposed this clause probably without anticipating the uproar from their customers. Did they consult their sales department?

Granted, the average nitpicking Pinsider is probably not the average Stern Pro buyer.
Not so sure about LE. And reactions on the french forum are as bad.

It seems the market is ready to shift. Stern gets 90%+ of the market... but with a less and less loyal consumer base. Time to reconsider before it's too late.

#156 2 years ago

if anyone wants a new out of box pro with no ghosting and a few nice mods (shaker, mirrors, backbox) I'll sell mine. But because it has no ghosting or any other issues, I guess it should come with a premium price. Make me an offer if you are serious.

15
#157 2 years ago
Quoted from jlm33:

This is an example in which Stern's legal department imposed this clause probably without anticipating the uproar from their customers. Did they consult their sales department?

I agree. The lawyers shoved this in the most prominent location of the manual...basically advertising to every new owner that Stern is not concerned about playfield quality.

Stern should be taking the opposite approach and advertising reliability and quality construction machines. They also really need to re-dedicate themselves to completing the code (as well as de-bugging the code) for games. If they need to bring on more people then do it.

Stern's customer trust is the lowest I've seen in the LE era. The fixes appear obvious to us, but perhaps for whatever reason (most likely increased sales) Stern doesn't seem to recognize they have issues they need to address. Stern's sales may be really strong right now but if buyer confidence Has truely eroded then Stern will feel it sooner than they think.

#158 2 years ago

I had already sworn off preorders thankfully and got lucky on my GBLE which is in very nice shape with very minimal ghosting on the Tobin insert.

Next two pins up for purchase are DILE and TNA. I, too, will only be buying used Stern pins for the foreseeable future. This is due to code issues and QC issues.

14
#159 2 years ago

It's just a cover your ass statement.

It means that stern proudly stands behind their product. Unless it has expensive to fix defects, then you are SOL.

Takes a lot of balls for Gomez to let this be added. It means insert problems likely will not be covered at all going forward. Pretty ballsy for a company that now mainly markets to home collectors with exploding prices to say tough shit, we are not going to do any better and your dumb ass will still buy them.

Maybe stern shouldn't have torched the bridge with Churchill.

#160 2 years ago

Curiosity killed the cat and arrogance kills Stern.

#161 2 years ago
Quoted from Lermods:

if anyone wants a new out of box pro with no ghosting and a few nice mods (shaker, mirrors, backbox) I'll sell mine. But because it has no ghosting or any other issues, I guess it should come with a premium price. Make me an offer if you are serious.

Opens up a whole new price structure:

Pro No ghosting
Pro with ghosting (1+, 2+, 3+, etc)
Premium No Ghosting
Etc, etc. you get the idea

I wonder how much more or less games will sell based on the ghosting issue. I'm sure that has already been seen on some titles it just has not effected me personally yet.

#162 2 years ago

Im still annoyed, a day later...boy I hope that this thread is brought to their attention!

#163 2 years ago

The distros that do out of box modding (like Pinball Refinery) are going to be in an interesting spot.

I've bought three of their refinery edition pins and I'm very happy with them. But what do they do if someone orders a refinery, they open the box and see a ghosted playfield? Do they add their 2k of mods to the machine? Do they open up a new box and try their luck again?

#164 2 years ago
Quoted from NeilMcRae:

My GB was made in August 2016. Just over a week ago I noticed two of the inserts are ghosting. Didn't start happening until this month. So all those with GB's, Aerosmiths, Batman66s, Star Wars etc eventually I believe you will suffer this problem. My distributer is taking this up with Stern who I'm sure will make this right.

Two inserts ghosted is below the normal threshold of replacement. That was true before the new policy. You can take it up with them as you said, but don't get your hopes up.

Quoted from OLDPINGUY:

Im still annoyed, a day later...boy I hope that this thread is brought to their attention!

I'm sure they are aware of it, and when they added the disclaimer to the Star Wars manual, I'm sure they accounted for this exact Pinside thread.

31
#165 2 years ago

This is what I think of their new policy

suck-my-balls-stern-pinball (resized).jpg

#166 2 years ago

Anyone who knows me knows my opinion of stern and time and again they enforce my belief and the star wars i have recently seen on site could truly state that the playfield has a lunar texture and the faithful line up to buy this product. As they say ; "One born every day "

#167 2 years ago
Quoted from flashinstinct:

This is what I think of their new policy

Those balls are filthy!

#Suckmydirtyballs

#168 2 years ago
Quoted from FalconPunch:

Those balls are filthy!
#Suckmydirtyballs

Exactly what i was going for....i wanted to get some shiny balls but decided it was more fitting to take a picture of stern default balls left in my storage for 1 year.

#169 2 years ago

i feel for those that have had play field replacements a I suspect give it a year and it will ghost again.

#170 2 years ago
Quoted from dnapac:

STERN! Are you listening. I will buy SW.

Yes we are listening. Thank you for your business.

Regards,
Stern

You do realize your purchase is all that Stern notices? Everything else is just bla bla crap, no-one cares about threats...

#171 2 years ago
Quoted from chippe01:

But people seem not to be willing to do this. I've seen quite a few posts complaining about quality issues in one sentence, and saying they are buying another machine in the next sentence.

Yeah, there are plenty doing exactly this and its madness, I doubt non of us want to see another Pinsider screwed and left with a f**ked up playfield, with no chance of a replacement.

Quoted from colonel_caverne:

Have a deposit on my next SW Premium so I will to go to complete it but enough is enough, never preordering another one as this new policy is a shame.

Case in point - Stern is cutting costs and screwing us etc etc but I will buy Star Wars anyway, honestly guys we are getting to the point where we cannot complain about Stern, we are literally letting them bend us over and asking for more!

#172 2 years ago

I think this Batman 66 quote perfectly describes what most of think of Stern after seeing their new "quality" statement:

"I find you to be odious, abhorrent and egregious!"

adam_west_batman (resized).jpeg

11
#173 2 years ago

I'm not sure what some of you expect from Stern. I remember seeing pics back in the ghosting meltdown thread where you could barely see ghosting yet owner was freaking out. Stern cannot replace every playfield or entire pins for every small cosmetic issue. I know home owners expect perfection but Stern is not going to promise that. Guys that were operators back in the day often say B/W pins often shipped with issues.

Stern is doing what every manufacturer does these days by covering their butts with warnings, policies, accept/decline agreements, etc. It sucks Stern is raising prices so much while offering less and less for it. Like everything else, you have to decide if what they are offering is worth it.

#174 2 years ago

As soon as NIB pins came in, we unpacked them, set them up, Set adjustments to maximize income and put them out on location. Didn't give a shit about cabinet scratches, playfield gouges, backglasses with a pinhole in the masking etc.
Williams (before the Williams Bally "merger") triangle inserts always had wood sticking out on the lower side that you could see when lit. Who cares? We didn't send machines to "the refinery", we sent them to bars & bowling alleys so people would play them.

When something broke, we replaced it with a part from stock. No warranty claims with the exception of a new style board once in awhile if we didn't have a spare board or replacement component. The machines were money makers.

I suspect Stern is selling more route pins recently and does not care about the nit-picky home collector all that much these days.

11
#175 2 years ago
Quoted from MrBally:

As soon as NIB pins came in, we unpacked them, set them up, Set adjustments to maximize income and put them out on location. Didn't give a shit about cabinet scratches, playfield gouges, backglasses with a pinhole in the masking etc.
Williams (before the Williams Bally "merger") triangle inserts always had wood sticking out on the lower side that you could see when lit. Who cares? We didn't send machines to "the refinery", we sent them to bars & bowling alleys so people would play them.
When something broke, we replaced it with a part from stock. No warranty claims with the exception of a new style board once in awhile if we didn't have a spare board or replacement component. The machines were money makers.
I suspect Stern is selling more route pins recently and does not care about the nit-picky home collector all that much these days.

Here is my question then. Does Stern sell more pins in one year to:

1. Operators to put on route
2. Homeowners-Collectors

If the answer is number 2, they are in trouble. I would be shocked if there are more Operators than Homeowners in todays market.

#176 2 years ago
Quoted from Skyemont:

Here is my question then. Does Stern sell more pins in one year to:
1. Operators to put on route
2. Homeowners-Collectors
If the answer is number 2, they are in trouble. I would be shocked if there are more Operators than Homeowners in todays market.

I thought during a recent Stern shindig (maybe the BM66 party?) Gary stated that homeowners were now over 70 percent of their market and he was "fully committed to them" ...or something like that?

I remember being surprised he said this at the time. Makes sense though. Maybe somebody could find the quote if they care enough... I can't remember now where I read it.

10
#177 2 years ago
Quoted from MrBally:

I suspect Stern is selling more route pins recently and does not care about the nit-picky home collector all that much these days.

I agree with this, SW pro is a home run on route for the $$$. Smokedog the Op doesn't care if inserts ghost while his SW's pin earns $500 a week.

Problem is they are selling "premiums" and "LE's" to HUO buyers as well who will always be more picky. And charging MUCH more for those pins to cover warranty issues and the like. We are paying for it.

At least put a higher level of scrutiny and QC on the home buyers pins, a huge part of their sales and market as well.

I get the nit picker pain in the ass customer that nobody wants to deal with. We all know those guys, but you don't want to alienate the reasonable and loyal customers at the same time.

#178 2 years ago
Quoted from Skyemont:

Here is my question then. Does Stern sell more pins in one year to:
1. Operators to put on route
2. Homeowners-Collectors
If the answer is number 2, they are in trouble. I would be shocked if there are more Operators than Homeowners in todays market.

With about 50 commercial distributors in the US and 30 "home use" distributors, It is safe to say there are more NIB Stern pins sold to route operators than to home collectors. I'm not even factoring in the commercial distributors overseas. The commercial distributors sell a lot of machines.

All Stern distributors are important to Stern. But don't expect a perfect pinball machine, certainly not once a few hundred games are played.

#179 2 years ago
Quoted from flashinstinct:

This is what I think of their new policy

But if you were previously their "costumer," who's going to make their costumes from now on?

#180 2 years ago
Quoted from MrBally:

With about 50 commercial distributors in the US and 30 "home use" distributors, It is safe to say there are more NIB Stern pins sold to route operators than to home collectors. I'm not even factoring in the commercial distributors overseas. The commercial distributors sell a lot of machines.
All Stern distributors are important to Stern. But don't expect a perfect pinball machine, certainly not once a few hundred games are played.

I suspect these "50 distributors" make their rent selling and leasing redemption machines and video arcade machines. I bet pinballs are a very small slice of their pie. Look at Dave and Busters... crammed with machines and not a single pinball machine.

But maybe things are different from where I live... here in the Washington DC suburbs pinball is pretty much dead. Even though they claim this is one of the richest areas in the country. You'd think there would be money to be made around here but ... hardly any to be found. Wasn't this way 20 years ago but things change. Used to be most bowling alleys had them but now... not one.

I did find one place with about 8 nice machines... even had mods on them and stuff and it turned out they were from a "private collection" and I guess the guy was testing the waters... location-wise.

#181 2 years ago

This is beyond disappointing but to be honest I'm not surprised.
I had money specifically saved for a NIB SW Pro and decided to buy a Spider-Man (2007) instead.
Officially done with ever thinking about about buying NIB from stern again until they clean up their act and put their customers first.

#182 2 years ago

I think this is one of their first steps in a LOOOOOOOOOOOONG line of disclaimer/clause inserts. The next being something about CODE and how it may or may not be completed, but this is "OFTEN" the case for pinball machines and is normal.

10
#183 2 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

I agree with this, SW pro is a home run on route for the $$$. Smokedog the Op doesn't care if inserts ghost while his SW's pin earns $500 a week.
Problem is they are selling "premiums" and "LE's" to HUO buyers as well who will always be more picky. And charging MUCH more for those pins to cover warranty issues and the like. We are paying for it.
At least put a higher level of scrutiny and QC on the home buyers pins, a huge part of their sales and market as well.
I get the nit picker pain in the ass customer that nobody wants to deal with. We all know those guys, but you don't want to alienate the reasonable and loyal customers at the same time.

I'm going to order 30 SW pros. I'm going to be rich!!!

#184 2 years ago
Quoted from MrBally:

As soon as NIB pins came in, we unpacked them, set them up, Set adjustments to maximize income and put them out on location. Didn't give a shit about cabinet scratches, playfield gouges, backglasses with a pinhole in the masking etc
....we sent them to bars & bowling alleys so people would play them.
...The machines were money makers.

But now they're not....

The home owner is the new and increasingly bigger demographic. You think a $8000 "pro level" DI is going to put an operator in the black anytime soon?

Pinball companies need to realize they are soon going to live and die by the home market. You know how many on route pinball machines we have in the Florida Panhandle from the edge of the state to Destin? I have found less than 10, and I have lived in this area for nearly 23-24 years now; I know where to find them. Soon as I was PCS'd here from WPAFB, I went back to all the hangouts where pinball machines used to be. Most are gone now, and some of them are SO bad you don't even need to put a quarter in because as soon as you start your game, you'll hit a flipper and *5v reset issue kicks in*. I don't even know where ANY Stern games are down here in the wild - oh, except Playboy in downtown Pensacola.

Stern NEEDS to care because bad news always travels faster than good news, and soon some of those new players that played the "machines that were money makers" are going to want to bring a $7500 Premium home, and then the ghosting/CC chipping/art peeling will begin, and those new owners are going to be prettttttttttttttttttttty disappointed...

14
#185 2 years ago

I cleared Spaceballs in my backyard with a rattle can. I don't have any ghosting.

#186 2 years ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

I cleared Spaceballs in my backyard with a rattle can. I don't have any ghosting.

Showoff!

16
#187 2 years ago

The folks at STERN should listen to Steve:

34
#188 2 years ago

Love how many posts read: "After I buy SW Stern better get their act together". They say that for every new pin that comes out.

Like smokers who always tell you "this is my last one" - bunch of addicts hah.

#189 2 years ago
Quoted from spinal:

Like smokers who always tell you "this is my last one" - bunch of addicts hah.

I agree with 100%
I smoke and never say that, I accept the risk so either stop buying pins from Stern or STFU. This is getting old, GB had ghosting, Kiss and several others with code issues blah blah blah, yet SWLE is sold out, BM66 SLE and LE's sold out, when the next great theme comes it will sell out as well and many of the never again's will be the customers, stop the bullshit. I'm having a great time playing my SW pro its one of the best games I've played in a long time, if it ghosts then it ghosts and I have the option to never buy from Stern again, but I will, if they made a Slayer pin or Iron Maiden maybe a BTTF or something else that I treasure I'm gonna buy it.

#190 2 years ago

This "same" post has been posted a hundred times by different posters in the last day but once more.

Stern better get their head out of their ass or other manufacturers WILL step up production and then Stern will be hurting. Once they start hurting I see Gary taking the money and running. Selling out. Looks like that what NEEDS to happen to bring things back to reality.

#191 2 years ago

Fkd up. I would save the video where Gary admits fault. Total BS if you get a bad one in a 7500 dollar game.

#192 2 years ago

They should cut additional costs elsewhere and pay the extra $?.?? per machine to go back to whatever pinball companies did for decades to keep this ghosting problem from showing up so quickly and widely. I mean, surely someone actually does know what was changed that created this situation and what would have to be done to go back to the way things were, right? Purely strategically, cut corners elsewhere so problems show up down the road instead of early on and so obviously.

Or maybe this is all just a clever prelude to the introduction of an amazing new optional Super Stern Inserts upgrade (a la their clearer glass) which you can add to your order for an extra $500 or whatever.

#193 2 years ago
Quoted from NPO:

Pinball companies need to realize they are soon going to live and die by the home market. You know how many on route pinball machines we have in the Florida Panhandle from the edge of the state to Destin? I have found less than 10

I don't know of any route pins in CT, except for The Sanctum. Which I can barely get to due to my work schedule.

It sucks that there are these issues with Stern's playfields. The cabinet issues as well. I won't buy a Stern now unless its used and I can inspect it. I am lucky to have an Ac/dc premium built 3/13 and a MET pro built 8/13. Both without these issues. I am not trying to boost the price (and am not in the market to sell) but I would rather have these earlier build games than risk have these issues on the newer ones. Does anyone know why Stern has these issues and really doesn't care? I know there is a lot of speculation as to why, but what is it??

Now I'm about to buy a DI and am a bit apprehensive because of the playfield chipping.....Shit.

My TZ must have thousands of plays and has no issues like the new games are having.

#194 2 years ago
Quoted from blueberryjohnson:

They should cut additional costs elsewhere and pay the extra $?.??

That's the problem. They have already cut costs everywhere. There is no more elsewhere to cut.

#195 2 years ago

Note how Stern switches back and forth between saying they sell to home collectors (LEs, SLEs & ever increasing prices) and then saying not to worry about defects because it's "just pinball" and is meant to be played like routed games.

Charge you Ferrari prices and then tell you not to be defect-fussy like a little girl. Like used car salesman, they have you figured out and you just smile and take it.

Until the community wakes up to this shell game, things will continue further down this road.

24
#196 2 years ago
Quoted from MrBally:

I suspect Stern is selling more route pins recently and does not care about the nit-picky home collector all that much these days.

Bullshit. High priced Premiums and LEs are directly marketed toward the nit-picky home collector. Regardless, a quality game for operators at $5k should be expected. Pinball operators count on the second hand market for recouping their investment...if those games are undesirable after routing, that affects operators, too.

Your comparisons to the Williams days are irrelevant.

1.) Arcades were bigger then, games earned.
2.) The quality was infinitely higher.
3.) The prices were way lower.

Bottom line - they are charging luxury prices for a niche item. Quality should be a #1 priority.

#197 2 years ago

I honestly don't think SW pro is a great pin for route as-is shipped from the factory. Novice players are going to walk away after a couple games when the ball side drains from the plunge without even getting a flipper on it. Also, the rules are far too complicated for a novice to get much out of gameplay and the game essentially has no callouts to this point.

Also, Stern needs to get rid of the auto-plunge. In such a complicated ruleset you should be able to take a moment and absorb what is on the display before playing the ball. The stupid auto-plunge causes side drains far too often.

#198 2 years ago

Maybe Stern should sell pins like CPR sells playfields with Gold, Silver and Bronze editions with three different price levels depending on how many defects you can live with.

16
#199 2 years ago
Quoted from spinal:

Charge you Ferrari prices and then tell you not to be defect-fussy like a little girl. Like used car salesman, they have you figured out and you just smile and take it.

"I'm sorry sir... we know your Ferrari has some chipping and lifting of the clearcoat but you have to remember... these were actually meant for rental car agencies to use... they don't mind so what's YOUR beef with it?"

#200 2 years ago
Quoted from master_of_chaos:

The folks at STERN should listen to Steve:
» YouTube video

Listen to this stern

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