Stern Playfield Replacement Program - How was your experience?

(Topic ID: 183627)

Stern Playfield Replacement Program - How was your experience?


By jar155

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 81 posts
  • 45 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 67 days ago by indypinhead
  • Topic is favorited by 14 Pinsiders

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Topic poll

“What's the status of your playfield replacement?”

  • Received a playfield replacement first and then sent my old one back 7 votes
    15%
  • Received an empty shipping box, sent my playfield back, received new playfield 21 votes
    46%
  • Received an empty shipping box, sent my playfield back, waiting on new playfield 5 votes
    11%
  • Was not accepted for playfield replacement at this time 13 votes
    28%

(46 votes)

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There are 81 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.
#51 8 months ago
Quoted from AtTheArcade:

Thanks for bumping this thread!
My experience wasn't very good at all. It took Stern 13 months to replace my GBLE playfield. I had several ghosting inserts and chipped clear in the shooter lane.
Unfortunately, my new playfield has a ghosting insert as well. So far it hasn't spread but I imagine I'll be back in the same position in a few months.
Needless to say, my latest NIB purchase was a TNA by Spooky. QC issues are one thing but taking 13 months to resolve an issue by giving me another bad playfield isn't acceptable to me.

I recently purchased a 2015 STERN Limited Edition pinball machine very nice low plays but out of warranty . I bought it with just viewing photos . I missed in the photos a Ghosted insert . and a chipped clear coat in out hole that is due to play . My concern is th a hairline crack in clear coat by the right bottom post of sling shot that was not there two weeks ago when I had machine delivered it is a new issue. I called Chas @ tech support . He told me to take photos of all issues and that email the photos to( parts.service@sternpinball.com )Chas told me that a group at STERN would look at my photos and supposably make a determination . I asked for a name of someone at STERN I could talk to verbally Chas said just send photos with a statement . I explained that due to the fact it was out of warranty I wanted to let the department making the playfield replacement either blank or populated my loyalty to STERN since Gary started in 2000 and all the STERN machine I had purchased in that time frame. Does this email parts.service@sternpinball.com and just sending photos a brief comment sound like the best way to handle my delicate situation . Or does someone have a better contact name or phone number or email to aid me in starting the process ?? I told Chas it seemed like I would have no chance since I am 2nd owner and out of warrantee he said all I can do if try . I put a freeze on my SW and GOTG deposit as I am not pleased with this ghosting insert issue only one but it in my eyes is unacceptable. I have 25 year old B/W routed machines with not one ghosting insert . Any feed back would be helpful. Thank you , Rob Knapp

#52 8 months ago
Quoted from Nepi23:

Hi!
How was the replacement playfield shipped? Was it put on a pallet and strapped in? Or was it just being sent off as a regular packet without any pallet?

Just comes UPS, no pallet or straps, etc.

#53 8 months ago

I was part of the early issues with ghosting inserts. It took stern a little over a year to get me a replacement Playfield. For a long time I was really upset and thought I would never buy from Stern again.

When the new playfield arrived, there were some electrical issues that were tricky to diagnose. I needed an adapter because they had changed one of the molex connectors since my game was made.

But now that it’s all worked out, I’m happy. My new playfield doesn’t have any problems. Stern came through and made it right. Now SW is on its way.

#54 8 months ago
Quoted from RobKnapp:

I recently purchased a 2015 STERN Limited Edition pinball machine very nice low plays but out of warranty . I bought it with just viewing photos . I missed in the photos a Ghosted insert . and a chipped clear coat in out hole that is due to play . My concern is th a hairline crack in clear coat by the right bottom post of sling shot that was not there two weeks ago when I had machine delivered it is a new issue. I called Chas @ tech support . He told me to take photos of all issues and that email the photos to( parts.service@sternpinball.com )Chas told me that a group at STERN would look at my photos and supposably make a determination . I asked for a name of someone at STERN I could talk to verbally Chas said just send photos with a statement . I explained that due to the fact it was out of warranty I wanted to let the department making the playfield replacement either blank or populated my loyalty to STERN since Gary started in 2000 and all the STERN machine I had purchased in that time frame. Does this email parts.service@sternpinball.com and just sending photos a brief comment sound like the best way to handle my delicate situation . Or does someone have a better contact name or phone number or email to aid me in starting the process ?? I told Chas it seemed like I would have no chance since I am 2nd owner and out of warrantee he said all I can do if try . I put a freeze on my SW and GOTG deposit as I am not pleased with this ghosting insert issue only one but it in my eyes is unacceptable. I have 25 year old B/W routed machines with not one ghosting insert . Any feed back would be helpful. Thank you , Rob Knapp

Chas and Pat were very helpful to me. I started my process over a year before they replaced my playfield. I never demanded anything, as I knew it wasn’t technically covered by warranty, and it was gonna be a huge amount of work for me. That said, you have a different situation. I was the first owner...bought it NIB. I do believe that there was QC issues at Stern lately, but getting a company, any company, to cover what appears to be a defective product, when you aren’t the original owner will be very difficult. Maybe they will take into account the Sterns you have bought, and the previous business you have given them, but I wouldn’t expect them too. I may be reading your comment wrong, but it seems to say “I have been a loyal customer, but if they don’t stand behind this product, that I bought used, I’m taking my money elsewhere”...kind of an abrasive way to try and get a company to stand behind a product that they have no obligation to. Being demanding and abrasive are perfect ways to not get helped. Sorry for your situation, but I wouldn’t expect Stern to fix this.

#55 8 months ago

Stern replaced two playfields for me one was easy the other I fought for over a year to replace. Other than a few changed connections everything went well once I received my empty boxes and sent away the playfields. Very glad they made it right. Both were NIB

#56 8 months ago
Quoted from dnapac:

I may be reading your comment wrong, but it seems to say “I have been a loyal customer, but if they don’t stand behind this product, that I bought used, I’m taking my money elsewhere”...kind of an abrasive way to try and get a company to stand behind a product that they have no obligation to. Being demanding and abrasive are perfect ways to not get helped.

Yes you are taking my comment out of context . That statement is my personal felling expressed on this thread and a reflection of my paranoia moving forward in my future NIB plans at this moment . I have not sent any communication to STERN yet . I wanted some feedback / help for the pinside members who have gone through this process first before I proceed. I always use Tact and diplomacy. It is always the best approach .

#57 8 months ago
Quoted from RobKnapp:

Yes you are taking my comment out of context . That statement is my personal felling expressed on this thread and a reflection of my paranoia moving forward in my future NIB plans at this moment . I have not sent any communication to STERN yet . I wanted some feedback / help for the pinside members who have gone through this process first before I proceed. I always use Tact and diplomacy. It is always the best approach .

Hey Rob,

You have been talking to Chaz. That is the right way to approach your situation. Email all the info to parts.service@sternpinball.com and go from there. Follow up at regular intervals and see what happens. We did that in Australia and followed up with our Distro. We got a good outcome, but we did have to be patient. We did buy the machine new from our distro and I have noticed of late this does make a difference.

Good Luck!

#58 8 months ago
Quoted from pinballaddicted:

Hey Rob,
You have been talking to Chaz. That is the right way to approach your situation. Email all the info to parts.service@sternpinball.com and go from there. Follow up at regular intervals and see what happens. We did that in Australia and followed up with our Distro. We got a good outcome, but we did have to be patient. We did buy the machine new from our distro and I have noticed of late this does make a difference.
Good Luck!

Talking to Chaz is the way to go I agree. He's the best employee Stern has, they should make him the CEO of the company!

#59 8 months ago
Quoted from RobKnapp:

Yes you are taking my comment out of context . That statement is my personal felling expressed on this thread and a reflection of my paranoia moving forward in my future NIB plans at this moment . I have not sent any communication to STERN yet . I wanted some feedback / help for the pinside members who have gone through this process first before I proceed. I always use Tact and diplomacy. It is always the best approach .

I apologize for not understanding. You are going about it the right way, and I agree with the above...but once you have done that (talked to Chas, and submit the photos) there is usually radio silence. After a few months you could contact Chas again to see how it’s going, but there probably won’t be much info until they email you that you are getting a new playfield (if they will give you one). I don’t think they will tell you you didn’t qualify (if you don’t qualify)...but I could be wrong. Good luck!

#60 8 months ago
Quoted from eggbert52:

Just comes UPS, no pallet or straps, etc.

comes on pallet with straps and very well packed

20171129_101542 (resized).jpg

#61 8 months ago

This entire process took about 2 weeks. From the time I reported the warranty issue until I got my new playfield. I will get it all put back together this weekend and hopefully there are no issues. Nothing but great things to say about Stern from my end. Very happy with how they handled everything.

#62 8 months ago

Just put new playfield in and it plays fantastic. No adjustments out of the box and put up grand champion first game. It plays way better than my original. Thank you stern!

#63 8 months ago
Quoted from woody76:

This entire process took about 2 weeks. From the time I reported the warranty issue until I got my new playfield. I will get it all put back together this weekend and hopefully there are no issues. Nothing but great things to say about Stern from my end. Very happy with how they handled everything.

I reported issues with my Metallica playfield back in August. Still haven't received my replacement, even though I was promised one. I guess you were one of the lucky ones.

#64 8 months ago
Quoted from DeeGor:

I reported issues with my Metallica playfield back in August. Still haven't received my replacement, even though I was promised one. I guess you were one of the lucky ones.

In all fairness to Stern, I had one of the really bad playfields from April 2015. 2 inches of chipping around magnet, large chip coming out of shooter lane, and many other issues.

#65 8 months ago

I noticed ghosting on my playfield a week after I bought it from my Distributor in early Oct 2017. It was a floor model but only had 300 plays on it so it was practically a new in box. The playfield had a date of Sep 2016 so it was part of the bad batch of playfields. Supposedly anything before Oct 20th 2016 was bad. I contacted my distributor who got me into contact with Pat over at Stern. They agreed that it was covered on the replacement warranty and sent me an empty box. We took out the old playfield and sent it to Stern. The whole process was quick. Roughly 2 weeks. Couple of things to mention. My playfield had a ton of mods on it and my distributor told me to leave them in for he believed Stern would take them out and send back. I did not want to trust that so my wife and I took them all out. We were not able to take out the green captive balls in the left captive ball area so I left those in and emailed Pat at Stern twice that I was not able to get those and if they could please send those back to me. I just received the playfield today and they did not replace the green balls. I will contact Pat to see if I can get those back. When I looked at the date of the new playfield it was not "new". It had a date of December 2016. A year old. It is new in that it was never played on but it seems that Stern has a bunch of these laying around from a year ago. Because it was produced after Oct 2016 my hope is that the issues were fixed. I did notice a small bubble on the left side of the storage facility insert. Not sure if this will become ghosting but it does concern me a bit. We shall see. One last thing...we had purchased a premium table. Stern sent us an LE for it is signed by John Trudeau. Not sure if this was a mistake on Sterns part or they had so many of these signed ones laying around that they wanted to get rid of and thought it would be an extra bonus since this was a hassle. Not sure how I think about this since the recent John Trudeau fiasco though.....

#66 8 months ago
Quoted from HookedonPinonics:

I noticed ghosting on my playfield a week after I bought it from my Distributor in early Oct 2017. It was a floor model but only had 300 plays on it so it was practically a new in box. The playfield had a date of Sep 2016 so it was part of the bad batch of playfields. Supposedly anything before Oct 20th 2016 was bad. I contacted my distributor who got me into contact with Pat over at Stern. They agreed that it was covered on the replacement warranty and sent me an empty box. We took out the old playfield and sent it to Stern. The whole process was quick. Roughly 2 weeks. Couple of things to mention. My playfield had a ton of mods on it and my distributor told me to leave them in for he believed Stern would take them out and send back. I did not want to trust that so my wife and I took them all out. We were not able to take out the green captive balls in the left captive ball area so I left those in and emailed Pat at Stern twice that I was not able to get those and if they could please send those back to me. I just received the playfield today and they did not replace the green balls. I will contact Pat to see if I can get those back. When I looked at the date of the new playfield it was not "new". It had a date of December 2016. A year old. It is new in that it was never played on but it seems that Stern has a bunch of these laying around from a year ago. Because it was produced after Oct 2016 my hope is that the issues were fixed. I did notice a small bubble on the left side of the storage facility insert. Not sure if this will become ghosting but it does concern me a bit. We shall see. One last thing...we had purchased a premium table. Stern sent us an LE for it is signed by John Trudeau. Not sure if this was a mistake on Sterns part or they had so many of these signed ones laying around that they wanted to get rid of and thought it would be an extra bonus since this was a hassle. Not sure how I think about this since the recent John Trudeau fiasco though.....

The John Trudeau thing is interesting, and I can see why you'd have mixed feelings. In my experience with a replacement playfield, Stern sends a stock playfield (populated), but want's nothing to do with any mods. I removed mine, even the custom painted sparky and lighted snake head (Mine was a Met Pro). They sent a new playfield with those on it (completely stock)...that I replaced with my modded ones, but now have an extra sparky. Sorry about your captive balls, but I wouldn't expect them back, just get new ones. Too many people with too many mods for Stern to keep track of. It's a pain to take them off and replace them (or buy new), but at least they gave you a new playfield.

#67 8 months ago
Quoted from HookedonPinonics:

One last thing...we had purchased a premium table. Stern sent us an LE for it is signed by John Trudeau. Not sure if this was a mistake on Sterns part or they had so many of these signed ones laying around that they wanted to get rid of and thought it would be an extra bonus since this was a hassle. Not sure how I think about this since the recent John Trudeau fiasco though.....

I can not understand why they will still send out John T. signed playfields, I thought they departed from that guy. But again a sign that there is money involved. Stern should scrap those......

#68 8 months ago
Quoted from PeterG:

I can not understand why they will still send out John T. signed playfields, I thought they departed from that guy. But again a sign that there is money involved. Stern should scrap those......

I don't understand either. Again I believe its an overstock issue and someone went to the back room and grabbed it without noticing. My thought is that they have had such a headache with this playfield deal that they don't want to spend anymore wasted time looking over quality control. I don't know if I should complain about this or just let it be and move on. Like dnapac stated above, I should be happy it got replaced in the first place but still. It's not that noticeable and I guess it makes a good conversation piece even though that conversation is not a good one. One thing I did notice is that some of my shots are not registering. This thing is fast! When we first got it, it had roughly 300 plays on it so it played like a normal used machine. With this new playfield feeling like butter do you think the 1/10 shots not registering is due to the fact that the ball is going so fast that the board is unable to register it? I shot the left ramp and no joke that ball went from the right flipper up the ramp and back to the right flipper in a quarter of a second. I chuckled at it cause it was just crazy how fast it was. Should I give it a couple 100 plays and dirty it up a little before I get too concerned?

#69 8 months ago

That left ramp switch at the top is known for not registering. I had to bend the metal to get a correct hit. But be careful with that.

#70 8 months ago
Quoted from PeterG:

That left ramp switch at the top is known for not registering. I had to bend the metal to get a correct hit. But be careful with that.

Yeah. We were able to get it bent a little last night so that it was registering.

#71 8 months ago

Had a great experience. Worked with my distributor and Stern and was well taken care of. New PF is perfect and I couldn’t be happier about the way it was resolved. Things happen, it’s the support that counts.

#72 8 months ago
Quoted from mschonbrun:

Had a great experience. Worked with my distributor and Stern and was well taken care of. New PF is perfect and I couldn’t be happier about the way it was resolved. Things happen, it’s the support that counts.

That's kinda the key issue here.

Something happens on ANY other make of pin, "whoa, stuff happens."

Something happens on a Stern pin and it's "they snuck into my house at night, punched my puppy, and sawed the head off my daughter's teddy bear."

People need to stop taking this stuff personally. Shit happens.

#73 8 months ago

It took 1 year to get my MET pro playfield replaced from Stern. I saw that they had MET on the floor doing a run and I was scared that it might be the last run for the game. I pleaded my story for getting the playfield and it was finally approved to send. Most of my games are in Florida and I live in Baltimore. They sent me the box and I made a special trip to florida to remove the playfield and send it back. I was able to get the new playfield and put it in the game on a recent trip but did not have time to hook it up. I am a little nervous about how hard it is to hook back up. It has been a while since I took it out and there were a lot of connectors.

If anyone has any advice on the best way to get everything back connected i would appreciate it.

#74 8 months ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

That's kinda the key issue here.
Something happens on ANY other make of pin, "whoa, stuff happens."
Something happens on a Stern pin and it's "they snuck into my house at night, punched my puppy, and sawed the head off my daughter's teddy bear."
People need to stop taking this stuff personally

I didnt have a bad experience with Stern. I think their customer service is pretty good and they approved my playfield a year ago when it started to chip. I do feel that it took a long time to get the playfield and I would probably still be waiting if i didnt keep following up.

I know stuff happens but of all parts to go bad on a game that is a pretty significant part. I have no idea what happens to all the parts on the old playfields, do they scrap them, going to sell used parts, etc?

#75 8 months ago
Quoted from marksf123:

It took 1 year to get my MET pro playfield replaced from Stern. I saw that they had MET on the floor doing a run and I was scared that it might be the last run for the game. I pleaded my story for getting the playfield and it was finally approved to send. Most of my games are in Florida and I live in Baltimore. They sent me the box and I made a special trip to florida to remove the playfield and send it back. I was able to get the new playfield and put it in the game on a recent trip but did not have time to hook it up. I am a little nervous about how hard it is to hook back up. It has been a while since I took it out and there were a lot of connectors.
If anyone has any advice on the best way to get everything back connected i would appreciate it.

Actually, hooking it back up isn’t too bad. Easier than coming out. I assume you took lots of pics. If not let me know and I can send you some that might be helpful. Move slow, line up the connectors with their appropriate connections in each bundle, then actually connect them. Unconnecting things that you put in wrong would be very frustrating.

#76 8 months ago
Quoted from marksf123:

It took 1 year to get my MET pro playfield replaced from Stern. I saw that they had MET on the floor doing a run and I was scared that it might be the last run for the game. I pleaded my story for getting the playfield and it was finally approved to send. Most of my games are in Florida and I live in Baltimore. They sent me the box and I made a special trip to florida to remove the playfield and send it back. I was able to get the new playfield and put it in the game on a recent trip but did not have time to hook it up. I am a little nervous about how hard it is to hook back up. It has been a while since I took it out and there were a lot of connectors.
If anyone has any advice on the best way to get everything back connected i would appreciate it.

I just had to swap mine. It took me about 30 minutes to inbox and put in and was pretty easy. If you did not take pics I can send you some. Also, if you had a newer MET you will need the wire harness. Would hate for you to go all the way to Florida and realize you can't hook it up. I had a older game from 2015 and did not need the harness so I have a extra if you need it.

6 months later
#77 67 days ago
Quoted from HookedonPinonics:

I noticed ghosting on my playfield a week after I bought it from my Distributor in early Oct 2017. It was a floor model but only had 300 plays on it so it was practically a new in box. The playfield had a date of Sep 2016 so it was part of the bad batch of playfields. Supposedly anything before Oct 20th 2016 was bad. I contacted my distributor who got me into contact with Pat over at Stern. They agreed that it was covered on the replacement warranty and sent me an empty box. We took out the old playfield and sent it to Stern. The whole process was quick. Roughly 2 weeks. Couple of things to mention. My playfield had a ton of mods on it and my distributor told me to leave them in for he believed Stern would take them out and send back. I did not want to trust that so my wife and I took them all out. We were not able to take out the green captive balls in the left captive ball area so I left those in and emailed Pat at Stern twice that I was not able to get those and if they could please send those back to me. I just received the playfield today and they did not replace the green balls. I will contact Pat to see if I can get those back. When I looked at the date of the new playfield it was not "new". It had a date of December 2016. A year old. It is new in that it was never played on but it seems that Stern has a bunch of these laying around from a year ago. Because it was produced after Oct 2016 my hope is that the issues were fixed. I did notice a small bubble on the left side of the storage facility insert. Not sure if this will become ghosting but it does concern me a bit. We shall see. One last thing...we had purchased a premium table. Stern sent us an LE for it is signed by John Trudeau. Not sure if this was a mistake on Sterns part or they had so many of these signed ones laying around that they wanted to get rid of and thought it would be an extra bonus since this was a hassle. Not sure how I think about this since the recent John Trudeau fiasco though.....

Well 6 months have passed and I have ghosting again.......Not sure what to do. They are small compared to my old playfield ghosting. I am at the point of saying screw it and moving on.

#78 67 days ago
Quoted from HookedonPinonics:

More
Well 6 months have passed and I have ghosting again.......Not sure what to do. They are small compared to my old playfield ghosting. I am at the point of saying screw it and moving on.

Could you please post some pics?

#79 67 days ago
Quoted from HookedonPinonics:

More
Well 6 months have passed and I have ghosting again.......Not sure what to do. They are small compared to my old playfield ghosting. I am at the point of saying screw it and moving on.

I've moved on.....sold all my Spike era games and I'm out. I'll just enjoy the remakes, Spooky's, JJP's and classics.......

#80 67 days ago

I saw an original Attack from Mars that had ghosting, it isn't exclusive to Stern.

#81 67 days ago

It took me a year fighting w/ Stern for a new PF for my GBLE. They finally said that I qualified for a new PF.

I put the playfield in this past October. It still hasn't had a single ball played on it.

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