(Topic ID: 156055)

Sterns warranty is terrible


By Pinballbuyer

3 years ago



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  • Latest reply 3 years ago by xTheBlackKnightx
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There are 215 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 5.
#51 3 years ago
Quoted from usandthem:

Again, it's hit and miss as your story of Gweempose illustrates. They cover a game that's way out of warranty, but won't do anything about a brand new game whose decals are falling clean off.
While I haven't bought a brand new game, I did get some ramps from Stern that must've had a problem as they were removed from the mold. They had some pretty big flaws. Stern took them back. When they gave me new ones, they threw in some protectors for good measure. So, I've been taken care of too, in a sense.

Your statement is incorrect, his decals are not falling off, they are having wrinkling issues around the flipper button and they did something, sent him free lolli-pop rails even though their warranty doesn't cover it....

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#52 3 years ago

Stern warranty for us has been fantastic. They always reply to our emails with solutions within 24 hours and we live in Australia. We have creases around the legs of one of our machines. Purchased felt protectors from PinballLife and installed them. Not as good as we would like but Stern are not the ones taking the legs on and off. Our distro is and they offered to repair it at no cost. Machine is 4 years old.

Only praise here.

10
#53 3 years ago

I am sure Stern appreciates all those who are making excuses for them. Spend on!

#54 3 years ago
Quoted from BrooklynDrug:

They were dicks to me on the phone the other day when I had to call. Just cocky and arrogant. I hung up on them. Never again. I'll take care of my own issues.

I've experienced nothing but friendliness, helpfulness and patience each time I've called Stern, even for 5-10 year-old pins. Is it possible you were being a dick and in turn you were treated like one?

It's unfortunate Stern had a stretch with bad decal glue, but that is behind them now. I was sent replacement head decals no questions asked for my Met Pro LED, as well as complimentary parts for other Sterns with no hassle. Customer Service and Tech Support have been excellent for me, not that I need to bother them much. Their pins are very reliable. Buy with confidence.

#55 3 years ago
Quoted from NorCalRealtor:

It's unfortunate Stern had a stretch with bad decal glue, but that is behind them now. I was sent replacement head decals no questions asked, as well as many other items well past the printed warranty timelines. Overall, Stern pins are very reliable and customer service is excellent. Buy with confidence.

Was it fairly easy to install the new head decals?

#56 3 years ago

How do the decals wrinkle in the button area?

#57 3 years ago
Quoted from Mike_J:

Was it fairly easy to install the new head decals?

Good question. I didn't have to. They were barely starting to peel in a couple spots, not enough to warrant replacement quite yet. Figured I'd change them once it got worse. Ended up selling the pin before that happened. Gave the replacements to the buyer.

Two different people told me head decal replacement is quite easy. Just finish peeling off the old ones and stick on the new ones. I was told you can spray soapy water on the sticky side of the new ones to help with aligning them.

#58 3 years ago
Quoted from crlush:

How do the decals wrinkle in the button area?

My guess would be the decals weren't completely dry before flipper buttons and bolts were tightened.

#59 3 years ago

I have mixed feelings about Sterns customer service. Chas was extremely helpful when I encountered a weird problem on my KISS Premium. When my demon disc started making an awful screeching sound Patrick sent a new motor. I was grateful until I saw the motor they sent was the rejected ones with cheap rubber that shits black all over the playfield. I know for a fact the Pre/ LE ones have the upgraded discs which are more playfield friendly. Pat insisted otherwise. I offered to pay for a new motor. I just wanted what my pin came with. Never heard another word. Kinda left a sour taste in my mouth but I'm still very happy with my purchase. Hope the OP finds a solution they're satisfied with.

#60 3 years ago

Stern helped with parts issues per a service bulletin for an xfiles last August. They did not have the part but the did look up part specs for me for free so I could make my own. I now own 3 almost new ones from stern and love them all, ij4, met pro and Twd pro

#61 3 years ago
Quoted from usandthem:

Stern must know that the bulk of their buyers are home users.

Last October, Gary said that although many LE games go into collectors homes, he believes that most new pro games are still being routed.

Quoted from usandthem:

Quality has taken a huge nosedive over the last couple of years.

Exactly the opposite.

Sterns quality and depth of code has gone up lately.

Subways, stainless steel ramps, LEDs, stereo sound - lots of cool stuff in the new games.

#62 3 years ago

Stern parts/warranty kind of suck to deal with directly (they REALLY need a customer service manager that can direct others and/or do the job without attitude, I hear the same complaints from distributors that deal with them), but through a distributor I've had generally good success.

On a Simpsons Party Pinball I got one of the playfields with the crappy black outlines and text and they sent a brand new playfield (this was the old days when they wanted you to do the PF swap yourself - lately they seem to exchange for populated playfields). On other NIB machines I've bought from them (a couple LotR, some Spiderman, etc) I've had miscellaneous parts break or be bad out of the box and I always got them replaced free.

But in every case, the successes were by going through the distributor. So pick your Stern distributor carefully and buy from ones with a reputation of good support.

-10
#63 3 years ago

They dont even turn all the games on to see if they boot up, i know for a fact- my walking dead premium came with the harnesses unpluged in the bottom of the cabinet(multiple-NOT from "shipping")- game didnt boot no power from xfmr. STOP defending them, they do things as cheap as they can, it is now the American way unfortunatley. Oh you think they built spike tobe more reliable? LOL.

#64 3 years ago

What's the old saying?... You get more flies with honey than with vinegar?

Folks need to be less the angry, entitled, demanders... and more the "lets listen, understand, and give & take." Sheesh.

Not calling any names nor calling anyone out. Just truth on which to chew.

Yes, there's a time to kick ass. And I've done plenty. But folks jump there WAY too quickly IMO.

That assho*e driver pulled out in front of me! Oh. Wait. I've done that too...

Perspective. Perspective. Perspective. Chill.

#65 3 years ago
Quoted from wisefwumyogwave:

They dont even turn all the games on to see if they boot up

Not true at all.

All Stern games are play tested.

Every single switch and solenoid is tested under power before the game is boxed.

-

Next time you are in IL, call and take the Stern tour.

You will learn a lot.

#66 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Last October, Gary said that although many LE games go into collectors homes, he believes that most new pro games are still be routed.

Well they/he has done NO research or should fire anyone who is giving him this info. Its probably the same "group" that does QC. I am not saying others have better QC or support but its a huge problem when trying to expand the hobby to a more friendly home environment. They drop a turd off at your door and its your problem!!!

#67 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Not true at all.
All Stern games are play tested.
Every single switch and solenoid is tested under power before the game is boxed.
-
Next time you are in IL, call and take the Stern tour.
You will learn a lot.

Then explain to me why I had so many flaky insert lamps on my NIB ST Pro.

#68 3 years ago
Quoted from 0geist0:

Then explain to me why I had so many flaky insert lamps on my NIB ST Pro.

It's not uncommon for the LEDs to wiggle around and need to be removed and have the prongs bent out a little to make better contact. This is not something that would show up in a quick test at the factory.

#69 3 years ago
Quoted from 0geist0:

Then explain to me why I had so many flaky insert lamps on my NIB ST Pro.

Because the game bounced down the road for 2000 miles, loaded and offloaded by a bunch of hiLo drivers who don't give a ship?

#70 3 years ago
Quoted from scottslash:

What's the old saying?... You get more flies with honey than with vinegar?
Folks need to be less the angry, entitled, demanders... and more the "lets listen, understand, and give & take." Sheesh.
Not calling any names nor calling anyone out. Just truth on which to chew.
Yes, there's a time to kick ass. And I've done plenty. But folks jump there WAY too quickly IMO.
That assho*e driver pulled out in front of me! Oh. Wait. I've done that too...
Perspective. Perspective. Perspective. Chill.

Mr. Slash,
Would you kindly fill out an application for the "Life Coach" position that has recently opened up here at Gryszzzly Manor ?
Regards,
Gryszzz
*Haha. But I bet we all agree that the world needs more folks that thought like this. Great perspective.
So please ride shotgun with me everytime I start the truck. Thanks.

#71 3 years ago

No offense but posts like these are ridiculous. If we can't solve the problem ourselves why throw it out there for public display?

Is something like this is really a big deal? Not to me.

#72 3 years ago
Quoted from msj2222:

Well they/he has done NO research or should fire anyone who is giving him this info.

Do you have access to some more accurate info that Gary needs to know about?

Quoted from msj2222:

I am not saying others have better QC or support but its a huge problem when trying to expand the hobby to a more friendly home environment.

What is this huge problem?

Most people I know who have new Stern games are totally happy.

#73 3 years ago

Have any of you ever looked into a SquareTrade extended warranty? Looks like they have a catch-all plan for miscellaneous electronics, 3 yrs for ~$429 ($5K to $6K max value), probably less with a coupon code.

#74 3 years ago

I recently called Stern for a minor issue with one of my LE's, mind you I'm NOT the original owner which I was honest about and told them so also the machine was made in 2013. They were more then extremely helpful on the phone and we even shared a few laughs. Four days later a new part arrived at my door free of charge listed under a warranty repair. I couldn't be more pleased with their Customer/Tech service.

#75 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Do you have access to some more accurate info that Gary needs to know about?

What is this huge problem?
Most people I know who have new Stern games are totally happy.

Yes! and Congrats to the Stern owners you know because they are the ones who count

#76 3 years ago

I recently got my first NIB and all was good except one microswitch in the ball trough. I called, explained, and was taken care of. Small issue, but lasting impression.

#77 3 years ago

Stern has a great team with Patrick and Chas. If their support and warranty support decline, so will their bottom line. These two guys are the lifeblood of Stern. I complain a lot, though these guys have always come through, so I continue to buy.

If their great support stops, I stop buying from them.

#78 3 years ago
Quoted from Bizzenya:

Why are some folks apologizing for their terrible written warranty?
Sure they might have an internal policy to replace certain parts or problems, but they aren't obligated to help you and can choose to not fix problems regardless of their cause.

There is nothing to apologize for. The warranty is clear about what they agree to cover and for how long. When someone calls and asks for something not covered and is told 'sorry, it's not covered' that's ok with me.

We read many stories of assistance given for stuff that's out of warranty. I'm happy to hear about that too. Customer service is performed by people, and people are inconsistent on a daily basis. They may have extra product X laying around on day Y, customer service person Z may not know about it today but might find out next week. It happens.

Communicate, communicate, communicate! Be happy when you get more than Stern is obligated to provide. When you get what you agreed to well sorry it didn't work out this time.

#79 3 years ago

About five years ago I sold a front aero wheel for my tri bike on eBay. Moments after the auction ended the buyer who posted the winning bid sent an email saying "I hope this wheel is as nice as you say because I have had to send the last four wheels that I've won back..."

My first thought was "oh boy..." Needless to say the guy was a douche and asked for a return because the bearings were "wrecked". I did return his money (after he paid shipping both ways; I turned around and used that wheel in my next half and finished with an overall time of 5:03.

The reason why I posted this is because the aero wheel was my first experience with someone who could never be satisfied... No matter what you do they are unhappy. I suggested that the wheel buyer purchase new because his expectation was like new quality. Here? I would suggest that the buyer buy used.

#80 3 years ago

I have had my fair share of positive and negatives with stern and the warranty. I would never say to somebody not happy they are wrong. I know stern can be a pain and welcome others coaching them to do better. They work hard on solutions but need to update the methods they use.

#81 3 years ago

I agree that often Sterns support is where it should be and that's great. But, also, from 1st hand experience have witnessed it as a dismal failure. What I don't understand, as a community why when some point the faults out they are labeled as abrasive, hater/trouble maker, or they need to learn how to be a pin tech. There are too many reports of issues for it to be imagined.

#82 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Not true at all.
All Stern games are play tested.
Every single switch and solenoid is tested under power before the game is boxed.
-
Next time you are in IL, call and take the Stern tour.
You will learn a lot.

Bullshit- a little pinball demon must have unplugged my cabinet harnesses while it was NIB.

#83 3 years ago
Quoted from edwinpblue:

About five years ago I sold a front aero wheel for my tri bike on eBay. Moments after the auction ended the buyer who posted the winning bid sent an email saying "I hope this wheel is as nice as you say because I have had to send the last four wheels that I've won back..."
My first thought was "oh boy..." Needless to say the guy was a douche and asked for a return because the bearings were "wrecked". I did return his money (after he paid shipping both ways; I turned around and used that wheel in my next half and finished with an overall time of 5:03.
The reason why I posted this is because the aero wheel was my first experience with someone who could never be satisfied... No matter what you do they are unhappy. I suggested that the wheel buyer purchase new because his expectation was like new quality. Here? I would suggest that the buyer buy used.

Everyone wants new. The difference is who pays the new price? These are the customers (people) that Stern needs to look after first. As I have previously said, Stern are fantastic to us.

#84 3 years ago
Quoted from cosmokramer:

there are plenty of LEs on location...

Yes there are. I just put a TFLE on location last week

#85 3 years ago

I've had mixed experiences with them. If the parts are cheap, like optos or switches, they seemed to be fine. On slightly more expensive parts they wanted stuff back, issued an RMA. I'm okay with that. My last try, not so good. I bought an ACDC LE and called right away about a really cloudy lower playfield "nope, sorry." I explained I've purchased many NIB Stern machines and didn't think it was right, there was a problem and I thought they knew it. Wouldn't budge. I even offered to purchase a new playfield and they still said no. I would have to go through a distributor. I wish I remember who it was but the guy was being a dick wouldn't even tell me if they had one in stock. I'd have to find out from the distributor and they could give me a price if they had one and if not no idea on lead time. There might not be more made. They did send me a Gary Stern autographed translight though. I should have called Trent but in the end I just let it slide. Other times for minor issues they thanked me for my purchase and were as nice as could be, might depend on who picks up the phone and the mood they're in that day.

#86 3 years ago
Quoted from wisefwumyogwave:

a little pinball demon must have unplugged my cabinet harnesses while it was NIB.

ok

#87 3 years ago
Quoted from Gov:

Yes there are. I just put a TFLE on location last week

Out of personal interest how is it performing (no of plays)?

#88 3 years ago

No need to be snarky i dont like being called a liar over something so silly. Look, the games are awesome we all agree on that- the quality control? SUX. It just does- two things... Im not lying about harnesses being unplugged and the game being unbootable it did indeed happen (as well as some other trivial things i wont get into) wasnt a big deal i just plugged them back in. Second whats with the attitude that stern can do no wrong? Ive never understood this loyaly unless there is stock or personal relationships involved. Which is it vid?

#89 3 years ago

Stern warranty and tech support have always been great to me. Not to mention that you can always go through the dealer you bought it from if you prefer that route. Never had the slightest problem getting what I needed. Shrug.

#90 3 years ago

You can order parts directly from stern? I was told by stern I needed to buy from another company (pinball life/macro/etc) whom stern supplies...

Order was paid for over 5weeks ago.. Still waiting...

The Tech support was very informative and helpful.

#91 3 years ago
Quoted from msj2222:

I am sure Stern appreciates all those who are making excuses for them. Spend on!

Now that's some funny shit right there.

#92 3 years ago
Quoted from wisefwumyogwave:

Look, the games are awesome we all agree on that- the quality control? SUX. It just does- two things... Im not lying about harnesses being unplugged and the game being unbootable it did indeed happen

I believe you.

I've shipped games and the soldered headers have somehow cracked and were loose upon arrival.

They sure were not cracked when they left my shop, as I had done other boardwork and would have seen a bunch of cracked solder joints.

It's just how 2000 miles of jarring over common carrier goes.

Quoted from wisefwumyogwave:

Second whats with the attitude that stern can do no wrong? Ive never understood this loyaly unless there is stock or personal relationships involved. Which is it vid?

Stern makes mistakes, same as any other manufacturer of any other product.

I came from routing games in the Gottlieb, Classic Bally, Classic Stern, and Williams era, and today's Stern ships games with way fewer out-of-box problems. I mean WAY fewer.

You guys do not know how good you have it.

#93 3 years ago

Many years ago I purchased a HOU Simpsons Pinball Party that had a bad display (the small one on the playfield). I called Stern and told them that I was not the original owner and that I knew everything was out of warranty, but asked what my options were. I was hoping for a used display, but instead they sent me a new replacement display and only asked that I send the bad one back to them. That's exceeding my expectations!

Sorry to hear you'r not happy with them...

#94 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

I believe you.
I've shipped games and the soldered headers have somehow cracked and were loose upon arrival.
They sure were not cracked when they left my shop, as I had done other boardwork and would have seen a bunch of cracked solder joints.
It's just how 2000 miles of jarring over common carrier goes.

Stern makes mistakes, same as any other manufacturer of any other product.
I came from routing games in the Gottlieb, Classic Bally, Classic Stern, and Williams era, and today's Stern ships games with way fewer out-of-box problems. I mean WAY fewer.
You guys do not know how good you have it.

RESPECT. But there is no way those tight ass molex plugs jarred loose during shipping. Unfathomable.

#95 3 years ago

I've had stern replace a ramp and side decals and a dmd on my Star Trek. 2 of the 3 weren't covered under warranty but they still covered them. My Star Trek has over 10k plays and those are the only problems other than a few broken solders along the way.

If stern offered to give me better side rails than what I already had, totally fixing the problem and making it better than what I paid for, I would be more than happy. Not write a bad review.

#96 3 years ago

Had exceptional service from Stern when our NIB AC/DC Premium had a scratched lockdown bar, side rails and piece of chrome t molding out of the box. Stern could not have been more easy to work with. Had to wait a bit for the parts to arrive as they were out of stock, but shipped with a smile and chatting with Patrick on the phone was a great experience.

#97 3 years ago

If I were offered new rails with button guards I'd take that deal all day long.

#98 3 years ago

have you ever just tried removing the flipper buttons, warm up the decal and relieve the stress on the decal? It looks like the button itself is pushing the decal, so if you just pull the button flatten and trim the decal I bet your problem magically disappears.

#99 3 years ago

I am awaiting my first NIB, and after reading this thread I can say I am more confident that I made the right choice going with Stern.

#100 3 years ago

As with most things, the truth is somewhere in the middle. I'm a huge Stern fan, and I'll buy my 3rd NIB when the right title comes along. But this is only because I know Stern will stand behind its product. When I read this:

Quoted from wisefwumyogwave:

there is no way those tight ass molex plugs jarred loose during shipping. Unfathomable.

...I believe him, because I had a bunch of basic assembly issues with my MET Pro after I unboxed it. The left flipper didn't work at all, because the switch gap was way off. There was a 555 bulb in a flasher socket. The graveyard magnet wasn't level with the playfield, so on my first game the ball just stopped in the hole. Those were all easy to fix, but I had a maddening switch issue that took me weeks to resolve. I eventually tracked it to a diode that was installed backward. Pat was with me the whole time I was debugging the switch problem (via email, my choice). I asked for a Premium manual for my troubles, and they sent me one - that made me happy. 3 years later, I'm still a satisfied customer. My game still looks and plays like new, and we got through the out-of-box failures together.

Quoted from vid1900:

All Stern games are play tested. Every single switch and solenoid is tested under power before the game is boxed.

I hope that's true now; it wasn't when my game was assembled in 2013. It's not enough to test that a switch does something; it needs to activate only one switch in the test grid.

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