(Topic ID: 156055)

Sterns warranty is terrible


By Pinballbuyer

4 years ago



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  • 215 posts
  • 104 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by xTheBlackKnightx
  • Topic is favorited by 5 Pinsiders

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There are 215 posts in this topic. You are on page 4 of 5.
#151 4 years ago
Quoted from swampfire:

The question is whether they are testing them enough to prevent obvious problems from slipping through.

As soon as you get a new or used game, you should do a sanity check and reseat all the connectors, and look for any loose parts or screws - before you power up.

Whenever I get a new power amp, I always pop the top, reseat the boards and tighten the power screw lugs. 2000 miles of bumps and thermal cycling has the potential for disaster, especially when the product draws 18 Amps....

#152 4 years ago
Quoted from BrooklynDrug:

Well, when someone assumes I'm being a dickhead off of absolutely nothing, yeah.... Gets me a bit steamed. Stern are not complete saints, I'm sure someone else in the world has had a bad experience. Just cause they treated you like gold doesn't mean they do that with everyone else. Also doesn't mean everyone who had a bad experience are dickheads either.
And that's not me being "tempered", that's me embracing reality.

So what was wrong with your board?

#153 4 years ago

I imagine people that don't get good customer service contact stern support playing "upset customer" ranting about how much they paid etc. "For what I paid these decals shouldn't be wrinkling". Those folks are getting what they deserve. They're annoying.

I imagine the ones that get good service are calling support and simply sticking to their issue and acting like a normal person.

#154 4 years ago

Solution:
Wait until game is on location.
Play game.
Is it fun? Like the level of code?
Buy.

This pretty much works almost ALL the time. Why?
1. The manufacturing/assembly/boxing bugs are likely resolved
2. No need to obsess over online videos to "imagine" if you will like it- you already PLAYED it.
3. No need to complain about code updates- you just don't buy until its right.

#155 4 years ago
Quoted from markmon:

I imagine people that don't get good customer service contact stern support playing "upset customer" ranting about how much they paid etc. "For what I paid these decals shouldn't be wrinkling". Those folks are getting what they deserve. They're annoying.
I imagine the ones that get good service are calling support and simply sticking to their issue and acting like a normal person.

I agree with this completely. It's just plain common sense. People tend to treat people how they're being treated. You act like a D-bag you get treated like a D-bag, I know that's how I roll.

#156 4 years ago
Quoted from lowepg:

Solution:
Wait until game is on location.
Play game.
Is it fun? Like the level of code?
Buy.
This pretty much works almost ALL the time. Why?
1. The manufacturing/assembly/boxing bugs are likely resolved
2. No need to obsess over online videos to "imagine" if you will like it- you already PLAYED it.
3. No need to complain about code updates- you just don't buy until its right.

In addition, production variations will always make an NIB purchase a risk, especially if you're looking for perfection. Solution, buy a HUO example that you get to examine first.

#157 4 years ago
Quoted from Jasontaps:

Watch some of the videos on youtube. Each cabinet is connected to a temporary head and every function is tested.

Bought a HUO LOTR. I noticed that several LED's in the "Man" "Dwarf" "Elf" ring indicator above the flippers were not working. Started checking around and found a wire in the head that was loose. I determined it should have been inserted to a IDC connector. Looking at the wire it was pristine, there were no marks indicating it had been previously inserted into the connector (as the connector cuts the insulation it is pretty obvious). So Stern clearly missed the fact that multiple LED's were out on this machine because they never worked until I put the wire into the connector.

I understand that mistakes are made (wire missed) but a comprehensive check should have easily caught this issue. Overall I think they do a pretty reasonable job for the complexity that is a pinball machine, just pointing out they are not verifying every function (at least they were not in 2003).

#158 4 years ago
Quoted from Mamushka:

Bought a HUO LOTR. I noticed that several LED's in the "Man" "Dwarf" "Elf" ring indicator above the flippers were not working. Started checking around and found a wire in the head that was loose. I determined it should have been inserted to a IDC connector. Looking at the wire it was pristine, there were no marks indicating it had been previously inserted into the connector (as the connector cuts the insulation it is pretty obvious). So Stern clearly missed the fact that multiple LED's were out on this machine because they never worked until I put the wire into the connector.
I understand that mistakes are made (wire missed) but a comprehensive check should have easily caught this issue. Overall I think they do a pretty reasonable job for the complexity that is a pinball machine, just pointing out they are not verifying every function (at least they were not in 2003).

So the previous owner did not notice that a bunch of lights were not working after they had just replaced them with LEDs ???

#159 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

So the previous owner did not notice that a bunch of lights were not working after they had just replaced them with LEDs ???

No, he's talking about the ones that were LEDs from the factory (in 2003, imagine that). It's more surprising that the previous owner didn't notice the problem.

FWIW, my LOTR had no problems at all until I'd owned it for 6 years. I had to replace one transistor. Solid as a Toyota.

#160 4 years ago
Quoted from markmon:

I imagine the ones that get good service are calling support and simply sticking to their issue and acting like a normal person.

THIS. I've always been super patient and understanding... even when Stern messes up and sends me the wrong thing or takes a while to get out a replacement. You're basically speaking with one or two EXTREMELY busy people troubleshooting one of three thousand possible problems, and that's just for one of MANY titles. You're going to be dealing with them every time you have an issue, so it definitely doesn't hurt to act like a decent human being.

#161 4 years ago
Quoted from GorillaBiscuits:

doesn't hurt to act like a decent human being.

this is all based on an assumption that raving lunatics are the main people having problems. Does that seem likely?

#162 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

So the previous owner did not notice that a bunch of lights were not working after they had just replaced them with LEDs ???

The ring lights are LED's from the factory. The game only had about 250 plays on it when I got it. He was more of a collector than a player.

#163 4 years ago

I had a newer Stern game that had a sound issue. It was hard to explain to Stern so they suggested i make a recording. This game was not under any warranty. I sent the recording to them and he had it evaluated by someone there and they determined the problem and made suggestions on how to remedy it. Following their suggestions, the problem was solved. pretty awesome if you ask me.

#164 4 years ago
Quoted from Wickerman2:

this is all based on an assumption that raving lunatics are the main people having problems. Does that seem likely?

Hahaha. Well... I've definitely had my fair share of problems in the past, especially with GOT. I do consider myself a raving lunatic, but my point is you'll get further in any type of customer service situation when you try your best to NOT act like one around the person that is helping you out with something

#165 4 years ago
Quoted from Wickerman2:

this is all based on an assumption that raving lunatics are the main people having problems. Does that seem likely?

Probably not lunatics, but I'd bet that people who called rationally and calmly got better results. It's human nature.

#166 4 years ago

There's someone in my family who I've heard a few times talking in a condescending and snarky tone to a support person (not pinball related). I cringe every time I hear it. You're talking to a PERSON, not a company - act accordingly.

#167 4 years ago
Quoted from swampfire:

There's someone in my family who I've heard a few times talking in a condescending and snarky tone to a support person (not pinball related). I cringe every time I hear it. You're talking to a PERSON, not a company - act accordingly.

I refuse to go out to dinner with complainers.

#168 4 years ago

I know that this was years ago but Joe Blackwell was awesome with my issue in the past. Sad to me that he is no longer with Stern.

#169 4 years ago

I think Stern does a great job warranting their products. I've had several issues with NIB games and Chaz was always helpful in telling me what to check for or what was wrong. New parts were sent out free of charge, return packaging paid for to return defective part, game works like a charm. If I have future problems I would more of the same great customer service. After all we are valuable customers and they do want to keep us as customers. I am happy and I will be a return customer.

#170 4 years ago
Quoted from Pinballlew:

I know that this was years ago but Joe Blackwell was awesome with my issue in the past. Sad to me that he is no longer with Stern.

I think he works for namco now if I remember correctly.

#171 4 years ago
Quoted from Dr-Willy:

I think he works for namco now if I remember correctly.

Yes he does

#172 4 years ago

Top bloke ! I had a beer with him at the local pub the other week...

#173 4 years ago
Quoted from lowepg:

Grey market? lol.

Nothing. Nor would I expect him to.... Certainly not get into a for sale thread! Presumably he has better things to do like, I don't know, make sure pins get built and shipped.

What's so funny? Seriously - I don't spend near the hours you do reading and commenting on what seems almost every thread (or at least the handful I visit). I thought Jack was warning people since the seller sells lots of pins but was not a authorized JJP dealer & was selling a nib WOZ appearing to be a authorized dealer - I thought that is considered gray market but guess not lol.

I miss Jack on pinside - sorry you critics feel otherwise, and I agree Sterns warranty is a joke on paper. Hopefully competition forces Gary to reevaluate.

#174 4 years ago

Don't get burned. Make the right pinball choice.

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#175 4 years ago
Quoted from mountaingamer:

Seriously - I don't spend near the hours you do reading and commenting on what seems almost every thread (or at least the handful I visit).

Stop looking at my ass and following me around then....

#176 4 years ago

I had bought a used metallica prem last year that was a year old. I noticed the chrome trim around the head had some bubbling in it not a big deal but i figured id email stern let them know. They sent me a free replacement set with free shipping and im in Canada. I was impressed.

#177 4 years ago

Though it was something small i just had a good experience with Stern, called Chaz about a shaker i was having trouble hooking up, turns out the kit came with the wrong instructions and he is sending me the missing z connector i need for free

#178 4 years ago

This thread is mis-labled considering that in practice Stern's support consistently exceeds their stated warranty. When it's a design or manufacturing defect they tend to support fixes for years after purchase in my experience.

#179 4 years ago

IMHO it's all how you approach the company. If you call them and explain an issue, you stand a pretty good chance of them being fair and doing the right thing. If you get unreasonable or aggressive, they will have a tendency to dig their heels in. That's human nature. There have been some times when I've ended up talking to someone who was obviously either having a bad day or I just wasn't connecting with them on some level, so instead of going off on them, I'd just wait a few minutes, call back and hope that I got a different rep on the phone. I've had a lot of success with that. The golden rule goes a long way when you're working with someone in customer service.

#180 4 years ago
Quoted from Pinballbuyer:

Just wanted to share my experience with Sterns warranty and customer support. I posted my Kiss pro decal issues earlier and I wanted to share my experience with Stern. My machine is 4 months old and the decals are just rippling in several spots. They were only willing to send side rails to cover it. No decals were offered. It was take the rails or nothing. Then it was explained to me that they only warranty the pcb boards for 2 months and the dmd for 9. Nothing else is covered as expressed in the warranty. Its shocking that for the money we pay they do not stand behind the product and they did not seem to care about losing my bussiness. I will be sticking with used machines because of this experience.

image_(resized).jpeg

That seems crazy that they would not send you new decals.

The distributor you bought your machine from should be willing to go to bat for you if you can't get results.

Stern has to put in writing a bulletproof legal document. They are VERY flexible from my experience and typically go out of their way to make their customers happy.

#181 4 years ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

...
A couple of newer Sterns I've played are very chemicular smelling even past their first birthdays. I find this really unpleasant, plus the health concerns. Indeed one I bought was like this (18 months old) ..... took a couple of weeks of leaving it in a room with a commercial air purifier running 24/7 before it finally lost its odour.

Just what I need, another reason to be paranoid and wait for sales in the secondary market. Is this common? Maybe related to how young the particle board cabinet is?

#182 4 years ago
Quoted from HighVoltage:

Just what I need, another reason to be paranoid and wait for sales in the secondary market. Is this common? Maybe related to how young the particle board cabinet is?

Ah, what the heck, I bit the bullet anyway and ordered my first new Stern!

#183 4 years ago
Quoted from HighVoltage:

Ah, what the heck, I bit the bullet anyway and ordered my first new Stern!

Hard to control ourselves isn't it

#184 4 years ago
Quoted from HighVoltage:

Ah, what the heck, I bit the bullet anyway and ordered my first new Stern!

Loosen up the flipper buttons so the decals don't wrinkle as soon as you get it.

#185 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Loosen up the flipper buttons so the decals don't wrinkle as soon as you get it.

Don't know if you're just pulling my leg now, but ok, it sounds good to me!

#186 4 years ago
Quoted from HighVoltage:

Don't know if you're just pulling my leg now, but ok, it sounds good to me!

Totally serious.

#187 4 years ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

Hard to control ourselves isn't it

Missed out on this one in the secondary market one too many times. No more...

#188 4 years ago
Quoted from lowepg:

Stop looking at my ass and following me around then....

Not your typical overly pretentious response but funny!

#189 4 years ago

I would think my machine should be a bit of a reflection of me and my tastes so if my game has a few decal wrinkles near the flippers hell I do too these days!
Just stop reminding me Stern!!

#190 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Loosen up the flipper buttons so the decals don't wrinkle as soon as you get it.

New owner shouldn't have to do that.

#191 4 years ago
Quoted from 0geist0:

New owner shouldn't have to do that.

That's it... we're going off the grid

little-caesars-off-the-grid_(resized).jpg

#192 4 years ago

Following you with a croquet set.

#193 4 years ago
Quoted from 0geist0:

New owner shouldn't have to do that.

New owner should not have to clearcoat their brand new playfield either - but I like mine to look like glass, and stay that way.

#194 4 years ago

If you loosen up the flipper buttons those two blades that cut into the edge of the hole are probably gonna chew that edge to bits.

#195 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

New owner should not have to clearcoat their brand new playfield either - but I like mine to look like glass, and stay that way.

Oh cool, these our just the tips I need. Didn't see a Vid's guide to breaking in your new Stern, or did I miss that? I know about replacing the balls, and loosening the flipper buttons. Short of the clearcoat, would it be worth starting things off with a wax?

#196 4 years ago
Quoted from cody_chunn:

If you loosen up the flipper buttons those two blades that cut into the edge of the hole are probably gonna chew that edge to bits.

Leave them sloppy loose so they fall out and the dog gets them.

Highly recommended

#197 4 years ago
Quoted from HighVoltage:

Short of the clearcoat, would it be worth starting things off with a wax?

I always wax before the first ball launches.

Put a piece of Mylar in the shooter lane eject path, too.

#198 4 years ago
Quoted from HighVoltage:

Oh cool, these our just the tips I need. Didn't see a Vid's guide to breaking in your new Stern, or did I miss that? I know about replacing the balls, and loosening the flipper buttons. Short of the clearcoat, would it be worth starting things off with a wax?

"Inspect and test the entire machine before playing."

Every connector, every switch, every fuse, and every assembly.
First with the machine off, and then via diagnostic testing.
Feature testing as well for full proper operation.
It is hard to cover everything in a few sentences.

Take your time, don't rush.
It will save you pain later.
Rare for most, but operators do it for a reason.

#199 4 years ago
Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:

"Inspect and test the entire machine before playing."
Every connector, every switch, every fuse, and every assembly.
First with the machine off, and then via diagnostic testing.
Feature testing as well for full proper operation.
It is hard to cover everything in a few sentences.
Take your time, don't rush.
It will save you pain later.
Rare for most, but operators do it for a reason.

Definitely out on all this.

Unpack the game, remove the packing materials, plug in, fire it up and you'll know right away if something is seriously wrong or not.

#200 4 years ago
Quoted from markmon:

Definitely out on all this.
Unpack the game, remove the packing materials, plug in, fire it up and you'll know right away if something is seriously wrong or not.

Haha, no.

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