Unhappy with Stewart Filmscreen support - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 09-24-2013, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
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So here is my tale of woe...

About ten years ago I built a home theater and as part of that I put in a motorized Stewart Firehawk screen. Great screen material. Liked it a lot.

After 5 1/2 years, it ripped. The way in which it ripped was that as the screen came down and unrolled, the screen adhered to itself at the edges, in the top of the mask area, and pieces of it ripped out on both sides. I attached a picture below. After this happened I contacted Stewart and spoke to someone. This seemed to be a common enough issue that Stewart had a special tape to repair the edge of the screen, and they were able to send me some of it to repair the screen. Stewart provided good customer service, they were very helpful, and the tape worked great. If it had held up, I would still be very satisfied.

However, after several years the tape stretched and wore out where it was covering gaps in the screen material. When I tried to replace the tape, the screen stretched resulting in it no longer lying flat. Crinkled up in one of the corners.

So after talking to Stewart, I ended up working through my dealer to get the unit re-screened. I emailed pictures of how it originally had ripped, and wanted Stewart to verify that whatever issue had caused this had been addressed in their newer screens. The reply I received was that they had never seen anything like this before.

I do not feel that the screen should have ripped in the manner in which it did, and that Stewart should have made some allowance for that when I had it re-screened. But they did not, and I paid to get the unit re-screened, just as if I were re-screening to upgrade to the newer material.

I understand that their warranty is only a year, but for arguably the top player in the projection screen market space, I expected better. Not free replacement, but something.

My dealer has been great through the process of replacing the screen. My dealer reached out to Stewart and got a contact person there. At some point in figuring out the logistics of determining the cost and shipping the screen, the contact my dealer and I had at Stewart, quit. So I had some questions, and I would email Stewart and get no reply. Eventually, after several emails, someone turned on an auto-responder that told me that he had left the company. So we essentially had to start the process all over with a new person at Stewart. Fabulous.

So eventually I paid my money and shipped my screen to Stewart to be re-screened. They were able to pick it up directly from my house and ship it directly back to my house, which was much appreciated as I am in the western suburbs of Chicago and my dealer is in Chicago proper, in Wicker Park, so getting it to and from my dealer would have been complicated and would have added cost. Stewart turned it around fairly quickly, and I was able to put it back up without any issues.

The new screen appears to be made very differently from my old screen. The material is thicker, and the black masking border that adhered to itself previously has an almost velvety texture, and seems very unlikely to adhere to itself again. Also while the tab tensioning is still present, it seems less integral to keeping the screen flat than it was in the previous screen.

The G3 surface itself is awesome. It is noticably better than my old Firehawk was. So at least I got benefit out of this, but at some considerable cost.

Stephen


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post #2 of 3 Old 09-24-2013, 12:17 PM
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Did you get a discount? That is the only thing that you don't mention that seems like it would have been fair under the circumstances.

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post #3 of 3 Old 09-24-2013, 12:37 PM - Thread Starter
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I did not get a discount, not that I'm aware of anyway. It certainly was never mentioned by Stewart in any of the emails that went back and forth.
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