Gloomis Warranty? The end of a free rod era?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by JesseC, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. JesseC

    JesseC Active Member

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    Wow! That's a good point Anil!

    The NRX Pro is $775 and the SageONE is $780. They are both made in the good ol' US of A.

    That $5 in savings must be the reason why Sage's warranty is so much better.
     
  2. Flyborg

    Flyborg Active Member

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    I started working at G. Loomis a week before the golf layoffs and left a few years after Shimano bought them. They shared financials with all their management level employee in monthly meetings. Before the sell to Shimano, I used to have to listen to Gary rant and rave about the lifetime warranty and what it was going to do to the industry.

    Their profit margins aren't anywhere close to "greed". For their more expensive rods, it's not really even palatable given the scrap costs associated with working in higher end graphites. Most industries would look at margin's in fly fishing and laugh.

    Their warranty costs when I left were significant. You have to realize that fly fishing is a small portion of their business; they sell far more gear rods, all with that godawful warranty. You also have to understand that with a lifetime warranty, you create an exponential cost. It isn't realistic, at all. Every year, the number of warranty-able rods increases by the amount of rods you sold. Your warranty cost is potentially the sum of all rods you've sold, ever. It will never, ever go down. From a business perspective, it's flat fucking stupid. I understand that from a customer-service standpoint, it's great. But it's simply not a long-term viable business plan. You also cannibalize future sales.

    There's a reason the fishing rod industry is one of the only industries dumb enough to have this kind of warranty. It's simple; most industries like to make a net profit. For whatever reason, in fishing, it's enough just to get by. Sage, as a domestic manufacturer, looks like the hero holding out with their lifetime warranty. I guarantee they won't do so forever. It's simply not fiscally possible. With Farbanks they have very deep pockets, and the longer they hold out, the more it hurts those who don't or can't. But Farbank's understands the concept of net profit. Eventually, that warranty will have to go away.
     
  3. Stonefish

    Stonefish Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater

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    I've used Loomis rods since I bought my first one directly from Gary the year they opened. At that time they were operating out of a garage. I still use a number of their rods, both gear and fly.
    I've always had excellent customer service from them. If the repair was expected to take longer then a week or so, that was always communicated to me.
    I'd personally like to see the cost of new rods come down and would be willing to pay more for original owner warranty work should I ever need it.
    If I buy a used rod and break it, I'd be willing to pay a higher cost to have it repaired. At that point I would determine if the cost of repair makes sense based on the value of the rod to me or if I should go rod shopping.
     
  4. Brian Miller

    Brian Miller Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout

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    You know there have been times I lost my glasses when they were still on my face. I didn't see any reference to the Wildcard program on the Loomis warranty page so I thought it might have been suspended. Anil's post prompted me to take another look. There is a Wildcard logo link on the Loomis Fly Fishing Homepage that points to the Wildcard page http://www.gloomis.com/publish/content/gloomis_2010/us/en/conventional/2/wild_card_registration.html . I filled out the NRX form and had scanned a copy of the PSFC receipt so I am going to mail it in with a pic of the receipt. I feel better getting the rod registered.

    BTW, I still love fishing my 9' 2-piece IMX 6 weight.

    I really wish that every rod and reel I've purchased was designed and manufactured in the USA to support manufacturing jobs here, but I simply wouldn't be able to afford them. A PM from Anil; Thank You Sir, immediately after my post above offering to square away the Wildcard registration for my son is typical of the reason why I do try to purchase most of the gear I need at local fly shops, plus I don't often see a big price difference from ordering on the web for non-closeout items.
     
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  5. Joe Pombrio

    Joe Pombrio Member

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  6. Anil

    Anil Active Member

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    I hate to crack wise Jesse, but in the spirit of your post:

    You probably have such a deep understanding of this issue, because you deal with rod warranties more regularly than I do. I’m sure that your job requires you to work with the warranty departments of dozens fly tackle manufacturers on a weekly basis. Then again, how would that compete with the “dirty rumor” you heard?

    Being a dealer for both, I don't think the Sage warranty is better than Loomis. In fact, many of the customers who purchase Loomis rods do so because in part because they own other Loomis rods and have been happy with the warranty. There are differences and Sage is more generous with what they cover, but Sage costs $50 every time, where the wildcard is free, and a standard warranty is $20. Loomis actually tends to be quicker than Sage for the past several years.
    Sage has an excellent warranty program, but I disagree with your assessment of the Loomis warranty.
     
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  7. JesseC

    JesseC Active Member

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    Not claiming to have a deep understanding related to loomis, hence the thread. I think the anecdotal experiences from customers above speak for themselves.

    Ive had two warranty experiences with sage - dropped the rods off myself and no charge. One time I asked them if they could turn around a 7126 TCX fast because I was making another trip in a few days - 24 hours later I got a call. Coolest part? I didn't have to register for a "wild card". They've earned a customer for life. I had three buddies get into fly fishing this year; they all bought sage rods on my advice. I bought a sage rod for my Dad for an upcoming birthday. Maybe it's not such a bad business decision after all?

    There's a lot of businesses that are shortsighted and don't understand the long term balance sheet of over the top exceptional customer service. Here's a few that do get it; REI, Nordstroms, Sage, Zappos, Costco. Notice a trend? They're all growing. Why? Because they put the customer first.

    Gloomis looks like a shitty warranty to me, as a customer. I like their sticks, they cast great, but they won't get any of my business when another locally manufactured competitor seems to far outshine them.
     
  8. Pontooner

    Pontooner Member

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    I own both Sage and Loomis rods and I have had several rods covered under warranty by both companies. Both companies have gone above and beyond my expectations regarding warranty work.

    I have read and reread the above posts. Please explain how and why the Gloomis warranty is shitty and how "another locally manufactured competitor seems to far outshine them."
     
    PT likes this.
  9. underachiever

    underachiever members only

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    With the exception of Sage these aren't apples to apples comparisons, especially if your definition of "customer service" is mostly dependent on return/exchange policies which it seems to be in this case. You must know that Joe Schmoe goes down to the river and slams his rod in the car door and then expects a free replacement. It's ridiculous and I don't blame any rod company for changing their warranty strategy when the lions share of breakage has nothing to do with legit manufacturer's defects.

    If this is your opinion then it's reasonable you choose to buy Sage rods especially when the retail pricing is as similar as it is.
     
  10. PT

    PT Physhicist

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    I've had great service from GLoomis and Sage. Won't hesitate buying rods from either company.

    My question is why do people expect something for nothing? Please don't use the excuse that with the high price of these rods you should expect a free replacement for life.
     
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  11. PT

    PT Physhicist

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    Costco has changed their electronics warranty. And, Nordstrom will replace a 4 year old pair of shoes if the customer is a complete prick and expects new shoes because the sole is worn.
     
  12. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Agreed, this really comes down to a choice to buy it or not. Maybe there are dozens to thousands of variables considered when you purchase a fly rod (or anything else). Decide to buy it or not based on those variables. I've never cast a GLoomis fly rod (or gear rod) that I was not very impressed with, same goes for my favorite rod company Sage, and a close second Orvis. I have had customer service interactions with Sage, Loomis, Orvis, Redington, TFO and Echo that all have been fantastic. This covers, rods, reels and soft goods over the past 10 years or so, I'll not shy away from continuing to get my fly fishing items from these companies. That is largely in part to their warranty and customer service.
     
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  13. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    Huh? Does the phrase 'Everyday Low Prices' ring a bell?

    Retailers like WalMart, JC Penney, K-Mart, and others spend millions on advertising every year promoting a business model that's based on the notion of getting something for nothing. As an indicator of just how ingrained that mantra has become, look at how JC Penney has been struggling with 2 consecutive quarters of double-digit sale declines after their new CEO (and former head of Apple's retail stores) decided to abolish the company's former 24x7 everything-on-sale-all-the-time marketing strategy last winter.

    Why do those companies continue to beat that drum despite the many commonsense reasons not to?

    It's a simple answer: Greed. Too many folks are hardwired or have been conditioned to expect something for nothing.

    K
     
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  14. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    I have a friend and former employee who worked for Nordstrom during their legendary-customer-service heyday in the mid-1980s. She tells stories of women 'bringing back' dresses obviously made at home from a pattern but claiming they were bought at Nordstrom. Or people bringing back automobile jack stands that they received as Christmas gifts and claim were bought at Nordstrom. Apparently so many people were abusing their liberal return policy that Nordstrom has cut waaaay back on just what they'll accept as a legitimate return today.

    K
     
  15. Rob Allen

    Rob Allen Active Member

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    The no fault warranty is the worst thing that ever happened to the fishing rod industry. First off manufacturing defects that make it out of the shop are rare. secondly it makes a rod have no value even though it cost a great deal to manufacturer market sell and to buy... people will not treat them as the fine tools they are if they can have it replaced at their whim for nothing..