Lifetime Warranties

Rob Allen

Active Member
If i had the machinery , tooling and shop space. I'd have a rod shop and I'd specialize in repairing any rods. I'm sure i could lose a lot of money that way.. all the material would go bad before i could use it and I'd really lose my shirt wasting rod coating trying to match colors, but I'd get a lot of satisfaction trying to replicate old parts to make peoples old friends whole again.
 

quilbilly

gO dAwGs
When I break a rod, I'm just happy I can get it fixed. I just tell the company 'Hey, I broke this rod on a fish, or in a door, or got it caught on a tree bushwacking to a spot' ( all actual occurrences) 'and I'm not trying to get it fixed under warranty, I'd just like it fixed'.
The always sort of look confused, or tell me they don't hear that much....
Had a rod tip fly out the back of my truck once, went Lamiglas on my way to the Klick, and told the woman what happened.
She said ' ya gotta gimme something to work with here, a busted tip or at least a piece of a rod for warranty replacement'.
I had to tell her again, it flew out of my truck, I wasn't claiming warranty, just wanted to pay for a new tip.
I got that replaced for free, because ' at least you didn't try to BS me like most do.'
 

Hendodesign

Active Member
Rather than start a new thread I searched and came across this one. I turned my 4-piece Orvis Access 10' 8 weight rod into a 5 piece this fall casting to coho on the beach. The rod snapped about 4 inches below the ferrule where the tip section joined. I shipped it off to Orvis. I was told the rod was no longer made but they would take a look at it.

Yesterday I received notice from the post office to pick up a package. I had to shell out for the shipping but that was only $22 and it cost me about that to send it. I opened the box and was pleasantly surprised to find a brand new Orvis Recon 10' 8 weight inside and a note stating that my Access could not be repaired and parts for it were no longer available so they were replacing it with a Recon.

I can't wait to get out and try my new rod. A big thanks to Orvis for their rock solid warranty.
I had a similar experience with Orvis and a big reason I just got a superfine 7'6" 4wt. Busted the tip on my Helios 6wt and took it into the store. Paid $60 and got my rod back 5 weeks later. No questions. No fuss. No drama ... super easy transaction and flawless repair.
 

wetswinger

Active Member
From what I've seen, it seems manufacturers don't want to repair their rods. Why, I don't know, probably high labor cost. I sent a rod into Echo that had a crushed stripping guide on it from a slip and fall on my part. Only wanted it repaired. Paid my warranty fee, etc. Was two years old. Got it back and, surprise, a brand new rod. Why? I'm not complaining, I love Echo and will buy their gear again. But these replacements must be part of their business plan. I think the manufacturers should require a purchase slip to prove you're the original owner. If you can't be organized enough to file away a receipt, your toast.....
 

Vladimir Steblina

Retired Forester...now fishing instead of working
Most companies offer lifetime warranties as a marketing tool. They never expect you to file a "lifetime" warranty claim.

Had that happen with Sears shocks. The service manager was pissed. Flat out stated..." we don't expect anyone to keep a truck that long". I made a point of telling him..."it was Sears decision to offer the warranty".

Same thing with Leer canopies. They were even worst butts about it than Sears. It took it to the store I bought it. Salesman remembered me...helps to have a name like Vladimir.....called Leer for the warranty procedures and they told him..."no deal, unless he has the ORIGINAL receipt". He told them he remembered selling the canopy to me...no dice for Leer.

Fortunately, for me I throw all my major receipts into a ziplock and then into a box. There it was.....and I had a new canopy.

I did break a fly rod fishing. I called the "small" company and he just sighed. He asked if I wanted a perfect match and I said I wanted a functioning rod. He sent me the "upper" section with a different wrap than mine. I suspect it was from a return where the lower half broke.....but it was fine. I am not picky.

If you don't want to honor a lifetime warranty...don't offer it.
 

Zak

Active Member
Lifetime warranties justify higher prices. I paid $80 for my Tilley T3 hat, wore it every time I went fishing until it fell apart, sent a photo into Tilley, and got a new hat with a nice note. Best hat I ever had (and available in a size 8! and has a little pocket inside for your license!). I've probably told 100 people about my good experience with Tilley, and hopefully helped them sell more $80 hats. I've had similar good experiences with Patagonia and Sage, and happily spread the word about what great companies they are. I think the good will generated by real lifetime warranties probably makes up for the number of bad apples milking them.
 

Squamishpoacher

Active Member
I think the lifetime warranty paln is definitely factored into the cost we pay. New rods are expensive for that reason. I'm not saying that there's not time, effort and costs associated with new designs but really when you think about it is graphite really that expensive a product in the raw materials phase? Is the design and production of a $50 blank really much different than a $500 blank. It's hard to tell at first glance but I'm skeptical. I've always thought that the price we pay is helping to offset the lifetime warranty programs, which as was pointed out, are coming under serious review and evaluation by the companies. I am happy that Orvis stepped up and when I hear any other tale with a happy ending I find it heartening.

At the end of the day, shit can happen, and if I break a rod or punch a hole in my waders or loose a fly box, at least I can take some comfort in the fact that I was outside doing something I love rather than parked in front of a TV set.
 

Richard E

Active Member
From what I've seen, it seems manufacturers don't want to repair their rods. Why, I don't know, probably high labor cost. I sent a rod into Echo that had a crushed stripping guide on it from a slip and fall on my part. Only wanted it repaired. Paid my warranty fee, etc. Was two years old. Got it back and, surprise, a brand new rod. Why? I'm not complaining, I love Echo and will buy their gear again. But these replacements must be part of their business plan. I think the manufacturers should require a purchase slip to prove you're the original owner. If you can't be organized enough to file away a receipt, your toast.....
Depends on the rod and the $$ level of the rod. Echo, Redington, TFO, et al tend to replace rods rather than repair them.

I agree with you about the proving the owner is the original purchaser; most warranties state in their warranty wording that the warranty is valid to the original purchaser. However, most companies don't enforce the rule. I imagine there could come a time when that could happen...so, keep your receipts!
 

Squamishpoacher

Active Member
With this rod I received a card with a web address on it saying I needed to go to the site and register my purchase, which I did.
 

Vladimir Steblina

Retired Forester...now fishing instead of working
The cheaters ruin it for everyone else.
Sometimes it helps that people cheat.

I called Sporting Dog for a new charger and the lady asked if it was under warranty??

I asked.."does the warranty cover my stupidity?"

She laughed and said they would split the difference with me.
 

moon1284

Member
As far as repair vs replace. Almost all US made rods get repaired and almost all Asian rods get replaced. I'm not in the industry but I'd bet the shipping costs to the manufacturer and back are more expensive than rolling a new blank.

Scott and sage (two repair shops I'm familiar with) have old graphite on hand and will roll new sections. In the past few years I've had new sections built for scott arcs, original Scott gs, a sage sp, and a sage rpl. All long after the production was over with. Its usually about 150 to get those rods repaired.
 

Rock Creek Fan

Active Member
Warranties are only as good as the Customer Service as well as the value the company cherishes their reputation.

I take issue when I have a lifetime warranty when I bought the item and then they change the warranty provisions later in time and it affects my use of that warranty. Loomis did that. They should honor the warranty of when I bought the item. I understand it is only for the original owner and not secondary owners. I can live with that.
 

Bowbonehead

Active Member
This is bogus news considering I just bought a new wading jacket from LL Bean. The lifetime warranty and their customer service reputation were deciding factors in that purchase.
I'm sure that if you have a problem in the first 7 or 8 years that you have the product they will take care of you .... make sure you register your jacket if required and file your receipt so you have it if needed. Having been in the retail business for 40+ years I know that the biggest issue is people who buy product 2nd hand and expect replacement...... the warranty is for the original owner only in most cases. There is also something called a limited lifetime guarantee or reasonable wear if the jacket is threadbare as if its been worn daily for 5 years you have probably gotten your moneys worth and should happy that it does not owe you anything ........ I know that as a retailer on any major purchase we made sure that the customer was set up in our system so we could reprint a receipt if needed for warranty purposes as most suppliers now require it for warranty purposes.
 

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