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Old 01-22-2013, 10:28 AM
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Default New with warranty card?

Still being relatively new to fly fishing, I've been noticing a curious phenomenon. I see many auction listings for items that are "New with blank warranty card," which are arguably not new (unused perhaps, but not new in the sense that I generally understand it) and clearly being sold by individuals rather than authorized dealers.

The implication seems to be that the warranty card is a bearer instrument, though most companies expressly extend the warranty only to the original purchaser and only if purchased through an authorized dealer.

It's quite pervasive. I was wondering if anybody has experience trying to redeem warranty work on these things without resorting to dishonesty. My suspicion is that most companies wouldn't honor warranties to subsequent purchasers, or purchasers of grey market items from unauthorized dealers (nor should they unless they extend a transferable warranty offer), and that these warranties aren't really transferable, and the ubiquitous blank warranty cards are, therefore, little more than decoration.

That's definitely the case in other industries that I'm more familiar with, namely the backpacking/hiking/camping branch of outdoor retail and guitars/musical instruments in which nearly all goods are warranted only to the original purchaser. On the other hand, I've also had experience with, and heard stories of, companies honoring warranties to subsequent owners when there was a clear defect in a product, though weren't under any obligation to do so.

Then again, many states have consumer protection laws (and there may also be some on the federal level) that prohibit companies to require that a warranty be activated. These laws might force some companies into accepting warranty claims that they might not otherwise have to, particularly those folks willing to lie to get the desired result.

Anyway, any thoughts?
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:47 AM
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Default Re: New with warranty card?

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Originally Posted by caberguy View Post
Then again, many states have consumer protection laws (and there may also be some on the federal level) that prohibit companies to require that a warranty be activated. These laws might force some companies into accepting warranty claims that they might not otherwise have to, particularly those folks willing to lie to get the desired result.

Anyway, any thoughts?
There is that.

Good morning Caberguy,

Back when we were selling rods for a number of mfg's, we would as a matter of customer service, fill out and send in the warranty cards on reels and rods that had cards. No one ever questioned our doing so.
On the other hand, all of my rods that were made by certain mfg's still have the blank warranty cards in their tubes, simply because those companies have offered on-line warranty registration for years.

For some, the resale value of rods are higher if they include the original rod tube, the original sock...so if one was a collector of rods, why wouldn't the blank warranty card be of some value as well? Warranties aside, collectables are worth more when sold as complete.

TT
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:48 AM
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Default Re: New with warranty card?

I have purchased rods from auction sites that included a blank warranty card. If the card is not filled out and sent to the company by the original purchaser, I doubt if many companies have anyway of knowing if the item is a first, second, or even a third generation purchase. Some companies do place serial numbers on their rods (Sage and Winston to name two)and they may have a tracking system as to which dealer gets which rods. I have never been refused service on a rod, and I have only sent rods to TFO and Orvis, of which both are known for their stellar service, and neither even asked me if I was the original owner (although in two cases I was, and in one I was not).

This is an interesting issue. I will be at the Somerset, NJ Fly Show this weekend. I think I will have a chat with a few company rep's. on this topic.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:10 AM
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Default Re: New with warranty card?

I've just recently bought two new Redington rods (a CPX and a CT both on closeout) and their warranty policy does ask for original proof of purchase.

I suppose on some level it does come down simply to costumer service, and what the company's business model is. LL Bean for example does have that no questions asked return policy... I've never tried it out with their fly gear, but when I was living in Maine I did walk into their flagship store in Freeport at 3AM with a pair of boots with a blown-out seem on my feet, and walked with a new pair on my feet in a few minutes with no questions. Craftsman tools have a similar policy. So I suppose as part of their business model some fishing companies are likely the same way.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:23 AM
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Default Re: New with warranty card?

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Originally Posted by mrfzx View Post
I have purchased rods from auction sites that included a blank warranty card. If the card is not filled out and sent to the company by the original purchaser, I doubt if many companies have anyway of knowing if the item is a first, second, or even a third generation purchase. Some companies do place serial numbers on their rods (Sage and Winston to name two)and they may have a tracking system as to which dealer gets which rods. I have never been refused service on a rod, and I have only sent rods to TFO and Orvis, of which both are known for their stellar service, and neither even asked me if I was the original owner (although in two cases I was, and in one I was not).

This is an interesting issue. I will be at the Somerset, NJ Fly Show this weekend. I think I will have a chat with a few company rep's. on this topic.
Another side of this is that not all sellers on the auction sites are individuals. There are a number of fly shops selling rods on auction sites. Awhile back I bought an unused Orvis Helios rod with blank warranty card at a nice discount on an auction site and it was being sold by a fly shop. I'm assuming that it was to either move some merchandise that had been sitting there on the shelf for awhile or they possibly were clearing out merchandise for the upcoming new model year gear, either way it is a win-win situation for both parties.

Homer: I just noticed your quote in your signature block about the worm being the biggest fan of fly fishing, I got quite a chuckle out of that, thanks!
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:27 PM
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Default Re: New with warranty card?

This may be interesting reading for you caberguy.
Fly Fishing Forums

S.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:46 PM
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Default Re: New with warranty card?

that's an interesting thread on the UK site. It seems like there are some subtle differences in the way warranties work. Namely that failure to register your warranty within a certain time frame nullifies the warranty... my understanding, though I'm not a lawyer, is that in the US it's generally illegal to require registration to activate a warranty. Or, rather, that even though companies are not required to offer a warranty, if they choose to do so they are barred from negating it on silly details such as whether you send the card in by a certain date or not.
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:19 PM
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Default Re: New with warranty card?

Only time I ever needed a warranty was on a new rod purchased on an auction site. The seller was an authorized dealer and the rod in fact shipped from the company's (Greys) US distribution center. The seller kept no inventory!
That rod arrived with damaged (split in two places) cork. A phone call to the warranty center, emailed a couple pics of the damage to the rep I spoke to, and I had another rod shipped out to me the next day!
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