We talk about warranties, over and over. Some hate the lifetime rod warranty; some can’t imagine life without it. And, of course, some are indifferent. We’ve talked to both manufacturers and retailers about it, and they all say it probably isn’t ever going away (can’t put that genie back in the bottle) even if some want it to. We’ve also talked to plenty of consumers about rod warranties, and the feeling there is that they hate to pay for it (some even resent paying for it), and yet they’re all glad to have it when they break their rod. Go figure.
The interesting thing, however, in all of this informal consumer research, is finding out just how many people are sending in second-hand rods for free repair. Tons. More than you think. “I bought this rod through eBay… broke it the other day, and sent it back in.” And most of the manufacturers we speak with aren’t really, truly challenging the “original ownership” issue. Aren’t most warranties only for the original purchaser of the rod? Is anyone really tracking that?
The realistic answer is probably “no.” Which is interesting, because we live in a technology age when some 20-year-old kid can take a bar code scanner, and aim it at my ski pass, and within nanoseconds, know exactly who I am, where I live, how many times I’ve been skiing that year, and even how many runs I’ve taken that particular day. And yet most rod warranties are “registered” with what is quite possibly the most antiquated mode of communication and data tracking still existent on the planet today–a self-addressed (no postage) post card, to be sent via the U.S. Mail.
Does anyone else smell what we’re cooking here? Is it time for a deeper discussion on registering rod warranties? Is anyone really aggressively chasing a technology fix to this issue?
Regardless, it does nicely set up this month’s Angling Trade Monthly Survey…