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Orvis Blank Warranties


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#1 MVor

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 12:54 PM

Posting this in its own topic as a service, because I've found a bit of disinformation floating around about Orvis warranties (or lack of them) on their rod blanks. Putting this in a separate topic with a title that fits the topic might make it easier for folks to find, if they're looking for it. Just trying to be helpful.

I keep hearing that "Orvis no longer warrants their blanks." Per a lengthy phone call I made to them yesterday (mid-Nov 2013) to check that point, it doesn't appear to be the case. Not according to them anyway. They claim they do warrant their blanks (bought through MudHole) against defects in material and workmanship. Of course they won't warrant a finished rod not built by them.

Here's what they said would happen: If a rod based on one of their blanks fails, they ask that the pieces be sent to them. They inspect it and attempt to identify whether it was caused by:
-- Abuse (including nicking the blank in use or by the builder)
-- Mfg defect
-- Improper build (faulty guide placement or the like)

Regardless of who will pay the bill, the solution is for them to flex-test the remaining parts and "custom"-lay-up a new section to match the sections not broken (and, credit where it's due, I have to give some credit to any blank mfgr who would make a one-off replacement piece). Two possible cases:

(X) If they feel it could have been a mfg defect (and I don't know how likely they are to draw a conclusion that would cost them money), then the section replacement is on them. (Perhaps a re-wrap would be on their heads too, but I doubt it; I didn't ask.)

(Y) If they feel the cause of failure was abuse or improper build, the replacement of the section is billable to whomever wants it fixed. The cost of a new section would be "approximately" 25% of the cost of a complete new blank (for a four-piece rod) or "approximately" 50% of the cost of a complete new blank (for a two-piece rod). The said it would probably cost a little more than that percentage because they do have to custom-match the new section to the old, and manufacture it special.

All this matched what another "master rod builder" out of Anchorage told me awhile back. He builds with Orvis Access blanks (among other blanks) and that's his experience with their backing of their product. His clients send broken rods to him, Orvis makes their decision, he gets his hands on the replacement section, and he wraps it up (to stand behind his portion of the product).

Assuming the reality matches the Orvis phone-claims and that builder's experience with them, this sounds more or less reasonable to me; I'd probably design a warranty similarly, if I were them.

MHX or Sage or Winston or Batson might warrant more comprehensively, I don't know; I've heard some people say so, but I think this whole topic tends to be driven as much by attitude as by fact, and there appears to be a lot of angst against the O-company in some circles because they sell at prices that pay the rent on their shops, and because people are tired of beginners assuming Orvis hung the moon. They didn't, but neither did I, so I can't really disparage them for that. : )

Anyway for this topic, I simply wanted to report the results of my warranty-clarification conversation with them. If any builder is considering use of one of their blanks, they shouldn't be mistakenly deterred by these "no warranty of any kind" rumors. (It's not the 25-year or life-long unconditional terms of a factory-built rod, of course.)

Okay, public service announcement done! Myself, I'd rather know the facts. (Any first-hand experiences on whether they make good on their claims would be valuable additions to this topic. Also, hearing factual specifics of how other blank mfgrs' warranties are worded is useful too.)

Tnx!

- Mike



#2 Jojackc

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 10:12 PM

QUOTE (MVor @ Nov 15 2013, 10:54 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
They claim they do warrant their blanks (bought through MudHole) against defects in material and workmanship. Of course they won't warrant a finished rod not built by them.


So they won't warranty a finished rod not built by them. That says it right there. I don't know a whole lot of people out there fishing with a non finished blank, do you? That means the blank has a warranty until I build it, then it has no warranty. So the only way it would ever be covered is if I just got it it and was flex testing it and it broke. Even then they would have to decide that I didn't break it on my own. Doesn't sound like a very good warranty to me.

#3 Greg LaPolla

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 10:50 PM

QUOTE (Jojackc @ Nov 24 2013, 07:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (MVor @ Nov 15 2013, 10:54 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
They claim they do warrant their blanks (bought through MudHole) against defects in material and workmanship. Of course they won't warrant a finished rod not built by them.


So they won't warranty a finished rod not built by them. That says it right there. I don't know a whole lot of people out there fishing with a non finished blank, do you? That means the blank has a warranty until I build it, then it has no warranty. So the only way it would ever be covered is if I just got it it and was flex testing it and it broke. Even then they would have to decide that I didn't break it on my own. Doesn't sound like a very good warranty to me.



The blank is warrantied. If it breaks and found to be defective the piece or pieces will be be replaced, the rod will not be rebuilt with the new pieces. Just like AM Tac, Pac Bay, Batson etc. They will replace the broken piece or you might receive a new complete blank. Hence they tell you to strip the broken piece of all parts and return the whole rod to be inspected. It will be up to you to rebuild the replaced piece(s).

#4 MVor

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 09:36 PM

Yep, Greg, that's what I understood as well. Not sure why it can sometimes be such a tough point to drive home...but your take is correct (per their claims anyway).

Now if they decided the blank was defective (rather than abused), not only would they replace the broken part on their nickel, I suppose it's *possible* they could relent and have the replacement piece re-wrapped by one of their people. After all, if it's not the butt piece, and if the guide windings weren't elaborate, it wouldn't take them much time to stick guides back on, all in the interest of a good customer support name.

But that's just conjecture on my part. It's something I'd ask for, if it were me...argue my case, need to get right back out there on the stream, the hatch is on, and all that.

Of course I'm certain they wouldn't re-do a butt section.

If I manufactured computer motherboards and also sold the bare chips, I'd warrant the chips I sold, but not competitor motherboards that I didn't build myself. Same for any industry.


> I don't know a whole lot of people out there fishing with a non finished blank, do you?

Jojackc, you're still way ahead of me; you may not know a lot but I don't know any! : )


#5 Jojackc

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 09:43 PM

MVor I was only quoting what you had typed. The way it read to me was that they wouldn't warranty a rod that wasn't built by them. Maybe its a hard point to drive home because people can't convey what they are really trying to say? whistling1.gif Also it is a bit confusing because you also put in the ( from mudhole) thing in there, so does that mean they only warranty them if purchased through mudhole or do they have a warranty no matter where they where purchased? There are a ton of people fishing unfinished fly rods. Its called Tenkara. Hey Orvis makes one maybe it will have a warranty since its unfinished!!!!!

#6 MVor

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 08:00 PM

Hi Jojackc,

> quoting what you had typed...that they wouldn't warranty a rod that wasn't
> built by them. Maybe its a hard point to drive home because people can't
> convey what they are really trying to say?

Yes, maybe...but actually what I'd said was "they won't warrant a finished rod not built by them." I'd said that they warrant the blank, and I described the steps they used to determine if the blank was defective or not (including assessing how it was treated during fishing, which implies the blank is part of a usable rod). And I'd said they don't stand behind the "finished rod" unless they'd built it. Was drawing a line differentiating the blank itself from the finished rod there.

> you also put in the ( from mudhole) thing in there, so does that mean they
> only warranty them if purchased through mudhole or do they have a warranty
> no matter where they where purchased?

To the best of my knowledge, we can only purchase an Orvis blank through one supplier, and that is Mud Hole. So instead of "Mud Hole" I could have said "retailer," I guess. Also I could be wrong about that retailer being the only source of those particular blanks--the only one Orvis sells their blanks wholesale to. I've never seen anyone else offering those blanks, and I think Mud Hole may have told me they're the only one, but I admit that's hardly conclusive. If I'm wrong about that, then the sentence should have read "retailer" instead of "Mud Hole" and in that case your question about warranty based on supplier would be cleared up too.

Anyway here's all I was doing: Reporting on a bit of info I came across that seemed to contradict some commonly held opinions. I was hoping this might be of value to somebody. Have I put any of this warranty jargon to the test? Nope, I have not. Is it all smoke? It could be--any warranty promises can be, I suppose. Do I work for Orvis or have any under-the-table loyalty to them? I don't. Just sharing what they told me, hoping it's of some use to someone searching for such info.

Good fishing!





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