A fishers story about warranty..
A few years ago I had a real with a shimano 5 year warranty on it that the bail arm Spring broke on (within warranty period). I rang shimano warranty department and was asked when it was serviced last, my reply being "never". Due to the fact I hadnt performed the correct maintenance and servicing I was told I wasn't covered under warranty but could be sold the part to repair it for about $3 plus postage (another $12 odd). I went ahead with it and made a mental note to be sure to always maintain my reals properly and service them regularly in future.
Now I have a less than 12 month old Stradic FK 2500 that came with a 10 year warranty, it cost me $280. Assuming I had purchased a quality piece of kit, with a whopping 10 year warranty they must really stand behind this reel I thought. Well, I thought wrong.
The reel is used weekly, cleaned with fresh water and a light coat of inox after use. The reel suddenly started making a rough noise on the retrieve last session so I figured it was a good time to service it. Upon opening up the reel, luring it all up after a clean out i discovered the line roller bearing was corroded and the shiny stuff was delaminating. A few attempts to clean it and grease it didn't help, it was knackered and running rough causing the noise I mentioned on retrieving line. Another call to the shimano warranty department and this time I knew I had done everything right so it shouldn't be an issue. How wrong could I be!
On the phone to the service/warranty department I detailed the issue and told them I had serviced the reel in an attempt to rectify the issue but the line roller bearing is troubled by corrosion and needs replacing under warranty as it has a 10 year warranty and I've owned the reel for less than a year (with receipt from BFC). "No no no" I was told in response! Due to the fact I had opened up the reel to service and lube it I had violated the warranty (only service option is to send it to their service department and pay the shipping and service fees) and even then, bearings are considered wear parts and not covered at all under warranty, period. My only option was to send the reel in for them to repairs at my cost, pay for the part and also pay them a service fee and return shipping! The example he offered was that when you buy a new car the tyres are wear parts and not covered by warranty (I told him that my car was full of bearings and all of them were covered by the warranty, if my reel had tyres I wouldn't expect them To be covered). To no avail of course.
I happily relayed that I would be writing up the conversation I had with him and telling the other fishos I know not to expect anything from the warranty. Do not expect anything from Shimano if you have a warranty claim, it isn't worth the paper it's written on. I probably have a statutory warranty claim under the law as it's obviously a poor quality part that isn't fit for purpose (or aligned with the price of the reel), not to mention that the 10 year warranty probably adds up to nothing less than false advertising. However, I can't be bothered heading down that path, for now I will simply never buy shimano gear again and go out of my way to tell anyone I know to avoid them. I know they are hard to avoid when shopping for fishing gear but I'll be making the effort from now.
Apologies for the long post. I'm angry. I feel like I've been lied to and cheated and I hope this post informs others of what to expect from Shimano's totally useless warranty. There are reputable competitive brands out there that will now be getting my business and I hope anyone reading this takes it into consideration before handing over another cent to this devious company.