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Downgraded warranty for Swarovski illuminated

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/23/2010 at 11:01
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The standard warranty for regular optical products at Swarovski is lifetime transferable, for US only (unless the serial number is unreadable or the scope was stolen). The "transferable" part of the warranty, I understand, is itself "gray" and not totally official.

But for the models with an illuminated reticle, the warranty for the whole scope reverts to the European warranty: 5 year labor, 10 years parts and materials:( The illuminated reticle itself is 2 years. That's what Swarovski USA just told me.

I find this really disappointing. They could have put a limited warranty on the illumination and left the rest as is. I am also concerned that, as management changes, they might decide to interpret the "transferable" part of the warranty differently.

If it costs as much to repair a Swarosvski scope as it does to fix a BMW (not that I have one), I might foreswear Swarosvski.


Edited by WestOfPecos - September/23/2010 at 11:02
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/24/2010 at 08:46
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I just purchased a new PH 3-12-50 with the illuminated reticle (older model).

Prior to purchasing I checked with Swarovski USA via email, and was told the illumination was 2 years, but the scope itself was lifetime. I purchased this through an authorized dealer.

You may want to email them and confirm.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/24/2010 at 12:03
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Originally posted by 8snaces 8snaces wrote:


Prior to purchasing I checked with Swarovski USA via email, and was told the illumination was 2 years, but the scope itself was lifetime. I purchased this through an authorized dealer.

Welcome to OT 8!

What does the written warranty you got in the scope box say?

I talked to a live rep @ Swarovski USA to get the information. It is disturbing that you contacted them too and got a different answer. Earlier I had contacted Swarovski HQ about the US warranty, and they sent me the PDFs of the warranties in English - it only mentioned 5 years labor/ 10 years materials.  I could not believe the warranty would be so poor. That's when I contacted Swarovski USA.

I'll call them again and ask for the PDF.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/24/2010 at 12:33
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Let me know, I have a (non-illuminated) Swaro showing up today.  If UPS doesn't screw me. Again.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/24/2010 at 14:35
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Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:

Let me know, I have a (non-illuminated) Swaro showing up today.  If UPS doesn't screw me. Again.



Been there. And if you call to complain they even get mad at you and tell you if the package wasn't delivered it's because you really weren't home.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/24/2010 at 14:49
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Hi Guys
 
I have a Swarovski Z6 bought in England it has 10 year worldwide warranty for the scope and 2 years for the reticule illumination
 
If you look at the tactical section you will see I am having a warranty problem with my new Zeiss Hensoldt only 2 years warranty  in Europe where they give lifetime warranty for the same scope in the US --- just do not get  this.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/24/2010 at 18:08
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RC - Hilarious! I imagine it is a classic image - but I had never seen it...

I'll post what I find when get a hold of them - hopefully Monday.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/24/2010 at 18:16
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Hey Bearcat - I recently spent a couple of years in Europe and found exactly the same thing. It is unbelievable how (1) they treat like you it is an honor to buy their gear (2) they charge you much higher prices than in the States and (3) they give you ridiculous warranties, while they provide much better to buyers in the States. You guys are being really short changed:(

After spending that time back in Europe, I laugh now when people complain how about poor CS for such and such a US company is. If they only knew...  To add insult to injury, in most European countries where we lived, when you called support, for instance because your DSL line did not work, you were being charged a minute by minute fee from the company whose gear was down while you were talking to them complaining that their gear did not work! Germany and Spain were bad, France was the worst.  In Italy you could always find a way to get things repaired, as long as you were ready to go outside the official procedures:-)


Edited by WestOfPecos - September/24/2010 at 18:17
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/24/2010 at 19:10
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Welcome to the OT ...8!
 
Thanks for the info.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/27/2010 at 17:39
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OK I couldn't wait long enough on the phone with Swarovski USA. I will try again tomorrow, and cut+paste the PDF if I can get it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/28/2010 at 11:10
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Here is the warranty cut-and-paste from the PDF I received today (only for North America) (I'll follow with some comments in a couple of other posts):

"LIMITED LIFETIME WARRANTY

Thank you for purchasing this instrument and welcome to the world of SWAROVSKI OPTIK.
Since our founding in 1949, the SWAROVSKI community has been committed to providing an
ownership experience, which includes our legendary service that is second to none. We sincerely
believe that our optics are the best in the world and put them through rigorous tests to ensure that
the name you trust is built to the highest standards. But in the unlikely event that you discover a
problem in defects in workmanship or materials, we’ll gladly examine the instrument.
SWAROVSKI OPTIK offers a lifetime warranty on the optical system of our products for products
purchased by US residents from an authorized SWAROVSKI OPTIK North American dealer.
Once examined, if it is determined that the optical system is defective we will repair or replace the
instrument or defective part. SWAROVSKI OPTIK warrants all other parts of the instrument for
ten years from date of purchase against defects in materials or workmanship, subject to normal
use. All electronic components are warranted for two years against defects in materials and
workmanship, subject to normal use, from date of purchase. All non-optical products (i.e.
accessories, tripods etc.) are warranted for one year from date of purchase. This warranty is void
if damage results from unauthorized repairs, accident, alteration, misuse, abuse, neglect, fire,
flood or other acts of God. If after the warranty period your instrument needs servicing please call
customer service at (800) 426-3089. At SWAROVSKI, we are totally committed to our customer,
products and service. Once you have had the pleasure of owning and using our products, we are
sure they will become your trusted companions for life.

“Any SWAROVSKI OPTIK product that is purchased in the U.S. that is not imported by
SWAROVSKI OPTIK NORTH AMERICA and not sold to a consumer by an Authorized U.S.
SWAROVSKI OPTIK NORTH AMERICA Dealer has no Authorized Warranty.” In the event of a
defect, please call customer assistance at (800) 426-3089 to obtain a Service Order Number
(SO), which will be used to identify your warranty request through its completion. When you call,
our customer service representative will give you instructions as to where to send or take the
product for service. Whenever you send or take your product to us, please enclose your name,
shipping address, daytime phone number, a brief description of the problem, and a copy of the
receipt from an authorized U.S. SWAROVSKI OPTIK North America dealer. Please write the
Service Order Number on the enclosure and on the outside of any packaging. We will determine,
at our option, whether to repair or replace the instrument. If the instrument is not covered under
the warranty, we will contact you with an estimate of the repair price. Any correspondence should
be sent to:

SWAROVSKI OPTIK N.A. Ltd. • 2 Slater Road • Cranston, RI 02920 or
warrantyrepair@swarovskioptik.at

Please do not send us your instrument until we have issued a Service Order Number and
instructed you to do so. If you are instructed to return the instrument to us, you are responsible for
properly packaging your instrument. You are responsible for insuring the package and assume
the risk of loss in transit to us, unless we arrange for transport."
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/28/2010 at 11:14
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Originally posted by WestOfPecos WestOfPecos wrote:


"SWAROVSKI OPTIK offers a lifetime warranty on the optical system of our products for products
purchased by US residents from an authorized SWAROVSKI OPTIK North American dealer."


The terms of the warranty mean that it is NOT tranferable, even though Swarovski, on the phone, says it is. In other words, it will be only transferable as long as they accept to make the repairs for free, but they are not legally bound to do it.

Why not tranferable: (1) it does not say so, and (2) when you buy it used from a user (not a dealer) you are not buying from an authorized Swarovski Optik North American delaer
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/28/2010 at 11:18
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Originally posted by WestOfPecos WestOfPecos wrote:

All electronic components are warranted for two years against defects in materials and workmanship, subject to normal use, from date of purchase.

Illuminated reticles have a 2-year warrnaty. The rest of the instrument is subject to the general terms. But what are the general terms? You would think that, if you bought it from an authorized dealer in the NorthAm you are covered. Well, not quite. See below...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/28/2010 at 11:24
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Originally posted by WestOfPecos WestOfPecos wrote:


SWAROVSKI OPTIK offers a lifetime warranty on the optical system of our products for products
purchased by US residents from an authorized SWAROVSKI OPTIK North American dealer.
Once examined, if it is determined that the optical system is defective we will repair or replace the
instrument or defective part. SWAROVSKI OPTIK warrants all other parts of the instrument for
ten years from date of purchase against defects in materials or workmanship, subject to normal
use.


In other words, they clearly cover the glass part lifetime. They may or may not cover the different metal adjustments used for focusing, changing mag, adjusting for parallax etc., depending upon how they decide, at any time in the life of the company, to define "optical system". A good warranty would have defined the term - this one carefully avoids defining it.

What is not the "optical system" is only covered by a 10 year warranty. For instance, if the argon leaks, or the scope loses its seal - I am pretty sure that this is only covered by a 10 year warranty. If the outside metal is damaged through "normal" use, that is also the 10 year, not lifetime, warranty.


Edited by WestOfPecos - September/28/2010 at 11:42
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/28/2010 at 11:42
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Originally posted by WestOfPecos WestOfPecos wrote:

At SWAROVSKI, we are totally committed to our customer,
products and service.


BS - this is a chickensh*t warranty. I have written many warranty terms in my business life, and negotiated them as well, from both sides of the deal. This warranty was crafted by a lawyer to make sure that Swarovski could weasel out of much of the coverage if they ever wanted to do so:
- they definitely don't have to honor the warranty if you buy from a non-authorized dealer (e.g. used from a user) - although they are saying, right now, today, that they will honor warranty for a scope bought used
- they definitely don't have to honor the warranty more than 10 years for a problem outside the "optical system", which they can define at any time in any way they want, as they carefully avoided defining the term in the warranty (I would never have accepted that in a negotiated warranty, and I always defined my terms of coverage when I wrote warranty terms for my products and services). The only thing that is certainly covered here is improperly manufactured and aligned glass.
- for anything outside the "optical system", they have the right to ask for your receipt at repair time, since the warranty does not mention anything about accepted registration being proof (to prove date of purchase, since the warranty is 10 years - they can always say that they don't keep track of registration data after x years).
- they limit their warranty to "normal" use, which is a reasonable thing to do.
- what their "practice" is today as to how they interpret their warranty does not make a hoot of difference - salesmen always say that the company interprets the terms in such and such a way when they try to sell you a deficient warranty - but they can change their mind tomorrow about how they "interpret" these terms, and the only thing that they are bound to is the written warranty.

I am really interested in buying a Swarovski scope. When ready to pull the trigger, I decided to check warranty terms first... This warranty is a heck of a lot worse than Leupold, Sightron, Burris and quite a few more providers. I am quite disappointed. I am not sure if I will go through with my purchase.


Edited by WestOfPecos - September/28/2010 at 11:45
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/28/2010 at 14:24
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Here's what I know for absolute certain:

1.  Swarovski makes good stuff... REALLY good stuff.
2.  Warranty legalese aside, evidence has shown that they will take care of customers should you need service.  I know this because of not only 2 occasions when I used their service, but also due to the overwhelmingly positive testimony of Swaro owners that you can read all over the net.  Except for the occasional comment about a representative being rude over the phone and the contentious relationship they had/have with their sister company, Kahles, I don't think I have ever heard a single negative comment on their warranty repair service.  If people were having issues with Swaro service, you can bet there would be a lot of negative feedback about it, because people are much more likely to comment on negative experiences with companies that positive experiences.

During the 2 occasions when I used their repair service (for damage caused by my own clumsiness, which I admitted up front), they replaced all damaged components for free and had the optics back to me in about 2 weeks.  They never required me to produce a receipt, proof of where or when I purchased the optics, or proof I was the original owner.  They just made them like new again at no charge to me, and did so very quickly.  I wasn't the original owner of one of the optics, and neither repair had anything to do with the optical systems.  One was a scope I accidentally dropped onto a boulder, bending the ocular housing; the other was a (Kahles) binocular that I had the rubber armor replaced due to solvent damage.

I totally understand why they have a downgraded warranty for the illumination system components.  Electronics typically don't provide the longevity of well-designed mechanical systems.

When you get down to it, purchasing any product is an act of faith based on what value you perceive the product will provide you.  Any warranty, no matter how it's worded, is only as good as the company providing it.  The best warranty is the one you never have to use because the product is so good.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/28/2010 at 16:49
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Hi Ted - I agree with you on the illuminated reticle - although am not sure if Burris and Leupold downgraded their warranty for illuminated reticles. I will check and report on that.

As for Swarovski existing practices - you are the best witness to them. I have heard the same feedback from most people posting.

But - my point is not that they don't take care of their customers - it is that they don't have a legal obligation to do so. If, tomorrow, their management changes, they can change their warranty practices as if what they do today had never existed - because their warranty does not require them to do so. I have seen that happen many times. It has happened to some for the companies that I was a part of before.

A good warranty guarantees that the company will take good care of you come what may. Theirs comes very short of that. You should not believe that this is an oversight. A warranty is a long lasting document which is of tremendous importance to a company, because it has long term consequences. You can be sure that Swarovski USA weighed very carefully every single word they put in there. If it is written the way it is, it is because they want it to be that way exactly. It is not an accident, but how the company wants to be able to deal with its customers long term if it needs to.

Basically, what they did is that they risk managed their future. They keep the door open to a drastic lowering of their warranty costs if they deem that to be important in the future. There is no doubt that this lowers the long term value of their scopes.

(edited for typos)


Edited by WestOfPecos - September/28/2010 at 18:23
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/28/2010 at 17:13
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I too looked at the warranty by Swarovski when I purchased a 2nd scope right here off the sample list fom SWFA.  Even though it was a used scope, but because I bought it here, from SWFA (an authorized dealer) they honor the warranty.  Had I bought it from a private individual, then they "would-not" honor it.
 
Jim
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/28/2010 at 17:46
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After buying a Z5 just 2 months ago my plans for buying a 2nd scope has plenty of reservation.I also bought mine from SWFA,but what happens when I give one of these scopes to my grand children?
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Originally posted by WestOfPecos WestOfPecos wrote:


But - my point is not that they don't take care of their customers - it is that they don't have a legal obligation to do so. If, tomorrow, their management changes, they can change their warranty practices as if what they do today had never existed - because their warranty does not require them to do so. I have seen that happen many times. It has happened to some for the companies that I was a part of before.

A good warranty guarantees that the company will take good care of you come what may. Theirs comes very short of that. You should not believe that this is an oversight. A warranty is a long lasting document which is of tremendous importance to a company, because it has long term consequences. You can be sure that Swarovski USA weighed very carefully every single word they put in there. If it is written the way it is, it is because they want it to be that way exactly. It is not an accident, but how the company wants to be able to deal with its customers long term if it needs to.

Basically, what they did is that they risk managed their future. They keep the door open to a drastic lowering of their warranty costs if they deem that to be important in the future. There is no doubt that this lowers the long term value of their scopes.

(edited for typos)


Ok, I get all that.  Their warranty has loopholes that exempts them from obligation to repair or replace many things for free, should they choose to exercise those loopholes.  I'm fully aware that every single word was carefully crafted with the aid of their legal team.

So... what now?  Their warranty is still better than some other high end manufacturers such as S&B, and their demonstrated CS has been as good as any company can be.  That has to count for something.  If the wording of a warranty prevents you from buying their product, then you should write them a letter and explain why.  If they hear from enough potential customers telling them it's inadequate, they may change it, as Leica did recently.

A good warranty is a selling point, but having a world-class warranty has never weighed very heavily on my decision to purchase anything if I wasn't already sold on the product.  I purchased based on whether I liked the product or not.  If it becomes a choice between buying an o.k. product with a world-class warranty or buying a superb product with a mediocre warranty, I'll choose the better product every time.  The reality is if an optic is defective or is going to fail, it will do so well before the 10 year "non optical system" period.  If it survives 10 years of use, it will likely survive your lifetime if it is well made to begin with.  The question then becomes whether or not you believe their stuff is well made.  The evidence has certainly weighed in on that question.

The bottom line is, again, buying anything is an act of faith.  If you are suspicious that their product may not hold up to long-term use and you may end up on the hook for the cost of repairs later, then I would suggest not buying their products. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/28/2010 at 21:35
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Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

   If it becomes a choice between buying an o.k. product with a world-class warranty or buying a superb product with a mediocre warranty, I'll choose the better product every time.

It's hard to disagree with that - but, maybe, one could say that this runs a little less true as the amount of $$ in play increases? Maybe 100% true @$100, 95% @$500, 80% @ $1,000 ... maybe not true any more at $100,000?

I think warranties are an insurance policy that you pay upfront. A good warranty ups the price of the product you buy. It's not so much believing that the product will fail: if so, you might as well not buy - at least, I won't. It's more that, statistically, products WILL fail, even from the best providers, and you would like to be covered by the "insurance policy" if that occurs. So, the more money at risk, the more likely I think you want the insurance policy. Where you are ready to buy a Bushnell with no transferable warranty for $400, you might be reluctant to buy a March for $2,500 with a 5 year warranty (or maybe with any warranty for that matter:-)

So, when I am getting ready to buy a Swarovski scope for $2,300, I really think twice about the insurance policy. What if MY scope fails - even if all the others remain OK? You yourself, Ted, had to use their warranty service twice. What if they had not been ready to service your scope? In a way, your experience with them, however great, is supporting this point: they make really good products, and you really like their products - but you did have to use the insurance policy - twice.

I really agree with almost every word you wrote... I also think Swarovski makes great scopes - otherwise I would not consider shelling out the money:-) But I really would like the insurance policy. This is making me think twice. Their products are still awesome, but, instead of buying a new scope this week, I am going to think more about it. I really wish they had a better warranty - my decision would be much easier, and I wouldn't worry about second-guessing myself later on.




Edited by WestOfPecos - September/28/2010 at 21:45
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Originally posted by WestOfPecos WestOfPecos wrote:

You yourself, Ted, had to use their warranty service twice. What if they had not been ready to service your scope? In a way, your experience with them, however great, is supporting this point: they make really good products, and you really like their products - but you did have to use the insurance policy - twice.



Yes, but again, both times, it was to repair my screw-ups that I admitted to them up front, not due to any defect or quality issue of the products.  They had no obligation to do the repairs for free... but they did anyway.  By the wording of their warranty, my negligence shouldn't have been covered.  One of the repairs was for cosmetic damage, which absolutely is spelled out as not being covered.  It wasn't even on a Swarovski branded product, but instead Kahles (whose CS was at that time covered by Swarovski NA)  Yet they still fixed both items for free.

On the price thing, everyone's different... but if I want something bad enough, have faith that it is of good quality and sound design, and think that it is nice enough to satisfy my wants, I'll buy it regardless of the warranty terms.  But, that's just me.  To me, a good warranty is icing on the cake, not the cake itself, and only comes into play if I'm considering 2 items I like equally well and need something to tip the scale in favor of one over the other.

I'm not saying you're wrong for being concerned over the wording of Swaro's warranty.  I'm just saying I personally have faith you won't ever be left with a defective product that you're obligated to pay to fix yourself.  I could be wrong, but such is the nature of placing faith in something. Would I prefer that Swaro's warranty was as simple and no-nonsense as Leupold's?  Yes, absolutely.  Does that prevent me from buying one of their products?  Nope, only the price tag does that. 

But again... that's me.  If having an unconditional, no fault, unlimited lifetime warranty is an important buying consideration for you, then I think you are correct in being hesitant to spend Swaro type money for something that doesn't come with that kind of iron-clad assurance.  However, I still think you would be very satisfied with anything they make if you do decide to buy.

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