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Old Saturday 6th January 2018, 14:56   #1
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Kowa warranty - worse than I thought!?

Just received a new Kowa 883 last week. Impressions forthcoming! I'm now more confused about their warranty, though.

The warranty card has an * that's not present on Kowa's online warranty description. The card that gets mailed back to Kowa says:
Your Spotting Scope, Binocular or other Optic is warranted to be free of defects in material and workmanship for the lifetime of the product.*

*We guarantee the availability of parts and service 7 years after production of the product ends. After this 7 year period, parts and service are subject to availability.
There is no mention of a 7-year limit here:

I'm not sure how this would be interpreted. After 7 years following the model's retirement, could Kowa refuse parts & service, so I'm screwed? Or would they replace with a current model?

I assume if I needed user-caused damage repaired after this period of time, I'd be SOL with no obligation on Kowa's part. The 883's been produced for awhile now, so my guess is we're talking about ~10 years or so when repairs can be made.

Has anyone ever asked Kowa about how this works? Is it reasonable to be disappointed by this surprise?
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Old Saturday 6th January 2018, 17:42   #2
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It didn’t trouble me when I read the same card. Realistically, in the modern economy, what company is going to legally obligate itself to manufacture replacement parts for something they quit making years ago?

Seven years after the end of manufacture of the product line is quite a long time for a manufacturing defect to show itself. Since they commit themselves to a lifetime warranty for defects, the seven years is how long they’re willing to guarantee repair. After that, replacement. (I also took a screen shot of the web page and filed it with the purchase papers. JIC)

And yes, if you just break the scope seven years after they stop making them there’s no guarantee there will be replacement parts available from the manufacturer.


Last edited by JerryLogan : Saturday 6th January 2018 at 17:57.
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Old Saturday 6th January 2018, 17:48   #3
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I think the 883 is gonna be around for a good amount of time.They released the wide zoom and extender not so long ago,and the scope is still being a top contender ,if not the top dog in the current market,So i dont think the scope has a limited forseeable production life.Seven years after that end of production ,parts might be subject to availability,not meaning that a sharp end of supplies would happen either,So it doesnt sound extremely alarming in my view.
Having spent the amount of money you spent in a Kowa product,though ,is reasonable to wonder the exact terms of the warranty and a point to consider in the choice of a lifetime investment like a high end spotting scope.
For what is worth ,KOWA USA have excellent customer service ,perhaps worth to make them a call and comment on this issue
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Old Saturday 6th January 2018, 21:05   #4
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There is a little aspect in the law that requires manufactures to provide parts for seven years of course they have ways to get around it but Kowa is just saying what they need to say. I have more Kowa stuff than any two sane people need and I have had one problem with any or the six pieces. I got a less than stellar tw 9 eyepiece and Kowa america sent me another one with the agreement that I return the loser. I am going to post separately a little story about Kowas durability.
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Old Saturday 6th January 2018, 21:17   #5
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Thanks for your thoughts! I will give Kowa a call next week and update this thread if I learn anything. I saved a PDF "print" of the website language. I do feel better hearing how great their service is, that the product will likely have a long production run, etc.
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Old Monday 8th January 2018, 15:27   #6
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My feeling is that Kowa is saying they don't want to guarantee a stock of spare parts identical to the original build so repairs after this date are likely to be using lenses and prisms that have improved coatings or other upgrades.

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Old Monday 8th January 2018, 16:09   #7
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For the Royal household Leica had to keep a supply of old but new Leica M3s for decades so that they could repair the well used cameras.
Also maybe Bell and Howell movie cameras the same.

Swarovski are now listed by Royal Appointment so maybe they have to do the same thing for the next 30 or 40 years.

For the Space Shuttle they had to scour the secondhand market for possibly 8 inch floppy discs or something of that ilk.

Someone with a Leica M8 that broke was told it was not repairable after about 18 months from new. It was a total loss because of no replacement parts.
Such is progress in the digital age.

Vulcan bombers in the Falklands conflict had to get spares from museums. One vital part was used as an ashtray.

Konica Minolta old parts may be still available from the Milton Keynes repairer.

My friend used to make parts to keep MPP cameras working.

An AA man in Scotland was called out to help a broken 50 year old Bentley.
To the owners amazement the AA man had the necessary 50 year old part.
He had kept it in the van for many years, saying 'I knew I would need it sometime'.

I think the maximum European warranty is now 10 years because of these probable repair problems.

Last edited by Binastro : Monday 8th January 2018 at 16:25.
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Old Monday 8th January 2018, 21:09   #8
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Now if somebody just carried original equipment parts for sixty-five year olds but then I don't think I came with a warranty.
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