III of OPTICS ROUNDUP,
January, 2000, BirdWatcher's Digest)
and Diane Porter
vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. The commonest type is a "limited
lifetime warranty" against defects in materials and workmanship. It does
not cover damage due to accidents or abuse, and it covers only the original
one hardly knows what to expect in warranty service, because manufacturers
differ in the generosity with which they apply their policies. Most seem
to go beyond what the warranty promises, at least occasionally. Some,
in contradiction to their stated policy, may service a binocular for free
even though it no longer belongs to the original owner, or even replace
binoculars that have been run over by a car.
an informal survey via the internet of manufacturers' warranty performance.
We asked birdwatchers to tell us about their experiences having binoculars
repaired under warranty.
back over 50 stories, including 7 to 11 each for Bausch & Lomb, Leica,
Nikon, Swarovski, and Zeiss. Patterns emerged. Swarovski dramatically
stood out for shockingly good warranty performance on binoculars. Pentax
also seemed to give excellent service, although we received few reports
about them (not a bad sign, actually). Other companies for whom we got
predominantly positive reports were Bausch & Lomb, Swift, Zeiss, and Leica.
feel you are unfairly turned down for warranty service on binoculars,
it sometimes pays to argue your point, or to try to find a different representative
to talk to at the company.
word on gray market binoculars
deny warranty service on binoculars imported from overseas. They're trying
to protect their USA distribution systems by bringing unhappy-customer
pressure to bear on dealers, so that dealers will buy stock through approved
channels. For binoculars from manufacturers for whom gray market is an
issue, it's important to get a USA warranty. Be cautious when purchasing
binoculars for unusually low prices.
advances in birding binoculars
Table of binoculars specs