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Posted: 9/23/2002 7:50:05 AM EDT
Any friendly neighborhood dealers want to help me out with this? I know you generally don't want to divulge this info, lest it be used against you, but my situation is somewhat unique.

I recently purchased a used SAR-8 (aluminum receivered type) upon taking it to the range, I found that it shot 2-3" to the left with the windage adjustment maxxed out. Since Springfield has a lifetime warranty, they accepted it in for warranty repair - great.

However, I just got a call informing me that the repair requires a barrel replacement, and they no longer have any spare barrels. They offered to either apply my purchase price towards an M1A or send me a check. There are a couple of problems with this. Number one, even though it was purchased from a dealer, I can't find the receipt. I picked it up at a show I stopped at on the way to a weekend stay at a friend's house a few hours away - things got a bit crazy over the weekend and I'm afraid the receipt may have gotten lost. I did leave one bag there that I haven't retrieved yet, but I doubt the receipt is in it.

Second issue, after researching a bit, it seems like the price difference Springfield quoted was taking the MSRP into consideration. I don't really think this is fair, considering no one pays MSRP for anything these days. This is where my original question comes in - presuming I can get the receipt issue solved, I don't think it would be out of line for me to ask them to quote me a price based on their dealer cost. After all, if they issue me a check for X dollars, it will cost them X dollars. Yet they can offer me a deal on a rifle that I couldn't get anywhere else, but that wouldn't cost them any more (and perhaps less) than the amount they would cut a check for. They lose nothing, and I get a good deal.

Now, what do you guys think I should do if I can't find the receipt? I am still hopeful of getting it, but I did already look for it to file in my records on the return from my trip. Unless it can be found at my friend's place, I think it was simply lost. While it appears Springfield is trying to make good, I'm not certain what exactly the purchase price has to do with this issue. For example, the original owner obviously paid more than I did for the rifle. If the original owner called with the same problem, according to their offer, he would be given more credit towards the M1A that I would, even though the rifle was in the same condition, had the same problems etc. Also what would they do if it was a private sale, and so no receipt existed?

The fact that I have bought a total of 38 magazines (seems excessive, but I kept finding progressively better deals) and a case of ammo that are now useless to me (this was my only battle rifle - I'm not going to bother shooting surplus port in my bolt action) doesn't help me much either.

What would you guys do in my place? I really want the replacement as opposed to a cash refund - at the very least, it will give me something to run the 940 rounds of port I have left through. I recognize that the M1A would be an upgrade (although the SAR-8 originally sold for around the same cost) so I wouldn't mind throwing in some extra cash, but I don't think that Springfield should essentially be charging me MSRP on the replacement. I guess I could sell or hoard the g3 mags. I also realize it is my fault for losing the receipt, but I also feel that if it is the firearm itself that is being warranteed, it is a lifetime warranty, and it was a legitimate warranty issue, then they should be able to offer me something based on the current value of the gun if it can't be found. The requirement of the receipt also doesn't make sense if a (perfectly legitimate) private purchase was done. Their warranty does not state anything about only applying when purchased through a dealer.

I haven't tried to deal with them or argue any of these points, except to mention that I do not currently have the receipt. I have the number of someone to call back. Any angles or arguments I may be missing?

Thanks,

Rocko
Link Posted: 9/23/2002 10:54:05 PM EDT
My guess would be that with the receipt they want to know that you're the legal owner. Lawyers run the show, ya know.

If you indeed purchased from a dealer simply call him & get a copy made, have it sent or faxed to you. Problem solved.
Link Posted: 9/24/2002 3:10:20 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/24/2002 3:26:05 AM EDT by rocko]
Yeah, it was from a dealer, but it was purchased at a show outside my normal "stomping" grounds and I don't recall his or his shop's name nor do I recall seeing him before. I didn't get the impression that was why they wanted the receipt though. The woman I spoke to said the amount I would be credited towards the new rifle would be based on what I paid on the SAR-8. I've been thinking about this alot, and I think I've come to disagree with that point of view.

I actually don't have a copy of their warranty in front of me, but I'm sure it states something to the effect that any defects in materials or manufacture will be repaired or the item replaced. They no longer have any parts to do the repair, and they no longer offer the gun so can't do a direct replacement. Since this is the case, I think I'm entitled to a like replacement from their catalog, whether or not I bought the defective gun as use. Here is the logic I am using to come to this conclusion:

- Both the SAR-8, when new, and the standard M1A are selling for approximately the same price.
- Because of the above, SAR-8 ~= M1A.
- If, instead of the SAR-8, I bought an M1A that had a defect that was for some reason unrepairable, I believe they would send me a new M1A without a problem. There would be no issues of me paying X amount of dollars between the price of a new M1A and what I paid on the used one.
- Similarly, if they still carried the SAR-8, and I had a defect that was unrepairable (say catastrophic failure of the receiver - if they still carried the SAR-8, I don't think a barrel replacement would be a problem), then I believe they would also replace by used (busted) SAR-8 with a new one without any argument.

It seems like the problem here arises out of the fact that the swap is for a totally new firearm. Because of this, they also need to offer a cash back option - after all, not everyone who bought an SAR-8 would be interested in the M1A as it is a different type of firearm. If someone was insisting on cash back, I can see where they would want the receipt - otherwise I could just make up an amount more than I actually paid. OTOH, according to their policy as stated to me so far, if I had known this going in, I could have sold it to a buddy for $2K, made a receipt, had him send it in, present the $2K receipt and get a refund based on that.

Since I would prefer replacement with a like firearm, of the approximate original value of the SAR-8, I think they should offer an even swap. For them to say that if the original owner sent the rifle in the same condition in, that he would get a new M1A without coughing up extra dough, but requiring me to put up an extra $300-400 is sort of silly - its the same rifle, and the warranty is not supposed to be different if you are the 1st or 100th owner.

I've also done some pricing research, and their numbers don't really add up to me... My price after BG check and tax was around $775. Woman at Springfield said the difference I'd need to pay would be $300-$400, putting their "price" on the M1A from $1075-$1175. Without much effort, I was able to find dealers selling these for $1025, and the Loaded model for $1200. So, Springfield is essentially "making" a profit off the value of my replacement, as it is obviously above even their dealer price, which I don't think is fair. I'd say their cost to build one of these is probably less than the $775 I paid for the SAR-8. Ignoring the receipt issue, if they are willing to write me a check for $775, for which their cost would obviously be $775, then they should be willing to send me a new rifle as well, being that their cost would most likely be no more than the amount of the check. However, on my end, it is a difference of just getting back what I originally paid (minimum level of expectation given their warranty) vs. getting a great deal on an M1A and being a very happy camper and extolling the virtues of SA far and wide.

Any more opinions on this? Am I being reasonable here, or expecting/asking too much? Is my logic flawed? I feel the receipt issue is really hurting me, as it is asking them to make two concessions instead of just haggling over the price vs. cost issues. Unfortunately, I still haven't been able to find it, so I fear it is lost for good.

Please share your thoughts, all, as I intend to call back at some point today.

Thanks again,

Rocko
Link Posted: 9/24/2002 9:48:13 PM EDT
FWIW, yes, I think you're expecting too much. You bought a **used** firearm. Very few mfgrs will honor a transferrable warranty. IMO, I would take the price difference they're offering & run with it & thank them for even considering helping you out with a used rifle.

With the possible exception of Ruger, all gun mfgrs that I know of only honor a warranty for the original owner.

Of course, if I'm wrong I'm sure someone will point that out. >gg<
Link Posted: 9/25/2002 2:15:21 AM EDT
No, Springfield's warranty is for the life of the firearm, no matter if you are the original owner or not. Their press releases often brag that they have the best warranty in the business. I believe that's why people, for the most part, are willing to pay the extra $$$ for their firearms. Take the XD for example - people are willing to pay a couple hundred more bucks for it now that it has the Springfield name stamped on the side who would never consider getting the HS2000, some pistol from Croatia, even though it is the same gun. IMHO, the Springfield name (even though they really aren't the original "Springfield" anymore) is supposed to mean something - that they'll always stand behind their product throughout its entire life. True, I did purchase a used firearm, but I'm guessing that it wouldn't be an issue with giving me a new replacement for an unrepairable problem if they still offered the same gun in their catalog. For example, if I bought a used M1A and had a valid, unrepairable (for whatever reason) issue that was covered under warranty, I would think they'd give me a new M1A without blinking. I'm just asking for a like replacement. The warranty is not "free" - we pay for it in the cost of their firearms, included those who buy them used with their greater resale value. I guess we'll see shortly - I left Tracy in repairs a message yesterday morning, but she hasn't called back as of yet.

Rocko
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