Rod Warranties: Are You Getting What You Really Paid For?

I've had a few rods break recently, and, unfortunately, some of them are old favorites. Now, it's pretty nice that rod companies will honor a warranty that's nearly 20 years old. And I'm not trying to be a fly in the ointment, but I have to ask a question...

Is the warranty system now what you paid for, or thought you were paying for, years ago? If my memory serves me correctly, when I bought some of those rods, the deal was, if it breaks for whatever reason, I pay to send it back, and they fix it or replace it for free.

Nowadays, in many cases, we must pay for extra processing fees and so on. I might be wrong, but I thought I bought a rod that came with a guarantee that it would be replaced or fixed, not that I bought a rod that came with the right to buy another rod for only $100 or so if I broke it.

I often hear of people sending a classic rod back, and the manufacturer says, "we don't have those anymore, but we'll send you this new model." And 99 percent of the time, the customer is thrilled. But it's not the same.

Does anyone else think the ground rules were changed somewhere along the way?