Disappointed in Bushnell

Kevin W

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Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Messages
158
So my Bushnell rangefinder is losing parts of the display. So I sent it in with their online form and got the rangefinder back just 6 days later with a note saying it was out of warranty and they don't repair rangefinders, Also in the letter Bushnell said I could call them about it. So I called Bushnell about fixing my range finder. The guy was more than willing to sell me the new latest and greatest one "the versa" if I had a credit card handy but when I asked the yardage of it closest to farthest he didn't know. I asked the warranty on the versa and he said one year if I was going to use it hunting or two years if I was going to use it golfing. He seemed annoyed that I didn't order one. Disappointed in Bushnell on this one.
 

AggieOutlaw

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May 22, 2016
Messages
434
Sorry to hear. Best to make an investment on a rangefinder. A buddy and I both lost shots at animals due to unknown ranges with my inexpensive Bushnell rangefinder...it just wouldn't work. After that, I bought the Sig Kilo and have been quite happy with its performance.
 

Witherall13

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Joined
Mar 2, 2019
Messages
61
I’m a vortex guy through and through, quality at the price range is outstanding in my opinion, I had a pair of 10x50 binos stolen out of my truck police found them a couple weeks later and returned them left eye piece was broke off (looked like some one had pried it off with channel locks, idk why) called vortex the rep I talked to said no big deal send them to us if we cant fix them we will replace them, also said that ANY complaints or damages Vortex wants to hear about only helps them build better products. Plus vortex has transferable warranty they don’t care if your the 1st or 50th owner they will fix or replace the product. This could be the spot where some one says blah blah quality blah blah fatigue while using, I’ve logged literally hundreds of hours looking through my binos and spotting scope and the only fatigue I get is from standing or setting in an uncomfortable spot, none from the optics, if you have $2000+ to dump on another “high end” brand have at it, me I’m putting that extra cash in the trip jar and using what has been great for me and countless others.
 

slamdmini

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Joined
Dec 14, 2010
Messages
228
i had the same experience with bushnell. my rangefinder lost parts of the display as well, just weeks after i purchased it. it had a supposed 2 yr warranty. somehow it was my fault so they wouldnt warranty it. they did however offer to sell me a new rangefinder for $20 under retail.
 

Nunyacreek

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Joined
Dec 13, 2013
Messages
165
I would second that experience with a Leica rangefinder. They were extraordinarily unhelpful and then basically said I could buy a new one. I have an older Vortex, it doesn’t range all that far but probably as far as I can shoot..and it has been extremely durable.
 

Kevin W

Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Messages
158
How old was it? Even Leica only has a two year warranty on their rangefinder. IIRC, vortex is the only lifetime warranty rangefinder, might not be that anymore. I would still take a leica over a vortex any day.
If I remember right when I bought these new they were $400.00 and Bushnells top end model, To some that may be cheap but for me it's a pretty good amount. As far rangefinders go this one can / could range a deer / antelope for me out to 600 or so yards which worked well for me. It was admittedly 4 or 5 years ago but I just can't fathom why a repair isn't possible, even at a cost.
I asked about the warranty on the versa if I bought new again and he said one year if I was going to use it hunting or two years if I was going to use it golfing. That is a bit of an annoyance to me as well.
Looks like the Vortex 1300 or 1800 may be in my future plans.
 

TimeOnTarget

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Feb 13, 2015
Messages
1,132
Location
SD
Bushnell has been extremely helpful for me when it comes to trail cams but i believe they were all within warranty.

I sent a Leica 1600b in that just didn't seem to range as far anymore. I got a refurbed one back that was worse than the one i sent in. I called them again about it and they told me to send that one back so i did. I then get a brand new in the box one back that works as it should. Certainly not as smooth of a possess as vortex or swaro but the outcome was satisfactory.
 

Gut Shot

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Mar 19, 2015
Messages
470
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Banks of the Big Muddy
Same experience I've had with a couple of their products. "We can't fix that but, here, we'll sell you a new model for full retail."

I haven't bought a Bushnell product in years because of their piss poor repair services.
 

bcar

Active member
Joined
Mar 13, 2018
Messages
114
Location
Iowa
Deja vu.. swear I read this on some facebook page yesterday with a plethora of Vortex comments lol. For the price/warranty I'll be buying a vortex range finder for my wife sometime before next season. The Vortex warranty seems to have a cult like following though haha.
 

Kevin W

Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Messages
158
You did read it bcar, I am from Iowa as well. A rep from Bushnell called me this morning, (they had my cell number from the scan of the return form I sent in with the rangefinders). The rep started off by saying he checked to see if they had a display retical for my unit but do not so a repair was not possible. He told me he listened to my call to customer service yesterday and he was apologetic. To make amends he was prepared to offer a disco'd pair of Bushnell G Force DX rangefinders for $178.12 retail on this unit was $369.99 when current. I told him I appreciated the offer but in posting this issue on a couple different forums I found out that Vortex has a lifetime warranty with units in similar price points as current Bushnells. So as much as I liked my Pro 1600 I am going to go Vortex Ranger 1300 for $100.00 more than his offer of an out of date unit with a 1 year warranty.
Thanks for everyone's help and advice, Kevin.
 

Backcountry Hunter 2

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Jun 25, 2018
Messages
200
Location
Colorado
Vortex IMO has far better quality than Bushnell. I've owned 3 rangefinders thus far. Bushnell, Vortex, and now Sig. My Bushnell The Truth worked fine, but didn't range very far. The Vortex Ranger 100 wouldn't give me a reading on mulies at around 350 or elk at 400. I then bought the Sig Kilo 2000 this past winter. So far the yardages have been excellent. I understand that I upgraded the max yardages in every purchase. Vortex has a great warranty, but most people have to use it. I've had a bino, rangefinder, and spotter from them fail on me in the field and possibly took away an opportunity at a 350 bull.
 

schmalts

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Aug 22, 2002
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WI
Buy a Leupold rangefinder. The new models are great and the price is on par with everyone else.
 

Losing_Sanity

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Jan 30, 2019
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275
I have never liked Bushnell products very much at all. I think they used to be pretty good for the average stuff, but not to much anymore. I pretty much stick with Leupold and Vortex. I had a pretty nice Nikon scope on my sons rifle that filled up with water (My sons fault, long story) and Nikon didn't hesitate. I told them the story and requested a price to drain, clean, fix, and recalibrate. They replaced the scope in full, new, no charge except postage to them. Awesome company...
 

mtmuley

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Jan 11, 2009
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montana
The Bushnell Elite scopes were good. Older Japanese Bushnell too. Rather have those than a Vortex. mtmuley
 

ntodwild

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Dec 21, 2018
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Location
Washington
I have never liked Bushnell products very much at all. I think they used to be pretty good for the average stuff, but not to much anymore. I pretty much stick with Leupold and Vortex. I had a pretty nice Nikon scope on my sons rifle that filled up with water (My sons fault, long story) and Nikon didn't hesitate. I told them the story and requested a price to drain, clean, fix, and recalibrate. They replaced the scope in full, new, no charge except postage to them. Awesome company...
As a general statement you are correct. I have had my warranty problems with Nikon (binos) but of the 3 names you mention in their affordable, good quality optics I don't think most other companies can compete for price/quality/warranty. There are some small companies out there right now making some very high quality optics with solid warranties with good pricing like Athlon and a few others (I own an Athlon Ares spotter that I am extremely pleased with). Of course there is the high end product lines of many of these companies but the truth of the matter is that most of us hunter/anglers (90%) of us don't spend "high end money" on our optics. Most of us fall into that mid price range "better-good" quality products. The marketing strategy of Vortex in my eyes is genius. I am not saying they make the best products (depends on the line and what it is) but most anglers/hunters absolutely abuse their optics to put it mildly. Having a no nonsense warranty is genius and is worth paying for in my eyes.

I know that we are all on a budget and low end product lines do serve their purpose. I have had enough over the past 40 years of hunting to pay for some of the high end gear of today. The truth is I would still purchase those low end products today given the same budget and scenario of which I initially purchased. Served me well for a few years and got me into the woods. Heck I still use the Sh-- out of my Celestron (made by Bushnell) Land Scout spotting scope during scouting season. It's small, light, gets beat up in my pack/ATV/truck and just flat out does the job for those times my binos just can't reach that extra 2-300 yards (going on 6 years of hard abuse now). Don't get me wrong...It's some pretty cheap glass with poor quality but for scouting I don't need anything other than to answer the question "is that a bear, deer or elk" when my binos won't answer that question.

I feel for the original post and it can be frustrating when this stuff happens to us. The post is actually exactly why this Forum is so helpful. I am not one to bash product manufacturers and typically don't but as an educational thing these type of posts are great and can be very helpful and extremely educational.
 

Trial153

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Jan 4, 2016
Messages
853
Location
New York
I am not sure how these companies stay solvent with the warranty’s they put out on these cheap imported teams like scopes and range finders.
 

sdkhunter

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Apr 13, 2012
Messages
129
I had one bushnell range finder, that was enough for me... I’ve got a simple Nikon that I’ve had for over 10 years that still works great....
 
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