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Okuma Customer Service


Dan Draz
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During my last pond outing with my son Quinn last weekend, he tripped in a gopher hole and fell down breaking the handle on his brand new (first day it was used) Okuma spinning reel as he hit the ground. I have fished some of the higher end Okuma reels for steelhead in the Pacific NW and have never had a problem with my them. I previously started fishing them when I wanted some new steelhead reels and the high priced Shimano reels were going for hundreds. Okuma came out with 12 ball bearings in a reel and were charging less than $100. I thought, what the heck, they seem pretty smooth, I'll give them a try. Anyway, a few weeks ago, I found a great deal on these lower priced Okuma reels online at a fishing store in Washington so I bought 8 reels for us to use as they seemed perfect for our largemouth and smallmouth fishing. Even though this wasn't the top of the line model, I thought I would just replace the handle and be done with it.

 

Not being a warranty issue, I e-mailed Okuma Service today to get the correct part number for the reel handle. The paper parts list and the online parts list had slightly different parts numbers. I explained that my son fell down and that it was not a warranty issue and could they please tell me what the part number was so that I could purchase it? It appeared to be about $8 for the new handle and a few bucks for shipping. Let's just say $10 for discussion sake, which I was more than willing to pay, despite it only being a $40.00 reel, because my son felt pretty bad about it and it was totally our fault, nothing to do with a manufacturing defect or poor performance, which I would expect them to cover.

 

Expecting to receive the correct part number and the charges, I received an e-mail message back stating that there was no charge to me and that they had already mailed it out to my office address! Ok, so I realize it is only $10 but they could have easily charged me and I was expecting to pay for something we broke! I'm not sure what others experience has been with their products but mine has been stellar and they demonstrated to me today that they understand what customer service is really all about. And in my opinion buying a quality product is one thing, but a company that sells products AND backs it up with quality customer services is someone worth doing business with. The sale doesn't end at the cash register and most good companies realize that.

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Well said. Thanks for posting a customer service story with a positive ending. It is not uncommon to see a posting when someone has a bad customer service experience. The positive stories are less common, but I find them to be more valuable. When someone is upset about the service they get, they sometime exaggerate or distort the image they paint. When someone has a good experience, they tend to tell a more accurate story.

 

Finding the companies that do care to take care of their customers can be a challange. Finding the companies who believe that the customer service department is the first place to start cutting budgets is all too easy.

 

Thanks for sharing your experience,

Ken S.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am a big Okuma fan due to the absolutely OUTSTANDING customer service!! Not to mention their top notch rods and reels. Their latest line of spinning reels are smooth as silk and well balanced (no wobble). I have a float rod that makes me wonder why it didn't cost $100.00 more than it did. They have sent me upgraded reel handles and spare aluminum spools no questions asked. All I did was ask, also expecting to pay whatever the cost, and they sent it to me without charging me a dime...not even shipping costs. How cool is that??? And they follow up!

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm been a big Shimano fan in the past. I've been very disappointed with the quality and service with issues with Shimano (Stradic,etc.) reels. The only thing I've found that has continued to perform well has been the Sahara line.

 

I began to change over to Okuma a couple seaons back and haven't been disappointed in the products or service.

 

Okuma will continue to be culled into my angling outfits as I discard Shimano.

 

 

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And the icing on this cake is that I had a conversation with Okuma corporate yesterday and they are interested in donating product to us for the 09 Blowout. Good company, good product, interested in supporting a fishing organization with strong conservation program... a nice relationship for ISA.

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And the icing on this cake is that I had a conversation with Okuma corporate yesterday and they are interested in donating product to us for the 09 Blowout. Good company, good product, interested in supporting a fishing organization with strong conservation program... a nice relationship for ISA.

 

Awesome!!!

Anyone thinking of dropping some dough on a new reel should really check out Okuma's.

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Okuma offers a nice line of Bait Feeder/Runner spinning reels,

in light, med, med-heavy and heavy action, at affordable prices.

 

Their line of reels can be used with mono, as well as superbraids,

from 4lb to 50lb line.

 

The reel drags provide a very smooth operation.

 

The Bait Runner tension adjustment is very fine, even a large fathead minnow can pull line off the spool.

 

The Bait Runner/Feeder reels are ideally suited for the float/drift angler,

as well as the bank angler, tight-lining for catfish, carp.

 

Walleye anglers find the bait-runner reels ideal, for drift fishing.

Set the baitrunner tension to the desire setting, place the rod in a rod holder, and commense drifting.

When a fish grabs the bait or lure, and swims off, the reel spool turns freely---

the fish feels little to no resistance.

When you're ready to bring the fish in, turn the reel handle, the drag setting takes over, and crank in the fish, with the preadjusted spool drag.

The nice thing about the reel feature, is you won't lose your rod over the side of the boat, or pulled out of the rod holder, when a fish hits and takes off.

 

Some avid stream anglers, that drift/float fish, prefer this style reel to conventional spinning reels.

Also, a superbraid line is preferred---reason: the line floats.

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