1. Situation with my kite
Vegas 2011 12m² was still in very good condition. Kite began to fall on one side from zenith. Inspection shows significant change in shape of leading edge. It turns out, that kite has production defect and needs to be replaced by warranty.
Communication with North revealed another problem — serial number was cutted off before sale of kite.
Details are here
2. KBA response
2.1. This kite behavior is normal and happens to all brands. Since the kite was used for more than one month, it can lose its shape and become unbalanced.
Lie. Kite doctor in Boracay says, this is very rare situation and kite has serious flaws in production. Philippines distributor inspection confirmed errors in production. North confirmed warranty claim and added, that such behavior is unusual for a kite.
2.2. Warranty on all North kites is 3 month only.
Lie. You can check in kite User guide that warranty is 6 month. You can have +6 month extended warranty, but since SN was cutted off, that was not my case.
2.3. Kite comes with serial number cutted off from factory
Lie. All products from North are coming with serial number. If you don't have SN, you will never get warranty.
3. North response and final solution
We was in touch with guys from North since the beginning of this story. In the end they agreed to replace my broken kite with a new one. I want to thank Christian, Philipp, Dan, Normeth and Willem for this good solution! Nice move to keep customers happy and brand image solid.
4. Good summary from Dan-at-North
Also for the record, his kite was not admissible for warranty, and the resolution was done at the cost and through the goodwill of North international and several distributors. Thanks to everyone involved.
Please read the following before purchasing if you have reason to suspect that your dealer, like KBA, is not an authorized NKB dealer and is getting either factory second or full-on knock-off North gear.
Just to reiterate: KBA, in Thailand, is NOT an official North dealer. North does not sell them gear, and any North gear that they have is unauthorized, almost certainly flawed, and will not be approved for warranty repair or replacement. They have somehow found a way to get B and C grade factory rejects or knock-offs from a different factory. We do our best to control this kind of thing, and we are trying to track down how they are getting these, but even Apple, who spends millions on stopping this kind of leakage, suffers similar problems on occasion.
As it is, please do not purchase North items from anyone but an official authorized North dealer. If you do, realize that you do so at your own risk. Warranties require both a serial number and a receipt from an authorized dealer specifically for this reason. No matter what a dealer tells you, if you do not have a serial number and a receipt from an authorized dealer, North will not approve you for warranty. It should be fairly easy to tell an authorized dealer from a non, but you can always check http://www.northkites.com for a list of authorized dealers or you can even drop me a note with a specific dealer question. You should also use your brain. If there are two dealers in an area, and one is selling a North kite for significantly less than another, you may want to do a little additional research. I understand that you want to save money, but realize that if your cheaper kite does not come with a serial number and a receipt from an authorized dealer, it is not only un-warranteeable, but it is also most probably a factory second with some sort of flaw that will leave you with a costly or even, as in this case, impossible repair.
5. Prices from KBA are here
Most of the prices are only slightly cheaper, than price from authorized dealers in Asia. KBA are clearly trying to cheat on its customers, selling B-grade products with small discount to genuine products.
Please share this story, so people would avoid to buy anything from sellers like KBA.