They have fieldtested, the bar has been running for almost 3 months now, only recently has it broke for a couple people. i defend North here because i am sympathetic and it seems like youre(Robbo) trying to smear their rep.
anyway i did the suggest modification, which took a whole 30 seconds.
Not trying to dis their rep -- was hoping this would stir them to action to change they way they release products to the market. North kites fly fantastically -- I've owned eight North Kites and I love them -- the new Rhino 6 is no exception -- problem is that North just don't do a very good job of making their products reliable, robust or durable - all but one of my North kites has blown leading edges after 12 months or less, (my 12m R4, three times) every North bar has has some sort of design flaw in it, (one bar -- orignial Rhino 2 - broke in six places in the first 30 days) My local dealer has been sensational in looking after these issues but I've emailled North directly numerous times with detailed information about these failures and they can't even be bothered to reply or say 'thanks' for the feedback.
The "Urgent Notice" that was supposedly issued by North to all the dealers on this recent problem didn't reach Australia--the dealers had no knowledge of it when I spoke with them today. When my centre line broke on Sunday I was nearly pulled into a grove of trees after pulling the safety. This is not the kind of product flaw you want circulating in the market.
I might also add that the new cleat depower system also has problems -- when in the fully powered position, it's nearly impossible to grab the ball you have to pull to depower the kite -- not ideal. Thing is, all they had to do was make the ball slightly bigger and the problem would disappear -- surely something they would have discovered in field testing.
You'd hardly call any of this good customer service, considering how much $$ I and many others have spent with them in the last four years. As a result of this, I'm not likely to continue buying any more of their kites after this year. Shame really, because I really do like their kites, but there are just too many other good kites and good kite companies who listen to their cutomers,-- companies that learn from the feedback and adapt their products accordingly -- so why should anyone continue buying from a company that doesn't seem to care what customers think? Customer feedback is the golden egg of future product development -- and it's a gift, so why throw that gift away? Perhaps it's just been bad luck and my experience with their products is unique, but somehow I doubt it...