In the event of a warranty situation, shipping charges are really assessed on a case by case basis. The reason why we say that the listener is responsible for shipping to and from Noble is because we do not want to pay for somebody else's carelessness. If somebody steps on the IEMs (extreme) or does something with them they clearly were not designed to do, we shouldn't be held accountable for what ensues. That being said, if you take care of your gear and something happens during normal use, then we would cover the shipping costs and make it right.
Re: The above,
I wonder if you might be putting off more than one potential buyer by the warranty/shipping language. If the above is how situations are resolved - wouldn't any item shipped to you and determined to be user error, become an "out-of warranty" situation and be subject to repair costs? What I mean is, the company can protect itself in such situations by language that states something like "if an item is determined to have been damaged, or otherwise put in a state that the warranty cannot be extended, return shipping is to be borne by the owner." That way, you can keep "hypochondriacs" from sending you CIEMs/IEMs willy-nilly, while avoiding losing potential sales due to the fear of additional shipping charges.
It would be a shame to lose business due to customers' ignorance of the actual procedure.