No, it is not rolling the dice at all. It has to do with how much effort one puts into it.
As I surmised earlier in this thread, and as Frodge proved a couple pages ago, a PHONE CALL to Tamron is the way to go! If all one does is to communicate with Tamron via email, then of course you have a good chance of getting shafted, of getting a canned response, and of getting a $250 invoice.
If you email their Customer Service, then you are really doing yourself a disservice, and you will never find out just what they are willing to do for free. Emailing them with a question about this issue, and then getting an invoice for $250 emailed back to you, doesn't really mean, or prove, anything. Such correspondence is meaningless because you haven't even given yourself a chance to see just how far sweet-talking and schmoozing can get you.
Do what Frodge did - give them a phone call and speak to someone there, and put to use the nice pleasant conversational personality that God gave you. Then see what their response is. I bet that then you will get a response like Frodge did. And if you don't, then just wait a day or three and call back.......chances are you'll get somebody different and they will be more helpful.
These things, in reality, are negotiations, not "set in stone" policies. Schmoozing and plentiful happy-talk gets things done - often for free!
It is definitely an exercise in chance. You say so yourself! (highlighted in your quoted text) You call a service centre and it is up to chance which person you get on the line and what mood they are in. The information they give you will be affected by that and by your tone on the call. There is also the question of whether the advice they give you is actually in line with what will actually happen.