Yeah agree. The winch is rated at 10k so well below the 12k plate. The customer service was pretty bad... I asked if they wanted photos and sad no thanks. They could really care less.I was pondering your thread further today as we were out Jeeping and thinking about last month that we pulled someone out of the snow and had to use a pulley before we could get them to budge. This is a lot of strain on everything but was done without issue.
I am thinking that the Extreme Terrain "12K" rated winch plate that comes with your bumper may have been the start of the issue for you based on the variance I read about in the quality of different winch plates.