I don't know who your friend talked to but I have dropped off more than one gun at S&W for non warranty work. I live about a two hour drive from the factory, and what you do is drive up to the guard kiosk, they wave you in to a lot next to the kiosk, you go inside, fill out paperwork, the guard boxes it up with the paperwork and sends you on your way. The gun is then shipped to my doorstep within a few weeks.
Edit: Just read your other post
Customer service informs me that they had a 3 week (!!) BATF Audit and as a result they are no longer able to accept firearms "at the door" for other than warrantee repair or if delivered by a LEO for non-warrantee repair.
Individual owners are not welcome at the door to drop off repairs.
To say the least, that sucks... It saved me a few bucks to be able to drop off the gun right at the factory. Looks like I can only do so with new bougth S&W's.