Why is Nikon so slow at fixing botched repairs?

Started Mar 29, 2013 | Discussions thread
Eamon Hickey
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,100
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Re: Not so different than Canon, I'm afraid
In reply to roustabout66, Apr 1, 2013

Again, I'm not trying to argue with the main thrust of your post, which may be completely sound.

But I think a) it's important to get the facts right in these discussions and b) it's important to apply equal skepticism to what you are being told by any party with an interest in the issue, not just Nikon. Nobody has a monopoly on honesty or fairness -- most of us are naturally sympathetic to small businesspeople, and rightly so, but they are humans, with all the faults common to humans. So:

roustabout66 wrote:

As I understand it Nikon is not accepting any new "authorized" repair shops so if you are not a member of the club already you are not getting in.

I'd be really dubious of this, as presented. I can see only a mild business rationale for Nikon to limit authorizations geographically, and I'd be amazed if the authorizations don't come up for renewal every year and if somebody drops out, or goes bankrupt, Nikon will be looking for other shops to replace them.

I also was told the fee for becoming an authorized shop (if you could get in) is about $100,000

This isn't a "fee". It's a required investment in training and in testing and repair equipment. That equipment is one of the key elements in becoming authorized. It is apparently a big expense (this very web site had an article with comments from a repair shop owner explaining why he declined to spend the money, back when this policy was first made public), but it's not hard to see Nikon's rationale for requiring it. (That doesn't mean I agree with their rationale; just saying it's an easy rationale to see.)

and you are required to carry a mind numbing assortment of parts including Coolpix parts in every color of the rainbow.

Here again, it sounds like you heard some carping from a repair shop owner, and I'd be skeptical. Minimum inventory requirements are as common as dirt in most industries. If you want to sell Patagonia clothes, for example, I'm sure there's a minimum buy in. If you want to be a Ford dealer, there's a minimum inventory requirement.

Again, I don't know the truth here -- it's possible that Nikon is requiring an onerous inventory investment. But I wouldn't take a repair shop owner's word for it (and I've known, and liked, plenty of them) -- I'd want to see what that requirement is myself, and hear Nikon's reasoning for it.

KEH one of the largest used camera sellers in the U.S. said in their blog that Nikon's new policy was why they were no longer a repair shop for Nikon.

KEH said their reason for declining authorization was that Nikon was not allowing stores to be both a service center and an authorized camera dealer at the same time. So they chose to be a Nikon authorized camera dealer.

One last time: I'm not defending Nikon's policy. It may be a terrible idea. In my very extensive experience with Nikon USA, I've seen them do many really stupid things, and this may be one of them. But I also have very extensive experience with camera stores and repair shops, and I know their faults, too. I've found it pays to apply a healthy dose of skepticism across the board.

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