My unusual Nikon UK service experience
My original post involving a card error can be seen here:
In short though I was experiencing an unusual card error on my D7000 for unknown reasons which I couldn't find elsewhere online.
After a few days of trying on and off to see if it fixed itself I went to take it into the service centre two weeks ago. Two nights beforehand though I tried fully charging one of my batteries in the hope that it was the internal battery that needed a kick. 24 hours of that battery sitting in the camera recharging the internal one and no such luck - the error persisted. Come Wednesday morning (48 hours of fully charged battery) I took it to the service centre. In the car park before going in I tried it one last time (the first time that morning) and the error was still there. I went inside and filled in their form detailing the fault and filled out my warranty information as the receptionist took copies of my warranty card and proof of purchase. As I waited for her to then finish on the phone I decided one last time to try it - and it worked. I must have tried about 30 times over those three days to get it working and yet the minute I set foot inside the Nikon building it chooses to behave (it probably felt like a kid outside the principal's office!) Needless to say I sat there with a stunned look on my face for two minutes. It just worked, back to normal, nothing. They still took it in to have a look at, and I was told the turnaround would be under 10 days (very impressed).
A few days later I received a letter through the post (I'd asked for paperless contact only) trying to charge me £31 for the service, and unsurprisingly now they found no fault at all. A simple phone call cleared everything up regarding the charges as it was under warranty, but this is poor organisation on Nikon's behalf given copies were taken right in front of me, so there was no excuse that they could have been lost when unwrapping it from the post. I asked them out of courtesy to have one more go at seeing if they could establish the cause of the fault and they were happy to, and my camera is due back early next week. I don't expect they'll find anything but this was just to be on the safe side as I am going to need it heavily over the next month.
My only guess as to the cause of the fault then is the internal battery wearing down, and that one day charging wasn't enough as I have read online it takes 2-3 days, although any other suggestions are very much welcome as I am very very puzzled.
This last section though I need your help on. In the UK our body warranty is two years, and this runs out in three days (30th June). When I purchased the camera two years ago I bought an extra plan to go with it, covering it for three years for all mechanical faults and accidental damage. I have never purchased anything other than this before and won't probably again, but I bought it for two reasons. 1) At the time I worked part time at the store I bought my camera from, so I knew these plans inside out and back to front and 2) I would have 2 years to gain a 100% refund if I should wish. That two years runs out on Saturday. My plan has been all along to have it for the two years and refund unless I caused accidental damage, however the recent issue has caused me to question that. At £94 it was 10% of the value of the camera when I bought it, but two years on is >20% just for this year. What would you do? Thank you very much and my sincere apologies for the lengthy post, I'm afraid I got carried away-- hide signature --
Student in Brighton, UK
Uhmm...you bought a D7000 and a no-questions-asked extended warranty for the express purpose of enabling 2 years of use for what was in effect a 90% discount? That's cheeky.
That ethically questionable action aside, it may be that something on the main body of the camera is going intermittent. Service will not be able to identify it until it hard fails, at which time it will be outside of the full-return window but possibly still within the extended warranty window. At this juncture you have no time left to exercise your first window options, and no time for a repair. If you so distrust your present camera, by waiting this long you have boxed yourself in to having to buy a new camera and risking its possible infant mortality. There is no good solution. Either way you run the risk of a camera failing on you on your upcoming month-long mission.
The cheaper option is to just keep using your present camera, repair it when it fails, then sell it as used for a price that reflects fair value for the use you got out of it. D7000s are still popular cameras and command good prices used. If you absolutely need to have a working camera on your upcoming mission, what you need is a backup camera more than a new one. Even a P&S will keep you snapping.
I perhaps didn't explain myself appropriately, because I wouldn't call my actions morally questionable. Working part time there we understood these perfectly. For 10-20% of the camera's cost it would be covered against just about all faults and almost all accidental damage. However, the catch is that you can refund it 100% up to the date that your manufacturers guarantee ended, voiding the remainder of the three years, but only if it has not been claimed upon (any repairs of mine thus far have been covered by Nikon, so mine hasn't). Given most photo kit has just that one year of manufacturers warranty it would have to be canceled pretty quickly. However, Nikon bodies in the UK receive a two year guarantee, and therefore I can choose to cancel it and refund tomorrow if I wish. This refund ability is one of the selling points of the warranty, and is not bending or breaking any of the rules set about by the providers.-- hide signature --
Student in Brighton, UK
Thank you for clarifying, and I apologize for my hasty criticism. Since you are simply worried about the risk of an on-mission failure of your existing camera and have evidence that it may be misbehaving, it may be a lower risk course of action to exercise your 100% replacement option presuming that a D7000 is available. As to the loss of the cost of the extended warranty, consider it as a very good resale value for a used item without the hassles of reselling. Brand new D7000s (in the US, at least) run about $900; a used one would sell for perhaps $700 - pretax. So by returning your D7000 NOW for exchange, you would come out well ahead even considering the cost of the warranty. Consider that the 100% exchange clause costs the insurer something, and that something is the last year of the extended warranty on a specific camera that you will no longer own, so it wouldn't matter anyway. Product warranties are usually not transferable...