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Nikon defends decision to stop supplying spares to independent repairers

By Richard Butler on Mar 12, 2012 at 23:16 GMT

Nikon USA has defended its decision to stop supplying spare parts to companies outside its authorized service network. Its intention is to deliver 'the best service experience to the customer,' says David Dentry, General Manager of Customer Relations at Nikon Inc, explaining that the complexity of modern cameras and the need for specialist analysis and calibration tools meant that repair attempts by ill-equipped retail or unauthorized repair shops could end up causing delays, increase the cost and risk voiding the camera's warranty. However, an independent service center we spoke to said its statements misrepresented the situation and is likely to mean small repairs take longer.

Nikon's Dentry says the move comes to ensure cameras are repaired properly with the right parts: 'Cameras are now far more technically advanced, and require testing equipment for a proper diagnosis and proper tools for adjustment and calibration. Years ago, you could look at a camera and diagnose a worn gear or some physical issue. Now cameras are advanced microcomputers and require skilled technicians and specialized tools to fix a camera and calibrate the focus of lenses to properly assure adherence specifications.'

Consumer benefits

'The benefits for the consumer were top of mind when implementing this policy. A consumer’s products are repaired properly in a timely fashion, often times with less waiting time and less cost to the consumer. Consumers can also have confidence in their cameras service, as authorized dealers receive factory training, tech bulletins for recent products, and possess proper tools for diagnostics and adjustments.'

Dentry suggests using independent servicing is something of a lottery: 'Often times, a retailer or unauthorized repair shop would attempt to repair a camera even though they were not able or equipped to make such repair and thereafter would have to send the camera to a Nikon authorized repair facility for proper repair, at the cost of increased wait times. Overall, this led to many delays and in the end increased the cost to the customer. Additionally, as with most consumer electronics, if there is evidence of improper repair, a camera warranty would likely be void.'

The mention of warranties is odd, an independent service center told us: 'most of our business is post-warranty work. Why should people be paying us for work if it's paid for under the warranty?'

He also dismissed the idea that damage during repair is commonplace: 'there are literally thousands of pieces of Nikon equipment being serviced by independent stores. We've been in business since the 1950's and there are plenty of businesses that have been here for 30, 40 years. 'They're lumping everyone together. Yes there are some places that are one guy working out of his house who thinks he can repair a camera, but that's not the all of us - we've had guys here working for 20 or more years. These are people who have trained at the Canon factory or the Nikon factory or the Sony factory.'

Modern DSLRs feature complex electronics as well as traditional precision engineering

'There are some tools and pieces of equipment that are too expensive for us to buy, or that we wouldn't use often enough to make it economic, and in those cases we send the cameras back to the factory. But this move means even small things will have to go back to the factory,' says the independent business.

Dentry points out that independent service shops can apply to join the 20 centers authorized to repair its DSLRs in the US, and says they can contact their local Nikon rep or the Nikon Inc. repair department for an application and Nikon tool requirement list and training information.

But the cost of becoming a Nikon authorized service center is prohibitive, the independent service center claims: 'There's an item on that list that costs $32,000. Overall you need to buy equipment costing over $160,000 and you sign a contract agreeing they could cut you out tomorrow. The cost of equipment, that only works with their products, is more than the cost of what every other manufacturer requires, put together.'

'We have a relationship with all the manufacturers - if it requires a specialist piece of equipment for the work, we send it back.'

'Independent servicing allows quicker repairs'

'It's odd to be someone's customer for 40 or 50 years and then be told 'we don't want your money anymore. The majority of businesses like ours are family owned. This takes business out of the local economy.' Ultimately, though, the option of turning to independent servicing is in the customers' interest, he says: 'Independent servicing allows small repairs to be done quickly'

'We're not sure what happens next - we haven't yet heard officially it they're completely cutting us out or if they'll allow their service centers to re-sell parts, or if some people will self-import components. We won't go down that route but I'm sure some will.'

Comments

Total comments: 302
1234
Higuel
By Higuel (4 months ago)

Part1)WAY TO GO nikon!!
I supose u didn't liked when analists predicted ur extinction in 5years! IT'S NOT SOON ENOUGH 4YOU!!! Just keep bashing your costumers and making their experience with ur products WORSE!!!
That's the way! In my country usually nikon repairs,EVEN during garanty were AND MANY TIMES STILL ARE A JOKE!!! THIS very week a photographer was complaining about it,and had to get repairs from a private "mecanic" where i also go! I was there because my Friend's D80 BRAND SPANKING NEW WITH JUST 200 PHOTOS MADE AND KEEPT WITH SILICA IN PROPER BAG(he is a fully graduated Equipment Designer!) JUST DIED! Wich he discovered was a commom problem"killing"several nikon models of that period! (what the FUD!)
Yes nikon,don't worry about making new&good products at reasonable prices! Focus in screwing people who ARE ALREADY UR CLIENTS!&SCREW ALL others who help2make sure ur cameras AND LENSES! keep working (wich by the way is ILEGAL in the 1rst world because it voids the healthy...

1 upvote
Higuel
By Higuel (4 months ago)

PART2/2) ...competition!!!), & keep coming cameras with compact sensors at the price of DSLRs! And also make really expensive ones 4the few old ppl willing to pay3k€ for a software limited machine that WILL NOT LET THEM USE THEIR OLD LENSES!!!
(forget that OLD people have a tendency to not stay around or buy much more stuff and lenses! Especially after the doctor says it's over! And do you think their grandsons will want their grandfather/mother heavy and NOT movie capable DF?

KEEP IT UP Nikon! If it was not bad enough that you let canon get SO MUCH lead that now they hardly do anything new or good! Now you are trying to dig deeper and deeper into ur grave!!!
Sigh! Well, at least we have Sony and Pentax to compete with canon and bring NEW AND REVOLUTIONARY THINGS!!! :D

PS: SORRY! I forgot Fuji!!! :D
(what AMAZING APS sensors they make that are as good as canon's full frames!!! o_O
(just compare it on Dpreview!!!)

1 upvote
shadowless
By shadowless (Dec 10, 2012)

After 20 years of Nikon, and yes I waited for nikon to come up with the D200 when they where totally not competitive before. Now that Nikon no longer choose to be loyal to the old timer, I don't see the point of why I should continue to support Nikon. I will advice everyone who ask me about camera choice to get Canon from now on.

0 upvotes
Higuel
By Higuel (4 months ago)

maybe you want to think that over: i use canon since 98, and they are EVEN worst in this matter! :L

0 upvotes
shadowless
By shadowless (Dec 10, 2012)

I have repair my D200 rear command dial and I was so happy back then that nikon sell parts freely.

Now that my D700 rear command dial is wearing out I cannot find part, this is disappointing.

The nikon camera rear command dial tends to wear out after 2 years of usage for me. So any future cameras I would expect a similar issue but I can no longer get it repair since parts i no longer available. So it no longer make sense for me to buy nikon cameras.

Any you ask why i repair my own cameras? I am simply not satisfied with the authorised service centre or even Nikon service centre repair service. You send a lens for cleaning and instead you get more dust and marks inside. You ask for rubber grip replacement and they look worst then before. I love my cameras but these service staff doesn't. To them it is just a job and they just don't care.

1 upvote
Fella
By Fella (Oct 22, 2012)

I always used to say to anyone who asked my opinion as to which camera to buy, that you couldn't really go wrong with the likes of Nikon and Canon, their cameras these days are incredible tools.
Now though, I couldn't recommend a Nikon product, my advice would be to look at Canon or failing that one of the other manufactures, but not Nikon.
What a shame! I've had the D100, D200, D3 and now D800 along with many lenses and flashes etc, but I won't be encouraging anyone else to potentially go down this path.
This policy of Nikon USA to not sell parts nor allow anyone else to repair YOUR camera along with some of their extortionate prices on accessories (£350 for the D800 grip!!!) means I would advice anyone to look elsewhere.

2 upvotes
William Neuhauser
By William Neuhauser (Aug 28, 2012)

After 17 years of my loyality to Nikon, I too with many others will now be switching! I now have my D300 in for repairs that would have taken about a week that is now taking over a month plus to repair. The shipping along was $25 and the cost for the repair is going to be between $275 to $350 to fix the autofocus. My local repair shop said they would have had it done in less than a week if only they could get the part! BS!
Not only are your cameras and lens typically cost more initially, they now cost more and take more time to get fixed!

I just hope I can reprogram myself on using another camera system!

So I will be soon selling three bodies, 3 lens, a few flashes and gods only knows what else I have in my bags that say NIKON!

2 upvotes
kirbo45
By kirbo45 (May 2, 2012)

Small repairs can take a very long time at Nikon. I use a local repair facility and they get the job done quickly and reasonably. I take my SUV to a local repair person as well. The dealership will charge at least twice for the same repair. I have been a Nikon devotee for over 40 years and I will probably (?)
not switch to Canon. But as often happens when a company gets too big or too restrictive it starts losing fans to the competition. So, Nikon, does the name Canon mean anything to you?

1 upvote
Paul Guba
By Paul Guba (Apr 7, 2012)

Two months for a lens repair. Nikon Melville NY. Just saying.

1 upvote
Cellsworth
By Cellsworth (Mar 27, 2012)

Do I want to drive 3.5 miles to a competent repair shop that's been in business for almost 60 year and has employees that I can talk to face to face or spend a lot of money to ship and insure my camera both ways to an authorized repair shop?

As a Nikon customer for over 40 years, I'd like the freedom to decide who will fix my camera, especially if it is out of warranty.

And I called Nikon to try to find out what a specific repair (replace aperture control on D80) would cost if I sent it to Nikon in Melville, NY, and had an extremely difficult time getting a straight answer.

Nikon will be successful if success is defined as alienating loyal customers.

I'm just that much closer to switching to Canon.

2 upvotes
bitsnapper
By bitsnapper (Mar 25, 2012)

As a working camera tech for close to 30 years, I'll make an attempt to clear the smoke, or at least as well as possible within the posting limits.

Only ACS's will get parts. Becoming an ASC is expensive to the point that few techs can justify doing so. The number of ASCs are becoming fewer as this takes place, so guess what this will do to the overall service experience? Camera's are sold through distributors, who set the service policies for their territories. Repairs are going to get more expensive and the wait times longer. Yeah, it's going to cost you $100+ for a small repair and you'll wait weeks(months) to get it back. Grey market refers to anything not purchased through the distributor, and has nothing to do with country of origin.

This is a Nikon USA action and only applies to their territory(for now), and that 800 number you call is a call center in the Caribbean. Only sending gear to Nikon is like only taking your car to the dealer.

Caveat Emptor...

1 upvote
bitsnapper
By bitsnapper (Mar 25, 2012)

PS - When you send your gear to Nikon, or other makes, most of it goes to contract shops. The manufacturers employ very few in-house techs these days. So in essence, an independent is still working on your stuff. ASCs are independent, only difference is being bound by a contract. There is no guarantee of competency.

1 upvote
f311
By f311 (Mar 24, 2012)

I don't get the uproar.

Seriously, how can Nikon making the decision to take full control and responsibility of its repair network be a bad thing? If my camera needs a repair I would be pleased to know it's being handled by factory authorized trained professionals.

To that end, exactly what spare parts do so many cry babies here need to buy? Hint take care of your expensive stuff and parts won't break off. Really what parts besides port covers could the average user replace anyway.

And to all the whiners, relax, there will always be some independent guy out there who will be happy to take your money to install questionable ebay sourced junk parts from broken bodies. I'm sure he will also ignore all static discharge protection rules during your repair too.

Good luck with that one.

I'll send my Nikon to Nikon.

0 upvotes
dangu
By dangu (Mar 24, 2012)

that is what my dear, that you can freely choose where to take your equipment for repair.

do not be unfair to those who are competent and responsible professionals, and to have received training in the present and the past and have even worked for some Nikon dealer anyone around the globe and are now independent.
We are talking about professionals in the industry.

2 upvotes
Ralph Auletta
By Ralph Auletta (Mar 25, 2012)

I sent my D2HS to the Nikon Authorized Service Center in El Segundo a few weeks ago before having to use it at the LA Marathon for a job. The D2HS is an extremely non-technical camera to repair. I am a professional photographer, Nikon Professional Services (NPS) member and have been a certified Photo Equipment Technician for over 30 years with membership in the Society of Photo Technologists and 14 years of electronic engineering in the aerospace industry. I was too busy to repair my own camera as this is a busy season for my Pro photography business. I spend over $50,000 on original Nikon parts every year to repair only Professional level cameras and lenses.
I

1 upvote
Ralph Auletta
By Ralph Auletta (Mar 25, 2012)

took my freshly repaired camera from Nikon's highly trained workers in El Segundo California and went to use it in the field at the LA Marathon. It lasted only 100 frames before it stopped working. I switched to my backup D2HS and shot over 18,000 frames without a problem. This is the camera that I repaired. Nikon in El Segundo has earned its "F" rating with the Better Business Bureau. I have earned my " A+" rating. When the 300 plus shops are taken out of the repair equation, You will be waiting a long time for your precious camera if you are a pro photographer that actually has a camera worth repairing versus the new "throw away" line of trash that Nikon is producing in Thailand. You will also whine and cry like a little girl when you get the repair back and it fails on you in the middle of an important shoot only assuming that you did not habe the insight to bring a backup camera.

3 upvotes
Ralph Auletta
By Ralph Auletta (Mar 25, 2012)

Basically, you have no idea what you are talking about if you are the average consumer. All you have to do is switch to Canon and get better service. The Professional however has invested around $20,000 to $60,000 in High-end Bodies and Lenses that have to work all the -time. Downtime is not an option and costs money. I look forward to hearing from you the first time you send your camera to Nikon for repair and you experience something other than perfect.

4 upvotes
Ralph Auletta
By Ralph Auletta (Mar 25, 2012)

I posted my full name if you want to have an intelligent debate.

1 upvote
yesIcan
By yesIcan (Mar 25, 2012)

My grandfather would buy nothing but Plymouth cars - his first car was a Plymouth before WWII - he bought 3 or 4 more as parts began to fall off and the vinyl top peeled, so they had to be replaced. He loved his Plymouths ! At last, my dad asked him to test drive a Honda. He loved it and bought it. When asked why he bought Plymouths and tolerated them, he replied that he "always had". Brand snobs have always been around, even when the brands "jump the shark" and make suicidal decisions. At least Plymouth parts were available at any auto supply, and they didn't require the car be taken to "factory dealer" to replace a gas cap. Nikon - let me introduce you to Kodak - you have a lot in common.

1 upvote
AndreyT
By AndreyT (Mar 25, 2012)

LOL! Have you read the release? The issue has absolutely no relation to Nikon's repair network. It is about independent repair shops.

Anyway, an obvious troll alert

0 upvotes
bitsnapper
By bitsnapper (Mar 25, 2012)

When the independents are gone and you have no recourse but Nikon's contractors, the relationship will become clear. Or perhaps not. Critical thinking seems to have been trumped by dogmatic belief systems these days and opinions need no supporting actual knowledge or evidence.

"What is your favorite color?"

0 upvotes
Higuel
By Higuel (4 months ago)

Ralph, thanks for being someone who actually knows what he/she is saying, and ABOVE ALL for giving us all TRUE AND VITAL INFORMATION!!!

(some pople forgot that dpreview is about information and NOT "my team is better then urs"!!!

THANK YOU once again!!! :)

0 upvotes
leomartinez
By leomartinez (Mar 20, 2012)

The only way to teach Nikon which are good and which are not good marketing decisions is take them to the "sales classroom". Let´s show to Nikon, who decide what is better for the customers.

As long as this policy of exclusivity continue, any Nikon product will gonna be out of my shopping car.

2 upvotes
Matthew Blumenthal
By Matthew Blumenthal (Mar 18, 2012)

Looks like the typical BS to me. We want more control of the market so we will squeeze out any competition. I have never bought a nikon product. I will continue not to do so.

2 upvotes
RB3Photography
By RB3Photography (Mar 17, 2012)

Yeah... I bought a gray market lens without knowing it. My friend whom I bought it from didn't even know it when he bought it new. Now I'm SOL and a replacement is $1,800. Thanks Nikon. I love your products, but this is costing me money!

1 upvote
dangu
By dangu (Mar 17, 2012)

http://www.change.org/petitions/nikon-inc-keep-selling-repair-parts-in-the-usa-as-they-have-always-done

1 upvote
dangu
By dangu (Mar 17, 2012)

I read the reasoning and arguments presented here.
1) The user in my opinion should and can choose where to send your camera and lenses for repair.
2) The training and the purchase of equipment adjustment does not guarantee that the ASC's are better than those who are not.
3) The fact that manufacturers use the same technologies and develop products to meet the demands of majorities, should be more open and globalized technical information for the service as well as the adjustment software, and not create a dependency technological as this is.
4) I also think that many non-ASC's, are better qualified because they perform repairs without the information, just based on your knowledge of electronics and how a camera works and business experience.

For this sign the petition here published.

1 upvote
Josh152
By Josh152 (Mar 16, 2012)

I think people are really over reacting. The only reason why there are so few authorized shops is because it wasn't necessary to jump thorough the hoops so they didn't see the need to bother with it. Now that it is required to get parts the good shops that are really serious, passionate and professional about it will become official.

The rest, well would you really want to send you camera to someone not willing to invest in the tools and training needed to ensure they can fix your camera properly?

Sure you don't need a lot of special tools to replace a battery door but how many of theses shops limit themselves to such repairs? How can Nikon or you for that mater be sure they will only attempt repairs they are qualified for and that they have the equipment necessary to do right?

(continued below)

Comment edited 14 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (Mar 16, 2012)

The end result of this policy will be better repair shops that can offer you full service you can trust a lot more easily. Sure in the beginning some shops will close but they will be replaced by professionals willing to get the need equipment and training to be authorized by Nikon.

It's not like there suddenly wont be any repair shops anymore forever. When the dust settles it will end up being better for the Consumers and Nikon alike.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Nutsfortubes
By Nutsfortubes (Mar 16, 2012)

Ditto Andy seam they have no interest in this even though it will hurt them in the long run.

0 upvotes
Andy Cam
By Andy Cam (Mar 16, 2012)

I've been getting rapped by idiot fanboys on the Nikon SLR forums for a long time by pointing out how greedy Nikon have become.

Reading below comments looks like I'm not alone anymore :)

2 upvotes
Andy Cam
By Andy Cam (Mar 16, 2012)

GREED. this company keeps proving it no longer cares for photographers and only for moron consumers with more money than sense.
Due to this change I can't get my sensor filter fixed as Nikon's policy is to only replace the sensor unit - for +$1000. GREEDY!

2 upvotes
mais51
By mais51 (Mar 16, 2012)

This policy put me off buying anymore Nikon gears - if they don't immediately reverse it then lots of D800 and D4 will remain on the shelves

3 upvotes
Andy Cam
By Andy Cam (Mar 16, 2012)

Yep, It's the final straw. I'm going back to Pentax, see if they give a rats ass about their customers.

1 upvote
mais51
By mais51 (Mar 17, 2012)

I should add that apparently this policy only applied by Nikon USA, Nikon Australia is much more cooperative, they even happy to repair grey Nikon equipment with a price - As a matter of fact I can no longer buy any authorised Nikon gear from USA - their loss, I can buy somewhere else

2 upvotes
GMack
By GMack (Mar 16, 2012)

Nikon could address it best by saying: "We heard what out customers have thought of our service methodology and decided to change it. Instead, we will hire a person whose sole responsibility will be to the independent shops, common parts procurement from Japan, serve our retailers with parts requests, and to our loyal customers out in the field to provide them with personalized service should they wish to buy or need a part for their Nikon camera. We agree that a pro should not be without their gear for a month or more and endure needless shipping and downtime for a $1 part and think this is the best way to serve our customers."

"And Mr. Dentry will take calls from customers who wish to speak to the head of customer service too and not have his secretary respond with Mr. Dentry does not talk to customers."

** Taken from Canon's service idea where a individual can get any part from them sent to their home with a Visa payment. Their parts people talk to their customers.

1 upvote
azinheira
By azinheira (Mar 16, 2012)

I'm I nikon User for 20 years and only send my equipment to Nikon repair center in NY, this way I know it's in good hands, I had problems with flash systems only because we abuse it till they fry , sent 2 flash SB800 and one stop working 5 months after been repaired by Nikon center, send it back and they repair @ no charge. They always give warranty on repairs, so why not wait and be safe.

0 upvotes
firemachine69
By firemachine69 (Mar 16, 2012)

Some of you folks saying "it's your choice to buy Nikon" holds absolutely ZERO water.

That's like buying your Ford pickup, and after you've been going to your local garage for oil changes, Ford decides only its dealerships are capable of changing the oil, and is now voiding the warranty because you used your independent.

Even in Canada, this falls under the "negative billing" portion of the Consumer Protection Act. Totally illegal. I can't see how the much more restrictive USA would permit this type of stuff...

Class action lawsuit, indeed.

2 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (Mar 16, 2012)

lol Nikon USA has a team of lawyers to make sure their polices are legal. All this talk of it being otherwise is ridiculous.

0 upvotes
Higuel
By Higuel (4 months ago)

Sure josh 152! ever heard about windows internet explorer???

Case desmissed!!! ;)

(Read more, writte less!)

1 upvote
spbStan
By spbStan (Mar 15, 2012)

The cost of getting set up, and training, for anyone serious about service is quite reasonable. What other small business with a guaranteed customer base with only 20 competitors nationwide, could be equipped for less than $160k. Even your neighborhood burger joint has much more capital investment, yet is competing with many, for a low margin item.
I had a large pro audio shop with 15 techs back in California and would have jumped at getting an exclusive for an area like is possible with Nikon. Our test instruments sure cost more than that and were lucky to get a fee less than what Nikon shops get per hour.
I would be concerned if a shop I was taking my camera to did not have the correct jigs and equipment, that is not very professional. That said, some easy to replace cosmetic parts ought to be available to end users such as doors and rubber pads.

1 upvote
klinikl
By klinikl (Mar 16, 2012)

Try and find a good camera repair shop in Manhattan. Oh, cool, here is one. Right there, on the twenty-something street. Oh wait... It's not on the Nikon list...

Well, maybe NYC is an exception. I'm sure other cities are much better served by Nikon and there are many repair facilities available...

I guess NYC is just off of the beaten track as far as photography goes.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Josh152
By Josh152 (Mar 16, 2012)

The point is the cost of becoming an authorized Nikon repair center (AKA getting on the list) is actually quite small compared to entering business in other fields. Especially when you factor in the real probability that you will be the only Nikon repair shop in the area.

Try setting up an auto repair shop for $160,000. Not to mention you will also probably be one of three to five in your city alone if you live in even a medium sized city.

0 upvotes
Seagull TLR
By Seagull TLR (Mar 17, 2012)

@klinikl <Try and find a good camera repair shop in Manhattan......Oh wait... It's not on the Nikon list...> I doubt you tried hard http://www.phototech.com/

Comment edited 9 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Dan Desjardins
By Dan Desjardins (Mar 15, 2012)

Nikon - this statement from you is total marketing BS (and it's why many feel that most marketing people are simply skilled liars). There are LOTS of reputable independent shops. No one disagrees that cameras today are indeed complex and many repairs are best handled by the factory authorized folk, but seriously - you don't need a $32,000 piece of equipment to replace a battery door or decorative piece of rubber!
This is not cool Nikon. It is disingenuous and greedy. No matter how your MBAs spin it, you really come off like pompous jerks who consider your customers nothing more than company assets.

2 upvotes
klinikl
By klinikl (Mar 15, 2012)

There is a petition online at change.org that anyone opposing Nikon's decision should sign (it was mentioned here earlier on but just in case I repost):

http://www.change.org/petitions/nikon-inc-keep-selling-repair-parts-in-the-usa-as-they-have-always-done

I am a nikon user and I work for a major camera store as a salesperson. I really oppose this development. Nikon as a corporation is often very insensitive to it's dealers' and it's customers' concerns.

2 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (Mar 15, 2012)

Nikon has survived for far to long on quality alone. It's quite astonishing really. It's time for the parent company to step in and fix the repair and customer support issues.

First: the repair process needs an overhaul. If Nikon is to stop supplying independent shops with parts, they need to be able to handle all repairs themselves. Right now they don't do that in a timely or reliable manner. This has nothing to do with any natural disasters. I've been dealing with the same crap from them for the past 12 years, and the problems last year only magnified the existing inefficiencies. I still never receive a note when a repair is shipped.

Second: fix customer service! Customer service is the first line of defense before cameras go to the repair shop. Customer service is full of bad information and is also set up to treat the customer like a retarded toddler. Customer service exists to identify problems and address them, NOT to insult and píss off customers indiscriminately.

1 upvote
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Mar 15, 2012)

Nikon, and Joe Ehrenreich did a lot of things right and to this day, Nikon is benefiting from those early efforts. Nikon is also the master of product placement, which is why, if you watch movies you'd think everyone in the world uses a Nikon camera (and a Mac, of course). Another thing Nikon has in common with Apple is that they can pretty much do whatever they want. It is what it is, I'm afraid.

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Mar 15, 2012)

Nikon, and Joe Ehrenreich did a lot of things right and to this day, Nikon is benefiting from those early efforts. Nikon is also the master of product placement, which is why, if you watch movies you'd think everyone in the world uses a Nikon camera (and a Mac, of course). Another thing Nikon has in common with Apple is that they can pretty much do whatever they want. It is what it is, I'm afraid.

0 upvotes
Higuel
By Higuel (4 months ago)

man, did u ever saw ANY movie made after the 60s??? o_O

or... do you know about that old box/new square called TELEVISION???

0 upvotes
Ceesprof
By Ceesprof (Mar 15, 2012)

The argument about highest possible quality of service is used already for decades by many manufacturers from many different countries. This argument is total nonsense, The real reason is to tighten the grip on the consumer by limiting his freedom of choice. Actually it is a form of colonialism.

2 upvotes
bdkr65
By bdkr65 (Mar 15, 2012)

Look at any Japanese manufacturer (I work for one and drive a manufacturing division for one) and you will see a parts shortage. Nikon (and I shoot Canon) is probably finally seeing the repair parts supply chain drying up due to the loss of smaller parts houses/manufacturers in the wake of the recent tsunami in Japan and floods in Thailand, where both Nikon and Canon parts are manufactured and/or warehoused. Take Honda for example. Repair parts for engines are on a 18 month backorder basis due to factory damage in Thailand.

Faced with a very volatile repair parts supply chain, it only makes sense that these manufacturers need, not want, to limit the number of outlets (customers) they have to ship the dwindling stocks of parts to. Frwer repair facilities means they can have a wider selection of parts at each of the remaining repair centers.

1 upvote
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Mar 15, 2012)

This makes some sense except that if a parts shortage exists, it's only in the U.S. For the rest of the world there are apparently enough parts to go around.

4 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (Mar 15, 2012)

...if there's a shortage, that would make this a temporary situation, and Nikon could save face by saying so. All the manufacturers affected by the earthquake, tsunamis, and floods last year are suffering, and the general public knows this and it absolutely willing to cut them all slack (Nikon included).

If this is a temporary problem, Nikon is only hurting itself by permanently ruining it's relationships with customers and independent repair shops. (And believe me, the relationships there were already in need of TLC!)

I think you hit the nail on the head though. This is a supply chain issue. Nikon's current one includes some poorly behaved local bits (ex. Nikon USA) who have been mucking things up for years.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
bdkr65
By bdkr65 (Mar 15, 2012)

@Abrasive- Good point(s), with the exception that most non-US repair facilities (mine included) have a long history of ordering heavier and smarter, whereas most, but not all US repair facilities have grown somewhat reticent to placing proper (and larger) inventory orders and are getting by with ordering just in time and by need. Any way we slice it, it is a overall negative for Nikon users. Regrettable no matter which brand you shoot.

1 upvote
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Mar 17, 2012)

It's important to remember this is not a Nikon issue per se; it's just more mischief from Nikon USA. (Anyone remember the "Calumet Says No To Nikon" campaign? Nikon managed to tick off a major dealer so badly that Calumet mailed postcards to all their customers). I have found Nikon in Tokyo to be terrific and in Europe they're not allowed to restrict much of anything. But here in the land of the free, they can pretty much do what they like because we hate regulations.

Comment edited 34 seconds after posting
1 upvote
camerosity
By camerosity (Mar 15, 2012)

please sign this petition:

http://www.change.org/petitions/nikon-inc-keep-selling-repair-parts-in-the-usa-as-they-have-always-done

1 upvote
camerosity
By camerosity (Mar 15, 2012)

this will hurt Nikon tremendously. because it makes it way way harder to get your camera serviced. photographers will again turn to Canon for their next camera purchase. Nikon is painting themselves into a corner, with no way out. well, it was a great company at one time, but if you force me to send the camera to you for servicing, forget it. I can't wait that long, I need same day service, you can't do that but a good independent camera repair tech can. He can order the part, and when it comes in, I bring my camera in, pay a rush charge, and it is done the same day. Simple. But no longer possible with Nikon. Sorry Nikon, you lose.

3 upvotes
PhotoKnucleHead
By PhotoKnucleHead (Mar 14, 2012)

I've noticed most posts are from serious photo takers. As an amateur, using a point and shoot, I have yet to see a Nikon point and shoot made in Japan. So much for quality and workmanship.When my lens broke I had to purchase an entire lens assembly when all that was wrong was a broken gear. The lens cost $100.00. I'm sure the gear cost lens than .10 cents, but Nikon doesn't sell them.
Guess I just wanted you Pro's to know your not alone.

1 upvote
mblg
By mblg (Mar 14, 2012)

Cr@ppy PR BS !

1 upvote
KuroKam
By KuroKam (Mar 14, 2012)

F9 then whine...

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Mar 14, 2012)

Let's be honest, here. It's a testament to Nikon's name that they can get away with something like this. And people are not going to switch to Sony or Olympus any more than they will refuse to buy the 5DIII because they think it's too expensive.

0 upvotes
browndt
By browndt (Mar 14, 2012)

restraint of trade, and it's all about the money.
As I'm in the process of deciding which system to buy into, Nikon have helped me out enormously, it won't be them.

4 upvotes
Paul Guba
By Paul Guba (Mar 14, 2012)

Nikon Service Representative located in Dominican Republic. So I spent an hour on the phone again trying to find out the status of my lens repair. We need to contact the lens repairs center is all I hear. Waiting on a part. Was told the part would arrive 2 weeks ago, now saying maybe another 2 week possibly. Does anyone know for sure. NO! Why can't you just ask someone in repair? Because its in a different country thats why! So Nikon has had the lens for a month now and no idea when the work is going to begin. That is what they call service.

No record in their online system I am seriously wondering if it is lost.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Mar 14, 2012)

Looks like Nikon is just as much of a bullying bast@ard as Canon is.

And I just "love" how after someone buys their overpriced cameras, they immediately threaten you with voiding your camera's warranty.

I think both Nikon and Canon are feeling the heat from the other digital camera makers, which is why their combined market share is drastically shrinking.

1 upvote
wetsleet
By wetsleet (Mar 14, 2012)

dunno how it works in the colonies, but here in Blighty the guarantee is provided by the retailer and is written in statute - the manufacturer can not void the statutory warranty because it is nothing to do with them.

1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Mar 14, 2012)

Nobody is "voiding" the warranty. This story is about Nikon controlling who can provide service and warranty service always had to be done at specific Nikon centers anyway.

1 upvote
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Mar 14, 2012)

Acually, in some cases they are absolutely trying to void the warranty. A U.S. customer buys a camera, knowingly or unknowingly that was not imported by Nikon USA. Camera has a Nikon worldwide warranty--but the USA is not part of the world. Nikon says we will not service our own product, even if you pay us a million dollars. Customer goes to independant repair station and is told sorry, we cannot get parts.

4 upvotes
unotisto
By unotisto (Mar 14, 2012)

I know I'll buy another Nikon. The 75-150 series e. Something that will probably never need Nikon's service.

0 upvotes
closeupfanatic
By closeupfanatic (Mar 14, 2012)

None of Nikon's comments apply to lenses. Every camera store I know of in Ottawa recommends local Canadian Camera for out-of-warranty repairs over sending it off to Nikon.

0 upvotes
paddleleps
By paddleleps (Mar 14, 2012)

Nikon forgets that a customer doesn't really care about whether a repair is in warranty or out of warranty repair. If you make some or all of your income from photography you just want your camera repaired PROMPTLY. In my 30 year experience as a pro, during which I have been primarily (but not exclusively) a nikon I have yet to experience a prompt repair from Nikon. I am not bashing just being honest. The main reason I sought out independent repair was the service I got directly from Nikon was exceedingly poor. Whether you are talking about the 70', 80's 90's or in the 21st century. Bottom line is Nikon just has little respect for their customers. All you have to do is read the post from the fellow who could not get the a nikon service manager on the phone. But could easily do so with canon. KUDOS! to canon. They get it. Their reward will be more customers and a larger market share.

6 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Mar 14, 2012)

The overpriced Canikons are losing market share.... not gaining it.

1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Mar 14, 2012)

Overpriced? In any of the categories that the other makers compete in (so under $2000), Canon and Nikon are often the best priced option.

Unfortunately, there are really any professional options outside of Canon and Nikon.

Comment edited 38 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Higuel
By Higuel (4 months ago)

tkbslc, with all due respect: Writte less and Read more and before! Dpreview is actually a VERY GOOD place for it!!! :D

1 upvote
CapeCawder
By CapeCawder (Mar 14, 2012)

From a business standpoint, does Nikon have stats on how many of their cameras are being repaired out-of-warranty each year by independents? It must be a lot to have made such a decision. I see where they are concerned about the quality of the service the customer gets but what about time factors? Without an increase of service centers or additional help added to the service centers, what should be the expected turn-around time? Sorry, don't tell me about how technical the problems are - your turn around time is being slowed down by items in line to be repaired along with parts not being available even in your service centers. Which then begs the question - will in-warranty get the same priority that out-of-warranty repairs get, that customers have to pay for?

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
heavyrunner
By heavyrunner (Mar 14, 2012)

I sent my S710 compact camera to Nikon a month ago for repair. I like the camera because it is one of the few compacts with full manual control.

I can't get a straight story out of Nikon repair. I have called them several times, and actually gotten through to an agent twice. Both times they were unable to tell me where my camera is. The first agent told me that UPS had already delivered a replacement camera. Unfortunately the delivery date was before I had authorized any repair. Then she asked me when I "moved from Idaho." I live in California and have never lived in Idaho. I have an unusual last name. If you just put it in Google with no first you get me. The 2nd agent told me they were replalcing with a dif model which is unacceptable. Both agents asked for more time and said they would call me back tomorrow or in 4 hours. Neither called back. So they already act like a monopoly.

3 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Mar 14, 2012)

Thanks for bringing this to our attention, heavyrunner. I am sure there are some interested attorneys reading this story and these posts who will have a great time with the class action suit against Nikon USA.

I would never buy a camera from a dumb-dumb mfr that restrict the availability of spare parts for their defecting products to anyone.

1 upvote
Nutsfortubes
By Nutsfortubes (Mar 14, 2012)

This why I buy used and 2 gens. back if my D200 dies in 2 or 3 years I'll buy another used body. I can see the next step in the evolution of this " sorry we no longer have parts to fix your D???" .

1 upvote
cesaregal
By cesaregal (Mar 14, 2012)

@ dpreview: technical reviews are useful but now we need service to the customer reviews too.

1 upvote
Asoshkin
By Asoshkin (Mar 14, 2012)

I really had such a bad experience with Nikon repair that I needed to get in touch with David Dentry to try to get the matter resolved and the receptionist at Nikon told me that he doesn't except phone calls from customers. Which I found very odd since he is manager of customer relations. I was left with no one to turn to. I was waiting for someone to call me from the customer service department for couple of days. I was really thinking of selling my gear and going with canon. But I thought to myself if their customer service is the same. I called canon and asked to talk to a manager of customer service and after a minute on hold I was connected with the manager of customer service. I can not believe how different the support is. It has been a few months now and no one from customer relations ever got back with me. I had to deal with other reps from different dept. To get my issue resolved, which took weeks. I still shoot with Nikon, but when I decide to upgrade, I will think twice.

7 upvotes
GMack
By GMack (Mar 14, 2012)

So the head of customer service won't take calls from dissatisfied customers eh? Tells you what they think of their customer base. If you Google his name and Forrester, you can find out the mission statement is ROI (Return on Investment). To log complaints makes the service stat numbers look bad for him. Expect no response = "No complaints seen here, so we must be doing really good." Amazing.

On the other hand, look at what Canon service is like. http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=48091

Canon will sell you almost anything to fix your own gear without needing to be without it for a month. Even a LCD screen for your compact! That's how service should be run.

3 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Mar 14, 2012)

I am getting pretty sick and tired of these grossly arrogant Japanese monster companies. We don't CARE about your Japan and how you do things there. As we do not LIVE in Japan (or want to).

0 upvotes
V2SJ
By V2SJ (Mar 14, 2012)

I was thinking about switch to other Oly, Now for sure.

1 upvote
Lhdz12
By Lhdz12 (Aug 21, 2012)

Sounds like the Manager for Nikon Customer Service needs to be fired and replaced with a human being.

1 upvote
knowledgeseeker
By knowledgeseeker (Mar 14, 2012)

This is unconscionable. I love my Nikon DSLR and lenses, but had this policy been in effect when I bought into Nikon, I would have gone with Canon (or, nowadays, Sony or Oly or ???).

6 upvotes
Douglas69
By Douglas69 (Mar 14, 2012)

This is very curious. I remember in the dying days of Minolta that the local repair centre I have used for 20 years (Nikon authorised too incidentally) put a sign on their window "We no longer repair Minolta cameras and will no longer service Minolta cameras under warranty".

On further investigation it turned out Minolta had been dragging their feet in paying them and often supply of parts took months instead of days. Repairing Minolta cameras was getting them a bad name for service.

This firm has repaired my Nikons for nearly 10 years. I only use Nikon because I know I can get premium service from them. They don't have all the gear on Nikon's service recommendation list. If a job is out of their scope, they send it to Japan for repair. I dropped using the big 'C' because of their 2 to 3 week turnaround for repairs and insistence only their workshop could repair their cameras under warranty.

1 upvote
love_them_all
By love_them_all (Mar 14, 2012)

For top of the line cameras I will let it slide. But anything selling around $1000 should be readily available for service anywhere where Nikon is over 100 miles away. Stupid policy and greed!

5 upvotes
Total comments: 302
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