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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
munro harrap
By munro harrap (Mar 13, 2012)

I am all in favour, because already when cameras go for servicing they get outsourced to just about anyone, and I have had problems,with manufacturers not repairing or servicing the equipment themselves but getting retailers to send them to an "authorized" repairer.

They may be authorized, but in my own experience you only get a proper service/repair IF you can persuade the retailer or Nikon or whoever to do it for you themselves.

And manufacturers should all repair EVERYTHING they have made themselves. Its no good saying, sorry, we dont do D1s any more or F100s or F4s any more, and that lens, you know the 55mm macro with the oil WE put on the aperture blades, well, we don't do those either- that is not only not good enough, it is just unprofessional and really bad business.

So, yes, do it, but DO IT ALL!

1 upvote
itsastickup
By itsastickup (Mar 13, 2012)

"And manufacturers should all repair EVERYTHING they have made themselves. Its no good saying, sorry, we dont do D1s any more or F100s or F4s any more, and that lens, you know the 55mm macro with the oil WE put on the aperture blades, well, we don't do those either- that is not only not good enough, it is just unprofessional and really bad business."

It's good business. Supporting obsolete technology is not their business. Other people are geared up for that. And professionalism has nothing to do with this issue: it's a business decision. They are not in business for you or for independent repairers but rather for themselves.

I am in favour because it's a private business and they can should be able to do what they like. In these economic times it may make a lot of sense.

In the meantime unless they change their policy I will NOT be buying a Nikon. But I'm probably not the demographic to whom they sell the most.

0 upvotes
Javier40
By Javier40 (Mar 13, 2012)

I don't know how is the Nikon service in USA, but in Spain, the official Nikon service is substandard. The first thing they do when you give them for repair the DSLR is to put the objective out of the camera, so you get the sensor absolutely dirty. Then, when you receive the camera, they try to charge you with a "cleaning service" that is absolutely useless, because of the camera sensor is dirty forever. Now I have a Nikon D70 that I cannot use because of the dust in the sensor, and I use my small Panasonic bridge camera. I can't imagine that an independent service should perform as low quality service thant the official Nikon service

0 upvotes
Biowizard
By Biowizard (Mar 13, 2012)

EVERY time I get close to switching to Nikon (and the D800 is the latest temptation), something like this comes up that makes me decide that I still love Olympus.

Brian

1 upvote
NikonScavenger
By NikonScavenger (Mar 13, 2012)

I haven't been too pleased with Canon's consumer service, either. They sold me a refurbished 40D with a broken flash module and greasy skidmarks all over the sensor from a bad cleaning attempt (I doubt the camera was even inspected when it was returned by the consumer), and when I wanted a refund, their techs demanded that I send them sample photos, emails which they never responded to BTW, before they would even entertain the flash wasn't working and there was sensor dirt.

Any time a company does something "for the consumer" like this means they're starving for cash.

2 upvotes
richbike
By richbike (Mar 13, 2012)

Looks like they've been eyeing up Apple's cash mountain and fancy having a crack at the walled garden approach.

Next thing... fully encrypted RAW files which Nikon automatically retains copyright to, and then leases the images back to the photographer.

Pity really; my D70 is still doing the business....but when it stops I increasingly see me looking elsewhere (especially for a smaller mirrorless solution).

1 upvote
jtan163
By jtan163 (Mar 13, 2012)

Hey!
Don't give them ideas!

0 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (Mar 13, 2012)

This reminds me of the time I sent in my D2x and they sent it back with a fingerprint between the prism and the focusing screen.

I guess the craftsman's unique fingerprint was immutable, and I should appreciate the extra touch that Nikon's official repair department imparts. I doubt I could get service like that elsewhere.

3 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Mar 13, 2012)

Nikon you are going the way of Kodak...

Expensive repair tools and equipment only exclusively sold and sourced from you... just like the APS system Koday tried to pull the rug under the consumer... look at Kodak now... huh?

Do you WANT THAT, Nikon? Hmm?

.

6 upvotes
nightshadow1
By nightshadow1 (Mar 13, 2012)

Part 3

They don't get the picture that the US prices are the best, so their grey market analysis and reasoning is just BS!

A global company should have global service!

0 upvotes
nightshadow1
By nightshadow1 (Mar 13, 2012)

Part 2
What - no expedited service (no service at all) to get a camera worth thousands, working again before resuming a trip? And, the way I read their website definition, that shouldn't be considered grey market... not purchased to re sell or to save money, but purchased because that is where one lives!

GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE BY NIKON! So if they now restrict supplies to the repair shops, they are effectively keeping any foreign buyers from getting any authorized service while in the US.

The amazing thing is... when I take my US bought body and lenses into the Thai Nikon distributor, I am given great service and complete courtesy and respect ... I am never told to send it to the US.

OK Nikon... are you saying the equipment should not be used outside of the country where it was purchased? And NO SERVICE in the USA? Maybe it is time for all of us to write to our Congressmen!

0 upvotes
nightshadow1
By nightshadow1 (Mar 13, 2012)

Part 1
My Nikon USA Experience. I want to buy in the USA (I am a US citizen living in Thailand) because the US prices are the lowest because of the value of the dollar. And I buy there (in the US) when I can. Recently I registered my equipment with Nikon USA and received the information that one of my bodies was grey market and couldn't be registered.

Their definition of grey market goes something like ...If you live in the US but buy overseas to save money etc... it is grey market. So I told them (I can forward the emails and responses) that I live in Thailand and...blah blah... what do I do if I am visiting the US and have a problem with that camera ? They said I would have to send it to Thailand for repair and will not be able to have ANY NIKON authorized repairs done to that grey market equipment.

0 upvotes
wetsleet
By wetsleet (Mar 13, 2012)

so what do pro photo-journalists do when their equipment needs urgent repair whilst on a foreign assignment? That must happen. Do they have to post it back to the country they bought it in? I can see that going down well with the news desk!

Comment edited 16 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
duartix
By duartix (Mar 13, 2012)

Well, I suppose they either wait to get home or get milked for a service outside warranty since it's probably their employer paying for it.

Comment edited 36 seconds after posting
1 upvote
wetsleet
By wetsleet (Mar 13, 2012)

"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."

'Often times', 'timely fashion', 'less waiting time', 'less cost' - where are the hard numbers? Pehaps Dentry can link to the published research to back up his counter-intuitive assumptions. And where is the independent monitoring to record and report on the beneficial change in those metrics as the policy starts to bite? Surely Dentry will have that in place to verify that this policy is having its intended beneficial effect?

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Ivanaker
By Ivanaker (Mar 13, 2012)

Cheapest electronics in the world are in the USA. And you even have legal grey market which makes your products even cheaper. I also think that repairs are cheapest in US. And yet you complain about some company that is refusing to sell parts to another company that dont have certificate from 1st company about using those parts.
I just dont get it? Who would even want to repair their 14-24 at some random shop?

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
1 upvote
nightshadow1
By nightshadow1 (Mar 13, 2012)

Why? See my 3 posts - nightshadow1. Why, because Nikon will not repair any equipment purchased outside of the country, so what is the alternative?

I would much prefer Nikon to repair - in every country, but Nikon will sell world wide, but won't repair!

And this policy restricts the repair possibility even more.

2 upvotes
Preternatural Stuff
By Preternatural Stuff (Mar 13, 2012)

If you are a pro and depend on your camera for a living, you wouldn't go with Nikon.

Canon customer service has always been first rate because their centres are not just for camera owners but also printer/scanner/copier owners. Wherever one travels, Canon service centres are more widely available too.

The economies of scale means that they can operate more official Canon service centers without consumers having to rely on a network of affiliate/independent players. The prices for repair has always been good and response time for quick no fuss checks has always been 1st rate.

Its not just the Canon professionals who benefit.

0 upvotes
nightshadow1
By nightshadow1 (Mar 13, 2012)

See my posts to complain about Nikon, but here is my Canon story.

I bought a high priced Canon printer a few years ago. About 3 months after the purchase I had to move to Thailand - where the printer was manufactured. It broke - I took it into the Canon HQ in Bangkok and was told to send it to the US and they would not repair it.

I was also refused service by canon here on a little point and shoot camera here because the "authorized" dealer (who was a really authorized Canon dealer) didn't send in, or Canon couldn't find the warrantee card that they had to send to Canon.

That was even after the "defect" was confirmed by Canon worldwide to be a manufacturing defect that usually caused problems in high temperature/high humidity areas.

I guess the service depends not on the Worldwide brand, but how the individual countries' distributors choose to honor the warranties. In the US, at least, there are "implied warranties" where is that for Nikon?

In the US, I like Canon, here Nikon.

0 upvotes
HarrieD7000
By HarrieD7000 (Mar 13, 2012)

I know this is harsh for the independent repair shops. But if special tools are needed for calibration, after repair, I only want my equipment repaired in a shop, that has that special tools. Repair is not only replacing defective parts. Bringing the camera or lens within the specs are essential to. I only want my camera and lenses in a repair shop, that is certified by Nikon.

1 upvote
wlachan
By wlachan (Mar 13, 2012)

Many minor repairs require no special calibration and can be done by skillful people. Not selling parts to individuals mean consumers will pay eventually and large amount of savable gears would end up in landfill much sooner. Nikon have done Canon a great favour in this case.

2 upvotes
Camerarepairguy
By Camerarepairguy (Mar 13, 2012)

That's just it, specialty tools are not required for more than 95% af all repairs. Speeking from experience, the authorized shops almost never use the "Required Equipment" and they hate the fact that Nikon requires the stuff because of the unnecessary cost. I know what you are saying and it seems to make sense but it just isn't true. The Nikon Authorized shops I'm close with rarely use their expensive gear (Less than 5% of the time). Most independent shops have expensive and highly technical equipment and will bring your gear back into "specs". Often, we repair the equipment that Nikon returns supposedly "Repaired", almost always due to poor workmanship at their service center. Don't get me wrong, I think Nikon makes a good product but after sale service and suppoprt are disappearing quickly. The specialty tools and equipment excuse just doesn't hold water.

4 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (Mar 13, 2012)

Why can't they only limit the supply of those parts that do require the use of special Nikon calibration tools after replacement to authorized dealers, and continue to supply all other parts that don't to legitimate 3rd party repair shops?

0 upvotes
sorinx
By sorinx (Mar 13, 2012)

It is a very bad decision from dpreview to not have a "dislike" button.

I hate people that know nothing about a subject but talk like they know everything.

1 upvote
offshore13
By offshore13 (Mar 13, 2012)

This is one of the reason why I opt to go Canon here in the Philippines. They only have one authorized service center and distributor. If you bought your Nikon Gear somewhere else, they'll give you an additional charge.

0 upvotes
Camerarepairguy
By Camerarepairguy (Mar 13, 2012)

(Continuation)
Warning for Nikon shooters: Most of the Nikon Pro's we work with are planning to dump their Nikon gear online and move to something else. You may see the value of used Nikon gear slowly and continually drop due to a flood on Ebay. Most of these Pro's are moving quickly to do this so they can get the most value for their stuff.

Finally, imagine dropping your Nikon camera and breaking the lens mount off your AF-S lens. Not covered under warranty and will cost approximately $80.00-$160.00 and will take 4-6 weeks (if your lucky) if sent to Nikon. Most local shops will do this repair for $40 to $60 and it'll be back to you by the next day. This type of repair requires no "special equipment" and is very common. No repair parts means your sending it out and shelling it out ($$). Nikon won't even sell battery doors anymore!!

I own a few Nikon cameras and they make a good product. But, when I make a purchasing decision I always consider what service is available. Good luck all.

4 upvotes
dervish_candela
By dervish_candela (Mar 13, 2012)

blaming independent services? what's next, spreading rumors about counterfeit wares to cover up qc failures? way to go, nikon. nobody will fall for that bs.

and canon now has autofocus in 5D. hmmmmm....

0 upvotes
Camerarepairguy
By Camerarepairguy (Mar 13, 2012)

Continuation)
The ASC's are all waiting for lots of common parts from Nikon with no expected delivery date. I have 7 customers waiting for their D5000's that are at Nikon Service for common warranty repairs and they are all waiting for parts. No ETA.

I work with dozens of schools that shoot Nikon gear and they are all planning to switch to another make due this issue. Think about it, Students are hard on the stuff. When it breaks the school is short equiptment and they need it repaired quickly and affordably. Budgets are slim for all of them. Local independent repair shops almost always have more affordable repair costs, usually more than 50% less.

The ASC's need to watch out. They are out major $$$ for required equipment (most of which they never use because there are better methods and beter tools) and no guarantee that Nikon will stay committed to them for more than a 30 day notice.

In the end, it is the customer that will suffer most. A monopoly is never good for the customer.

4 upvotes
ZAnton
By ZAnton (Mar 13, 2012)

Yep, service is a source of money and Nikon is not going to share it with anyone.
For customers it means that it will just get much more expensive and longer.

Comment edited 49 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Nuno Souto
By Nuno Souto (Mar 13, 2012)

Nikon:
it is
I-N-E-X-C-U-S-A-B-L-E!
No exceptions.

1 upvote
Camerarepairguy
By Camerarepairguy (Mar 13, 2012)

(Continuation)
Nikon's next step was to notify the ASC's that repair parts will be virtually unavailable for the following camera and lens models:
D7000
D3000
D3100
D5100
D300s
D90
D80
D70s
Lenses:
AF-S 24-120mm VR
AF-S 16-85mm VR
AF-S 18-105mm VR
AF-S 18-135mm G
AF-S 18-200mm VR (Both Versions)
AF-S 18-55mm II
AF-S 18-55mm VR
AF-S 55-200mm G
AF-S 55-200mm VR
AF-S 24-85 G
AF-S 70-300 VR (f:4.5-5.6)

They told the ASC's to send these models in to Nikon for repair. As you can see, these models are very common and most Nikon shooters own one or more of them. You best hope you don't have a repair need for any of these.

Next, what about the long waits for repairs? We send equipment in to Nikon for Warranty work often (More often them most other manufacturers) and rarely have any of it back within 5 weeks. Mostly it's longer. Do we believe the repair time will be faster with no option for repairs locally? What about non-warranty repairs? Ever drop your camera? Gotten it wet?

3 upvotes
Davide Trombini
By Davide Trombini (Mar 13, 2012)

This doesn't sound promising for the consumer at all. But, if I'm not wrong, it's pretty much the same here in EU (some part, at least): the gear goes back to Nikon even when you take it to the shop.

Bad move Nikon.

1 upvote
Camerarepairguy
By Camerarepairguy (Mar 13, 2012)

I have been a a camera repair technician for over 10 years and am very informed concerning this issue. I received the formal notification from Nikon that I would not be able to purchase repair parts any further. I also have many friends in the repair business, some of them work at Nikon Authorized" repair shops. Here's the real skinny:

Nikon stated the weak explanation about quality control. The Illinois Attorney General contacted Nikon and received the following response: 'Nikon Inc, will continue to sell repair parts to independent Nikon ASC's, which are free to set their own rates for repairs. Thus a consumer will not have to send their camera to Nikon Inc, for servicing'.

Nikon will not allow the ASC's to sell repair parts to anyone, including the camera owner. Is this really independent? They have to prepay for repair parts (they then own them) and can't even sell them like any other personally owned item. (Running out of character space - will post more in another comment).

6 upvotes
wlachan
By wlachan (Mar 13, 2012)

Unable to obtain parts is one important reason not to buy certain brands. Well done Nikon.

2 upvotes
snake_b
By snake_b (Mar 13, 2012)

I wouldn't mind buying Nikon if they had something suitable for me, but I also know of their horrendous service in Melville.

I guess this is a "Buyer Beware" if you buy in the US.

3 upvotes
rfinkels
By rfinkels (Mar 13, 2012)

I brought a common lens with a focusing problem in to a local repair shop. After a full year where Nikon wouldn't ship the needed part the shop finally just sent the lens in to Nikon. After 6 months they sent it back as "fixed" although they hadn't touched it! After another 6 months of "expedited" service they simply sent it back saying they couldn't get the part. This of course means that for a 2 year period their database couldn't shed light on the true availability of their parts or supply line. This was a TERRIBLE experience.

1 upvote
fad
By fad (Mar 13, 2012)

I do not care about the cost of repair. But when I sent my D3s to Melville they held onto it for weeks, and then sent it back with something new broken. They sent me an authorization to repair their mistake, but I could not afford to be without my camera for that long, although my Canon backup is a first rate camera, it is a little old.

At least when I get my D4 and D800e I will have Nikon backup.

But anyone who relies on only one Nikon camera, professional or serious amateur, is taking an unacceptable risk, given the nature of their repair service.

I would take my chance with Canon, in that case. Canon cameras are excellent, and they do not try to screw their cusomers on repair.

0 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (Mar 13, 2012)

No Photography business should rely on only one camera! When it's something your business can't function without the old saying of "one is none and two is one" applies.

0 upvotes
Ithackermike
By Ithackermike (Mar 13, 2012)

This may not be about Grey market but rather it may be about getting more repair volume through their own repair centers to justify keeping them open.

0 upvotes
jenbenn
By jenbenn (Mar 13, 2012)

I hate how these quasi monopolists in the DSLR marcket cut customer care for profit. As a professionell shooter I am dependent on small repair shops which can quickly fix easy things like a broken shutter release button, a stuck control wheel or a million other small parts that do break from time to time on a camera that gets abused on the road.

Any person with some dexter hands and a bit of experience can do these simple fixes. The camera manufacturers sell only assembly groups anyway which are pre-calibrated. E.g the repair shop can only replace a camera's main, board, sensor board or the mirror box including, AF and AE sensors, viewfinder etc. as a whole. There are only few instances inthe repair process that require calibration. Eg. if you replace the lens mount or the sensor and need to re-align both. For thoses rare big repairs (which are usually economically unviable anyway) one can always send the cam to the manufacturer. For everything else, let the small place live!

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Mar 13, 2012)

The reason given isn't the reason. Nikon USA has had a long and difficult history with gray market, going back to the EPOI days. Since gray market isn't illegal, Nikon US can't effectively go after the source, leaving them to target the customer. Crazy, I know. The idea is that if a US customer knowingly or unknowingly buys a gray product Nikon will refuse to service it. They have even gone so far as to refuse to repair these products if the customer is willing to pay. But those crafty customers have found they can sometimes get their Nikon fixed by an independent repair facility so Nikon is closing this window of opportunity. BTW, I'm a Nikon owner. But I'm not a fan. And I have never bought anything gray.

0 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (Mar 13, 2012)

If Nikon is so concerned with grey market why do they let dealers like B&H openly sell grey market Nikon products? All they would have to do is threaten to stop sending cameras and lenses to B&H unless they stopped selling grey market items. B&H needs Nikon way more than Nikon needs B&H.

1 upvote
micahmedia
By micahmedia (Mar 13, 2012)

The trick is that "Nikon" isn't concerned a bit. Nikon USA, an independently (and poorly) run subsidiary is concerned. Papa Nikon should give Nikon USA the boot.

0 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (Mar 13, 2012)

B&H is located in the U.S. It is Nikon USA that supplies them with cameras.

0 upvotes
tedbare
By tedbare (Mar 13, 2012)

Not going to make a bit of difference to me. Over the years I've sent gear in to Nikon service in San Diego at least a dozen times. Not once did I get poor customer service or what I thought was an unreasonable cost to repair.

1 upvote
filmluvr
By filmluvr (Mar 13, 2012)

Pizz-poor customer service. This is exactly the reason I left Nikon.

0 upvotes
Essai
By Essai (Mar 13, 2012)

Nikon's defense = epic fail

1 upvote
Jay A
By Jay A (Mar 13, 2012)

I am SOOO glad I dumped all my Nikon gear a few years ago. What an absolutely disgusting company they have become.

7 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (Mar 13, 2012)

Could be that Nikon just got sick of having to fix camera's that unauthorized repair shops screwed up. We have no idea how many times customers have complained to Nikon that "Jim Bob's" camera shop screwed up their camera, not understanding the differnce between authorized and unauthorized repair centers. Maybe Nikon just got sick of people being mad at them for others repair mistakes.

1 upvote
burnaby
By burnaby (Mar 13, 2012)

I bet you Nikon screwed up more than anybody else! How many time you heard people complaint equipments has to go back to service centre multiple time before they finally fix it.

2 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (Mar 13, 2012)

The only place I have read such complaints is DPR and that is an insignificant fraction of the total number Nikon camera owners.

Besides even if Nikon's authorized repair centers could be better, it still doesn't mean Nikon wants to take flak for Unauthorized repair center screw ups. Most people don't realize they are gambling every time they use an unauthorized repair center.

0 upvotes
fritz982
By fritz982 (Mar 13, 2012)

Nikon what a line of just plain Crap! Your a Company that is fast becoming The epitome of true greed!I've personally seen Some of your repairs, and your Definitely not perfect either!

0 upvotes
ozgoldman
By ozgoldman (Mar 13, 2012)

I'd like to see Nikon try that in Australia, as they would be fined zillions of $$$$. Restrictive trade practices are illegal here, and so they should be.

6 upvotes
Octane
By Octane (Mar 13, 2012)

like they got sued in the EU when they didn't allow cameras to be sold across EU borders in order to fix prices.

7 upvotes
digitall
By digitall (Mar 13, 2012)

You are surely joking! Customers in Australia are at the mercy of all the big duopolies and monopolies, importers etc. We pay full 'recommended retail price' and are offered the most paltry discounts imaginable. No competition at all and we pay dearly for everything. Nikon black list 'grey' imports, won't even repair such cameras even if you pay. Try and get anything done about that.

Same with power tools. A compound mitre saw which retails for about $1,100 dollars here goes for about $400-500 in the USA.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
kryten61
By kryten61 (Mar 13, 2012)

Really? 5dMk111 is virtually on parity with US pricing, GST allowed for. RRP? What's that? 280 million ppl versus 20? Its funny I have been in camera stores when a guy walked in and thanked the guy for recomending a camera, that he then bought online. What price is someones time and expertise worth? What line of work do you work in? Do u they make a profit? Do they pay u from that profit?

0 upvotes
dannyboy5400
By dannyboy5400 (Mar 13, 2012)

What a lousy move. My last item sent to Nikon was confirmed delivered to Nikon in NY. They promptly LOST my lens. They denied having it. 4 months later they sent it back to me UNREPAIRED. I will never trust Nikon with that repair again and now they want to end parts to a local and more reliable mom and pop shop. What bad move. Yes, I can vote with my wallet and I own 2 systems, maybe it is time I invested more in the other one.

8 upvotes
karlreed
By karlreed (Mar 13, 2012)

Attack on gray marketing.. This could be an attack on gray marketing. Retailers selling gray items often offer warranties using their own repair centre's If these are not Nikon authorised, then they won't be able to get spares, and, warranties will effectively be in operable.

I wonder if it violates competition law in Australia,or other countries..

Karl

0 upvotes
David Borche
By David Borche (Mar 13, 2012)

If it was a true attack on grey-market, then why not punish the grey-market retailers? Everyone know B&H sells grey-market - they say it right there on the item. If Nikon really didn't want them to sell grey-market, then they would threaten to take away their dealer status.

1 upvote
bpdougd
By bpdougd (Mar 13, 2012)

Bitching here does zero good. If everyone who is upset by this and thinks it is a really bad idea would simply write to Mr Dentry (yes, old fashioned, dead-tree, put-it-in-an-envelope letters), we might get somewhere. I intend to share my opinion with Mr Dentry at Nikon Inc, 1300 Walt Whitman Road, Melville, N.Y. 11747-3064. Join me.

3 upvotes
argonzero
By argonzero (Mar 13, 2012)

...I actually might do this. I don't see their solution as logical given that so many have horrible experiences with their service. Also having gray market or after warrant service which might not require Nikon's expertise.

I wouldn't see them changing their minds at all except for with an online petition or lots of physical letters.

1 upvote
mkln
By mkln (Mar 13, 2012)

this is just the usual anti-competitive move by a large company.
hope antitrust has a way of looking at this. and stopping it.

1 upvote
nikonjohn
By nikonjohn (Mar 13, 2012)

I've got a Nikon authorized service center in this area and it worked on a gray market Nikon lens for me a number of years ago. If they can still buy Nikon parts wouldn't they still be able to repair gray market equipment? Of course maybe they shouldn't have been working on it in the first place. Does anyone know?

Another take on this is maybe Nikon can't keep up with the parts demand so they have decided to favor authorized service centers. My 24-70 has been at Melville since February 2nd awaiting parts. That's 5 1/2 weeks of dead time with no end in sight.

4 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (Mar 13, 2012)

Grey market is another way of saying "we screwed up our marketing and pricing and are resentful of you finding a way to save a buck and we're going to punish you for it even though it costs the parent company nothing. We want our bread and we're going to take it out of your flanks, whether you like it or not"

Grey market doesn't hurt the customer. Nikon USA hurts the customer.

0 upvotes
DP10
By DP10 (Mar 13, 2012)

Check this out at the BBB about Nikon quality service, they got an F at the Better Business Bureau, hello Mr. David Dentry is the F stands for FANTASTIC OR FABULOUS at your company, Hey David check out the link below and tell the world about Nikon service.

http://www.la.bbb.org/business-reviews/Commercial-Products-Manufacturer/Nikon-Inc-in-El-Segundo-CA-25750

2 upvotes
VadymA
By VadymA (Mar 13, 2012)

BBB is a corrupted organization. They give A's to everyone who provides donations and F to those who don't. It's a fact.

3 upvotes
Teila Day
By Teila Day (Mar 13, 2012)

I think the BBB has outlived its relevance, and is generally considered worthless.

3 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (Mar 13, 2012)

...no, they give truly horrid service. Well worth an F for "utter fvcking failure." I've been dealing with them for over seven years and I have yet to have a repair go smoothly. And I qualify "smoothly" as "having done the repair needed in a reasonable amount of time, without causing other harm to the camera, and returning it safely" Not once have they hit all of those points. In fact, they've consistently fouled ever one of those points.

I won't pass judgement on the BBB, but I will say that if they give Nikon USA repair an F, they're on the money.

1 upvote
makofoto
By makofoto (Mar 13, 2012)

I used Nikon's for years. At one point I had 15 of their lenses. Switched to Canon, but thinking of getting a D800E ... now having 2nd thoughts.

I've always had good luck with Canon USA repairs. Sigma, not so much ...

0 upvotes
dannyboy5400
By dannyboy5400 (Mar 13, 2012)

I have both systems, More Nikon lenses. While the D800 looks good to me, the hassle of Nikon repairs is making me rethink things now that the 1Dx and 5D3 have better AF systems and radio flashes.

0 upvotes
Cameragenie
By Cameragenie (Mar 13, 2012)

Nikon is about 30 years late in using high tech as a reason that they are the only ones qualified to work on their cameras. When electronic cameras hit the market in the early '80's, there was a great transition from mechanical repairs to electronic repairs that changed the qualifications for repairing cameras. That is when Nikon should have spoke up about their special quals for camera techs.

The independent techs adapted and continued being successful then and are doing the same today. There are many resources available to the non-Nikon trained tech that qualifies him or her to make many repairs on all brands at reasonable or even below market prices. Part of that training is to know your limitations and send such repairs to the factory.

I have been repairing lots of Nikons and other brands for 26 years successfully navigating between what I can do and what the factory should do. There is plenty of work for both of us.

Nikon wants to limit their customers' choices of repair.

1 upvote
makofoto
By makofoto (Mar 13, 2012)

When I was having a Nikkor serviced by a noted non-Nikon biz a number of years ago already, they said Nikon wouldn't give them the parts ... so they got them directly from Japan. Didn't seem to be a big deal ...

0 upvotes
Mark_Peters
By Mark_Peters (Mar 13, 2012)

My D70 stopped working. I sent it to Nikon (Italy) for repairs, I got it back three years later, and it never worked, I contacted Nikon several times after this to repair it but they did not responded, despite repeated attempts to contact them.They charged me Euro 400.00 for the repair

I think independent repair shops are much better and will go the extra mile to ensure that your camera works properly and if it doesn't they will stick with you till it does. They also ensure that Nikon remains competitive.

I finally got it repaired in Phnom Penh, by a street camera mechanic for USD 50.00. It has worked fine since.

1 upvote
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Mar 13, 2012)

three years later... wow.. that must be a record.. even for italy....

3 upvotes
rondhamalam
By rondhamalam (Mar 13, 2012)

wrong ... wrong ... wrong ... wrong ... wrong ... wrong ... wrong ... wrong ... wrong ... wrong ... wrong ... wrong ... wrong ... wrong ... wrong ...

0 upvotes
Chuck Bertone
By Chuck Bertone (Mar 13, 2012)

Over the years many OEMs like Nikon have tried the same tact .. 'quality control'. But the Supreme Court has alway ruled the it is the consumer that controls quality through a free market. Restricting parts sales violates both the spirit and letter of the law. Restricting competition always hurts consumers.

Some have said that independents can just join Nikons 19 or 20 authorized service centers. Nikon is not looking to expand their ASCs, in fact Nikons plans are to reduce ASCs.

The only thing the camera service industry asks is for free and open trade. We aren't afraid of competing against Nikon or anybody else, we have been doing that for 40 years. That's how consumers benefit.

Nikon is attempting to violate fare trade laws in the USA. Every American should ask them to respect and abide by American laws. Frankly what Nikon is suggesting is insulting!

Charles Bertone, Executive Director of SPT. Over 30 years in Camera Repair

9 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (Mar 13, 2012)

As a customer, I agree with you Chuck. Thanks for speaking up!

0 upvotes
Ralph Auletta
By Ralph Auletta (Mar 13, 2012)

It is clear in Nikon's letters to different venues that the Customer, Independent Repair Shops and Nikon Authorized dealers will no longer be able to purchase parts. ONLY Nikon Authorized repair centers will have access to parts in the USA.
The rest of the world won't have any problems like this.

0 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (Mar 13, 2012)

Also, what does this mean for customers? Will they be prohibited from purchasing repair parts as well?

0 upvotes
David Borche
By David Borche (Mar 13, 2012)

If not, how would Nikon know that someone isn't a repair shop? Couldn't just a repair shop say that they are the customer? I'm pretty sure they have included all customers with independent repair shops.

0 upvotes
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