Second time BACK to Nikon Service - Please offer advice

Started Feb 16, 2012 | Discussions thread
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tundracamper Senior Member • Posts: 1,818
Second time BACK to Nikon Service - Please offer advice

I could really use some advice on how to deal with Nikon Service. I tried to talk to a Service Manager today but the rep just wanted to issue a return ticket and get me off the phone. I had not planned on venting this publically, but Nikon is not responding, so I don’t know what to do. Perhaps the story below will show why.

At some point, my 8-month old 200 F/2.0 VR1 developed a crack near the perimeter on the second lens element from the end. Also, the lens would occasionally continue focusing even after I released the focus button on the camera. I sent the lens to Nikon. I won’t discuss all the issues with getting the lens in the system and initial delays, as that is not really relevant to this story. Below is a photo showing the small crack. The lens was shipped to Nikon in all of the original packing, including the little foam around the lens foot.

After spending more than $500 for repair (they said it was impact damage and I couldn’t come up with an argument), the lens finally came back after a long hold for parts. Besides coming back without the rear lens cap and missing most of the original lens cover packaging, including the lens foot cover and internal lens cover, I immediately noticed a new dimple in the aperture blades, as shown in the photo below. I immediately called Nikon Service and they issued a return label.

I just got the lens back for the second time this afternoon. First thing I notice is that my original lens box is gone. They just wrapped the lens case in bubble wrap, slapped it in a box with some peanuts, and shipped it off (they were nice enough to replace the lens cap – by shoving the extra inside the lens case). The returned package was almost two pounds lighter. They tightened the lens hood on the rubber instead of the metal and now the rubber at the end of the lens is a little deformed. Then, I look down inside the lens and notice what appears to be a piece of plastic sticking out, as shown below. The metal in that area looks marred or painted. I attempted to get a Nikon Service Manager on the phone, but after holding for about 10 minutes the rep suggested the only option was to e-mail me another return label so they can “evaluate.”

Am I being too picky to suggest that my lens should be clean internally? I paid for cleaning in my original repair. In addition to this plastic protrusion, there appear to be some very small specks (but it is hard to tell). I am afraid to send it back again as it comes back worse packing-wise each time. Nikon Service has been extremely disappointing to me in this endeavor – I’m not so much of a Nikon-boy anymore.

What should I do? Send it off again and wait? Being without my lens for almost 3 months is getting frustrating, particularly with sports season approaching. I wish someone at Nikon, with real authority, would contact me. However, I suppose the same people will fix the lens and it won’t matter anyway. (It seems I should've heeded my wife's initial advice to not worried about that little crack.)

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