Miserable Nikon Support Experience

Started Apr 5, 2012 | Discussions thread
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byteseller Regular Member • Posts: 161
Miserable Nikon Support Experience

Wanted to relate/share this recent experience with Nikon Support and Customer Service as an FYI to all the Nikon users here....

Long Story short(er):

1. Nikon USA is unbelievably unresponsive and unfriendly even when dealing with loyal customers (30+ years)

2. Nikon USA's Product Registration system is either incompetently designed, hopelessly antiquate, and/or purposely passively aggressive. Unfortunately, since Nikon USA's repair service department apparently depends on this information, the situation is no better here.

3. The above means that YOU may unwittingly own a grey market Nikon product that may become junk if service is ever required. You can register said lens/camera/flash with Nikon USA with no apparent problem -- and therefore expect that all is well. If you need service on one of your products you will need to fill out a service request form, submit it to Nikon (WITH the serial number), pay to ship it to Nikon (about $30 in my case), wait two weeks only to have Nikon tell you that the equipment you sent in is "Grey Market" and they will not work on it, even on a paid basis.

In my case, the lens in question is an 18-200mm VR was given to me by my wife a few years back. She, not being a photographer may have either accidentally ordered a "grey market" lens, not having any idea what this meant, or the reseller may have purposely (maliciously?) sold her a grey-market lens without informing her -- at this point there is no way of knowing.

Up to this point Nikon USA is obviously blameless, but from here on it boggles the imagination as to how backwards their support systems are, or how purposely aggravating they are willing to be to their customers. In particular, I have to ask the following questions:

1. How is it possible that Nikon USA does not know based on the serial number provided at the time of completing the Product Registry ( http://support.nikonusa.com/app/product_registration ) that a particular item is not a US product. Or why if they know it is not a US productm why they choose to not warn their customer about this problem. For heaven's sake we live in the 21st century… if I supply Apple or Dell or (probably) Canon with a serial number, they can perfectly well and immediately tell me when it was manufactured, if it is under warranty, what the specs are, etc, etc

2. Having failed to warn customers about potential problems with a particular product based on their own product registration information, how is it possible to complete a service form ( http://form.nikonimagesvcapprove.com/ ) and STILL not have them notify you of a potential product/warranty issue. HOW?

3. Can Nikon USA's official policy be to have customers waste money and time as further punishment for having ended up with a grey market item? According to "Steve" at Nikon USA's Customer Service (tel 631-547- ), the actual determination if an item can even be SERVICE AT ALL can ONLY BE MADE when the technicians have received a product…. i.e. we have no way of knowing (or don't want to tell you) that you are SOL until you have filled out the paperwork, paid for shipping, and waited for over a week. "Steve" was in no way helpful or able to explain Nikon USA's poor handling of this, including their poor implementation of the Product Registration system, Service Form, or why the products had to be shipped before customers would be made aware that their is a problem.

Sadly this is really making me reconsider my loyalty to what has always been a great company to deal with.

If there are any Nikon USA reps here at DP Review, I would love to get some answers -- obviously this is not the ideal place to get these answers, but since no other options seem available…. I would also hate for others here to have to go through the same ugly surprises and huge hassles as I have over similar issues.

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