Is it time to call an attorney general about Nikon?

Started Mar 5, 2014 | Discussions thread
peripheralfocus Veteran Member • Posts: 4,126
kinda' complicated, I think

bikinchris wrote:

I worked in bicycle shops before opening my own. I am well aware of the statement "I was just riding along when"
That's not what the OP is about.
Please reread the link. I attend many different Nikon boards. I have read many honest posts about people being denied warranty. I know I was cheated.

I'm congenitally inclined to gray areas and nuances, so I'll just throw in that on that same Sportsshooter message board there are several recent accounts of Nikon USA repairing stuff well and quickly and giving what the poster considered excellent customer service. And the specific poster you linked to doesn't express himself very clearly; I wouldn't go to court with his testimony.

It's very unlikely that Nikon USA has made an explicit decision to avoid legitimate warranty claims. The penalty (legal but especially PR damage) for getting caught doing that would be enormous, and Nikon USA has historically been extremely risk averse on legal matters.

But it's entirely possible that the company has put its service manager under intense pressure to cut costs and he has responded by trying to enforce much tighter standards for those warranty claims. When you set up the wrong incentives -- i.e. he, and through him his subordinates, are being judged solely on cost-cutting -- you can easily end up with behavior that is at least customer-unfriendly but also often actually wrongful, even when there is no explicit intent to cheat.

Note that I'm not offering that as an excuse -- Nikon USA management is certainly responsible for the consequences of the incentives they set up.

I'd be amazed if an attorney general could find any evidence that Nikon USA is knowingly making false claims of impact damage because, honestly, I doubt they're doing that. But I'm not sure it matters -- the company is suffering a lot of damage to its reputation, which is a very bad outcome in and of itself.

But on nuances again, there is absolutely no doubt that consumers almost universally try to abuse warranty policies. Almost nobody cops to dropping their stuff, or dousing it in root beer -- they send it in feigning ignorance and hope they get a free repair they aren't entitled to. Some will lie about it strenuously. It puts companies between a rock and a hard place.

Final nuance: I certainly know where you're coming from on being cheated and don't doubt your own story for a second. I had a cell phone company claim that my phone had water damage when I knew for certain that it did not. They had incredibly rudimentary moisture detectors inside the phone's case, which was their method of determining the question of water damage, but of course those detectors weren't very accurate. I almost laughed when they pointed them out to me. It's a highly imperfect world.

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