Parts hold -customer hostile, yes, but is it real? Is it worldwide?

Started Jan 30, 2013 | Discussions
fad
fad Forum Pro • Posts: 18,037
Parts hold -customer hostile, yes, but is it real? Is it worldwide?

I got my D800 back today.  Nikon booked it on Dec 11.

No complaints about the cost - $224 for many new parts (Impact damage hurt top lcd in Aug, slight moisture with R Strap killed it in Dec).   A bargain in fact, and I am grateful for that.

However, the held my camera for 7 weeks.   That's 5-6% of the useful life of my camera.

In those 7 weeks, my intuitive sense of the camera has been to some extent lost.

I've also lost 7 weeks of continued adjustment.  So this is somewhat like a new camera in terms of my adapting to it.   That is not a trivial loss.

In light of everything we have observed about how Nikon treats us, I'm beginning to wonder if "parts hold" is not just an excuse Nikon Melville uses to control its work flow.

In the long time I was waiting for this, I began thinking about how I, as a mere retail customer, can order things from France, England, German and Japan and get them 1-3 days later for modest shipping costs.

Yet Nikon USA is more than just a retail customer for Nikon of Japan.   Why do parts regularly, not exceptionally, take 30 days or more to come?    We're not talking bathtubs here, but small electronic parts of relatively high value.

It's perfectly possible that the customer hostile action is just misguidedly tight inventory control by Nikon, Japan.   It's possible that they are holding all the small parts to send them cheaper by container at irregular intervals (though that is doubtful.)   But why does it not seem implausible that Nikon USA is just lying to its customers for its convenience?

So, an interesting question is do Nikonians outside of North America have the same "parts hold" experience, that can last for weeks or months?  Or is this just Nikon USA being parsimonious with the truth?

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Frank
Unless noted, all photos shot in downtown Manhattan.
Thanks in advance for the kindness of your comments.
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Daniel Lauring
Daniel Lauring Veteran Member • Posts: 9,343
Re: Parts hold -customer hostile, yes, but is it real? Is it worldwide?
3

You are just seeing the migration of a product from high cost, high margin, low volume, professional, to lower cost, low margin, higher volume amateur/semi-pro.  We get the benefits of a less expensive product that performs better, but give up the service that comes with the lower volume, higher margin product because Nikon can't afford to hire as many people as it would take, to provide the service they did 20 years ago with their pro cameras.

The competition has driven prices down, but the lower price has left the manufacturer with less money to provide service with, while at the same time, more customers to service.

Companies, will sometimes realize this is an issue with their professional customers, and develop special high end cameras or service agreements just for those customers.

When you are a professional and the camera is your tool, you can't afford to be without it.  On the other hand, with how inexpensive they are today (compared to 10 years ago) buying a backup is a valid strategy.

tundracamper Senior Member • Posts: 1,818
Re: Parts hold -customer hostile, yes, but is it real? Is it worldwide?

Daniel Lauring wrote:

You are just seeing the migration of a product from high cost, high margin, low volume, professional, to lower cost, low margin, higher volume amateur/semi-pro. We get the benefits of a less expensive product that performs better, but give up the service that comes with the lower volume, higher margin product because Nikon can't afford to hire as many people as it would take, to provide the service they did 20 years ago with their pro cameras.

The competition has driven prices down, but the lower price has left the manufacturer with less money to provide service with, while at the same time, more customers to service.

Companies, will sometimes realize this is an issue with their professional customers, and develop special high end cameras or service agreements just for those customers.

When you are a professional and the camera is your tool, you can't afford to be without it. On the other hand, with how inexpensive they are today (compared to 10 years ago) buying a backup is a valid strategy.

Well, let's see... I sent a lens to Melville to get it repaired, got a quote for repair (from El Segundo), approved quote for repair, got another quote from Melville, called and was told I shipped the lens to the wrong place and that it would take longer to repair since I sent it to El Segundo and they had to ship it to Melville.  I have the UPS receipt to Melville.  You don't think they would lie about anything, do you?

Typical first response is "Impact Damage"

Typical second response is "Parts Hold"

Good luck finding someone that will talk to you besides the phone reps in India!

JMHO.

lock Veteran Member • Posts: 6,202
That fits Daniels explanation very well.
1

He described the cause of the disease, you are describing the symptoms.

Stacey_K
Stacey_K Veteran Member • Posts: 8,945
Re: Parts hold -customer hostile, yes, but is it real? Is it worldwide?

What they could be doing is making a monthly or bi-monthly big parts order and never "special ordering" anything. If they don't have your part in stock, they put it in the next regular order and simply wait. It saves them some shipping costs doing it this way.

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Stacey

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MOD Higuma Veteran Member • Posts: 4,418
Couple of questions...

1: When they gave you the quote for approval did they give you a time frame for completion of the work ?

2: If they did not give you a date - did you ask for one ? ( estimated completion date )

3: Assuming they did inform you that there was a "parts hold" issued - when was that communicated to you ? and did they give you an ETA of the parts ?

4: Was your camera returned in a proper repaired state for the agreed upon amount of the estimate ?

I am indeed curious about these aspects - I have been living in Japan for more than a decade and have had a vastly different experience here with camera repairs and service ( probably to be expected ) and I am genuinely curious at just how different Nikon USA operates...

I sometimes genuinely tire of all the "Nikon Service sucks" comments because these forums tend to be very US-centric and what should be said is that "Nikon USA Service sucks"... I know that they are still a branch of Nikon but OBVIOUSLY from my own experience here they have a completely different mind-set to customer service in Japan...

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Fred Mueller Senior Member • Posts: 2,529
my D700 and Nikon repair

bought second hand from my local camera store in Metro Boston three days after the Tsunami March of 2011 ...  8500 clicks - looked brand new in box with all original manuals etc.  It was a trade in for a Canon!

August 2011 my 700 fails on a paying shoot, one of six "collector amps" that each of which read two rows of pixels off the sensor go mia in the middle of a paying shoot. Files look like a picket fence.

My local shop graciously agrees to foot the cost of the repair (I am a loyal customer) and sends the camera to Melville.  Repair takes almost a month.  I shoot my sons D300 to cover my modest property shooting activities ...

Fall of 2011 I first notice that a "column" on the very left hand border about 1/8th of the file width underexposes uniformly by about 1/3 of a stop. Very subtle, not visible in most shots.  I basically try to ignore this problem, but it does ruin certain of my commercial sjots from time to time. I do wonder if in "repairing" the collector amp Melvile did not properly trim some other readout portion of the sensor topology (or if there is even such a topology that needs adjusting).  Aside form this, my 700 is a fine fine camera in every way possible

Fall of 2012 I buy a D600.  Almost immediately realize that the files from the 600 are superior than the output from the 700, especially the dynamic range which is a very big plus in property shooting.  Over the holidays I decide I will sell the 700, but cannot in good conscience do that knowing the 700 has a subtle defect (one that some might never notice).  So I go to the shop and off the 700 goes to Melville with a single demonstration JPG file of the problem on a CF card in the single slot.

2 1/2 weeks later Melville calls the shop "$285 to repair the 700" no explanation of what the problem is.  I give the green light.  Another week goes by, and bad news from Melville - "the repair will be $1185.00 - we are giving you a discount - normally it would be $1500.00"  they do not tell the shop what the repair is actually, although I suspect they mean to replace the sensor.  I said no way - send it back to me. That was 9 days ago.  Camera still in transit I guess.

I have a 70-300 that has been to Melville three times because the VR quits.  I have a 35mm 1.8 DX with a dead focus motor.  My son has a 16-85 vr with a dead focus motor.  Two weeks ago I bought a used and spotless 17-35 2.8 AFS-d from my camera shop, again second hand.  This one was still in the original wrapper inside the nice case that came with this lens originally and boxed.  That night the AFS motor started squealing, very high pitched.  Apparently something that happened commonly with this lens.

I won't bore you with the story of my two D7000 bodies in the Fall of 2010.

I love the cameras when they work, but Nikon has ruined my confidence in their former high reputation.  I still have my first Nikon - a Nikkormat FTN and f2.0 Nikkor up in a drawer where I keep all the "emotional items" (my bulk loader) ...  the FTN still works.

That's just the way it is now

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fad
OP fad Forum Pro • Posts: 18,037
Daniel, this is brilliant

You have concisely and accurately Nikon USA's transition.

They, as Dell did many years ago, have decided that people in our market buy only on price.   Users eventually discovered that, if your time is worth anything at all, Dell computers were not worth owning even if they were given away free, because the most important cost of advanced equipment is after-sales, the cost of using and maintaining it.   When a part malfunctioned that Dell bought because it reduced their cost by 20 cents, you would have to spend hundreds of dollars of your time to get it repaired.   Eventually, people who valued their time migrated to Macs, which work harmoniously as a system and are easy to get repaired.   The small increase in cost is a bargain.

D800 users are wondering where their firmware updates are.   They don't realize they have bought a camera not priced for serious after-sales improvement.

A serious photographer, pro or am, spends so much time with his camera he should not care what it costs.  The time he spends has much greater value.

I pay my doctor $1800 a year just to be in his concierge practice and have someone available who knows me if anything should happen.   I don't think I saw at all last year, but I value my health so highly I consider it money well spent.   When there is an issue, he sees me right away.

I would gladly pay Nikon, or someone else, to have concierge service.   It would be a bargain to have equipment pre-tested with a high level of quality control, to have white glove service on repairs with courtesy replacement equipment, to have one's equipment tested and calibrated annually so that it performs at its best, to feel one is dealing with people who understand the needs of busy people and understand that acting with integrity is in their own enlightened self-interest.

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Frank
Unless noted, all photos shot in downtown Manhattan.
Thanks in advance for the kindness of your comments.
http://sidewalkshadows.com/blog/ (street photos)

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fad
OP fad Forum Pro • Posts: 18,037
Re: Couple of questions...

Higuma, you obviously live in a parallel universe, in what the ancients called the "Isles of the blessed."

Higuma wrote:

1: When they gave you the quote for approval did they give you a time frame for completion of the work ?

Your question caused me to choke.   Who could imagine such a thing?  They just give a description of the problem, which clearly is neither complete nor accurate, nor does it mirror what you tell them, and a standard price.  This is what their email said:  ​We look forward to returning your equipment quickly and in good working order.

2: If they did not give you a date - did you ask for one ? ( estimated completion date )

It is not possible to ask for one in any effective way.   They would not give it, if asked.   This is true not only for users, but also for authorized repair shops that send equipment in to them.

3: Assuming they did inform you that there was a "parts hold" issued - when was that communicated to you ? and did they give you an ETA of the parts ?

They sent me an email with a link to check on the repair.   This is how I learned about the parts hold.   It showed no change for the better part of 2 months.   This is how it reads today:

Previously, instead of Bill it said Parts Hold, and the date was 12/11/2012, 5 days after their email saying they had received it.

4: Was your camera returned in a proper repaired state for the agreed upon amount of the estimate ?

Yes, at least so far.   It seems to work fine.

I am indeed curious about these aspects - I have been living in Japan for more than a decade and have had a vastly different experience here with camera repairs and service ( probably to be expected ) and I am genuinely curious at just how different Nikon USA operates...

One of the Isles of the Blessed, as I said above.

I sometimes genuinely tire of all the "Nikon Service sucks" comments because these forums tend to be very US-centric and what should be said is that "Nikon USA Service sucks"... I know that they are still a branch of Nikon but OBVIOUSLY from my own experience here they have a completely different mind-set to customer service in Japan...

Sometimes we specify Nikon USA, but not always.   Sorry about that.  I think I was clear in the title of my thread that I was wondering if 'parts hold' is unique to the US and Canada.

Would you be so kind as to share your after sales experience in Japan?  It would be quite interesting to us in the States.

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Frank
Unless noted, all photos shot in downtown Manhattan.
Thanks in advance for the kindness of your comments.
http://sidewalkshadows.com/blog/ (street photos)

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Steve Bingham
Steve Bingham Forum Pro • Posts: 27,133
Re: Parts hold -customer hostile, yes, but is it real? Is it worldwide?

tundracamper wrote:

Daniel Lauring wrote:

You are just seeing the migration of a product from high cost, high margin, low volume, professional, to lower cost, low margin, higher volume amateur/semi-pro. We get the benefits of a less expensive product that performs better, but give up the service that comes with the lower volume, higher margin product because Nikon can't afford to hire as many people as it would take, to provide the service they did 20 years ago with their pro cameras.

The competition has driven prices down, but the lower price has left the manufacturer with less money to provide service with, while at the same time, more customers to service.

Companies, will sometimes realize this is an issue with their professional customers, and develop special high end cameras or service agreements just for those customers.

When you are a professional and the camera is your tool, you can't afford to be without it. On the other hand, with how inexpensive they are today (compared to 10 years ago) buying a backup is a valid strategy.

Well, let's see... I sent a lens to Melville to get it repaired, got a quote for repair (from El Segundo), approved quote for repair, got another quote from Melville, called and was told I shipped the lens to the wrong place and that it would take longer to repair since I sent it to El Segundo and they had to ship it to Melville. I have the UPS receipt to Melville. You don't think they would lie about anything, do you?

Typical first response is "Impact Damage"

Typical second response is "Parts Hold"

Good luck finding someone that will talk to you besides the phone reps in India!

JMHO.

Hey, knock it off. These guys in India are peddling as fast as they can!

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Steve Bingham
www.dustylens.com
www.ghost-town-photography.com

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Steve Bingham
Steve Bingham Forum Pro • Posts: 27,133
Re: Daniel, this is brilliant

fad wrote:

You have concisely and accurately Nikon USA's transition.

They, as Dell did many years ago, have decided that people in our market buy only on price. Users eventually discovered that, if your time is worth anything at all, Dell computers were not worth owning even if they were given away free, because the most important cost of advanced equipment is after-sales, the cost of using and maintaining it. When a part malfunctioned that Dell bought because it reduced their cost by 20 cents, you would have to spend hundreds of dollars of your time to get it repaired. Eventually, people who valued their time migrated to Macs,

Uh, or other brands of PCs! I will never buy another Dell - ever - for whatever reason. Been there, done that, got ripped.

which work harmoniously as a system and are easy to get repaired. The small increase in cost is a bargain.

D800 users are wondering where their firmware updates are. They don't realize they have bought a camera not priced for serious after-sales improvement.

A serious photographer, pro or am, spends so much time with his camera he should not care what it costs. The time he spends has much greater value.

I pay my doctor $1800 a year just to be in his concierge practice and have someone available who knows me if anything should happen. I don't think I saw at all last year, but I value my health so highly I consider it money well spent. When there is an issue, he sees me right away.

I would gladly pay Nikon, or someone else, to have concierge service. It would be a bargain to have equipment pre-tested with a high level of quality control, to have white glove service on repairs with courtesy replacement equipment, to have one's equipment tested and calibrated annually so that it performs at its best, to feel one is dealing with people who understand the needs of busy people and understand that acting with integrity is in their own enlightened self-interest.

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Frank
Unless noted, all photos shot in downtown Manhattan.
Thanks in advance for the kindness of your comments.
http://sidewalkshadows.com/blog/ (street photos)

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Steve Bingham
www.dustylens.com
www.ghost-town-photography.com

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fad
OP fad Forum Pro • Posts: 18,037
How bad is Nikon USA repair?

1. After the first repair of my D3s took 4 weeks (and I had no backup Nikon body at the time), the camera came back with the vertical controls no longer working.

I got an RMA and a mailing label for a free repair, but ​decided not to send it in​, because although I like and use the vertical controls it was not worth risking losing use of the camera for another month.

2.  On vacation in France last August, I dropped the D800 about 15 inches, but it landed the wrong way and caused some of the black stuff in the top window to bleed and make part of it unreadable.   But it didn't seem worth losing the use of a fully functioning camera for an indefinite period to get it repaired.   This has now been fixed along with a problem that caused the camera to start functioning.

3. The second day I had my D4, the CF card port stopped working.   I have still not sent it in to Nikon.   I have the D800 and the D3s as perfectly functional backup, but the D4s is my main camera.   It is not worth losing the use of it for an indefinite period to have the second card slot working.

Am I being irrational?

As fond as I am of Nikon products, I do not think it is rational for someone without an adequate backup to buy a Nikon instead of Canon.

Frank
Unless noted, all photos shot in downtown Manhattan.
Thanks in advance for the kindness of your comments.
http://sidewalkshadows.com/blog/ (street photos)

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Steve Bingham
Steve Bingham Forum Pro • Posts: 27,133
This is terrible, Fred!

I know Nikon USA is slipping, but this is terrible - and scary. I mean terrible. I haven't used them since my D2x problem - which they handled promptly - but this is just flat scary. Have you complained to Nikon Japan directly? Maybe they need to know this. Remember, all Nikon USA really is an importer under contract with Nikon Japan.

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Daniel Lauring
Daniel Lauring Veteran Member • Posts: 9,343
Re: my D700 and Nikon repair

Fred Mueller wrote:

I have a 70-300 that has been to Melville three times because the VR quits. I have a 35mm 1.8 DX with a dead focus motor. My son has a 16-85 vr with a dead focus motor. Two weeks ago I bought a used and spotless 17-35 2.8 AFS-d from my camera shop, again second hand. This one was still in the original wrapper inside the nice case that came with this lens originally and boxed. That night the AFS motor started squealing, very high pitched. Apparently something that happened commonly with this lens.

Your story about focus motors failing is pretty darn scary to me as I transition my glass from Canon to Nikon.  I've always considered glass as the long term investment...holding it's value pretty well.  I've never had or heard of a Canon lens failing (though I imagine some must have.)  Now I'm wondering just how well my new glass is going to hold up.

yray
yray Senior Member • Posts: 2,093
Re: Parts hold -customer hostile, yes, but is it real? Is it worldwide?

tundracamper wrote:

Well, let's see... I sent a lens to Melville to get it repaired, got a quote for repair (from El Segundo), approved quote for repair, got another quote from Melville, called and was told I shipped the lens to the wrong place and that it would take longer to repair since I sent it to El Segundo and they had to ship it to Melville. I have the UPS receipt to Melville. You don't think they would lie about anything, do you?

Typical first response is "Impact Damage"

Typical second response is "Parts Hold"

Good luck finding someone that will talk to you besides the phone reps in India!

JMHO.

I don't know if they intended to lie. I think they are seriously incompetent, sent your lens to the wrong place by mistake, then lost track of what they did, or just tried to cover up the mess they made of it. Left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. Their service model seems to be pretty dysfunctional just at the time when the demand is unfortunately high. I don't know if being incompetent in this context is better or worse than being deceptive, -- make your pick.

Fred Mueller Senior Member • Posts: 2,529
Re: my D700 and Nikon repair

I know, pretty dramatic story, but this is the unvarnished truth about my Nikon experience over the last few years. And I would not feel so edgy, but the way Nikon service runs, you just don't have the feeling that you have a comprehensible resource.  I recognize these cameras are another world of complexity beyond the gear we used in the film era, but that means you need to have a comensurate technical resource when you have problems.  I guess the economics just don't work out.  You do get the feeling though that Nikon is really damaging themselves.

I am seriously thinking of sending my ailing 700 to someone I know in Europe to get a second opinion.  I can FedEx it to England for $40 after all ...

OTOH ...

My 600 has been good so far - the AF is not as sure footed as the D700, but it is not bad at all either, and most importantly it's accurate. Neither is my 600 super clean, but it is easily usable.

I have 3 - SB 700s and an SU 800, and that setup works flawlessly. I have 4 "D" primes - they are great, and the bonus with them is, there is not much in them that can fail - no motors, no VR.

And finally, knock wood, my 14-24 (which I use to shoot 75% of my property shots) is just a terrific piece of optical engineering. I have the Nikon grip on the D600, and with that and the 14-24 attached; almost a perfect sized and balanced rig.

Finally, I just can't ask for more right now with the quality of the files ... so I have to back up I suppose and at least give Nikon credit where it is due.

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J Mankila
J Mankila Veteran Member • Posts: 4,234
Wonderful post, thanks Daniel! [nt]

note xt

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regards
Janne Mankila, Finland

J Mankila
J Mankila Veteran Member • Posts: 4,234
No, not the AF-S motor squeal... :(

Fred Mueller wrote:

2 1/2 weeks later Melville calls the shop "$285 to repair the 700" no explanation of what the problem is. I give the green light. Another week goes by, and bad news from Melville - "the repair will be $1185.00 - we are giving you a discount - normally it would be $1500.00" they do not tell the shop what the repair is actually, although I suspect they mean to replace the sensor. I said no way - send it back to me. That was 9 days ago. Camera still in transit I guess.

That is unfortunate. Unquestionably you paid a high price for a product that was doomed. The same happened to me when I bought a 17-35 f/2.8...

I have a 70-300 that has been to Melville three times because the VR quits. I have a 35mm 1.8 DX with a dead focus motor. My son has a 16-85 vr with a dead focus motor. Two weeks ago I bought a used and spotless 17-35 2.8 AFS-d from my camera shop, again second hand. This one was still in the original wrapper inside the nice case that came with this lens originally and boxed. That night the AFS motor started squealing, very high pitched. Apparently something that happened commonly with this lens.

When I read that you got yourself a 17-35/2.8, my instinct said 'no no no nooo'... On my unit, the focus squeal that had once been a mere nuisance, corrected with a few back and forth focusing attempts, had become constant and the store said it wasn't worth much anymore. I got 200 euros in exchange for the lens when buying a printer. Repairing the focus motor would've been in the neighbourhood of 500 euros. And then one of the elements must've been decentered, because I could see one of the sides being blurred compared to the other side - and that on a DX sensor. No point hanging on to it for use on FX sensors.

I won't bore you with the story of my two D7000 bodies in the Fall of 2010.

I don't think the story would bore us as much as lower our confidence in Nikon, or what's left of it. Come to think of it, when I bought my original D70, I was genuinely surprised by the solid feel and quality of the camera. I had a sense that I had made a good call when I chose it instead of the Canon 300D, which, in turn, felt flimsy and toy-ish. The good feeling carried on to the D80. I thought that here's a company that still makes quality products in this day and age, and I didn't mind paying a slight premium. After they solved the D200 banding issue, I thought Nikon's troubles were well in the rearview mirror.

Now, I don't think I've ever feared buying a Nikon product this much. I've got to choose between the D600 and D800. Which one is less faulty... For the first time, the grass on the other side is looking healthier than what I'm standing on right now.

I would absolutely not mind if both the D600 and D800 cost 25% more than they do now, if the quality were the same as before.

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regards
Janne Mankila, Finland

MOD Higuma Veteran Member • Posts: 4,418
Remember... you asked...
1

fad wrote:

Would you be so kind as to share your after sales experience in Japan? It would be quite interesting to us in the States.

Frank...

Here is the sum of my experiences with Nikon in Japan - remember you asked...

- Fortunately I live in Sapporo which has a regional Nikon Service Center...

- the service center is manned by about 3 people ( best I can tell - there may be others "on the road" ? ) and also has a small gallery and displays of equipment...

- Beyond the Gallery and displays there is a counter in front of a door to the rear service area...

- You can go there and purchase virtually ANY current Nikon accessory that Nikon offers and if they don't have it they will get it for you in 1 - 2 days... bits, bobs, bags, straps, knobs, small parts all of it... And I mean REALLY OBSCURE stuff too...

- they will clean your sensor for you - usually free of charge... if it's just dust they will use compressed Nitrogen gas using a special filtered air nozzle - - disconcerting the first time they take your body in the back and you hear pfffffffffffffftttt pffffffffffffffft pfffft pfffft - guys walks out and hands you your camera back ? ? ?  I think that they charge if they have to do a wet clean...

- they used to hold maintenance seminars once a month where they would train you to do wet cleaning ( chopstick method ) or simply do it for you - they do other seminars as well as gallery shows etc.,

- I have only needed repairs on 3 or 4 occasions

- once they sent a D3 body ( grip replacement ) away and I received it back in 5 working days ( less than a week in Japan ) including shipping time - they said it would be faster to just send it away than order the bits and do it there - - - I think that was because if they found anything else askew during replacement they would have any other parts in hand...

- Interesting to note that the National service repair shop is in Niigata I believe  -  and not Sendai...

- 2nd time was for a stuck eyepiece shutter and they decided to change the entire top prism assembly / ordered the parts / received them within a week and repaired the camera in Sapporo in 1 working day after I brought it back in to them ...

- 3rd time was for a bent front housing & filter thread piece on a 80-200 I dropped - turn around time was 5 days I think... this included a complete test & calibration to make sure that the optical path was 100%...

Unique experience / story:

Bought a used AF-I 300 F2.8 ED lens at a local shop and it had a slightly bent tripod collar lock knob ( looked like it had been banged on something )... When I tried to straighten it, it came out about 90% but silly me wasn't satisfied unless it was perfect - of course I went too far and snapped the little f'er off... I tried to remove the knob's threaded bits but it would not come out ( captive screw ? ) and so I realized that I would have to see how much it would cost - worried because this is about a 15 year old lens...

Went to the Sapporo service center, showed the tech the lens - he kinda clicks his teeth and says "za nen" / "too bad / that's a shame"... So I ask him "ikura ?" how much to fix it and he kinda does one of those tilt the head to the side things, says "chotto matte" / "just a moment" - disappears into the back for about 10 minutes - comes back out and tells me it will be 1,850 yen ( $ 20 ) I say fantastic how long will it take to get the parts - - he says - Oh, I already did it... Is that OK ? and hands me back my lens... Couldn't wipe the smile off my face for the rest of the afternoon...

You asked... but that is my experience with Nikon service in Japan - they always know if a part is available because there is a centralized parts data base - they are happy to quote a return date or ETA for parts - they never have missed a ETA with me BTW - they are quite helpful and happy to answer any technical questions I have face 2 face... They even call me on my mobile when the parts or repairs bits arrive back...

This all being said I am lucky to be in a major center with a service center ( I think that there are 5 in Japan )... Likely 95% of the population is within a 2 - 3 hour train ride to any major city with a service center...

I am NOT a member of NPS btw so this is not any kind of special treatment - this is just the way things are here in Japan... But then you can walk into almost any big box camera store here and put your hans on ANY display model of camera body or lens from ANY manufacturer...

Of note there is also Canon + Olympus service centers here in Sapporo - - I am sure other manufacturers  as well but those are the only ones that I am aware of...

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"Life's uncertain..... so always remember to Eat Dessert Firs

jean bernier Veteran Member • Posts: 3,181
Re: No, not the AF-S motor squeal... :(

I bought a D800 the first week of december. I immediately checked it for left focus problems, and indeed, I found it to be defective. Sent it to Nikon Canada, and got it back just in time for Christmas. They kept it for 12 days, but fixed it perfect. I have not used it for a paid shoot even once.

After calibrating all my lenses, I proceeded to study the video functions during the Holiday season. I discovered an annoying hot pixel on the video image over ISO 500...so back it went to service on the 2nd of january. After 10 days, I get a phone call from NPS. I expected my camera to be ready, but instead, I was told the sensor must be changed, and they're waiting for the part. Went to Nikon Service yesterday in order to have a grip change on another body, inquired about the D800, and was told "good news, the sensor just arrived". Still waiting. It,s been 2 months now, and I still have'nt used the camera.

No parts in stock for current cameras? Can't understand. I still own a low mileage 14 y/o Subaru, and once I had to wait an excruciating 3 days to get it fixed...(one broken motor support). I guess cars cannot be compared to cameras, but still...

This was no independant shop, but a full flanged Nikon Service Center.  How much would it cost Nikon to have a few complete sets of unassembled current hi end cameras, from the first to the last screw and regularly order the parts as they go ?  It does not work that way it seems.

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Jean Bernier All photographs are only more or less credible illusions

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