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Nikon USA demands original paperwork before they will service 4 year old camera

nikon warranty nikon repair

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#1 waltonksm

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 19:37

Yesterday I submitted a request to Nikon USA to give me some idea of what will be involved to service my D90 AGAIN! I sent it back to them in June of last year due to soft focus problems. I was just notified by Nikon USA that I will need to provide the original proof of purchase for this camera body. I bought the D90 in July of 2009. It is no longer under warranty, and I am fairly certain that is is about 2 months beyond any 6 month warranty they place on previous repair work. My current problem has to do with the camera indicating low batteries, and also giving an error reading sometimes, but not specifying the nature of the error. I get this when using the battery grip, or when only using a single battery in the camera with NO battery grip installed,.

They charged me over $450 for the repair last year, and also requested I send with the camera a lens that is still under warranty. Tthey charged me another $50 for cleaning and servicing my two month old 50mm F 1.8D lens. Unless I paid for that repair, they would not work on the camera. So I did it. They could never give me a list of the parts they replaced, and they gave me one of those wonderful estimates of "intermediate repair, requires some parts in addition to service". None of this was under warranty, and I only had to provide proof of purchase on the lens (which they still charged me for cleaning!!)

In the future, does this mean that if I buy a used Nikon, I can NEVER get it serviced by Nikon USA? They also include boilerplate wording on the email that I received that expressly claims full ownership of all the material in my email, and that I am prohibited from posting the content on bulletin boards, forums, etc.

Are they trying to drive away customers?? When did they start doing this with original proof of purchase required? Does this mean that NONE of my used Nikon equipment can ever be sent to Nikon USA for repairs?? Is this just a stupid requirement by a stupid employee and he made a mistake??

#2 yunfat

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 20:44

This has been the case for some time. I first reported Nikon's warranty refusal here about 5 years ago when it first started to get bad, and more consumer DSLR's entered the marketplace.

Between 2003-2005, if you sent your camera into NIkon, they would replace everything for free, and send you back happiness.

Now, I would never even think of sending my stuff into Nikon without also being prepared to take my case to my state attorney and the better business bureau. Nikon asked for my proof of purchase once, when I told them it was in the box I sent them, the tech goes "oh yeah", I see it now.

Obviously their policy is to flatly deny service for any equipment that is over a year old.

#3 Alan7140

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 21:04

The USA really does seem to have a problem with their Nikon representation. I can't figure why this allegedly single corporation can have such a huge discrepancy in its customer service attitude between the USA and so many other countries. Here in Australia my dealings with NPS have been exemplary (if a bit slow), but I have no problem reaching and talking to top level management should I have a problem, and things have always been resolved quickly to mutual satisfaction. While I still have issues with some things that have happened with my digital Nikons, they involve design and manufacture standards, not after sales service or attitude.

You guys should be complaining - loudly - to Nikon Japan.

#4 waltonksm

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 21:18

It was no more than 18 months ago when I sent a Nikkor 80-400 to them with no proof of purchase and they repaired the VR system for $400. I had purchased this lens, used, several years earlier. I bought this one on eBay.

But from what you are saying, all my future lens cleaning and repairs also have to go elsewhere since I bought much of my equipment used. So I have to take my lumps and find my documents, or have to go someplace else?

I am almost certain that the previous repair (no warranty coverage) for my D90 did not have to have the original proof of purchase. I guess that is irrlevent if they now require it. That was purchased new from Amazon, so I may be able to recover an invoice. I guess it is a waste of time to even bother to register stuff with them?

I will wait and see what they say. It sounds like you have given me the answer, already, but we shall see. I cannot believe that I have to send this to them each time I send something in.

#5 waltonksm

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 21:24

Fred: I don't think Nikon Japan is going to care. But Nikon USA may have to listen to some of the US states consumer fraud and/or Attorneys General. The trick will be to get them to even look into this. Frankly, if I am going to get screwed by Nikon, then my best solution may be to find a decent independent repair shop. The last one I used went out of business 4 years ago when one of the owners died. I have a lead on a new one that I have tried once. He is in his 50's, so may be around for a while. Lenses are probably not that bad to get done. But camera bodies are probably a lot more dificult as Nikon does not readily release their tech manuals on bodies.

I live in Alaska right now. I hope the attorney general is a Nikon user!!

And if I find a decent aftermarket repair person, then I have an even greater incentive to buy gray-market items if I buy new.

And again, they have that wonderful liitle notice on the email:

Any use, dissemination, distribution, posting on Internet bulletin boards, disclosure or copying of this e-mail or any information contained herein by or to anyone other than the intended recipient(s) is strictly prohibited. If you have received this E-mail in error, please notify the sender by reply e-mail and destroy all copies of this E-mail without reading or saving in any manner

Edited by waltonksm, 26 January 2013 - 04:20 .


#6 Andrea B.

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 00:06

I routinely send in Nikon equipment for repair or cleaning to Nikon Melville (in NY, USA) without any purchase paperwork whatsoever. They then send me an estimate to approve or not. This estimate can also be accessed online. My understanding has always been that only warranty work requires proof-of-purchase paperwork. My last repair was for two out-of-warranty D7000s which were fixed and returned a couple of months ago.

Also you have misread the email notice. Reread it carefully. The bold is mine and the italics.
"Any use...of this email...by or to anyone other than the intended recipient(s) is strictly prohibited."

If you are the intended recipient of the email, then you can do whatever you damn well please with it !!!

Andrea B.
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#7 Andrea B.

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 00:28

Nikon might have been asking for proof of purchase in order to perform a warranty repair on your out-of-warranty D90. They do that sometimes. Granted, it would be nicer if they did it anyway, but why not just send them the proof?

Andrea B.
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#8 Rags

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 03:20

Perhaps with the new policy of not supplying outside repair shops parts, they need to separate original owners from resale buyers (just my guess)

Rags

#9 waltonksm

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 04:16

Andrea: I would probably just scan my paperwork and send it to them if I could find it. I have led a very mobile lifestyle all of my life, and have seldom been in the same house and/or town for more than a few years at a time. Although I used to tell people I would NEVER go to electronic books and magazines, I have actually done so.

I still think they are telling you that you cannot disseminate the information. It is intended for me, only, and not for others through a forum.

I have no idea of where to begin looking for the original invoice. I think they may have made a mistake in asking for it, but I am waiting on another reply from them before I will know for sure. When you make a big committment to a company by many purchases, it is virtually impossible to tell them to "stick it" and go to a new manufacturer. I really like my Nikon equipment. I am really coming to dislike the company that makes this equipment. Maybe this is just in the US, I don't know..

Edited by waltonksm, 26 January 2013 - 04:22 .


#10 Ann

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 04:36

My feeling is that the Repairs Division and the Warranty programs of Nikon USA are routinely and deliberately operating in a manner which is very close to being fraudulent.

Nikon USA is co-ercing their customers into paying for ancillary repairs (which the camera owner does not wish to have done) by refusing to do the required repair (or supply the required spare part) unless the customer pays for the whole bundle.

Nikon USA has also created a monopoly by refusing to sell spare parts (except for a few minor external knobs and covers) to any independent repair shop.

I really hope that they do end up in Court.

I wonder how it works in other countries?

Next time I need a repair, I would prefer to pay the extra shipping to send my equipment to anywhere but to either of Nikon USA's facilities.

Edited by Ann, 26 January 2013 - 04:39 .

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#11 waltonksm

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 04:42

Thanks Ann. You have described my attitude better than I managed to do!

#12 Andrea B.

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 16:18

I do agree, BTW, about the "bundled" repairs thing. It's just all wrong.

There seems to be these set "levels" of repair that one is charged for.
Interestingly, however, this worked to my benefit recently as I got a complete refurb of my D7000s for only $163, which was an "intermediate" repair if I recall correctly.
But that can just as easily work against one's benefit.

It might be good to try one of the authorized repair shops ?? Although if they are also forced to follow the bundling policy and levels policy, then that's not at all good.

I gotta say if Apple ever decides to make DSLRs, then I'm in 'cause their repair service is so incredibly customer friendly that it is almost an anachronism in this day & age!

Andrea B.
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#13 Andrea B.

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 16:29

Has anyone ever tried this place?
http://nikoncamerarepair.com/
800-406-2046

They are supposed to be the largest authorized Nikon repair shop.
I just looked over their website and read their FAQs.
They sound friendly!! Which is more than we can say for Nikon LA or Nikon Melville.

They give a repair warranty of 180 days: http://nikoncamerare...repair-warranty

I'll look around and see what I have that needs sending in for service
and will give these guys a try and report back.

Andrea B.
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#14 Mexecutioner

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 16:52

Now, I would never even think of sending my stuff into Nikon without also being prepared to take my case to my state attorney and the better business bureau. Nikon asked for my proof of purchase once, when I told them it was in the box I sent them, the tech goes "oh yeah", I see it now.


And you better business bureau complaint would help Nikon maintain it's F rating which they seem to be proud of and plan to keep for generations ahead.

http://www.la.bbb.or...egundo-CA-25750
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#15 waltonksm

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 22:19

OK, after the third try, the Nikon service representative said that he simply stated the policy for warranty repairs.

I think I am not going to pay for the D90 to be repaired again. The last time it was $450, and now it has a new problem after 7 months (just outside of the 180 time period, and also a different problem than they fixed before. )

I am sorry I got the last repair done, now. So, I guess I will sell the MB off of it, and start saving for at least a D7000 as a replacement. Who knows, maybe it will still work a few months down the road.

#16 BobM

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 22:20

Has anyone ever tried this place?
http://nikoncamerarepair.com/
800-406-2046


I have used them for a repair to D3s (non-warranty impact damage). I was very satisfied with the quick estimate, timely repair, and courteous and professional service I received. I have no intention of ever using Melville again after experiencing what Nikon service should be.
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#17 waltonksm

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 00:18

Thanks for the other repair option.

I will have to check to make sure, but I did contact a third party repair place to look at a long lens, and the estimate given to me before I shipped it was really high. Instead, I got the part from Bjorn, and repaired it myself for a fraction of what they wanted to charge for the repair. In fact, I repaired it for less than one-way shipping would have cost.

I have run out of energy to complain anymore on this topic. I will do some checking about upping the complaint to a more powerful person to see if anyone is interested in addressing Nikon USA policy. Probably just another of my "windmills" and might be wasted time. Thanks for the suggestions and responses from all of you. At least I now have another option to try.

I looked at the site, and see they have a form to fill out that is the first step in the process. I think I will talk with them on Monday and see if they have the ability to give me any sort of WAG estimate, assuming they have to really tear into it to correct the problem. I suspect they will have seen this problem before now.

Edited by waltonksm, 27 January 2013 - 00:21 .


#18 Ann

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:12

It might be time for an aggrieved customer to contact Nikon HQ in Japan and forward to them the BBB report and links to a number of the discussions on the web concerning Nikon USA's deteriorating reputation.

Japanese companies hate to "lose face" and this developing scandal could reach almost the same shameful dimensions as did Olympus's accounting fraud.

I can't imagine that Nikon's Board of Directors in Japan would be happy to find their name being dragged through the mud by a criminal prosecution for fraud in the US Courts?

#19 bruceliv

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 14:23

I gotta say if Apple ever decides to make DSLRs, then I'm in 'cause their repair service is so incredibly customer friendly that it is almost an anachronism in this day & age!


Apple is excellent for all products protected by AppleCare. But they do not help any longer with older equipment. In fact, when you call them for Tech support, you get a promo speech to purchase a 2nd party tech service for all Apple products in your houshold. It's very expensive. Just for the hell of it, I tried calling the service directly and nobody picked up -- great for 24/7 support!. It might be iYogi for Apple (not sure).

#20 Dallas

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 16:55

You guys should be complaining - loudly - to Nikon Japan.


Once upon a time I did exactly that when it came to the price of locally supplied 200-400/4 lenses. I asked the Japanese HQ how it was possible that a lens that was (at the time) selling for $5000 could command a $11000 price from the official importers in South Africa. I never expected to get a response to my email, but lo and behold a week or so later I received a reply from one of the Nikon EU executives advising me that they were going to look into the matter.

Some time passed and one day I got this irate phone call from the (then) Managing Director of Nikon SA who pretty much spoke to me like I was one of his employees who had dared to bypass the "correct" channels of communication. I was gobsmacked at first and then later when I had gathered my thoughts I was totally outraged. This was their attitude. And it stank to high heaven.

I responded to the person from Nikon EU and a few months later I was contacted by the (current) MD of Nikon SA, who kind of explained their position on pricing a little better (he had taken over from the previous pillock I had the displeasure of communicating with). By this time Nikongear.com had gotten into full swing and I was quite happy to build a relationship with them, hopefully one that would result in mutual benefit for both parties. I received a few low end bodies to review (D80 being the first of them) and I had hoped that by now I would have alleviated any concerns they might have had that I was "out to get them".

Unfortunately the relationship between myself and them has never fully healed since I went over their heads and it probably hurt whatever future I might have had in becoming an official Nikon brand ambassador. I do think a lot of internal politics occurs within these companies and it wouldn't surprise me if there is somebody wielding a black book with my name in it somewhere in the upper echelons of that firm.

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