Bad Repair from Nikon USA - be warned

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by John Mustarde, Aug 21, 2003.

  1. I had a Pentax repair horror story a few years ago. It was part of
    the reason I bought into Nikon. Well, now I have a Nikon repair
    horror story, It goes like this, if you care to read it (and you
    should read this, if you ever intend to get repair from Nikon USA).

    I hit a soft patch and performed a lo-speed semi-endo on my bicycle.
    I was on a little photo trek down the canal trail to a rural airport.
    I ended up with the imprint of a D100 on my ribs, and the D100 ended
    up dusty and gouged. No problem, I surmised, as I surveyed the damage
    and checked for broken bones, because the camera was covered by my
    all-risks insurance policy.

    I called the insurer, who said send the camera to Nikon for an
    estimate. I prepared a short but detailed list of repairs needed, and
    sent it along. A week or so later I get a form letter from Nikon
    estimating repairs at $741. The insurer agreed to pay all, so I was
    about set.

    But I know how bad communication can be, so I called Nikon and asked
    specifically would they repair the items on my list. I told the guy
    the outer body was gouged in several places and needed replacing. The
    person on the line said the $741 was a one-price figure which covered
    "major repair" and they would take care of everything. I still really
    didn't believe him, so I asked a second time would they replace the
    outer shell, and put the camera in like new condition. He again said
    they would.

    So a few weeks later the camera comes back. You guessed it - the
    outer shell still had major gouges in the grip area from where it hit
    the rocks. Not good. I was not happy, to say the least. If Nikon
    had told me in advance they would not or could not repair it
    completely, the insurer would cheerfully have bought me a new one.

    So I'm sitting with my ugly, damaged camera in my lap. I called Nikon.
    The Nikon employee initially didn't believe me when I said Nikon
    didn't fix it. She said, very defensively, "how do you know it's not
    fixed" and I said "because I'm staring at it in the box you sent me,
    and it still has gouges in the grip area." The Nikon lady was upset,
    but she recovered her composure and arranged for a recall UPS label
    sent to my email immediately.

    So after a few days, the camera is back at Nikon. I get another of
    their form letters. This time is says "repairs - cosmetic" with a
    zero dollar charge under warranty for the first repair. I didn't
    really understand the reference to "cosmetic." But I was soon to find
    out more than I cared to know.

    I called NIkon to make sure they were going to replace the outer shell
    for sure this second time around. This time I asked to speak to the
    repair manager, but after checking with several people and having me
    hold a few minutes the Nikon employee came back and refused to allow
    that. Said the repair manager does not take calls from repair
    customers under any circumstances. Whooie, that instills confidence.

    Now it gets hairy. The Nikon employee said, quite arrogantly and
    almost sarcastically, that Nikon never intended to replace the outer
    shell, because the damage was only *cosmetic*, and Nikon USA does not
    perform *cosmetic* repairs (their emphasis, not mine), no matter what
    the price. Whooie. I finally manage to get a supervisor on the
    phone, one from the intake department, not a repair manager. She says
    Nikon simply will not make *cosmetic* repairs.

    But this time they *are* making the "cosmetic" repair. Seems like I
    convinced them. Something to do with the very specific letter
    describing what I wanted fixed when it was first sent in for repair.

    Hopefully, the camera will be back in my hands in like-new condition
    within a couple of days. If it is not in like-new condition, I will
    probably file another claim with my insurance company for diminished
    value, or just get them to replace the damn thing.

    Nikon's repair philosophy is seriously flawed. They won't make
    cosmetic repairs? After I sent them a letter specifying cosmetic
    repairs? Then followed up with a phone call during which a Nikon
    employee confirmed they would make the cosmetic repair as specified?
    What the heck did they actually do for my $741? As far as I can tell
    for sure, they gave the body a wipe and cleaned the sensor. Pretty
    darn expensive if you ask me.

    Oh, and to add insult to injury, they kept the little plastic Nikon
    LCD cover from my camera. Good thing I removed the battery and strap
    and IBM Micro Drive or they might have kept those also.

    To their credit they are sending me another LCD cover. They probably
    have a lot of them laying around from other customers.

    Psst - Nikon - one more little thing: I sent you my camera with a
    beat up old Vivitar body cap. You sent it back with a nice new Nikon
    body cap. Thanks for nothing - I really liked my old Vivitar body
    cap. How the heck could you lose it? It was attached to the camera.
    Or did you decide to send me a new one, to make the camera look
    better... cosmetically speaking...
    John Mustarde, Aug 21, 2003
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