NIKON USA--TERRIBLE SERVICE EXPERIENCE.

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Aguilabrava, Dec 10, 2004.

  1. Aguilabrava

    Aguilabrava Guest

    I just wanted to let everybody here know about my recent experience
    with the Service Dept. at Nikon USA in Melville, New York.

    About a month ago or so I decided to send one of my Nikon F3HP cameras
    for service to their Service Dept. at Nikon USA. Since I live in the
    east coast, I sent the camera to Nikon USA in Melville, New York.

    I enclosed a letter with the camera explaining that I wanted to have
    the camera cleaned, lubed and adjusted, and the viewfinder's light bulb
    and AE Lock button on the body replaced.

    Few days after they received the camera, they mailed me an estimate for
    the cost of the repair, they wanted $248.00, which I approved and paid
    for immediately through Nikon USA website.

    I waited for about three weeks, then I finally received the camera
    back.

    As soon as I took it out of the box, I realized that the AE Lock button
    hadn't been replaced because it was still loose to the point of almost
    falling off of the camera, and the leatherette on the body was so
    poorly reattached that there were several dimples from excessive glue,
    gaps from misalignment and in some corners the leatherette was even
    coming off. The camera also showed some signs of mishandling and
    scratches that it didn't have before it was sent in for service.

    I wrote them an email complaining about all these problems, and they
    replied back with a UPS Shipping label for me to resend the camera back
    to them.

    I did that the next day, and they received it by November 11th, 2004.

    Well, I received the camera back from them for the second time last
    Monday. They did replace the AE Lock button and the viewfinder's light
    bulb this time, and it seems that the camera was lubricated and
    adjusted, but they ruined the leatherette completely, now there are
    even bigger gaps and bigger dimples than before, and the double
    exposure little handle on top of the camera was scratched and then
    repainted by the "technician" with a black permanent marker. This
    camera was in mint condition before it went to Nikon USA, all it needed
    was to be cleaned, lubed and adjusted and the two parts mentioned above
    replaced.

    Now, it looks just terrible, and I'm wondering how this job was
    performed, just by looking at the body's leatherette cover makes me
    think that if they were incapable of doing that right, I have no reason
    to believe that whatever they did on the internal parts of the camera
    was done the right way.

    I emailed them again, last Tuesday, and a lady named Melanie Chaplin,
    who's a Service Relations Supervisor at Nikon USA replied saying that
    she was forwarding my email to Harold Glassberg, Nikon USA Service
    Manager because they appreciate customers letting them know when things
    aren't right...

    And that was all they had to say.

    My advise:

    1)Do not send your cameras for service at Nikon USA, I had never seen
    such a poor and mediocre job performed on a camera that, again, was
    mint when it left my house.

    2)Do not pay the extra dollars for the Nikon USA guaranteed product,
    after seeing this, I don't think it's worth it, this is the same kind
    of mediocre people that will fix your camera if anything goes wrong
    with it during the warranty period.
     
    Aguilabrava, Dec 10, 2004
    #1
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  2. Have you checked serial numbers -- are you sure the camera you got back was
    the one you sent in?
     
    Michael A. Covington, Dec 10, 2004
    #2
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  3. Aguilabrava

    Tony Guest

    Nikon screwed me for 359 to 'fix' my scanner, and put me through a similar
    ordeal then stopped answering emails. It is the main reason why I will never
    buy or recommend any product from the company now. If your service
    department is allowed to go to crap, you should go out of business.
     
    Tony, Dec 10, 2004
    #3
  4. Aguilabrava

    DALLAS Guest

    On Thu, 09 Dec 2004 19:39:43 -0800, Aguilabrava wrote:

    Don't stress, I'm sure that they will sort it out for you. You just have
    to keep on at them until they give you the service you demand.

    Did I ever tell you about my experiences with Canon, South Africa? That's
    a story that with shake your faith, if ever there was one.
     
    DALLAS, Dec 10, 2004
    #4
  5. Aguilabrava

    Mark² Guest

    Ah.
    And since South Africa holds the standard by which all Canon service should
    be measured, I'm sure we're all quite concerned.
     
    Mark², Dec 10, 2004
    #5
  6. Aguilabrava

    ThomasH Guest

    Could you post some images?
    Not that I doubt your words: A few years ago they damaged housing
    of my F90 as it was send in to clean and lub! I can post an image
    of it. They denied that this was them.


    BUT: I got also miserable experiences with my two Canon repairs
    and cleaning! Among others they made my original package vanish,
    promised a replacement which I never received.

    Furthermore, I just discovered a drastic fading problem (ca 12
    months) with their top of the line A3 photo printers. I am now
    fighting to force them to take seriously fading problem in their
    printers. Lost cause, I tell you...


    Besides I believe that your conclusion about specifically a
    problem with Nikon US does not touch the real problem, which
    is a downfall of American customer service quality due to
    outsourcing to foreign countries and letting service being
    made by lowest paid workforce.


    I have quite a list of cases like this, not related to
    photography though. Let me thus just list a few examples:

    1) Linksys, $500 wireless network does not work, 40 emails,
    protests, letters, lawyer.

    Solution: got $10 cat-5 cable and have now a cable running
    across living room, but it works.

    2) Symantec SystemWorks 2003 caused drastic performance
    problem. Uninstall failed, reinstall of version 2001
    failed. After 17 emails and several "troubleshooting"
    papers send me by Symantec I gave up and have a crippled
    product ever since.

    4) Microsoft Streets and Trips 2004 plotted a route through
    water in Redwood City, CA. I received several emails
    in severely broken English, seemingly from mainland China.
    They claimed that Microsoft does not have any control
    about the routing database and cannot fix it. Yea right,
    I sure believe *that*, I sure do... I received a contact
    to a Return Center and we returned the product. We than
    received two more emails from service supervisors with
    some bizarre verbal "bowing down" and apologies for the
    inconvenience. I wrote back, fix the product instead of
    wasting your time in writing these elaborate texts and
    wasting my time in reading them.

    5) Viewsonic 17" screen: FIVE replacements. We finally
    got an "upgraded VG700" version, which was also
    refurbished. It flickers for approx. 30sec after
    going our of screen saver. My wife said she does
    not care, she just does not want pack and unpack
    these screens anymore...

    And so on. Thus as much I am sorry about your FM3,
    the reality is: welcome to the club :-(

    Thomas
     
    ThomasH, Dec 10, 2004
    #6
  7. I think it's more along the lines that the concepts of "repair" and
    "service" have fallen into disfavor - you're supposed to buy a new one!

    Face it, most of the stuff we buy is NOT designed to be fixed - the
    customer who want a repair done is an annoying aberration.

    The last truly satisfying service interactions I've had were with Leitz
    and Bang & Olufsen - and note that in both cases, I had to ship the
    items to europe to be worked on.

    My general rules of thumb (except for the two companies above) are:

    1. Never to use the "factory" service depot unless required by warranty.
    2. Paradoxically, make sure the place you use is factory authorized.
    3. Extensively photograph the item immediately before service.
    4. Prepare a printed list stating what you want done; and if possible,
    have their employee sign it.
    5. Examine the item for cosmetic damage IMMEDIATELY on receipt, and
    test for correct operation ASAP.

    Not too long ago, I had Apple Computer actually dent the metal housing
    of a laptop sent in for upgrade - then try to tell me their "Warranty
    doesn't cover cosmetic issues" And I worked for them at the time!
     
    Scott Schuckert, Dec 10, 2004
    #7
  8. Aguilabrava

    Bill Hilton Guest

    From: ThomasH
    Thomas, which paper were you using? The Canon prints are supposed to last up
    to 30 years or so if kept behind glass BUT only for *one* paper type (the
    expensive one), the other papers do indeed fade much more quickly. This is
    well-known (ie, Wilhelm Research).

    Bill
     
    Bill Hilton, Dec 10, 2004
    #8
  9. Aguilabrava

    Tom Hudson Guest

    A couple of years ago I sent a camera under warranty for repair. They
    had it returned to the wrong part of the country, to a shop that was
    demolished years before and had a shopping centre built over it, it was
    returned to them undelivered - undeterred, they re-sent it to the
    demolished shop, where someone signed for it. They actually blamed it on
    the courier, who were just trying to deliver to the address they were
    given. There was more, and I didn't have a working camera for some 3.5
    months, getting compensation to the value of 5 pounds or so in the end,
    which I refused and sent back. They wouldn't answer my calls, voice
    mails, messages etc. after that, I even got a receptionist to walk down
    the hall to personally see the guy I'd been dealing with. Nothing.
    Useless. Oh, and the complaints department is either part of or is the
    tech support department (olympus uk), so they have no interest in
    complaints about themselves/the people they eat lunch with.
    And the kicker is that the replacement camera had the same fault, which
    it turns out was a design flaw and they couldn't find the problem, I
    worked it out for myself in the end.

    Tom
     
    Tom Hudson, Dec 10, 2004
    #9
  10. Aguilabrava

    me Guest

    Thank you for the heads up but please *do not* capitalize the title of your
    posts.
    Thank you,
    me
     
    me, Dec 10, 2004
    #10
  11. Aguilabrava

    ThomasH Guest

    The paper in question is the Glossy Photo paper Plus, and no
    glas. I know that Canon says it so now, they have sned me the
    'exact condition' under which the warranty of 30 years is
    granted. They say that only the Photo Paper Plus has 4 layers
    and provides such protection.

    BUT: They do not say that the barely cheaper Photo Paper Plus
    might hold for one year only, and I will that they print this
    in bold on their product. Besides: why to get glossy paper and
    cover the gloss by glass?

    A paradox is that several other images printed on the Matte
    paper, or even on the thin and cheap High Resolution paper
    (matte has much better shadow gradation!), are supposedly
    completely unprotected lacking the glossy layer, and yet they
    look just barely different! Something is wrong with their
    Photo Paper Plus.

    http://www.pbase.com/phototalk_thh/2004_10_12_s9000_fading

    I printed this image now on Photo Paper Pro and I have put it
    on the same place with the same magnetic frame, no glass. We
    will see one year later!

    Anyway, my next printer will use pigment inks. Thus, this
    will be an Epson or a HP.

    Thomas
     
    ThomasH, Dec 10, 2004
    #11
  12. Aguilabrava

    ThomasH Guest

    So you are speaking here about Olympus UK, not about Nikon, right?
     
    ThomasH, Dec 10, 2004
    #12
  13. Aguilabrava

    Tom Hudson Guest

    Er, yes, though now you mention it I only mention it in passing and even
    then near the end of the blah. Damn, that's annoying. Oops.

    If it makes things any clearer, Olympus UK sucks when it comes to
    after-sales support.

    Tom
     
    Tom Hudson, Dec 10, 2004
    #13
  14. Aguilabrava

    Paul Bielec Guest

    The truth is just there "after-sales". You paid, they don't care anymore.
    Why would they anyway? It costs less to loose one or few customers that to
    provide efficient support.
    Especially for the under warranty repairs.
    Once the warranty expires, they don't want to repair your camera. They want
    you to throw it away and buy a new one...
     
    Paul Bielec, Dec 10, 2004
    #14
  15. Aguilabrava

    Paul Bielec Guest

    Any big corporation that says that the customer satisfaction counts, lies.
    It is like a politician saying that he cares...yeah right...
    All that matters to them are the figures they'll be able to show at the next
    shareholder meeting.
    How to manufacture the product as cheaply as possible, using the cheapest
    resources available and still convince the customer that he buys the best
    there is.
    So the camera that was once made using metal parts in Japan, is now made out
    of plastic in China. And when it brakes, you'll be able to reach the
    customer support in India to help you out...
     
    Paul Bielec, Dec 10, 2004
    #15
  16. Aguilabrava

    Mark² Guest

    You sound like a Sigma owner.
     
    Mark², Dec 10, 2004
    #16
  17. Aguilabrava

    Paul Bielec Guest

    No, all Canon as far as cameras go.
    And there is a Canon service center few blocks away, so no need to e-mail
    anything if it brakes.
    Used it only once so far for my point and shoot pocket camera. It was under
    warranty and everything went smoothly.

    It was more of a general statement.
    Brands don't mean much anymore. That you buy a Sony, a JVC, a Panasonic or
    Sanyo doesn't change anything.
    There is probably one of them that own another, or a part of it. They share
    components and are all made in China and surroundings.
    They'll have better finishing and better feeling that the no name product
    you'll find at Wal-Mart, but that's about it.
    And we cannot blame the companies neither. We had the choice of no buying
    the cheaper products at the beginning.
    Now it's clear that there is more money to be made with the quantity rather
    than the quality.
     
    Paul Bielec, Dec 10, 2004
    #17
  18. Aguilabrava

    Mark² Guest

    Perhaps you're not acquainted with Canon's L series.
    The story is entirely diferent. Built like tanks, with absolutely rock
    solid construction and optical quality.
    For that matter, Canon's consumer lenses are very well-built...until you get
    down to the cheapie kit lenses. -Even those don't fall apart as Sigmas
    have.
     
    Mark², Dec 10, 2004
    #18
  19. Aguilabrava

    Paul Bielec Guest

    I was talking more about the wide public electronics.
    Obviously a lens worth several thousands dollars is not aimed towards
    general public.
    Even few hundred dollar lens is still more that what most people would spend
    on a complete camera.
     
    Paul Bielec, Dec 10, 2004
    #19
  20. Aguilabrava

    Mark² Guest

    Then perhaps your input was misplaced entirely. This is a 35mm equipment
    forum. The lenses and camera bodies didscussed here are commonly valued in
    thousands of dollars. There are still companies who take good care of their
    customers. Canon, for instance, will perform warranty repairs even on
    imported lenses.
     
    Mark², Dec 11, 2004
    #20
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