Canon Service Sucks, Apparently

On July 4th I had a night shoot, and the next morning when I looked at my Canon 50mm f/1.2 L lens, it had condensation under the plastic focus indicator cover. I immediately sent it into thier New Jersey facility (Canon Factory Service Center 100 Jamesburg Rd Jamesburg, NJ 08831), and after about a week I am told that my lens will cost too much to repair.

Norris, a supervisor at their repair center, explained the situation to me thus:

Me: “OK. So just send me another one, then.”
Canon: “No. You don’t understand. We’re sending it back to you un-repaired.”
Me: “I bought my lens on December 19th, 2007. Don’t you think it’s under warranty?”
Canon: “We can’t repair/replace your lens because it has water damage.”
Me: “Condensation is water damage.”
Canon: “Your warranty doesn’t cover water damage.”
Me: “The lens had some sort of crack, or gasket failure, right? I didn’t throw it in a river!”
Canon: “Your warranty doesn’t cover water damage. We’ll take another look at it. Call me back in a few days.”

A few days later…

Me: “Will you fix/replace my lens?”
Canon: “We had another look at it, and no. We’re going to send it back to you.”

Today, the lens arrives, and just for kicks I put it on my 40D body. Sure enough, the AF (Auto-Focus) is now broken (no auto focus). WTF?

So now I have a lens that has condensation/water damage and no auto-focus.

This story is still waiting for an ending, but there may be help for my situation. I am just smart enough to have insurance! All my camera equipment-even flashes and filters-are insured. My insurance company now has me looking for a place to investigate the lens and assess whether the water in the lens could have gotten there by a micro-crack and/or bad seal somewhere.

I’ll get my money, don’t worry, but Canon is being a real douche about this for no reason. Failure to honor a warranty is pretty bad, but my insurance company assures me that Nikon is far, far worse than Canon. So I guess I have that going for me…

…to be continued

1 Comment

  1. Where to start…

    Well, the issue is resolved, as of today in fact, but has taken some time. To clear up some points:

    -I am in Norwich, CT USA
    -NJ in this case referred to New Jersey, one of only 2 Canon repair sites I’m aware of.
    -The 4th referred to July 4th, the month of the initial post.

    Any other ambiguity?

    MetLife has proven to be very tough to work with-homeowners insurance-wise, that is. I will write them (no kidding) 3 or more times (to specific agents and their supervisors, not a generic web-based form system) with no response. In many cases, I _had_ to have their go-ahead to proceed. Once I went to the corporate website, under Contact Us, I was able to leave a message there asking that the agents contact me. Every single time, without fail, I’d get a call the next dat first thing.
    ML: “We’re calling you about your questions.”

    PT: “Because of all the emails I’ve written you personally and on the corporate web site?”
    ML: “Oh, no. We were going to call you today anyway.”

    Bad customer service redefined.

    The required that I send the lens to a repair facility of my choosing (chose Precision Camera, Enfield, CT) to have a 3rd party decide whether it was in fact a default. PC (thankfully) assessed it as a non-Canon defect, and my check is on it’s way. They (ML) paid for the assessment, BTW. Most sporting of them.

    I’ve ordered my replacement from B&H (you all should know that acronym! :)), and here is the funny story about that:

    I had a friend going into the city this morning, and I hoped he could drop by B&H on 4th and pick it up for me. No biggie, right? Problem is that when I called B&H they said their limit for one-person-pays-another-picks-up was $1500, and with NYC and state taxes the total for the $1400 lens would exceed that (they have this crazy, almost 9% tax there).

    I explained that I wanted the lens for Sunday, and he said why not pay for it online (well, on phone), and have it next-day shipped UPS? Well, says I, that would be more expensive than the tax, right? Nope. Ends up the next day service is just $38! So I tacked on a B&W (love those guys!) UV filter to replace my crappy 72mm one (name embarrassingly omitted), and still saved like $20 over paying the NYC/State tax on it-and I got B&W glass!

    So its been 11 weeks from start to finish, and if it hadn’t been for ML dragging their feet and delaying things this would have been over in well under 4!

    Lesson learned, always insure. I can’t say that ML is better/worse than anyone else, but at least I was insured by SOMEONE! :)


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