canon service sucks

Canon makes the cameras that I do like the most right now. As much as they products are great their US service is sucks. A little SD20 of mine failed: The lens is not able to open anymore and i get the dreadful E14 error. Canon says that this is due to sand. One could argue if putting a small camera into your pocket is considered use or abuse. But I did not want to argue. I just wanted to pay the 109 US for the repair. They have in theory a web interface for paying repairs. In reality this is a waste of time. Actually I feel not so good to have given this piece of web-junk my CC info. Despite 5 attempts with two different (and working) CC cards the site was unable to process my request.

The usual problem: Canon makes great products in Japan. Their US service part can be broken around the fringes: Will not put them out of business. Just a shame to see a world clas maker of amazing equipement having a website that works less than that of the muffler shop around the corner.

5 Responses to “canon service sucks”

  1. Beerzie Says:

    Yep. Here’s my sad tale:

    My Canon Digital Rebel Is a Lemon!

    I purchased a Digital Rebel three years ago. I like it very much and it takes outstanding photographs. I have purchased three high-quality Canon-brand lenses and the top-of-the-line Canon flash. My home and office are lined with excellent photos, and I get many compliments from friends and co-workers. In fact, these photos and my glowing recommendations of this camera have encouraged five other people to buy it, and several of those folks have, like me, gone hog-wild and bought several lenses, flashes, etc.

    Unfortunately, the story gets very grim from here. This camera’s reliability is non-existent. It has caused me a lot of grief and cost me a lot of wasted money and effort. After several hours of conversations with technical and customer support, I have patiently and dutifully sent this camera in for four and now five repairs. The result is that I have had the camera in my hands for ten out of the last twelve months and it has actually worked for nine out of the last twelve months. This is an unacceptable track record for a camera that cost me nearly $1000. I find it had to accept that a camera in this price range will only last for three years.

    The story so far:

    In April of 2006, when it was two years old, the camera’s shutter stopped working. I sent it in to the Canon repair center (Repair number LG703765), the shutter was repaired, and sent back to me. Repair costs were $200, not including the thirty or so dollars to ship it to the repair center. I lost use of the camera for two weeks.

    A mere six months later, in October of 2006, the camera’s focus lock failed. I was told to send it in again, and after expressing my disbelief and annoyance that the camera was failing again so soon, the repair (Repair number LH124454) was done without charge, except for the thirty or so dollars to ship it to the repair center. I lost use of the camera for two weeks, including Halloween, during which I was unable to take advantage of any photo opportunities with my children.

    It only took two months for the camera to fail again. Again, some kind of shutter problem rendered the camera unusable during my children’s first trip to Disneyland. Again after expressing my disbelief and annoyance that the camera was failing again so soon, the repair (Repair number WA864336) was done without charge, except for the thirty or so dollars to ship it to the repair center. I lost the camera for three weeks because of the Christmas holiday, during which I hardly need add, that I was unable to take any photos during the holiday. This was a major disappointment.

    Less than a month later, I began to experience an intermittent shutter failure, during which the shutter would stay locked down (looking through the lens, it would be black), and then it would release after being set aside for several hours. I called the Canon technical support, and they told me that I would have to send it in again. I was reluctant to do so, because the shutter was sticking intermittently and returning to normal several hours later, which is a difficult problem to reproduce. However, after several episodes of this in late March of this year, the technical support person recommended – based on the number of incidents with the camera — I contact Canon Customer Support.

    My case with this department was handled by a man named Mike (866-886-1901 extension 2191), who listened to my saga and told me that I would need to send the camera to the repair center for “evaluation?. I explained that I feared they would not be able to find much as the shutter was sticking intermittently and returning to normal several hours later, which is a difficult problem to reproduce Mike explained that the evaluation would be complete and extensive, and that it might take longer than an average repair. It did not help that the free shipping was three-day, and the total time I was without my camera was three weeks.

    I thought that “Customer Service? would include, at the very least, some follow-up about the results of the evaluation. Not so! I got home from work one day, the camera was returned, and the note inside said that the camera and lens was evaluated and nothing was wrong. Did I get a phone call from Mike? No. Did I get an e-mail from Mike? No. I waited a couple of days and heard nothing. I finally called him, left a message, but he did not return my call for over a week. By this time I was so disgusted, I didn’t bother calling back. I guess Canon’s idea of Customer Service is different than mine. At least this time, Canon ponied up the shipping costs (although I had to purchase fifteen dollars worth of packing materials).

    Which brings us to today, two months later. While shooting some photos for a client, the camera failed mid-job. (Bye-bye, freelance job!) But this was a newer, different shutter problem. The shutter engages (softly) takes a black image, gives the dreaded, meaningless “Error 99?, and refuses to take another shot. This time the camera did not return to normal; it is dead in the water.

    I am now at wit’s end. I just got off the phone with Mike, whose capacity for sympathy is somewhat limited. He gave the usual response – send it to the service center. I asked if there was any way to expedite the situation, and he said he could ask them to look at it “as soon as possible?. Give that it is Tuesday, and that they will be sending me another lame three-day label, I figure it will be back in my hands in what, three weeks?

    Let’s recap:

    • Camera down time out of the last twelve months: Almost three months.
    • Events missed: Kid’s first trip to Disneyland and Legoland; Halloween, Christmas, and New Years 2006.
    • Money spent on repairs/shipping: $300
    • Estimated sales from my own purchases and recommendations to friends: over $5000

    After all of this expense and misery, I’d like to know:

    What is Canon going to do to make this right?

  2. Thom Bratton Says:

    I won’t be buying anything more from Canon, and that includes printers. I sent a brand new digital camera in to them which had some VERY minor damage due to being dropped, and they wanted an exorbitant amount to repair it. When I declined to have them repair it, they returned the camera, but kept the parts that had broken off, I suspect to keep me from repairing it myself, or having a third party do it. What the hell ever happened to customer service? Oh, I guess that’s what happens when you quit making things yourself, and rely on foreign companies.

  3. Philip Says:

    Hey, I got mike [Mike (866-886-1901 extension 2191)] too!

    I paid about $6000 for a canon 1D.

    In the first year that I’ve had it it has died with err 99’s four times, and sent back to the factory 4 times.

  4. Drew Says:

    CANON SUCKS! God, if I have to spend another hour and a half listening to bad 70’s jazz just to get this freaking printer set up I’m seriously going to blow my head off. I use a Mac Book Pro, fully loaded, and the CD that came with the printer is outdated so my operating system is not accepted and of course their website doesn’t have the available download on the website.

  5. Shawn Says:

    Pro Videographer. Bought the 7D to replace my Nikon D300 and gain great depth of field (or lack thereof) as well as a susposed great stills camera. Dumped $3k into acc’s right off the bat. Huge mistake.

    This camera, out of the box, could only resolve about 6 stops latitude on the superflat scenario. Harsh crushed blacks and whites, inability to hold any detail in gradients.

    So I shot a side by side with another 7d (working) same settings, controlled lighting, best possible lenses (zeiss 1.8 and the 17-55 2.8)

    The difference is night and day. Control camera holds 11 + stops of latitude. Mine only 6.

    Sent to canon Factory service in CA. They sent it back stating it was “withing specifications” No call, no reply to the full page detailed description, its like they didn’t even look at the picture I sent shwing the side by side raw images in DPP. ( screen shot for reference here - )

    Meanwhile I racked up near $1000 in rental fees covering several high profile clients.

    Called again when the camera came back with absolutely no adjustments or repairs made, again got ahold of some rude service tech (Iesha?) who promptly put me on hold for 5 min the second I said they had not performed the repair properly (common tactic) then when i finally got ahold of the manager I was told to call the 800 service number (a step backwards from the repair number) only to have them tell me to send it back in again!

    Sorry but “Bullshit!”

    What Im looking at… another $1000 out in rentals while waiting the 2 weeks for them to do… what? I could have bnought a 5D by now or a second body and it would have been cheaper than this crap.

    I never should have left Nikon.

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