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Customer Discussions > Photography forum

Nikon Factory Service


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Showing 1-25 of 43 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 9, 2011 4:35:07 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 9, 2011 4:37:15 PM PDT
Stephen says:
I recently took my D90 to the El Segundo, CA Nikon factory service office. My shutter was misfiring and since it had a lot of use, I figured the shutter mechanism was in need of replacement. I was quoted up to $280 for replacement. When I returned to pick up my camera I found I was charged $127 to clean the electrical contacts that connect the camera body to the lens control. It seemed to be an excessive amount charged for the service rendered.

I inquired and was told there would be no adjustment. When I investigated Nikon's El Segundo Facility, I found that they had an "F" rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Has anyone else experienced this type of problem with Nikon service? How about Canon?

I was about to purchase a new Nikon camera body and this experience has soured me to my Nikon ownership experience.

Anyone have any ideas on what a next move should be with my dissatisfaction?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 9, 2011 4:57:30 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 9, 2011 5:21:29 PM PDT
® says:
Did you complaint to Nikon directly, and see what they say on your itemized billing. If there is enough bad reports they can pull their association with this camera shop/service shop. Most of these repair shops are 3rd party mom and pop store that apply for big company contract service. I looked on the list on Nikon website and saw nothing on El Segundo, which from my memory living in Southern California is between LA and San Diego. Look at your receipt at what they itemized and called up other shops listed and see what their rate is. When a mechanic look at your car or you get a checkup at the dentist or doctor, it ain't free (even if insurance pays for it), people have to make money like you and I.

Their error maybe more they are not as upfront as some other places. After I drop my car off, for example Goodyear and other mechanics will call me up and say what I want to do this or not and I say yes or no. Also to say in business they probably repair other camera brands too. Next time be more proactive and be inquiring otherwise people will screw with you or won't tell you anything if you don't ask.

http://www.nikonusa.com/Service-And-Support/Nikon-Authorized-Repair-List.page

At my firm, we are told to report all near misses, so they can study it and prevent accidents in the future. So report this to Nikon and if they get enough info on these guys, they might pull their agreement with them for substandard performance after a review. For the record I haven't had any of my cameras repaired yet, usually I buy something new before the old one fail. I have sent my watch in for repair once since it was under warranty to some watch store/repair shop authorized by Casio in Southern California. They said it was fine, but for some reason it doesn't pick up world time in Seattle, but does well in Nevada when I visited, since it is closer to the world time machine in Colorado I guess.

And did they fixed your shutter issue?

Posted on Apr 9, 2011 8:07:57 PM PDT
Stephen says:
I'm sorry to say that the El Segundo facility is the factory's west coast service center. It is not an authorized service center that is owned by a third party.

841 Apollo St.
El Segundo, California

I called and relayed my experience to a supervisor at the Nikon national 800 service number. The rep. that took the called was respectful and seemed to be concerned as he took a report, but that was the last of it.

Posted on Apr 10, 2011 12:37:50 AM PDT
How much was the total bill? $127 or $407?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 10, 2011 7:44:53 AM PDT
Stephen says:
The total was $127. I don't mean to sound like a difficult customer. I understand that the Nikon Facility is there to make money. However, we are talking about cleaning the exposed contacts for the lens communication. No tools required. A shutter replacement @$280 requires technical expertise and parts. I could talk my 9 year old through cleaning the contacts.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 10, 2011 8:10:19 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 10, 2011 8:15:36 AM PDT
I'd say you got off cheap. Nikon has to pay for the facility, the factory trained technicians, and the custom diagnostic equipment. Someone had to disassemble your camera and run diagnostics on it. I'm sure they checked everything. They usually clean and lubricate everything when a camera is in for service, part of the price. If anything, this just proves that they are reputable, they could have easily charged you $280, you were willing to pay it. Worse yet, they could have acted like a car dealer and started replacing parts and replacing parts until it finally worked. I once saw a $450 charge to fix a turn signal, turns out it was the bulb, but they replaced everything else first (or at least said they did).

Maybe you should be thanking them instead of complaining about them. If you really don't think it was worth it for them to fix it, next time hand it to your 9 year old to fix. :-)

This whole problem could have been avoided by regularly wiping down the lens mount and lens. (also clean the battery contacts.)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 10, 2011 9:39:42 AM PDT
Stephen says:
Aside from the snarky tone I understand elements of your message. Still it was $127 for external cleaning. Lesson learned. Next time I'll check the contacts myself.

You missed my point on the statement that my 9 year old could have been talked through the "repair." It was not intended to say that he could have diagnosed the problem.

This Nikon facility has an "F" rating with the BBB. This is not a sign of excellent service. It doesn't sound like this facility has a lot of thanking due them in their regular course of business.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 10, 2011 10:11:39 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 10, 2011 11:18:44 AM PDT
® says:
Stephen, unless you find out the rates are too high, I think this is part of reality, and just vent off some steam and learn from it. Is it possible a local camera shop could of fixed it a little cheaper, yes (midas/goodyear vs Volkwagen probably 15% more at the dealer in this case Nikon) Some people might lowball you and then adjust the rate later too if you ask around. I hate going to the mechanic for my car, I know I will be out $400-1000. I get pretty nasty with the sale people at the dealer over the itemized list, but hey, I signed off on it. Feels like highway robbery most of the time, but I go back since I need things fixed (maybe I don't respect what mechanic do or something, nor been in their shoes). I make like a 1/4 to 1/3 of my hourly billing rate that my firm charge and the rest goes into all the other overhead, principle, building, profit, etc.

Once you are out of warranty thing gets pricey and you will consider the cost of repair or buy something new. My PS3 died, I could get it fixed for $129 on a $300 device now (got it 4.5 years ago for 500), I did their $99 swap for a refurbish deal. My Panasonic TV layed an egg after 2.6 years, I was in a market for a new flat screen LCD, so I have no grudge. My first canon product was a scanner and it died within 30 so I took it back to Fry's. Since then I got 2 printers and a powershot, works fine. My Lenovo laptop speakers went out and my Casio watch(not really, I was paranoid) were under warranty and it were free repair. Microsoft charges $60 for tech support after the 30day or 1 year depending on product per incident. Nikon products has been good to me, so if I dropped my camera, I will get another from them no question ask. I would weight the cost of repair/ new product thought.

I will repeat this one: "Their error maybe more they are not as upfront as some other places." I think you might be more upset with how they talked/communicated with you. If you get nasty(like I do with car repairs) with them they are trained not to return it, but some people do.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 10, 2011 10:18:25 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 10, 2011 10:47:31 AM PDT
Stephen says:
BBB "F" rating seems to be missed in your monolog?

The "F" rating is shared by both the Melville, NY and El Segundo, CA facility.

Not exactly the quality of service that you would expect from Nikon.

A company can rake you over the coals "because they are experts," does not make it right or good corporate policy.

I own six Nikon Lenses and 2 Nikon camera bodies. I was considering purchasing a new Nikon camera body...not anymore. I'm not saying I'm done with Nikon, I'm considering other options. I wasn't before this experience.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 10, 2011 10:46:41 AM PDT
BBB ratings can be bought - maybe Nikon chooses not to pay.

Posted on Apr 10, 2011 10:50:52 AM PDT
I dropped er...... I mean my camera just mysteriously stopped working. Fix it for free or I'll report you to the BBB.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 10, 2011 10:54:04 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 13, 2011 4:33:21 AM PDT
Stephen says:
Nonsense about paying for a BBB rating! You have no idea what you are speaking about! I'd like to see ANY reference to support your absurd claim.

Nikon's service facilities have an "F" rating because they have not responded to over 1/2 of the consumer complaints. The Melville facility has 43 unresponded complaints in this ratings cycle.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 10, 2011 10:59:04 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 10, 2011 11:00:40 AM PDT
Stephen says:
® you have a good point.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 10, 2011 11:03:47 AM PDT
Well, you don't seem to have worried about Nikon's BBB rating BEFORE you took your camera there, but now that you are dissatisfied with the price (not quality) of the repair, you are well aware of that rating? Could it be that you were going to (or did) attempt to file a claim to get the price reduced? Did you threaten Nikon with that or did you just think about it?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 10, 2011 11:20:57 AM PDT
Stephen says:
I didn't think about checking with the BBB untill after I had voiced my concern to Nikon and my concern was unresolved.

Your contribution to this thread are not based in fact and appear to be antagonistic. Please do not reply again.

Posted on Apr 10, 2011 11:22:22 AM PDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 10, 2011 11:34:19 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 10, 2011 11:40:57 AM PDT
® says:
I think you did the right thing and voiced your concern on the factory to Nikon. Hope it helps other people in the future, if I ever need my item fixed. I usually check BBB before I do internet business with some site I never heard of or local business. It looks like your Nikon factory has a small HR department, since rating is base on response and problem resolved. Also see how long they were in business too.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 10, 2011 12:04:46 PM PDT
"""
Aside from the snarky tone I understand elements of your message. Still it was $127 for external cleaning. Lesson learned. Next time I'll check the contacts myself.
"""

And probably 30 minutes of a tech doing the diagnosis -- You ARE talking California where labor rates at even auto shops are $100/hour (of which the tech maybe gets $40, the other $60 covers facility overhead). Cleaning contacts, in a shop, probably involved using liquids with haz-mat disposal needs... No doubt they also cleaned the rest of the camera, and hooked it back up to a diagnostic system that may have recalibrated the shutter speeds, etc.

Without seeing the nature of the complaints to the BBB it is hard to count just a statement of "F"... Maybe all the complaints are from people who were charged $100 just to have a camera checked and cleaned when they were expecting it to need replacement parts.

Posted on Apr 11, 2011 3:29:59 PM PDT
I myself have had generally good experiences with Nikon's El Segundo Service facility. I was recently disappointed to learn, however, that my contact there, Armando, has moved to a competitor within the past year or so. It is possible that with his departure the quality of their service has slipped somewhat. I haven't had to bring anything in to El Segundo since he left. Only way I knew he was gone was that I ran into him somewhere else.

An alternative, if San Diego isn't too far for you, is Kurt's Camera Repair. They have a good reputation. They aren't the cheapest, either, but when I needed a new shutter in $5K body and didn't feel like driving practically all the way up to LAX, I brought it to them, and they did a good job.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2011 10:56:19 PM PDT
Nikon will NOT "just wipe it off" as OP claims. The camera gets completely cleaned inside and out, things fastened here, tightened there, tweaked where needed.
Takes a trained tech an hour or more to do that. $127 is a steal for a full lube. Last time I'd one done on my D200 it was twice that, and worth every cent.

And yes, BBB ratings can be bought. They can also easily be manipulated by people wanting to give a company a bad name by simply filing tons of minor complaints. As satisfied customers won't likely report to the BBB that they're happy, even a few complaints (as in this case) by irate customers like OP will cause the company to get a bad rating.
And of course I'd not be at all surprised if you can buy a bad rating for a competitor just as you can buy a good rating for yourself.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 12, 2011 7:39:33 AM PDT
Stephen says:
@But I'm feeling much better now... 42 UNANSWERED complaints. Learn to read before you write. Your estimate of 1000 units repaired per day is absurd. There are 5 repair technicians at Nikon's West Coast facility. One of them is the supervisor. You do the math.

@JT Wenting complaints alone do not equal a bad BBB rating. Unanswered complaints or documented irregularities do lead to a negative rating.

Since the two of you are interested in conspiracy theories, I wanted to let you know that I have referred your files to the CIA for "special" attention.

To the sane ®, Dennis and T. Oed,
At this point I feel that the repair, while expensive, was in line for technical work. It's not like Nikon damaged the camera which would have been a legitimate complaint. I was disappointed that the shutter was not replaced since I know that the camera has a lot on miles on it and this repair is not too far off. I appreciate the referral to the San Diego shop however the Nikon facility is less than 1/2 mile from my house and in reality I will return in the future. I appreciate your input.

Posted on Apr 12, 2011 7:54:02 AM PDT
You are an idiot. I google mapped Nikon and your name popped up. Your google reviews are full of false and misleading claims against everybody and anybody that makes you wait too long or charges you too much. Evidently, your google review did not cause Nikon to lower their price, so then you came here to complain.

It says you have 20 years experience as a camera assistant?????? And you couldn't take a lens off to check it???? They should have charged you double for stupidity.

You want to come here and blast Nikon for no reason (except to try to force them to reduce their service charge) and I'll point out all the reasons you are wrong, and interesting things about your character as well, just to show how your claims are made up in your mind.

Gotta go, the CIA is at my door. LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL ROFLMAO!

Posted on Apr 12, 2011 8:32:26 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 12, 2011 10:58:18 AM PDT
Stephen says:
@ But I'm feeling much more ignorant now...

Yes 23 years experience as a Motion Picture Camera assistant. (hint) I do not pretend to be an expert in areas that I am not.

PL and Panavision lens mounts do not have electrical contacts for Auto focus. Stupidity? ... a lack of understanding, yes, you demonstrate it with every post.

I already stated that I feel the charges were in line in my last post. I had already paid the bill to pick up my camera. Your theory of trying to get a reduced charge... too late for that.

It's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt.

"Your google reviews are full of false and misleading claims against everybody and anybody that makes you wait too long or charges you too much." please elaborate. I see you took the time to negative vote all of my Google reviews... a bit childish, don't you think?

You seem to have a lot of free time. Unemployed? Hostile, a "know it all" and childish? I can't imagine why. If you do have a job I'd bet you are very popular at work.

I'm turning your file over to the Black Helicopter Patrol as well.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 12, 2011 9:45:05 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 12, 2011 10:02:13 AM PDT
"""
Since the two of you are interested in conspiracy theories, I wanted to let you know that I have referred your files to the CIA for "special" attention.

"""

Technically, the CIA is not supposed to have jurisdiction within the US -- that job falls to the FBI.

And the government already has a folder on me... Comes from working at a defense contractor...

"""
Yes 23 years experience as a Motion Picture Camera assistant. (hint) I do not pretend to be an expert in areas that I am not.

PL and Panavision lens mounts do not have electrical contacts for Auto focus. Stupidity? ... a lack of understanding, yes, you demonstrate it with every post.
"""

The lens mounts and lenses for that gear might date back to the 50s, when the cameras were so large even manual focus probably used a crank handle at the operator end driving a screw connection at the lens. It's a totally different realm for digital SLRs (the Canon EOS [electro-optical system] is completely electronic -- there isn't a single mechanical linkage in the mount other than the latch that holds it from rotating.

Posted on Apr 12, 2011 10:01:28 AM PDT
Brian T. Ach says:
@Stephen

Are you a member of NPS?

I have been a member of CPS (Canon Professional Services) for many years. You may not know, there is usually a minimum charge for a tech to open up and look at your camera and diagnose a problem. $127 seems like a very decent price for your repair. Just because there was "nothing broken," does not mean that they ship it back to you with a smiley face and don't charge you anything.

Think if I hired you to shoot a 3 hour job, and you drove in for the job, waited around for an hour, the guests never showed up, and the party was cancelled after 2 hours. You didn't take any pictures. Wouldn't you still want to get paid for your time?

What they said on the invoice is not always the extent of what they do. "Cleaning contacts" also means that they brought everything else up to factory specs, probably cleaned the sensor, tested all functions, and determined that the camera was within factory tolerance.

Being disappointed that they didn't replace the shutter is ludicrous. Canon will not replace a shutter until it fails, unless you send it to them SPECIFICALLY stating that you want the shutter changed. There is no way to test to see if the shutter is about to fail, as they are electronic. They generally just are fine one hour and broken the next, I know, I have had it happen to me right in the middle of a gig. I sent it in and $280 later (actually $190 with my discount) I had a new shutter. A bargain, as now the camera is good for another 200,000 for only $200. I have had a shutter on a Mark II go out after only 45,000, and I had one in a 5D last for over 150,000, way over what it was rated. You never know.

If my camera was not working and I sent it to Canon and it came back working fine and was only $127, I would be ecstatic.

Not buying Nikon again because you sent them a broken camera--and they fixed the problem--honestly, without charging you excessively in any way, would be kind of just a slight overreaction.

But if you just like to complain and write letters and get people riled up, then go right ahead. Nikon will not care however...

www.BrianAch.com
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Discussion in:  Photography forum
Participants:  16
Total posts:  43
Initial post:  Apr 9, 2011
Latest post:  Apr 3, 2013

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