What happens when you send a camera to Nikon for Repair

SymphoticSymphotic Posts: 493Member
edited January 2013 in General Discussions
My intent is to document my experience for the benefit of others, not start a complaints thread. But I would like to know what the experience of other NRF folks have been.

After getting tired of dealing with Autofocus Fine Tuning, I decided to send my D800 in for inspection/service. I was getting back focus requiring an AF Fine tuning of -20, which is not really fine tuning...

I sent the camera, a copy of my sales receipt, and my warranty card to the new facility on Wilshire Blvd. by UPS ground on Friday. With insurance, shipping was about $35. UPS showed it arrived on Monday, January 7. I did not include the battery or the memory card, only the body cap. I packed the camera in bubble wrap and foam board using our own boxes, not the Nikon boxes.

Today I received notification by e-mail that the camera has been received and entered into the system. Initial estimates for repair are $0 and the service repair rank is "B2". I am informed that I do not need to approve the repair as it is a warranty repair. Not including the day it arrived, there were 3 business days required to log the camera in and send me acknowledgement. (My company is a little faster, usually we log in and acknowledge repairs within 24 hours of receipt.)

I'll let you know what happens next.
Jack Roberts
"Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought"--Albert Szent-Gyorgy
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Comments

  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 3,606Member
    Having dealt with Nikon service centers several times, directly rather than by mail, I can say that overall it seems to be a good service. I live close enough to a repair centre that driving is far more cost effective than shipping. I find most of the techs at the Richmond (Vancouver, Canada) center very knowledgeable and they can usually give you a repair window on the spot. I just dropped off my D700, my fourth experience at the repair depot, for a checkup, and should have it back in a few weeks (checking power management issues).

    I found Nikon phone service to be less than ideal, finding information can take time, and a few transfers. Nikon, at least in Canada, is working on a online solution for people who bring cameras in to get information without having to spend 10-30 minutes on the phone.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    I had a B2 repair done on a D5100 with no hassles. Got my RMA on-line, shipped it to NY, got it back in 2-weeks. I checked status on-line every few days to get updates. Got it back with a cleaned sensor and shutter count reset to 300 or so. (I think the board they replaced is where the shutter count is kept). Really no-fuss, no-muss.

    On a separate issue, I purchased a copy of Capture NX2 directly from the Nikon on-line store. I had purchased other software this way previously. For some reason, they didn't send me the software key via email right away as with other software purchases from them. So I called up the customer service folks and after a short conversation they said my order was undergoing review and I would get the code within 24 hours. I did, but my expectation was that it would happen much more quickly. Not a big deal really, and maybe they didn't like my credit card or something, I dunno...
  • safyresafyre Posts: 113Member
    Kind of a mixed bag with Nikon Repair. For flashes, I've had 3 burnt flash tubes replaced under warranty. Another time, I sent in a flash that I felt was about to get burnt out and they wouldn't repair saying it's user related damage (???) So I guess something has to be completely broken before they repair it under warranty, lol.

    Another time, I sent in a D90 which had broken shutter and just needed to be replaced (I specifically mentioned to only fix the shutter, nothing else). They ended up doing a complete inspection and saying that the camera was beyond economic repair and sent it back saying it had a bunch of other issues (when I knew it just needed the shutter replaced to work!). I ended up sending it to a third party repair, got the shutter fixed and it has been working fine ever since.

    Probably the most frustrating one was when I sent in my 17-55mm 2.8 to be fixed (I had dropped it and back element got jammed with the mount). It took a MONTH for them send it back, because they were missing parts and waiting for them. I thought that these were important parts, like the lens mount for the replacement, but I found out that it was delayed because they wanted to replace the rubber grip on the zoom ring! It took them 3 weeks just get a rubber grip for a zoom ring which I didn't even want or specified!! They definitely got an earful after that one.

    I've come to the conclusion that the Nikon service center is a lot like a car mechanic shop. They do a complete inspection and tend to try to upsell you things that don't even need to be fixed. My only advice is that once you're out of warranty period, specify EXACTLY what you want fixed if you know what the issue is, otherwise they're gonna try to get as much money from you as possible on trivial fixes.
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    I, much like Ironheart, experience with Nikon repair center has been positive. Last year I had to send in my battery grip for my D7000. I was down for about 2 week total. Got it back with the problem solved.
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • DenverShooterDenverShooter Posts: 270Member
    Dropped my D7000 body about 4 foot on to a wooden floor and it was Tango Uniform..

    I sent to Nikon LA and they charged me $147 to fix it and got it back to me in about a week. The D7000 was perfect after they repaired it.

    Denver Shooter
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 5,404Moderator
    edited January 2013
    Had an 18-105 start to bind up when zoomed - I had owned it years and bought it used - Nikon repaired it fast and free! Happy bunny.

    Bought a used 60mm micro at Christmas and they quarantined it because it had no serial label - They didn't contact me, just seemed to set it aside and move on so when I called to ask WTF, it wasn't even booked in. It took three calls to get a commitment from them to get their thumb out, but still no email so I can track it. . they dropped the ball on this one. If it is cheap (or free), I will not mind but if expensive I will be an unhappy bunny. I'll call again later.
    Post edited by spraynpray on
    Always learning.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,313Moderator
    @ spraynpray

    If sending a Nikon component to Nikon and the serial number has been defaced, it may be advisable to have a preauthorization specifying a non-serial number item is authorized for repair. As the potential for stolen goods is dramatically increased in this group or it could be a gray market item, these are some times not repaired by Nikon official shops in the USA.
    Msmoto, mod
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 5,404Moderator
    Had an 18-105 start to bind up when zoomed - I had owned it years and bought it used - Nikon repaired it fast and free! Happy bunny.

    Bought a used 60mm micro at Christmas and they quarantined it because it had no serial label - They didn't contact me, just seemed to set it aside and move on so when I called to ask WTF, it wasn't even booked in. It took three calls to get a commitment from them to get their thumb out, but still no email so I can track it. . they dropped the ball on this one. If it is cheap (or free), I will not mind but if expensive I will be an unhappy bunny. I'll call again later.
    @Msmoto: You are right, of course - I will do so in future.

    Things have moved on, Nikon sent me the estimate which was a whopping £267.17 @-) so the vendor is getting the lens back as mis-described!
    Always learning.
  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 536Member
    Hi all,

    I used to be a member of NPS and had little few complaints. I lived in Georgia, USA, and their service center was in Norcross, a suburb of Atlanta, and I drove our equipment to their center and it was 'all smiles' and easy peasy.

    I also had some lenses CLA a couple of years ago in the service center in LA at Sepulveda Boulevard, and the service was fine, pricey - $170 or so each if I recall, but what I expected. They work fine.

    I always wish anyone luck in dealing with service for repairs. It seems like such a crap shoot.

    My best.

    Mike
  • FrauchaFraucha Posts: 10Member
    Well, I have dealt with Nikon EU (UK) fast friendly, will call you back on the phone ASAP, solid information. I have yet to send an item to them though. So 50/50?
  • kyoshinikonkyoshinikon Posts: 410Member
    For me it has been a hit and miss. I am under the impression that there is a mixed bag of employees there some good and some bad. All of my D90 repairs have gone splendid. My 17-35mm was a joke of a repair, and my 14-24mm was good but somebody failed to put a screw in tightly enough so it came out... Most of my friends have nary a problem. A crap shoot, the Los Angeles location is.
    Dropped my D7000 body about 4 foot on to a wooden floor and it was Tango Uniform..

    I sent to Nikon LA and they charged me $147 to fix it and got it back to me in about a week. The D7000 was perfect after they repaired it.

    Denver Shooter
    Wood is always a killer. My 14-24mm hopped 7 times before it stopped. At least with cement the lenses don't bounce...
    “To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.” - Bresson
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 3,606Member
    edited January 2013
    Hah, my 300mm F4 had a meeting with cement, it cost me over $400 to repair the damage. It required a new front element, hood, and filter thread. The repair also took four months, mostly waiting for parts from Japan.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 5,404Moderator
    edited January 2013
    Yee-ouch PB - 4 months AND $400. That's the funny thing about my recent experience. The 60mm is apparently a cheap, common and popular lens with industrial usage so you would think that would make the parts cheap - £267/$400 is a lot when the parts are only rings not lens groups.
    Post edited by spraynpray on
    Always learning.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 3,606Member
    edited January 2013
    Considering that you can still buy new 60mm f2.8D lenses for just over $400 (at least at some retailers here in Canada) I wouldn't pay that much to fix one.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 5,404Moderator
    "I wouldn't pay that much to fix one."

    That's why it is on it's way back. I only paid $310 the perfect replacement which will arrive Monday. I wouldn't have paid £150 let alone £267 to get it repaired!
    Always learning.
  • roombarobotroombarobot Posts: 201Member

    In my experience, having sent my D600 in twice, not much happens. It has not yet been fixed, that is pathetic!

    In another experience, quoting Roger from LensRentals:

    Nikon: I’m asking for a lot here, Santa, but ‘tis the season to help those in need.

    First, if you could fit a quality control department in the sleigh that would be lovely.

    Also, could you bring Nikon USA a reasonable Factory Service Center, too? If that’s not possible, then I’ll go ahead and ask you to bring them some customers in 2014 or so, because they’ll be needing new customers about then.
  • SymphoticSymphotic Posts: 493Member
    edited January 2013
    I checked my status today and at first the repair didn't show up. Now it states "Estimate Accepted" (the estimate was zero.) One week in to the repair.
    Post edited by Symphotic on
    Jack Roberts
    "Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought"--Albert Szent-Gyorgy
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 5,404Moderator
    "Estimate Accepted"
    -------------------
    OK, that's a good thing - they are repairing it at no charge or for less than the amount you stated they could go straight ahead at (if you did).
    Always learning.
  • Swame_spSwame_sp Posts: 58Member
    Not a pleasant experience so far... Sent D7000 body for first time to clean up the dust on the sensor, and it was returned to billing address than the shipping address, the way Nikon claimed that it was my fault made me go crazy. I was calling them every day and will be on the phone for an hour or so and every customer rep would hear the whole story (yeah!! every time) assure things will be taken care. Finally after a long struggle, got it back after 3 months.

    Now I could see a small (2-3mm) thread on the viewfinder (doesn't come on the photo) so have sent it back for cleaning.

    Definitely not a positive experience so far.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 5,404Moderator
    That is one for the CEO of the repair centre for sure.
    Always learning.
  • LareLare Posts: 46Member
    Reading this post I alternate between hope and despair. I just sent in my D7000 body and lens for a focus issue yesterday. (Along with a memory card showing the problem.) I really hoping that I get the technician who is thorough and competent and is having a good, if OCD, day to work on mine.

  • shawninoshawnino Posts: 453Member
    Slightly off topic but I wonder if anyone has an informed opinion: my friend's D3100 is currently making its fourth lap to Nikon Service (in British Columbia, I think) to have the Live View sorted out (he just gets a black screen). Still under warranty. Well, the clock ran out but it's considered an "ongoing repair" so he's covered--though without a camera. In each case, his camera store (in Edmonton, AB) has been handling the to-ing and fro-ing.

    This has saved him shipping costs (hurrah!) but he's wondering if he ought to be dealing with Nikon himself. We actually think that Nikon should be more responsive to stuff coming back through dealers than through individuals, if there's any difference at all, but does anyone have knowledge on this? Turnaround times have been close to two months.

    Aside: they'll now have fixed an entry-level camera four times. That can't be sound economics vs. providing sa replacement after Round 2...
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 5,404Moderator
    "Aside: they'll now have fixed an entry-level camera four times."

    I wonder how long they would take to fix a D800!

    "That can't be sound economics vs. providing sa replacement after Round 2..."

    Especially as I would be going bonkers down the phone every day it wasn't fixed! That is sheer incompetence - but your friend should be talking to the boss by now as I am sure he would be unhappy that they couldn't fix it in 4 goes and that it is costing more than a new one. Unless they are milking Nikon for the warranty repair fees.
    Always learning.
  • SymphoticSymphotic Posts: 493Member
    Things going back for multiple repairs on the same problem are a real nightmare for any company.

    The cost of warranty repairs is built into the selling price and reported as a "warranty reserve", and manufacturers don't like to over or underestimate that cost. If you overestimate it, you have to reverse your reserve at the end of the year, making a windfall profit that increases your tax liabilities and underestimates your quarterly profits. If you underestimate the cost, you lose money. Nikon should have a pretty good idea, but I doubt they are happy to see any camera more than once.

    My return status still shows "Estimate Accepted". I'm waiting to see it move to "In Shop". I realize now how addicted I am to the D800. I'm holding off a job in Seattle because I want to use the D800 for it. If I don't get it back by next week, I'll have to consider a second FX body...

    Jack Roberts
    "Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought"--Albert Szent-Gyorgy
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 3,606Member
    Got my D700 back today (4 business days after I brought it in). They couldn't reproduce the battery issue, so they just cleaned the camera (sensor, viewfinder, external body) and gave it back to me at no cost (under warranty).

    The techs had me bring in my lenses to check for electrical shorts, they just checked while I was waiting, it took five minutes. They didn't find any issues, with the electronics, but they did find that my AF-S 300mm F4's mount was out of alignment. I find that odd since I just had the lens repaired back in the fall of 2011. I asked them to check the focusing motor, which has been squeaking ,while they are at it.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
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