Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Holy Quest for Nikon Warranty Replacement

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SATURDAY, OCTOBER 25

So, today I decided to do something about my 55-200 lens before the warranty expires.

The lens is a Nikkor AF-S DX 55-200 mm F/4.5-5.6 VR, which I bought last May for $339.99. It won't let me use manual focus on my D200 or D40X body. I'm also pretty sure that the auto-focus is not quite as accurate as it used to be, but I'm not even going to mention that to anyone. The manual focus is a nice, obvious, straightforward problem that should get me a new lens if the fine print on the warranty is written in the same French I've been speaking all my life.

Round 1: I go to Best Buy, where I bought the lens. The customer service representative looks me up and down like I'm a life form she's never encountered before, and informs me that I need to talk directly to Nikon. She looks unplesantly surprised when I ask her if she has a phone number for them.

Round 2: I call Nikon. Today is Saturday, so I'm not expecting any miracles. And I don't get any. I hit the voice mail and leave my name and phone number.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 26

Round 3: Having received no call back from Nikon, I get online and locate their Canadian warranty and returns procedure. The phone number listed is completely different from the one I was given at Best Buy. I duly note it.

MONDAY, OCTOBER 27

Round 4: To my astonishment, Nikon returns my voice mail from Saturday. They instruct me to ship the lens to their service centre in Montreal.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 31

Round 5: I ship the lens to Montreal.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 14

Round 6: I call Nikon in Montreal. They confirm that they have received the lens, and I should be getting a call from them sometime next week.

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 25

Round 7: Not having heard from Nikon, I call their service centre in Montreal again. They tell me they were waiting for a part to repair the lens, but it never came. So they're going to replace the lens, and I should receive it within the next few days.

By now it's been almost a month since I shipped the lens to Nikon, and I'm starting to miss my 55-200 very, very much.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 28

Round 8: My new lens is here, complete with a brand-new 5-year warranty. So it wasn't so bad after all -- just a little under a month from the time I shipped the lens to the service centre in Montreal. I have to say that the Nikon folks were extremely helpful every time I called, both at the head office in Toronto and at the Montreal facility. All things considered, excellent service!

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