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Thread: Where's it all going to...?

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    Super Duper
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    Where's it all going to...?

    Just off the phone with my local camera technician, Fred Mueller. He's working on my Balda Baldix 6x6 folder ... Fred's one of the last techs I'd send a nice old classic folder like that to, around here anyway. He'll have it lubricated, adjusted, and working like new in a week for $150: a bargain.

    Anyway, we got to talking as usual. Seems that Nikon now requires that service people who want to stay authorized to buy parts from them now have to invest $66,000 in new calibration machinery, AND have a dedicated employee available at all times for Nikon work, AND send that employee for training on a regular six month basis, AND they're reimbursing service shops about 15% on the dollar for warranty related work. Without that commitment, they won't even renew Fred's ability to buy parts.

    To me, that's a heck of a kick in the butt for someone like Fred. He's a small, two man outfit with a solid 50 year track record of good service. He knows his shop's limitations and supports customers needing work that he can't handle by contracting with other, larger service providers that he trusts, and he personally inspects and guarantees that work done that way is up to par. Requirements like that are way out of line for the service he provides. To cut off his access to parts for service work on equipment that he can handle ... That's just wrong.

    Another blow to the little guy in the camera business, I guess. Does anyone care anymore?

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Where's it all going to...?

    If a Leica digital RF camera breaks down where would anyone send that to for fixing?

    At least, with the other manufacturers there are choices, albeit, at a cost. Still cheaper than sending it to Solmns, I would think.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Where's it all going to...?

    There is a hugh thread on the Digital Wedding Forum about this subject ... Nikon repairs have skyrocketed even for pro service, often making the repair not worth it at all compared to buying a new lens or camera ... and they are squeezing out the independent repair centers in the very manner you have described.

    Some of the routine repairs described on the DWF are ridiculous ... like $300 to replace a loose rubber grip material on a lens, or $260 for a $480 flash ... a sticky zoom ... a $700 repair ... to quote just a few.

    The biggest scam claimed on the thread is a routine reply from Nikon service claiming impact damage for warranty work when there was no impact according to many DWF shooters. Lots of folks mentioned that one.

    A real impact damage incident which causing a slightly bent filter thread ... $700.

    Income down, costs up ... up ... up.


    -Marc

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Where's it all going to...?

    Even a big repair shop here in Tempe has been hit by this which employes a lot of folks and does repairs for almost everything but now they are not going to provide Nikon service which will hurt them. Most likely will have to let a few people go as well. Does not make a lot of sense I guess from our seat. Now a Nikon shooter this does not make me very happy. Looks when a repair is up than will look at replacement instead. For a Pro maybe not so much a big deal in a sense as we get to write this stuff off but still sucks and for the hobbyist just not fair at all.

    No doubt this comes from some bean counter trying to move up the corporate latter decision. Maybe wrong here but sure does feel like that.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Where's it all going to...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    If a Leica digital RF camera breaks down where would anyone send that to for fixing?

    At least, with the other manufacturers there are choices, albeit, at a cost. Still cheaper than sending it to Solmns, I would think.
    Fred does my Leica service too, and has worked on M8 and M9 digital bodies (I asked him). Most of what needs to be done most often is the same old mechanical stuff (view/rangefinder alignment and calibration, cleaning, shutter curtain replacement, etc), but when he comes up against a wall on a digital system that he cannot manage, he has resources to handle that for him.

    Leica hasn't blocked him out of buying parts, even for the old fully mechanical cameras, just because he can't afford a hundred grand in new test equipment and personnel for the latest new models... That's what Nikon has done.

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    Re: Where's it all going to...?

    No doubt this is a new development, Godfrey. In the short run, such repairmen and the customers will feel the effect but it is going to affect Nikon (and companies with such bizarre policies) more deeply for a long time to come.

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