Incompetence of the Nikon Service Center


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derekj

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#1
I am sure there are good technicians at the service center but this is my experience

Two friends accidentally chucked my D800 into a swimming pool and the camera stopped working. Fair enough, water damage. I took it to the Nikon service center to see if there is anything they can do and after a "general checking" by their technician, it was deemed to be a complete write off due to extensive water damage. Fair enough. It went into the pool cant blame Nikon. I left it on the shelf thinking its beyond reasonable repairs.

I saved up and bought a new camera today. When I got home, I thought what the hell might as well try the old D800 again with the new battery. And what do you know. the old D800 camera turned on fine. camera works fine. only thing is there are 3 spots in the viewfinder. so what exactly did the "general checking" at the service center entail? they couldn't just put in a different battery just to check? utter, completely incompetence...

On the upside. While I don't suggest throwing your nice shiny camera into the deep end of a pool, I am impressed with Nikon's weather sealing.
 

daredevil123

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Oct 25, 2005
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#2
I am sure there are good technicians at the service center but this is my experience

Two friends accidentally chucked my D800 into a swimming pool and the camera stopped working. Fair enough, water damage. I took it to the Nikon service center to see if there is anything they can do and after a "general checking" by their technician, it was deemed to be a complete write off due to extensive water damage. Fair enough. It went into the pool cant blame Nikon. I left it on the shelf thinking its beyond reasonable repairs.

I saved up and bought a new camera today. When I got home, I thought what the hell might as well try the old D800 again with the new battery. And what do you know. the old D800 camera turned on fine. camera works fine. only thing is there are 3 spots in the viewfinder. so what exactly did the "general checking" at the service center entail? they couldn't just put in a different battery just to check? utter, completely incompetence...

On the upside. While I don't suggest throwing your nice shiny camera into the deep end of a pool, I am impressed with Nikon's weather sealing.
Do know that water takes time to dry out. And when it dries out completely, it may work, but over time corrosion will set in. When you brought the camera into NSC, it may seem DOA because not all the water has dried out and there may be a short. The engineers there followed standard Nikon SOP (yes there are strict service manuals they adhere to), so you cannot really blame them and say they are inefficient. Just count your lucky stars that the cam stills work after it totally dried out and you dropped it into a fresh water pool and not into seawater.

And weather sealing or not, if the camera is submerged, you can be sure that a lot of water got in.
 

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Kirei

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Feb 22, 2007
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#3
I am sure there are good technicians at the service center but this is my experience Two friends accidentally chucked my D800 into a swimming pool and the camera stopped working. Fair enough, water damage. I took it to the Nikon service center to see if there is anything they can do and after a "general checking" by their technician, it was deemed to be a complete write off due to extensive water damage. Fair enough. It went into the pool cant blame Nikon. I left it on the shelf thinking its beyond reasonable repairs. I saved up and bought a new camera today. When I got home, I thought what the hell might as well try the old D800 again with the new battery. And what do you know. the old D800 camera turned on fine. camera works fine. only thing is there are 3 spots in the viewfinder. so what exactly did the "general checking" at the service center entail? they couldn't just put in a different battery just to check? utter, completely incompetence... On the upside. While I don't suggest throwing your nice shiny camera into the deep end of a pool, I am impressed with Nikon's weather sealing.
In fairness to NSC, the camera is not waterproof, it is only weather sealed, and your cam got submerged in the pool. You go to NSC or any third party service repair will most probably tell u the same thing "Not worth to repair and better to get new camera" for safety reasons. Massive water contact with electronic parts renders an electronic device dangerous as it may results in electric shocks or worst case result in explosion if continued usage. (dun forget you need a battery to operate the camera). Yes it looks fine now but who knows what will happen if u continue to use it professionally or for paid assignments. If something happens that results in personal injury or loss of properties, who is gonna be responsible for it? Thus NSC standpoint in this case is justifiable and valid. So your statement "utter, completely incompetence" is really uncalled for...
 

enenyi

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Mar 28, 2013
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#4
I am sure there are good technicians at the service center but this is my experience

Two friends accidentally chucked my D800 into a swimming pool and the camera stopped working. Fair enough, water damage. I took it to the Nikon service center to see if there is anything they can do and after a "general checking" by their technician, it was deemed to be a complete write off due to extensive water damage. Fair enough. It went into the pool cant blame Nikon. I left it on the shelf thinking its beyond reasonable repairs.

I saved up and bought a new camera today. When I got home, I thought what the hell might as well try the old D800 again with the new battery. And what do you know. the old D800 camera turned on fine. camera works fine. only thing is there are 3 spots in the viewfinder. so what exactly did the "general checking" at the service center entail? they couldn't just put in a different battery just to check? utter, completely incompetence...

On the upside. While I don't suggest throwing your nice shiny camera into the deep end of a pool, I am impressed with Nikon's weather sealing.
From what I see, you are not calling them incompetent for their warranty services, but calling them incompetent simply because you spent 'unnecessary' money to buy another D800 and you get angry with them retrospectively. Think about it: if Nikon had told you to pay about $500-$1k for repairs, and after repairs either you or one of your friends risk their lives by operating the repaired camera due to potential short circuit/electrical discharge, would you call NSC unprofessional? Not tryig to side NSC, but as a fellow Nikon user, I would find Nikon unprofessional if the technicians know abt potential drawbacks yet tell you to pay up the money for repairs to the old D800, rather than ask you spend money buy a new one. Now looking back at it, when user safety is involved, what do you think?
 

Aug 30, 2013
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#5
similar to hp that dropped into toilet bowl. keep dry for a few days, and it might work after a few days
 

derekj

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Feb 11, 2010
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#6
I left it to dry for a month before taking it into the service center. If it was going to be dry it would have dried up by then.

With regards to liability. They could simply have said they couldn't fixed it for liability or something on that line.
If they said it costed X amount to fix and they can't guarantee the work they could simply have said so as well.

What they did say is that it would not turn on at all. Clearly, that's not the case.
 

timlim

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Mar 10, 2005
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#7
Obviously I don't have the full story but if it was your friends that chucked the camera (regardless of whether it was accidental), shouldn't they be making good the damage rather than leaving you to save up for a replacement?
 

derekj

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They did pay me for the camera and it was an accident. Given how expensive the camera was, the fact it was a genuine accident and they are my friends. I offered for them to pay the used price value which they did pay. Though not the SG used price value but the cheapest they could find online.

Actually I'm not upset by the fact I saved up and bought a new camera. I was fully prepared to do so when it went into the pool. Only that nikon said the old camera would not turn on and was a complete write off. If it was a matter of liability or cost to repair or guaranteeing the repair, that would be a risk for me to accept and for them to accept to repair.

I'm not happy because either the person didnt make much effort or he gave me false information. It would have been completely Ok if they refused to repair.
 

G-man

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Mar 2, 2006
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#9
I think it's very unfair of you to call them incompetent or inefficient simply because they could not repair your camera. For starters, the camera won't switch on when you brought it in. How would the technicians know that much later it would?

Hindsight is always 20/20.

FWIW I am not a Nikon user. I use Canon. And the same thing would be said for any other brand user in this instance.
 

ortega

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#10
I would be happy if it worked again, anyway I am not a technician and I did not see what was wrong with your camera
so I would not be able to comment on their alleged incompetence.
 

timlim

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Mar 10, 2005
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#11
Thanks for your explanation. I think both you and your friends handled the situation very fairly.

But I'm not too sure how NSC could have helped you, given the nature of the damage and the situation.

The known facts were (to either or both of NSC and yourself):
- Camera has sustained water damage.
- Camera could not turn on at that point in time.
- An unknown number of parts are probably damaged - some may eventually recover through drying, others may not.
- It would cost a lot in labour charges to check every single part (if that's possible) to try to ascertain which parts are waterproof and undamaged, which parts are not waterproof and damaged, and which parts are not waterproof but undamaged.
- Add the above to the cost of the required replacement parts, and it becomes more viable by far to write off and replace with a new camera.

What would you advise if you were in NSC's shoes? And how would that advice have changed your outcome?

More importantly, even after repair, other parts may fail in the future. And it may not be possible to ascertain if those future failures are due to the water damage (for which your friends should be responsible) or other reasons such as fair wear and tear (for which your friends should not have to be responsible).

All in all, I think you already have the best outcome - a new camera which you can enjoy without worry of future breakdowns from water damage, and more importantly, closure to the episode in terms of the relationship and compensation with your friends. Everyone can move on.

The only thing left is maybe the salvage value of the old camera - may help to defray some of the costs you and your friends have incurred.

Just my 2 cents worth, hope you don't mind.
 

Kit

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#12
I've read many cases of water damaged electronics came back to life again after they were deemed a write-off. I've had my fair share of issues with NSC but I think branding them incompetent in this instance is a tad over.
 

Kit

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#14
I think he should pass the camera to his friend and let them decide what to do with it. They did pay for it.
 

kandinsky

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Yeah, would be interesting to bring it back to NSC for a review. :bsmilie:

If you really feel that they've been lacking, and possibly did not assess the camera completely and seriously once they heard it was completely submerged in water, your feedback might help them improve and treat similar cases in future differently? *shrug*

I'd ask them if they are able to explain what has happened, whether they still stand by their initial assessment, and lastly, whether it can be serviced now.
 

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Blur Shadow

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Sep 17, 2005
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I would like to think of it as having a brand new machine, instead of paying for a repair bill that will probably be no cheaper than a new one and still run the risk of issues in the future.

And I wouldn't say it is incompetence. I am certain that the Nikon folks analyzed the damage and figured it has reached a point of no return and correctly gave you their assessment. You probably got lucky for now, but I don't think it would last too much longer.
 

JacePhoto

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Oct 1, 2007
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#17
Hurray for D800.

But i share your frustration w your experience with NSC.

It's always easier to do things the simple ways. Maybe they shld pay technicians by commission. They get paid for the amount of repairs they do.
 

derekj

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Feb 11, 2010
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#18
Thanks for all the reply.

To answer the above. What would I have advised/wanted from nikon? Say that after a examination of the camera, it would not be worth repairing/they will not perform any repairs due to potential liability. I would be happy to accept the outcome. I can understand it's some something they are not willing to do although whether if its worth it or not would be my decision and risk.

And as I stated on my first post, I acknowledge that I'm sure there are highly competent and hard working technicians at nikon. I also have the name of the technician on the letter nikon gave me stating that the camera would not even turn on and I have not mentioned it because everyone has bad days. I just don't feel this is a case where that skill or work has been put to use.
 

daredevil123

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#19
Thanks for all the reply.

To answer the above. What would I have advised/wanted from nikon? Say that after a examination of the camera, it would not be worth repairing/they will not perform any repairs due to potential liability. I would be happy to accept the outcome. I can understand it's some something they are not willing to do although whether if its worth it or not would be my decision and risk.

And as I stated on my first post, I acknowledge that I'm sure there are highly competent and hard working technicians at nikon. I also have the name of the technician on the letter nikon gave me stating that the camera would not even turn on and I have not mentioned it because everyone has bad days. I just don't feel this is a case where that skill or work has been put to use.
Liability or not, nobody knows.

But I am sure the technician was not able to turn on the camera if it was stated so. And I am sure they use a working battery.

There are just too many unknowns, especially with water damage. And to jump to conclusions that the service center is incompetent just because you got lucky is too much of a stretch. When there is water with electronics, everything becomes anyone's guess how and what will happen. And to attribute that to incompetence is just ignorance on your part in your knowledge of electronics and engineering.

It has nothing to do with skill. You got lucky, period. Try to look at the positives, and not turn them into a negative and start pointing fingers. Some patients have been diagnosed with terminal illness and given a short time to live. Then suddenly their illness became better. Some will call it a miracle. Some people, unfortunately, like yourself, will call it the lack of skill and incompetence on the doctors part. Sh** happens, and miracles happen. Take Sh** in stride and be strong. And accept miracles with a smile and count your blessings. Don't be a meany when good things happen to you, and you will live a much happier life.
 

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Kit

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#20
Thanks for all the reply.

To answer the above. What would I have advised/wanted from nikon? Say that after a examination of the camera, it would not be worth repairing/they will not perform any repairs due to potential liability. I would be happy to accept the outcome. I can understand it's some something they are not willing to do although whether if its worth it or not would be my decision and risk.

And as I stated on my first post, I acknowledge that I'm sure there are highly competent and hard working technicians at nikon. I also have the name of the technician on the letter nikon gave me stating that the camera would not even turn on and I have not mentioned it because everyone has bad days. I just don't feel this is a case where that skill or work has been put to use.
If I had my way, I hope your camera die now.
 

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