This post refers to the problem as found in this archived link:
I had heard a "POP" sound from inside my D200 and, at the advice of the on-line tech, I sent it in for assessment. This was the second time I have had to send the D200 back to Nikon, and a second outlay of $25 insured shipping, BTW (the first was for the banding issue and a bad back focus problem, which was not even fully addressed).
I sent a letter with the camera and asked to be kept informed as to what was found wrong with the camera. After the shipping tracking number indicated one week had passed since Nikon received the camera, I called to see if there was a service number available. No, I was told, a week was "too soon". I let another four days pass and sent an e-mail inquiry. A response came the next day with a service number. Upon looking it up, I saw that the camera had been repaired under a B2 code (major parts replaced), though with no return date scheduled. I politely inquired via e-mail as to why I had not been notified of what problems had been found, as I requested, and queried as to what had been repaired. I went on to say that I would like to talk to someone about the repairs and indicated that if there were further "major" repairs needed or if these repairs proved ineffective, I'd like to have Nikon consider providing a replacement camera.
I received a very curt reply saying the "there is no way to speak with the technician that did the repair work" and that there was "no way to find out what was done" to my camera, that "only the code would be provided". The person went on further to say that Nikon would only fix a camera that was at all fixable and would not replace a camera. He then offered a rather lame analogy that if I took in my car to be fixed, would I expect a new car instead of repair. I replied that if I took my car in for repair, I would not be told that they had fixed it but no one was available that had worked on it and no one could tell me what had been done. I also said that, like a lotof people, if I had a car that needed MAJOR repair TWICE within eight months that I would consider selling the car and moving to a different manufacturer. I have heard nothing in reply.
Now, I have owned numerous Nikon products over a very long period of time. I have had issue with only one other product several years ago and the issue was addressed promptly, courteously, and with full disclosure (they even sent back the old part). This is one reason I have continued with Nikon. I know that isolated incidents of bad service can occur, but something similar happened the first time I sent this camera in (no service number provided and the camera was fixed and sent out without notification). I just found it one day on my doorstep. But, this current treatment I find wholly unacceptable. Has anyone else had a similar experience? Does anyone think it is unreasonable to expect that Nikon should tell me what was wrong with my camera and what parts required replacement?
#1. "RE: Update on Service to D200 ("Popping" Issue)" | In response to Reply # 0TonyBeach Registered since 20th Sep 2006Fri 06-Oct-06 02:31 PM
Sorry to hear about your camera and the issues you had with the repair.
I think the long turnaround was probably a result of a part needing to be shipped. I think the rudeness you experienced with the Nikon representative was an inappopriate reaction to your understandable exasperation. Things happen sometimes to complicated electronic appliances like a DSLR, so it may not be reasonable to expect replacement based on that; but there are "lemon laws" that apply to both cars and cameras and you may want to look up what is applicable in your state.
Reading between the lines, I think your issue goes back to the unsatisfactory focusing and banding repair. I cannot comment on the previous repair since I have not seen samples of the problems, heard any explanation from you about what was wrong, or what did or didn't get fixed.
D200 w/Nikkor & Tokina lenses
#2. "RE: Update on Service to D200 ("Popping" Issue)" | In response to Reply # 1Fri 06-Oct-06 02:43 PM
The lemon law usually applies when the same problem continues and they cant fix it. My guess is thats why they put B2 down. They can act like they have no idea what was fixed. It just came out of some room full of secretive elves.... I agree with Thom Hogan. Nikon needs to come clean with what has gone wrong and just fix it, regardless of the expense. Not just wait and come out with firmware updates with hiden "upgrades/fixes"
#4. "RE: Update on Service to D200 (" | In response to Reply # 2HeyChief Registered since 29th Aug 2007Fri 06-Oct-06 03:02 PM
I believe the discourteous reply comes from the latest generation of service providers. The newly hired customer service reps who replaced the older ones who were lost due to promotions, retirement or just moved on to other jobs, just don't understand the need to fully satisfy customers. They're in the "that's good enough" mode.
If enough dissatisfied customers notify the parent company, there might be a "shake up" of the service facility you were in contact with.
Visit my Nikonians gallery.
#3. "RE: Update on Service to D200 (" | In response to Reply # 0
4yanx. I forgot to say Im sorry that your getting poor service. I truly feel your pain. I think Nikon is really loosing it here. You have every right to know exactly whats wrong and what they are doing to your property. The elves are looking at my D200 too. If they send my camera back to me after a failed firmware upgrade with a b2 code Im going to freak.
#5. "RE: Update on Service to D200 (" | In response to Reply # 0
Nikon doesn't drop the ball often and if they say it's fixed, it probably is. I've always been pleased with Nikon service but the notification part of their operation needs to be looked at. Often the camera is back with the owner before the website show that it has shipped. I returned a D2H to have the meter board replaced, free under their service advisory. I received it back with a B2 notice. Just as a matter of interest I sent them an email asking if the board had actually been replaced. The reply was 'The camera is working isn't it? If so, don't worry about it'. I was surprised at the reply but the camera was working perfectly so I took their advise and didn't worry about it.
Originally from Merthyr Tydfil, Wales -- now in Arkansas
Visit my Nikonians gallery.
#6. "RE: Update on Service to D200 (" | In response to Reply # 5Fri 06-Oct-06 03:20 PM
This is rediculous... "Dont worry about it" This has got to be the only industry where they can perform warranty repair and not disclose the work performed. When I buy a camera Im also paying for a warranty (I think its 1 year) I think that I am entitled to know what was performed as if I was paying out of pocket. Because guess what, we are!!!
Nikon acts like we should be so thankful that are product finally works that we're not entitled to know what they do to our property.
#7. "RE: Update on Service to D200 (" | In response to Reply # 5simpo two Registered since 17th Aug 2004Fri 06-Oct-06 03:20 PM
I may be missing something, but did you pursue the matter with the dealer - for that is whom you had the contract with and they are first in line to fix any problems.
As per my other post (focusing issues) mine went back to the dealer today for a full refund, no questions asked. I don't need to know what the problem was, or how they fixed it, or deal with grumpy folk.
I can now buy another one at the new lower price... win to me
#8. "RE: Update on Service to D200" | In response to Reply # 0
Things break. Complicated things, like computers, cars, and cameras, break often. It just IS.
We should expect initial quality to be high. However, early units will most likely display more problems. It just IS.
So, I can deal with things breaking.
However, I cannot stand for poor service. That is just unacceptable. I try to be Zen about things breaking or showing up defective; such is life. If the manufacturer is settles things without hassle, I consider it good service and take comfort that if things go wrong, they will be okay.
My other expensive hobby (which used to be an income generating activity) is music. I purchase gear not only on product quality, but also quality of service.
You can take some comfort that your Nikon will eventually be fixed, but they should be treating you better for two reasons; (1) you gave them money in expectation of a certain level of satisfaction and (2) since you purchased a Nikon, you will most likely be inclined to purchase MORE Nikon things if you have a good experience.
Sounds like the marketing and sales team needs to get down to the Nikon USA customer service department and kick some arse.
All that said, I have had nothing but good dealings with the folks at Nikon USA. Your mileages seems to vary significantly than mine, so it might be luck of the draw. Some people love Best Buy, but after one experience I would rather chug Drano than spend a single dollar at that place.
#9. "RE: Update on Service to D200 (" | In response to Reply # 0
The sad thing is, this response and attitude is "fixable". People can be taught to give good service. There doesn't need to be a broad based code and veils of secrecy. It does take a corporate revolution in often a whole (service) division or corporate thinking to make it happen.
I can think of a top-brand German camera manufacturer and carmaker that also had this problem. It's kind of an arrogance that is something like "how dare you question my 'integrity'. Your camera/car broke, we fixed it, and we said we fixed it, so it's fixed. Now just go away, and don't bother us with YOUR insecurities”.
It doesn’t happen over night. But it can happen very fast, in small companies in days, larger ones in months. It takes a few weeks to train everyone. It can take years to wipe out the “arrogance” if it isn’t forced from the top down.
Putting the customer first, is a culture change on the same magnitude as gender or ethnic equality. The same kind of attitudes often make some of the most desired changes to a product and additions to a product line take so long.
Is it soup yet?
It's still, ISO, aperture and shutter-speed, right?
Visit my Nikonians gallery.
#10. "RE: Update on Service to D200 (" | In response to Reply # 9getz76 Registered since 19th Sep 2006Fri 06-Oct-06 06:36 PM
>I can think of a top-brand German ... carmaker that
>also had this problem.
You have a Benz, too? After charging me outrageous rates, they act like they are doing you a favor and give you grief. Nerds. I never had that issue when I owned an Acura...
However, the folks seem to do good work, which seems analogous to Nikon. Hopefully, as I said above, we can take comfort in the level of work being better than the level of service.
#11. "RE: Update on Service to D200 (" | In response to Reply # 10Sat 07-Oct-06 02:57 AM
Well, after being forced to be a PITA (shaddup!) by writing a few spirited e-mails I finally heard this:
The specifics of what required repair is the flash board PCB was burnt.
Thank you for choosing Nikon.
At least I got a response.
Guess I wasn't hearing things, huh?!
#12. "RE: Update on Service to D200 (" | In response to Reply # 11N80 Charter MemberSat 07-Oct-06 10:17 PM
Well, I'll play devil's advocate here, no offense intended. But did you really expect Nikon to let you talk with a technician? How much work would they get done if they had to explain their work to every customer? And let's be honest, they just met your request to tell you what was wrong. Did it make you feel better? It wouldn't have made me feel any better than "major parts replaced" since I have no idea what a 'flash board PCB' is? Do you? If so, that's fine, but if not, do they need to give you further explanation? They'd have to talk to me all week before I understood much of what they do, and I suspect this is true of many photographers.
And yes, when most cars break, someone comes from around back wiping his hands on a rag and tells you that your ECR throwback modulater valve is not fluxing into the monoxide capicitor solonoid at the proper frequency and most of us just nod our heads and figure that its going to cost about $100 per word in the description. I don't blame Nikon for not getting into the specifics of warranty work.
Now, if someone at Nikon Service was rude to you then it makes little difference what the reason is. Rudeness to a customer is unacceptable. But, it is important to differentiate rudeness from not getting our way.
As for Nikon's repair notification updates, it is simply awful and generates a lot of bad PR for not good reason. That process has got to be streamlined because it makes people mad (it made me mad too) even when they are actually doing just what they are supposed to. We just can't tell because their system stinks.
My repair experience with Nikon was excellent other than the notification process. All the people I talked to were courteous and one went above and beyond to update me on the process. The repair was perfect. They got it back to me in less time than promised.
I hate that your experience has been so bad. Regardless of the reasons it has not been good for Nikon's reputation.
My Nikonians Gallery is here:
#13. "RE: Update on Service to D200 (" | In response to Reply # 12TonyBeach Registered since 20th Sep 2006Sat 07-Oct-06 11:12 PM
I pretty much agree with everything you said; but I'll play devil's advocate to your devil's advocate (if that's not too convoluted). Would you be happier if Nikon service held up shipping your repaired gear back to you until they had notified you via a website update first?
I think Nikon does need to get their act together as far as customer service, warranties and repairs on grey market items, and marketing. When it comes to engineering though, I think their stuff generally rocks (especially the D200, I love mine).
D200 w/Nikkor & Tokina lenses
#14. "RE: Update on Service to D200 (" | In response to Reply # 13N80 Charter MemberSat 07-Oct-06 11:56 PM
> Would you be happier if Nikon service held up
>shipping your repaired gear back to you until they had
>notified you via a website update first?
No, of course not. My point is that they need to get a notification system that keeps up with their repair service, not that the repair service should wait on the notification service.
I got my camera back Next Day Air about the time the web site said that they'd got the camera in for service.
Its really just an inventory issue. The software and technology exist for this to be a nearly 'live' process.
My Nikonians Gallery is here:
#15. "RE: Update on Service to D200 (" | In response to Reply # 13jbear Registered since 22nd May 2003Sat 07-Oct-06 11:59 PM
I wouldn't expect to speak with a tech, but I sure would want (and have a right) to know the specifics of the repair. If there is another failure in the unit down the road, or you need to have work done by an independent authorized service center? I wouldn't want to have to walk in saying, "Yeah, something went wrong once before but I don't know what it was." Same thing if you want to sell the camera..."For Sale Nikon DWhatever $1700; Ex+ condition, works great, broke once...but your guess is as good as mine as far as what was wrong. What do you care anyway...it works now."
#16. "RE: Update on Service to D200 (" | In response to Reply # 15Sun 08-Oct-06 01:49 AM
>I wouldn't expect to speak with a tech, but I sure would
>want (and have a right) to know the specifics of the repair.
> If there is another failure in the unit down the road, or
>you need to have work done by an independent authorized
>service center? I wouldn't want to have to walk in saying,
>"Yeah, something went wrong once before but I don't know
>what it was." Same thing if you want to sell the
>camera..."For Sale Nikon DWhatever $1700; Ex+ condition,
>works great, broke once...but your guess is as good as mine
>as far as what was wrong. What do you care anyway...it
Exactly. You are right on the money with that post, in my estimation.
And if that means "getting my way" (how insulting), so be it, N80. And yes, I do think that most people should know at least in general terms that a flash board PCB is the printed circuit board that controls flash functions. That is really a no-brainer as far as I'm concerned. It DID make me feel better to know. Thanks for asking. Recall also that this camera made a POP noise inside and when I notified Nikon, they said to remove the battery and send it in right away. Thus, I never really had the opportunity to shoot with the camera and to experience whatever "havoc" was wrought by the POP. If they had said NOTHING with respect to what was fixed, how would I even know what to look for to see if repairs were actually affected or, as noted above, to know that it was a repeat of the same issue should I have trouble with flash operations later? IMHO, whether others share the opinion or not and/or would rather stick with "ignorance is bliss" as their watch phrase, I'd rather be told what was wrong with anything defective, be it camera, car, or whatever. Even if I don't fully understand the problem initially, I can always strive to find out and, thereby, better understand what I’ve spent a good deal of money to buy. You also mischaracterize my statements in an effort to make me seem unreasonable when you say “did you really expect to be able to talk to a technician”. I at no time did I say that is what I expected. I said in my post (please reread it) that I asked to be informed as to what was fixed and asked further whether it would be possible to speak with someone IF the repairs were not effective or if I had further issues with the camera (since it was in for the second MAJOR repair in 8 months). Sorry you misread or misinterpreted what I wrote.
Oh and, BTW, is there really anyone out there any more who doesn't think someone is saying what they really mean when starting a discussion with "let me be the devil's advocate"?
#17. "RE: Update on Service to D200 (" | In response to Reply # 16ade Registered since 03rd Apr 2006Sun 08-Oct-06 03:19 AM
>And yes, I do think that most people should know at
>least in general terms that a flash board PCB is the printed
>circuit board that controls flash functions.
No, not necessarily.
In electronics, a "flash board" PCB refers to where the flash memory (or eeprom) is mounted, i.e., where the firmware is stored. Often the "flash board" is separated from the "main board" for modularity.
However, in this case "flash board" PCB could also refer to the camera's flash unit.
Which only demonstrates that you still don't know what was actually fixed.
#18. "RE: Update on Service to D200 (" | In response to Reply # 17Sun 08-Oct-06 02:28 PM
>>And yes, I do think that most people should know at
>>least in general terms that a flash board PCB is the printed
>>circuit board that controls flash functions.
>No, not necessarily.
>In electronics, a "flash board" PCB refers to where the
>flash memory (or eeprom) is mounted, i.e., where the
>firmware is stored. Often the "flash board" is separated
>from the "main board" for modularity.
>However, in this case "flash board" PCB could also refer to
>the camera's flash unit.
>Which only demonstrates that you still don't know what was
You do make a good point, as I am familair with "flash" as it relates to computers, especially BIOS and USB flash drives. But, in this case, yours is also an incorrect point, so I actually DO know what was fixed, which only demonstrates that you are incorrect in that respect as well. And, AS I SAID in my post, even if one did not understand fully the repair (which I did not initially, though it was ultimately proved that I guessed correctly), one could research it to learn more (which I did). In this case, it is a PCB that deals with flash parameters and functions. At any rate, even if I did NOT understand what functions the board controlled, I would still know what was fixed for future reference or additional problems.
I really, for the life of me, do not see how anyone could disagree that a person is entitled to know what was fixed in any product they send in for repair, unless said person just likes being argumentative.