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Old 3rd of November 2010 (Wed)   #1
robbug
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Default Canon customer support saga

Hey all,

I just wanted to close the loop on my 4 month episode to get my 5D Mark II repaired to what it was meant to be. I will say the total time was not due to Canon dragging their feet. Anyways - warning - long post but I think Canon deserves this.

Back in early July, I purchased a new 5D Mk II. After about 2 days with the camera, I noticed I had hot pixels showing up in video mode under all exposure conditions. I called Canon and had a nice talk with one of the reps who set me up a work order number for repair. Under my dime, I sent the camera in and it was repaired and back in my hands in under a week. Yay Canon.

About 2 weeks into owning the camera, and after the first repair, I was doing some post processing and noticed some weird artifacts. Here is a link to my first reach out to POTN for assistance:

Dark lines (Vertical Banding) issue

Needless to say, I was a bit disappointed that I had yet another problem. This time I just filled out the forms online (did not call a tech), and packed the camera up with a letter describing the problem and some examples of the issue. Again under my dime. About a week later the camera came back (all from Irvine, CA by the way). When I reviewed the letter, Canon stated that the camera was tested and within specs. WTH? O..K.. maybe it was me. Boo Canon.

At this time I had two major jobs come up. I went with it and over the next 3 months did my work. Throughout that time, the issue popped up in quite a few photos. During this heavy use period, I also noted the issue in video mode. After about 2 minutes of recording, the video would do a slight color shift (muted) and the lines would appear. This ruined quite a few shots unfortunately. After much blood sweat and tears in Adobe AE for the video and Aperture trying to fix the bad shots, I just got pretty frustrated.

Once the 3 month job was done, I had a pretty good idea of when the issue would come up and under what conditions. I also found a crappy workaround which involved powering off the camera and letting the sensor "cool".

I cannot stress the importance of fully exploring your issue, especially if it is as obscure as mine was, before handing the camera over for repairs.

Just 5 days ago, I called Canon and talked with a nice tech - April. She asked me how I was doing and I told her, "I am going to give you fair warning and say that I am very, very frustrated with my camera and with Canon at this moment. But I am not calling to take it out on you as I know you have no idea why." And I laughed to ease it all down. So after about 10 minutes discussing every aspect of what I found, what I attempted and all the things I covered - tech level 1 stuff (remove the battery, switch compact flash cards, etc), she gave me a work order number and a courtesy shipping label (YAY CANON). $35 dollars a pop to send a camera in can add up. She also stated that she typed up everything we talked about for the techs to review etc.

During our conversation we came to the conclusion the repair technician probably did not see my problem during the last repair time because the techs try to minimize shutter counts during testing and minimize video recording. As it was related to a potential use over time issue, this seemed quite plausible. I told her I would make sure to leave a note to cycle the shutter as many times as required and take a minimum of a 5 minute video to make sure they found and corrected the problem.

I received an email today that my camera was on its way - shipped yesterday and arriving today. Wow - overnighted. Nice. Yay Canon. Yay April the customer service technician.

They found the issue and from the letter:

Your product has been examined and it was found that the Imaging Sensor Assembly did not operate properly - noise appeared in the image. The Imaging Sensor Assembly was replaced and product functions were confirmed. Other electrical adjustments, inspections, and cleaning were carried out.

So after home tests and attempting to recreate the issue - the camera is repaired and in good working order.

I wrote this up so people can see there are good experiences with customer support in Canon and not all is bad.

Things I learned:

-Don't accept subpar if it's wrong.
-Be kind and courteous even if you're frustrated - it goes a long way.
-Smile while on the phone - believe it or not your voice will project it through the lines.
-Don't be quick to blame the techs - in their effort to minimize wear and tear on your product they may miss the problem.
-Include a letter or note further explaining the problem - especially if its an obscure one.

Oh and if you pack with packing peanuts - write a warning on the package. I packed the bottom half of the box with peanuts and wrote a warning to the technician to not open on this side or you could have a mess in your workshop.

Rob
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Old 3rd of November 2010 (Wed)   #2
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Default Re: Canon customer support saga

Quote:
Originally Posted by robbug View Post
Hey all,



Things I learned:

-Don't accept subpar if it's wrong.
-Be kind and courteous even if you're frustrated - it goes a long way.
-Smile while on the phone - believe it or not your voice will project it through the lines.
-Don't be quick to blame the techs - in their effort to minimize wear and tear on your product they may miss the problem.
-Include a letter or note further explaining the problem - especially if its an obscure one.

Oh and if you pack with packing peanuts - write a warning on the package. I packed the bottom half of the box with peanuts and wrote a warning to the technician to not open on this side or you could have a mess in your workshop.

Rob
All great points, and I'm glad to hear you got the problem fixed. Certainly sounded frustrating, and hopefully this may help someone out that is in the same circumstance.
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Old 11th of October 2011 (Tue)   #3
a Work of Ott
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Default Re: Canon customer support saga

Thank you for this thread. I just got my 5D Mark II in yesterday and have been snapping (RAW) pictures like crazy. Very dissapointed to see this noise banding issue. When one spends $2500 on a new camera, image quality is the last thing you expect to be a problem. Like you, I believe in being kind and courteous to whomever is on the other end of your complaint. They are not responsible for the issue, and hopefully by being nice they will work harder to resolve the issue or respond to you in a timely manner! Hopefully my issue will get resolved quickly!!!
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Old 12th of October 2011 (Wed)   #4
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Default Re: Canon customer support saga

Good post. Glad you got it fixed.
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Old 12th of October 2011 (Wed)   #5
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Default Re: Canon customer support saga

I am having a similar experience with Canon Customer Service http://photography-on-the.net/forum/....php?t=1102091
I talked to the tech and he gave me several reasons this could be happening (such as interference and sensor temp) but sent me a call tag to send my 7D in to check it out. I sent it in Monday and should have it back by Friday. I have dealt with Canon a few times and they have always have always been excellent.
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Old 12th of October 2011 (Wed)   #6
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Default Re: Canon customer support saga

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Originally Posted by 5x5 photography View Post
I am having a similar experience with Canon Customer Service http://photography-on-the.net/forum/....php?t=1102091
I talked to the tech and he gave me several reasons this could be happening (such as interference and sensor temp) but sent me a call tag to send my 7D in to check it out. I sent it in Monday and should have it back by Friday. I have dealt with Canon a few times and they have always have always been excellent.
I don't know about having it back by Friday -- it depends. I sent my 5DC in for a mirror replacement and it took 3 weeks to get it back, but there was no hassle.
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Old 12th of October 2011 (Wed)   #7
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Default Re: Canon customer support saga

I'm curious - when you noticed hot pixels after only 2 days, why not exchange the camera for another from your seller?

I hate the process of having things repaired, especially when its an intermittent problem. I hope it's smooth sailing for you from here on out.
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Old 12th of October 2011 (Wed)   #8
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Default Re: Canon customer support saga

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Originally Posted by tonylong View Post
I don't know about having it back by Friday -- it depends. I sent my 5DC in for a mirror replacement and it took 3 weeks to get it back, but there was no hassle.
I have sent it in before on a Monday and had it back by Friday. I do have a CPS Gold membership and that gives me a 3 day turn around and if that cannot be me a loner body until mine is fixed.
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Old 17th of October 2011 (Mon)   #9
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Default Re: Canon customer support saga

Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarfish View Post
I'm curious - when you noticed hot pixels after only 2 days, why not exchange the camera for another from your seller?

I hate the process of having things repaired, especially when its an intermittent problem. I hope it's smooth sailing for you from here on out.
Great question - there were several reasons. One being I am located on the west coast (Seattle, WA) and I had ordered it from Adorama. Shipping alone would have taken longer, and also dealing with a third party (even with Adorama's normally excellent customer service etc) can be a pain.

The biggest reason is the camera was functionally excellent besides the hot pixel issue. I opted to not take a chance of spending the shipping costs and getting another camera with a new set of problems there-by putting me in a viscous loop of returns. This is not fair to myself nor the retailer. By sending it in directly to the manufacturer, I allow them to first hand look at the camera and fix the specific issue, thus eliminating any variable that I cannot control such as a random new camera.

Plus, I get to see first hand how the company will react to a warranty issue going forward. I will say if my experience had gone south, I would have halted any further purchasing of brand specific lenses etc. When you invest a large amount of money on the ecosystem, you had better be sure you are ready to deal with the company in the long run. Since the time of this post I am fully vested in the ecosystem and cannot be more happy with it.

I hope that explains it
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Old 18th of October 2011 (Tue)   #10
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Default Re: Canon customer support saga

Quote:
Originally Posted by robbug View Post
Great question - there were several reasons. One being I am located on the west coast (Seattle, WA) and I had ordered it from Adorama. Shipping alone would have taken longer, and also dealing with a third party (even with Adorama's normally excellent customer service etc) can be a pain.

The biggest reason is the camera was functionally excellent besides the hot pixel issue. I opted to not take a chance of spending the shipping costs and getting another camera with a new set of problems there-by putting me in a viscous loop of returns. This is not fair to myself nor the retailer. By sending it in directly to the manufacturer, I allow them to first hand look at the camera and fix the specific issue, thus eliminating any variable that I cannot control such as a random new camera.

Plus, I get to see first hand how the company will react to a warranty issue going forward. I will say if my experience had gone south, I would have halted any further purchasing of brand specific lenses etc. When you invest a large amount of money on the ecosystem, you had better be sure you are ready to deal with the company in the long run. Since the time of this post I am fully vested in the ecosystem and cannot be more happy with it.

I hope that explains it
Just a heads up for the future; with a 30-day returns period on everything sold by Adorama, we cover the shipping costs to bring anything back as needed.

In certain circumstances, I can organize a 'special pick'; with written authority from the customer & an understanding that it will slow the shipping process, we may be able unpack a unit & test it before shipping out.
You only need to email me directly: Helen@adorama.com
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