Canon service for XL-XH owners club at

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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).

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Old December 2nd, 2008, 09:54 AM   #1
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Canon service for XL-XH owners club

I want to start out by saying that I love Canon equipment. I have three XH-A1's, a HV30, HV20, 40D and lenses. I'm not mad because I had a camera not work. I'm furious because as a member of the Canon XL-XH owners club (buy a prosumer camera and register and your in) you are supposed to get a $95.00 annual maintenance in lieu of the regular $240 that "non" owners club members must pay. After sending in two cameras at different times the first bill was paid out as a $260 charge. Problem was occasional dropouts. An office associate paid the bill without a second look. I sent out a camera at the end of November and after not receiving a email that they received it I called and after a long discussion found out it was a $260 charge for repair. This is the part that started the downhill slope.

When I asked the sales rep why it was $260 and not the $95 charge she actually laughed under her breath and asked where I came up with "that number". When I told her about the membership she rudely put me on hold and I waited for a good five minutes. She then informed me that they had to "check, clean, and adjust to factory specifications" and thats why the charge was more. If you read the owners club agreement that is the EXACT wording for the discounted annual maintenance agreement. I pointed out that was what annual maintenance was for and she fired back with I sent my camera in with problems so it cost more.

Sending a camera in when it has a dropout issue suddenly develop is what Annual Maintenance is for. It's like a car garage changing your oil for $30, but if the light came on to tell you to change it they charge 3 times more. Aside from the rude, misinformed associates for Canon that I have had to deal with, spending $520 for "annual maintenance" as defined by Canons own terms that is supposed to be $190 is ridiculous. They have your camera and heaven forbid you actually need it back to make a living and can't afford the time to have them send it back and then send it out to somewhere else.

And that's the kicker Canon owners. I paid almost $400 extra on each of my 3 XH-A1's for a 4 year extended Mack warranty from B&H. I could send it to them for FREE repairs. I sent it to Canon because I figured the $95 charge was reasonable and insured that my camera and lively hood would be serviced in a way that allowed me to make a living with quality equipment paid good money for. Instead I get the quality repair (I'm not doubting Canon's repair tech abilities) for 3X the cost.

Canon needs to address the fact that their employees do not know about this "mysterious" discounted rate, apply it to customers who deserve it, and not pull a Sears and Roebuck bait and switch with repair cost.

I would have sent this to a sales manager, but Canon is so large they don't have time for customer complaints - unless you want to wait on hold forever. The contact us tab can be summed up as saying tech support, advice, and where to buy. Canon, another big company that is slipping away from the customer.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 10:17 AM   #2
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you paid $400 for a 4 year extended warranty?

That covers professional use?
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 11:46 AM   #3
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Chuck - contact me off the board. I have a contact at Canon that may be able to help you and possibly make sure this doesn't happen to someone else.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 11:50 AM   #4
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Personally I would send your complaint to the Canon Customer Service manager. In this economy sales are down and those who are buying have a "choice". Also, they are aware that many users belong to user groups, such as this, and bad policy is not good for their bottom line.

As we all know, presentation is everything and I'm sure that the person you confronted presented your case with tone and negativity. Speak to the boss.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 01:02 PM   #5
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and the warranty agreement has 0 stipulations about how the camera is used. So it should be good for my next service. After this I feel kinda dumb knowing I can get a yearly cleaning for free under purchase plan, but I thought Canon was the way to go..It's like taking a car to the dealer.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 01:39 PM   #6
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The catch

Here's the catch that determines $95 or $240. First and foremost since I said that the camera is experiencing dropouts it automatically goes into a repair category. The sticker I placed on the box said camera is experiencing dropouts needs annual maintenance. Since I said it has a "problem" it is no longer eligible for the $95 annual maintenance fee. When I asked the rep what an annual maintenance does she said "check, clean and adjust". When I said wouldn't that fix dropouts she said "no" (she was polite by the way) it would need an alignment." I asked what the adjust part was and she said update firmware or something.

Here's my point. The $95 annual maintenance is the equivalent of a cleaning tape. If you have a problem that leads you to believe that it needs a good cleaning and an alignment it's $240(which I was apparently wrong in thinking that was part of a service.)

It says on the Canon XL-XH owners club membership card under terms and conditions under benefits section 3 that the rate is currently $95 discounted from Canon USA's current regular price of $240. ?????????? What the heck is the discounted rate for and who sends a $3k camera that cost $100 just to ship (shipping and insurance UPS) to Canon to run a tape through it for $95 and if you have a problem that you would assume is caused by needing alignment, cleaning, maintenance, etc...the basics, it's $240 no questions asked.

It's dishonest or useless.

I plead for one other person to read the card (it comes with any of the HDV XH/XL cameras) and see if I'm right to be ticked off. And I also wonder how many other people are being mislead. Who would send in a camera and say it's fine just charge me.

Someone else please look at the card and tell me if I'm crazy.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 04:12 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Chuck Biddle View Post
and the warranty agreement has 0 stipulations about how the camera is used.
That particular statement is not correct. While I personally, as an owner of multiple Canon cameras and other equipment, think it is incongruous to label these "professional" cameras and then exclude commercial use in the warranty statement, in fact the Canon warranty DOES just that.

BTW, this thread came off the blocks strongly worded. One of the (non-Canon owner) mods already toned down the title. I think this is a worthwhile topic, but if folks "go over the top" it could get shut down. So this is just a gentle reminder for all of us to be judicious and factual in our statements as we go forward.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 05:46 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Chuck Biddle View Post
The $95 annual maintenance is the equivalent of a cleaning tape.
I'm curious how you came to that conclusion. I can't even remotely imagine a reputable service center substituting a manual cleaning method with a simple cleaning tape.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 06:23 PM   #9
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Warranty agreements and cleanings

The warranty agreement I was referring too was the additional Mack warranty that I purchased through B&H. I read the card (all that you get for $400 is a card...yup) and it makes absolutely zero exclusion statements. Maybe if you called Mack and said " hey my camera is broke and my company is.....They would stop at the word company. The card that is the agreement does not make any statement about types of use covered. We'll see. The whole exclusion thing against professional use being what the cameras are is like a friends story that owned a Mitsubishi Lancer EVO (a 5sec 0-60 turbo sports car). He bought the car for $35K and took it out to a local SECCA race. When something broke (weeks later while on the Watterson Expressway) the local dealer refused service because the Service Manager would check the local forums (where they post makes, models, names) and refuse service under terms to anyone listed. Dirty and unethical.
Also, the strong wording use was harsh and I apologize. Sadly thats what it took to get in contact with a guy in technical market support. He also knew nothing of the owners club or discounted rate and I'm waiting for him to tell me who is going to pay over $200 ($100 shipping and insurance and another $95 for the "discounted" service plus Canon's shipping and taxes) to have a perfectly fine working camera sent in to be cleaned. Cleaning meaning checked, cleaned, and adjusted to factory specs (not including any type of alignment). The discussion so far that is if you send a camera in with a reason of any sort (drop frame, intermittent garbled video (where the pixels black together), or anything else that would suggest it needs "annual maintenance", you immediately go into the $240 basic service charge. That alone is a load of bull. The problem is the owners card specifically says the discounted rate is $95 from the usual $240. How the heck do you get the $95 service without sending in the camera and saying it's fine I just wanted you guys to clean the heads and blow it out.
I talked to four people today. No one knows that there is a discounted rate to EVERY XL & XH owner by simply registering online, two people told me to check my invoice online-there is an agree to pay but no detailed invoice of any sort, no one seemed to think that as quoted per Canon "Check, Clean, and Adjustment to factory specs" means adjusting a camera thats not broken (i.e. working, recording, playing) but with dropouts falls under annual maintenance. If a higher up at Canon would look at how many $95 annual maintenance fees were being collected they'd scratch their head and ask what $95 fee.

I'm saying that can I can buy a cleaning tape and compressed air and do what "Check, Clean, and Adjustment to factory specs" apparently means. Not trying to misrepresent Canons exact process, that's why I said equivalent. It really seems like no one at Canon knows what the $95 service is, but it's for a well working camera that doesn't need service. WHAT??

Once again if anyone can find the stupid Owners Club card and take a look I'd appreciate it. If Canon tells me the spoolamajig was broken and the viewmabob was both shot I'd be glad to pay. Right now my camera is being held waiting on me to pay for what I thought was $95 and Canon says is $260.

Right or wrong when I get an answer I'll post it. If I misread something I'll apologize and retract my current beliefs. As of right now Canon should be upset with the lady who I spoke with and laughed when I said $95 and replied with "Where did you get THAT PRICE?" No matter how large the company take care of your customers. Too many options to have to settle for someone that doesn't act like they want your business.
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Old December 4th, 2008, 09:15 PM   #10
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And the card says...

Originally Posted by Chuck Biddle View Post
Once again if anyone can find the stupid Owners Club card and take a look I'd appreciate it. If Canon tells me the spoolamajig was broken and the viewmabob was both shot I'd be glad to pay. Right now my camera is being held waiting on me to pay for what I thought was $95 and Canon says is $260.
Chuck the Terms and Conditions on the Club application says as Benefit 3, that annual maintenance is available for $95. It also says that prices are subject to change.

On my welcome letter received 7/26/08 it says, "A discount on annual maintenance checks, cleanings, and adjustments". There's no actual price listed. Seems they decided to make a change...
Michael A Westphal
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Old December 5th, 2008, 07:10 AM   #11
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The solution

I received an email stating that the following.
"Mr. Biddle was charged for his repair is because he did not provide any information of him being a member of the XL owners club and he didnít request the annual check and cleaning. He only attached a piece of label to the box to inform service that the unit requires head cleaning and adjustment."

The price has been changed to refelect the $95.

Ultimately I never received answers to several questions I had from Canon.

Last time I'll post to this thread about this issue, but hopefully someone at Canon is reading this.

1. No one knows that almost every owner of a dealer purchased Canon Prosumer camcorder is elidgible for the discount. NOT ONE person at Canon that I spoke with or corresponded with through emails knew anything of the sort. Thats $140 that you and I and every videographer may pay unneccesarily. It may not seem like a big deal, but it's like someone ordering a burger, fries, and drink at McDondalds and the cashier doesn't put it in as a combo. It's not stealing, it's not having the customers best interest at heart and looking out for those that keep you in business. More so maybe it is the fact thats it's more money in the companies pocket and emloyee ignorance (lack of training, knowledge, etc... I'm not trying to be condisending) is bliss.

And Michael the policy has NOT changed. People in the company are not aware.

2. If you have ever called to schedule service with Canon it is odd to say the least. Large or small, few companies will accept returns or repairs without RMA's. Canon will. That to me is a bad, lazy policy. I did have a number for my XH-A1, what I'm reffering to is the HV30 I had sent in a couple of days prior. I called to schedule and between speaking with Justin and Robert they said send it in. No RMA, nothing. It's bad business and once again makes life easier on Canon and leaves the consumer in a questionable position.

3. Perhaps what was the largest contributor to the entire mess, besides the woman who was rude and disrespectful on the phone, was that Canon's ability to track my camera, name, address, phone number, OR serial number of the camera itself is apparantly non-existent. Why this matters is that aside from the fact I registered the camera on, there was nothing in the system about who I was, or any of the above list attached to each other. I have three XH-A1's and other small HDV and still cameras (all Canon), and when speaking to customer service he could not and DID NOT tell me which members club number went to what serial number. Why does this matter. Becuase the owners club card doesn't reference which camera. I don't know which camera goes to which card. I logged in and registered. A card was sent in the mail and I admit to not knowing which account goes to which camera. Canon should be able to tell by serial number who registrered the camera. That's basic wether it's a $300 tv or $1000 computer, much less a $3500 camera.

Canon is cutting corners or has archaic software that doesn't service the customer.


None of the conversation I had on the phone before sending the camera in made it to the repair facility. We did discuss annual cleaning, I'm sorry "annual maintenance", got to keep it straight becase it's a $140 price difference between the two. I said head cleaning and adjustment. The rep on the phone had additional information that simply wasn't attached to the serial number on the camera to the repair facillity.

I hope other people look at what they've paid and maybe question if it was right. Good chance it wasn't. To anyone needing future service remember this.

Dear Canon,
The camera works great with no problems. I just wanted to spend $200 to have you look at it and perform an annual maintenance on it. Be sure to check, clean, and adjust as the agreement states, but don't align anything because it's extra. Thanks for being such a large international company that no one I spoke had a clue about what services you offer, took the time to write in the little note section of the computer what I said the camera needed or the problems were, and also for having no record of the equipment I own and have registered with you.

P.S. Can you tell me to check the detatiled invoice when I ask whats going on with the camera. The one that says Pay Now or decline and list what my charges are as broken down into generic labor, parts, shipping, and tax so I have no clue what was wrong or serviced on my camera.

Your loyal customer.
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Old December 5th, 2008, 09:38 AM   #12
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When I got my XH-A1, I was a little miffed that the Canon Owners Club was only valid for the US(they still put the registration card in the box for Canadian sales), but now I'm glad that I couldn't join. I have a Canon IS zoom lens(slr) that has dust inside it and I called the retailer that sold it to me, to see if it would be repaired under warranty. They said to send it to them in Edmonton, they would send it to Canon in Calgary, Canon would repair it in two months and decide if it was covered under warranty! Guess what? I never bothered. It amazes me how a company that can produce such technology, can totally overlook customer service. I just hope my XH-A1 doesn't develop any problems.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 05:42 PM   #13
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I just received my XH-A1 back from Canon yesterday. I had called the number that the card said you must call (hot line?). The person that answered took my information including my card number and gave me a RMA. I told him that I wanted to hand carry it to the service center in Irvine since it is near my house. He told me to print and fill out the on-line form and take it in.

When I arrived, the counter person saif that I didn't need to call ahead for carry in repairs. She took my information including my membership number, checked my B&H receipt for warranty and printed a receipt. She made sure I had no accessories (no lens hood, no battery, etc.). She bagged the A1 and put a pink bag under the rubber band. I asked about it and she she indicated that it ment the repair was a club member. My warranty was expiring as I walked in so I was worried but she put in as under warranty. I told her that I was having some dropouts and wanted the annual maintenance.

I picked up the A1 yesterday and the entire thing was no charge! Glad I brought it in before the warranty had fully expired.
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Old January 10th, 2009, 03:12 AM   #14
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I just sent my A1 in to be cleaned (it was long overdue). Fortunately, I read this thread first! When I spoke to the Canon phone rep, I mentioned I was an A1 Club member and he told me to make sure I wrote that on the repair form in big, bold red letters because "the people in the warehouse don't know anything about the Club."

I took his advice and included the info both handwritten (in big, bold red letters) across the top and first thing in the fill-in-the blanks repair request box on the pdf form. I stated I wanted the annual cleaning, service and adjustment.

My repair estimate came in at $132 (IIRC), which included return shipping (FedEx Overnight). The estimate quoted an 8-days or less turnaround time.

I haven't received the camera back yet but did call to verify a few things and the lady I spoke at the warehouse had a rude tone to her voice from the start but especially when I double-checked on the Club discount and expedited service. She did answer my questions well enough despite her tone, and assured me I would be getting 5-day or less turnaround on my repair. She said that Canon had not bothered to update their repair estimate forms with Club information.

So thanks for starting this thread. It was definitely helpful in dealing with Canon. ;-)
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