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Old March 29th, 2003, 03:16 PM   #1
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Canon USA service-Horror story

I just received my XL-1 back from Canon USA in California where I had it serviced (just the normal cleaning and spec check).

When I opened the box and unpacked the camera and accessories, I found that the rear cover door (for rca jacks, s-video, etc) was open and cracked/smashed. Upon closer inspection, the whole body frame (the magnesium/alluminum/alloy/whatever) was smashed and cracked. The seam that holds the two sides of the camera body is open, and the battery compartment is tweaked so that you cant even fit a battery into it. The audio door is cracked and the viewfinder was shipped attached to the body, there is a hairline crack in it as well.

The packaging of the box looks fine, and the camera was well insulated in the box. While I am not the proper authority, I do not think UPS is responsible for this damage. I am pretty confident that the camera must have been dropped on a hard surface (as in concrete) and initial impace hit the back end of the camera. This must have occurred prior to final packaging. Even so, I am suprised at the extent of the damage.

I spoke w/Canon as soon as the box arrived (Friday). The lady on the phone told me her supervisor was out until Monday, and she could do nothing until then.

I am not down on Canon yet (though I think somebody should have definately known if they dropped the camera, and not shipped it afterwards!) but am wondering what to expect from all this? I feel they should replace the camera. If they opt solely to repair it, I am worried what long term results such an impact may have on other parts within the camera body.

I take superb care of my equipment, quite the luck that this should happen. I tend to be too nice of guy when dealing with things like this, and would love to hear other's thoughts about what I might expect so I stick to my guns when we hash this out on Monday! And of course, I need a camera next week for some work, (Hopefully being an XL1 Club member will pay off with a loaner!)

thanks for listening...
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Old March 29th, 2003, 03:44 PM   #2
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Isaac, sorry for your situation.

Years ago when I was in college I applied for one of those loading/unload jobs at FedEx and UPS in Memphis. When I went on the interview for UPS they actually took me on a tour of the facility and showed me what it was that I would do if they offered me a job. Basically what I saw was this:

A supervisor stood at the end of a container on the dock watching 3 guys load the container. One guy's responsibility was to pack the container so that it was the absolute most efficient use of space. During the 10 minutes or so that I watched multiple sets of this operation going on, I seen packages reaching as high as maybe 6-10 feet in the air and landing very hard on the surface. I was shocked at the care that some of the packages received. Granted, this didn't happen to all of the packages, but to a lot more than I would have thought. Anytime, one of the guys would stop work for any kind kind of reason, the supervisor was on their case.

I'm not saying this to down UPS. I use them whenever the need arises and I receive many packages by UPS. I have no qualms about using them. However, after seeing this many years ago, I always make sure that my packaging is best it can be and I make sure that if the standard insurance doesn't cover the value that I pay for insurance to equal replacement value of the item.

Lastly, when I used to work for a computer business that shipped and received a lot of UPS, we had to make a few claims for damaged packages. I got friendly with one of the guys who comes out to do the inspections and he told me that we need to make sure we pack things better. He says that the packages can take some impacts and be dropped at times.

When making a claim for damages with the delivery services, I believe it is up to the SHIPPER to make those claims. So in this case, Canon will have to make the claim on your behalf. This may make things more frustrating for you. If they feel that it is damaged beyond repair and that they will receive full replacement value on the claim, they may send you a brand new unit. You may ask about this.

Thanks

Carl
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Old March 29th, 2003, 03:53 PM   #3
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UPS sucks.
Use Fed Ex if you can.
My brother and his friend worked at UPS for year to five years. If you want pieces then go UPS. They handle their packages like its a sack of dog poo. All they care about is time. Time = Money so as long as they get it in and out as soon as possible they are good to go.
Just wondering did you ask for them to ship it back with insurance?
We had to do that with my brothers climbing gear. Nothing like over $6,000 worth of gear in one box. 4 boxes total. But that saved us if they messed up.

Anyways wish you luck.

Rob:D
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Old March 29th, 2003, 04:08 PM   #4
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FWIW: In my experience Canon in New Jersey has always used FedEx - at least for the four times I've sent my XL1 or L2 to them over the past 5 years (for annual XL1 owners club servicing and for warranty back focus adjustment and EVF sun screen patch).
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Old March 29th, 2003, 04:27 PM   #5
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Call CUSA in Irvine on Monday as directed. Ask to speak to Chris Canada, or if he is not available then Michael Cutler. The number is (949) 753-4000. Be sure to let us know how it goes.
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Old March 29th, 2003, 04:37 PM   #6
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Isaac, that's some horror story! If the packaging was fine, then Canon probably did drop it on concrete. What other explaination is there? I'd certainly hound Canon until they REPLACE your cam.
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Old March 31st, 2003, 12:50 PM   #7
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Thanks to all for the feedback. Canon has been great in working with me this morning, and I think/hope we will see a quick and happy resolution. I will post how it shapes out in the end.

But one more question, Canon says they will repair the camera (replace the broken parts and test the rest of the parts). I am nervous that such an impact might fatigue or comprimize the camera down the road, with parts that test fine now, but ulimately shorten their longevity. Like many, I am off in thefield for long periods of time, and if a problem suddenly arose, my work/livelihood will suffer accordingly! This is why I take care of my equipment and send it in for pre-emptive cleaning, inspection, etc.

Is this a legitimate concern? Or do you think the camera should be fine if Canon repairs and tests it to specs? I am truly not just “trying to get a new camera”, I just want my “good” camera back, with frouble free years of use ahead of us.
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Old March 31st, 2003, 03:28 PM   #8
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I used to work for FedEx several years ago both in their ground and air shipping departments. What Carl saw was similar to how ground shipments by both FedEx and UPS are handled.

I HIGHLY suggest that people only ship fragile items by next day air regardless of which service you use. Items shipped by ground get beat around in the back of a semi trailer bad enough as it is by simply bouncing down the highways for 3-4 days.

Use air, and if you live near a large metro area, then the only truck rides that you need to worry about are those between the shipping terminal, the airport, and your front door.

G
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Old March 31st, 2003, 06:39 PM   #9
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Okay these stories are getting redundant, but I can't resist. I worked at UPS briefly in college and remember the first time I saw the back door of a truck get opened for unloading -- no less than three VCRs fell from the top of the stack (at least ten feet) and dropped on to the asphalt. The loaders just picked them up, chuckled, and THREW them on to the conveyer.
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Old March 31st, 2003, 07:21 PM   #10
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Agreed, let's try to add new material to the discussion, not go over old ground.
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Old March 31st, 2003, 07:52 PM   #11
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For what it is worth, UPS was not at fault for this damage! The damage to the camera occurred before it was packaged!

So far Canon has been good. Will keep my fingers crossed. Still wondering what folks think of repairing vs. replacing such a damaged camera.
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Old March 31st, 2003, 09:32 PM   #12
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Isaac, you might want to express this concern to Canon and see if they will provide you a 1 year warranty on the "refurb". Make sure that you let them know that you are very worried about the "long term" effect of the repair rather than the 1st 90 days.

Also, not to drag the whole shipping thing out any further, but, I'm curious as to how you determined that this happened before it was shipped?

Carl
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Old April 2nd, 2003, 07:57 AM   #13
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I live pretty close to the Irvine Service Center. Does anyone know if I can do a drop off and pick up instead of shipping? Has anyone done that?
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Old April 2nd, 2003, 08:53 AM   #14
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Mark -- Yes, you can drive over there and drop it off. There's a service desk reception counter for that. As a matter of fact it's a good idea to do this, so have at it.
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Old April 2nd, 2003, 09:49 AM   #15
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Very cool Chris - thanks. Do you know if I still need to box it or just hand it to them in my case?
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