Nikon to Stop Making Parts Available to Unauthorized Camera Repair Shops

In mid-January, Nikon sent an letter out to independent camera repair technicians across the US, informing them that “it will no longer make repair parts available for purchase by repair facilities that have not been authorized by Nikon Inc. to perform camera repairs.” After July 13th, 2012, unauthorized repair shops will no longer be able to repair Nikon cameras — a huge part of their business — with official manufacturer-approved parts. iFixit writes,

Scott Jarvie, a full-time photographer, outlined his concerns with the policy in a detailed Google+ post. He demonstrates how silly the new policy seems by comparing cameras to cars. What if your car broke, and you went to your favorite mechanic, but he told you that you’re out of luck? Though he could fix your car by tomorrow, your car’s manufacturer will no longer allow him to buy the necessary parts. Instead, you have to send your car to your car manufacturer’s own repair shop (which, if we’re taking this analogy all the way, has a much poorer BBB rating than your own local shop) or one of two dozen manufacturer-authorized repair shops—oh, you don’t live near one of those? There’s not even one in your state? Too bad. Forget driving to work this week; you’re going to have to ship in your car.

If you want to speak out against this new policy, there’s an online petition you can sign that has already raised thousands of signatures.

How Nikon is Killing Camera Repair [iFixit]

Image credit: No more photos temporarily by Stefan Marks

  • John Milleker

    Bad move, I can see them reversing the decision though. I’m not a repair shop but I frequently order parts from Canon. Buttons, Lens screws, new bushings for the tripod ring for my larger lenses. Basic repairs, I know I can pull a parts list, find the part number and get it ordered.

    This won’t prevent unauthorized repairs, it will just make it profitable to make third-party Nikon parts.

  • rye juan

     nikon’s next step is probably suing all 3rd party manufacturers for copying their parts. way to go nikon, you’ve just made your world smaller

  • Michael Henasey

    wait, it says sales to unauthorized Nikon repair shops. so what does it take for some little ol’ shop to get authorized easily and this point becomes moot?

  • capwell

    This is typical Nikon, though. Anyone who sold cameras when the D70S came out will remember the debacle they created with their raw files’ data being rendered unreadable in Adobe Camera Raw, as a means to drive sales of Nikon Capture. They quietly reversed course when they realized how badly they had stepped in it, and I can only assume that this is about to happen in this case too. 

  • Jeff Adair

    I can’t see how this benefits anybody and in fact, will probably create a fair amount of ill will towards Nikon.

  • Richard

    I thought the same thing on reading Michael’s post and quote but if you follow the link and read more closely it does sound like Nikon is attempting to restrain trade to legitimate repair shops to possibly get more profit out of repairs.

  • Jesse Kline

    I see Nikon losing a lot more loyalty with this. Between their unilateral price adjustment, this, and the many horror stories of poor customer service, it’s likely you’ll have some customers jumping ship to Canon. Especially if Canon soon releases their prosumer announcement and it legitimately competes with the D800 price and spec wise. 

  • Anonymous

    nikon takes first step towards being irrelevant.

  • Anonymous

    It’s certainly not their first step.

  • travis

    Stay classy Nikon….

  • Anonymous

    Way to alienate your user and support base. I wish Mamiya would get back into the enthusiast SLR/MILC fields….

  • mythbuster

    Nikon´s plot:
    1. Making more money through compulsory use of auhorized repair service. Self repairing becomes impossible also.
    2. As reparation prices go so high, many Nikon users will prefer buying a new camera instead of repairing the old one.
    Plain avarice

  • Matt Williams

    This makes my decision to replace my current Canon with another Canon that much easier.

  • Andrea

    My husband has been a camera repairman for 30 years. He also recieved this notice. Thank you for posting this petition! I’ve signed it along with hundreds of my friends and family. We need to be heard. This will close his business if this actually happens and affect many other businesses he repairs for. Please post this petition on your own sites, twitter, facebook. At this point we are just under 5,000 and we need 10,000 Signatures!!! Who’s to say Canon will not implement this policy as well if they see Nikon succeeds

  • Jonathan Jacobs

    We are running a petition similar to the one Andrea mentioned at, show your support here as well!