Nikon Has an “F” Rating From the Better Business Bureau

Here’s something interesting that we spotted over at Nikon Rumors: Nikon has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau, suggesting that the company’s customer support leaves something to be desired.

A closer look at the page reveals that the main reason for the low rating is the company’s “Failure to respond to 72 complaints filed against business”.

By comparison, Canon’s support division has an “A+” rating:

On ConsumerAffairs, both camera companies have pretty lousy ratings (according to customer reviews): Canon has just less than 2/5 stars, and Nikon has just more than 1/5 stars.

Commenters around the web suggest that the BBB discrepancy is due to the fact that Canon pays for BBB accreditation, while Nikon has chosen not to.

However, Wikipedia’s article on the BBB seems to suggest that not paying for accreditation is not to blame:

Initially there was a 17th factor worth 4 points for businesses that were Accredited and paid a fee to BBB. That process was changed in November 2010 in response to criticism in the media and from the Connecticut attorney general who accused BBB of using ‘pay to play’ tactics. There are currently over 625,000 companies rated “A+” that are not accredited and pay no fees to BBB and almost 300,000 accredited firms with an “A+” rating that are paying annual fees.

If a business chooses not to provide basic information about his/her business, such as size and start state, the BBB does not have sufficient information and may assign a Not Rated (NR) rating. A low rating due solely to a company not providing information would read: “BBB does not have sufficient background information on this business.”

If you’re a Nikon shooter, how has your experience with customer support been so far?

  • Zach Ishmael

    Don’t doubt it. I had a 70-200mm 2.8 sent out a bit ago. Though the wait time wasn’t that bad, the lens came back with giant dust particles inside the lens on the rear element. When questioned about it they said that Quality Assurance said that it wouldn’t make a difference in image quality. I ended up sending it back to get it cleaned and in the end it was fixed, but over all it was out of commission for almost 2 months and cost over $700 for the service. F-

  • Allen

    The BBB is the worst racket in America today. They use scare tactics in sales calls to get businesses to call back and have arbitrary ratings. Not to mention you pay over $300 a year just to be rated by them. I couldn’t care less what rating a company got.

  • Ineptphotog

    I’ve only communicated with them via twitter (nikoncanada, not USA) and they seemed really helpful, super prompt in their responses. Especially for a site like twitter, that is amazing.

    They make good cameras, that is all.

  • Allen Craig

    I’ve been a “pro-level” Nikon user for a good 6 years and this doesn’t surprise me one bit. Plus, this doesn’t touch on their relatively high prices when compared to comparable Canon equipment. And don’t get me started on the inconsistant quality I get. I really dislike everything about Nikon and have been looking for (financial) ways to switch over to Canon for a while.

  • Tam Nguyen Photography

    Been shooting with Nikon gear for a few years now, good so far. I bought the Nikon 1 J1, went to the beach, and got sand inside the lens. I called them up, talked to a rep, sent the lens to their repair center, and I got my lens back in less than 2 weeks.

    It’s a hit and miss I guess.

  • AllenCraig

    BBB is hardly a “racket”. Their ratings are based on unsolicited information received from consumers. They are the standard is all business ratings and have been so for many years. You’re certainly entitled to your opinion, but if you can’t think of other organizations in The U.S. that are bigger “rackets”, then wow, you’re not very well informed.

  • arttyIV

    I have had a terrible experience with Canon support this past April-June. 7Ds sensor failed on me in the middle of a shoot. I paid Canon to fix it, they sent it back with a new sensor, but one with a completely new issue. I sent it back. The 2nd time they sent it back, same damn thing. I send it in a third time… SAME DAMN THING. The fourth time I had to be an asshole on the phone to finally get them to listen to what I was saying, and pay attention to what they were doing to my camera.

    Finally, the 5th time I got the camera back, it was fixed from the issue they cause with the first repair. It was a nightmare. I hope I never have to go through that again.

  • Brandon Protagonist Postale

    Pentax of America has a B+ rating with the BBB and they’re not accredited. Of course, it could simply be a case of a vocal minority.

  • iris

    I would take the BBB’s ratings with a grain of salt, a huge grain at that too. I used to think highly of the BBB until a recent experience with a certain “liquidation” auction company. After researching the company’s rating on the BBB and being impressed by their accreditation and flawless A+ rating, I was feeling pretty confident and made my first purchases from. My shock was when the merchandise came and I found out the merchandise matched only about 10-20% of the actual auction. What was worse was the lack of any effective feedback system and the complete support the auction site showed for the sellers. After this experience, I searched the web for any other’s who had any experiences similar to mine and, surprise surprise, the complaints about this auction site were splattered everywhere. Everywhere except BBB that is.

  • iris

    Another thing to ponder is this, out of all the complaints that Canon has managed to reply to, how many have been successfully resolved? You’d think that’s a pretty important piece of information but it’s being conveniently neglected here (and for every other A+ rated company). It seems to me that all a company has to do to attain an A+ rating is create a dedicated department to reply to all complaints received through the BBB… resolved or not is not really important.

  • DeeWee

    So what has Canon to do with it? The article is about Nikon.

    If you are going to say it is because Canon has a better rating, here comes the question: Have you actually logged your bad experience with Canon on the BBB’s site?

  • arttyIV

    Huh… yet, Canon is mentioned in the article, along with a photo of their BBB page. But yeah. I guess this article has zero to do with Canon. Sorry for my ignorance.

  • ninpou_kobanashi

    Nikon USA support has been good as far as I can tell. The Nikon Store, run by Digital River, are a bunch of incompetent holes. My $0.02

  • ninpou_kobanashi

    OMG, you wasted some bits in the ether and used up 10% of my screen real estate. You should be banned! (^_^)

  • Terrance Lam

    Canon service is also a six sigma certified business so it doesn’t surprise me. In order to get that level you need 99.7% efficiency, so in a way it doesn’t surprise me about the A+ rating, however I’ve had both my share of issues with both Nikon and Canon equally personally.

  • az_121490

    How appropriate.

  • Jeff

    Ive been shooting Nikon for 8 years and never had to contact customer support. I thinkmthat says more than how they deal with customers. =P

  • Nikon shooter

    No issues with Nikon support – were not needed yet!

  • gergo

    go with a pinhole then, sony fanboy

  • Bill R

    I have had recent personal experience with Nikon’s service. I sent my 24-70 f/2.8 lens in for repair which was received by Nikon on June 14th. It was on parts hold until August 15th. This is for one of Nikon’s most popular lenses. On the other hand, I sent my Nikon D3 camera in for repair on August 3rd and got it back on August 10th. Big difference. My main complaint is that it took two months to get parts for one of their most popular lenses.

  • TPS

    I’ve had some dealings with Nikon customer service and have had no problems. I think this is a bit surprising.

  • Roy

    You dislike everything about Nikon, and yet you’ve been using their stuff professionally for 6 years?

  • Dr. Haynes

    Does this really surprise anybody?

    Nikon has been producing a sub-par product for at least a decade now.

  • Oceanblue

    The BBB is a scam, if you don’t become a member (ie. pay them) they would simply give you bad reviews, technically speaking, they suck.

  • Shelly

    Exactly. Nikon has the worst customer appreciation attitude of any company I have ever seen.

  • Lisa H

    Horrific. I had nothing but good things to say about Canon’s service (prompt, reasonably priced, quality repairs), whereas Nikon’s service is why I switched back to Canon. Techs are rude, misogynistic and don’t follow their own guidelines or promises. I sent a D700 back for repair for a specific issue and was told it would be 7-10 business days. 14 full business days (3 calendar weeks later), no word. I called and was told a part was backordered and someone would email me to give me an ETA. The camera was shipped before they got around to giving me any info. And no, this issue is STILL not fixed. Nikon’s 3rd party Authorized Service Centers are just as bad- avoid Authorized Camera Service in California and Precision Camera in Connecticut as both were dishonest regarding repairs.

  • GoFY

    You obviously don’t run a small business Allen, because if you did, you would know the sales BS that BBB pushes on small businesses. It’s an extortion scheme at best.

  • gubaguba

    Based on my experience with Nikon I would have to agree. I have had been mis-informed about repair schedules, repair estimates done without examining item for repair, given an estimate for an item not sent in for repair, told software updates were not available and would not be when they were. Every dealing with Nikon has been a nightmare. Their customer support stinks has for years. They make great cameras.

  • Frank

    correction -72 complaints is not very much for Nikon – Interesting note – Canon ITS has 106 complaints and is BBB accredited and gets A+ — while Canon repair Dept. in Elk Grove Village, IL gets an F and is not accredited

  • Jason

    Just switched to Nikon this year from Canon due to father having all Nikon gear and I though we could share gear and I’m about to send my D700 in for the forth time, oil seems to be splashing on my sensor using continuous high. Every time they just clean the sensor even thou I have outlined the issue three times expecting to hear resolve for the issue and all I get back is a piece of paper stating they cleaned the camera. Two customer support reps state this is not normal this should have been resolved and a supervisor will contact me, still nothing almost three weeks later. I explained every company can have issues but it’s how you handle or make right the problem. Not upset about the issue but the fact they are doing nothing to fix or even explain the problem gives me little trust in this company. I would expect an explanation from my car dealer if I brought my car in for repair not just them handing me back the keys saying your good. Nikon still hasn’t told me what is wrong I am guessing oil spots as I can duplicate the issue every time and my 24-70 lens never leaves the body but spots keep adding up when I test continuous high I can count the addition of spot as I test. grrrrrr.

  • WaxW

    I’ve had a lot of trouble getting my D800 repaired for the focus-calibration problem common among earlier D800s. I bought the camera in the USA and after using the camera overseas for a few months, returned to Canada. Nikon Canada would not repair the camera under warranty, and I had to send it to the USA. Nikon USA was utterly clueless each time I called to inquire whether or not they had even received my camera. The service operators were polite, but obviously are underpaid and know little about repair procedures or how to resolve the problems I faced. Overall, I’m really annoyed with Nikon because a) they do not offer a international warranty on a professional camera, b) their customer service is slow and did not even know where my camera was. I expect much better from a company like Nikon.

  • Lisa Lindsey

    Since there seems to be contention about the BBB, here’s are real life nightmare that I am still living with Nikon. I sent my D5100 in for repair because the shutter kept sticking against the stop and all I got was a black photo. The camera came back with the mirror detached and loose inside the body. I was told I would be emailed authorization and shipping labels within 24-48 hours. After a week, I have made numerous attempts to get a return shipping authorization after my initial call. They still say they are “working to resolve my issue”. How long does it take to email shipping labels? I will NEVER purchase anything with the Nikon Nikor brand. The camera take awesome photos, bit if you need customer service – forget it. Don’t buy from this company, unless you are willing to pay hundreds and get zero customer service when needed.

  • Doreen Michalak

    My Nikon d5100 is back in the shop now for a mirror repair for the second time in one year. The first time Nikon took 6 MONTHS to get it back to me!!! It has now been two months since they have had my camera and I received a letter that said “yes it is covered under warranty” I wait for my camera, no luck though. One week later I receive a letter, and the camera gets sent back to the camera shop with out being fixed and a letter attached saying there is a $130 charge to have it fixed. So the camera shop sends it back again. Bottom line, NO one at NIKON will take responsibility, and I still have no camera. The most ludicrous customer service EVER!!!

  • Bob Ward

    My experience with Nikon customer service has been abysmal. From months of waiting time and zero communication all the way to frequent, multiple (verified) lies, buck-passing, and several hang-ups (when I was always being perfectly civilized). After all that, Nikon said there was nothing wrong with my D7000, when it clearly has a back-focusing issue.

    Though it will cost me considerably, I will be switching to Canon because of Nikon’s customer service. Furthermore, I predict that Nikon will soon seriously decline in popularity because of their dishonorable unwillingness to create good will among their customers.

  • bellinR

    They were correct , it would not make a difference. Dust would only affect super wide angle lenses where the rear element is close to the film plane or sensor.

  • John Andrew Hughes

    Not an F anymore. Screenshot taken on April 28, 2014