Canon Is Allegedly Charging Customers To Repair Known Issues With Gear


Last week, we told you about an internal memo published by Canon Rumors that supposedly revealed Canon’s 1D X (and likely 1D C) cameras were having autofocusing issues in sub-freezing temperatures. But it seems that might have only been the tip of the internal service memo iceberg.

Yesterday, CR revealed that the same source had sent in many more internal documents from Canon that seem to indicate the Japanese company is charging customers $250-$450 for repairs on lenses with known issues out of warranty. The rumor site explains that these documents shed light on issues present throughout a handful of Canon gear, noting in great detail the 1D X’s mirror issues alone.

CR still hasn’t decided whether or not they want to publish these documents (you can weigh in on that debate here) so there are still too many unknowns to definitively accuse anyone of anything. But if Canon really does know about issues that it is deciding to keep to itself, simply passing on the cost to consumers, then the company could be in for some PR problems.

(via Canon Rumors via The Phoblographer)

  • sum_it

    Looking forward to the comments here

  • Mitchell

    almost spit out my coffee.. best comment ever… was thinking the same thing.

    Game on

  • MJ Coffey

    I’m not surprised at all.

  • Panchoskywalker

    We should ask Snowden to confirm this info.

  • 写真家

    Love it. for months Canon fanboys dumped all over Nikon users for how Nikon denied D600 mirror box issues then covered up with D610. Karma sucks..

    -signed user of neither system

  • Vlad Dusil

    …and all along I thought Canon were the good guys here.

    Time for some fresh popcorn y’all.

  • sdtransfertomich

    Congressional hearing.

  • Nice to know you cant trust em

    Here we are folks: the game of the year ‘Big Industry’ vs the ‘Washington Senators’, it’s the top of the inning and General Motors is at bat, on deck is Nikon, and batting third today will be Canon, It should be a hell of a game folks.

  • Jonathan Maniago

    As a Canon fanboy, my faith is shaken.

  • Bruce

    If they don’t like it, then they should have:
    a) wrung out the product early and returned it during the warranty period if necessary
    – or –
    b) purchased an extended warranty or service contract.

    Instead, they chose to c) do nothing and risk a problem that might require out-of-warranty repair.

    I own a Panasonic FZ200 and have seen reports of the rear thumb wheel failing on several units. I’m hoping mine doesn’t break because my warranty has expired, but if it does I’ve assumed the risk by declining their offered extended warranty and accepting the standard warranty. Although it would be nice if Panasonic would fix my camera should it fail now, I can’t really expect them to even though I’m sure they are aware this problem exists.

  • grow a pair

    Or Bruce perhaps it is a design flaw that they decided not to fix before releasing it to manufacturing. They aren’t talking about out of warranty repairs, everyone knows that happens. Take the Nikon D600 for example Bruce, Nikon was happy as good be to break it off in their customers butt. They knew that camera had problems before it shipped and all they did was to flip us the bird, until lawyers and governments got involved, stop being a fan-boy.

  • Bruce

    I guess I misconstrued what “the Japanese company is charging customers $250-$450 for repairs on lenses with known issues out of warranty.” means. Yeah, it sucks for all involved. As far as growing a pair, that’s unwarranted.

  • Ken Elliott

    One of my clients had a design issue with one of their products. It would rarely be seen, due to special conditions needed to trigger the failure. They decided the right thing to do was to repair any device (regardless of warranty) it the user put the device in those conditions. Customers would break the device from rough handling, etc, what accounted for well over 99.9% of the failures. So if they announce they had an issue and would offer free repairs, then most of the repairs would have nothing to do with the fault condition, and cost the company a pile of money. Mind you, this is a highly technical product, used by engineers. You can imagine the problem if you tell this stuff to non-technical users. They resolved the issue by sending their customers a letter, asking if they use the device in those conditions, and offered to inspect and update the device. They had 2 users who actually used the product in that manner.

    There lies the problem – if you announce the problem, you get flooded with non-related inspection/repair requests that cost a pile of money. Yes, this should be done if it is clear that a problem exists (Looking at your D600, Nikon). But it takes time to gather enough statistics to know if you really have a problem – and if it is a design issue, manufacturing issue, assembly issue, damage in shipping, or if customers are doing things like installing hacked firmware that bypasses safety features. Remember the mirrors falling off D5 bodies? Was that a flaw in the adhesive, poor cleanliness, or were used installing lenses that hit the mirror? Hard to say without a lot of data.

  • Mr Hogwallop

    People are not dying from using a malfunctioning camera, unlike the ones who died in the GM vehicles. Try and keep things in perspective…

  • Mr Hogwallop

    Who are they?

  • Jonathan

    no doubt that Canon repair is shady. I sent my 5D MarkIII in along with my 70-200 2.8 for CLEANING only, they sent me an invoice that it had impact damage. I asked for photos of the damage, since the gear I sent in was not damaged. they replied that the technician dropped my gear when he opened the package, and I wasn’t supposed to have been told about the damage(!!!)…to which I got really upset. long story short, they apologized, sent me a new 5d mark III, and asked me sign something that said I wouldn’t sue them. I’ve never NOT sent something in to their facilities where they haven’t said something more is wrong with it then what I sent it in for. Makes me question the entire company culture. With the new Fujifilm XT-1 out, I am ditching all of my Canon gear and going full Fuji. Sick of Canon. I hope they get their due.

  • Mr Hogwallop

    At some point (maybe) Canon will hire someone who can make all of their cameras without any kind of focusing issue.

  • Jaymz!

    sure it’d be bad PR but I’d be more concerned about the class-action lawsuit.

  • Do me till I bleed

    So Canon was just going to charge you to fix your camera which they dropped, but really you weren’t supposed to find out that they dropped it, that is until someone who didn’t get the word screwed up and sent you the invoice? Then they don’t want you to sue them for being scumbags? We need an American Camera Manufacturer, at least we’ll know right out of the gate we are getting screwed, but at least it will be by our own people.

  • Jonathan

    exactly. couldn’t believe it. I have lost faith in Canon after that.

  • Peter “Pots”

    In this day and age, there is very little customer loyalty so why (they feel) should they fix something that they can get bucks for. It is an accounting problem….each cost center, in the case, Repair feels that they can improve its bottom line at the expense of “good Karma.”

  • Chris Rogers

    I’m gettin pizza and cheesey bread. This is gunna be good.

  • Joey Mama

    Jonathan, you lost faith in a multinational company with thousands of employees and a lifetime of successful gear by the actions of 1 or 2 repair shop nudniks? Dayum….I’d hate to be on your bad side.

  • Michael D

    OK, fair enough, but how do you feel about them charging customers for repairs to devices which failed because of issues they definitely knew about? In the current case the issue isn’t so much the revealing of secrets that you talk about but the charging for repairs issue that you avoided.

  • Michael D

    If you can’t hold the owners of a company to blame for that company’s behavior, who can you blame? Things like this result from a corporate culture, where people have learned what they can do and get away with. If the person who dropped the camera thought that the company would support him in doing the right thing for the customer, then it would have been easy for him to do the right thing. Apparently, for whatever reason, he wasn’t so sure of that.

  • Oj0

    I’ve seen several repair centers that make you sign waivers to any claim for damage to your equipment while in their care, I’d say this is very nice of Canon. They could’ve just repaired it but instead replaced it. Mistakes happen, they rectified it, why crucify them for it?

  • Oj0

    It depends on what you read from the paragraph, I read it as they were going to sort it out without the customer having to know.

  • the truth hurts

    sigh. im switching to pentax~

  • Guest

    Canon can look to GM to see what happens when know issues are brushed aside.

  • f2as

    GM can give Canon some tips on how to handle known issues the company is willing to over look.

  • Ken Elliott

    Excellent question. I don’t think it is clear that they did that, exactly. I know of cases where the manufacturer believed they had a 90%+ accident rate and less then 10% warranty. They took the attitude to treat most as accidental damage, unless the customer indicated otherwise. In the end, they saw something like 40% of the repair customers saying they didn’t damage it. So they were pretty sure most actually damaged it, but went ahead and took the hit as a customer service. It’s a tough call to make when it’s your money. A consumer might say “warranty them all”, but the bosses and stockholders may see that you caused a stampede for free service. It is a bad position to be in, and it is not as simple an answer as it might seem.

  • Joe Mama

    Well, s**t. I bet you cant wait for all humans to be replaced with Robots.

  • neilvn

    Where is Rob Galbraith when you need him?