Nikon is shutting down its authorized repair program at the end of March, 2020. According to an email sent to authorized repair shops, and confirmed by Nikon Inc. (see update), Nikon users in the United States will soon have to rely exclusively on Nikon itself for any repairs that require special parts, tools, or training—that is: almost all repairs.
iFixit broke the news last night, after obtaining the official Nikon notification email that was sent to authorized repair shops. According to that email, access to parts, training, and other resources will be cut off on March 31st, 2020, leaving the 12 remaining Nikon authorized repair shops high and dry, and forcing Nikon users in the United States to rely on Nikon’s official repair centers in Los Angeles, CA and Melville, New York.
Speaking with iFixit, Nikon confirmed that the news was accurate, and provided a statement promising that “we remain committed to providing the best product support and repair services to our customers.”
As iFixit points out, Nikon stopped selling parts to independent repair shops in 2012, citing the usual suspects: cameras are getting too complex, they require specialized tools, and independent repair shops can’t guarantee the standard of quality that Nikon demands. They assured customers that they would still have plenty of access to appropriate repair, but through authorized shops.
Today’s news will reduce the number of viable options down to two, on either side of the United States, and will leave formerly-authorized repair shops struggling to compete once parts and training are cut off. On the “bright” side, it will likely net Nikon USA a bit more revenue from repairs, which the company’s camera division could desperately use as it tries to “justify its existence” as a business in the broader Nikon portfolio.
UPDATE: We have received the following comment from Nikon Inc. regarding the end of Nikon Authorized Repair:
Nikon has made a business decision to end its relationships with all of its Authorized Repair Stations in the U.S. as of March 31, 2020. After that date, Nikon authorized service will be provided by Nikon at its repair facilities in Melville, NY and in Los Angeles, CA. We remain committed to providing the best product support and repair services to our customers. For those who require assistance, please contact Nikon Customer Support at either 1-800-NikonUS or https://www.nikonusa.com/en/service-and-support/service-and-repair.page.
Image credits: Photo by Hans Blackman, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.