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Canon Customer Care Kudos

February 16th, 2009 · 4 Comments

Usually, I’m too busy complaining about one thing or another to find something positive to say. But this post is a positive post. This post is all about brand loyalty. Brand loyalty is defined as a consumer’s commitment to repurchase a specific brand of products or services, demonstrated by repeated purchasing or word-of-mouth advocacy. Based on this definition, I am a brand-loyal Canon customer. My brand loyalty is a special and difficult to earn type of love. What follows is my comprehensive Canon camera review.

My first digital camera was a Canon PowerShot S50, which I bought around Thanksgiving in 2003. At the time, digital photography had still not usurped film photography, but was gaining in popularity quickly. I remember I bought my S50 from Sears, because I had worked there recently prior and was able to get a discounted deal. For two solid long years, that camera was with me for thousands of photos, and never missed a beat.

But my S50 died an untimely death, its blood on my own hands, after a misguided attempt at a second or third keg-stand at a friend’s 21st birthday party.

With my body inverted aerially above the keg, I felt the camera slide out of my pocket. I was unable to see the impact as I was suspended upside-down, not to mention I had a keg nozzle gushing cold beer against gravity up my throat. However I heard a sharp crack as the camera dropped at least four feet onto the concrete patio below. I learned that Canon’s warranty only lasted 12 months from the date of purchase, and only covered defects in manufacturing as opposed to defects resulting from drunken debauchery. I took the camera to Sear’s parts and service department, only to find out that the cost to repair the camera was almost equal to the cost to purchase a new camera.

Faced with the need to buy a new camera, I decided to buy another Canon. This time, I swore, I would take better care of it. Once a college buddy who owned a Canon PowerShot S70 shared some of his travel photos with me, and I was floored. The S70, the 7-megapixel younger cousin to the older 5-megapixel S50, was the subsequent PowerShot camera updated with more current features and a higher pixel count. I figured it would be just like my S50. In some ways, it was better, after all the image quality was superior and the movie mode now included a 640×480 resolution as opposed to the S50’s 320×240. On the other hand, the S50 had a rugged metallic case, compared to the S70’s composite plastic.

But ultimately, my old habits of breaking cameras refused to die. Not even a year later, I broke my camera once again. I dropped the camera from a shelf barely two-and-a-half feet high onto a carpeted surface, but apparently it was enough to damage something internally, preventing the camera from starting-up. Despite that the fall to the floor, not the manufacturing quality, seemed to be the cause of failure, I initiated a warranty repair process through Oddly, this is one of the few times I actually remember using a manufacturer’s warranty. I believe this is because I take my camera everywhere I go, subjecting it to extremely heavy use. Also it is one of the more expensive devices in my portable electronics arsenal. In any event, if Canon was willing to repair it, I was certainly willing to continue using it. Surely enough, they fixed it free, and had it back in my hands just over a week later.

This time, seriously, I promised to take excellent care of my camera. So I did what any responsibile camera owner would do – I tucked the S70 in my jacket one day when I went out snowboarding. After a failed attempt at a 50/50 rail slide, I faceplanted on a patch of ice. The camera, tucked away near my torso, apparently broke my fall. The LCD screen was completely destroyed, shattered into hundreds of pieces, it’s liquid crystal now leaking everywhere. However, after checking, I determined that the camera was still under warranty, and submitted it for another repair. Once again, they repaired it without question, even though it was fairly obvious that a sharp impact caused the damage.

I was so happy with the Canon digital cameras I’d purchased that I decided my next camera would indeed be a Canon. When I received an unexpected financial windfall in 2007, I decided it was time to take my photography hobby to the next level by purchasing a digital SLR camera. I was torn between the Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT and the new (at the time) Canon Digital Rebel XTi. After some internal debate, I settled on the XTi, and was I ever glad I did. The picture quality of nearly every shot was stunning. The XTi made it almost impossible to take a bad photo (although after trying to take some bad shots I succeeded). To this day, my XTi stands ready for continued amazingness. Despite the amazing pictures that it takes, it’s certainly not something that’s easily toted around on a daily basis. But for special events and travel tourism, it’s unparalleled in my opinion. Again, the Canon brand delivered. It’s worth noting here that the 10.1 MP Digital Rebel XTi has been superseded by the 12.2 MP Digital Rebel XSi.

My luck with my S70 ran out finally one cold January evening as I kept warm around a field of filled shot glasses at a watering hole in Troy, NY. While playing a game of darts, my S70 fell out of my pocket not once, not twice, but thrice. Did the screen crack again? Did the internal electronics short out? Sadly, neither dramatic failures occured. The camera was instead incapacitated because it’s flashbulb broke, effectively rendering it useless for indoor and low-light photos. Since it still worked in well-lit situations, it proves to still be quite useful for ski and snowboard photography, since now I don’t have to worry that I’ll break my primary camera. However, it is no longer my primary camera since Canon would not repair it under warranty after all this time, and finally it was my responsiblity to find another replacement.

After having two cameras break, was I deterred from buying another Canon? Absolutely not – considering I broke them four times due to faults of my own, be it falls or crushing force, and two of those times Canon repaired it anyway free of charge to me. Not to mention I was never once dissatisfied with the pictures, the camera interface, or the overall experience of owning a Canon camera. I felt like my Canon cameras had always taken care of me, and for once, I owed it to Canon to take care of them and let them continue fulfilling my digital photography needs.

Enter the Canon PowerShot G9. Canon ended its PowerShot S-series as I knew it with the S80. The G-series however was still alive and well and included a tough metal exterior like my original S50, a 1024×768 video mode, a much wider ISO range, an external flash hot-shoe, and a much larger lens and sensor. In short: it was the camera I’d loved for years, on crack. Do I even have to tell you how much I’ve loved having this camera? Sure, it has its limits: the ISO 3200 mode is worthless to me because of it’s excessive grain. But besides that, it’s hard for me to criticize this camera, because I love it so much. N.B., the G9 has since been superseded by the PowerShot G10, but this does not make the excellent performance of the G9 any less notable.

After owning my G9 for nearly a year, it broke on me suddenly one day – the first time a camera broke seemingly at no fault of my own. I had the camera perched on my dashboard, recording 1024×768 video as part of my obsessive compulsive habit of sousveillance, when it suddenly shut off in the middle of recording. But as usual, Canon repaired my camera without any fuss or trouble, I was back in business in no time. The repair paperwork said that the power supply had gone bad. I wondered if it was still my fault despite the seeming suddenness of the failure, since I used non-Canon brand cheap-o Chinese batteries that usually dropped from “full bars” to “one bar” after just minutes of use.

But in any event, finally, this time I swore, I would let nothing ever damage my precious camera. That is, until I decided to try and film a science experiment at home in time lapse. In short there were lots of liquids, and one camera. Although it wasn’t fully submerged, the combination of the two resulted in a wet but still seemingly functional G9. The full scope of the damage wasn’t immediately apparent though. About a week later, I noticed that I was unable to take a flash photo when I was getting ready to sell stuff online. I figured it was an issue possibly related to the battery, but I was wrong. None of my batteries would make it flash.

But once again, Canon’s customer care delivered. They fixed my camera again for free, and I just got it back today in perfect working order.

I’m writing this to share with you my good will towards Canon cameras. Few companies today truly earn consumer respect, but in a sea of greed and shady business practices, Canon stands out as an honest and reliable brand that stands behind their products. Canon is a camera brand I will buy again and again at this rate. I can’t speak to their other products because I haven’t really tried them.

Have you used a Canon printer, scanner, binoculars, or any other product? Did your Canon product ever require service? Share your experience below!

Oh, and if you’re wondering, so far I’ve taken about 12,000 photos and counting. Not all of them are publicly viewable, but check out the 11,000-plus photos that are viewable on my Flickr photostream (sousveillance).

Tags: Business · Complaint Department · My Thoughts · Skippy Stuff

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tim Broder // Feb 17, 2009 at 8:34 am

    Yeah I’ll swear by canon’s also

  • 2 Mike // Apr 6, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    I’ve had my SD100 for 5 years and it recently ceased to record pictures. I contacted customer care and they said it was a known (albeit rare) problem and they would fix it for free. Just sent it out and can’t wait to get it back! Will definitely buy Canon for life.

  • 3 ishfaq ahmed // Apr 12, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    ihave canon elura60 i cannot close the cassete only empty is open i dont know what is ahappan

  • 4 Samuel // Jul 12, 2009 at 6:13 am

    I need address and telephone number of Canon Customer Service in South Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. I have a CanonScan Lide25 which needs repairs. Thanks. Provide address of Canon Customer Service for South Mumbai, India for my Canon Scan Lide 25.

    [Editor’s reply: Well, since you posted twice, sure just hang on, I’m looking that up for you now. Wait for it…]

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