22 September, 2006

In Praise of Nikon

Nearly two years ago, Wifie and I bought a Nikon Coolpix 5700 camera to replace our old Pentax SLR. It has been great. It had all the functionality I needed so that I didn’t suffer withdrawal after using a decent SLR for so long, and it was at the price/quality point I’d been waiting for since digital photography began. It’s true the auto-focus settings are a pain, but you get used to it in the end, and everything else about it was just right.

Until it went wrong – on holiday. It started producing cool but unwanted distortions in the image that were ruining every shot. We’d only had the thing 18 months and for it to pack up with a problem so obviously serious just after it goes out of warranty was pretty upsetting – not least because of all the great pictures I couldn’t take!
So, not expecting much, we called a mender and told them we had a problem. They surprised us by knowing all about it and suggested we send it back to Nikon because they had a bad batch of CCDs at one point and our camera could well have one of them. So we sent it to Nikon to take a look and they’ve just been in touch to say they’ve fixed it – at no charge – and it’s on its way back to us.

Now, I’ve no particular reason to like Nikon, except that they make a very good camera (even if some of them do have dodgy CCDs in them) but the painless and efficient way they fixed the problem for us has earned them my lasting respect. Most companies make mistakes from time to time that cause their customers some inconvenience. That’s just what happens when you have people doing stuff. But when they do, you expect them to be as helpful and as easy to deal with as possible to put their mistake right. It was their mistake, after all, and you did suffer some inconvenience.

The trouble is that so many companies get this dreadfully wrong. Disastrously wrong, you might say. For example, I got a mobile phone from a telco called Optus about six months ago and they made some mistakes in my first couple of bills. I am still feeling aggrieved with this company, not because of the mistakes, but because of the weeks of terrible trouble I had to go to, to get them to admit it and then to fix it – both of which they did in the end, but not without really, really annoying me.

Maybe their CEO should go and take some lessons from the guys at Nikon.


Anonymous said...

You were lucky, I sent it back for the same reason and it stopped working properly. I bought an 8800 and for a year it has been going bac and forth and they never fixed it right. Now they tell me they will replace it, but dont have the camera any more.

graywave said...

You definitely have my sympathies on this. As I say, if a company screws up, they should fix it - fast and painlessly. It sounds to me that, if they can't give you a new 8800, they should give you the next model up in whatever is the replacement line.

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