Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Camera obscura

New post at Toxophily: sky-blue socks!

This morning I had my trusty Canon Powershot S400 in my purse, and I took it out when I got to work and turned it on. This is what I saw on the screen:

Or something like that anyway, only pinker and blobbier. Well, nuts. I love this camera, purchased in March 2004. I guess you can't expect these gadgets to last forever. Let me just check Google to see if there's any hope of repair ...

Hey, has a post from somebody with a pink streaky display, and the response says that it's a CCD failure (the imaging chip inside the camera), and that Canon has a service bulletin promising a fix whether in or out of warranty. Let me just call that 800 number. Computer answers, I navigate to the repair area and tell them my product. The computer transfers me to "our Virginia call center" (a pointed jab at overseas outsourcing), and then I'm told that "all our representatives are busy." Par for the course.

But wait! The computer is telling me that if I punch in my number and say my name, they'll call me back in "9 to 15 minutes" when it's my turn. OK, I'll give that a shot. Back to work, and ten minutes later, Larry in Virginia has called me up and is joking about the pink blobs being a new feature to spark my creativity. Clearly he's not being paid by the call, since he carefully explains the whole return process to me and takes my information.

A while later, I get an e-mail from Canon Customer Care with an attachment -- already filled out with the serial number and shipping address I gave Larry -- for me to print out and put in the box with my camera. Hot on its heels came an e-mail from UPS with a link to my prepaid shipping label for printing and affixing to my package.

That's right -- not only are they fixing my three-and-a-half year old camera for free, but they're paying for the shipping there and back. Combine that with the terrific experience I had with the telephone service, and my day went from "oh no, my camera's dead!" to "wow, I'm getting a free repair!" in no time flat.

Canon, say hello to your customer for life.


dougb0 said...

Well that's really interesting. Our Canon did that too a year and a half ago, but we thought it was because we got it wet. Maybe we should try this...

But what I really want to know is how you got such a clear photo of the screen on your camera!

Anonymous said...

You know, Geeky minds think alike... when I began reading this, I was wondering exactly the same thing--how in the world did she get that image onto the computer!

I wish we had known about this a year and a half ago, too! Let's try it!

Good work, Donna! And, thanks for sharing!

Jenn said...

Awesome! And I own a Canon (and love it), and now I love it even more.

momof3gr8kids said...

Wow! That kind of customer service is almost unheard of in this day and age. You're right; Canon's a keeper!

Maureen said...

Dude, I have a broken Canon camera too! I'm gonna do some googling! Thanks!