14-24mm is repaired! Something positive about Nikon Service ( @nikonusa )

Since my last few posts have been on the negative side regarding my experiences with Nikon’s service, I thought I’d mention some positive things:

  • After paying, the lens was repaired in 4 days and arrived to me after 9 days total.   A local repair shop would have taken about the same time but of course there would be no waiting for the shipping.
  • After the repair, the actual cost of the repair was about $270 cheaper than the estimate.   I’d really like to believe they would have done this regardless of whether I would have pushed them to talk to a service manager, called them out publicly online, and otherwise made them know that I was going to make sure I wasn’t going to be charged for something that wasn’t going to be needed, but I guess there is no way to know.
  • The actual repair appears to be flawless.  No scratch marks on the lens, no “loose” feeling, no finger prints or dust inside the lens, etc.   A couple of years ago I took a cheaper lens for cleaning locally and it wasn’t the same quality.  That’s not to say they should stop supplying parts to the local shops.

What I find unsettling about the whole experience is how inconsistent Nikon’s service was.   Initially I spoke with someone with the name of “Sandra”.  Sandra was very helpful and gave me a price range of $300-$600 without sending it in.  I knew the lens was not damaged much so even though this was high, I was confident that the repair would be in the lower end -maybe $350-450.     Somehow, once they got the lens, I was told the estimate was $691 plus shipping and tax (so $760 all together).   When I dared to question the difference, I got a somewhat rude response by “Omar” “Jamie” of Nikon telling me not to believe my eyes and that something significant had happened.   Just seems odd that without looking, Sandra’s estimate was right on the money yet the person who initially looked at the lens was either clueless, overestimating in order to make sure to give me the worst case scenario, or was going to overcharge.    I can’t really say one way or another.

So overall, I feel much better now that the price was $270 lower and that the repair was done correctly.   The actual quality of the repair was never an issue because let’s face it, Nikon built the damn lens and they should know how to fix it, but I have lost a little bit of respect for the durability of Nikon’s professional lenses and how they don’t seem to honor their warranty.

I’m probably going to stick with Nikon, but I don’t think I’ll be buying the 24-70mm f/2.8 lens from them just as small protest for what happened.  Also, there is no VR in the Nikon version and the Tamron version does have VC (their version of VR).

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