Lost One to Canon

Short version: It took three attempts and 13 weeks for Nikon to make the flash on my D800E work properly.

Long version: On June 16, 2012 I bought a new D800E.

In late June I discovered it did not reliably trigger remote flashes (CLS).  The details aren't important here, except they were not the same as a problem discussed around the internet.

I delayed service so I could take the D800 on vacation.  At the end of my trip I started getting "Err" in the top LCD when activating the aperture (DoF preview or shooting).

On September 13, 2012 I mailed the camera from Massachusetts to Nikon's New York address.

On September 18 I got an email saying the camera was in their system. The web site showed warranty repair, no charge.  A letter with the same information arrived a couple days later.

I checked status almost every day from then on.  On days I didn't check, nothing changed.

On September 29 the status changed to re-estimate.  Nikon claimed water damage and it would be a ~$200 repair instead of free.  (B1 or B2) I was suspicious of the diagnosis, but $200 wasn't worth a fight.

More specifically, the status was re-estimate September 19.  By my understanding that means Nikon decided to charge me on September 19 but didn't update their records until September 29.

I never received an email or a letter informing me of the change. I had to check for myself.

I approved the estimate via the web page the same day.

On October 10 status was unchanged so I called to check.  Nikon had no record of my approval.  I gave payment information by phone.

Three failures on their part so far: late update of online status, no email or letter notification of change, and their computers lost my payment info.

On October 12 my camera was back in shop.

On October 25 (+/- 1 day) I called for a status update.  I was told my camera would be shipped the following Tuesday, October 30.

On October 29 a hurricane hit Long Island.

On November 2 I called again.  It was their "first full day" with power restored and they had a backlog.

On November 5, 2012 the camera arrived via next day air, 7 1/2 weeks after I mailed it.  Excusing a few days for the hurricane and discounting time in transit, they had my camera for 6 weeks.

CLS still did not work.

On November 6 I bought a 5D Mark III.

I called Nikon service.  The person on the phone checked the record and agreed I had reported a broken flash but the repair work did not include the flash.

On November 29 I mailed the camera back to Nikon.  The work list was the flash problem and replace lost vertical grip cover.

On December 21 I received the camera.  The flash still didn't work.  The grip cover was still missing.

On December 24 I took the camera to the store where I bought it. I demonstrated the flash problem and explained that Nikon had twice failed to repair it.  The store sent the camera back to Nikon and said they would escalate if needed.

On January 10, 2013 the store called me to say my camera was back.

On January 11 I picked it up. CLS finally worked.

Final score: 3 repair attempts, 13 weeks in service or in transit. (jc)

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