V2 Battery Door

So here’s another data point for you (and another customer possibly lost to Nikon Canada).

I bought a V2 at a fire sale to take on a 3 month trip to the US, since it was small and light and at $400 with lens, a pretty good deal.

One week before the trip (and 300 frames in) the battery door latch breaks. Nikon Vancouver doesn’t have parts, has to send it out. Can’t take camera on trip as turnaround time is . As courtesy for inconvenience, they agree to fix it under warranty.

I go on trip with iPhone as my only camera. At some point get email that repair has been logged, no charge. One week later, estimate revised to a 150 dollar charge because of impact damage (which there wasn’t — the thing was fine while shooting and fine when I got it home; the little eye into which the latch enters broke while trying to get the card out). I thought the whole point of getting an estimate on the spot was to avoid this kind of nonsense. If I was going to be charged, I could have just taken the camera back and taken with me for — I could just as well pay Nikon USA to fix it, so at least I’d have use of the darn thing.

So: fire sale camera, couldn’t take it on trip, courtesy repair promised and reneged, cost of repair 30% of cost of camera. All for one stupid plastic latch.

I am going to try to call them and sort this out, but as of now here is the net result: I’m on holiday without a camera, and my V2 is with Nikon while I decide whether it’s worth fixing, or whether to just bail on Nikon for ever. Grr. (VV)

Thom’s comment: this is one of those areas where Nikon’s dropping parts availability to third party repair shops that don’t sign up for the full training and repair equipment offerings hurts. It used to be that the simpler, mechanical repairs of replacing a compartment door, or maybe the rear element of the viewfinder assembly, could be done locally at less than exorbitant rates. Now, products have to go back into the official Nikon repair centers, and Nikon’s own seems to have a proclivity for finding impact damage. 

Reader followup: In fairness to Nikon, I should add that after I called them on the phone to find investigate the charge, they agreed to repair the camera under warranty as a "goodwill" repair. (Their word, not mine.)

However, they still insist that the only way the plastic part could have broken is via impact. This defies logic -- if you look at the battery door latch, there's a small tongue that slots in to a eyelet molded on to the plastic part forming the right side of the camera body. This eyelet is the part that broke. Since it is *under* the door in normal use, any impact strong enough to break it would presumably leave some traces on the exterior of the camera, or on the door itself. However, the outside of the camera is perfectly clean and obviously has not suffered whatsoever. (And I know for a fact that I didn't drop the camera; the part broke while trying to extract the battery and card.)

In general, Nikon Canada seems to use "impact damage" as code to reflect a general position that breakage of plastic parts is not covered under warranty and that such parts cannot possibly break under normal use.

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