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Frick... Europe-spec CP990 is refused for repairs in the US

 
 
Steven M. Scharf
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      06-02-2004

"Jeremy" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:VYgvc.8365$(E-Mail Removed) ink.net...
>
> "Steven M. Scharf" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:hQevc.20384$(E-Mail Removed) k.net...
> >
> > I'd worry that something I bought in Europe or Asia would be refused for
> > repair by Nikon U.S.A., even though it was not a grey-market product.

How
> > are you supposed to prove that it was purchased in Europe, rather than
> > grey-market in the U.S.? What if you can't find your receipt?
> >

>
> You are confusing the issue. If you can't find your receipt, and thus
> cannot establish when you purchased the equipment, you have no right to
> demand warranty service. I believe that most manufacturers offer

purchasers
> the ability to register their purchases by mail or by Internet, making it
> unnecessary for them to retain their receipts.


I'm referring to out-of-warranty service. It is not right for any Nikon
service center to refuse out-of-warranty service for a Nikon product,
regardless of its orgin. And of course some companies, like Canon, have been
known to provide in-warranty service for grey market products as well. It's
best to steer clear of Nikon products completely.

> But this thread was discussing GRAY MARKET GOODS. Official importers are
> NOT required to fix GRAY MARKET GOODS.


They are not required to fix anything. But it's good business to do so.
Nikon is Nikon. It is immaterial that they have set up separate entities in
various parts of the world.

> So send your gray market Nikon back to Japan. You STILL have no legal

RIGHT
> to demand service on a GRAY MARKET NIKON from NIKON USA.


No legal right. Just a moral right.

> Your comments suggest that the buyer of gray market Nikons is somehow

being
> swindled by Nikon USA. Nothing could be further from the truth. Nikon

USA
> has NO RESPONSIBILITY OR OBLIGATION WHATSOEVER to take care of any unit

that
> they did not import.


Again, Nikon is Nikon. The fact that they've set up separate entities in
various countries shouldn't matter to the buyer of their products.

> >What if I purchase a Nikon camera or lens in Europe, and Nikon U.S.A.

says
> > that I bought it from an "illegitimate" importer?" I would probably not

> know
> > if a reseller is "illegitimate."

>
> Oh, come on! You don't know if your purchase is GRAY MARKET?? Give me a
> break!


I know. But Nikon U.S.A. doesn't know whether the product is grey market, or
whether it was legitimately purchased in Europe.

> That's like saying "Officer, you say I was going 90 MPH in a 45 MPH zone?
> Gee, I didn't know I was speeding!"


Terrible analogy--as are most analogies.


> So call your congressman if you think the law should be changed to impose

a
> burden upon an importer to support products with which it had no

connection.

It isn't an issue for congress. The best thing to do is to simply avoid
Nikon products completely. Fortunately there are other companies that don't
have such onerous rules about repairing their own products.

> Stop playing dumb.


Weak.

> You are being an alarmist. Legitimate Nikon customers have no problem
> obtaining warranty service on legitimately-purchased products, and I

suspect
> that you know it. Why are you trying to create suspicion? We all know
> Nikon, but who are YOU?


Not an alarmist at all. It is a perfectly reasonable scenario that someone
will need service on a Nikon product purchased in another country, and that
that person doesn't have their receipt with them. Nikon U.S.A. will simply
assume "grey market" and not repair it, even for a fee.

> Best bet is to avoid bad advice from YOU entirely!


Again, very weak.


> Oh, so that is your objective: to publicize your web site! If that advice
> represents the kind stuff you post, I don't think I'll be visiting it.


I couldn't care less if you visit it or not. Your loss. I don't get any
financial benefit one way or the other.


> Let's not presume anything. The point I was making--the ONLY point I was
> making--is that NO IMPORTER HAS AN OBLIGATION TO SUPPORT PRODUCTS THAT IT
> DID NOT IMPORT. If Canon, in its own good judgment, elects to repair
> gray-market Canons, I have no problem with their decision.


Again, it's not a question of being legally obligated, it's a question of
doing what's right to keep your customers happy and encourage repeat
business. Nikon U.S.A. is being very short-sighted. The orginal poster is
almost certainly never going to buy another Nikon product, and it's the
idiocy of Nikon U.S.A. of not accepting a unit for a paid repair.

> I have also read
> > that they don't honor the warranty on grey-market cameras but are happy

to
> > repair them out-of-warranty.

>
> So what does that have to do with Nikon USA's decisions?


Nikon has been steadily losing market share to Canon. Nikon has fallen out
of the top five makers of digital cameras. Canon also is now dominating the
professional market for film as well.

> I have never heard of Canon refusing a repair
> > completely.
> >
> >

>
> Are you an expert? Does the fact that YOU never heard of it mean that we
> should presume that your belief is not factual?


This is true. I have specific example of Canon accepting known grey-market
products for repair, both in and out of warranty.


> Yes, but an INDEPENDENT repair facility can set its own policies. You are
> confusing people with your comments. We are discussing whether NIKON USA

is
> required to provide repairs on equipment that it did not import, not

whether
> an independent shop may provide repairs.


No, we are not discussing whether they are required to provide repairs, we
agree that they are not required. We are discussing whether or not this
policy means that consumers should be wary of Nikon.

> > What I would advise to the original poster, is that they look at:
> > Nikon in Japan should put a stop to these shenanigans, as it is hurting
> > their reputation. Their market share is already slipping, they don't

need
> an
> > uppity U.S. division hurting them over such a non-issue.
> >

>
> You are either being inflammatory or you are some kind of a nut.


Very weak. Look at the market share numbers for digital cameras. Nikon has
gone from dominance to not even being in the top five (or the top six for
that matter). They should be adopting policies that don't alienate potential
customers.


 
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Jeremy
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      06-02-2004

"Steven M. Scharf" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:dDmvc.20586$(E-Mail Removed) link.net...
>
> Again, it's not a question of being legally obligated, it's a question of
> doing what's right to keep your customers happy and encourage repeat
> business.


But, sir, you are NOT a customer of Nikon USA. You bought a gray market
camera on eBay. Nikon USA never imported it. Their policy of declining
service on gray market cameras is well known. They have no obligation to
you. You were never their customer, with respect to this item.

If the camera was purchased legitimately outside the USA, the person you
bought it from should be able to supply you with documentation. I believe
that you knew from the start that you would not be entitled to Nikon USA
service on your camera, so why are you whining about it? You presumably got
it at a good price, and with that benefit came a degree of risk. For
heaven's sake, give it a rest.


 
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Steven M. Scharf
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      06-02-2004

"Charlie Self" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...

> Does that mean Nikon makes no profit on gray market items? Because if they

do,
> refusing repair for any reason is hypocrisy. Nikon USA may not make a

buck, but
> their parent company does, and Nikon USA, or whatever company, will make

its
> normal profit on the repairs, so no one is asking for special support

here,
> just a reasonable way of doing business.


Nikon is being unreasonable. Buyers should be wary of purchasing Nikon
products, especially out of their home country, or if they expect to travel
outside their home country. Camera warranties should be world-wide, no
matter where the consumer bought the product. The manufacturer should be
controlling distribution so that grey-market is not an issue.


 
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Jeremy
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      06-02-2004

"Steven M. Scharf" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:YLmvc.20596$(E-Mail Removed) link.net...
>
>
> Nikon is being unreasonable. Buyers should be wary of purchasing Nikon
> products, especially out of their home country, or if they expect to

travel
> outside their home country. Camera warranties should be world-wide, no
> matter where the consumer bought the product. The manufacturer should be
> controlling distribution so that grey-market is not an issue.
>


Just because you think that something should be so does not make it so. And
this is not an issue that is confined to Nikon USA only. Lots of importers
of goods have to compete with gray market interlopers, who siphon off their
customers and do not pay a cent toward the overhead of the official
importer.

You are placing blame everywhere but where it belongs: upon yourself, for
not checking the status of the item that you purchased before you completed
the transaction.


 
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Steven M. Scharf
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Posts: n/a
 
      06-02-2004

"Jeremy" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:_Pmvc.9110$(E-Mail Removed) ink.net...
>
> "Steven M. Scharf" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:YLmvc.20596$(E-Mail Removed) link.net...
> >
> >
> > Nikon is being unreasonable. Buyers should be wary of purchasing Nikon
> > products, especially out of their home country, or if they expect to

> travel
> > outside their home country. Camera warranties should be world-wide, no
> > matter where the consumer bought the product. The manufacturer should be
> > controlling distribution so that grey-market is not an issue.
> >

>
> Just because you think that something should be so does not make it so.

And
> this is not an issue that is confined to Nikon USA only. Lots of

importers
> of goods have to compete with gray market interlopers, who siphon off

their
> customers and do not pay a cent toward the overhead of the official
> importer.


The fact is that Nikon doesn't really care about anything except selling as
much product as they can, through whatever channel, and there is nothing
wrong with this attitude. It would not be difficult for them to put an end
to grey-market products, they simply have to track the wholesaler and
retailer who the grey market product was sold to initially. Other companies
that are serious about stopping grey market sales have done just this, but
many companies just wink at the grey-market supplier and say, "how terrible,
don't do that, and by the way, how many more units should we ship you?"
Nikon U.S.A. could refuse to sell to retailers who also carry grey-market
products, but they don't.

> You are placing blame everywhere but where it belongs: upon yourself, for
> not checking the status of the item that you purchased before you

completed
> the transaction.


You have stated the crux of the issue, though incorrectly. The blame is NOT
on the consumer. The blame is on the corporation that fails to manage their
distribution. Remember that for U.S. products, the manufacturer can't base
warranty coverage on authorized versus non-authorized dealer, congress took
care of this. The same policy should be extended to grey-market versus U.S.
market because it is unreasonable to but the burden on the consumer to
figure out whether a product is grey market or not, especially when it's
identical to the U.S. version. But it doesn't need to be a law. The market
can decide, as long as consumers are made aware of the issue. Unfortunately,
the consumer often doesn't know in advance that a manufacturer doesn't stand
behind its products--they learn this the hard way.



 
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Charlie Self
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      06-02-2004
Jeremy states:

>
>You seem to want to have your cake and to eat it, too. You want to not pay
>for the increased overhead that the official importer must bear (and must
>ultimately pass down to the buyer), yet you want to receive the benefits
>that accrue to customers of the official importer.
>
>Whether you like it or not, the rules are clear: if you want parts and
>service from the OFFICIAL importer, you should buy officially-imported
>goods.
>


As I do. That doesn't make Nikon's stance one deserving of loyalty, and it is a
stance that is nearly unique in the importation and distribution of cameras.

>In the case of Nikon USA, I feel certain that they would prefer that ALL
>Nikon equipment imported into this country come through them. From their
>vantage point, the huge investment that they've made in brand recognition,
>advertising, parts inventories and availability of trained technicians, is
>being siphoned off by interlopers, who have made ZERO investment in any of
>these thing


They have the means. Why not implement them, instead of passing the onus on to
the customer who has far fewer resources?

>If you are so concerned about the fact that gray market purchasers receive
>no support from Nikon USA, perhaps you should be warning users of the
>drawbacks of dealing with unauthorized import channels--not complaining
>about Nikon USA. You have put the cart before the horse. Nikon USA is not
>the culprit, the gray market importer is.


Nikon, and other manufacturers, can readily and fairly cheaply control or
eliminate those unauthorized channels. They do not.

Again, this is because grey market is a dumping ground for manufacturers who
building overstocks.

> If you want to recommend that buyers not purchase Nikon gear because
>of this, I do not believe that very many people will act on your advice.


Their problem, not mine. I won't buy Nikon. Whether someone else does or not,
is not my concern, and my interest in the subject has just come to a screeching
halt.


Charlie Self
"The test and the use of man's education is that he finds pleasure in the
exercise of his mind." Jacques Barzun



 
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Jeremy
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      06-02-2004

"Charlie Self" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>
> They have the means. Why not implement them, instead of passing the onus

on to
> the customer who has far fewer resources?
>


No, a Supreme Court decision made it legal for gray market importers to
bring in products. Nikon USA cannot prevent these imports. Stores that
sell gray market merchandise do so legally.

Along with choice, the consumer is faced with having to determine whether
his product qualifies for repairs by the official importer. The official
importer has no obligation to any but its own customers.

That decision has the force of law in the U.S.

>
> Nikon, and other manufacturers, can readily and fairly cheaply control or
> eliminate those unauthorized channels. They do not.
>
> Again, this is because grey market is a dumping ground for manufacturers

who
> building overstocks.
>


Not sure that a manufacturer can control what happens to the goods once
title passes to the local distributor. Besides, if ANYONE is being hurt by
this gray market importation scheme, it is Nikon USA. One would think that
they would be the ones to spearhead such a campaign.

The consumer is not hurt by having multiple sources of supply.

The consumer must make a buying decision based on his/her needs. But,
having elected to buy gray market, the consumer has no right to expect
support from the official importer. Just as he/she would have no right to
expect Nikon USA to repair a camera made by, say, Minolta or Canon.

By the way, I believe that most of the Japanese cameras DO carry an
International Warranty. The camera could be shipped to the manufacturer for
service. The official importer makes repairs more convenient by making them
available in their locations, but the camera itself can still be repaired,
regardless of how it entered the US, if the purchaser is willing to send it
to Japan.

Another option might be to check wiah a US dealer that sells gray market
Nikons. They may be able to arrange for repairs through their arrangement
with the gray market importer.

Nikon USA is completely innocent of any wrongdoing in this instance. The
buyer pays his money and he makes his choice. The issue of unauthorized
importation of cameras is one that is well known. Consumers should be able
to know the difference.


 
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Charlie Self
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      06-02-2004
Jeremy writes:

>Nikon USA is completely innocent of any wrongdoing in this instance. The
>buyer pays his money and he makes his choice. The issue of unauthorized
>importation of cameras is one that is well known. Consumers should be able
>to know the difference.


At what point did I say Nikon USA was guilty? Nikon and Nikon USA are not the
same entity. I believe that Nikon controls Nikon USA, but I don't know that.
It's irrelevant. I do not like the way they do business. Thus, they won't get
my business.

Charlie Self
"The test and the use of man's education is that he finds pleasure in the
exercise of his mind." Jacques Barzun



 
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BillyBob
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      06-03-2004

"Jeremy" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
newswovc.35641$(E-Mail Removed) link.net...

SNIP -

You are missing one VERY important fact - the camera in question is out of
warranty so the customer would have to pay for repairs - how is that
damaging to Nikon?

What happens if I live in Japan buy Nikon equipment and then move to the US
to live. Is my equipment grey market?

If I take a Nikon camera to any Nikon service facility in Japan they will
service it no questions asked - if out of warranty the rates are reasonable
and not a word about grey market.

Nikon US may be on safe legal ground but their implementation stinks and is
not customer friendly.

BillyB


 
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Steven M. Scharf
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      06-03-2004
"Jeremy" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
newswovc.35641$(E-Mail Removed) link.net...

> No, a Supreme Court decision made it legal for gray market importers to
> bring in products. Nikon USA cannot prevent these imports. Stores that
> sell gray market merchandise do so legally.


It is not a question of legality. If they desire, corporations can control
the importation of grey market products by tracking how they get into the
U.S. (or whatever country), and cutting off the distributors and retailers
that are responsible. This type of control exists for many companies that
are serious about protecting the price structure that allows different
prices in different regions.

The fact is, that while Nikon U.S.A. may not like grey-market competition,
Nikon Corporation just wants to sell as much equipment as possible. They
will make noise about grey-market imports, to pacify their subsidiaries in
each country, and their retailers and distributors, but they won't actually
do anything to fight it.

Nikon U.S.A. could get tough, and choose to not sell to retailers that also
carry grey-market goods, but Nikon U.S.A. probably isn't too keen to cut off
places like B&H.

> Along with choice, the consumer is faced with having to determine whether
> his product qualifies for repairs by the official importer. The official
> importer has no obligation to any but its own customers.


You are trying to make too much of the difference between Nikon and Nikon
U.S.A.. They are still both Nikon. I'm not saying that the decline of Nikon
is due to this one issue, but it does contribute to a negative image of the
company. I don't like the way Nikon does business, and a lump all the Nikon
companies in each country together. They won't get my business because of
their attitude.

> That decision has the force of law in the U.S.


This is correct. But it is bad business practice. Canon is smart enough to
realize this; Nikon is not.

> > Nikon, and other manufacturers, can readily and fairly cheaply control

or
> > eliminate those unauthorized channels. They do not.


> Not sure that a manufacturer can control what happens to the goods once
> title passes to the local distributor.


You are very wrong about this. The manufacturer can cut off the supply to
distributors that sell into the grey-market channel. But the manufacturer
needs to want to do this. Many manufacturers want the grey-market channel to
exist because it means additional volume. So they do nothing about it. Some
manufacturers vigorously fight the grey market importation of their goods.
Some even fight to keep their non-grey market goods out of places like
Costco. It can be done, but the company needs to want to do it.

> Besides, if ANYONE is being hurt by
> this gray market importation scheme, it is Nikon USA. One would think

that
> they would be the ones to spearhead such a campaign.


Nikon U.S.A. does not have the power to stop their parent corporation from
feeding the grey market channel. All they can do is to refuse warranty and
out-of-warranty support, and live with the bad publicity. Or they could
fight back by lowering prices to grey market levels.

> Nikon USA is completely innocent of any wrongdoing in this instance. The
> buyer pays his money and he makes his choice. The issue of unauthorized
> importation of cameras is one that is well known. Consumers should be

able
> to know the difference.


It is not a question of guilt or innocence. Some buyers may unwittingly buy
grey market merchandise, some may buy equipment outside of the U.S.. It's
the manufacturer's responsibility to uphold their reputation by supporting
the equipment they sell, no matter how it enters the country, because they
allow the grey market to exist. They shouldn't be talking out of both sides
of their mouth.


 
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