Canon’s support center just went beyond disappointing me on my new 5D Mark II

Richard Charpentier Canon Cameras, Digital Cameras, Photography, RLC Design, Tech Reviews 4 Comments

Well, I’m sad to say that Canon’s support hasn’t done me any favors today.  I just got off the phone with Canon and learned I had to pay for my sensor cleaning.  That’s a bummer, but it’s not the big disappointment.

Here’s how it lays out…..

Several weeks ago after my 3rd photo shoot with my new 5D MarkII I’d noticed several severe dust spots on all my images since the date of my purchase.  I blew the camera out with a ball blower and found that several large dots were still on the sensor.  So, I did what I’ve done with other cameras.  I cleaned the sensor with my Arctic Butterfly……

Unfortunately the dust spots weren’t dust.  They were some type of oily substance which smeared across the sensor and got on my sensor brush as well.  Very frustrating.  At that point I contacted Canon’s tech support via e-mail.  Clearly I needed them to clean the greasy substance off my 2 week old 5D Mark II.

The Canon support e-mail service responded within 24 hours, provided me the address to ship my camera to, and instructions.  No tracking number, no RMA number, just send it in with a trackable shipper.  I sent it in via UPS and confirmed that April 22nd the Irvine, CA Canon facility had received my camera.  $76 to ship the camera insured out of my pocket.

The instructions from support also told me it would take between 10 – 14 business days for the camera to be returned.  If the issue was considered warranty I would not be contacted, the work would be done, and the camera would be returned.  Given that I haven’t heard anything at all, I assumed I was covered here.

This morning I could wait no longer.  I had to call and see about my camera and it’s status.

The young lady who answered Canon’s support line checked into the issue for me about 30 minutes ago.  The camera was received on the 22nd.  Canon does not consider it a warranty issue.  It will cost $52 for the cleaning.  Nobody contacted me as I was told they would.  It could be another 10-14 business days before I see my camera.  There’s the big disappointment.  Looks like I could be without my new camera for up to a month in total.  You’ve got to be kidding me!

So, my brand new state of the art 5D Mark II that came with oil / grease on the image sensor was used 3 times in the period of my 2 weeks with it.  It was then sent away 2 weeks ago, and might be 2 more weeks before I see it.

In total, my brand new camera has cost a little extra:

  • New sensor brush from Arctic Butterfly, yet to be purchased.  It’s been suggested I can clean it, but I just don’t want to add gunk to my other cameras and would like one that has no grease on it.  Remember, the grease got on from the new camera.
  • $76 for shipping my new camera out after 2 weeks of ownership.
  • $52 for the cleaning at Canon.
  • My new camera out of pocket for weeks…….

Honestly, I would have been better off going to Tempe Camera and having them clean it.  I wouldn’t be out the shipping charges and I would have had the camera in hand a lot sooner.

Believe me, I know things happen.  I’ve always been a satisfied Canon user.  But I am not a satisfied customer on their service and repair side.  No contact for two weeks (which their own policy stated should have happened), and no contact coming until I contacted them.  The camera might have sat a while longer.  Now I’m waiting up to 14 more business days (that’s 3 weeks) to get my new camera returned.  Beyond disappointing!

My hope…….That I’ll enjoy the camera when it’s returned to me.  I’m ending up spending an extra $130 (at minimum) above retail price for my new Mark II.  Total bummer!  Next time I need assistance I won’t seek it from the manufacturer either.

Comments 4

  1. I would escalate the issue. It’s total crap that they aren’t going to cover the cost of the cleaning at the very least! Especially when more than a few people have run into the issue…

  2. Post

    I’m with you Tom. That’s how it came to me, it’s a known issue listed on many forums. But the thing that really gets me is they’ve sat on my camera for 2 weeks and didn’t contact me to tell me I had to pay. I had to do their job for them. Wonder if I can bill them for their wasting my time???

  3. That totally blows. Maybe you need to go back to Canon and really be a pain in its you-know-what. That is blatantly poor customer service.

  4. First: Did you allow any substance get into your camera when changing or removing the lens? Because if not, then the lens is shedding the oily substance on the sensor, or it could come from the mirror or shutter mechanism, inside the same camera, in which case, it is NOT your fault. If the oily substance was deposited accidentally by yourself, then you should pay for the cleaning, but the time and effort to get things running is NOT tolerable on this expensive model. If Canon does not pay attention to your claim, please continue to post your bad experience, sending copy to Canon, until a responsible manager does his job and helps in expediting your repair. Just imagine a Professional Photographer having to wait so long for his camera body to be returned… makes me think of suing them for damages!

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