Canon warranty, not

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by mvw photo, Sep 22, 2004.

  1. I just bought my Canon 20D in Hong Kong - we have an office there. Did not save any money, this is not "gray import", I even paid more than I would have here in Canada - but since I travel a lot (I have worked in 26 countries in 25 years), I buy where convenient when I have a second. Having returned to Canada, I Just found out that incredibly, Canon have no international warranty. In this respect they are years behind, say, IBM, which covers all laptops worldwide without questions. For a traveller, international warranty is essential. It is incredible that Canon do not offer it. So when my camera breaks I need to fly 20 hours to Hong Kong? Yes, that is what I am told by Canon Canada. Unfortunate. If Canon expect me to stay neatly in my home town like a good boy, they have another think coming, and in that case this will definitely be the last time I buy Canon. I expect many photographers are like me - wake up, Canon: people nowadays TRAVEL! Michael
  2. You could try a ploy that has worked for me in different but similar
    situations. If your camera needs fixing, take it to a conveniently
    situated showroom at a time when the showroom is crowded by people
    ogling new toys. When you're told that it won't be fixed, repeat what
    you're hearing, politely, clearly, and loudly. "So you are telling me that
    Canon products don't have international warranties? So if I were to buy
    anything here, I'd have to get it serviced here too?" Etc. Your aim is to
    make your interlocutor aware that others in the showroom are starting
    to think that they'd better not buy Canon products, and therefore that
    not providing you with service is bad for their business. Incidentally, I
    don't know this "20D", but my 48-year-old Canon VL seems reliable
    enough -- if the 20D seems dodgy, you might consider a switch of Canon
  3. Well, obviously, you can mail your camera to Hong Kong--you don't have to fly there yourself. :)

    But, hopefully you'll be like 98% of all camera owners out there and your camera won't ever need any repair work done.
  4. Michael -- I've shot Canon for 28 years, purchasing equipment all over the western hemisphere.<P>This is the first time I've ever heard of a problem with getting equipment purchased elsewhere repaired in Canada (my home too).<P>As recently as last year I had a warranty repair done in Canada on a lens purchased in the States.<P>Therefor I'm curious -- who told you that warranty repairs wouldn't be covered and what required repairing?
  5. Thanks for the suggestion - yes that ploy may work. As for sending it - no way will I send a C$2100 camera to HK, especially not HK where things go wrong if you are unusual (e.g. you have no HK ID card)!

    As said, presumably I will never need it.

  6. You don't have to take it like a typicial Canadian -- lying down. Ahem. Make a fuss, talk to the service manager; tell him/her it's crazy for the modern global Canon to be so provincial, etc. Tell him to talk to Fujio. One person can make a change. One person's point being made by many over & over can make a change.

    Get Fujio Mitarai's email address & post it here... (Good luck with that; I think that Canon avoids contact using the excuse that they can't take product suggestions externally because that might compromise their intellectual property)

    Or you can also save yourself some trouble by not worrying about it and dropping it off by mail / on your next trip.
  7. I emailed Canon Canada earlier today to ask, and this is what they replied the same day:

    "Thank you for your e-mail reply. Canon Inc. offers an international warranty on 35mm EOS camera bodies and EF lenses. Unfortunately, the warranty on the EOS 20D is not an international warranty. To obtain the terms and conditions of the warranty for your EOS 20D you may check the warranty card supplied with your camera. This should outline the regions where the camera warranty is valid."

    Seems clear enough unfortunately. No, if I ever needed the service I would not take it lying down but it is a real shame they do not just offer international warranty - very provincial...
  8. How come you didn't get an international warranty. I just bought a 100mm f2.8 USM macro less than a month ago and got an international warranty. I also bought a Canon Powershot G6 and got an international warranty. I bought all of this from my dad's friend's shop in Malaysia.

    Must be the shop...not Canon.
  9. It doesn't seem right that everything except a DSLR was an international warranty. Like
    others here, I've bought many gray market EOS gear and non-USA gear. The few times I
    needed warranty repair Canon Hawaii fixed it no questions asked after I showed a dated
    receipt. One such item was an EOS film body I purchased in Korea.
  10. I don't know if there is a recent change in the way Canon honors international warranties, but they way I understand it, in the past Canon in North America had their own warranty system, separate from the Canon International warranty system. Officially, they were under no obligation to honor the international warranty, but in practice always did, because it was good for their business reputation. A lot of people knew that Canon would fix their international purchases (or gray market equipment), so they haven't hesitated to buy them, thus depriving Canon North America of profits. Perhaps the added burden of digital equipment servicing has pushed Canon to inforce their officially stated policy.

    Nikon in North America, on the other hand, historically did not honor international warranties. Their warranty documents stated such, and for the most part they stuck to the letter of their law. This has repeatedly upset mant Nikon shooters as well, but Nikon North America figured that if they weren't getting paid from Nikon Japan, they weren't going to fix Nikon Japan's cameras. In fact, Nikon's policy has been to not even do repair work for a fee if the camera was not imported through them. This is one reason why buying Nikon equipment on the gray market has always been a bad idea.

    So what you got here Michael, is a situation where Canon Canada, may in fact do warranty work if your camera needs it, even though they say they won't. Or they really have changed their policy. Any body know for sure?
  11. Michael,

    Your experience is not isolated. A lot of people have been caught out by this and it's not only Canon that are not offering international warranty on digital cameras.

    A lot of us have become used to the international warranty that is offered on film gear, and cannot believe that the warranty is so restrictive on digital cameras.

    2 years ago I worked in a large camera store. If a prospective customer mentioned that they could buy x over the inernet for $$$ cheaper than in Australia, we would politely mention that the warranty would not be covered here in AUS.

    I never got a straight answer on this from any reps, but I believe it comes down to 1, or a combination of these factors:

    Patents - some features are patented in different countries by different companies. I remember 1 camera that had a different metering system depending on which coutry the model was marketed in. A bar graph showing +/- 2 stops in 1/2 stops was on the 'World' model and a simple + or - was on the North American model. I was told (3rd hand info...) that this was due to a particular patent in the US.

    Marketing - models may have slightly different features depending on the market in which it is sold (eg different languages, menu layout ets).

    The internet - I think this may be the major reason. With the internet it has become very easy to purchase from other countries. The manufacturers have different RRP (and hence markup) depending on the country. I believe that the revenues that have been generated by some of the divisions in smaller markets have been affected by the end consumers ability to purchase the item from another market where the item is considerably cheaper. The restrictive warranty conditions will disuade conservative buyers from buying from overseas, because they worry about the item not being covered by warranty in their own country.

    For example, I bought item x online from a large US store, had it shipped and paid the customs charge and still got it for 1/2 the Australian RRP.

    The retailer that you bought it from should have pointed out the warranty limitations.

    Have you contacted Canon to see if you can purchase a warranty for Canada (not ideal I know, but maybe cheaper than an airfare to HK...)
  12. Regional warranties are used as a previous poster suggested to seggregate markets and create different price regimes. It's easy to judge that this policy is successful by looking at the ex-tax prices in different parts of the world - essentially everywhere else subsidises the USA to a greater or lesser extent. It is my understanding that Canon's DSLR warranties are now regional, rather than country specific. If so, that would at least give you the option of warranty service from say Canon Singapore, where you might feel greater confidence. Some Canon subsidiaries have been known for being very reluctant to honour international or regional warranties or even paid for repairs (e.g. UK), although now supposedly Canon Europe is attempting to unify the European service offering. You should certainly check the reputation of any Asian Canon subsidiary for handling warranty issues before sending your camera in, should it prove necessary. I hope for your sake that the spate of lock-up problems reported with the 20D won't require physical service to fix and will be solved by a firmware update.

    I think the other feature of Canon warranties that disappoints is that they are just for one measly year - except in a country like Germany, where two years minimum is required by law. Tamron is prepared to offer 6 year warranties on lenses, displaying a confidence in the performance of their products, and guaranteeing an availability of spare parts after a particular line has been discontinued. Even Sigma have been offering 3-4 year warranties. There have been some horror stories about particular Canon lenses not having spare parts available very shortly after they were discontinued. With the pace of DLSR development, this is a significant risk.
  13. Canon do offer extended warranties on their products. I even found an Excel spreadsheet on one of them explaining their prices (though ?150 for 3 year warranty on a 300D seemed excessive).

    In the UK, I know of 4 retailers who provide 2 year warranties as standard (okay, 1 being Nomatica which is French, but do have prices in GBP). Many offer to extend it from 2 to 3 years for ?50-?60 (around 10%) which seems fair.

    As for Canon warranty, it does seem their prosumer DSLRs have regional warranties whilst their lenses have international ones). Something to consider though is a Mack International warranty which can be bought up to 3 months after the original purchase, and doesn't need to be bought from the retailer you got the camera from - just need a valid receipt etc. These can be obtained for 3-5 years I think (some extensions of the original warranty, some complete replacement). The international ones are valid in any country (and AFAIK, you just get authorisation from Mack and then ship it to your regional Canon/manufacturer repair place and Mack pay for it).

    As an indication of cost, a 4 year international warranty (not extension) costs about ?50 when converted from USD. I've assumed no VAT or duty on this - but that may bump it up a bit. Not too bad, as it extends the warranty by 3 years and provides you with international warranty, which currently you don't have.

    Just some options for you.

  14. "(and AFAIK, you just get authorisation from Mack and then ship it to your regional Canon/manufacturer repair place and Mack pay for it)."
    I am holding a Mack "3 Year Professional Digital Warranty" card from a used D30 I had a couple years ago. It states that you send the camera to Mack, and that they will fix it, including "warranted parts and labor" (convenient disclaimer; they do not explain what that means). It says nothing about you or Mack sending the item to Canon for repair.
    I never even bothered having the warranty transferred into my name (at a cost of $15), as everything I have heard/read about Mack has been bad - they are apparently very slow, and often return equipment without doing any repair. There have been reports of Mack simply returning the broken item stating that it cannot be fixed and that the warranty coverage is only in effect when the item can be repaired.

    "If you are outside the United States and need to have your equipment serviced under your Mack Camera Extended warranty, please follow these instructions for obtaining service.
    Repairs must be completed at a manufacturer authorized service center in your area.

    1. Send an email to: International Service Center Request ?

    Provide your MACK Camera Extended Warranty number
    Briefly describe the problem you are experiencing with your equipment
    2. Mack Camera will email an authorization number for the repair

    3. You will recieve an estimate for the repair from the service center.
    To avoid delay in having repairs approved, please forward the detailed estimate to our warranty department either by e-mail at or fax at (973) 467-2590.

    The estimate should include a detailed description of what will be repaired, including part numbers and the reason for the repair. YOU MUST HAVE MACK CAMERA APPROVAL ON ESTIMATES PRIOR TO ANY WORK BEING DONE.

    Per the terms of the warranty, customers will be reimbursed for repairs on manufacturer defects only."

    It doesn't say you have to send the camera to Mack, rather just email them, wait for an estimate and that it "must be complated at a manufacturer authorized service centre". Okay - that may not necessarily mean it's Canon - but certainly Canon authorised.

    I must have missed all the bad press about Mack, as I've only heard good things. As for the warranty itself - I've not checked - but it may only cover repairs and not replacement. Should something not be possible to repair, then the only other option is to replace it - which may not be covered.

  16. "I must have missed all the bad press about Mack, as I've only heard good things"
    For your reading pleasure, here are the titles of comments about Mack on's Member Recommendation page for Camera Repair:
    ---Long, Long, Long Repair Time
    ---Nice Surprise from Mack
    ---Their "extended warranty" is a waste of money.
    ---pleasantly surprised
    ---Positive Experience with Mack
    ---Good News about Mack
    ---"Service" should not be part of their name
    ---You might as well give your camera to a monkey!
    ---They are simply liars and cheats...
    ---Worthless, absolutely worthless
    ---Another Horror Story
    ---Unreliable, unethical service
    ---Mack Warranty Sucks
    Some comments good, most bad. On the plus side, reading the reviews, it seems Mack does sometimes pass the repair on to the manufacturer.
    The Mack Digital Warranty expressly guarantees that "the equipment will be restored to proper operating condition at no charge to you". Nothing in it about "sorry, it can't be fixed" scenarios.
    Mack's own response to one of the reviews mentioned above placed blame for lack of repair on the fact that some manufacturers don't let Mack have access to repair manuals, parts, or repair equipment for some items. Mack certainly shouldn't be offering their warranties on equipment they are not equipped to repair, and if they won't replace an unrepairable item, that fact should be spelled out in clear terms.
  17. Thanks for that information - I was considering a Mack warranty should I buy a camera ourside my region (unlikely), but after seeing your info, I'll stick with buying from inside my region.


  18. "As recently as last year I had a warranty repair done in Canada on a lens purchased in the States"

    I think most of the times, the USA warranty is valid for North America or at least honoured in NA.

    Also there may be differences in the FCC compliance of the 20D sold in US/Canada versus the ones sold in HK, which is why Canon may not be able to offer services in North America (as opposed to doing this for spurious/marketing reasons).

    - Harman
  19. Ooops I meant "which is why Canon may not be able to offer services in North America for the same model bought in HK (as opposed to doing this for spurious/marketing reasons)."
  20. Jim, Nikon USA does warranty repairs (and paid non-warranty repairs)for products which have international warranty + proof of purchase. The international warranty for Nikon non-digital products includes the Nikon USA, and Nikon USA warranty includes the worldwide warranty. Digital products are another matter though.
  21. I have never heard of that. Canon covers warranty work everywhere, especially for the PRO stuff and the 20D is listed under the PRO DSRLs.
  22. Afraid not - Canon clearly say Digital SLRs are NOT covered by international warranty.
  23. From the Mack website:

    What happens if the product cannot be repaired?
    If the unit can not be repaired by Mack Camera or the Manufacturer for manufacturer defects, replacement will be made with the same or an equivalent model based on its' current market value at our discretion.

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