Note: See follow up reply dated 11/1/11 If you're a regular reader of photo.net's Nikon forum, particularly on discussions related to warranty service, you'll probably recall that I've generally been satisfied with Nikon products in general and with Nikon USA's warranty service in particular. Because of my satisfactory experience I was inclined to be skeptical of the number of anecdotes about unsatisfactory service, reported here and elsewhere online. Regrettably, I'm now inclined to agree that it does appear Nikon USA's commitment to customer satisfaction has declined. However, mine is just another anecdote, and should not be interpreted as statistically significant. In summary, it appears that Nikon USA failed to honor their published commitment to long term servicing of a particular problem with the D2H/D2Hs. You can read relevant anecdotes from other D2H owners in these photo.net threads: Nikon D2Hs Error Message (2007) Nikon D2H - "ERR" problem (2009) And if you're not in the mood for a painstakingly detailed account and biased opinions that may ruffle some feathers, skip this entire thread. First, the positive experiences. Around 2000 I realized the time had come to replace my aging Canon FD gear. Switching to Nikon was the best compromise for my needs. I mostly used b&w film but anticipated eventually including digital. Being able to use most of the same manual focus lenses for both film and digital was a persuasive argument favoring Nikon. I still have no regrets about that. Until 2005 every bit of Nikon gear I had was purchased used, or received as a pre-owned gift (for which I'm very grateful). The first Nikon branded equipment I bought was the 28/3.5 PC-Nikkor - for a specific project documenting the use of petrified wood in buildings here in Texas - even before I owned a Nikon body. Within a week or so I added a very worn and dinged F3HP with MD-4 motor drive and 50/2 AI Nikkor. The F3HP and 50/2 continue to work just fine. The MD-4 is a little balky at times but I rarely use it anymore. Soon I added a like-new FM2N, in trade for my ailing Canon FD gear. Gradually I added several manual focus Nikkors, all purchased used, and received as gifts from family and friends various pieces such as an N6006 and 35-70/2.8D AF Nikkor. I kept a few adaptable third party lenses such as the Tamron Adaptalls and Vivitar T-mount type lenses, which I'd used for years with Canon, Olympus and Minolta bodies. In 2005 I added the first new Nikon equipment: a D2H, 18-70/3.5-4.5 DX Nikkor, 24-120/3.5-5.6 VR (which I should have kept - I really need that VR now), SB-800 flash and SC-29 flash cord. At the time I anticipated doing more freelance work such as school sports, which didn't pan out due to increasing disability from back and neck injuries experienced in a 2001 automobile accident. Since then I haven't purchased any other new Nikon gear and probably never will again since I can't justify the expense and have found that in general used Nikon gear is very durable and reliable for many years - more than good enough for my hobbyist purposes. A positive experience with Nikon USA warranty service. In 2006 my year-old D2H experienced a partial failure. Presumably the failure was related to Nikon's well meaning efforts at backward compatibility. That spring loaded AI coupling ring is still vulnerable to moisture (rubbery gaskets on the rear of lenses like the 18-70 DX do not help at all with this problem), and failed after I'd used the D2H for several hours in heavy fog with intermittent mist (not even real rain) while photographing a residential fire and Red Cross relief efforts. I dried the camera as well as possible under a fan, with a sheet of lens tissue over the mirror/shutter box. After a few days the D2H wouldn't work with my pre-G type AF Nikkors, but did function normally with G-type AFS and AI/AI-S Nikkors. Nikon USA fixed it under warranty, no charge, and even cleaned the sensor and camera. The only thing they neglected to fix was a single hot/dead/stuck pixel, which I had reported at the same time. Since then no additional dead pixels have appeared, and spotting a single pixel isn't much of an inconvenience. It's apparent only in a few photos and not a serious problem. That single experience with Nikon USA warranty service in 2006 was completely satisfactory. Communication was good, both via e-mail and on the telephone. I was able to speak directly with a service technician to clarify a particular problem. Turnaround time was 2-3 weeks, which was reasonable for my purposes. After that the D2H continued to work flawlessly until 2009, when it developed the "Err" message reported by other owners. The D2H "Err" problem. Sometime in 2009 I noticed an occasional quirk. When the D2H had been turned off for awhile - at least an hour - it experienced a peculiar glitch. After turning the camera on and taking the first photo, a flashing "Err" appeared on the top panel LCD and in the viewfinder display. However the view through the finder was not obstructed and the shutter was not locked open. Pressing the shutter release again cleared the "Err" message. The error was peculiar because pressing the shutter release a second time sounded as if the camera was making an exposure, but nothing inside the camera appeared to move. While it sounded as if the mirror or shutter had become stuck, there was nothing moving visibly inside when the lens was removed. But it emitted a sound very much like the mirror flipping and shutter cycling. Despite the quirk that first photo appeared normally. As long as the camera was left turned on, even if dormant for days, the "Err" message did not reoccur. It didn't seem to significantly disable the camera so I didn't worry about it. However by late 2009 I began seeing reports of similar or identical problems from other D2H/D2Hs owners. I checked the Nikon USA site and discovered Nikon had issued a Nikon D2H Digital-SLR Camera Service Advisory, which offered extended service to repair this problem without cost to qualified owners (of Nikon USA products) until August 31, 2011. By June 2011 the glitch in my D2H had worsened. The "Err" message would occur anytime the camera was not operated for a few minutes, even when left on. Every time this occurred I'd have to depress the shutter release button twice to clear the error. Turning the camera on and off, removing the battery, the various types of resets, etc., had no effect on clearing the problem. I was concerned the problem might escalate and completely disable the camera, so I decided to send it in for evaluation under the service advisory. The fuzzy deadline. However, my mom had surgery on very short notice in July 2011, along with subsequent complications that kept me busy for the next few weeks. It was the last week of August 2011 by the time I remembered the D2H service advisory, and August 31, 2011 deadline. What the heck, I thought - might as well give it a try. I sent the D2H via USPS Priority Mail, along with the form provided by Nikon USA for this specific service advisory. According to Nikon USA's website, my D2H was received and logged in by August 29, 2011. A squeaky tight fit, but technically within the deadline. For the next couple of weeks I was busy looking after my mom, who had numerous followup medical appointments after her July surgery and complications. It was mid-September by the time I thought about the D2H again. I realized I hadn't received an e-mail from Nikon - very different from my 2006 experience. On September 14 I telephoned the Nikon USA service department. The fellow I spoke with (nope, I forgot to get his name) said the technician could not replicate the problem I'd described on the form accompanying my camera. I offered to explain it by phone to the repair tech, but the fellow said he could not transfer me to speak directly with the tech. I tried again to explain the problem - specifying that it might be necessary to leave the camera turned off for an hour or two - and noted other instances of the same problem described by other D2H owners. He said he would ask the repair tech to recheck my camera. Again, I heard nothing from Nikon USA by e-mail or telephone. I sent followup e-mails both directly from my e-mail account and via the Nikon USA website. By October 6, 2011, it was apparent that my e-mails were either not getting through or were being overlooked or ignored. Upon checking the status on the Nikon USA website, I saw only a repair estimate of $420. There was no detail indicating whether the technician had determined the problem with my D2H was not eligible under the service advisory, or whether the tech had even seen my messages attempting to clarify the problem. Adding to the confusion, the messages I sent internally through Nikon's website, rather than directly from my own e-mail account, were not being copied back to me via e-mail. I had no way of knowing whether those messages were being received. I added a second e-mail address through which I could be contacted. To complicate matters further, by September 1, 2011, all indications that a D2H service advisory had ever existed were wiped from the Nikon USA site. I actually had to refer to Google cache and provide additional copies of the forms and URLs, in an attempt to remind the service department that such an advisory had ever even existed. Not that it did any good. Careless wording - my college technical writing adviser would be disappointed. In frustration, I committed a tactical error. Actually, two. The first tactical error: I began a reply stating that (paraphrasing), "obviously the D2H was not cost effective to repair at a cost of $420." I followed up with a statement reiterating my opinion that the camera should be repaired under the service advisory at no charge. I have to conclude now that the person who reads the messages at Nikon never read past my carelessly worded opening statement. On October 11, 2001, I finally received an e-mail from Nikon USA saying: (Note: Changed to paraphrase of e-mail, since Nikon prohibits copying e-mails from them to discussion forums. --LJ) The e-mail thanks me for contacting Nikon USA and apologizes for the inconvenience. The e-mail advises me that the service advisory for the D2H expired on 08/31/11. The e-mail further advises that since I have refused the repair Nikon will be sending the camera back to me within a week.I replied with a reminder that Nikon USA had received and logged in my D2H on August 29, 2011, technically before the deadline. I received no acknowledgment of that message. At this point you may feel free to imagine the last of my brown hair bypassing gray and going straight to white. The second tactical error: I attempted to change my Nikon USA account to reflect my current physical address and preferred e-mail address. I attempted to send yet another message - via Nikon's website and my e-mail account - reiterating my opinion that the D2H "Err" problem appeared to be eligible for no-cost repair under the service advisory, and that I had not "refused the repair". The only response I received was an auto-generated reply indicating that the e-mail address I used was not the one associated with my Nikon USA account. And that was my second mistake - attempting to update my account mid-stream, while still trying to resolve a bureaucratic tangle. I tried again to update my Nikon USA account to reflect the appropriate e-mail address, but I suspected it was for naught. Sure enough, I heard nothing else from Nikon USA until my D2H arrived today, unrepaired, via UPS. After testing the D2H this afternoon, it's in even worse condition than I'd realized. Now the "Err" occurs every few minutes. I haven't yet determined the precise timing, but if the camera is left on but without depressing the shutter release every few minutes, the "Err" freeze-up reoccurs. Fortunately, it's still readily cleared by pressing the shutter release a second time. There's also a minor difference in exposures after the "Err" message is cleared. If a sequence of identical photos is taken, the first will be approximately 1/3 EV different from the subsequent exposures. Almost insignificant, other than a discomfiting reminder that yet another gremlin might worsen in the camera. Epilogue. My disappointment in Nikon's service won't have any material impact. A dSLR, based on decade-old technology, purchased new six years ago - long after the D2H was already yesterday's stale bread - is hardly worth the fuss anymore. And I'll probably never buy another new Nikon product anyway. Not because of this particular incident, or because of retroactive sour-grapes dissatisfaction. I'm still very satisfied with my older Nikon gear and can probably continue to use it as long as someone makes b&w film. But there's nothing in the Nikon lineup - or in the foreseeable future - that suits my current preferences for a digital camera. The only type of digital camera that appeals to me now is something like the Fuji X100 or X10. There's no indication, even through the most optimistically ardent Nikonista rumor generators, that Nikon will ever make a competitive enthusiast's snapshot camera until long after the rest of the industry has moved on to The Next Big Thing. So if Nikon has lost me as a customer, it's not due to this D2H kerfluffle. It's because my personal preferences in photography have changed and it's unreasonable of me to expect Nikon to pursue a niche market when they have bigger fish to fry. But I've learned a couple of lessons having read many anecdotes from customers who've purchased expensive Nikon, Canon, Leica or whatever gear. Never, ever spend thousands of dollars for expensive camera gear without some sort of rock solid assurance or insurance to protect your investment (if you're a pro) or your expenditure (if you're an amateur like most of us) against losses. While third party extended warranties are occasionally met with dismissive snorts of disdain by some, the cost of either an extended warranty or some other form of insurance may be worthwhile if the original manufacturer or authorized distributor defaults on their obligations or waffles on interpretation of written warranties, guarantees or other forms of assurance of customer satisfaction. Be very careful how you word your complaints. I usually am. This time I wasn't. Be timely. I was too distracted by my mom's health problems to follow up on the Nikon problem, especially when I should have realized something was amiss in communication. Know when to say when. In my case that means "Let it go." It really isn't a big enough deal for me to pursue any additional remedies. (Yes, I'm aware of the irony that I've expended a lot of time and effort documenting this whole affair.) I've hardly used the D2H this entire year. It's too bulky and heavy for my needs. If I use it again, it'll be for off the wall stuff like producing animated GIFs, and I might consider having it converted to IR. In the end, Nikon, you didn't lose me as a customer over this. I was already moving on. But now I can see why there appear to be so many anecdotes about customer dissatisfaction, having experienced it firsthand. There was a time when I'd have scoffed at most of the assertions I'd read online about declines in Nikon customer service. Now, if I was advising Nikon professionally as a consultant, I'd say it's an issue that needs to be studied and remedied, fast. You can't do much more than you're already doing to recovery manufacturing capacity, considering the setbacks from natural disasters this year. But you can reclaim your status as the leader in customer satisfaction among dSLR users. Satisfaction with Nikon equipment in general: B+, because one notable equipment problem in 10 years, considering how reliable my other Nikon gear has been, ain't bad at all. And you still have the best TTL flash in the industry. Satisfaction with Nikon digital cameras: B. Yeah, yeah, I know, I'm nitpicking. But my decade old Olympus C-3040Z P&S digicam still works flawlessly and has seen rougher treatment, exposure to far worse weather, and a lot more use. That 2006 failure was related to the AI coupling doodad that's still vulnerable to damage from weather or moisture - because the rubber gasket on the rear of lenses like the 18-70 DX does nothing to protect that vulnerable ring. Mine failed after exposure to heavy fog and mist, not even real rain. It's an anachronism. Lose it. Canon bit the bullet years ago and cut ties to the backward compatibility. It's holding Nikon back now. Satisfaction with standard Nikon warranty work: A, but that's based on my 2006 experience. Follow-through on commitment to extended service advisories: D. If you can't follow through on commitments to support older equipment with known, documented flaws, don't bother to offer the extended service at all. It only makes you look bad. Frankly, I wouldn't have even bothered to fuss about this problem with the D2H if not for the offer of an extended service advisory.