Two weeks ago I wrote an entry wherein I raved about Canon’s customer support. Our Canon Powershot A80’s CCD had been slowly dieing over the last year or so and it turns out Canon had a recall on it back in 2005 so I rang them up and they agreed to have the camera shipped to them to verify the problem and fix it at no expense to me. I didn’t get around to actually printing out and using the return UPS form they sent me until last Friday, though, so I thought I wouldn’t see the camera again until after we got back from Iowa.
Well I got a confirmation email on Monday saying they’d gotten the camera and it was indeed covered by the recall and they’d be fixing it and shipping it back within 7 to 10 business days, definitely past our trip to Iowa. So you can imagine my surprise when I got an email today saying that they had shipped it yesterday and, upon checking the FedEx tracking number, that it had been delivered and signed for at 8:43AM this morning!
Holy horse hopping hermaphrodites, that was fast! (I have no idea what the first part of that sentence is supposed to mean) Not only did they fix the CCD, but they also fixed the dented camera housing and cleaned the whole thing up. In fact I’m not entirely sure if it’s the same camera or if it’s a refurbished one sent in its stead. Either way it looks as good as new so I set about trying to locate four AA batteries to try it out. I just know I have some around here someplace. Don’t I?
Well, yes, I do, but they’re all in use in other things. I managed to track down two batteries, but it takes four to make it do its voodoo. Hence why I have a happy and sad picture of me holding my shiny new-old camera over on the left (you can click it for a bigger/scarier version of it). It accurately exemplifies the elation and let down I felt upon realizing that I have only half the batteries I need to make the thing work.
I did find a shitload of AAA batteries though. Wonder what the hell I bought those for…
I’ve been a big fan of Canon products ever since I purchased a Canon CanoScan N670U flatbed scanner after upgrading to Windows XP. I had an HP scanner prior to that which stopped working after the XP upgrade because HP couldn’t be bothered to make proper drivers for the new OS. After several months of half-assed solutions from HP their tech support suggested I “stop being an asshole and buy a new scanner.” So I did. I bought the Canon. That was in early 2002 and the damned thing still works great some seven years later. When it came time to replace the HP printer we were using we decided to go with the Canon Pixma iP3000 because it had individual ink tanks and a built-in duplexer at a decent price and we were thrilled with it. So when it came time to move up to a decent digital camera we picked up a Canon Powershot A80 back in 2003. Later we added a Canon Pixma MP970 multifunction in part because it had Ethernet networking built-in and we love that too, but that was after the camera.
At the time we bought the camera we allowed the Best Buy sales dude to talk us into one of their four year extended warranties that basically said we could smash the damn thing by accident and bring in the resulting shards for a replacement at no charge. That expired in 2007 without us ever having to make use of it. The camera has worked pretty well over the years even after taking a fairly nasty fall that left the casing near the flash dented, but sometime last year the CCD in the camera started having problems. You’d turn the camera on and the display would look like what you get when you try to watch porn on a scrambled cable channel without a proper decoder box. The image was all distorted and wavy with any resulting pictures looking exactly like the display which told me that it was the CCD and not the LCD display itself. If you turned the camera off and back on again it would sometimes clear up and be usable for awhile, but a couple of months ago it stopped clearing up and is that way all the time now. Six years is a pretty good run for a digital device I’ve used the hell out of so I wasn’t too upset about it and I’ve been looking to replace it with a newer model, probably another Canon, once I see a good deal on one of the bargain hunter websites I prowl.
Then I came across this Consumerist article about someone who got their five year old broken camera replaced by Canon for free that mentioned a recall relating to CCD issues. A little searching found the official Canon website about the recall which listed the A80 as one of the cameras covered by it. They put that out in 2005 so it’s four years old, but I gave the number a call and spoke with a rep who confirmed it’s still in effect. I’ll be getting a prepaid shipping form to send the camera to Canon and they’ll check it out. If it’s definitely the CCD problem listed in the recall it’ll be fixed for free, if it’s something else they’ll tell me how much it would cost to fix it. Can’t ask for much more than that.
We’ve been very happy with the camera as we have been with all the Canon products we’ve bought so far and this will just reinforce my loyalty to the brand. I’ll let you guys know what the verdict is on the camera once they get it and give it a look over, but the fact they’re willing to have it sent to them at no cost to me is pretty cool in itself. Needless to say I recommend the company pretty highly at this point. If you own a Canon camera that is giving you similar trouble you may want to give them a call or check the recall website I listed above to see if it’s something you can get fixed at little to no cost.