Help/Advice - Nikon Melville Nightmare with 300VR

Joined
Jan 25, 2006
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I am seeking advice on a nightmare of an experience that I am having with Nikon. I ordered a factory refurb 300VR on July 4th. I had been waiting for this purchase for some time, and was able to catch it during a time when Nikon offered 10% off refub purchases. This lens was to replace a much older 300 2.8 AF that previously belong to two café members, and still shoot great.

I received the lens on July 8th. It had at least four major problems: (1) images were simply junk…I don’t know if it was the AF or optics; (2) AF hunted and “jerked” badly; (3) VR felt very rough; and (4) the lens did not function with Nikon 1.4 and 1.7 TCs that work fine with my 70-200 (did not report correct aperture and would not come close to focusing). I verified all of this on three bodies. I shipped the lens back to Melville at my expense, plus insurance costs. When I received it from the repair, I didn’t even have to take a shot to tell that it was essentially in the same condition, except the VR was improved. Exact same issues with the TCs. I took a few shots which I sent back to Nikon when I returned the lens for a second time (on their dime this time).

I have spoken to multiple people on the phone. After the first repair I did not want them to send me this lens back. I was going to consider that repair #3, since someone returned it to begin with. If I had a problem in the future after repair #3, and outside of the limited warranty, it wouldn’t seem wise to me to invest in repair #4 at my own expense. They said they were finished last Friday and that the lens had been completely overhauled, or something to that affect.

They say the lens shipped Monday overnight to me Tuesday morning, but no one can find it. They never sent me a tracking number, but they admit that the number they have leads to nothing in the UPS system. The link that I was able to see on the Nikon page for shipping info as of this Monday just took me to at UPS “error” page. Nikon has twice told me that they are “investigating.” Sadly, there was a UPS cargo plane crash in my area Wednesday morning, so that is in the back of my mind. I called Nikon yesterday morning…they were supposed to get back to me yesterday afternoon, and did not. I called again this morning and made it to the 3rd level of support…also supposed to follow up this afternoon, and did not. Fortunately all of this is documented in their support system.

Comments or advice? This is my first encounter with Nikon support, and it hasn’t been good. Anyone have a special number I could call :rolleyes:? At this point they have had my money for 40 days and I think I have been patient enough. Is it too much to ask for a new (VRII) lens? At this point, if they returned the money, my net experience is still extremely negative.
 
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If I were a betting man I'd bet on Nikon screwing this one up, not on your lens being on board of that cargo plane, as for the reason you get an error message.
 
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Nikon Melville gets an "F" rating by the Better Business Bureau...

http://www.bbb.org/new-york-city/Bu...-and-producers/nikon-inc-in-melville-ny-20357

If you want to save money you're better off buying Grey Market from a reputable dealer
that warranty's the item themselves... After the warranty period you can have it repaired
by APS (Authorized Photo Service, Inc)...

http://www.nikoncamerarepair.com/

They will repair Grey Market for a fee but it would be the same with Nikon after the
warranty ran out anyways... They also do warranty work as well...

And THEY have an "A+" rating at the BBB...

http://www.bbb.org/chicago/business...zed-photo-service-in-morton-grove-il-88384935

As for what you should do about your immediate problem sadly I haven't got any tips or
insights... Last time I sent a lens to Nikon for warranty repair (El Segundo) it took two
times for them to actually get it fixed... I'll never send anything to Nikon for repair ever
again...

Good luck and I hope it all turns out well for you...
 

LyndeeLoo

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1. Hit 'em where it hurts - their wallet. Dispute the payment on your CC.

2. I would dial Melville's main number - 631-547-4200 - and see if you can get some assistance.

2. Try and contact David Dentry, Senior General Manager, Customer Experience, Nikon Inc. I think his email addy would be something like [email protected] (don't quote me on this though...).

If you didn't receive a tracking number, I'm thinking that your lens wasn't on the plane that crashed, but is lost somewhere in Melville. Good luck and keep us posted.
 
Joined
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If you didn't receive a tracking number, I'm thinking that your lens wasn't on the plane that crashed, but is lost somewhere in Melville. Good luck and keep us posted.
Agree! Unfortunately we are into a weekend and you will be in an information dead zone. The lens is most likely sitting on Nikon's loading dock. I'm betting it will be delivered Monday or Tuesday. Either way, Nikon is responsible for the lens and I'm sure they will make it right. It might work out in your favor if they lost it and you will get a replacement for the lemon you got first. Good luck.
 
Joined
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Huntsville/Muscle Shoals, AL
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9
Thanks everyone. My credit card company has been great. I contacted them after the first repair and they told me that they would refund my money if I wasn't happy. I contacted them again yesterday before I called Nikon. The credit card company said that I have to give Nikon 14 days to refund my money, so I informed Nikon and the credit card company of my intention yesterday. I figure if the lens does show up and I'm happy with it before a refund then I'm in control of what to do instead of Nikon.

Nikon's communications have been pretty good until lately when the lens became “lost.” That’s why I was so unhappy yesterday…I could foresee another weekend of time slipping away.

“F” from the BBB, huh? I will attempt to contact Mr. Dentry. KEH is starting to look like a good option.
 
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Fairfax, Virginia
Mason - Glad to hear the cc company is working with you on this one.
William - I've purchased gray market lenses in the past and they have worked out great. As far as I know, Nikon won't work on a gray market product. I always figured that if something went wrong I could get my gray market lenses repaired at any shop that did good work. Now that Nikon has restricted the sale of parts to authorized service centers, I've wondered if those service centers are allowed to service a gray market product. Does anyone know?
 
Joined
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NYC
Nikon Melville is a JOKE!!! I've read of ONE person on the Cafe that had a good experience with them over the last year or so. They screwed me too. Get your money back ASAP!!! Good thing your CC company is doing the right thing for you.
 
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Mason - Glad to hear the cc company is working with you on this one.
William - I've purchased gray market lenses in the past and they have worked out great. As far as I know, Nikon won't work on a gray market product. I always figured that if something went wrong I could get my gray market lenses repaired at any shop that did good work. Now that Nikon has restricted the sale of parts to authorized service centers, I've wondered if those service centers are allowed to service a gray market product. Does anyone know?
When I talked to APS on the phone they said that they did not discriminate,
Grey Market or official Nikon USA all the same except for warranty work...
 
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I've had two experiences with Nikon service and both were extremely bad.

Does anyone have an idea as to why they have deteriorated so much in customer service? Of course, the first answer that comes to mind is money, but are they too shortsighted to realize that whatever they think they are saving in costs will come back to haunt them as they antagonize more and more of their customer base?

Barry
 
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I've had two experiences with Nikon service and both were extremely bad.

Does anyone have an idea as to why they have deteriorated so much in customer service? Of course, the first answer that comes to mind is money, but are they too shortsighted to realize that whatever they think they are saving in costs will come back to haunt them as they antagonize more and more of their customer base?

Barry
My hunch is with every new product release they get overwhelmed by returns from people that have no intention of keeping the product even before they bought it. They want to "kick the tires" and test the lens or body before the return policy expires. The "Free Rental" attitude of some folks hurts all us consumers. Implement a stronger on a corporate and legal level return policy that prevents the customer from abusing it and we will all get better products. Sorry to say it, the forums are full of people that proudly claim to make many returns of a lens model so they can cherry pick the lens that makes them feel good.

My last experience with Nikon in Melville has been great. They did a great job on handling a squeak in my 200/2. Then again, I have realistic expectations. Only complaint was poor packing on the return shipping.
 
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My hunch is with every new product release they get overwhelmed by returns from people that have no intention of keeping the product even before they bought it. They want to "kick the tires" and test the lens or body before the return policy expires. The "Free Rental" attitude of some folks hurts all us consumers. Implement a stronger on a corporate and legal level return policy that prevents the customer from abusing it and we will all get better products. Sorry to say it, the forums are full of people that proudly claim to make many returns of a lens model so they can cherry pick the lens that makes them feel good.

My last experience with Nikon in Melville has been great. They did a great job on handling a squeak in my 200/2. Then again, I have realistic expectations. Only complaint was poor packing on the return shipping.
That's all fine and dandy but we're talking about customer service not returns...

Someone needing quality repair isn't the same as someone retuning gear because
they simply don't like it... There is no excuse for shoddy, incompetent, workmanship...

No offense but that excuse just doesn't cut it... :wink:

BTW, Canon has an "A+" rating from the BBB and I'll bet they have just as many
returns from the "I'll try it and return it if I don't like it" crowd...

http://petapixel.com/2012/08/20/nikon-has-an-f-rating-from-the-better-business-bureau/
 
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That's all fine and dandy but we're talking about customer service not returns...

Someone needing quality repair isn't the same as someone retuning gear because
they simply don't like it... There is no excuse for shoddy, incompetent, workmanship...[/url]
Who checks and fixes all the returns that are claimed "defective" so they can be resold as "factory refurbished" items? I'm guessing someone has to fix them.:rolleyes:

As for the BBB, a reader's response, which I agree with.

"The BBB is the worst racket in America today. They use scare tactics in sales calls to get businesses to call back and have arbitrary ratings. Not to mention you pay over $300 a year just to be rated by them. I couldn’t care less what rating a company got. "
 
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Who checks and fixes all the returns that are claimed "defective" so they can be resold as "factory refurbished" items? I'm guessing someone has to fix them.:rolleyes:

As for the BBB, a reader's response, which I agree with.

"The BBB is the worst racket in America today. They use scare tactics in sales calls to get businesses to call back and have arbitrary ratings. Not to mention you pay over $300 a year just to be rated by them. I couldn’t care less what rating a company got. "
Refurbished doesn't mean repaired... Refurbished simply means the item was
checked for defects either cosmetic or functional, refreshed (cleaned) and
repackaged for sale... Items found defective are never repaired, that would
cost too much... Defective items are sold off by auction in lots to salvage
companies...

Also, retuned items are not checked by customer service repair tech's... That
would be another expensive waste of their time and, again, cost too much
money... Return items are sent to a return center to be evaluated as I described
above...

That's how it's done...

And I don't hold any value in that readers response... You don't pay the BBB
to be rated, you get rated by how you respond to complaints customers have
filed with the BBB against you and whether or not you were willing to resolve
the issue to the customers satisfaction...

You can however pay to be "accredited"... This does not mean you automatically
get a top rating, this simply means the BBB will list you as a trusted member
who has met certain standards of business and conduct... You can't become an
accredited member just by paying a fee, you have to meet those standards as
are listed at the link below... One of those qualifications is a high rating to begin
with...

http://www.bbb.org/us/bbb-accreditation-standards/

That response is obviously from another "web expert" who believes his own
fantasies about how things actually work in the real world...
 
Joined
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Refurbished doesn't mean repaired... Refurbished simply means the item was
checked for defects either cosmetic or functional, refreshed (cleaned) and
repackaged for sale... Items found defective are never repaired, that would
cost too much... Defective items are sold off by auction in lots to salvage
companies...

Also, retuned items are not checked by customer service repair tech's... That
would be another expensive waste of their time and, again, cost too much
money... Return items are sent to a return center to be evaluated as I described
above...

That's how it's done...
Really? I wouldn't be too sure about that.


And I don't hold any value in that readers response... You don't pay the BBB
to be rated, you get rated by how you respond to complaints customers have
filed with the BBB against you and whether or not you were willing to resolve
the issue to the customers satisfaction...

You can however pay to be "accredited"... This does not mean you automatically
get a top rating, this simply means the BBB will list you as a trusted member
who has met certain standards of business and conduct... You can't become an
accredited member just by paying a fee, you have to meet those standards as
are listed at the link below... One of those qualifications is a high rating to begin
with...

http://www.bbb.org/us/bbb-accreditation-standards/

That response is obviously from another "web expert" who believes his own
fantasies about how things actually work in the real world...
I'll take his response as the norm for the way he BBB rates their "members" that pay and the ones that refuse to pay. Here's an interesting read from another "web expert" so to speak. I really don't put much credibility in any of the BBB's ratings, really.

http://bbbthetruth.com/the-truth-about-the-bbb/the-truth-about-the-bbb-rating-system/
 
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