NPS has changed. They now accept a lot of applications.........This is a long, and very disturbing tale. Ron, I wish you the best.
I only sent my Nikon gear a couple of times to the West Coast center in LA, and overall I was pleased with the cost, quality of work, process and the turnaround time.
I have not had reason to send any of my Canon gear in, but I did some searching today and I do not see many complaints about this level of poor service from Canon. I am a member of Canon Pro Services, and supposedly I get a higher priority on repairs and some discounts on price. They do offer a free loaner service if repairs take more than a couple of days as well. Although there's nothing in the Canon world akin to Nikon Cafe, I did poke around and the horror stories were pretty few and far between. I also have not seen anything from Canon about them pulling parts and service from independent shops, at least not yet!!
Hoping for the best ...
(PS Honestly, most everyone here on Nikon Cafe would "qualify" for Canon Professional Services, unlike Nikon which never did act on my three attempts to join!!)
I also had a period of about 20 years in which many electronic things I purchased had terrible problems. The first computer I bought for use with Windows wouldn't work; the manufacturer was including an Intel micro processor for which Intel had already put out a bulletin indicating that it wouldn't work with Windows. A switch box for my stereo system started smoking big time the first time I turned it on. Lots of other problems made me feel jinxed. In time, that eventually passed and surely your bad experiences will too.I must be cursed.
I "received" the prepaid shipping label today. There was no email notifying me. I signed into my Nikon account and it was there. I took it over to UPS. There was a Ferrari parked out front and some very good looking young ladies working inside.