A dispute between Canon Australia and a long-standing Canon-supporting pro photographer has reached the point where the photographer in question, Darrell Nash (NashysPix, Pt Macquarie, NSW), has made a complaint against a Canon technical services employee for fraudulent statements in a Statutory Declaration.
From a fairly straightforward warranty dispute, the matter has escalated to one of principle for Darrell Nash, in which he has foregone an offer of ‘goodwill’ compensation for the amount originally in dispute.
‘When I purchased the 1DX I believed in Canon and had no idea that the product would be so bad, and that I would be treated so poorly when bringing the issues to Canon’s attention,’ he said.
The issue started back in January when Mr Nash sent his malfunctioning EOS 1DX to Canon’s service department on the advice of the retailer who he bought it from, Camera House Coffs Harbour.
Canon kept the camera for five weeks, and wouldn’t return it until a sum of $2222 was paid for replacement of the sensor.
Mr Nash said that sensor was scratched by a small black piece stuck between the sensor and the mirror, that this was a fault in the camera and should have been covered under warranty.
Canon refuted this, saying that the sensor was not damaged due to any fault of the camera, and that the damage was probably due to someone attempting to clean the sensor.
After the repair, Mr Nash said the camera continued to log numerous Error Codes and oil marks on the sensor marred image quality. He has been using his back-up camera for most work since then.
After considerable correspondence, in which Canon maintained that there was no problem with Mr Nash’s EOS 1DX and no history of ‘numerous problems’ with the EOS 1DX in general, the issue was brought before the NSW Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal (CTTT) in June.
‘The problems with the 1DX are widespread. In two hours I copied 49 pages of complaints/problems associated with the 1DX. I stopped after two hours and sent that through to the Tribunal as proof,’ said Mr Nash.
‘If they can’t see there are issues with the camera from those it wouldn’t matter if I sent them a million pages.’
At the tribunal hearing, at which Canon was represented by legal counsel and Mr Nash represented himself, Canon presented statutory declarations from the service technician who handled the initial repair along with another Canon technical staff member, an ‘escalation consultant’.
Mr Nash insisted at the tribunal hearing that sections of the Stat Dec from the service technician were provably and deliberately false. The Stat Dec by the escalation consultant also states that ‘it is in my opinion that the Canon EOS-1DX camera does not suffer from faulty manufacture, parts or workmanship.’
Mr Nash told Photo Counter that Canon counsel at the tribunal hearing also was adamant that the EOS 1DX model camera had no manufacturing faults.
Yet on June 21, a week after the tribunal hearing, Canon issued a Service Notice on its website and Facebook page for professionals regarding a fault in some EOS 1DX cameras stemming from ‘wear caused by insufficient lubrication within the camera’s driving mechanism’.
This causes the AF to fail due to minute particles produced by wearing and ‘the image shown in the viewfinder is blurry or not steady’ as the problem progresses.
It didn’t apply to all EOS 1Dx cameras, only models with specific serial numbers, of which the camera in dispute between Mr Nash and Canon was one.
In early July Canon’s senior general manager, Service and Support, Glen Trestrall wrote to Mr Nash maintaining that in Canon’s view there was no fault with the camera that would have caused the damage to the sensor, but offering to refund the full cost of the repair as a goodwill offer ‘to settle the matter’. However, as a condition of receiving the refund, Mr Nash could not reveal the refund offer to the CTTT or any third party. In addition, Mr Trestrall wrote that if Error Code problems persisted following a firmware upgrade, Canon would even consider purchasing the camera back from Mr Nash.
‘I rejected their offer as I did not want to remain quiet whilst Canon put someone else (experiencing the same abuse from Canon) through what they put me through, and was not about to have them buy my silence,’ said Mr Nash.
‘I am truly devastated that this has escalated to this point and ashamed that an Australian company (Canon Australia) could operate so poorly.
‘For my own business if I treated just one customer this way I would be out of business. It appears to me that Canon Australia has become obtusely arrogant and think they are above the law.’
Canon provided the following statement in response to Photo Counter‘s queries about the EOS 1DX:
There has never been a recall on the EOS-1D X. On June 21 of this year, Canon Australia published a Service Notice for EOS-1D X/C cameras for a rare phenomenon related to possible wear caused by insufficient lubrication within the camera’s driving mechanism. To ensure that this does not impact camera performance over time, we implemented a precautionary service procedure for cameras potentially affected.
In addition to the Service Notice, we posted a message in our professional Facebook community page prompting them to check if this relates to their camera by contacting a Canon Service representative on 13 13 83 or to check the details on the website: http://www.canon.com.au/Personal/Support-Help/Support-News/Service-Notices/EOS-1DX–EOS-1DC
Naturally at Canon we strive to give all customers an exceptional ownership experience. Unfortunately, from time to time, situations occur that make this difficult to achieve. In all cases we strive for a fair and reasonable solution for customers not satisfied with their imaging equipment.
This week Mr Nash lodged a P1018 ‘Fraud Report Form’ with NSW Police relating to what he claims is contained in the Canon Statutory Declarations.
A third CTTT hearing is scheduled for July 23.