Camera repair – is it a vanishing industry?

I have been getting daily use out of a Sony DSC F828 Cybershot for many years now and it is beginning to fail. I feel a real loss because this 8 megapixel dinosaur has performed faithfully for tens of thousands of shots and has a rotating back assembly which gives it great flexibility in composing shots on the fly.

F828-DPReview
Picture credit: www.dpreview.com

The prospects for getting this camera repaired are dismal. If anyone has a suggestion, I am open to considering it.

I have Googled Sony Camera Repair repeatedly and it appears that Precision Camera Repair in Enfield Ct is the official repair center for most camera manufacturers including Sony. This is really depressing news because Precision Camera   has more service complaints than the Brooklyn Camera Shops I have written about previously.

They have a great looking web site, impressive service guarantees, and a whole lot of blather about how customers can get fixed-price quotes and can track the progress of the repairs being made on their cameras.

Then, if you Google "Precision Camera repair complaints" you get about 10,100 results which is not encouraging.

I spent about an hour reading complaints and praise for Precision's repair service and it seems that complaints slightly outnumber positive reactions.

To qualify this further, the complainants generally provide names and email addresses while those who praise Precision are mostly anonymous while seeming to have incredibly wonderful service. That doesn't add up.

There were a few people who actually had good experiences with Precision and gave real names, but the majority seemed to be "corporate spin artists" who counter complaints with fantastically favorable reports. These "favorable" reports are similar to the bogus reports used by Royal Camera and the other Brooklyn camera shops that prey on online shoppers.

I have been writing for more a year about the amazing scams perpetrated by the Brooklyn camera shop known as Royal Camera, City Camera, Tcscamera.com, and bananaboatcamera.com, and Prestige Camera (aka: A&M Photo World, Regal Camera, Broadway Photo, Preferred Photo)

If you see any of those names in an online ad, look elsewhere for your purchase.

It is really discouraging to see the camera repair business descend to that same level.

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0 Responses to Camera repair – is it a vanishing industry?

  1. David:

    To find the Sony Factory Service Center for your camera, go to:

    http://eservice.sony.com/webrma/web/index.do

    Enter your model number and zip code and it will create an order form and the address of the Sony Factory Service Center (with is not Precision Camera). Sony repairs out of warranty Cybershot cameras like yours for a flat rate of $291.00.

    All problems cannot be solved by Google. That’s why companies like Sony have links to support and repair services on their web sites.

  2. David,

    I don’t know if we can help with your repair, but YES there are decent digital camera repair businesses out there today! I know this, because I own one: http://www.darntoothysam.com

    We are a small shop (I have 3 employees) and we do the best we can. I don’t charge $300 to fix your camera if it’s not a $250+ part!

    If we can help please let me know. This is not a blatant spam/advertisement, I honestly want people to know they don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars to repair their camera; most of our lens and LCD repairs are only about $75.

    Please check us out, if we can help then please let me know!

    David says:

    This is really encouraging news! A camera repair center that is run by real people who stand behind rheir work.

    Thomas Drayton’s website is down, hopefully only on a temporary basis, so we will have to wait until it is operational again to explore further and see what we can arrange for my Sony DSC F828

  3. Doug,

    Thanks for trying to assist me in contacting Sony.

    I used the link you provided and found that it was a spiffy, high tech site with all sorts of information, but it lead to the dead end you can see here: http://www.making-ripples.com/2009/07/sony-repair-search.jpg

    I called the customer service number and after negotiating the phone tree from Hell, I got to a pleasant young man who asked me, “Why do you want to send your camera to a repair center?”

    Things went downhill from there.

    He was sorry to report that there is no Sony camera service center on the east coast. The only authorized service center is in Laredo Texas and I have already read the horror stories from their unhappy customers.

    It appears that Sony has lots of technology, but that doesn’t help you maintain cameras that are out of warranty.

    If I had just fallen off a turnip truck, I could have selected the flat rate fixer upper at 291 and hoped for the best.
    The fine print suggests that this does not cover out of warranty or damaged cameras and reports from many users confirm that this is how Sony increases the price or refuses service.

    I think I will find a company that provides meaningful communication with a customer service person who is empowered to make things go right.

    Hopefully, Thomas Drayton can provide the service I need. Stay tuned… 🙂

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