Canon Customer Service is Impressive

a75_s230.jpg

After previously owning several film cameras, I purchased my first digital camera in 2003–a Canon S230.  It has the classic Elph form factor with a 2x zoom and 3.2 megapixel CCD.  The body is stainless steel, heavy and solid-feeling.  It still uses a Compact Flash card for storage, and the LCD display is tiny, only 1.5.”  Unfortunately, it didn’t have any manual controls and I eventually outgrew it and purchased a Canon EOS 20D.  The S230 went to my brother who didn’t have a camera.

Fast forward to this year.  I can never have too many digital cameras, so I asked my brother if he was still using the S230.  He said no, because it was broken.  Taking a look at the camera, it appeared that the image sensor had gone bad.  I assumed that was normal with older cameras–Sara’s first digital camera, a Canon A75, also seemed to have the same problem.  I tried surfing eBay, looking for parts to repair the CCD, but most of the cameras I found also had bad image sensors.  Dead end.

Curious about how much it would cost to have Canon repair the camera, I did a bit more searching and found an article about issues with a bad batch of Sony CCDs installed on quite a few digital cameras from multiple manufacturers, including both the S230 and the A75.  Following the link, I was able to confirm that this is a recognized service issue with Canon.  Furthermore, Canon would repair the affected cameras for free!

I called about Sara’s A75 first, and they emailed me a pre-paid shipping label.  I sent the camera to a Canon service center in Illinois, and after a little more than a week it was returned, cleaned and repaired.  Awesome.  I sent in the S230 next, and it was the same deal.  Both cameras were fixed for $0, even shipping was paid for.  I could not be more impressed with Canon’s customer service on this issue.  If you have, or know of someone who has, a Canon digital camera on the affected list with a bad CCD, I would highly recommend the free fix.  As for my S230, I plan on using it as my cycling camera since it’s small and pretty rugged, in case I crash and land on it or something.

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