Dear Canon – Where’s my camera?

30 06 2006

An open letter to Canon Canada

Dear Canon,

About 3 weeks ago I began to suffer the classic problem that plagues every DSLR owner after a period of time: dust on my sensor.  Here in Vancouver, I figured I’d be able to take it to my retailer and have them send it to a local shop to have the sensor cleaned.  This, it turned out was the beginning of my camera abstinence period. 😦

When I asked my retailer if I might have my camera back in time for some July travel I was planning, my retailer told me that it would likely take longer than that.  “Oh!”, I exclaimed.  It was too bad, but I figured it might be OK to wait 3 weeks or so to get my camera back, if it came back with a nice clean sensor.

This week, I started inquiries with my retailer…. “How much is this going to cost? You had said I would get a quotation before they did any work on the camera.”

This was met with “We haven’t heard anything from Canon.  It often takes 1.5 months after shipping before we get a quote back.”

“Whaaaa??????”  Oh My God!  I’m going to be without a camera for probably the entire SUMMER at this rate.

I figured that I’d take the ball into my own hands and contact the repair center.  I asked my retailer for any WO# that Canon had issued upon receipt so that I could follow up.  “Canon doesn’t issue anything until they give you a quote.”

Now, you, Canon are not a small company.  I’m sure you get a few hundred cameras into your repair depots daily.  It seems unlikely that you don’t issue any receipt of goods statement, but from looking around the web, this appears to be EXACTLY your Modus Operandi.  My camera is sitting somewhere in the bowels of some service center, and only you, Canon Canada, know where, and how to retrieve it.  Dumb.

I called the 1-800 number listed in the support pages for Canon, and then went through the annoying voice jail system until I could talk to a real tech.  I asked him how I could find out more information about my camera, as it had been 3 weeks since it left my hands, and I had not heard anything.  He told me that my retailer would have to call the repair centre during business hours and that they would not release any information to me, only them.  I clarified my situation to the tech on the phone “This is MY CAMERA, not the store’s.”

“Sorry, privacy rules, they will only be allowed to give out the information to the retailer.”

Obviously he was only spouting the company line, so I got the numbers of the two service centers an thanked him.  Tuesday will be a different day.  On Tuesday I am will be calling your Toronto service center and by the time the day is done, I WILL find out WTF has happened to my camera, and why does it take so long to a) receive a camera b) quote on service and c) actually do the $%*$& job and return my camera before it becomes two models out of date. 😦

Canon – You make GREAT cameras.  I own an S45, and S60, Film Rebel, and now a Digital Rebel.  The quality of the photos that come from the cameras is only limited by my own photography skills.  Your service would appear to SUCK.  Why?  In a few years I’ll be shopping for a newer generation DSLR.  Will I still be going Canon?  I have a reasonable investment in Canon lenses, but if every service call will be like this, I just might have to take the hit, and try Nikon instead.  It’s hard to go DOWN from here, so what’ve I got to lose with Nikon?

So, I ask you – Is it really unreasonable to expect a modicum of service after dropping a couple Kilobucks?  Our really do thing we should all just “sit down, shut up, and live with it”?  It really feels like the latter.  I certainly hope that others will also voice their issues, and show you that while we may not be major, high end professionals, we amateurs matter too, and we will soon be talking with our wallets, not just our mouths.  If you ‘re not listening now, your competition will when we move to them.

If someone from Canon Canada Inc actually reads this, (or someone reading this knows someone at Canon Canada Inc that can do something) please feel free to either comment on this blog, or contact me via the “Contact Me” link. If I have it all wrong, I would be happy to be proven so, at which point I will correct this blog entry.

Sadly, I’m afraid that I won’t have to 😦

Need to make a flowchart – Don’t have Visio, or want to spend 100’s? Gliffy!

27 06 2006

Online collaborative or solo diagramming tool Gliffy is on the web in Beta.  It will always keep a .jpg version of the most recent changes available, so you can hot link to it, and it will show whatever the present state of the diagram is. 

This might just be the answer to all those users that “NEED” Visio for a quick flowchart or two.

Check ’em out at

Not at your work PC, and need a compiler…. Problem solved

12 06 2006

Interesting little site purports to allow you to type in your source code and it will compile and send you the executable.  C#, VB.Net, Fortran and the venerable “C”

It even does syntax highlighting.

Might be nice if you need a quick one off hack, but certainly limited by things like need for config files etc?

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