I’ve whined about my share of horrid service incidents here with Dell, Sony Ericsson, and Rogers to name a few. But once in a while, a company goes above and beyond (instead of below and not quite there) that I just have to mention something. That recent pleasant exchange was with The Camera Store in Calgary, Alberta.
I recently purchased a Micro-Nikkor 60mm AF-S f/2.8 lens from them, for one of the lowest prices in Canada, with free XpressPost shipping to boot. I received it a few days later, well packaged, in a pristine Nikon box. To put that seemingly trivial latter point in context, I’ve seen more than one horribly beat up box at Henry’s, where the product was being passed off as ‘new’.
Unfortunately, after trying out the lens, I noted a significant amount of AF-S motor whine, especially when focusing from infinity and back. Once in a while, after the lens hunted around without success (happens with many macro lenses), trying to get the focus back using the focus ring seemed to cause the ring to ‘disengage’ from the lens elements. Turning the ring wouldn’t allow it to move past approximately 0.3m focus distance on the focus scale, despite the ring still turning. There was also this awkward groaning sound and the ring moved very stiffly.
I wasn’t entirely certain what to do at this point, as I was heading down to the States in less than two weeks. I figured I would eat the cost of shipping it back and simply purchase a copy locally. I called The Camera Store to explain the problem, and ask for suggestions. The gentleman told me that I could take it to any authorized Nikon dealer to have it sent off for repair. However, after explaining my tight deadline, he said a return would probably need to be done. The web orders employee, Sheena, wasn’t in on the weekend, so I’d need to call back on Monday.
I hadn’t even gotten a chance to call this past Monday, when I received an email from Sheena, apologizing for the issues. She asked me to ship the lens back, at which point a replacement lens (which they’d check first) would the shipped to me. They would eat the return shipping cost, and she even stated that I should ship it back using an expedited shipping method as ‘there is only a 10 day gap within which we can work to get the lens to you in time for your trip‘.
Wow. Talk about above and beyond.
I shipped the lens using XpressPost and it reached the store earlier today. Considering it only takes a few days to ship back and forth, getting a new copy in time for my trip shouldn’t be an issue.
I initially wrote off buying lenses online after getting the lemon lens, but knowing that The Camera Store will take care of me makes me extremely willing to give them my business.