We Asked Nikon Why They’re Killing Their Authorized Repair Program

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After Nikon’s announcement to stop working with Authorized Repair Shops, we wanted to know why.

Perhaps one of the most perplexing things I’ve heard this year isn’t something directly related to cameras. Instead, it’s the news of Nikon’s decision to not work with third-party repair shops. Companies, in general, have been trying to have more control over repairs: Apple is a fine example of this. But Nikon isn’t in the same realm as Apple. So, we reached out to Nikon for an official statement.

Here’s what we got:

Nikon has made a business decision to end its relationships with all of its Authorized Repair Stations in the U.S. as of March 31, 2020. After that date, Nikon authorized service will be provided by Nikon at its repair facilities in Melville, NY and in Los Angeles, CA. We remain committed to providing the best product support and repair services to our customers. For those who require assistance, please contact Nikon Customer Support at either 1-800-NikonUS or https://www.nikonusa.com/en/service-and-support/service-and-repair.page.

Nikon Inc
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We followed up asking why they didn’t answer our question of why with a deadline of 12pm EST today. They didn’t reply. This is all they said:

Personally, if I were still a Nikon customer, I’d be pretty angry right now. Just the other day, someone tagged me on a Facebook post asking about repair shops. I used to use them a whole lot. Now Nikon isn’t going to support a lot of those shops after the first quarter of next year. So that means that unless you live in LA or out on Long Island, you’re going to need to ship your camera to them or your warranty will go void. Crazy, right? If the shops were all not doing a great job, then I’d understand. But I also find it difficult to believe that every single shop was doing a bad job.

Nikon makes great cameras and lenses, but I can’t help but feel bad for their customers right now. I can relate; I felt Canon was screwing customers over for years. That’s why I ultimately left their system only to come back last year. For Nikon’s tale, there is their weak entry into mirrorless, their failed investments into other market segments, and their overall lack of innovation. There were years where I was quietly jealous of Nikon users and all the great things they had. But oh, how the mighty have fallen. With all this in mind though, I have to commend the fact that they’re trying. Not only are they producing a lens with an f0.95 aperture, but they created a Z series camera aimed squarely at content creators. That’s a significantly smarter decision than a lot of what I’ve seen from them prior.

In my mind, this is also an incredibly perplexing decision. When you’re down for the count (and Nikon isn’t quite there yet) you often stick to those closest to you for support. But the decision to cut off an authorized repair program while their sales numbers are drowning in Sony’s innovation baffles me.

What do you folks think? Let us know in the comments below.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.