March 14, 2009

REPAIR: Canon Digital Camera CCD Flaw/Free Service

In October, our digital camera (Canon A80) stopped working. The pictures all had red strips through them and were completely unusable.

I didn't figure there was much hope for fixing it myself, so we went ahead and bought a new Canon A590IS. Before getting rid of the broken camera, I figured it was worth a shot trying to find a repair.

After a few minutes of Googling, I came across this site: Do It Yourself Digital Camera Repair. Which references the exact problem I was having and takes you to Canon's repair site. Gotta love the power of Google search!

According to Canon the problem is:
It has been confirmed that the connecting parts of the internal wiring of the CCD used in affected products may become disconnected, especially if the affected products are stored or used in high-temperature and high-humidity environments. If this occurs, the signal is not output from the CCD normally in Shooting Mode, which may cause a distorted image or the absence of an image. This malfunction can be confirmed on the LCD monitor screen during shooting. The same malfunction also appears on the recorded image.

I called the customer service number and set up the repair. The gentleman I talked to was very helpful, more so than most any customer service line I have called. He actually wanted to help instead of being annoyed that I was bothering him with my call. Definitely a refreshing call.

After a few days I received an e-mail with a pre-paid UPS mailer to print out. I sent it on it's way and within a couple weeks had a snail mail letter saying the repair would be done for free and to expect the camera back in a week or two.

Unfortunately three weeks passed and nothing came. I looked up the reference number on the letter and come to find out it had been mailed out a couple weeks prior, but to the wrong address. I looked up the UPS tracking records and they had sent it back to Canon. So I called the actual repair location expecting them to say we have no idea where it would be. Again I was pleasantly surprised by another customer service representative who was able to help me quickly and efficiently.

I do have to note however that even after correcting the address, UPS still had to call me to verify the correct destination. A bit annoying, but I'll let it slide.

The camera works as good as new! I am quite happy to have it back since I have the dedicated underwater case which I had no idea what to do with. My father in law had the same issue at the same time with his camera (Also an A80). I forwarded the information about the repair and am happy to report he also was able to get his camera fixed. His came back in about 2 to 3 weeks time.

Models Canon will fix as part of this 're-call': A60, A70, A75, A300, A310, S230, SD100, SD110, A40(*), A80(*), A85(*), A95(*), S1 IS(*), S60(*), S200(*), S330(*), S400(*), S410(*), S500(*)

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