Early this year, Nikon announced that they would no longer be distributing spare camera parts to unauthorized or independent repair shops. This new policy will be in effect 180 days from the date that the Nikon notice was posted.
The letter, which was sent to all unauthorized Nikon repair shops in the country, said that the reason for Nikon’s move is because of “the technology underlying today’s cameras is more complex than it has ever been, and in view of the specialization of technology as well as the specialized tools that are now necessary to perform repairs on this complex equipment.”
As expected, the announcement was met with a lot of disapproval and criticism from both “unauthorized” repair shops and photographers, many of them posting online responses to Nikon’s policy change, including ifixit.org:
“Eliminating the supply of parts will devastate many local repair shops—Nikon repairs make up a significant portion of their business—and will make it significantly more difficult for photographers to get their Nikon equipment fixed.”
The website encouraged site visitors and others who disagreed with Nikon’s policy to contact the manufacturer and let their voices be heard. But it seems that Nikon is sticking with their guns on this one. David Dentry, who is the General Manager of Customer Relations at Nikon, defended the decision:
“The benefits for the consumer were top of mind when implementing this policy. A consumer’s products are repaired properly in a timely fashion, often times with less waiting time and less cost to the consumer. Consumers can also have confidence in their cameras service, as authorized dealers receive factory training, tech bulletins for recent products, and possess proper tools for diagnostics and adjustments.”
Repair shops could apply to become an official Nikon service center, but someone from an independent repair shop says it’s incredibly pricey:
“There’s an item on that list that costs $32,000. Overall you need to buy equipment costing over $160,000 and you sign a contract agreeing they could cut you out tomorrow. The cost of equipment, that only works with their products, is more than the cost of what every other manufacturer requires, put together.”
It looks like Nikon’s policy change will have a huge impact not only on repair shops, but also photographers who might not have an official Nikon service center nearby.