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Old 30.07.2009, 16:22
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Check before entering the loop "Digitec-Sertronics-Canon"

Hi folks,

This is to inform you about some rules that might come handy before you buy any canon product from Digitec. On 09/05/2009, I gave my 50D Canon DSLR back to Digitec for repair. It came back on after 1 month (thanks to Digitec delivered to my home address). But, wait; it's not repaired at all. Next day, 16/06/2009 I gave my camera back to Digitec with the problem description again.

Then the story enters a simple, single, and most importantly, endless loop. Every week I call Digitec. They promise to contact the repair section and I get a nice formal email saying it's not repaired and I should contact Sertronics (Canon representative in Swiss). Then I call Sertronics and they inform me they are waiting for parts to come. Now, the not-so-funny part is I can not blame any one, I can not catch anyone, I can not held anybody responsible with the warrantee card I have saying “please give me a repaired/replaced camera”. Read the replies I got, I guarantee you will be amused. (This is not Digitec/Canon guarantee, you WILL be amused).

Sertronics: We are waiting for a part. If you are not happy with our service / or want replacement contact Digitec. Fair enough, huh?

Digitec: We are just vendor, contact Sertronics. Want a replacement? The product has to come back 3 times un-repaired, and then we can talk about a replacement. (Let’s do the math: it's already May to August - and the 2nd version of repair-drama is far from being over) I am not sure whether in this mortal world I will be lucky to enough to survive the 4th replacement by Digitec/Sertronics. And I am suspicious this might be a hidden deal (between Sertronics and Digitec) to force me to buy a new-age camera. (Already 60D is in market)

Canon: Sertronics is our face in Swiss. Talk to them.

So that's the nice loop I am talking about, till date I am in that loop (for 11 weeks on-a-row). It’s almost 3 months and being an electronics engineer, I know if a “consumer product” like my DSLR is not getting fixed in 3 months, there is something fishy about it. Unfortunately, there is not much I can do about it (like informing police etc.) and Digitec probably does not care (they have tens of thousands of customer).

Moral time: Be careful, check every damn function of the camera in Digitec while buying it. And more important, be lucky, do not get a bad one, do not enter this loop :-)

Thanks,
Anirban
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  #2  
Old 30.07.2009, 16:28
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Re: Check before entering the loop "Digitec-Sertronics-Canon"

I've always had great customer service at digitec, but suspected that won't last too long with their huge economic success... seems like I was right.
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Old 30.07.2009, 16:44
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Re: Check before entering the loop "Digitec-Sertronics-Canon"

Maybe it truly is a Canon problem. Digitec does not seem to be alone with having issues:

**Warning ** Inter Discount** Warning**
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Old 30.07.2009, 17:25
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Re: Check before entering the loop "Digitec-Sertronics-Canon"

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Maybe it truly is a Canon problem. Digitec does not seem to be alone with having issues:

**Warning ** Inter Discount** Warning**
again, back to the point: yep it's customer service, Digitec has to put pressure on Canon/Sertronics to do it. but their attitude is wait 3 repairs - in the 4th repair, we can talk about the replacement.

I am very sure that proper engineers are not trying to fix my camera. In Sertronics, when asked for details, I was informed, part "x" was ordered, it ios not fixing the problem, then part "y" is ordered and so on. They are trying to repair a complex DSLR like 50d in trail and error approach!! .. some underpaid unskilled person in Sertronics is messing up with it and hush - 3 months are gone. The summer is almsot finished, my camera is lying somewhere in Switzerland.

In US, Canon replaces it if you come back within a month, then-and-there, from any shop. While buying my camera I knew that's not the case here, I have to wait for repair. But 3 months' wait for a repair (and still not over) is plain and simple cheating.

But, on a serious note, how can I file a police report or report to a consumer court? If any English speaking person has done so, I would like to know the procedure.
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Old 30.07.2009, 17:57
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Re: Check before entering the loop "Digitec-Sertronics-Canon"

Thanks for your input on this. My experience with the service from digitec is great, but I never had a repair so this is valuable insight.

It is understandable that you are considering legal action, however the amount in dispute seems too low to make it seem fruitful. I'm not a lawyer, and this may be different if you would depend on the camera to do your work and maybe have an extended SLA, but this doen't seem the case.

Good luck, and please keep us posted on how the situation resolves.
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Old 30.07.2009, 18:04
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Re: Check before entering the loop "Digitec-Sertronics-Canon"

Same thing over here with their Canon printers! Good to know that I'm not the only one that didn't like their "service"; thanks though!
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Old 30.07.2009, 18:19
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Re: Check before entering the loop "Digitec-Sertronics-Canon"

Police won't do anything I'm afraid... a lawyer well... he might and charge you min 350.- per hour for the pleasure.

My advice, write a good strongly worded letter to Digitec, they are the people who are actually responsible.

Or ask Karlnmik what to do
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Old 31.07.2009, 09:01
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Re: Check before entering the loop "Digitec-Sertronics-Canon"

You can get a legal insurance (something in the range of 200 CHF per year) from any of the many swiss insurances and then use their lawyers.

The situation here looks similar to what happened in Italy with Nikon a couple of years ago. Same story, the italian company used by Nikon to service the cameras worked very poorly, endless waiting time, cameras non properly fixed etc. In the end they were "fired" by Nikon that chose another company to support their customers in Italy.

I think in this case the weak link is this "sertronic" company.

I had a problem with my Nikon DSLR a few years ago here in Switzerland, I brought it to Nikon and had it repaired in less than 1 month (for free because it was still under warranty). Fortunately with Nikon, in Switzerland you deal directly with them, no intermediary companies.
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Old 31.07.2009, 09:27
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Re: Check before entering the loop "Digitec-Sertronics-Canon"

I usually do all complaints by e-mail with customer service.
Then after I have had enough I ask to speak to their MD (COE) on the basis that it has gone beyond their capability.
When the "Customer Service" informs me that they can't do that.
I do a company search and find out the personal addresses of the Directors.
I then e-mail "Customer Service" to pass on all the correspondence to the directors, post all the names and addreses of the directors and tell them that I am busy during the day but will visit any one of the directors home addresses between 19:00 and 22:00 to discuss the matter.

Always works: VW (UK) "Customer service" offerd me a brand new VW in replacement for my 6 month old one that I had been complaining about.

I am very complacent until one p*sses me off totally.
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Old 31.07.2009, 17:32
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Re: Check before entering the loop "Digitec-Sertronics-Canon"

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I think in this case the weak link is this "sertronic" company.
I have my doubt. It's a total chaos:

I just called everybody and this tube has no light at the end of it:
Sertronics: We only repair. We are waiting for the part. Can not replace. Tell Digitec to contact Canon.
Digitec: We are vendor. Unless Canon promises, we can not replace. Unless it's ready for 4th time repair (i.e. returned 3rd time unsuccessful no matter how mush it takes to repair), we can not contact Canon
Canon: Contact sertonics!


I am very sure Canon USA has no clue about this. As a matter of fact, it looks like it would have been a much better idea to buy from USA and pay the custom duty. But this is surprising to know that there is consumer court/department where I can report this!

Anirban
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Old 31.07.2009, 17:57
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Re: Check before entering the loop "Digitec-Sertronics-Canon"

As Cashboy suggested, do things in writing. I have had trouble on the phone and at the counter a couple of times with Digitec, but an e-mail to customer service generally fixes it. They are not obliged to give you a new camera, but they need to fix it and, taking three months to fix something is just too long. But, get stuff in writing. It's easy to fob someone off on the phone. If a store has to put something in writing it's a different ball game.

Also, I'm not sure Canon in the USA would be interested at all. Canon is a Japanese company AFAIK.
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Old 31.07.2009, 18:01
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Re: Check before entering the loop "Digitec-Sertronics-Canon"

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I had a problem with my Nikon DSLR a few years ago here in Switzerland, I brought it to Nikon and had it repaired in less than 1 month (for free because it was still under warranty). Fortunately with Nikon, in Switzerland you deal directly with them, no intermediary companies.
Yeah very pleased with Nikon in Switzerland. On the actual product side Nikon is really on a good roll with their dslrs.
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Old 02.08.2009, 12:23
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Re: Check before entering the loop "Digitec-Sertronics-Canon"

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As Cashboy suggested, do things in writing. I have had trouble on the phone and at the counter a couple of times with Digitec, but an e-mail to customer service generally fixes it. They are not obliged to give you a new camera, but they need to fix it and, taking three months to fix something is just too long. But, get stuff in writing. It's easy to fob someone off on the phone. If a store has to put something in writing it's a different ball game.
Yep, I am trying everything to move things here. But every body is pointing finger to other organization. Anyway, I will everyone posted about this horrible experience. This is the reply I got from Digitec:

"I'm very sorry fort o long waiting time but it's the service center who decides if an exchange is done or not. We simply don't have the rights to tell them how they should do their work. They have a direct contract with Canon.
We tried to get a new on directly by canon, but they turned us down.

You can contact the service center yourself if you want:"



Yes, as simple as that. It's getting VERY frustrating ans most probably humiliating too .. I had better customer service on a 15$ camera back in India.
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Old 02.08.2009, 19:52
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Re: Check before entering the loop "Digitec-Sertronics-Canon"

If you have all the records for the saga so far, then it is time to escalate.

You can try calling Sertronics again and mention that the repair is taking too long and that you wish to escalate it to Thomas Haffner (CEO). If it were me, I would even ask for an appointment to see him.

If the phone call doesn't bring results, then write Thomas Haffner a registered letter, simply stating the facts of your case and what you want from Sertronics.

This webpage even invites you to visit them.

http://www.branchenbuch.ch/portrait.asp?Id=25258

I've lost accessories for equipment sent for repair and a letter to the company's president sorted my problem out pronto.

Let us know how you get on.
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Old 03.08.2009, 09:11
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Re: Check before entering the loop "Digitec-Sertronics-Canon"

I agree with lynn, write a strongly worded letter reminding them of there obligation to the consumer, to Digitech, they are the reseller and your first and only point of contact. It worked for me ... oh and you have to be patient, It s no good phoning them every day, give them a chance to make good on there promise.
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Old 03.08.2009, 19:20
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Re: Check before entering the loop "Digitec-Sertronics-Canon"

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But this is surprising to know that there is consumer court/department where I can report this!
There may be another way. There is a very respected "consumerwatch" TV programme on Swiss national TV called 'Kassensturz', which is reporting about the kind of situation you described. It airs on prime time on Tuesday evening and often leads to an improvement or at least a reaction from the companies they report about.

Many stories come directly from consumer input, so this may be a viable route to take.

You can suggest a story here: Contact form (SFW)

Another place one could submit this story to is a well respected consumer magazine, called Beobachter (Contact form, SFW).

If you want to take this route and compile the necessary documentation, I would be willing to translate your inquiry to German.
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Old 03.08.2009, 19:30
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Re: Check before entering the loop "Digitec-Sertronics-Canon"

@ Anirban:

If/when you contact the head office you might want to add a weblink to this thread and let them know how much bad publicity they are getting .
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Old 04.08.2009, 21:27
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Re: Check before entering the loop "Digitec-Sertronics-Canon"

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If you want to take this route and compile the necessary documentation, I would be willing to translate your inquiry to German.
Today I contacted Sertronics. The started the old saga of waiting for apart from canon. I explained to the guy that it's now 3 months the camera is with them and simply asked for an appointment with their CEO. I was told that it's not possible :-) and instead, I was assured that the team leader who can take the decision of replacement and/or repair will be informed personally and I will get a call from them tomorrow morning.

@attalus: Thanks for the offer. Please translate it. And then if nothing positive turns out, I will contact the "consumerwatch" program.

I emailed Digitec, Sertronics and Canon together, none of them replies. It looks like email is not a serious thing to these companies.

I am going to post the situation as it happens, I am very sure there are people out here who need to know this.
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Old 05.08.2009, 10:31
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Re: Check before entering the loop "Digitec-Sertronics-Canon"

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simply asked for an appointment with their CEO.
it looks like the CEO-thing worked. Right now I got a call form a customer care guy from Sertronics (one of the very few guys who is actually concerned about his company's reputation). He confirmed that he personally "witnessed" the repair of my camera yesterday. And it should be with Digitec tomorrow.

I wanted to ask him "from where the missing part came" (which they were supposedly waiting for 1 month), but, ultimately, refrained myself from doing so.

There is still distance between lips and the cup (well, to be precise, my fingers and the shutter). So, let's see.
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Old 06.08.2009, 21:26
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Re: Check before entering the loop "Digitec-Sertronics-Canon"

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If you have all the records for the saga so far, then it is time to escalate.

You can try calling Sertronics again and mention that the repair is taking too long and that you wish to escalate it to Thomas Haffner (CEO). If it were me, I would even ask for an appointment to see him.

If the phone call doesn't bring results, then write Thomas Haffner a registered letter, simply stating the facts of your case and what you want from Sertronics.

This webpage even invites you to visit them.

http://www.branchenbuch.ch/portrait.asp?Id=25258

I've lost accessories for equipment sent for repair and a letter to the company's president sorted my problem out pronto.

Let us know how you get on.
A humble request to have an apointment with CEO has dome the trick. The repair which was stuck for 3 months was resolved in half a day and send in express post to Digitec. Right now, I have the camera and it IS actually repaired this time. It feels great !

Thanks everybody for all the suggestions.
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