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The Only, Lonely Protester at CES (Video)

Roblimo posted about a year ago | from the the-parts-added-together-are-greater-than-the-whole dept.

Businesses 259

CES is not a political show, so it only drew one visible protester: Kelly Chong, who is mad at camera manufacturers for (he says) destroying his camera repair business. He managed to get mentioned in Forbes, in an article headlined CES: One Man's Protest Against The World's Camera Makers. And now he's getting three minutes and five seconds of fame on Slashdot. Is his protest justified? According to a 2012 article headlined How Nikon Is Killing Camera Repair, at least one major camera manufacturer now refuses to sell parts to independent repair shops. So Kelly Chong seems to have a legitimate beef. Will anyone listen to him? Will major, multinational camera manufacturers start selling parts to independent repair people again? And what about those of us who do (at least some of) our own repairs? Labor charges aside, it's often lots faster and easier to do a simple repair yourself than to box your camera up and send it somewhere, not to mention the waiting time for it to get back to you.

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259 comments

advancing technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787863)

doesnt every advancing technology make archaic industries useless? i mean if horse upkeep people whined too much we'd never have cars either

Re:advancing technology (5, Insightful)

Alain Williams (2972) | about a year ago | (#42787987)

No: this is a completely different issue, it is not about new tech make old tech obsolete. It is as if you could only have your horses shod at a few ''approved'' farriers. Supply & demand would mean that these farriers could charge a lot of money ... but to become approved they need to pay bribes\h\h\h\h\h\h 'approval & training fees' to a central body.

Re:advancing technology (3)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year ago | (#42787989)

His plight doesn't seem to be with outdated or new and advancing technology, it is with being able to get access to those parts when it fails and he wants to repair them.

That would make your statement more like, if horse upkeep people couldn't get access to starters and alternators or tires, much we'd never have cars either. It doesn't make sense now does it?

Sucks, I guess, (0)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | about a year ago | (#42787871)

but why should any company have to sell parts if they don't want to?

Re:Sucks, I guess, (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787965)

And what if car companies also took up the same idea. No independent repair shops, and higher prices for all repairs.

I believe that any company that refuses to provide repair parts should then not be allowed to complain if third party companies come along start providing them.

Re:Sucks, I guess, (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42788171)

Which in fact they are trying to do: http://www.righttorepair.org/main/default.aspx

Re:Sucks, I guess, (1)

pellik (193063) | about a year ago | (#42788233)

Car companies don't sell parts to independent repair shops. They sell parts to dealers who then go on to resell them to independent repair shops.

Re:Sucks, I guess, (2)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year ago | (#42788279)

Which is irrelevant to this discussion as the car parts in question become available to the repair shops just the same. The same does not happen to these camera repair parts.

Re:Sucks, I guess, (1)

yotto (590067) | about a year ago | (#42788551)

And when something comes along and starts replacing cars, you bet your ass the car companies are going to tighten their belts and parts shops will probably be among the first to go.
If your business relies 100% on another company to provide you with something, you are at their mercy. Either rework your business or get a new business. Nikon has no moral or legal requirement to sell anybody anything.

Re:Sucks, I guess, (2)

the_B0fh (208483) | about a year ago | (#42788669)

And as the customer, we have the right to know this, so that we can make our purchasing decisions appropriately.

As of right now, no more Nikons for me (I mostly buy snapshots every couple of years, but also the D90 + assorted lenses).

Re:Sucks, I guess, (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year ago | (#42788751)

And so those companies should be allowed to do as they wish but not allowed to prevent others from providing the repair parts they refuse to provide.

Re:Sucks, I guess, (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#42788791)

There are seperate legal requirements that parts be available to the owners of the cars. That the dealers don't require ownership of a car to sell the part is mainly because nobody would buy their brand if they were so onerous. But the basic requirement of part availability is there (because it was seen as an anti-competitive move, it was pushed by the Big-3 back in the day to make it harder for European and Japanese makers to enter the market).

Re:Sucks, I guess, (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about a year ago | (#42788647)

They sell parts to dealers who then go on to resell them to independent repair shops.

...usually at a discount, which in turn allows the repair shop to make a (small) profit on the parts.

Re:Sucks, I guess, (1)

AaronLS (1804210) | about a year ago | (#42788553)

They also do things like "Hey, we need to replace the entire 'such-and-such' just because one tiny part in the 'such-and-such' is broken." If you are able to buy that tiny part yourself, at least you have the option to do it yourself or take it to an independent repair place and be specific about them replacing that part. Of course one could get into an argument about the labor cost of replacing that little part versus the entire... but the point is, if the manufacturer is the exclusive option for repairs, then they have a monopoly on repairs and will gradually side with the less thoughtful approach and potentially more costly/wasteful approaches. If the repair tech isn't feeling particularly motivated that day, they could tell you it's not repairable and say you need to buy a new one. Since there is no competition, it's not like you are going to take it elsewhere, so they have no incentive to maintain quality service.

Re:Sucks, I guess, (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787969)

Ding. If customers care, they'll buy from different manufacturers. This guy doesn't have a right to those parts.

Re:Sucks, I guess, (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42788223)

Exactly.

Although, I will add Nikon to my boycott list right now, along with Sony and Microsoft. I will never forget.

Re:Sucks, I guess, (1)

Applekid (993327) | about a year ago | (#42788449)

Exactly.

Although, I will add Nikon to my boycott list right now, along with Sony and Microsoft. I will never forget.

If I boycotted every company that has wronged, I'd probably be living in a cave dressed in animal skins right now.

Re:Sucks, I guess, (1)

magarity (164372) | about a year ago | (#42788457)

Although, I will add Nikon to my boycott list right now, along with Sony and Microsoft. I will never forget.

Why just Nikon? He lists Canon and Sony as well. Good luck buying a non-pro but still decent camera while avoiding those three.

Re:Sucks, I guess, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42788651)

Non pro? Nothing easier: Pentax. Olympus also has good cameras, and some stellar lenses.

Re:Sucks, I guess, (1, Insightful)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year ago | (#42788319)

When we, as a society, give someone or some company exclusivity in manufacturing something, we can expect him to sell it and for reasonable prices. If this entity cannot or doesn't want to sell, society will be better served by taking the monopoly from it.

Re:Sucks, I guess, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42788699)

That's a whole lot of arrogance there, assuming that others need to be nice to you. Or else.

Re:Sucks, I guess, (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year ago | (#42788787)

Not specifically to me but certainly to the customers, who give them the privilege of exclusive rights over the products they manufacture.

Customer lock-in from lenses (1)

erice (13380) | about a year ago | (#42788453)

Ding. If customers care, they'll buy from different manufacturers. This guy doesn't have a right to those parts.

Customers definitely care. However, the ones likely to care the most are the ones with a significant investment in Nikon format lenses. These lenses don't work with Canon and there may not even be an equivalent for Pentax, Sony, or Olympus.

Re:Sucks, I guess, (3, Insightful)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | about a year ago | (#42788675)

He's not asking for the right to get the parts, he's asking people to boycott those companies until they provide the parts willfully. This is purely a consumer-side action, nothing litigious. IMO this is the right approach to such problems.

Re:Sucks, I guess, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42788047)

I agree - they don't have to sell parts if they don't want to sell them.
Although, if their cameras fail often and require long/expensive repairs - they'll alienate customers.

Eventually, companies that either have more reliable products, or provide parts for field-repair will _probably_ do better in the long run. But there is no guarantee that field-repair of cameras will be a part of the industry in the future.

Sucks for this guy, but as Americans who have seen the many closed Wolf Cameras or others in downtown areas, most of the camera-repair/printing industry has been 'creatively destroyed'.

Innovate or die. Whining optional.

Re:Sucks, I guess, (4, Insightful)

Alain Williams (2972) | about a year ago | (#42788051)

To not do so is called abuse of monopoly, it is anti competitive. It pushed up maintainance prices, these prices are, generally, not considered when buying a new camera. Hopefully: in a few years NiKon cameras will have aquired a bad reputation for high maintainace and no one will buy them.

Before anyone says: Nikon do not have a monopoly in selling cameras, they just are trying to get one when it comes to maintaining them - by tying repair shops to them & presumably charging large approval fees.

Re:Sucks, I guess, (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#42788427)

Why should any company have to warranty their products for merchantability? Why should any company have to respect that warranty when third party parts are used? Why? Because we decided that it would be in the best interests of society if we forced merchants to stand behind their products. We don't have to live in a disposable culture, and we can use the force of law to prevent it.

You do not fix things. (5, Insightful)

pclminion (145572) | about a year ago | (#42787875)

Back in your place, consumers. You barely even own what you own, much less have any right to fix it or pay someone else to fix it.

The economy of America will collapse unless you keep buying brand new stuff constantly. You don't want that, do you? Are you some kind of terrorist?

Re:You do not fix things. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787973)

Nikon is Japanese, retard.

Re:You do not fix things. (1, Funny)

pclminion (145572) | about a year ago | (#42787995)

Nikon is Japanese, retard.

Whoosh.

Re:You do not fix things. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42788061)

Uhhhh, no., There is no whoosh. Keep trying, though. Next time your post might be less retarded.

Re:You do not fix things. (2)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | about a year ago | (#42788269)

May not have technically been a "whoosh", but the OP's statement is widely applicable enough that it doesn't need to be limited to Japan or America. If you missed that, then "whoosh" on you. =D

Re:You do not fix things. (1)

Anthony Ruffino (2824549) | about a year ago | (#42788361)

If I were going to use the term 'retarded' as a pejorative, I would probably post as AC too. In any case, his point still stands. The American economy is driven by consumption. I would be willing to bet that a large portion of Nikon sales go to American consumers, and just because 'pclminion's' comment was specifically targeted at the US consumer, a generality can be derived to describe consumers in any Geographical region/ socioeconomic grouping who can afford higher end cameras. Asserting some supposed level of retardation sustained by his brain just because you found something you could pick apart in his comment makes you look like a bored, sad and lonely individual. Next time at least try extracting any value from a comment and then comment on how it could be improved or made more accurate.

Re:You do not fix things. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42788301)

Nikon is a multinational corporation which has offices in and employs citizens of the US, jizzdrizzler.

Re:You do not fix things. (1)

Applekid (993327) | about a year ago | (#42788523)

My favorite part of Slashdot has to that each post, in alternative realities, are like this:

>by User (xxxxxx) on Monday February 04, @02:54PM (#42788301)
Nikon is a multinational corporation which has offices in and employs citizens of the US.

>by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 04, @02:54PM (#42788301)
Nikon is a multinational corporation which has offices in and employs citizens of the US, jizzdrizzler.

Re:You do not fix things. (5, Informative)

Master Moose (1243274) | about a year ago | (#42788115)

I have a large rear projection Panasonic T.V. A model circa 10 years old - No longer sold, and not worth repairing. It did however require some alignment beyond standard convergence, so I contacted Panasonic to ask how to enter maintenance mode - Their reply: Such information is o propriety only being provided to authorised dealers/service people.

Frustrated, 5 minutes on Google gave me everything I needed to know which I then emailed to Panasonic, letting them know that I had the information anyway and that their assistance to one of their customers was beyond appalling. reply: none

Re:You do not fix things. (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | about a year ago | (#42788241)

reply: none

Unlikely. Their reply was likely to engage a lawyer at having the information source removed so that you can't access it in the future.

Re:You do not fix things. (4, Insightful)

Master Moose (1243274) | about a year ago | (#42788333)

Oh I was not stupid enough to let them know where I got it, only that it came from "the internet"

Re:You do not fix things. (1)

idontgno (624372) | about a year ago | (#42788443)

Good thing Panasonic hasn't ever heard of Google.

OTOH, if they just turned it over to their lawyers, it may turn out ok... since it seems that most law firms can't find their internet asses in the dark without the lights on, and the few who try to be tech-savvy just embarrass themselves.

Re:You do not fix things. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42788499)

Gosh, that stopped them cold. Especially since you didn't tell them about "Google."

Re:You do not fix things. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42788263)

No reply - but they did send a take down notice to the site that supplied you with the information (or would have if you supplied the URL)

Re:You do not fix things. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42788297)

Frustrated, 5 minutes on Google gave me everything I needed to know which I then emailed to Panasonic, letting them know that I had the information anyway and that their assistance to one of their customers was beyond appalling. reply: black helicopters swarming around your house while government spooks cut off every possible means of escape in anticipation of the order to kick down your door and "disappear" you (or, failing any progress on the door, disappearing the entire neighborhood to get you and any witnesses) for your unmitigated gall towards a corporation with vital trade contracts with the country

There, fixed that for you. No, I know you can't see them; once you can, it'll be too late, and somebody has to be punished for using the internet against a corporation.

Re:You do not fix things. (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about a year ago | (#42788425)

Back in your place, consumers. You barely even own what you own, much less have any right to fix it or pay someone else to fix it.

You do not own that camera, you only license it! (This is already happening)

phrasing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787877)

Economic terrorists. I don't think that word means what you think it means.

Good for him (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787879)

As a member of a large professional camera repair society (SPT), I can firmly say: f*** Nikon. Chong's point is entirely valid. Sadly enough, as a photographer, I love Nikon's DSLRs but I can't support them due to their policy towards independent shops.

Justified? That depends... (2)

TWX (665546) | about a year ago | (#42787883)

...on the product in part. In particular, how much service is necessary to keep the device functioning essentially as it did when it was new, and how regular use impacts this.

Remember, a manufacturer, unless obligated by law, does not have to provide anything post-sale unless they've stated that they will. They don't necessarily have to provide parts, warranty, or service unless they've stated that in the sales literature to convince you to buy their product. Granted, depending on the circumstances if they don't give warranties or make repairs possible then their long term sales could suffer if buyers choose other manufacturers due to after-sales support, but that is a choice that they have.

I do understand the complaint, and I even have sympathy, but on the other hand, lots and lots of manufacturers in other fields, especially electronics fields, are doing the same thing. It's hard to buy parts for TVs or other AV electronics. It's even hard to find electronics repair shops that will do out-of-warranty service now, most only handle warranty work.

If manufacturers make quality products that run for a reasonable amount of time (with a different definition of reasonable for each and every market) and handle the rigors of use, then it's hard to make the argument that manufacturers are doing the wrong thing. After all, if a photographer drops his camera and it breaks, that wasn't the manufacturer breaking the camera, and it's likely that with the bigger camera makers, they have ruggedized models that can take that kind of use. But, the manufacturer does not necessarily have to make it easy for the owner to get the broken-out-of-warranty camera fixed either.

Re:Justified? That depends... (3, Interesting)

foobsr (693224) | about a year ago | (#42788005)

Remember, a manufacturer, unless obligated by law, does not have to provide anything post-sale unless they've stated that they will.

Would like to watch when car manufacturers (all at the same time, sure) will start to follow NIKON'S policy.

CC.

Re:Justified? That depends... (4, Insightful)

_KiTA_ (241027) | about a year ago | (#42788067)

Remember, a manufacturer, unless obligated by law, does not have to provide anything post-sale unless they've stated that they will.

Would like to watch when car manufacturers (all at the same time, sure) will start to follow NIKON'S policy.

CC.

They already kind of are. You can get more details here, at the Right to Repair coalition:
http://www.righttorepair.org/ [righttorepair.org]

Basically, various companies have realized that they can charge dealers exorbitant fees for diagnostic equipment if they make said diagnostics proprietary trade secrets, and then the dealers will have to funnel the costs to the consumer -- which is fine, because the dealers are the only place in town to get the cars repaired at. It's gotten so bad that I've even seen proprietary light bulbs for some vehicles.

Re:Justified? That depends... (3, Interesting)

plover (150551) | about a year ago | (#42788337)

Braun is doing something related with their shavers. I bought one a few years back, and on the shelf next to it were replacement blades, along with information in the packaging telling me to replace the blades every year. So I bought the blades annually as advised, and one year I start having a horribly uncomfortable shave. Upon further inspection, I discovered their replacement blades (advertised as being correct for my shaver) were no longer of the same geometry, and not sharpened the way previous blades were. So a product that should have lasted 15 years or more was binned after only six years because the replacement parts were substandard. This was a barely visible change, and I suspect a lot of people simply assumed their shavers were "worn out" and needed replacement (by a new $150 model).

To me, this was a completely unethical move. But now I'm trying to figure out how you would propose we deal with this kind of situation. Caveat emptor? Regulations on replacement part availability? Capitalism and competition?

Re:Justified? That depends... (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year ago | (#42788351)

The point is, a manufacturer should be obligated by law to provide repair parts for reasonable prices, or, at the very least, let others provide them.

Re:Justified? That depends... (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about a year ago | (#42788645)

As a very small time hobbyist manufacture (3-10 items a month sold typically on ebay) I would see this as crippling and would stop bothering to build my product at all. Thus thrusting the few customers I have into not having it at all. I'm sure they would thank you for your regulation.

Re:Justified? That depends... (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year ago | (#42788705)

Because you are an asshole. You want not only to be able to refrain from providing replacement parts to your customers, but to sue anyone who does. If you can't do the job right open space for those who can.

Re:Justified? That depends... (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | about a year ago | (#42788473)

But, the manufacturer does not necessarily have to make it easy for the owner to get the broken-out-of-warranty camera fixed either.

There's a difference between making it easy and making it harder to obtain OOW camera repairs. This is Nikon doing the latter. It would appear they're clamping down on the supply chains for replacement parts to only those "authorized repair stations" (read: approved money funnels) to either increase the cost of ownerships for OOW cameras or to make it so difficult to get OOW repairs that you're nearly forced to purchase a new camera.

Also, anyone who says "Nikon doesn't have a monopoly" isn't familiar with the way camera systems work. Nikon, Canon, etc have a pretty strong monopoly on any non-rich photographer who has bought into their lens system over the years. You can't easily jump ship to another manufacturer when you've got 3 years worth of salary sunk into proprietary glass.

This. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787913)

This man is a shining example of why I support legal immigrants, and why illegal immigrants are a detriment to us all.

I just wish there was a place I could donate a chunk of cash so he obtain proper legal representation, to show my support for not just his cause, but him personally.

Re:This. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42788011)

Don't be a nigger.

Smaller and Smaller (1)

dmomo (256005) | about a year ago | (#42787925)

Making devices smaller and smaller means a tighter integration of components. Because cameras are getting cheaper and cheaper, It's often less expensive to simply buy a new device than to get it repaired. That being said, the choice there should be the consumer's, not the manufacturers. It really irks me that Apple can get away with preventing people from replacing batteries and upgrading storage so that they can rope the consumer in to having to constantly upgrade. Good for this guy.

Re:Smaller and Smaller (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42788335)

Yes, those full-frame DSLRs are getting smaller and ... wait... no, they aren't.
We're not talking about $199 point-and-shoots here.

Re:Smaller and Smaller (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42788757)

Yes they are. Case in point: Nikon Canon 6D, D600, Sony RX1.

Re:Smaller and Smaller (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about a year ago | (#42788673)

I have not been required to upgrade a single Apple product. I just no longer buy any of their well advertised and known lockin products any more.

doesn't apply to high end stuff (1)

Chirs (87576) | about a year ago | (#42788765)

When a new SLR body can be upwards of $6000, it's NOT going to be cheaper to get a new one.

He has a good point. (1)

ChodaBoyUSA (2532764) | about a year ago | (#42787927)

Compare this to automobiles. Can you imagine the outrage if you could not buy auto parts? What if you had to go back to the auto manufacturer to have ANY part replaced.

Re:He has a good point. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42788093)

This is the perfect place for a car analogy. As the cars become more and more closed, measured and "smart" systems, the only remaining changeable parts for the user or independent shop will be tires and fuel. Fortunately some people still care about building, modifying and maintaining something.

Re:He has a good point. (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#42788545)

It's a real fight but since the costs of auto repair are so huge that people actually care about the possibility of repairing their cars, when auto manufacturers make repairs too difficult they lose market share. It's the only reason that every component isn't as horribly overpriced and artificially locked-down as Lexmark ink cartridges.

All the same, manufacturers will try their best to scare you into buying OEM shocks, air filters, brake rotors, brake pads, and other parts where the 3rd-party offerings are often both better and cheaper. As a general rule it's best to use OEM parts only for engine internals, brake hydraulic components, and steering components, and even then a big part of the last two is just in case you need to sue the manufacturer.

Buy new (1)

ChrisMaple (607946) | about a year ago | (#42787929)

In many cases, it's cheaper to buy a new camera than to have the old one repaired.

Re:Buy new (2)

sharkytm (948956) | about a year ago | (#42788009)

This is a response to both the "Buy New" and "Smaller and smaller" comments. You are both correct with regards to consumer-level point and shoots. HOWEVER, you are incorrect when it comes to DSLR cameras. Digital SLR's are expensive, and hold their value relatively well. A simple shutter malfunction, which can be repaired by Nikon (including shipping and tech-time) for $200, could save a camera that would cost $500+ to replace. Ditto with a bad button or cracked LCD. Cheap parts, which if available, could save lot of useful cameras. I own a Nikon DSLR. I know that if I ever want it fixed, I'll have to send it to Nikon, or buy a differently-broken one from eBay and hope that the local shop will be capable of fixing it. Its a shame that the parts aren't available, but I know it. I'm on the fence about this man's plight. In one hand, his industry is dying. In the other, the MFR's are purposefully putting him out of business by not providing parts.

Re:Buy new (1)

plover (150551) | about a year ago | (#42788025)

So if I break the strap clip, you're saying my choices should be limited to buying a new $4,000 camera body, sending it to Nikon for $200 in repairs, duct tape, or "suck it up."

I don't see any reasonableness in your statement.

Re:Buy new (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#42788143)

In many cases, it's cheaper to buy a new camera than to have the old one repaired.

The problem is, pros (generally) use pro cameras, which can cost from $2,500 to $6,000 (street price, body only, standard SLR -- for medium format, add a zero), so simply buying a new camera when something non-catastrophic happens is out of the question.

Mind you, cameras in that class tend to be ruggedized and weather sealed. (Mine has survived tens of thousands of clicks in rain and dust, uncountable bumps, and falling out of the rental car. Twice.) However, when something fails, for that kind of money, I want it to be fixable. And I don't give a damn that it's out of warranty. This isn't an iphone, fer chrissake. It's not some disposable toy that you replace every 18 months. It's a high end tool that I use to do my job, and it had better be fixable.

CES is not a political show? (4, Insightful)

Tailhook (98486) | about a year ago | (#42787931)

CES is not a political show

Wow. Set off my bullshit detector in the first sentence.

Former President Bill Clinton pushes for stricter gun control during Consumer Electronics Show speech [nydailynews.com]

I suspect we witness here a case of a political view, and even a politician, that is considered so mainstream that they no longer suffer the "political" qualification.

Just for the record, any "show" that has Bill Clinton as a featured speaker is political.

Re:CES is not a political show? (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#42788163)

what does politics have to do with a company not willing to sell spares anyhow?

frankly I'd be surprised if they'd be able to source spare parts for their own warranty repair centres...

Re:CES is not a political show? (1)

Applekid (993327) | about a year ago | (#42788559)

what does politics have to do with a company not willing to sell spares anyhow?

frankly I'd be surprised if they'd be able to source spare parts for their own warranty repair centres...

It's political because it advocates for changes in policy and law in consumer electronics, a defense similar to the auto indusry's "right to repair" laws.

Economies change (0)

PhamNguyen (2695929) | about a year ago | (#42787935)

If companies had an obligation never to make anyone worse off for every change they made to their business practices, there would be no economic growth. And morally, why does Nixon owe this man who has come to rely on them, anything. They never claimed that replacement parts would always be made available in the future.

Re:Economies change (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | about a year ago | (#42788509)

If companies had an obligation never to make anyone worse off for every change they made to their business practices, there would be no economic growth. And morally, why does Nixon owe this man who has come to rely on them, anything. They never claimed that replacement parts would always be made available in the future.

Well as I understand it, he was a crook. He should probably be required to resolve this issue before he's allowed to guest-star on Futurama again...

Petition to have Nikon keep selling repair parts (4, Informative)

schneidafunk (795759) | about a year ago | (#42788003)

Here is the link [change.org] for the petition, if anyone feels inclined in wasting some time.

Re:Petition to have Nikon keep selling repair part (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42788373)

As a Nikon owner through 2 generations of digital camera body (D100 and D7000), I would sign it. Their policy is STUPID. Not to mention the silliness about encrypting/obfuscating parts of the white balance information in their NEF RAW format a few years back (eventually people broke the encryption). Furthermore, Canon is a lot more open about allowing modifying firmware of the camera than Nikon ever has been.

i.e. I chose Nikon years ago and invested in lenses, but I'd probably choose Canon over Nikon now. This spare parts nonsense just makes the choice even clearer.

Unfortunately the petition is for USA, and I'm in Canada, but I assume Nikon is being just as dumb here as in the USA. Maybe we need another petition.

Planned obselecence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42788039)

The real issue is the "Design for Landfill" philosophy of all sorts of manufacturers.

Who really needs a TV that will never be moved to be less than an inch thick?
We really need to impose a tax on manufacturers to encourage them to design repairability into their products. I suppose availability of service parts would be another input to the formula for this.

Re:Planned obselecence (4, Interesting)

Pentium100 (1240090) | about a year ago | (#42788225)

Who really needs a TV that will never be moved to be less than an inch thick?

Well, to show that I paid my "taxes" this year and replaced my 3cm thick TV with a 2.4cm one (same screen size).

Since actual innovation is expensive and in some cases slow (TVs are currently limited to HD, because the signal is limited to HD) the manufacturer resorts o changing the appearance of the device so the consumers can throw away the old one and buy new.

We really need to impose a tax on manufacturers to encourage them to design repairability into their products. I suppose availability of service parts would be another input to the formula for this.

Make the manufacturer responsible for recycling the thrown away device and charge an additional tax for that so that it becomes more economical to design the device to last (or be repaired). And extend the mandatory warranty to 5 years for devices that are more expensive than, say, 100EUR...

Re:Planned obselecence (1)

PRMan (959735) | about a year ago | (#42788739)

1 year for each order of magnitude on the MSRP:

less than $1 no warranty required
$1-$9.99 1 year warranty required
$10-$99.99 2 years warranty required
$100-$999.99 3 years warranty required
$1000-$9999.99 4 years warranty required
$10000-$99,999.99 5 years warranty required

Wearable parts are not required to be covered for free, but must be made available during the entire period.

Re:Planned obselecence (1)

Kenja (541830) | about a year ago | (#42788519)

This is almost the polar opposite of planned obsolescence. This is the camera companies recognizing that people will fix rather then replace their cameras and so they want to control that after market business.

Middlemen (3, Interesting)

sjbe (173966) | about a year ago | (#42788113)

at least one major camera manufacturer now refuses to sell parts to independent repair shops. So Kelly Chong seems to have a legitimate beef. Will anyone listen to him?

Probably not. If you build a business based upon the faults of someone else's products, do not be surprised when they decide to handle the problem themselves and put you out of business. If there is money to be made in repairs then you should not be surprised when the manufacturer gets into the repairs business. It's fine to make money on repairing and selling other people's products but if you are a middle man they WILL cut you out if they can.

Re:Middlemen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42788637)

you should not be surprised when the manufacturer gets into the repairs business

Nothing wrong with that. It's trying to stifle someone else's business that's the problem.

Psst, Idealist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42788185)

If only we had some large collective of united people or even states, that would be willing to stand up and protect individuals from global powers that the individual could in no way protect themselves against. Hahaha I know what a silly thought, I like my shinny gadgets.

In Montreal, qc, Canada (-1)

denisbergeron (197036) | about a year ago | (#42788219)

The only independent camera repair shop closed its doors 2 years ago for the same reason. This place was the only place where it's cost less to repair a lens than to buy a new one... Theses comsumurism attitude coming from APPLE, where thing have be to be trow to the bin each year it's not very ecolo.

Re:In Montreal, qc, Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42788355)

Theses comsumurism attitude coming from APPLE, where thing have be to be trow to the bin each year it's not very ecolo.

NOBODY EVER THROWS OUT THEIR OLD ANDROID PHONES

LOLOLOLOLOL

Serious question, though: What does Larry Page's arse taste like?

I have a solution (1)

neubian (2788915) | about a year ago | (#42788235)

Shoot Pentax. Also, Slashdot -- please blur out Kenny's info on his ID. The last thing that guy needs is identity theft.

Good for him. We need more people like this. (1)

blind biker (1066130) | about a year ago | (#42788255)

If more or all people were so proactive and brave (for a loose definition of bravery, anyway), this in the US would be much better for consumers. For one thing, mobile operators would have saner policies and there would be competition instead of a cartel of internet providers. GM food would be labeled as such and the composition of your food will also be declared (like it is in Europe).

Easy Fix To Non-Issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42788359)

Become an authorized repair shop/dealer. Offset your cost by selling the parts to the individuals and independents yourself.

You can't buy parts from Ford. But, you can buy Ford parts form dealers and distributors all over the world.

He can't buy parts from Nikon, bit he can buy Nikon parts form dealers and distributors all over the world. Or, he can become such a dealer/distributor himself.

I think that the problem here is that the Slashdot staff's brains seem to be addled, perhaps the corporate KoolAid was tainted with antifreeze. They keep thinking they are reporting stories where there are in fact NO stories.

"independent" repair services (3, Interesting)

macraig (621737) | about a year ago | (#42788393)

In this case, the word "independent" has a different meaning than it has in any other context: it means that a business isn't certified by a product's manufacturer as competent to service that product. What form that certification takes may vary from one manufacturer to another, but certainly it always costs money; is it an egregious profit-seeking amount, or is it limited to covering the cost of administering the process? That probably varies, too, but you might expect a manufacturer like Nikon to price the certification process quite selfishly. It's not entirely unreasonable for manufacturers to want to protect their own reputation by ensuring that people who attempt to maintain their products in the field are competent to do so. It's also not unreasonable for them to expect to recoup their costs to ensure that (though using it for profiteering would be sleazy).

So ultimately the real beef of people like this fellow is that they either can't afford to cough up what it would cost to maintain the various certifications or simply choose not to do so because it goes against their religion or politics.

Autonomy (1)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about a year ago | (#42788513)

People and companies should be able to sell or not sell to whomever they want. Yes they are doing it because they are trying to make more money. Is that a bad thing? Are the camera companies obligated to prop up a secondary market out of charity? The customers decide if they want to buy a camera from a company that limits repairs to official repair centers (that have whatever customer service, costs they have).

If the customers don't care about the choice to bring their camera to a local repair shop, then there is no point in having them be there. It sucks losing a job, but we can't keep obsolete jobs around just so people never need to learn a new trade. Maybe we need to make it easier to learn new trades or something, but stagnation is just not an option.

If the customers do care about this choice, than any of the major camera companies could theoretically beat their competition by being the only company to provide this choice. If all these companies care about is money then this is exactly what they should do. Customers demand other things like megapixels and portability. Why don't they demand the choice to take their cameras to local repair shops?

Maybe the customers are ignorant about the advantages of this choice? Well then protesting is probably the right thing to do to bring attention to the situation.

I suspect that it is all about money. Not so much unregulated greed, but just about trying to control their products. Some of the local repair shops are probably good, others probably think they are good and actually suck. It is probably just easier for them to have official repair centers where they can control how their products are repaired. When you have official repair centers, there is no question of whether the fault is the repair center or the manufacturer when things go wrong because they are the same. If a repair goes bad in a local shop, the local shop can just blame it on Nikon and say their camera's just suck. Whether true or not, I think that's kind of what the manufacturers don't want. They want to be able to control the way their products are repaired.

This isn't so foreign. I can open an Apple repair shop and demand Apple sell me spare parts, so I can undercut their own repair centers, but I probably won't get very far. There are companies that sell 3rd party apple repair parts, but they don't expect any support from apple. They are lucky just not to get sued.

Brave New World (1)

idontgno (624372) | about a year ago | (#42788539)

I wouldn't mind "Ending is better than mending," except I have no soma. Where's my soma, dammit?

The obvious answer (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42788571)

The man's business model is outdated and he should just learn to deal with it.

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