Keep your Nikon Lens Extended Warranty Paperwork!

Just a few days ago my sparkly, shiny new Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens arrived from B&H Photo. I was lucky enough to check their website during one of the ten-minute periods when they have these in stock and placed my order right away. Half an hour later, they were sold out again.

Inside the box was a packet of papers, one of which was was the form you have to fill out and send in to get the extra four years of warranty coverage on the lens (one year is automatically included.) In the past I've found it very useful to have that extra coverage, because it's free and even normal wear and tear on a lens can necessitate a trip to the repair shop every few years. But there's a terribly important secret that I didn't learn about until just recently..

The form you mail in warns that you must send in the paperwork to register for the extended warranty within 10 days of the date of purchase of the lens. "FAILURE TO DO SO INVALIDATES YOUR ESC (Extended Service Coverage)" The capital letters are mine to make it sound more ominous.

But last November when I had some trouble with the mount being worn on my 70-200 f/2.8, which was well within it's five-year coverage period, I was mighty surprised to get an email from Nikon containing an estimate of around $500 to repair it.

Immediately I called them. "That sucker's under warranty!" I barked. "We don't have any indication of that," they calmly responded. Fortunately, I'm extremely anal-retentive and I saved my copy of the mail-in postcard for the warranty extension. "Send us that (or fax a copy) and if it's real your repair will be covered," they told me. So I did, and it turns out that I was spared the distress of having to cough up $516 to get the work done.

Bottom line: I still mailed in the postcard for the 24-70, because maybe somewhere in the filing system at Nikon where "Top Men" are studying it my paperwork might really have some meaningful purpose. But I will make sure to send along my copy (or a copy of my copy) if I ever need this new lens fixed because the folks down at repair central don't seem to have access to that secret warehouse where the warranties are kept.

One quick note:

The 24-70 is one helluva sweet lens. It is super-frickin' sharp, so much so that I have to wear extra thick glasses when I look at the photos on my computer to avoid cutting my eyes. And it's a great range. In the past I've carried around the 17-35mm f/2/8 and the 35-70mm f/2.8, both of which are great lenses but meant that I was sometimes fumbling around changing lenses when I wanted to be shooting. You know, that frustrating feeling when you start composing that perfect shot and find yourself thinking, "golly, I wish I was zoomed in just a LITTLE tighter on this." The 24-70 fills most of that range and when I used it at last weekend's wedding I didn't feel like I was missing the few extra millimeters on the wide end. Even better, I had to carry around less glass for the 8-9 hours I was shooting, which makes my knees and back happier. So I'm giving a big "thumbs up" to this new lens.


Shaun Lee said...

Lucky that you have 5 years warranty in US. We only have 1 year warranty in Singapore!

Congrats on your purchase of the 24-70mm! :)

Makena said...

just bought a 50mm 1.4 and am filling out the warranty now. :) i will make a note to photocopy whtever i send to them

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Anonymous said...

Have also been dealing with Nikon and my 24-70MM. Almost the exact same experience—first a quote of $500+ followed by me reminding them that I'm still covered under the ESC. Didn't go quite as smooth as yours sounds though. Once your lens (or camera) is at the Nikon Service Center they will demand that you cover (if not under warranty) all problems with it—you CANNOT say 'fix this but don't fix that.' In my instance, the lens had a loose rubber grip on the barrel but also had some dust between rear internal elements. Obviously, the dust will be the expensive repair requiring disassembly, etc. which brought it to the $500+. Once they accepted my ESC they said they would only fix the rubber grip!?! They totally changed their tune on their 'no partial repairs' policy when they had to foot the bill. No less than a dozen calls/emails later they seem to have finally agreed to doing it all—basically if the lens qualifies for ESC (no misuse, abuse, neglect or accident) how can they say one part is covered but another is not? They've already admitted that there has been no 'misuse, abuse, neglect or accident' by agreeing to cover one issue...

I'm anal about all the paperwork as well—both our examples saved us $500. It sucks that this is a postcard though—next lens, I think I'll put the postcard inside an envelope and mail so I can add either a 'Certificate of Mailing' or a 'Delivery Confirmation.'

Thomas said...

Anymore, when I send a lens in to Nikon, I make sure to put the warranty paperwork (or a copy, anyway, as I don't want them to keep it and then I'd be stuck for the next repair) wrapped around the lens barrel before I wrap it up for shipping. In the past, I've just included it in the box, and they've claimed they didn't get it. So I've had to fax it to them.

It can be a hassle. I haven't run in to the situation you describe of a partial repair, so I can't help you there. Seems a little weird that they wouldn't get rid of the internal dust, as that's hardly an issue where you could have caused it. Sadly, I think Nikon's service has gone downhill in the last 4-5 years.

AMT Warranty Corp said...

I think offering an extended warranty is pretty common practice. I never used mine, but it is nice knowing that if I needed it, it will be always there.

AMT Warranty

Ritika Mittal said...

Read your blog Quite edifying I completely agree with your post as you have justified it very nicely. I think offering an camera extended warranty is pretty common practice. I never used mine, but it is nice knowing that if I needed it, it will be always there.