Back in August, 2020, between lockdowns, I decided to buy a new camera. I wanted a compact one but which had a good enough zoom to take pictures of birds, the moon, etc.
I was very impressed with my Panasonic TZ-80 bought locally and enjoyed using it. Until it started to go wrong. Gradually, the zoom started making grinding noises and would not quite focus. It worked after a fashion – but not as intended – and was deteriorating.
Then, I returned it to the shop. They noticed some ‘sand’ might have got into it. It struck me this could well be true as one tends to take cameras out and about, but I did not feel sand should mean the warranty (12 months) no longer applied. If the repair needed was found to be due to my ‘misuse’ the cost would be prohibitive, I was warned. This did rather put me off as a three figure number was mentioned.
So, I contacted Panasonic. I returned to the shop to see if they could/would return it to the manufacturer, as there is only one Panasonic approved service centre in the UK, in Surrey, and my contract was with the shop. The answer was a great reluctance on their part. I was advised of the excessively high cost of sending it off and paying for a repair; it seemed a new camera was cheaper than that, so I purchased a second-hand/refurb Canon online, which is great (better zoom) but too bulky for everyday use.
Must admit I was very disappointed by this time, as I don’t like throwing away £239.
Anyway, I bit the bullet, deciding to send it off (£7.95 insured postage) for a warranty repair, as I am really not into the disposable society, quite prepared for them to say ‘shall we sling it, as it is not covered?’
Today, my camera arrived back through the post repaired under warranty. The lens master flange was replaced and cam frame re-assembled. All was checked and tested.
Moral of the story?
- If you buy something that turns out to be faulty, be persistent
- Don’t automatically assume that you are to blame
- Expect better customer service than many shops offer, including local ones
- Test what is said and assume shops do not always know their products
I very nearly threw away a £239 camera simply because the shop told me (with their limited knowledge) that it was either unrepairable or the repair would not be worthwhile/cost-effective.
Disappointing, but great to get my handy little camera back.