Sudden death to my camcorder… :-(

When we last visited my girlfriend Mona’s parents we wanted to show them the video I made from our car safety training at the ADAC in Grevenbroich. To my great horror (and I mean “horror”) the camcorder refused to load the tape — as soon as I closed the tape loader, I heard the whirring noise of a motor, but the camcorder didn’t load the cartridge (i. e. the cartridge loader didn’t slide down.) Instead an error message “remove tape” was displayed. The same happened to another cartridge I had brought with me, which made me pretty sure the camcorder was broken. 🙁

I don’t have the faintest idea what could have happened to the camcorder, because it was practically new. I bought it a little bit longer than two years ago and basically only used it during my vacations. So far I only recorded 22 tapes (with 60 mins. max. recording time each), that’s less than 20 hours of video material (because most of the tapes aren’t anywhere near to being completely recorded.) Add to this the operating hours while I played the tapes, and you end up with approximately 50 to 60 power-on-hours.

The camcorder cost me more than 700 EUR, so it was definitely worth having it repaired. Therefore I sent it to the manufacturer’s repair center and asked them for a quote. What a horror when I received their e-mail that named a price of nearly 200 EUR to have it repaired. Supposedly the recording head is broken.

Hello??? Anybody home??? We’re talking about a top-brand camcorder that has hardly been used at all, with no wear and no scratches at all, and they expect me to shell out almost a third of the original price to have it repaired?!

For the time being, I haven’t agreed to paying the (full) price for the repair. Instead, I’ve replied to their e-mail, asking whether they will repair it for free or at least for a drastically reduced fee. Depending on what they reply to me, you will read more about who the manufacturer is and which brand I will avoid in the future. 🙂

3 thoughts on “Sudden death to my camcorder… :-(”

  1. In the meantime the manufacturer’s repair center have replied to my e-mail message. They still refuse to waive or at least reduce the price for the repair. The fact that the camcorder is practically new with respect to power-on-hours obviously isn’t suitable to question their point of view.

    I’ve now asked that they forward my message to their CEO and threatened that I will forward the whole affair to a well-known German computer and electronics consumer magazine for publishing.

    Let’s see whether they are willing to risk their good reputation…

  2. They seem to have escalated the issue, because I now received a more “favorable” (but still not satisfactory) reply. The repair center agreed to reduce the price for the repair to 100 EUR plus shipping plus tax. That’s roughly 135 EUR, so I do save some money.

    I’ve agreed to that deal, altho I still don’t feel fine. It’s a foul compromise to me. I simply cannot accept that a “like new” camera dies so suddenly. To me (and I do think I have some knowledge about that topic, because I’m a trained and licensed electrical/electronics engineer) it seems that the recording head/drum has been faulty already when it left the factory, so that the manufacturer should have replaced it for a much smaller price.

    You may be asking yourself who the manufacturer is. I have decided to release the name, it’s Canon. My camera model is a MVX250i.

    Now I would be very interested to hear your comments. Feel free to post them here!

  3. The story continues… I just received a message stating that my camcorder has been repaired for 185,46 EUR, and that they are sending me the camcorder via UPS C.O.D..

    Damn! So they forgot about their own “very special price” they offered me… 🙁

    I replied to their notification stating that I will refuse the delivery should the UPS driver want to collect more than the agreed upon amount of 135 EUR…

    Will keep you posted…

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