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Thursday, August 04, 2005

Curse my clumsiness...

...although I deny that it's my fault.

Back in January, I was given a nice shiny digital camera. I still haven't got into the click at everything habit, and so more often than not I find myself in a photographic situation without my camera and am reduced to using my crappy phone cam.

Anyways, a couple of months ago I finally remembered to take my camera into work to photograph some colourful agar plates for a presentation. By my estimation this was the third or fourth time I had used the camera since getting it. In that time, it has been sitting tightly wrapped in its thickly padded case.

I got it out - and to my horror realised that there was a huge crack running down the LCD. Needless to say, it's absolutely stuffed. A bit of experimentation using the USB lead and my laptop reveals that it still takes photos absolutely fine, but I can't see what I am taking pictures of, or how flat my batteries are.

So I took it into the department store where my parents purchased it from. They grunted and ahhed a lot and concluded it was broken, and thus needed to be sent back to Nikon. Fine, it's well inside it's warranty.

After not hearing anything for a month, I phoned Nikon. After listening to what sounded like Imperial marching music for 20 minutes I was ready to either hang up and go directly to the store or hang up and invade Poland.

"The screen is broken. That's not covered by the warranty."
"Well, I've only used it 3 times, I haven't dropped it and it is kept in a thickly padded case"
"You must have knocked it then"
"Nope, it rarely gets carried around, it lives in a drawer in my bedside table".
"I'm sorry sir, but LCDs are very tough and they are damaged by either dropping or knocking"
"Or by crap design" I helpfully supplied. LCDs are actually very weak, it's the plastic or glass coating that gives them their strength and that is obviously a weak point.

Well, it's a call centre and they wouldn't be budged. They promised to send me an invoice.
So I rang my household insurance company - not covered.
I rang my Dad - unfortunately he paid with his debit card, so his card protection doesn't cover me either.
Another month passed - no invoice.

I rang them again, more marching music. Fortunately I had taken precautions this time and locked the flat door until the urge to expand the British Empire passed.
Finally they have sent the invoice.
They estimate that it will cost £70.59 (I suspect the 59 pence was added just to make it sound like they had actually calculated the estimate, rather than thrown a dart at a large price board). Estimates of course are not legally binding, so I dread to think what the final bill will actually be.

The problem is that £70 is half the retail cost of a comparable camera, and therefore it is still worth having repaired.

Bugger. There goes the whipround from work. I'll keep you posted as to how much they actually charge me.

And I still deny culpability.



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