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Gail Allinson, gail@oncomputers.info

24 August 2003

Kudos for Kodak: Five-Star Customer Service

My Kodak Camera with Shipping Box and Repair ReportHere's the story.  I have a little Kodak point-and-shoot digital camera that I bought refurbished last October.  I took it on my trip to Oshkosh, but the last day of the trip, it failed.  It appeared to be taking pictures, but the LCD display and the pictures stored on the compact flash card were totally black. I had no idea what was wrong, and I was sure that since it was a refurb it couldn't possibly be under warranty, right? Wrong!

After buying a replacement camera and using the situation as an excuse to move into the prosumer* world of digital photography, I called Kodak to see if there was any chance of being able to repair my point-and-shoot. If possible, I wanted to keep it as a spare.  I called Kodak's toll-free support line and was speaking with a rep in about 30 seconds. I told the rep what had happened and clearly told him that the camera was bought as a refurb and that I didn't expect it to be under warranty.  He told me it was under a one-year warranty and all I needed was proof of purchase.

So I went back to the online vendor, printed out a copy of the invoice, and called Kodak back -- yes, I had the date and the proof of purchase in hand.  After another no more than 30 second wait (I hope you are as impressed by that as I am), I gave the rep my case number, answered a few simple questions, and received an RA (return authorization) number.  The rep gave me some verbal shipping instructions and then connected me to a recording with more detailed information.

I packed up the camera. The day it arrived in Rochester, NY, Kodak's home town, I received an e-mail notifying me that Kodak had my package.  That was last Friday. They said that it would be repaired and returned within seven business days.  There was also a link to a Web site were I could check the repair status.

On Tuesday, I got an e-mail saying the repair was completed and it included an Airborne tracking number. Today, Thursday, I have a working camera in my hand. It is important to note that this is my original camera repaired (not a replacement as is so often the case) with a complete repair report and a 90 day warranty on the replacement parts or the life of the original warranty -- whichever is longer.

This is an example of exemplary customer service. The only cost to me was less than $5 to ship the camera from California to New York. Kodak did everything else at no charge under warranty.

Would it have been nice not to have the camera break in the first place?  Sure, but in the real-world, stuff happens. It is what a company does when something goes wrong that really counts. Thank you, Kodak, for your 5-star service. It is really great to deal with a company that gives customers, even customers of its consumer and refurbished products, the red carpet warranty treatment.

*A high-end consumer camera with both an auto mode and many manual adjustments for a high level of control; designed for serious amateur and for professional use that does not require an SLR camera

Cya next time!


© 2003 Gail Allinson

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