I was planning to make last week’s rant about my car dealer a “good news – bad news” story, but there wasn’t room for the good news. Don’t get me wrong, the good news had nothing to do with the car dealer. It’s not like they swapped the summer air out of my tires for free. No, the good news was that I got my camera back. From a customer service point of view, Square Trade was wonderful to deal with throughout the process.
This story starts several years ago, but I’ve already told most of it. The part about wanting a small camera, that camera developing a smudge, bad repair, new camera, etc. You can read all about it here.
The new camera was fine. No smudge. Cheaper, and smaller, but not better. Definitely not better. The new Sony featured a variety of fancy-schmancy filters and scene modes, but no longer had a Manual setting. I thought I had figured out how to work-around the manual thing, but alas, my method proved less than foolproof.
Worse yet, the goal of the new camera appears to be to make every photo look like it was taken at noon. Snap a low-light photo in the early morning, click-click-click-click-click – five photos in quick succession are melded into a bright image of a dark city. These photos look dumb. There appears to be oodles of ambient light, yet there’s no sun, no shadows and you can clearly see the contrast between the building and its artificially-lit windows. It’s like those scenes where the hero lights a match and the room lights up like Luna Park.
I couldn’t take the camera back, but I hated using it. I was pretty sure I had spent my camera allowance. I suffered with that camera for almost a year before deciding to suck it up and buy a better camera.
When my daughter and I went to New York last summer, we researched cameras on the train ride into the city. I settled on a Nikon CoolPix S9900. This camera is everything I want in a point and shoot camera. In a pinch, I can slip it into my pocket. It takes great photos, has all the features I like, including Manual mode, the battery lasts a long time and it has a 30x optical zoom. I love this camera.
However, while taking photos in my shop, I smacked the lens against the side of a metal cart. The lens cover stopped covering. It also stopped opening. It made me long for the days when I could just lose my lens cover, leave it on while snapping a picture or have it or its shadow creeping into my downward looking shots.
I had purchased an extended warranty with Square Trade through B&H Photo. I felt good about that, but I worried that some loophole would allow them to escape without fixing my camera, since I was clearly at fault. I contacted Square Trade via their website and simplicity took over.
B&H had registered the camera in my name when I bought it. There was no receipt, but I was offered a button on the website to upload the receipt. I did. I got an email: “The status of your claim has changed – we have your receipt, we are verifying it now. This might take up to two hours.” Two hours later, I got an email basically saying “send us your camera.”
The point when I knew Square Trade was a cut above most companies when it comes to customer service was when they notified me that the FedEx guy had picked up my camera from the box I dropped it in. From that point forward, every change in the camera’s journey and every bit of its repair was communicated to me via email. The repairs were completed in the promised time frame, they were completed to my satisfaction and the camera was returned a day ahead of schedule. Square Trade paid the shipping AND THANKED ME for my business! Oh my goodness, I want to go buy something else just to buy a warranty from these people!
I have my camera back, I am happily taking pictures again and I will always appreciate the quality service and the way I was treated by the folks at Square Trade.
I want to thank Ellen for encouraging these customer service stories. I think I can let this topic rest for a while, but it felt good to end on a good note.