Why I'll Never Buy Canon Again
by James M. Williams Jr.
I had issues and problems with Canon USA regarding warranty issues and repairs. Although Canon initially honored the warranty on my camcorder and repaired it, when the unit was returned it still did not work as specified. The camcorder was eating and destroying the tapes and it was only a week old. They replaced the tape drive unit and returned it, claiming that it functioned normally and without problem.
However, when I received it and tried using it, other problems of recording occurred. The audio didn't work, the white balance button did not respond at all, the tape drive would automatically eject the tapes when I tried to film, and when it did record, there was serious pixilation and banding that made any recorded footage totally useless. It could not be corrected, so I called Canon's Repair Center again and asked if they would repair it under the warranty agreement. Instead of taking it back, they asked if I had cleaned the head because they said it might have had oil on it from the repairs that they made to the unit. I told them that THEY should have already done it if they got oil on the head. I also told them that I already put it through a cleaning cycle before doing any test filming on it. The repair center proceeded with making excuses and refused to make any concessions or offers to take it back for further repairs.
They never did take it back. I tried cleaning it one final time and tested it. The camcorder ate and destroyed another tape and jammed permanently shut. I called the repair center again and went around with them for weeks asking them to take it back and repair it, but to no avail. Finally, after about 3 months they even stopped accepting my phone calls and refused to respond to the emails that I sent. In short, they were refusing to honor their warranty agreement as written. I tried for 6 months to connect with someone, anyone from Canon USA, to no avail. So out of sheer frustration and after about a year passed, I packaged up the unit and mailed it directly to Canon USA Headquarters along with a 3 page nasty letter expressing my displeasure and dissatisfaction with Canon Corporation's poor handling practices regarding warranty issues.
Approximately 3 months later, Canon returned it to me stating that it was repaired. However, when I opened the box and looked at it, I immediately noticed several discrepancies and anomalies with the unit I received. The microphone screen was fresh and new. Mine had paint worn off and had a slight dent on one side. My camcorder had an aluminum plate on the bottom that had the serial number engraved and an aluminum sticker on the back side with the serial number printed on it. The unit I received had an aluminum plate on the bottom with no serial number engraving and the serial number sticker was put on the back crooked and faced in the opposite direction. In short, they sent me a new, or another camcorder, thereby replacing it for the one that I originally purchased. By then, I had already decided that enough was enough and ceased all communications and business with Canon USA and Canon Corporation. I learned via research that Canon is one of the worst when it comes to dealing with warranty issues for their products. I ceased buying canon products altogether and will never do business with them again.
My hope is to buy a new Sony, or at least a good used one for my future filming endeavors. I've used Sonys and enjoy the camcorders that they make. I am also a fan of Sony audio equipment. Most of the things they make and produce work extremely well and are real workhorses. Their camcorders, film beautiful images that are clear and sharp. Although, not top of the line, they still film, broadcast quality footage and I really like them. I'm considering buying the Sony HVR-Z5U which I explain in more detail here: Choosing A Camcorder | Considering The Sony HVR-Z5U