As you may have seen in an earlier thread, my Canon 40D died a death shortly before I was due to go on holiday (fortunately I got a 7D in time).
As suspected, the 40D has suffered a problem with its shutter mechanism, though for some reason they're calling it "an electronic failure".
Being a grey market import, just outside its 12 month warranty period (15 months), I had little hope of recourse against the retailer from which I bought the camera. However, the ACCC advised me that I should follow up my claim with the manufacturer directly, as ANY consumer goods sold in Australia fall within the Trade Practices Act and therefore need to be of "merchantable quality" and "fit for intended purpose".
So I sent my 40D off to Canon Aus' repair centre in Sydney. Initially they replied saying that as the Camera was not official Aus stock and the camera was out of warranty anyway, I would have to pay for the repair. The repair was quoted at $435 all in, including new shutter mechanism (around $70), repair labour and full service of the body.
I pointed out that I wasn't seeking repair under manufacturer's warranty, but under the implied warranty obligatory under the Trade Practices Act. I argued that 15 months and 12,000 actuations (rated life 100,000 actuations) could not be considered "merchantable quality".
After some buck passing up the line of seniority within Canon Aus, I got a reply stating that Canon accepted their responsibility under the Trade Practices Act. However, for some reason they never clearly explained to me, they considered the camera's failure to be 'electronic' rather than a manufacturing fault, and hence their general counsel considered the failure to fall outside the remit of the Trade Practices Act.
However, they also acknowledged that I was a loyal Canon user - I've owned Canon SLRs, Ixus P&S and DSLRs for over 20 years. As such, 'without admiting liability', they offered as a goodwill gesture to "share" the cost of the repair, reducing the cost to me from $435 to $217.
Whilst I do not agree with their view that an "electronic fault" is outside the scope of TPA, I don't see them backing down any further... to take it further would require a lot of effort for a couple of hundred spondoolies. Equally, I felt that their offer to halve the cost was a reasonable gesture of goodwill. If they'd offered nothing, then I might have taken it further.
My conclusions are:
- even with grey import stock, Canon Aus are aware of their obligations under Trade Practices Act. However, actually pinning them down to pay for repairs is harder (define "electronic fault" anyone??)
- Canon Aus are acutely aware of customer goodwill and are prepared to go some way towards keeping their punters happy - if my 40D had been Aus stock, they would almost certainly have repaired it despite being outside the warranty period
So, I've authorised the repair and the 40D should be on its way back to me around the same time that I get back from hols. Expect to see a 15 month old 40D in excellent nick with new shutter mechanism / newly serviced offered for sale in the AP classifieds section sometime soon!