CAMERA REPAIR SERVICE INC PRE-DIAGNOSTIC FEE ESTIMATE.
TO REPAIR A NON-ELECTRICAL PLASTIC PART ON YOUR CAMERA IT WILL LIKELY COST YOU GREATER THAN $70.00.
A non-electrical piece of plastic which holds the camera door closed was broken on my camera.
Naturally, any reasonable person would prefer their camera not to have this issue, but it had no impact on the camera's ability to function nor on the quality of the pictures. It is important to note that I resolved the problem by putting a piece of tape over the battery door, a solution I would have been perfectly satisfied with. For a reasonable fee, I decided I would be happier with a proper repair. Because I would prefer the repair, I decided to check into how much it would cost to have the repair done.
Subsequently, I brought the camera to Camera Repair Svc. Inc. with the intention of determining how much it would cost to repair the issue and to repair the issue if the price was reasonable.
To diagnose the issue, Camera Repair Svc., Inc. quoted me a $40.00 non-refundable diagnostic fee. The fee seemed excessive so I was hesitant to engage with them. When I expressed concern with the amount of the fee, I was told expressly, ""the fee would be applied to the repair"" and ""the repair shouldn't be more than that."" I was also told that ""they would sell me a charger for $30.00"" and that they would ""call me the following day"" to let me know what the technician thought about the issue. Before I paid and as I was pulling out my card, I again hesitated, mentioning that I could solve the problem with a piece of tape. The male store employee said, ""no -- you need to have it repaired."" Upon my own choice, I signed the agreement and proceeded with the repair.
The following day, I received a phone call -- (1) they had no charger to test the camera they were repairing to see if the repair was successful; (2) b/c they had no charger to test the camera, they certainly had no charger to sell me as they had stated; (3) the repair was quoted at an additional $35.00 + tax.
It's important to understand that they have their repair scheme set up in such a way as to maintain the upper hand in any repair transaction with a consumer. If they had told me up front that it was going to be $75.00 to repair the camera door, I would not have gone through with the repair.
A better and more fair alternative would be transparency. If customers knew in advance that the cost of such a simple repair was going to be somewhere between $60.00 - $80.00, then the customer could make a reasonable decision about whether they wanted to proceed with the transaction before they paid the $40.00 diagnostic fee.
Camera Repair Svc. Inc. might argue that it's not possible to give that sort of information out up front b/c each repair is unique. I would challenge that claim and assert that if they were to average the cost of all repairs of like kind over the last year they would be able to tell you almost exactly what the repair itself would cost. Of course, this can not be proven without access to their business records but the hypothesis does indicate that it would be a possible way to engage in their craft. Even if a disclaimer was offered showing the high and low cost of such a like kind repair over the last year and indicating that by no means is this a guarantee on how much it will cost but just offering a range within which the repair is likely to fall would be much more fair then the current scheme they have in place. My total cost was $75.00 plus tax and the repair was relatively minor on an Olympus 1200 camera. I hope this helps others who are unwilling to pay that amount to know in advance that this is the amount Camera Repair Svc. Inc. is likely to charge you.