Customer service

It’s not often you get customer service you feel is good enough that you want to tell people about it, but I’ve been the recipient of customer service which I feel earns the company in question some brownie points.

The product: A digital camera

A couple of years ago I finally decided to take the digital plunge… photographically speaking. The price of film and the cost of developing/processing keeps going up, and it’s not going to get any cheaper with less and less customers for the service. After much Googling, and a lot of "umming" and "ahhing" I decided I wanted a Leica Digilux 2. It’s great when, through the huge array of options, you manage to narrow your selection down to one, but it’s a PITA when that choice turns out to have been recently discontinued.

Justin buys a Leica

The fact that it wasn’t available any more wasn’t going to stop me! I called a bunch of dealers and managed to find one who was a expecting a customer of his to trade up and was bringing a Digilux 2 in as part exchange. Things were looking up. To cut a very long story to just plain old long, I managed to lay my hands on one, and, a couple of months beyond the dealer warranty it started playing up. There was a fault with the sensor, it wasn’t recording green (at least, I _think_ it’s green, what do I know, I’m colour blind) and there was a huge amount of noise in each picture… in short, it was unusable.

Missed photo opportunities

Winter came and went, and more and more events I wanted to record came and went and I was getting more and more frustrated at not having a camera. At last I decided I must do something about it, I tracked down the service department address and sent off the camera with a covering letter requesting a quote for the cost of repair. If the cost turned out to be greater then a Canon Powershot G9 I’d cut my losses and buy one of those as a replacement and put the loss down to experience (costly experience).

The camera was sent to Leica UK on April 9th, about a week later I received a letter saying the camera had been sent to the technical department in Germany. I was getting worried that costs were already being incurred. There was no reason for me to worry, though, because this morning a courier returned my camera to me and it has been repaired free of charge!

Leica: quality product, quality service

This is a camera that hasn’t been manufactured for three or more years, in most digital circles that would mean "throw it away and buy another one", but not for Leica. In my experience, for Leica to have sent the camera to Germany, repair it, get it back to the UK, and then back to me, within one month and all for no charge is above and beyond the call of duty. I am very impressed, and for this level of service I’m happy to recommend them.

The quality of the images from the camera are, without doubt, superb, but let me use it for another couple of years before I praise it too highly, I want to be sure it’s not going to fail again inside a reasonable time frame.