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OM-D: Billed for water damage repair. (Update: covered!)

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by MikeB, Aug 3, 2012.

  1. MikeB

    MikeB Mu-43 Regular

    125
    Jun 10, 2010
    Atlanta, GA
    Ok, I'm a little bit annoyed with Olympus America right now:
    7705904564_77d2a2f4ff_z.

    Yep, I'm being charged to repair water damage, caused by rain, on a rainproof OM-D E-M5. They are NOT covering this under warranty, despite my protests on the phone.

    The repair technician says a rubber seal on the bottom of the camera had been removed, I assume he's referring to the cap that covers the connections for the external battery grip. However, I don't own the external grip, so I never touched the cap. Frankly, I don't know if the cap was on the camera or not, I never paid it much attention. If it fell off or even just came loose, which seems to be what must have happened, then it wasn't held in place very tightly in the first place.

    So, let this stand as a warning to everybody: if you intend to use your camera in wet conditions, check and double-check the integrity of the rubber cover on the bottom of the camera. If it gets loose, you could be stuck with a very expensive repair.

    ----------------------------------
    Update: See new post downthread, but Olympus is covering the cost of the repair for me. They are treating me right, and have my thanks.
     
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  2. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Am I reading that correctly? Is that more than 1/2 the cost of the camera?!?!
     
  3. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    That's a p*ss poor attitude on their part. Unless there's obvious abuse, I don't see how they can claim the camera wasn't being used as intended. And $520?!

    I don't know how much good it'll do, but if they're not cooperative, I'd recommend raising a stink about it - both here and on DPReview (which their reps. sometimes read).

    DH
     
  4. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    I've never been one to consider weatherproof features as something of importance, as a feature, on cameras I buy. If its wet out, I don't tend to shoot though. I've read some accounts of people shooting in sea spray conditions and even with weather sealing, thats quite risky. The corrosive nature of the salt water is damaging even if a camera is considered to be weather proof.

    This experience of yours is a good warning to those who feel that a "weather proof" camera is any kind of guarantee against damage and repair costs. I think it's a good idea to give due protection to camera gear whether it's weather sealed or not and not think of weather sealing as much of a protective factor.
     
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  5. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'd ask to speak to a supervisor, that price is ridiculous for a camera touted as weather sealed.
     
  6. MikeB

    MikeB Mu-43 Regular

    125
    Jun 10, 2010
    Atlanta, GA
    Actually, the price is probably exactly correct, the camera has complex electronics inside and repairing water damage is not simple.

    What's ridiculous is that they aren't covering it under warranty. If the waterproof seals aren't going to stay in place, then the camera shouldn't be advertised as weather sealed.
     
  7. brianb032

    brianb032 Mu-43 Veteran

    216
    Jan 10, 2011
    N.Carolina
    Somewhat random, but does anyone know where to buy one of those rear covers? I would hate to buy one from Olympus when you consider how much they charge for hoods and repairs for supposedly splash proof cameras.
     
  8. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    You shouldn't pay anything at all. For that price, you might as well go buy a GX1 w/EVF and sell the OM-D for parts!
     
  9. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Ad
    Possibly you got a camera that was returned previously and where the former user removed the cap to use the grip or whatever.

    I agree with the others, this really sucks and Olympus could have shown a whole lot of consideration, even if it would have been your "fault" :eek:.
     
  10. bcaslis

    bcaslis Mu-43 Veteran

    302
    Jul 3, 2011
    Wilsonville, OR, USA
    Brian Caslis
    The camera isn't advertised as weather sealed. It says "splash proof". If the bottom rubber cap was missing (which I have no idea if true) then they are correct. That bottom rubber cap needs to be on to still be splash proof. If those contacts were exposed to water all bets are off.
     
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  11. byron2112

    byron2112 Mu-43 Regular

    82
    May 22, 2011
    That really stinks... that they're denying coverage on their flagship product is an extra kick in the gut IMO.

    What's Olympus' customer service reputation?... has it been known to be flaky in the past?
     
  12. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    If it's serious water damage, they won't repair it all, they'll just replace it. And for (ironically) warranty reasons, water damage is almost always treated as 'serious.'

    Definitely. Moreover, unless you really immersed it, even an unsealed camera generally does fine in rain.

    DH
     
  13. cputeq

    cputeq Mu-43 Regular

    140
    Jul 27, 2012
    Albuquerque, NM
    Jeremy
    While I really hate it that you have a (huge!) repair bill for the camera, it doesn't help your case when reading this:

    You don't know if the cap was even there, but you're assuming it fell off because it was loose? These are contradictory statements.


    I cannot attest to the extent of the weathersealing of the camera, but there are certainly conditions one must adhere to to sustain "weathersealing". Just like one can't walk around with a 1Dx or D4 with the battery doors or card doors open, I'm sure most cameras with sealing also require the rubber doors to be firmly in place.

    It's a shame Olympus won't work with you on this issue, but you already admit you have no idea if the door was even there, then you slam Olympus for their camera build. I think this is a bit unfair, also.
     
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  14. MikeB

    MikeB Mu-43 Regular

    125
    Jun 10, 2010
    Atlanta, GA
    Nope, I put in a very early preorder, so I received my camera the first week they were shipping. Nobody would have had any time to get a camera and return it, so I'm pretty sure mine was new. It's vaguely possible that a guy in the B&H warehouse opened it up to look at it, but I think that's unlikely.

    Good thinking, but not likely in my case.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. MikeB

    MikeB Mu-43 Regular

    125
    Jun 10, 2010
    Atlanta, GA
    Well, I'm honestly unable to verify the state of the cover. But I also know I never deliberately touched the cover. Also, there's little question that the camera won't be waterproof with the cover missing, and there's no question that the camera did have water damage. So I have to conclude that the cover was not doing it's job for some reason other than deliberate removal. What other conclusion would you draw? I'm open to suggestions.

    My mistake was not knowing how critical the cover was to the water resistance of the camera, and therefore not verifying it's status when I knew the camera would be exposed to rain. Which is the main purpose of this thread: to make sure the rest of you don't make my mistake.
     
  16. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    Ow that sucks..sorry to hear that. Might be worth trying to escalate it with a supervisor, don't exactly have a lot to lose.

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 App
     
  17. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Luke
    I'm sorry for your loss.....it will definitely be a good reminder to to others though. I wonder if you paid by credit card if your credit card company would cover something like this.
     
  18. SeveNx7

    SeveNx7 Mu-43 Regular

    44
    May 20, 2012
    SeveN
    I Dont have a OM-D, But i'd read the terms and conditions of your warranty.
    Honestly, if its anything like other service departments, That technicians that opened the camera's assessment is whats going to be taken as gospel.
    If he said the bottom seal was removed, thats what they are going to go with, what makes things worse is you don't have the camera to inspect yourself now either, although by the way it sounds you may have not been sure it was on to begin with...
    Pleading your case with a manager will at least put a note in the system but the people who will really be able to help you is customer relations. One drop of liquid on a board for any electronics (camera, computer, game system) is pretty much a guarantee replacement ofthat part, since the corrosion makes that part unreliable for the rest of its existence.
    I wish you lots of luck in your situation. Thats a huge bill, but half price is about the going rate for accidental damage. try and talk to customer relations and when you talk to the supervisor, just state your case, be respectful but be firm on how you feel...those notes can make the difference between a repair thats covered and one thats not.
     
  19. cputeq

    cputeq Mu-43 Regular

    140
    Jul 27, 2012
    Albuquerque, NM
    Jeremy
    Awesome news! Good to hear.
     
  20. MikeB

    MikeB Mu-43 Regular

    125
    Jun 10, 2010
    Atlanta, GA
    Good news everybody: it's covered!

    The lady I talked to earlier today just called me back a few min ago. She had gone to her director and explained the situation. They decided to cover the cost of the repair for me. :2thumbs:

    So, important rule of talking to customer support: be nice, don't yell at them, and they will try to help you.

    Also, the repair technician passed on the warning again, and I told the nice lady that I'd pass the same warning to you guys here: that cover NEEDS to be present to make the camera rain resistant. She also mentioned the cover on the hotshoe needs to be in place, which I assume means the one covering the accessory port on the back not the flash contacts on the top.

    So, when going out into wet weather, have a checklist: SD card, battery, covers top and bottom.
     
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