Monday, June 23, 2008

One of the many victimized by the Canon e18 error


I bought my wife a brand-new Canon Powershot S5 IS for Christmas this past year. I paid about $330 for it at Circuit City near where I live. It was fast and took much better photos than our smaller digital camera.

Five months later, the camera couldn't extend the lens fully and said "lens error, restart camera" in white lettering on an otherwise black LCD display. Restarting the camera resulted in the same partially extended lens that the same error message. A little online sleuthing revealed that this was a common error for Canon cameras, and it was formerly known as the e18 error.

I contacted Canon, and they asked me to send the camera into the repair center. About two days later, I got an e-mail stating that they would, upon initial inspection, fix it under warranty and send it back in about two weeks.

When I hadn't received the Canon Powershot S5 IS back in a little over three weeks, I tracked the repair online. I was shocked to learn that they claimed the the damage wasn't economically repairable and that it wasn't covered under warranty!!!

A phone call to them revealed that they claimed moisture damage caused this problem. Since I bought the camera in the winter months, I had barely even taken the camera outdoors, much less subjected it to anything resembling the pool or the beach. It's been indoors for all but one or two days of its life! If it does have moisture damage, I think that it's the most fragile camera I've ever owned and should only be operated in a dehumidified clean room.

I'm angry. And I think that I've got a reason to be.

After a little more online reading, I've come up with TONS of documentation on this widespread issue with Canon cameras. A small sampling of the 38,000 pages that Google can find with the words "e18 error":

http://www.e18error.com/ - This error is common enough to have its own website!
http://www.bitnet.cx/canon.html - A site that's logged over 5,200 individual instances of the lens error with Canon cameras.
Canon leaves camera customers in the dark from consumeraffairs.com
Digital Camera Disasters: Will Yours Get Fixed? from PCWorld.com

I'm planning to fight this.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a rip off by Canon. If this is such a wide-spread problem,then it would only be fair for them to have a camera recall. I hope you do fight this.

5:15 PM  
Blogger Andy Rupert said...

Eggs, just be sure you tell them you were not at a race track. And it was not a race track in Australia. hee hee

5:44 PM  
Blogger EggsnGrits said...

Funny!! And it wasn't insured by Shannons, either!!

5:50 PM  
Blogger Swade said...

Andy, you've got it all wrong. It's Ok to say you were at a race track, you jest need to be accompanied by a professional camera instructor at a properly conducted camera training event.

Simple.

8:19 PM  

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