We interrupt our regularly scheduled postcard blog posts for a public service announcement by me, Jim.
This is a story about a little camera that couldn’t.
Some of you that follow our clown show might recall that our Panasonic FZ200 camera took a little bath when yours truly slipped in a puddle of water. We dried it out and for a brief time it seemed to work OK. Over time, though, it got more and more sickly. Sputtering and coughing although it bravely struggled.
On January 16th, 2015 I mailed it in to the Panasonic service center in McAllen, TX. When we visited Mission, TX a couple of times in bygone years we had occasion to drive by this huge structure several times and wondered what sorcery must occur behind those walls.
Apparently, it is where made in China electronics sold to unsuspecting Americans by Japanese companies go to die.
It is nigh on to impossible to get the phone number for this mythical place so that you might talk about your camera with a caring person.
When I started our little friend on its trip I included a very brief note describing the problems, providing our contact information and advising them that they must contact us before any return of the camera since we were traveling.
After some time passes we learn that instead of contacting us our camera has begun its journey to Florida and our mail service instead of our location in AZ. Now bear in mind it was not repaired. No, they send the camera back to you with an estimate and if you wish to have it repaired you must sign the paperwork and send the camera back to them. They are apparently unable to simply discuss it with you by email or phone and find these repeated trips and delays to be far more efficient.
So, our little friend makes its way back to McAllen, TX and the factory. After its return someone calls and advises what it will cost and I OK repairs and provide a credit card. They advise it will stay for 7-10 business days. They ask for an address and I provide our Yuma location since it should all be done and back to us before we leave there. I do explain that we will be leaving on March 16th and they say they will call first.
March 16th we receive the call as we are packing up to go. Its ready, and it feels much better but just wants to come home. I provide them with our next address in San Diego. They even call back with a tracking number. On the morning of March 18th I see that it is out for delivery in Yuma, AZ.
Gosh, how could this error have occurred. I call and, as luck would have it, I speak with the very person who had taken my mailing information. After some time on hold I find that our friend must again make the trek back to McAllen, TX. Every time it thinks it has made it out, BAM, they keep bringing it back.
So, while our little friend made it from McAllen to Yuma in two days, two days later it had only made it to Phoenix from Yuma. Tears are shed as it appears the chances of a reunion fall further and further away.
I’ve decorated this with enough random punctuation and words that I can stop now.