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After a certain number of repairs or warranty claims does Canon replace the equipment? Specifically Canon EF lenses. If no defined policy exists, do you have experience one way or another?

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

While I doubt that Canon has a sweeping 'no lemon' policy beyond what is offered in their basic warranty language, I will say this: photographers who are Canon Professional Services members are offered services well above and beyond those that are offered within the basic warranty language.

As someone who over the years has had equipment lens malfunctions both as a non-CPS member, and also as a member I've personally experienced the difference in service level...

I had a regular warranty claim several years ago which essentially went the 'standard' route with Canon of 'ship the lens back to us at your expense and we'll repair or replace it. You'll be without your lens for 2 or 3 weeks while we take care of it.'

As a CPS member, on the other hand... Last year I had a lens go out on me in the middle of a project with a tight deadline and their response was one of 'no-questions-asked' next-day-air shipping of a brand-new duplicate to the malfunctioning lens at their expense. Upon shipping my defective lens back to them (again, at their expense), I was told that my lens's electronics did indeed have a problem (which was causing AF 'scrubbing' problems) and to simply keep the lens they had sent me in exchange 'with their apologies.'

I get the feeling that the customer service reps with the CPS program are given pretty broad leeway in how they can handle things for the members... Maybe that's where the notion/idea/rumor of a 'no lemon' policy has stemmed from?

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I have always wished I could join CPS. The problem is that the membership requires you to be a full-time photography professional. I'm not quite sure how they could prove that one way or another though. – dpollitt May 5 '11 at 23:32
They do ask for some details (name of business, years operated, etc.) but mostly they have you 'prove' it by requiring that you prove ownership of more than one of their high-end camera bodes and a number of 'pro' level lenses... I suppose that they probably figure if you're someone who owns $10,000+ in Canon-brand gear and are willing to pay a steep annual fee, that is going to screen out almost everyone but the pros and maybe the occasional rich amateur who cares enough about being 'in the club' to lie about being a pro... – Jay Lance Photography May 5 '11 at 23:48
+1 - On a side note, I think you can get by, on the bodies, with a 7D and a 5D for the "pro" designation. That's actually pretty cheap to some degree, the Pentax pro body is the 645D at $10,000. Though it would really appear, at least in Canada, that it is sufficient to say that you're pro to have Pentax accept it. :) – John Cavan May 6 '11 at 3:21
That's true... You also need to own at least 3 'pro' level Canon lenses and be willing to shell out $100/yr (Gold) or $500/yr (Platinum) for 'membership dues.' Either way I think it's pretty well designed in terms of price such that it's really only 'worthwhile' to someone who shoots frequently enough to be considered a 'pro.' Who else but a pro is going to get enough use out of their discounted/expedited repair and 2nd day shipping services to make it worth the fee? – Jay Lance Photography May 6 '11 at 3:52
Note that CPS membership now depends mainly on accruing enough qualifying equipment and paying a membership fee (for gold and platinum levels). So, if you shoot with a (non-qualifying) Rebel XT but also own a bag full of lenses and Speedlites, you can still qualify. – Caleb Sep 20 '13 at 18:15

Canon's warranty terms state that a defective lens:

will be repaired with new or comparable rebuilt parts or exchanged for a refurbished Product, as determined by Canon or the authorized service provider n their sole discretion.

I find nothing to indicate that Canon specifically has any sort of "no lemon" policy.

Terms found by browsing Canon's website to a current lens, then expanding the "Service & Support" section, then the Warranty link. I couldn't find a way to link to it directly.

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