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10-02-2009, 03:51 PM   #1
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Sigma Customer Service: Props!

I had an experience with Sigma that I just had to share with you guys. Some of you may know that I recently switched systems and now shoot Canon.

This isn't about the brands but Sigma (the company) and its customer service. The reason I mention the Canon part is because that is what led me to Sigma's repair department. You see, Canon (unlike Pentax) made some changes in the newer bodies that affected some of the older AF lenses (those that were designed for film bodies). It basically rendered those lenses obsolete. I guess there was a change in one of the chips or something. Canon's older AF lenses worked, but 3rd party manufacturers (like Sigma and Tamron) had to change their chip design in order for their lenses to work with Canon. I unknowingly purchased on of those lenses, a 105mm/2.8 macro from KEH earlier this week. It has the "EX" designation, but was not a "DG" lens. Had this been a Pentax camera, it wouldn't have been a problem. However, it was a major problem with my 5D. Focus was VERY sluggish, instant review wouldn't work, and I got an error code in the top LCD. I knew it wasn't either of the two bodies because my other lenses worked perfectly. Not good...

I did a little research this morning and found out that with some of these old lenses (if the lens is still being manufactured) the chip could be swapped out with an updated one, allowing the lens work as designed. So I called Sigma and asked about this lens. They told me that this was one of the models still in production and that I could send it in for a chip swap. The price: $10.00 (yes, you read that right). I figured rather than sending it back to KEH, I may as well send it to Sigma myself. I paid $240 for the lens, so what's another $10 on top of that. But here's where it gets good....

I'm in New York....Long Island to be exact. Guess where the Sigma repair center is? Yep, Long Island, New York. So I asked if they had a drop off service since I was so close (I like 20 mins away). They said sure, just get there before 5pm. So I jumped in the car this afternoon and drove to the service center to drop off the lens.....got there at 4:40pm. One of the service people came out, took a look at the lens, had me fill out some paperwork, took the lens, and said he'd be back. I thought they would give me a repair number or a receipt for the lens and I'd be out of there. Well, about 15 mins later, another guy came out with the lens in his hand. It turns out that he was the person (Tim) that I had spoken to earlier today. Anyway, he hands me the lens and says, "Try it out." I mounted the lens, turned on the camera, and BAM! The lens snapped into focus and everything worked like a charm. They fixed it while I was hanging out in the lobby. Amazing!

Granted, there's no way I'd have gotten the lens back as quickly if I dropped it in the mail. Of course it helps that I was able to drive there in person. But that was easily one of THE best CS experiences I've ever had. Thye were great from the phone call all the way through to the repair.

Some folks here have seen me rave about Sigma's 24-60m/2.8 lens and the 17-70mm before that. So I was already a big Sigma fan, but this experience just seals the deal for me. As it stands now, I own 3 Sigma lenses in the Canon mount....24-60mm/2.8 (again), 28mm/1.8, and now this 105mm/2.8 macro. I was already planning to buy the 70-200mm/2.8 HSM and to replace Canon's not-so-good 50/1.4 with Sigma's version of the same lens.

I'm giddy and just had to share my experience...

10-02-2009, 03:57 PM   #2
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I am glad things are working out so nice for you Alan. By the way, I really like the Sigma lenses I own too.
10-02-2009, 04:00 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxwell1295 Quote
Well, about 15 mins later, another guy came out with the lens in his hand. It turns out that he was the person (Tim) that I had spoken to earlier today. Anyway, he hands me the lens and says, "Try it out." I mounted the lens, turned on the camera, and BAM! The lens snapped into focus and everything worked like a charm. They fixed it while I was hanging out in the lobby. Amazing!
they sometimes have spare lenses and just exchange the label w/ serial number... but $10 service for an out of warranty (or 2nd hand) lenses is something that Pentax will never ever have.
10-02-2009, 04:35 PM   #4
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Actually, it was the same lens. I wrote down the serial number on the form I printed from their website.

10-02-2009, 08:04 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxwell1295 Quote
Actually, it was the same lens. I wrote down the serial number on the form I printed from their website.
I am not saying that it was not in your case - I am saying that they peel off the serial number from one lens and put it on another... serial numbers stays the same that way, it is not engraved.
10-02-2009, 09:18 PM   #6
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Wondering if I should send my 70-200mm to Sigma directly, or to their authorized service center in AZ.
10-02-2009, 11:10 PM   #7
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That's good to hear Max,

Now you know one reason why I own a Sigma system. I had one warranty repair issue (I had a EX lens malfunction) and Gentec, Canada's Sigma distributor had it back in my hands in 2 weeks.
Something you'll never see from Pentax Canada.

Although Sigma has suffered a reputation for bad QC in the past they've always been know for their quick repairs, and customer service.
They are working on their quality issues, and seem to be getting better at a steady pace.
10-03-2009, 02:46 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by deejjjaaaa Quote
I am not saying that it was not in your case - I am saying that they peel off the serial number from one lens and put it on another... serial numbers stays the same that way, it is not engraved.
Good point. I didn't think of that one. I guess that is a possibility. Either way, I'm happy with the speed in which they got it resolved. They didn't have to do that. I would've been just as happy getting it back a week or two later. I guess catchng them when they were trying to get out of there on a Friday afternoon worked for me.

QuoteOriginally posted by little laker Quote
That's good to hear Max,

Now you know one reason why I own a Sigma system. I had one warranty repair issue (I had a EX lens malfunction) and Gentec, Canada's Sigma distributor had it back in my hands in 2 weeks.
Something you'll never see from Pentax Canada.

Although Sigma has suffered a reputation for bad QC in the past they've always been know for their quick repairs, and customer service.
They are working on their quality issues, and seem to be getting better at a steady pace.
I heard plenty a Sigma QC stories, but I've only owned EX lenses, which I guess are their top of the line lenses. Never had a problem until now, and even this wasn't due to a faulty lens. The build quality on these lenses is excellent.

10-03-2009, 04:17 AM   #9
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I did not use Sigma service yet, but the quality of the lenses I own, is on a very high level in every single respect. (Except for the 28-5.4/24-135mm consumer zoom which I once bought as a walk-around lens for the istDS. This lens breaks down completely beyond the 6 MP sensor...)

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10-03-2009, 10:13 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by deejjjaaaa Quote
I am not saying that it was not in your case - I am saying that they peel off the serial number from one lens and put it on another... serial numbers stays the same that way, it is not engraved.
FWIW, I've had that happen to my 2nd copy of the 17-70 to get my 3rd copy which is good. Seems like an odd way to run QC because you'll never know which lens is which unless there's some sort of serial# embedded inside somewhere...
10-03-2009, 12:02 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by krypticide Quote
Wondering if I should send my 70-200mm to Sigma directly, or to their authorized service center in AZ.
I 'd vote for their service in Ronkonkoma, NY
10-03-2009, 12:12 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
FWIW, I've had that happen to my 2nd copy of the 17-70 to get my 3rd copy which is good. Seems like an odd way to run QC because you'll never know which lens is which unless there's some sort of serial# embedded inside somewhere...
same story w/ 17-70 here, did it twice.
10-03-2009, 12:18 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
Except for the 28-5.4/24-135mm consumer zoom which I once bought as a walk-around lens for the istDS. This lens breaks down completely beyond the 6 MP sensor...)
what do you expect from a film era consumer 5x zoom that costs $100 or less ? however stop it down just one stop and resize a little bit and it can be sufficiently sharp for the money - K20D exif included :

10-04-2009, 02:14 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by deejjjaaaa Quote
what do you expect from a film era consumer 5x zoom that costs $100 or less ? however stop it down just one stop and resize a little bit and it can be sufficiently sharp for the money - K20D exif included :
What I expected is exactly what I got... I knew it was a consumer zoom, though it cost a bit more than the 100 USD. Contrast is poor at any f-stop faster than f/8, but even at f/11 it is unuseable for my taste on cameras beyond 6 MP, at least for my taste. May be I got a "bad" copy, though I doubt it. It is far below the EX lenses I have in any single quality aspect. I used it as a literally walk-around lens on my istDS in the mountains, but now it sits on the shelf and gathers dust... I do not complain, I just report the fact. I had and still have other lenses I do not use which have met the same fate.

What I wanted is exactly the opposite of what you seem to guess: I wanted to emphasize the consistently high quality of my other Sigmas (the EX ones).

Ben
10-04-2009, 05:29 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxwell1295 Quote
I had an experience with Sigma that I just had to share with you guys.
Thanks for sharing that positive experience.

And good to know that this kind of spirit is still to be found in some service centres.
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