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Couriering Expensive Items = HEADACHE!

35 Days and Counting…

With the days counting down and knowing that the Canon New Zealand “Service” Centre is currently running a “10- to 15 day” turnaround I figured it was time to finally bite the bullet and go without the EOS 40D for a couple of weeks.  So I wrapped up the 40D and my 17-55 f2.8 IS with LOADS of bubble wrap and popped into NZ Post quickly after work to send the package on its way.  “Sorry sir, the maximum value that we’re insured for is $1500.”  With the gear totalling a little over twice that for replacement value I decided not to risk it.  I offered to buy some extra insurance from them.  They don’t do that.  Off down the road to the NZ Couriers depot I go.  Same deal.  And by now it’s slipped far enough past 5pm that everyone is closed.  Ah well, couldn’t get the camera under way that day.
The next 24 hours are spent scouring websites and phoning transport and insurance companies.  No one was much help.  Even phoned Canon themselves to ask how people normally get their expensive gear to them, again, no help.  Eventually I did manage to get a quote through AON to to provide a quote.  $220 for the journey…  Yeah, I can almost fly to Auckland and deliver it myself for that price.  I’m left tossing up my options.
  1. Buy $220 insurance
  2. Wait until March 9th when a friend is heading up and can deliver for me
  3. Wait until March 9th when a friend is heading up, but pay Canon for “priority service” and extra hour of labour at $135 for an indeterminately quicker turnaround.
  4. Just risk it and send
Option 1 costs money. Option 2 cuts it a bit fine time wise – Canon say (over the phone) current turn-around is 10-15 working days. If that 15 is a genuine upper limit then fine, but it does only leave 3 days before I depart… Option 3 has no guarantee of success, and option 4 is well, just risky.
Then, in an “Oh, D’uh!” moment, it occurs to me…  Just send the lens and body separately.  The courier company max per package of $1500 will come close enough to covering it, certainly close enough with you factor in the option for $200 insurance and the current state of the lens and the probable cost of the repair to the Image Stabiliser mechanism.  Just $31 for both packages…
Off to Canon Service
Off to Canon Service - there's LOTS of bubble wrap in there...

So finally, my camera and lens are on their way to the Canon New Zealand “Service” Centre.  I’m really hoping I can take the word service out of inverted commas, but we’ll have to wait and see for that…  There’s several horror stories out there, fingers crossed they’re just isolated incidents…  I’m not looking forward to panicking in the week before I leave and having to phone Canon each day to chase the return of my gear…

Wish me luck.

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