Question about Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED-IF AF-S VR DX Nikkor Lens

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Nikkor 18-200 mm VR with loose front ring and stuck zoom barrel

After less than one year of ownership the front ring of my Nikkor 18-200 mm VR lens started to come loose. It gradually came more and more loose until it was only hanging on by one screw. The zoom barrel also started to get stuck in the 18 mm position. In order to zoom in I have to help it out of the 18 mm position by pulling the barrel slightly. Sometimes it will not focus in the 18 mm position. Sometimes it will. The repair center which Nikon Denmark uses claims that the lens has been dropped and the repair cost would amount to USD 855, almost the same as a new lens. I don't recall dropping the lens at any time. Now I am stuck useless lens and will have to pay the repair center USD 130 for the investigation and returning the lens.
Is this a common weakness of this lens or is it just bad luck? Should I be able to claim this repair under the Nikon warranty?

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Unfortunately not. If the Nikon centre think it's been dropped, then you're stuck. They may well think so due to additional wear and damage caused as the initial fault progressed; this may well resemble the damage caused when a lens is dropped. You should really have sent it for repair as soon as the fault occurred.

All you can do is to write a letter of complaint to Nikon, asking them to intervene on your behalf with their authorised repair centre. It will help if you tell them how long you've been loyal to Nikon for and what other Nikon products you own; also state that if you must buy another lens that your money will instead go to one of their competitors instead and that when you replace your camera you will think hard before purchasing from Nikon again. It also helps if you tell them that you were well aware that you would be charged for any repairs caused by misuse, such as dropping your lens, and so would not have bothered to try and claim under warranty under such circumstances as it wasn't worth the risk of having to pay a big bill just to get a broken lens returned to you. Tell them that you have not dropped the lens and so you dispute their findings, and at the very least request that the lens is returned to you without charge so that you can get the lens examined by an independent repairer.

As long as your letter is polite, factual and states your argument clearly then you maximise your chances of getting them to revise their position to give you the benefit of any doubt.

Good luck.

Posted on Mar 11, 2010

Testimonial: "Good honest reply and very constructive ideas for what to include in a "polite letter of complaint"."

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Item condition:For parts or not working

http://cgi.ebay.com/Nikon-Nikkor-18-200mm-ED-AF-S-3-5-5-6-READ-/200635517251?pt=Camera_Lenses&hash=item2eb6cf0943
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