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Photographer
Moon Pix Photography
Posts: 3,892
Syracuse, New York, US


Just got this email.. Not happy .. particularly with that in Bold.  I don't think it is a deal breaker, but it certainly sucks.

Thank you for your continued Canon Professional Services membership, Canon loyalty and for trusting Canon products for use in your business.

The staff of CPS strives to provide imaging professionals like you with comprehensive service and support benefits. And we are always looking for opportunities to make the CPS program even better. After careful study and consideration, and with your valuable feedback, we are planning to roll out a number of enhancements and updates to the CPS program. The purpose of this email is to give you a summary of these enhancements and updates, which we anticipate will be effective for all members in two phases: the 4th quarter of 2013 and early 2014 with the introduction of a new CPS Cinema level. Details will be available on the CPS website as these enhancements and updates become available.

The program updates and enhancements are as follows:

We are renaming the Clean & Check process to Canon Maintenance Service (CMS) and eliminating the paper voucher. The number of items that may be sent in for CMS is being increased for eligible CPS members. Platinum members will be able to send 10 eligible items, and Gold members will be able to send 5 eligible items, during each membership year. The number of items sent in for CMS will be tracked by Canon internally.

Based on your feedback, we are shortening the period for each evaluation loan from two weeks to one week. This will also have the effect of increasing the total amount of equipment available for evaluation loans to eligible members.

In an effort to concentrate our efforts on our core professional members, we will no longer include the EOS 60D camera, and future successor model cameras, as qualifying equipment for any level. However, owners of such equipment will still be eligible to receive repair benefits covered by the program.

In early 2014, the Cinema EOS C100 camera and all Cinema Prime Lenses will be added as qualifying equipment to the CPS Gold and Platinum membership levels. And we are planning to launch a new CPS Cinema level tailored to owners of other Cinema EOS cameras and lenses.

In an effort to balance program benefits, we are adjusting the repair discounts from their current levels. Therefore, repair discounts are being changed to 30% for Platinum level members and 20% for Gold level members. Also, there will be a cap on the number of annual repairs to which the discount can be applied, Gold level members can receive the repair discount on a maximum of 10 eligible items and Platinum level members can receive the repair discount on a maximum of 15 eligible items.

The annual fee for Platinum membership will be reduced from $500 to $300. The annual fee for the Gold membership level will remain at $100, and the Silver membership level will remain free to qualified professionals.

For organizations with large amounts of eligible Canon equipment and/or large photography staff, we are launching Enterprise CPS, which is designed to suit the needs of medium to large size organizations like newspapers, photo studios, rental houses, etc. In addition to some of the traditional CPS benefits, Enterprise CPS clients can receive benefits like on-site equipment maintenance, higher repair caps and streamlined billing. The details of this new program will be provided at a later date.

We have also increased our support of the professional imaging market in less direct, but significant, ways. For example, you may have noticed that, during 2013, CPS increased the number of major sporting events, training workshops, and trade shows where on-site support is provided to eligible CPS members. These events are an important way for us to support and communicate with our members.

We recently opened two new service facilities, one in Hollywood, CA and another in Ridgefield Park, NJ just outside of New York City. These two new facilities are available to CPS Gold and Platinum level members (as well as our broadcast/cinema professionals). An advance reservation is required for all service and support requests handled by the Hollywood and Ridgefield Park facilities. CPS Gold and Platinum members requesting support should call the CPS hotline at 1 (888) CPS-4540 to make a reservation. And we are currently planning to open a third service facility that will support the Chicago market later this year. All with the goal of bringing Canon's award-winning repair and maintenance services closer to our CPS members.

Although the CPS program is changing in some significant ways, some aspects of CPS member support are not going to change: our unwavering commitment to speed and quality, as well as acting on your repair and maintenance requests with repair turnaround times of two business days for Platinum members and three business days for Gold members, as more fully described in the program terms and conditions. Temporary loaners while products are in for repair will continue to be available per the terms and conditions of the various membership levels. And dedicated, priority support will still be available for CPS members via phone or email, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Sep 10 13 08:46 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Paul Morgan Photography
Posts: 539
Medical Lake, Washington, US


So does that mean they are going to start shipping all the eval items overnight?   Otherwise, with shipping time, eval times will be down to about two days; three at best...

Which sucks, since that is one of the main reasons I signed up...

Paul
Sep 10 13 08:51 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
John Fisher
Posts: 1,855
Miami Beach, Florida, US


Interesting. I haven't gotten the email yet, but some of it is understandable. I do follow the argument that one week evaluations are reasonable, particularly since this will increase the available equipment that can be sent out. It's an evaluation, not a true loaner program, and I suspect there was some abuse of the system. If you do have a high profile job and need a loaner, I'm sure CPS will accommodate you.

The reduction in the repair discount is a bit of a downer. As a Gold member I did use it once on a repair for my 580EX II speedlite and it was nice to get 30% off the repair. However, the real benefit of the service is that it is done quickly. As a CPS member, the longest I have ever had to wait on a repair is three days, and that is important to me. I noted that the cost of being a Platinum member dropped from $500 to $300 (and the repair discount dropped from 50% to 30%), this was probably in response to the fact that fewer eligible members opted for the Platinum membership than Canon expected. I don't care, I'm eligible, but the Gold membership makes more sense to me.

I do wish CPS would do something in the Miami area as I would like to take my cameras in for a cleaning. They work fine, so I'm not spending money to send them off (even if the cleaning is free, you have to pay for shipping to Canon!).

John
--
John Fisher
900 West Avenue, Suite 633
Miami Beach, Florida 330139
(305) 534-9322
http://www.johnfisher.com
Sep 10 13 09:11 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
John Fisher
Posts: 1,855
Miami Beach, Florida, US


Paul Morgan Photography wrote:
So does that mean they are going to start shipping all the eval items overnight?   Otherwise, with shipping time, eval times will be down to about two days; three at best...

Which sucks, since that is one of the main reasons I signed up...

Paul

Hi Paul, interesting question about the evaluation program and I had some other concerns/questions which I discussed with CPS on the phone. Thanks to you (and others I would assume), they are looking at when the starting date and ending date would be on the evaluation program. It may be that they start the one week evaluation from the date you receive the loaner, and end when you mail it back. They have begun looking at this precisely because of your concerns.

My question was it didn't seem fair to enroll a member (with the commiserate costs) and then change the benefits in mid stream. Since when my last membership renewal began, the repair discount of 30% (I'm a Gold member) was part of the package. CPS was going to start the new program (with the 20% discount for Gold members) on September 30th, which means that I had less benefits than I had when I enrolled. I ask them if it didn't seem more reasonable to effect the change in discounts when my membership renewed in February. They are looking into this (and the same should be true for any Platinum member who are looking at an even more significant reduction in benefits and who have already paid $500!)

Canon is a big company, sometimes these programs get adjusted before someone thinks through all the ramifications, but I guarantee they are looking at them now! (Although I can't guarantee they will do the right thing!)

John
--
John Fisher
900 West Avenue, Suite 633
Miami Beach, Florida 330139
(305) 534-9322
http://www.johnfisher.com

Sep 10 13 12:22 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Moon Pix Photography
Posts: 3,892
Syracuse, New York, US


John Fisher wrote:

....

My question was it didn't seem fair to enroll a member (with the commiserate costs) and then change the benefits in mid stream. Since when my last membership renewal began, the repair discount of 30% (I'm a Gold member) was part of the package. CPS was going to start the new program (with the 20% discount for Gold members) on September 30th, which means that I had less benefits than I had when I enrolled. I ask them if it didn't seem more reasonable to effect the change in discounts when my membership renewed in February. They are looking into this (and the same should be true for any Platinum member who are looking at an even more significant reduction in benefits and who have already paid $500!)
.....

GOOD POINT!! WILL BE CALLING TOMORROW!!

Sep 10 13 06:08 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
John Fisher
Posts: 1,855
Miami Beach, Florida, US


Sad news on the CPS program. I sent this email to Canon Professional Services:

Re: The new Canon CPS membership accounts beginning September 30th, 2013

I have called about this before and hopefully this is already being addressed up the line. But just so it is written down, here are my concerns. This new program outlined in an email sent to CPS members does not appear to be well thought out. Apparently CPS intends to change discounts and other benefits on September 30th without regard to the current status of CPS members. This is not a good idea, and it may be illegal.

When I recently renewed my CPS Gold membership in February I was given a number of benefits for that membership (and I paid $100 for that membership). While I have been a member of CPS in the past, and will continue to be a member of CPS in the future (I hope), this new program looks like bait and switch (offer a benefit for a price, then after you have the money, reduce the promised benefits). Now, I'm six months into my most recent membership, imagine how this looks to someone who signed up (and paid) two months ago? And how about the Platinum members? They are your most involved members (I assume), they paid $500 and their benefits are being pulled out from them at a faster rate than mine!

Here is the solution, just announce that the new membership benefit plan will go into effect immediately for new members (who haven't signed up and paid), and will go into effect for existing members as their memberships go through a renewal (the memberships are for one year, so that means on the average you will wind up extending existing benefits for six months).

Do any thing else and you risk losing everyone. Who would sign up for, and pay for, something that could be arbitrarily pulled away at the complete discretion of CPS? I'm sure the Platinum members are furious. As I mentioned in the first paragraph, I'm not even sure this is legal.

Please reply at your earliest convenience.

John Fisher

--

This morning I received this response from CPS:

.... I can certainly understand your comments and appreciate your feedback.  Please note that Canon may change or otherwise modify the Program at any time by posting updated Terms and Conditions on the CPS website or otherwise by notice to our members.

However, please know that we value your feedback and review it for our future considerations.  In the meantime know that changes are still underway and you can visit the CPS website at www.cps.canon.com to see the final details on September 30th.

Canon Professional Services

--

Soooo....... it appears Canon is going forward with the changes regardless of how bone headed this is. I have to imagine the Platinum members of CPS are livid, as would be anyone who signed up in the last few months. As I mentioned in the original email to Canon, all they have to do is implement the changes upon membership renewal (CPS memberships are renewed on an annual basis). It might cause some extra paperwork (hard to imagine in this day of computer sophistication), but avoiding the inappropriate appearance of "bait and switch" should be of paramount importance to the company.

I'm thinking, what if I bought an EOS 5D III from Best Buy (just to name someone) and three months later an agent from the company showed up at my door and demanded I return the Camera? The agent then hands me an EOS 40D and says, "thanks for your business!" The exaggeration is for effect, but you get the point.

I'm a long time member of CPS, I will remain a member of CPS, but this is just plain stupid.
Sep 12 13 07:12 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Michael Fryd
Posts: 3,653
Miami Beach, Florida, US


You may want to save some of the pages from the CPS web site.  I took a quick look and didn't find where it says they are allowed to make arbitrary pages to the CPS program.  You might want to ask them where it says this.  If this is on a page that you can't see until you pay, then it might not be binding.  It's not clear that Canon can impose additional terms on the relationship after they have accepted your money.

If Canon made certain representations in an effort to get you to buy a CPS membership, they may very well have a legal obligation to fulfill those promises.

On the other hand, their remedy may be simply to refund your $100 and terminate your membership.   You might then have the option of renewing your membership under the new terms.

I don't know how big the CPS program is.  If it's run by a small staff, then you run the risk of pissing them off, and that might make it difficult for you to get good service in the future.   If they have a large staff, or use a lot of automation, they might not have any way of tracking you as a troublemaker.

This really is a legal question.  Even if Canon was in the wrong, I suspect they have  a large enough legal team, that you wouldn't be able to afford to fight them in court.  If they don't give you your $100 back, you might think about small claims court.


I suspect the most effective way of dealing with this is a social media campaign that makes Canon look bad.  To me it looks like the program is being re-targeted at advanced amateurs, and not professional photographers.  If the world starts to think Canon is abandoning their professional customers, then Canon may reconsider their changes to the program.


Of course, I am not an attorney, and you should not rely on anything I say.
Sep 12 13 09:58 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Steve Alkok
Posts: 399
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada


The CPS program in Canada is even worse and was a deciding factor in my move to Nikon. They really don't seem to care about pro shooters any more
Sep 12 13 02:08 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
John Fisher
Posts: 1,855
Miami Beach, Florida, US


Steve Alkok wrote:
The CPS program in Canada is even worse and was a deciding factor in my move to Nikon. They really don't seem to care about pro shooters any more

It is my understanding that the Nikon guys have been bitching about NPS for a number of years here in the States. The bean counters have gotten their paws on both CPS and NPS and I'm afraid this isn't going to end gracefully.

It is a shame, NPS was the gold standard for Professional support, and legendary for the way they helped Nikon photographers in the field. Canon had a big hill to climb with CPS as they became the brand of choice for many professionals (after the introduction of the EOS system). And now here we are with Canon dumping on their lead professionals (arbitrarily cutting benefits over 40% for current Platinum members) with what only can be called (and generously at that) "Bait and Switch".

Hopefully someone upstairs at Canon USA will hear about this, slap his forehead and say: "WTF?" And step in and correct the program so it doesn't go into affect for existing members until after the memberships renew.

The key to these programs (both NPS and CPS) was fast repairs, and fast delivery of repaired equipment. Also, loaning equipment in the field to photographers if there was an unexpected delay in repairs (NPS was famous for this). Yes, if you had a high profile assignment, you could borrow some gear for a few days (or weeks), but it wasn't for "evaluation" purposes, it was because you wanted it and people were going to see you using it. I did buy a lot of EOS gear after my trip to Australia in 2000 because CPS had sent me some stuff for the trip, so it did work.

But setting it up as an "evaluation" program with no qualifiers for need and use opened the program up to abuse and I'm sure that's one of the issues (for CPS). Lowering the discount on repairs from 30% to 20% for Gold members? Really not a big deal to me, I average one repair every three or four years. But fast turnaround on repairs? That is important and the number one reason I'm a member of CPS.

Still, changing (reducing) benefits for current Gold and Platinum CPS members after they have paid and while they are still in their current membership year is very troubling. It says something about the company (Canon) going forward that none of us want to think about.

John
--
John Fisher
900 West Avenue, Suite 633
Miami Beach, Florida 330139
(305) 534-9322
http://www.johnfisher.com

Sep 13 13 07:47 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Moon Pix Photography
Posts: 3,892
Syracuse, New York, US


John Fisher wrote:
It is my understanding that the Nikon guys have been bitching about NPS for a number of years here in the States. The bean counters have gotten their paws on both CPS and NPS and I'm afraid this isn't going to end gracefully.

It is a shame, NPS was the gold standard for Professional support, and legendary for the way they helped Nikon photographers in the field. Canon had a big hill to climb with CPS as they became the brand of choice for many professionals (after the introduction of the EOS system). And now here we are with Canon dumping on their lead professionals (arbitrarily cutting benefits over 40% for current Platinum members) with what only can be called (and generously at that) "Bait and Switch".

Hopefully someone upstairs at Canon USA will hear about this, slap his forehead and say: "WTF?" And step in and correct the program so it doesn't go into affect for existing members until after the memberships renew.

The key to these programs (both NPS and CPS) was fast repairs, and fast delivery of repaired equipment. Also, loaning equipment in the field to photographers if there was an unexpected delay in repairs (NPS was famous for this). Yes, if you had a high profile assignment, you could borrow some gear for a few days (or weeks), but it wasn't for "evaluation" purposes, it was because you wanted it and people were going to see you using it. I did buy a lot of EOS gear after my trip to Australia in 2000 because CPS had sent me some stuff for the trip, so it did work.

But setting it up as an "evaluation" program with no qualifiers for need and use opened the program up to abuse and I'm sure that's one of the issues (for CPS). Lowering the discount on repairs from 30% to 20% for Gold members? Really not a big deal to me, I average one repair every three or four years. But fast turnaround on repairs? That is important and the number one reason I'm a member of CPS.

Still, changing (reducing) benefits for current Gold and Platinum CPS members after they have paid and while they are still in their current membership year is very troubling. It says something about the company (Canon) going forward that none of us want to think about.

John
--
John Fisher
900 West Avenue, Suite 633
Miami Beach, Florida 330139
(305) 534-9322
http://www.johnfisher.com

I have to agree with you.. This doesn't bode well for Canon and their reputation for customer service.

I just got this email:



Since announcing the changes to the CPS program a few days ago, we have been monitoring feedback from our membership base. Please see below for additional information regarding the upcoming changes to the CPS program.

Effective Date for the New CPS Benefits Structure
The new CPS member benefit structure will become effective for all members on October 1, 2013.

Equipment Evaluation Loan Period
To allow for transit times, the period for equipment evaluation loans will be ten days, starting when the loaned product is shipped to you and ending when we receive the loaned product back.

Handling of Clean and Check Coupons that Have Not Yet Been Used
From October 1, 2013 until the end of your current membership term, the entire annual Canon Maintenance Service (CMS) benefit will be available for you to use (10 pieces of cameras or lenses for Platinum members and 5 pieces for Gold members). Since the number of CMS transactions allowed under the new benefits structure is greater than the previous number of Clean and Check coupons, the coupons will no longer be needed.

Shipping Charges for Canon Maintenance Service (CMS)
Shipping charges for eligible CMS requests will be handled in the same manner as eligible product repair requests. Platinum level members will receive free shipping for both inbound and return. Gold level members will receive free return shipping service.

Annual Repair Limits
From October 1, 2013 until the end of your current membership term, the entire annual repair limit benefit will be available for you to use (15 pieces for Platinum members and 10 pieces for Gold members).

We appreciate your feedback and understanding while we transition to the new program benefits.

Thank you again for trusting Canon with supporting your business.

Kind Regards,

The Canon Professional Services Team, Canon U.S.A., Inc.
cps.usa.canon.com
cpsmember@cits.canon.com

Sep 13 13 09:08 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Michael Fryd
Posts: 3,653
Miami Beach, Florida, US


It appears to me that Canon cannot be trusted to stand by their promises and obligations.

I checked with CPS and they confirmed that Canon is changing the CPS rules for existing members.

When Canon USA converted the CPS program to paid membership, they made certain promises and representations in order to get professional photographers to pay for their membership.

Canon USA has now decided that they are not obligated by those promises or representations, and are unilaterally substituting a new set. I do not have a choice in this matter. After all, they already have my money, what option do I have?

I am not an attorney, but this sounds to me like they are breaking a contract.  To me this does not sound legal nor moral. From a real world perspective, Canon has many more lawyers than I can afford. I suspect they will get away with this without being challenged in court.

My takeaway from this is that I no longer trust Canon. If I buy a camera or lens with a one year warranty, I worry that 6 months from now Canon may decide to change that to 90 days. I don't think such a change would be legal, but then I don't see how they are legally able to change the terms of existing paid CPS memberships.

More importantly, this suggests to me that Canon no longer cares about the professional market. I can understand that. Professional photographers are a dying breed.

If the Pro market isn't important, then I should not expect cameras/lens with features tuned for the pro market. I suspect Canon makes far more money selling Rebels then the 1Dx. Furthermore, I suspect many of the 1Dx purchasers are hobbyists who don't really need or understand the pro features. I suspect Canon will continue to label their high end products as "pro", I am worried that new products won't really be "pro" level gear.

Unfortunately, I actually am a pro photographer, and I've just lost faith in a company that I relied upon.


I encourage others to let Canon know your opinions on these matters.  Without good feedback, Canon cannot make an informed decision.

I think it is also important to make sure Canon's behavior is widely publicized.  When I buy my next camera, Canon's trustworthiness is going to be a major factor in that decision.  I think it's important that the general public understand Canon's level of trustworthiness, so they can make informed decisions. 

The bottom line is that all companies really care about are profits.  If bad decisions hurt sales, then perhaps companies will make better decisions.


Of course, this is all just my opinion.
Sep 13 13 10:42 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
John Fisher
Posts: 1,855
Miami Beach, Florida, US


Michael Fryd's remarks get to the heart of the matter.

John
Member Canon Professional Services
--
John Fisher
900 West Avenue, Suite 633
Miami Beach, Florida 330139
(305) 534-9322
http://www.johnfisher.com
Sep 13 13 11:20 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Snyder Studios
Posts: 179
Los Angeles, California, US


FYI - CPS just sent out another e-mail amending their first announcement.... extended evaluation loan periods, etc..
Sep 13 13 02:42 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Tejas Photography
Posts: 436
Houston, Texas, US


I have missed something?  I never got an e-mail either.  I was just on CPS site and the Platinum was listed at $300 now.  I need to read all of this
Sep 13 13 03:00 pm  Link  Quote 
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