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The Only, Lonely Protester at CES (Video) 259

Posted by Roblimo
from the the-parts-added-together-are-greater-than-the-whole dept.
CES is not a political show, so it only drew one visible protester: Kelly Chong, who is mad at camera manufacturers for (he says) destroying his camera repair business. He managed to get mentioned in Forbes, in an article headlined CES: One Man's Protest Against The World's Camera Makers. And now he's getting three minutes and five seconds of fame on Slashdot. Is his protest justified? According to a 2012 article headlined How Nikon Is Killing Camera Repair, at least one major camera manufacturer now refuses to sell parts to independent repair shops. So Kelly Chong seems to have a legitimate beef. Will anyone listen to him? Will major, multinational camera manufacturers start selling parts to independent repair people again? And what about those of us who do (at least some of) our own repairs? Labor charges aside, it's often lots faster and easier to do a simple repair yourself than to box your camera up and send it somewhere, not to mention the waiting time for it to get back to you.

Tim: CES for the most part is a very apolitical show. People aren’t outside protesting the show’s giant carbon footprint or the e-waste that all these gadgets generate. But outside there is a guy who has got a very specific beef with some of the manufacturers here, specifically Japanese camera manufacturers, who he says cost him his business. Meet camera repairman and former CES exhibitor, Kelly Chong.

Kelly: My name is Kelly Chong. I am from San Diego, California.

Tim: What are you doing here at CES?

Kelly: I am trying to help US consumers by demonstration.

Tim: Now, you are holding a sign that says NIKON CAMERA; you are calling them ECONOMIC TERRORISTS. What do you mean by that?

Kelly: They are not supplying local repair shops service repair parts and service literature. For example, you have a Canon video camera, if your camera has a problem, there is nowhere to go fixing your camera, they are going to affect US consumer and economy. That is why we call them economic terrorists. We have to protect US consumer.

Tim: Now what do you think should be done?

Kelly: We have to protect our country. I am a US citizen.

Tim: What do you think should be done?

Kelly: We don’t have much money to hire an attorney. That is why I come in here. I am a US citizen. I am trying to protect US customer. I am proud of America. We have to protect our country. They have to supply parts, all the local repair shops, that is all.

Tim: Now this isn’t your first time in CES, is it?

Kelly: Yes, yesterday I tried to get inside, they kicked me out. They already violated my constitutional right.

Tim: Now you were here before as an exhibitor?

Kelly: Yeah, I am an exhibitor. I have been visiting since 1985, Kelly Camera, now we are in San Diego, now Pro Camera Repair Inc. We complain to fifth estate, Congress and Senators, and President Obama. We are awaiting final result from court. The case about five to six years. We don’t have much money to hire an attorney but we did.

Tim: You would like to see these companies being required to supply parts?

Kelly: Yes, they should supply the parts; that is all.

Tim: Okay. And how have you personally benefited by this?

Kelly: Because we sent a letter, so many complaints, they just ignored it. We are a small local company. So I would like they to bring final result. I just am pissed off. That is all.

Tim: Okay. Anything else you would like to add?

Kelly: I would like to protect US consumer because I am US citizen. That is all.

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The Only, Lonely Protester at CES (Video)

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  • by schneidafunk (795759) on Monday February 04, 2013 @03:28PM (#42788003)
    Here is the link [change.org] for the petition, if anyone feels inclined in wasting some time.
  • by Master Moose (1243274) on Monday February 04, 2013 @03:36PM (#42788115) Homepage

    I have a large rear projection Panasonic T.V. A model circa 10 years old - No longer sold, and not worth repairing. It did however require some alignment beyond standard convergence, so I contacted Panasonic to ask how to enter maintenance mode - Their reply: Such information is o propriety only being provided to authorised dealers/service people.

    Frustrated, 5 minutes on Google gave me everything I needed to know which I then emailed to Panasonic, letting them know that I had the information anyway and that their assistance to one of their customers was beyond appalling. reply: none

  • Re:Sucks, I guess, (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 04, 2013 @03:41PM (#42788171)

    Which in fact they are trying to do: http://www.righttorepair.org/main/default.aspx

  • Re:Sucks, I guess, (Score:5, Informative)

    by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Monday February 04, 2013 @04:39PM (#42788829) Homepage Journal

    And what if car companies also took up the same idea. No independent repair shops, and higher prices for all repairs.

    Actually, with cars the manufacturers do engage in this sort of kill-off-competing-repair-shops behavior, but not by limiting availability of parts; instead, they make the highly-specialized tools necessary to install the parts available only through the dealerships, who refuse to sell the tools to anyone.

    Source: I am, among other things, an auto mechanic.

  • by IWantMoreSpamPlease (571972) on Monday February 04, 2013 @04:55PM (#42789065) Homepage Journal

    on a Nikon d200. For starters, he did top notch service and was in constant contact with me the entire time. He apologized for the delay as he had to source parts from Canada.

    Camera works great now (bad CF slot) and I can't tell it was ever taken apart.
    I understand his POV, and shame on Nikon for making him protest.

  • by dgatwood (11270) on Monday February 04, 2013 @05:08PM (#42789199) Journal

    Sounds like Nikon is in violation of the law, at least if they are selling products in California.

    California Civil Code, Section 1793.03.

    (a) Every manufacturer making an express warranty with respect to an electronic or appliance product described in subdivision (h), (i), (j), or (k) of Section 9801 of the Business and Professions Code, with a wholesale price to the retailer of not less than fifty dollars ($50) and not more than ninety-nine dollars and ninety-nine cents ($99.99), shall make available to service and repair facilities sufficient service literature and functional parts to effect the repair of a product for at least three years after the date a product model or type was manufactured, regardless of whether the three-year period exceeds the warranty period for the product.

    (b) Every manufacturer making an express warranty with respect to an electronic or appliance product described in subdivision (h), (i), (j), or (k) of Section 9801 of the Business and Professions Code, with a wholesale price to the retailer of one hundred dollars ($100) or more, shall make available to service and repair facilities sufficient service literature and functional parts to effect the repair of a product for at least seven years after the date a product model or type was manufactured, regardless of whether the seven-year period exceeds the warranty period for the product.

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