Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Canon "support" dies at the border

I had to replace my new Canon Digital Rebel XT -- which I thought I had fallen in love with -- because one feature failed to work: the camera has a most-welcome feature that automatically rotates photos you've taken to proper vertical orientation. The camera has a built-in sensor that detects its orientation, and it accommodates accordingly.

But with my new camera, the feature, while working fine for vertical images, also erroneously auto-rotated horizontal shots. So I went to Best Buy, where I bought it. I demonstrated to a helpful sales clerk on their floor model how it was supposed to work, and I demonstrated how my model worked. She worked with the returns department to swap out my camera. Kudos to Best Buy: the return process was pain free.

Now here's the problem: the new camera won't talk to the Canon software I already installed on my PC. Plug in the USB cable, turn on the camera, and a window pops up to select a way to view the camera's Compact Flash card. But click on any of a few software choices, and the computer says there is no data on the card -- which is not true.

At one point, having installed all the Canon software in English, I was amazed, and amused -- and frustrated -- to get a dialog box in Spanish.

So I went to the Canon site seeking advice or driver support. There I found a broken link to support for this camera.

I predict days of pain talking to tech support.

It is amazing how often a company, or a person, fails to live up to the standards one might reasonably expect.

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