I would like to know why we are not able to directly communicate with the Canon Repair centers,
either in NJ or CA, to check status of repairs and why we must pay up front.
I know of no other product that has that requirement.
I had to pay up fron to get my Sigma lens repaired.
I run a small business, and often hear from a person on Sunday asking why they had not received a product they paid for Friday afternoon! It costs money to look up and answer questions like this. Of course, they remember having paid several days ago.
They should, however, at the very minimum, have a online status. They should be barcoding a received item, entering it into their system, and posting at least a general status(received, in work, completed, etc). However, I do not think we could expect to stop a technician who is likely repairing a lens and at a critical step and ask about what he found wrong with a product.
I do agree that it might actually be a good thing to be able to do this, but Canon does not to seem to be very progressive that way, and from what I have heard, neither are the others.
My son's xbox needed repair, and I received prompt e-mails every step of the way, it was a suprisingly good experience, so at least on a high level, it can be done.
We still do have a few local camera repair shops where you can ask the guy who does the repairs just what was wrong, but if its very involved, he ships it to Canon and its in a black hole.