How Much Does Out Of Warranty Camera Repair Cost?
I think it would be useful to share experience on how much out of warranty camera repair costs. Obviously, it will vary by manufacturer and by what is wrong. However, often there's a minimum cost / fee.
I'd appreciate you sharing any examples.
I just had an out-of-warranty experience with an Arecont Vision repair made by the factory. Problem was an odd issue with their AV20185: As part of a overall network cleanup and re-organization, we changed subnets for all cameras and updated their static addresses. A broad mix of 60+ cameras updated perfectly including three other AVs, but the NIC card of this one froze up and could not be found again using any tool or technique available. For better or worse, with AV there is no 'reset' or 'press-to-default-and-get-out-of-jail-free' button. AV Support offered their out of warranty RMA program. With this, we paid a non-refundable fee of $500 and shipped the camera back to California (to be complete, the fee ranges between $175 - $500 depending on model). Three weeks later, they returned a replacement refurb camera that included a new 1-year warranty. We're about to exercise that in order to get the camera fixed or replaced again: as you can see on the top row, none of the four imagers will respond to 'flip' command and one is giving intermittent streaking. Less expensive that a replacement camera, but still a gamble regarding repair time & quality. You can see that there is another problem on different camera, but it's not yet worth $500 or three weeks offline to the customer to fix.
Three distinct experiences come to mind:
1) Axis: An old Model 213 PTZ bit the dust, and even through it was long obsolete (the customer was willing to pay for the repair) Axis repaired at no cost. Only cost was Freight and our (integrator) time to uninstall/reinstall camera. Axis knew who the customer was, the local RSM must have waived the cost for the sake of the account.
2) Proxim: not a camera, but a wireless radio used with cameras. The model needing service had been obsoleted. The 'return material authorization' directions were unclear, multiple trips were needed to uninstall all equipment (brackets and power supplies too!), and two weeks and $300 later (bench diagnostic fee), we learned they knew what the problem was but lacked the parts to fix it. Needless to say, it was the last time we sold Proxim.
3) Pelco: 5 year old Spectra stopped working. Called tech support, they immediately overnighted a new replacement camera, no further questions. Told us to scrap the old unit.
We've never paid to have a fixed analog camera repaired but Spectra PTZ repairs averaged around $400 from the factory and around $250 from Moore's Electronics. Once we started fixing them on our own, the average cost dropped to maybe $150.
Of course, it depends on the repair. A camera module averages $250 as does the main board.
You beat me to it, although I think he sold it. There's also Page TV in Hicksville, NY and SFI Electronics in Charlotte, NC.
Just got an email from Samsung regarding a speeddome repair (zoom lens prob). they said it doesn't matter what the problem actually is, its always 199
This unit is Out-of-Warranty. The repair charge will be: $ 199.00
Note: If after receipt at the service facility the unit is found to be damaged, charges may apply. $ 199.00
Product # # Request Date Purchase Date
SCC-C6455 12/04/2013 2013-11-14
At first i suspected price collusion between IPVM and Samsung, but then quickly realized its just coincidentally the same price as a PRO membership
It appears repair costs are often at a fixed rate. Has anyone had experience with Flir repairs? Considering my first PTZ in the next year or so and out of warranty repairs is a factor in considerations.
I have searched for, and normally use cameras with long term warrantees. If a camera is not under warranty, you are better off to throw in the dumpster and replace it. I was psyched when IEQEye offered 5 year warrantees on their mx cameras, but now that we are being hit with across the board failures and problems on their cameras, the costs for the troubleshooting, removal. rma time, and customer outage is the big loss.
At one time, we were using Vivotek as a low option. Seemed like a good value at the time. Then we found that they were all failiing and have spent thousands of dollars in labor to replace these. We see these fail every month to this day, and savings we initially saw are long gone when you look at the time involved to replace them. The RMA process (2 year warranty) ended up not being worth the time if the cameras where within this window.
In 2008-10 I was on the Arecont bandwagon. All of a sudden, they were all failing. I had one project where I probably had 8 of 40 AV3105DN cameras fail within a year of install. I managed to talk to the East Coast Manager on the phone (he was at a Texas trade show). He blasted me with claims that Arecont has low % failure rate below industry norms. That was the last time I dealt with this company (sometimes I am forced to buy surround cameras per specs, which is painful). The RMA/repair program was painful and the turn around time was lengthy.
The AV20185 camera drives me crazy. Customers find out about this and think it is the holy grail of cameras. For one thing, Arecont 5 MP cameras are useless at night. The other thing with this design is that 1/4 of the pixels, when wall mounted, are of the surrounding wall and other areas of no interest (horizon). I lost one proposal because another vendor indicated that on the corner of the building, they needed a AV20365. I told them this was crazy. They went with it. Afterwards, I saw the final product. Upon searching, nighttime images were noisy and dark/useless. Mounted on the corner, you had probably over 1/3 of waisted pixels when you considered the camera facing the corner and surrounding wall. Be sure to get "sign-off" on the projects with this camera before the sun sets.
I/we use cameras with 3-5 year warrantees. We warranty all projects for the first year, and after, charge for replacement (with the warrantee this is where we make money). My advise to other integrators is to look strongly at the warranty on cameras. You can not possibly know, however, whether the camera is a solid and reliable product. Hope and pray that it does not fail until your company's agreed upon warranty is up. If you are providing a multi-year warranty (per bid spec), good luck on the product you choose.
The time involved in removing a camera, bringing it back, doing an rma, recieving it, and then reinstalling it adds up to way more dollars that just selling a new replacment camera and installing it.
Throw it out and charge for a new one. We aren't in buisness for repairs. Swap, bill, and go. Maybe then try to repair it when time isn't a factor. When repaired put it back in your inventory as B stock with a 1 year warranty to your customer just like the manufacturer is giving you and have it handy on your next service call. The customer will have one up and running right away and you are one your way. I have been swapping out big brand cameras installed years ago with lower cost alternatives and the video is actually better since technology has advanced. Oh and at 1/4 the original cost.
John, if you wish to send me an email, I will be happy to share our camera repair costs. We repair most manufacturers out of warranty. there is no minimum fee. We only charge if we can repair an item. Jonathan Pine Renova email@example.com
Renova Technology has approximately 400 different SKU's of Surveillance Cameras on our repair menu. These represent about 38 different manufacturers. When I examined our menu, I saw that the AVERAGE repair cost (across our entire menu) is $350. We do not charge bench fees. The AVERAGE replacement cost is $1,227 - hence one stands to save about $877 on each repair. However, most of our customers (5 out of 8 top of SDM) average the same repair charge ($350) but against a replacement cost of around $1,350 -- so they are saving around $1,000 per repair. This is due the fact that they use the higher end cameras in commercial environments. We only repair commercial security equipment. Here is an extract of some of the average repair prices per manufacturer. Keep in mind that the averages for each of these manufacturers spans a large range of models.
We typically get the cameras repaired in less than a week and offer a 90 day warranty. I imagine our prices are somewhat similar to our few competitors -- but with the exception of a few of the OEM's -- our repair prices are about 1/2 of what the OEM's charge. The important factor is turnaround time. Our customers complain that the OEM's can take weeks to return an out-of-warranty camera, and that frequently it is declared then non-repairable. Our repair yields are 98% on camera and DVR/NVR repair.
Beyond the fact that this is how we earn our living, I am particularly devoted to keeping electronics out of the landfill. We also repair large volumes of POS, Lottery Machines, and many other devices and I estimate that we have kept over 3 million pounds out of the landfills in the last several years. You can of course find us on the internet
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