Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Leica USA Service on my M9 - How Did It Go? Details, Dates, Prices

Image Source:

After using my Leica M9 reasonably heavily last year, most significantly for my Whole Lotta Leica series, I decided it was time to send it off for a nice cleaning and checkout at Leica Service USA. I don't believe in cleaning my own sensors, though I know many people do it with no problem.

(Click Here) to see all of my Whole Lotta Leica posts from last year.

(Click Here) to get to Leica's service page.

I know that I was curious before shipping my beloved camera off. How long will it be gone? How much will the service cost? What else should I expect? So, in an effort to help anyone else with these questions, I'll describe my experience in some detail.

First, am I satisfied with my experience? In brief, yes. I got everything I expected, basically in the manner that I expected. I now feel that my M9 is as good as new, in fact certified so.

Here's a brief timeline of what transpired:

December 26, 2013 - I packed the M9 up in its original packaging, and shipped it off to Allendale, New Jersey, via Fedex Ground (I live in Virginia, so it's a relatively short distance).

December 30, 2013 - delivery exception. I didn't anticipate it, but Leica Service was closed the entire week between Christmas and New Years.

January 2, 2014 - the M9 is delivered to Leica Service USA.

January 13, 2014 - having not heard anything, I send an email query to get the status of my estimate.

January 14, 2014 - I receive a prompt, very polite response and estimate ($475). This is probably a minimum, as my camera was working just fine and only needs routine service and cleaning.

January 15, 2014 - I call Leica Service USA to give them my credit card number and authorize service. I am informed that service would take 3-4 weeks from this point.

February 7, 2014 - Leica ships the M9 back to me via UPS.

February 11, 2014 - I receive the camera back, in great condition.

A few questions I had during the process:
  1. If I hadn't inquired on January 13, how long would it have been before I received an estimate? No way to tell.
  2. Would they automatically process my 15% service discount for being a member of LHSA (International Leica Society)? Answer: Since this is a relatively new program, they didn't seem to know right away what I was talking about. However, the discount was applied correctly. Note that this is a major benefit of being an LHSA member, and even with a minimal service order price, the discount compensated for my LHSA membership for a full year.
(Click Here) to explore and join LHSA.

Other things to note?

I was informed that the covering on my M9 would be replaced with a different material, as the original is no longer available. I was a little concerned about this, especially since I use the accessory M9 grip, whose covering matched the original camera covering. Not to worry, the new covering is better in my opinion, and looks just fine with the original grip covering.

I feel quite comfortable with the experience overall, and will not hesitate to use Leica Service USA in the future. My camera is clean, certified in 100% good operating order, and ready to go!

Thanks, Leica Service USA!