Professional Canon shooters used to have a thing called “CPS” – Canon Professional Services.
For years, I was a member. All you had to do was to be a real photographer, have your portfolio etc OK’d and buy (And prove that you bought) lots of Canon gear, like pro lenses and bodies. In return you would get loaners and slightly faster service, and a separate lineup at the Canon service desk: consumers to the right, pros to the left.
Then in 2010 someone had a bright idea.
“Hey – these pro shooters only spend maybe $40,000 on Canon equipment. And they upgrade all the time. None of that is enough – surely we can squeeze more money out of them? They need us, so let’s make them pay for real service! Instead of us supporting them let’s have them support us! Let’s charge $100 a year in some countries (or in Canada, $250)”
I think CPS is free in some countries, and I think Canada is the most expensive country (Canon, please correct me if others have to pay even more). Also, service levels differ: in Canada they are pretty vague: Canada “Platinum” has a “Service turnaround target” (i.e no commitment) of 4 days, and a 30% discount of an unspecified service cost.
Needless to say, I did not renew. At first, before I saw the conditions, I tried – but when they “could not” (i.e. refused to) accept Amex, I gave up. Just as well.
I keep getting emails with a link to a European please renew page – but no way. If anything breaks I’ll wait, use a spare (you all have spares, right?), or use my excellent Henrys extended warranty.
So Canon makes great cameras, but if you were expecting goodwill here – no way. After paying tens of thousands of dollars over the years, being sent a bill for what should be provided in the first place is simply insufficient and disappointing.