Disastrous Hasselblad Scanner Repair Experience
I'm very pissed off right now. Six weeks ago I sent my 848 away to New Jersey for service and repair. It had been working just fine until one day I put in a negative holder and it came back out canted to one side. As it came back out the metal clip that the negative holder slides into was out of place and it caught on the metal tongue at the back of the light table. It started making clicking noises as it got stuck and I switched it off straight away. Then I switched it on again and used Flexcolor to lock the mechanism for transport. I have the original box and packing materials, so I bundled it up and sent it back to NJ after a few e-mails. I'm in Canada, and the customs at the border held it up a long time as they were certain it was some kind of medical device ("scanner" and the sender is an MD) emitting noxious radiation. Eventually it got to NJ and after a two week wait in the queue I got an estimate of about $600 to fix it. Yes, said I, in my innocence. I enquired after it two days ago and was told it had shipped last week. It arrived back today, and on putting in a negative holder to see if all is well guess what happened? Just the same. This time the mechanism tried to moved the negative holder back and forth as it does for a preview and it caught again on the metal tongue at the back of the light table. Clicking noises and before I could hit the power switch the transport broke and moved so that it snapped the light tube. Just for fun, a black plastic part rolled out of the scanner down the light table. On e-mailing NJ, I was asked about damage to the box etc. Flexcolor's maintenance menu shows that the scanner's last service was on 4th August and that it has had 36 scans without a feeder and zero with one. I thought this meant it hadn't been tried with a negative holder, but I am told by the very polite Maryann Murphy that this refers to something other than a holder, perhaps the multiple-holder mechanism that the 848 and X5 support. She has agreed it must go back to them but has been coy about answering my questions about shipping arrangements. Having spent $600 on the last repair and around $300 shipping it there by Purolator and $200 by UPS getting it back, I'm $1100 down and no better off. I don't think I should have to pay anything more for Hasselblad to make right what they missed.
I may be an amateur, but I still have things to do. I have been asked to photograph the annual staff party at a local business ('as long as you use film'!) in ten days time. I have a Nikon 9000 and a Konica Minolta 5400 as backup, but I've been spoiled by the Flextight, and I now find that six weeks of using the Nikon have been wretched, especially as I have to use Vuescan instead of NikonScan given Apple's relentless march of progress. To add to it all, I was diagnosed with leukemia two weeks ago, and while it might seem silly and a good example of denial in action, I had been rather counting on getting my scanner back and enjoying a few films before the chemo starts. Since Hasselblad are the only game in town that are going to be better than the Nikon 9000 and the Plusteks, I have ordered an X1 this evening from B&H. I can't take the cash with me and my widow can sell it when I'm done with it. But I am so angry that Hasselblad have the nerve to charge so much and do such a rotten job. I hope you all have better experiences with your scanners - they are the best but Hasselblad isn't doing its part as far as I'm concerned. Should they manage to repair the 848 I will sell it, but you can be sure I will test it out first!