Why I Hate Kodak

I used to have a lot of loyalty to Kodak products, seeing as I spent five years working for the company. But last week, I had the latest in a long series of experiences that as a customer I will not deal with.

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The first experience was my upgrade to a P850 camera. I simply hated it. The zoom was loud, the ergonomics sucked, I kept hitting buttons I didn't mean to by holding it, and then worst of all the pictures sucked. Most of my shots along CA Route 1 were horrifically washed out. Strike one.

Next was my experience with my mom's V530. She loved it as a pocket camera, but a month or two after the warranty expired the LCD died. I called Kodak and spoke with a phone rep that I couldn't understand that lied to me. When I asked if I could send the camera in to get an estimate, she said yes and she said there would be no charge. After she gave me the address to send the camera to she forwarded me to an automated message with further instructions. Those instructions clearly stated a minimum $40 charge for any repairs or estimates. Thanks for the lie and no thanks on the repairs.

Fast forward to last week where I was contemplating buying a used LCD screen on eBay and fixing the V530 myself. Well, first I had to buy a new battery on eBay because the old battery wouldn't charge any more and I wanted to make sure it would work if I put a new LCD in it. Well, new battery and all, it still wouldn't charge. So there are obviously other issues which means no LCD repair for me. Couple that whole experience with the phone help from earlier and I've given up on the camera altogether now. Strike two.

So, I decided to try to sell the camera for parts on eBay. But I was curious if I should sell the dock too or if it would be useful with a newer Kodak camera. After all, the new pocket cameras actually do full 720p HD video, which I would love to have since Canon still thinks putting Motion JPEG AVIs on their Elph line is cool or something. According to two separate pages on Kodak.com (the dock compatibility chart and the V1253 user's guide), the V1253 should work with this Photo Frame Dock 2. However, I found several users on Amazon who clearly stated the V1253 and this dock won't work together. To get a final answer, I emailed Kodak customer support and directed them to the two pages I had found showing compatibility.

The first response said it wasn't compatible. They pointed me to two links to prove this to me. One of the links was the same f'in link I had just sent them that clearly said the camera I was asking about was "Compatible, no adapter required". WTF? So I responded and pointed this out. I also pointed out the fact that the second link from Kodak.com I had sent them had a picture of this camera in the dock! That prompted a response from them that said, "We're sorry for the confusion. Yes, as you pointed out in the chart, these two products are compatible". Thanks, that really explains your customers who are reviewing this product and claiming that in order to get the dock to work, they had to cut away part of the plastic in the dock to get things to fit. Strike three.

So Kodak, you've lost me. Crappy products and crappier service. I can live with things if they break and you'll help me fix them. But poor designs and abysmal customer service are deal breakers. I'll be over in the corner with my Canon camera re-compressing my videos to MPEG-4.

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