Canon and Nikon have offered “pro” grade repair and support to photographers eligible for their professional services for quite some time now. With the rise of the GFX50S, Fuji launched their own service, Fuji Professional Services (FPS). Normally, when you have gear malfunctioning you might be expected to go through your retailer who will then send it off to the manufacturer for repair, but this service cuts out the middle man with a direct line to the manufacturer. In theory this means a faster and better service which could come in handy if your camera breaks down a couple of days before your big commercial shoot.
The benefits from FPS are:
- Super quick repair: GFX 2 days, X-Series 3 days
- Loan camera if repair takes longer
- Free annual health check for 1 camera and 1 lens
- Shipping paid by Fuji
- 15% discount on out of warranty repairs
The cost is £260 per year but at the moment it’s free if you fulfil certain criteria, like owning a GFX body and a GF lens. See here for full list of criteria.
Fortunately, there was nothing wrong with my GFX or any of my lenses but I wanted to evaluate the service while it was free to help me decide if it would be worthwhile in the future. I did have a spot on the sensor which needed cleaning, and as a sensor clean is included in the annual free health check, I made a booking online. Before doing that I called Fuji and asked how long it would take and they said seven working days. I almost immediately received a confirmation number in the email along with a link to track the progress of my repair and a form to print and include with my items before sending them to Fuji.
The day after my booking, a big box arrived containing two smaller boxes with foam padding and a plastic bag with prepaid shipping labels attached. The smaller boxes seemed well protected but I would have preferred to use the larger box everything came in for my return instead of the plastic bag. I actually managed to tear the plastic bag with the sharp corners of the smaller boxes, but some tape took care of that. I took the bag to the post office and received my receipt with a tracking number for next day delivery.
So far so good, but there were a few potholes in the road before my camera was returned to me.
The reference number given to me by Fuji to track my ‘repair’ came up empty each time
When I called up Fuji for some manual tracking their internal system showed progress was halted and they were sending me a quote. I pointed out it was free to FPS members, to which they agreed and promised to call me back
No one ever called me back
I sent the camera to Fuji on a Monday, and I received notification of the return on the Thursday and the camera itself arrived the Friday of the same week.
The sensor was clean as a whistle and no faults detected with either the camera or the lens, not that I expected them to find any problems. The memory cards I had forgotten to remove before I sent Fuji the camera were still in the camera along with a bonus battery the Fuji engineers had themselves forgotten to remove before returning my camera.