Essex Camera Services: Out of Business?

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Ian C, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. Ian C

    Ian C Member

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    On Wednesday, February 13, 2013 I sent my Koni-Omega 58/5.6 Wide Omegon lens for shutter service via United States Postal Service Priority Mail to

    Essex Camera Services, Inc.
    100 Amor Avenue Carlstadt, New Jersey 07072
    Phone: (201)-933-7272 Fax: (201)-933-7647
    info@essexcamera.com


    The box arrived back at my home on Tuesday, February 19 with a “Return To Sender” sticker over the New Jersey address. In a blank space on the RTS sticker, the US Postal Service carrier in New Jersey had handwritten in ballpoint pen, “Company out of Business.”


    The Essex Camera Services website is operating like always with no mention of problems. A further Internet search returned the following links indicating that ECS was a victim of the late October 2012 Hurricane Sandy that caused massive damage to the New Jersey-New York City area.


    http://photo.net/leica-rangefinders-forum/00bEI8


    http://photo.net/classic-cameras-forum/00bBYc?start=0 (in particular see page 2)


    I sent an email message to info@essexcamera.com asking whether ECS intended to reenter business, possibly at a new location. Yahoo mail returned the following message:


    “mailbox is full: retry timeout exceeded”



    There was talk in some of the posts suggesting that the owner might restart the business, but currently it seems that Essex Camera Services is extinct.
     
  2. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    ... at least you got it back!
     
  3. Ian C

    Ian C Member

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    Yes, I'm fortunate to have gotten it back. Perhaps it's time to start learning about the workings of the Koni-Omega shutter so that I can give it the CLA it needs.
     
  4. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    My commiserations. It truly beggars belief if a company either out of business or still affected by the Hurrican Sandy to the extent that it cannot conduct its business cannot be bothered to place an announcement on its website. Anyway if it's not out of business it should be with this kind of customer care.

    pentaxuser
     
  5. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I've heard the hurricane has hindered it's operations. I've sent them work before and they do a decent job.
     
  6. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Why don't you send it to someone still in business? There are many others who are still in business.
     
  7. c.d.ewen

    c.d.ewen Subscriber

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    Google-Earthing "100 Amor Avenue Carlstadt, New Jersey 07072", I see it's in an industrial building, not terribly near water, so flood damage to the shop might not be the problem.

    Given that many, if not most camera repair shops I know of are one-older-person-with-a-helper type of operations, it's not implausible that the owner had a health problem. What's also possible is that the owner's home was destroyed during the hurricane, and that they're still living in a trailer or in a relative's living room. Other parts of the country may not know that rebuilding has been quite slow. The local media reported recently that only about a third of flood insurance claims have been paid, despite the passage of 3-4 months since the storm.

    I'd cut the shop some slack, until an explanation materializes. Glad the OP got the package back. Send it to Flutot.

    Charley
     
  8. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    It is my understanding that the water also flew down from the sky and affected some non-coastal areas.
     
  9. c.d.ewen

    c.d.ewen Subscriber

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    True, although stormsurge was responsible for most flooding. Industrial areas like that are often in low-lying areas. I had prepared for flooding, e.g., sandbagging. We got wind, but very little rain. Lost a 100-yr-old apple tree and had the top 30 ft of a neighbor's 60 ft maple fly over my driveway. I'm to the north of NYC, though; NJ, to the south, got considerably more rain.

    Charley
     
  10. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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  11. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    ... but the phone number is "not currently accepting calls".
     
  12. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    A good sign. At least it's not "This number is disconnected and no longer in service".

    Try this email address.

    Shi Kim <info@essexcamera.com>
     
  13. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Member

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    Take it a little easy... it's not easy to run a business AND maintain a web page...
    I am a bit of a tech savy photog.. but web page issues are at the bottom of my list.
     
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  15. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Essex did good work for me when I sent them work.
     
  16. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I bow to your tolerance. How difficult is it to say on a website that customers shouldn't send in cameras for repair, given the problems that so doing creates issue for both the customer and the company. A small local society of which I am a member was able inform its members that a meeting was cancelled with about 24 hours notice. The website notice was handled by a relatively inexperienced volunteer. Is it any different to Amazon accepting business via its website and not being able deliver?

    I appreciate that sometimes a small company selling many lines has difficulty in maintaining the exact stock position on every line but if your business is repairing cameras then after several months since Hurricane Sandy a simple message to the effect that you cannot accept repair until further notice should be possible, shouldn't it?

    pentaxuser
     
  17. Jeff L

    Jeff L Subscriber

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    There's quite a thread about it over on RFF. I read that the spare parts were flooded and ruined. Just what I read.
     
  18. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Member

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    They must be in avoidance and depression mode. I have been there...

    OR they had some hipster web-dude do the page and don't have the passwords etc. I have been there too.
    From what I read... this web page is the least of their worries.
    Frankly right now if my building were to burn, I wouldn't know who to call to put up a new web message on my page in short order. And I know my passwords are "somewhere" but I don't have time to bother with finding them now.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2013
  19. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    ... or just really busy trying to deal with things.
     
  20. John Hermanson

    John Hermanson Member

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    When I started with Olympus, they had NO authorized service stations OR subcontractors. ANY work done by ANY outside shop was considered tampering. Then there was too much work coming in and we needed subcontractors. Essex was one of the first ones we visited and ended up hiring. They had their ups and downs but were quite good. I'm surprised they're out of business, but by coincidence I heard today that Olympus had let all of their subcontractors go, except one. John
     
  21. Ian C

    Ian C Member

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    So far as I know, Essex Camera Services is still inactive as of today, March 20, 2013.


    Here’s how the problem outlined in post #1 was resolved. I sent my Koni-Omega 58/5.6 Wide Omegon lens with the sticky shutter and a Rolleicord with sticky shutter and a film wind-lock that frequently refused to unlock to Dave’s Camera Repair of Chelsea, Michigan.


    This was sent by US Postal Service on the morning of Wednesday, March 13. On the afternoon of Thursday, March 14 Dave Easterwood called with the repair estimate. I posted the payment within an hour. On Tuesday, March 19 a UPS truck delivered a box to my home from Dave’s Camera Repair. Both the Koni-Omega lens and the Rolleicord were in the box restored to health.


    Dave Easterwood used to live about 1.5 miles from me. I took cameras for service to his house in those days. Now he’s about 60 miles to the west in Chelsea, Michigan.


    Dave’s Camera Repair
    77 Cambridge Court
    Chelsea, MI 48118
    (734)-433-2640


    davescamera@earthlink.net
     
  22. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    the essex web site now brings up a blank page.

    One suspects rumors of the company's demise are, sadly, not exaggerated.
     
  23. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    My essex hurts. Does yours?
     
  24. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Dealt with them once and found out in the end that they were twice as expensive as other shops that I dealt with afterwards; And then they screwed the camera up so I can't use it without sending it to someone else. My feeling is they were heavily involved in AF and digital camera repairs and the techs were just not up to snuff on some of the old stuff. I'm not crying in my beer here, it's just better to call and talk to someone before you think that you can send anything anywhere and get it back repaired right.
     
  25. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    Wayne, it's a sign of the times: if an outfit like Essex can falter you can bet that others will follow. The problem is this 'old stuff' that you talk about: the business from that simply cannot compete with the AF and digital stuff. There will ALWAYS be repairmen for the Leica and Contax and other sexy stuff but the Spotmatics and SRTs and Nikkormats will have to be abandoned. I have a feeling that there were many tears shed at Essex and Sandy, the storm, was the final denouement. - David Lyga
     
  26. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

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    Following on David's comments: if I, as a soon-to-be retiree, decided that I'd become a camera repairman focusing on one or two particular makes, what do you think they should be, putting aside Leica and Hasselblad?