Canon Treats Digital Rebel XT Owner Like Pawnshop Scavenger

Consumerist alum Joel Johnson has a beef with Canon and their decision to treat him, the proud purchaser of Canon Digital Rebel XT, like he found the camera in a dumpster.

The software that came bundled with my Canon Digital Rebel XT no longer works on the latest version of OS X. No problem, right? I’ll just download the update from Canon. But oh ho! They’ve bundled all the functionality into a new application called “EOS Utility,” which is now packaged with cameras newer than mine. And because it’s a newer bit of software, Canon’s (rather helpful) customer service people want me to pay $20 for a copy of the new software.

I understand not getting free software updates for life, but it’s doubly frustrating in this case, because 1) I brought the camera in part because of the functionality promised by their software (functionality I used to have until I upgraded my Mac), and 2) it’s stupid that Canon won’t just let the users of their cameras download the software in the first place. Even if I had bought a camera that came with the newer “EOS Utility” software, Canon would force me to pay for a new disc if I lost or broke the original. Their rationale? According to the customer service rep: “What if someone bought a Canon from a pawn shop? Then they could have the software for free!” The horror!

I love my Rebel, but I’m extremely put out by Canon’s decision to maximize every bit of profit instead of providing a person who purchased their product with the best experience possible.

We’ll give our old bossman the same advice we give you: don’t stop with Tier 1, escalate! Knowing Joel, he’s probably already found a free copy of the new software online somewhere, but if he hasn’t, anyone know where he can get it?

Either way, Canon’s policy is wack. Why should it matter if Joel traded a newborn child the camera underneath the docks? Successive generations of owners shouldn’t have degraded user experiences. — BEN POPKEN

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