My Review Of The Olympus Pro Advantage Clean & Check Program
DISCLAIMER: I am an Olympus Visionary however I do want you to know I sent my gear in before that was made public and I think no special consideration was given to me in that regard.
For decades I have operated with the following rule. I always send each camera and lens to the manufacturer for a clean and check at least yearly, and sometimes semi-annually if I am working in rough conditions. Meters go out of balance. AF needs to be adjusted. Some lubricants start to fail. Technically, a camera can operate with large tolerances for such problems but why push it? I have never had a field failure because I keep to this regimen. It’s like changing the oil on your car. Do it regularly and you’ll probably have your car as long as you want it. Same goes for cameras. This is one of the reasons I joined Olympus Pro Advantage. I wanted to take advantage of the clean and check program.
Recently, I returned from helping my friend Gary Hamburgh lead a photo workshop on the Palouse - in eastern Washington. It’s dirty and dusty and I’d been using my two main Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II camera bodies pretty regularly - I figured it was time to get them to the doctor for a physical.
I had two clean and check coupons that came with my Pro Advantage kit and I decided to use them. NOTE: It really wasn’t clear to me when I signed up what those coupons covered and you should know each coupon covers a one item - i.e., one lens or one camera body, etc. So if you have two camera bodies you can use the two coupons for the free clean and check, but if you want your lenses cleaned you’ll need to pay separately for those.
You have to call Olympus to get a work order if you want to schedule the service. It’s a relatively painless process. (The number is 800-260-1625, Prompt 4) You will need to have the coupons and you will also need to know your Pro Advantage Membership Number.
They will send you an email with a work order. I placed that in the box I shipped them along with the camera bodies and the coupons.
Olympus did a very good job of communicating with me during the process. I shipped the two camera bodies at my expense (per the Pro Advantage agreement) via FedEx ground. They received the bodies on June 12, 2017. On June 13, 2017 one day later, I received a tracking number saying the camera bodies were on their way back to me via FedEx overnight services at Olympus’ expense. On June 14, 2017 as promised, both bodies arrived. There was a note in the package describing the fact that the clean and checks were completed and the gear was fine.
I checked both cameras and there seems to be no issue. It sounds like both bodies were good to go but I know they needed at least the clean up part.
Based on this interaction (especially compared with my service experiences with some other brands) I would say Olympus has done a great job with Pro Advantage. For $99.99 it is a steal. If my gear ever needs repair I am confident I won’t have to wait to get it back.
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