...stands for Canon Professional Services and is Canon`s dedicated in-house service for imaging professionals.
To benefit from Canon`s program, you need to own some of their gear to get "points" to qualify for a membership.
I am a „Gold Member“ since 2016 and currently just one single point away to qualify for the Platinum Membership. Of course, Platinum comes with even more benefits but also costs more than Gold.
As I am just an amateur or hobbyist, I feel quite comfortable paying $100 a year for Gold, as Platinum would increase those costs to whopping $300. And to be honest, Gold is all I need at this point.
But why would I go with a pricy membership like CPS at all?
It depends… first of all, as you sign up, you get:
- 1 CPS Pro Camera Strap for posing in public 😉
- 1 Body Cap
- 1 Rear Lens Cap
- CPS ID CARD
I believe, the only thing that is really interesting here, was the Camera Strap, which I never used. But if we go more into the details, we get to the exciting stuff and the actual reason why I am writing this blog:
- 5x Canon Maintenance Service (CMS) for DSLR & EF Lens
- 20% Repair Discount for up to 10 pieces.
Maintenance and Repair
I am in a fortunate position that one of Canon`s CPS location is just 20 Minutes away from my home at the North-East in the suburbs of Chicago. Not that living elsewhere would be an issue. However, I feel more comfortable to drop off and pick up my expensive gear instead of shipping it.
So it was time to get the annual maintenance of my 5D Mk IV and a couple of lenses, as well as the replacement of the upper LCD of my 80D. I dropped the 80D a while ago. It wasn`t too bad, but bad enough to break the LCD. Bad luck!
But that`s precisely what CPS is for, right? And the best part: If you are not a CPS Gold or Platinum member, the „Canon 18-Point DSLR Maintenance Service“ would cost you about $130 per camera body and the „Canon 11-Point EF Lens Maintenance“ is about $90 per lens.
So just for this service, the annual membership fee pays off several times!
And the repair of the LCD? Well, it`s Canon, and of course, they charge you for their original manufacture parts and labor. But again, the Gold Membership saves you %20 what was in my case about 2/3 of the annual fee. The good part is, every repair includes a full maintenance program automatically.
In my case, I had one repair including free maintenance and four maintenance, so I have still one service left for later.
I make it short: I have never experienced better customer service! Periode!
It was Monday morning when I called the CPS Hotline to make an appointment for drop-off. And they offered me more or less anytime during the week. So I made an appointment for the same day at 2 pm to stop by during a late lunch break.
First of all, I was welcomed by a friendly receptionist/security and directed to the CPS entrance right next to the front-desk. In there, we reviewed my gear and my order and talked about if everything is fine.
Of course, there is the 80D and the LCD… and I got my estimate right away within 2 minutes. Bang! I accepted and even before we continued with the other items, I got my receipt and order confirmation via e-mail on my phone.
Next, we had a look at the gear that required maintenance. CPS checked my shutter count, only 22k out of 150k – good! So the time lapse didn`t hit it too hard yet. After that, they had a visual check at the aperture blades and the image stabilizer. Then they took the lenses quickly to the back to make a first test of the optical alignment of the glass.
Unfortunately, they noticed a misalignment of my EF 100-400 II at the 400mm range in the upper left corner. I never saw it before, and they confirmed that it`s just slightly out of the specs. Again, they provided me with an estimate right away. However, I opted out for the $230 fix at this point.
Overall, the whole process took me about 30 minutes. But it was not 30 minutes of waiting or wasted time. No, it`s been 30 minutes of excellent service from knowledgable and well-trained professionals, and I left with relief that they would take good care of my gear.
Before I left the building, I received five confirmations in my e-mail account, including a PDF with all details like service description and my serial numbers. Every e-Mail also included a link to a Youtube video, where Canon explains their service process:
The next day: Pick-up
My Gold Membership includes an expedited service of two business days. However, I already received a call at 1:30 pm the following day – exactly 23h after I left Canon in Itasca. They told me that everything is ready and I can stop by for pick-up anytime. Alternatively, CPS can ship it for free.
Their office hours are Monday to Friday, from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.
I stopped by after work, about 10 minutes before they close. Again, there was no rush, and they treated me great. All of my gear was single wrapped into plastic bags. And even those bags felt like high quality. I received a detailed report per item explaining precisely what was done and, unfortunately, confirmed the issue with my 100-400mm.
At home, I unwrapped everything and checked it. Wow! All like brand new!
I am a hobbyist with photography. An amateur! I never made any money out of it but spent a lot of hard-earned dollars over the years in equipment. However, adding another $100 a year for the Canon Professional Services (CPS) Gold Membership doesn`t break the bank and provides a lot of benefits.
Besides those smaller perks I mentioned at the beginnend, the by far biggest benefit and money safer is the 5x maintenance service. Paired with Canon`s world-class customer experiance, it is absolutly worth joining this club – if your owned gear quallifies you for it.