Leica customers will no longer be able to get their camera equipment repaired in the UK unless it needs only a basic cleaning service or a minor adjustment, Amateur Photographer has learned.
Instead the gear will be sent to Leica?s headquarters in Germany, via the firm?s store in Mayfair, where it could take up to six weeks to be fixed and returned to the customer.
Amateur Photographer understands that Leica Camera Ltd has returned all of its main camera testing equipment to Germany from where it is set to be sold on to other countries.
A prominent Leica dealer based in central London said that he tried to buy Leica?s testing equipment, to provide a ?back-up service? for his customers, but was turned down by Leica management.
?They are buggering up Leica,? he told us.
We understand from another source – who is close to Leica?s UK operation – that only minor diagnostics, sensor cleaning and external lens cleaning will be carried out in the UK, all at Leica?s new base in Mayfair.
Rangefinder camera adjustment would be carried out there, for example.
Anxious by the move, two Leica dealers are planning to hot-foot it to Leica?s headquarters in Germany to relay their concerns.
?It?s rather disconcerting,? said the dealer who told us that Leica will operate an ?express? repair service for customers at an extra cost of at least ?100 Euros’.
A spokeswoman for Leica Camera Ltd told us: ?We are restructuring how we provide service and technical support in the UK ? there is still some internal restructuring and consultation taking place.
?Once this is completed, the company is proposing to cease offering these services from Milton Keynes, and we are creating three new Client Care positions located at our Mayfair offices.?
Last month, Leica Camera Ltd announced the closure of its base in Milton Keynes.
The move is part of a ‘restructure and reorganisation’ of Leica Camera Ltd, seen as ‘best for the operation of the company’.
Amateur Photographer understands that seven staff have been made redundant as a result, a figure yet to be confirmed by Leica.
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