How one little thing can taint your perception of a company.
Canon is amazing. I’ve used their cameras for 20 odd years: I’ve loved most of them. As a company they’re huge, innovative, have pretty good attention to detail and seem to look after their customers reasonably well (which in the current unreasonable climate is reasonably complimentary).
Canon have – for years – not allowed you to download their camera utilities and bundled software unless you have the original disks that came with the camera.
The problem comes when you are out in the field, or have simply lost or misplaced or – in my case – thrown away the disks because
a) most of the software is useless
b) you simply think that – in 2012 – you can download utilities for software that has no use to anyone other than people that own a particular piece of hardware.
Lets just go over that last bit again. The software is useless – it has no function whatsoever – it is bereft of purpose – the sum total of its point is ZERO – if you do not own a canon camera. Canon could send the CD to every Nikon user on the planet without affecting their business one iota.
So every time I need something from their support site I write them a little reminder of how such a profoundly stupid policy can colour peoples perception of a company. Companies spend millions on attempting to inject their brand into the crowded meme space in our heads and imbue it with positive characteristics. With this policy they ensure that tagged onto that meme is a little postit note that says “these guys are rubbish”.
Heres my latest email, and I encourage everyone to do the same:
I am writing again to complain about your policy of not offering downloads of your supplied software. This policy is completely devoid of sense. It creates frustration and brand disloyalty. I do not understand how your management cannot see this – the level of myopia here continues to confound me, and that the policy is still in place in 2012 – when applications, let alone drivers, are now commonly free – is stupefying. The eos utility: what do you expect non-Canon users to do with the software exactly? This is not a rhetorical question. I’m actually curious. I’m curious what you are protecting yourself from, whilst happily annoying the crap out of time-poor professionals from around the world. And I’m wondering how Canon’s management structure can be so poor as to allow policies like this to continue year after year. Policies like these project an image loud and clear: you don’t give a crap about your users and your attention to detail is poor. Please revise this policy.