Shipping & Handling. This is too much

My stomach cringed when the driver pulled my backpack out of the back of the van. My Canon DV video camera seemed all too willing to liberate itself through the small crack left by lazy zippering. And from the dark closed quarters of the backpack, it fell crashing to the street. Ouch.

I'm amazed at the resiliency of that tiny technological marvel called the Elura. Some cosmetic damage, but the camera lens intact and mechanically and electronically, it still purrs. As for the $7 lens cap? Busted. The pinch clip that secures the cap to the lens took the brunt of the fall. Firmly under the belief that this saved me from spending another grand or so on a new Canon DV camera, I felt best to replace the cap sooner — rather than later.

I called Canon. Credit card number. Expiration date. And the 4-digit security code printed on the front of the card. Seven dollars. Plus, five dollars for shipping and handling. Two weeks. Boom.

I love Canon. Just recently I had a problem with my still camera (the Canon S30) and I sent it to them and in about two weeks the camera came back repaired and frankly reconditioned as new. (i'm sure it was simply a new S30) I'm brand loyal. Great products. Great service.

Today, when I greeted the UPS lady at the door she handed me a brown box about the size of a coupla loaves of bread. As I scribbled my signature on the brown tablet computer, I curiously checked the return address on the brown box. Canon USA. Hmmmm. Interesting. What could it be? No. Not the lens cap? In that big of a box?

I anxiously cut through the shipping tape and pulled out enough packing material for say — a digital camera. What did I find. A ziploc baggy big enough only for two of my fingers, or a lens cap for a Canon Elura DV camera. The box it shipped in? I'm talking 10″ wide, 8.5″ long and 7″ deep. The lens cap? Less than two inches in diameter. Friggin' huge.

Just goes to show you what $5 will buy you in shipping and handling. And I'm sure Canon has a good “business” rationale as to why they would use a box that would hold more than 100 lens caps? Perhaps it's an inventory issue. Perhaps the UPS shipping system can't print smaller labels. Perhaps the guy in purchasing has season tickets to the Bulls. There's a reason. But couldn't someone find a simple #10 envelope?

I'm sure this lens cap will save me again in the future. But Canon? Think of the savings it could make in shipping and handling. Don't let Greeenpeace hear about this.