Nikon cuts off mom & pop repair shops–fair or foul?

Nikon USA has decided to stop supplying camera parts to any repair shops which are not Nikon Authorized Repair Stations (NARS). As explained by customer service Director David Dentry on dpreview, this move is designed to improve service quality and timeliness for Nikon-toting photographers. Predictably this has caused a bit of a dust-up, but it is hard to say whether detractors are making a mountain out of a molehill. In my case, I wouldn’t normally have thought much about it – NPS is an overnight package away – but since Nikon will not repair Infrared-converted or otherwise modified cameras, I did have to find an alternative….

Fortunately for me, California Precision Service in Sacramento in on Nikon USA’s list of Authorized Repair Stations, and they did a great job fixing my IR-converted D70. So I wouldn’t hesitate to use them for any additional repairs I’m unable to do through Nikon service. If you use a smaller outfit though, that can’t afford the $160,000 worth of specialized equipment and accompanying training Nikon requires its authorized dealers to have, then you may be out of luck. Many of those shops only do simple repairs in house, and send bigger jobs to Nikon or another service provider, but now they will have a very hard time even performing simple repairs.

Let us know your thoughts on this? Is Nikon helping its customers by simplifying their supply chain and service channels, and cutting off those it feels might not do the work the way they’d like, or are they just limiting customer options?

UPDATE: Fixed Nikon Repair Link