The most common cause for this is a weak battery.
All right, I've never encountered this problem until a week ago at a concert. I closed my Fujifilm Finepix A340 digital camera after filming a movie, then tried to re-open it about 20 minutes later, and the zoom would not function and retract out of the camera itself, and I was given the dreaded zoom error.
Now, this camera has taken its bumps and while there's only been one major drop for it, I don't think there has been anything within a month or two that would warrant the cease of function by the zoom.
Anyone else felt my pain or know a solution on how to fix this myself?