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09-29-2012, 10:20 AM   #1
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Can't make sense of CRIS diagnosis and estimate

I'm baffled.

I purchased a new 40mm limited in May of this year. I used it very few times, and always handled it gently, as befitting a well-machined, precise bit of industrial art.

In late August, however, I mounted the lens on my K-5 and it would not focus. I found the quick-shift mechanism was non-functional as well. I removed it from the camera, and found that the focusing ring would only turn with *great* effort.

I gathered my supporting documentation,and sent it to CRIS on August 30. It was well-packaged; so any additional shipping damage would have required crushing the box. I expected a slam-dunk warranty repair.

WRONG.

On September 26, i received a note from CRIS indicating the lens showed signs of physical abuse, and would require replacement of the following parts:

- Lens barrel
- Distance operating ring
- Release ring
- Mount joint ring
- Bayonet ring
- Brush

The tally? $309, by the time shipping is included. The lens cost $337 new from buy.com.

This seems NUTS to me! This seems to describe a lens that was run over by a truck, not one that was handled with kid gloves.

I sent a "seriously, there must be some mistake" back to CRIS, and got the following:
"I have spoken to the technician and supervisor regarding the lens, the unit has signs of physical trauma and also matches your complaint of the focusing ring being stuck. This is not a manufacturer defect and Iím sorry we cannot cover this repair under Pentaxís warranty.

You may speak to Pentax directly at 800-234-0276."


Obviously, I *will* speak to Pentax, as this seems totally out of line to me. But, I wanted to ask:



1. Has anyone else had CRIS experiences like this?

2. Based on experiences anyone has had, do I have a chance if I take this up with Pentax?

3. Has anyone had a similar problem with a 40mm limited?


I greatly appreciate any words of wisdom anyone can offer.






09-29-2012, 10:53 AM   #2
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Hmmm...never had a problem with CRIS. Have had two successful repairs, and my K-5 is there currently getting a warranty repair. They noted that the body "has only normal minor wear" from use.

Is there a possibility they are right? Obviously it was busted before you put it in the box, so is it possible that:

A) Someone else handled it without your knowledge? Any kids in your house?

B) That it was in a camera bag that could have somehow suffered an impact, had something else hard thrown on top of it, etc etc?

C) Some other such scenario?
09-29-2012, 10:59 AM   #3
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From their comments, they believe that the lens was either dropped at some point or sustained a strong impact. Is there any chance this might have happened prior to your purchase? They might also suspect that the lens was man-handled during manual focus or mount/dismount.

At the very least, I would request from CRIS documentation of the condition of the packaging on receipt to rule out damage in transit to them as well as the evidence of abuse. Photographic, it at all possible. The DA 40 Limited has metal build and external evidence would include barked or out-of-round focus ring, barked lens barrel, and damaged or out-of-round filter ring. Internally, stripped or fractured gears, cracked internal assemblies and such would be possible. Attempts to manual focus with the AF coupling to the body engaged might cause that sort of internal damage, though with quick-shift, I can hardly imagine how that would happen.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 09-29-2012 at 11:16 AM.
09-29-2012, 11:01 AM   #4
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They *do* seem to have a decent reputation; so that's why this is all so perplexing to me.

I live alone, and no one other than me has ever handled it without me being present. Also, the bag that it was stored in (within its own lens bag, I might add) has also only been handled gently by me.

The only non-nefarious scenario I've been able to come up with is that it originally stuck for some reason, and the additional damage occurred when I rotated the ring by hand. I would think, though, that if that were the case (and again, there was no sign of physical trauma from the outside), they would have been able to ascertain that....they haven't been very explicit about exactly what this damage is (cracked? stripped? crushed? what?); so I can't even form a decent hypothesis.

QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
Hmmm...never had a problem with CRIS. Have had two successful repairs, and my K-5 is there currently getting a warranty repair. They noted that the body "has only normal minor wear" from use.

Is there a possibility they are right? Obviously it was busted before you put it in the box, so is it possible that:

A) Someone else handled it without your knowledge? Any kids in your house?

B) That it was in a camera bag that could have somehow suffered an impact, had something else hard thrown on top of it, etc etc?

C) Some other such scenario?


09-29-2012, 11:04 AM   #5
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Great thoughts, Steve, and thanks. I'll definitely request both of those pieces of this puzzle.

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
From their comments, they believe that the lens was either dropped at some point or sustained a strong impact. Is there any chance this might have happened prior to your purchase?

At the very least, I would request from CRIS documentation of the condition of the packaging on receipt to rule out damage in transit to them as well as the evidence of abuse. Photographic, it at all possible.


Steve
09-29-2012, 11:21 AM   #6
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What a shame you have to be going through all this. Something that should be just a straight forward warranty repair turns into a nightmare.

In both accounts from CRIS, it is mentioned about "physical abuse" and "physical trauma". My first thought when reading these terms would be an obvious sign of external damage. As I believe you said that the exterior of the lens was in perfect condition, I think at this point I would request a photo of the lens from CRIS.

The way you describe the manner in which you handle and store your lenses, very similar to how I am myself, I find this hard to believe. It looks like you are in for a long battle which really sucks.

Is there a remote possibility that your lens got mixed up with someone else's at CRIS? Again about requesting a photo - get one showing the serial number to be absolutely sure it is in fact your lens.
09-29-2012, 11:48 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
Is there a remote possibility that your lens got mixed up with someone else's at CRIS? Again about requesting a photo - get one showing the serial number to be absolutely sure it is in fact your lens.
This is my suspicion, as well. Or someone at the repair center dropped it & stuck it back in the box without telling anyone.
09-29-2012, 07:00 PM   #8
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Last year, my tripod tipped over and my camera fell onto a rock. The DA40mm was mounted and took the brunt of the impact.
The exact same thing happened to my lens. It wouldn't autofocus and it was very difficult to manually focus.
I sent it in to CRIS and they gave me almost the exact same invoice.

10-01-2012, 06:03 PM   #9
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I'm not sure what anyone could have done to avoid this problem. If the lens was damaged in shipping or at CRIS, you're pretty much dependent on CRIS to acknowledge that problem. CRIS is probably the final word in this case, although please report back on the results of your discussion with Pentax.

Paul
10-01-2012, 08:29 PM   #10
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I would get them to #1 verify the serial number in case it got mixed up and #2 look into it getting hammer in shipping.
11-20-2012, 04:33 PM   #11
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Hi, Everyone-

First of all, thanks for the words of support during this. It started out frustrating, and eventually got...MORE frustrating. Catching you up:

I did indeed write CRIS, and indicated that their estimate simply did not jibe with my treatment of the lens, or its condition (to my eye, externally pristine) when I sent it in. I also asked about the serial number, and its condition up on arrival. I was assured that it was my lens, and that there were no notes about damage to the packaging.

I also got Pentax involved. Shortly after their involvement, the online estimate was revised from $309 to $194. Not too long after that, it was revised AGAIN to the final value of $168.

At this point, they weren't admitting to having done any damage, and it was "he said, she said". I realized I couldn't win that; so I swallowed my pride and ponied up.

And I waited. And waited. And waited. I realize that some additional delay was introduced while I attempted to investigate this; but CRIS seems to have no sense of urgency. For example, the status messages from the site (see the bottom of this note) indicate it was in "Requires attention" status on 9-21; but I received the note informing me about this (and the fact that I needed to authorize a non-warranty repair) a full 5 days later, on 9-26. Anyway, after attempting (and failing) to get to the bottom of the damage,I gave the go-ahead for the repair on 10-08.

Then, through no fault of CRIS, there was a parts hold backorder that wasn't resolved until 11-13.

The lens arrived today. It is indeed my lens, according to the serial, and it does indeed work; but it has two nicks in the cap and hood that it did NOT have before. The marks look like they could have been made by a boxcutter (I'll attempt to attach a photo showing the damage). They're minor; but you know what? They weren't there when I sent it, and I want it back in the same condition.

I was willing to accept blame for damage I didn't do, since replacing the lens would cost me more than the (final) repair estimate. But I'm not willing to sit by and accept a devalued lens that has obvious physical damage that it didn't have when I sent it in.

I've already called CRIS to explain my complaint; but I don't expect an answer until next week. I'll keep you guys posted on how this turns out.

Repair Timeline:
==============
In Repair 8/30/2012
Process Hold 9/14/2012
With Estimator 9/20/2012
Requires attention 9/21/2012
In Repair 10/9/2012
Parts Hold 10/9/2012
Parts Hold Back Order 10/12/2012
In Repair 11/13/2012
Quality Assurance 11/14/2012
Repair Completed 11/14/2012
Ship 11/14/2012
11-20-2012, 04:47 PM   #12
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Oh, and the damage:

11-20-2012, 09:09 PM   #13
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I would gladly send my gear to Japan for service if it was an option. regardless of a long turnaround.
No doubt, something sharp made contact with that.
11-20-2012, 09:44 PM   #14
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This is so unfortunate and I am really sorry to hear that story. It really sucks when you make a mistake and have to live with it, it is so much worse when you didnt even make the mistake and yet have to take the blame. My experiences with CRIS so far have been pretty good. I bought a brand new DA* 50-135 a few years back and it didnt use the lens hood at all. A few weeks into the using the lens i noticed that one of the plastic edges which are ment to hold the lens hood was actually broken. At this point I was past the 30 day return policy and to be honest I was 95% certain I did not cause the damage since I never used the hood or dropped the lens or anything like that. I sent into CRIS basically telling that story. They easily could have just said I caused the damage and made me pay for the repair, yet they fixed it for free.

I would imagine this is the result of one bad employee who made a mistake in opening the package and damaged your lens in the process, and then did not report his actions...
11-20-2012, 09:47 PM   #15
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Was it packed in such a way that hitting it with a box cutter when opening was even possible? When sending anything I assume they are going to be hacking into it with a cutter and make sure the item(s) are always a few inches away from the edge of the box surrounded by plenty of bubble wrap and other packing material.

That looks pretty deep -- deeper than a box cutter. But not dented like it was dropped. Something got to it, obviously...
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