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05-24-2011, 02:57 PM   #1
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Caution to non-US buyers about not getting warranty

I live in Germany.
I've recently bought a lens thru mail-order from B&H while visiting the USA.

Turns out the lens (DA 18-135 WR) has a defect: It doesn't focus on inf in the mid-zoom range. So it need to be sent in for repair, under warranty.

Pentax in Germany tells me: No problem. Just register for the international warranty by mailing in your int warranty card.

I wonder: Where's that card? I read the leaflets that came in the lens box. One of them explains that I'd get that from the vendor. I call Pentax in the USA. They confirm this: I should have gotten the card from B&H, included in the box.

I contact B&H, asking that I get that card sent to me.

First reply: I am given a website address which lets me register the lens, but it turns out that it doesn't register for warranty but for something else (marketing?). I never got a confirmation via email, and the web page didn't get me any useful response there, either (i.e. it did not even confirm that my entered data was accepted, instead I was presented with a rather generic "hi, please take this customer survey" page).

I contact them again, pointing out that this is not the right web address, again asking them to double check for this warranty card. This time they give me the German web site address (pentax.de). Huh?

I contact them again, trying to clarify once more what I need. This time I get this response:

"The item that you ordered does not come with an international warranty card. I apologize for the inconvenience."

I'm not sure how to take that. I hope their message is not that they refuse to provide the international warranties to all of their Pentax customers despite different claims on their web site ("Your warranty card and/or sales slip must accompany all items.") and that from Pentax (both written and verbally explained).

In any case - this experience suggests to me that their customer support is quite clueless. I should also note that every time I got a response, a different person addressed me. So it's not just one clueless person, it appears to be everyone.

I don't know how to proceed now. Both Pentax Germany and USA insist that I should be able to get this card from the vendor, yet that vendor is very unhelpful.

Update
I should have read the other forum msgs first. Just up there is another msg about a similar issue. In that thread, someone from B&H explains that I should get the card from Pentax USA directly, not from the vendor (B&H in this case). Which contradicts both the verbal explanations from the phone support lines of Pentax USA and Germany, as well as what's written in the leaflet "worldwide service network" inside the box which states:

2. The International Warranty service will be provided at the service stations marked by ... (which refers to a list of addresses of Pentax repair facilities) located in other than the country where the product was originally purchased. In case you request the International Warranty service, present the International Warranty card (...)"
3. To obtain the International Warranty card, consult with the dealer or supplier from where you originally purchased the product. (...)


Now, that statement from Pentax clearly states that the vendor is the one who should supply me with that card. In that other thread ("Pentax Guarantee issues for International buyers") it is stated by someone from B&H that I'd get this card from Pentax directly - but how can that be when I called Pentax USA and they confirm what's written, i.e. that I should get this from the vendor? This all looks like B&H is in the wrong here, doesn't it?


Last edited by tempelorg; 05-24-2011 at 03:17 PM. Reason: correction of content
05-24-2011, 03:35 PM   #2
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Uh, "Warning" in the title is a bit of a bad choice, I realize now. English is not my primary language. Tried to change it to "Caution", but forum won't let me. My apologies.
05-24-2011, 03:44 PM   #3
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I also just bought a lens from B&H, when I contacted them about the missing warranty card, they told me:
QuoteQuote:
A lot of manufactures stopped including warranty cards with the items since they like when customers go on their website and fill out the warranty forms on their website.
I haven't gotten around to looking into it, but after reading your post I did some research. Here is what PentaxImaging.com has to say...
QuoteQuote:
New PENTAX products do not automatically come with an international warranty that covers all PENTAX products around the world. However, it is possible to obtain an International Warranty Card through PENTAX Imaging Company after you have purchased a PENTAX product. If you bought your PENTAX product in the United States and are traveling to a foreign country for an extended period of time, we can send you an International Warranty Card to cover your product while you are abroad. We will also send you a list of authorized service centers around the world.

To obtain an International Warranty Card, please send the below-listed items to PENTAX Imaging Company, 600 12th Street, Suite 300, Golden, CO 80401:
A copy of your dated proof of purchase, with the name and address of the U.S. dealer.
The serial number on your PENTAX product (if it has one).

If you bought your PENTAX product in another country, and you are planning to visit the United States, we can send you an International Warranty Card to cover your product while you are within the United States. You will need to send us the following items:
A copy of your dated proof of purchase.
The serial number on your PENTAX product (if it has one).
We will fill out an International Warranty Card and mail it to you. The time period and product coverage provided by the International Warranty Card is the same as the standard PENTAX Limited Warranty (as specified above).
05-24-2011, 04:50 PM   #4
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I have bought B&H products for a while now, none of them purchased with warranty. Now you may think I'd be taking my chances, but I know that the products I buy from B&H with either have a defect declare itself from initial testing within the 15 day window for international returns, or it will be fine. To date, I have returned 3 purchases in this way, and all other purchases have lived up to expectation.

Indeed, I am yet to consider purchasing a DA* or DC driven lens from any international vendor, and am weary about them. Extended warranty for all DA*s and DC AF lenses would be a must in my books.

05-24-2011, 05:03 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by tempelorg Quote

I wonder: Where's that card? I read the leaflets that came in the lens box. One of them explains that I'd get that from the vendor. I call Pentax in the USA. They confirm this: I should have gotten the card from B&H, included in the box.

snip...

Now, that statement from Pentax clearly states that the vendor is the one who should supply me with that card. In that other thread ("Pentax Guarantee issues for International buyers") it is stated by someone from B&H that I'd get this card from Pentax directly - but how can that be when I called Pentax USA and they confirm what's written, i.e. that I should get this from the vendor? This all looks like B&H is in the wrong here, doesn't it?
My experience is this: you don't need a card... all you have to do is to write to Pentax in USA along with your proof of purchase (receipt) requesting a International warranty paper with the stamp to be sent to you. Then, you use that warranty paper in your country's for any repair service under warranty.
05-25-2011, 06:35 AM   #6
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JenniferLeigh & aleonx3- Thank you. The process for obtaining an international warranty card is exactly as Jennifer described. It's handled through Pentax and not through the retailer and is really simple and quite painless.

I am sorry if tempelorg experienced any inconvenience but I take umbrage at his calling any of our employees as, "clueless." None is. I also note you wrote, "every time I got a response, a different person addressed me..." This is perfectly reasonable for a company of our size and diversity. We have 1500 employees and our customer service department numbers several dozen. When a customer contacts us every member of that department has equal access to the customer's transaction and to any prior contact or activity regarding the transaction. It is more efficient for both us and for you to have your inquiry handled in this manner.

I should also point out we never open a product box to add or remove anything, including warranty documents. We buy all our Pentax products from Pentax USA and ship that merchandise to customers exactly as we receive it.
05-25-2011, 06:45 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by aleonx3 Quote
My experience is this: you don't need a card... all you have to do is to write to Pentax in USA along with your proof of purchase (receipt) requesting a International warranty paper with the stamp to be sent to you. Then, you use that warranty paper in your country's for any repair service under warranty.
I made another call to Pentax USA and they gave me similar information now to resolve this. I got even a e-mail address so that I do not need to use snail mail. Let's see how this works out...
05-25-2011, 07:07 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by henryp Quote
JenniferLeigh & aleonx3- Thank you. The process for obtaining an international warranty card is exactly as Jennifer described. It's handled through Pentax and not through the retailer and is really simple and quite painless.
I just wonder why the note accompanying my lens says the opposite, just as I quoted it. That lens has been purchase end of may 2011, and it's a fairly new model, the 18-135mm. So, even if Pentax has changed the policies on this, why did I get this contradicting information then?

But anyway - all comments lead to the same clue: It's not B&H's fault nor task to get this resolved, but instead Pentax should have informed me better.

QuoteQuote:
I am sorry if tempelorg experienced any inconvenience but I take umbrage at his calling any of our employees as, "clueless."
Well, let me rephrase: Unhelpful and not responding to my inquiry in the way I clearly stated my questions. As you can read here, my wording is not that bad that my questions could be easily misunderstood, or is it? Yet, I got 3 responses that all looked like someone replied without even trying to understand what my question was.

I understand that B&H has very low prices, and something has to suffer from that. It's like with Fry's - you better know what you need and not depend on information from the low-paid people working there.

So, in all, I'd still purchase again from B&H because, despite this grief I have with this, the price I paid for the lens compared to what it would have cost me here in Germany makes is still a great bargain.

QuoteQuote:
We have 1500 employees and our customer service department numbers several dozen. When a customer contacts us every member of that department has equal access to the customer's transaction and to any prior contact or activity regarding the transaction. It is more efficient for both us and for you to have your inquiry handled in this manner.
I beg to differ. Had I gotten the same person every time, I could have slowly gotten the person to understand that his/her previous replies were not solving the issue so that the person would try better next time until this would get resolved. Instead, I had the impression, every new service person started from scratch again. It looked to me as if the previous discussions were not considered.

QuoteQuote:
I should also point out we never open a product box to add or remove anything, including warranty documents. We buy all our Pentax products from Pentax USA and ship that merchandise to customers exactly as we receive it.
Right, and my last call to Pentax USA also confirmed that new boxes may not contain the cards any more. So, I am not blaming B&H about that.

Rather, not getting any help from customer service was the part I am unhappy with and wanted to let others know. Why wasn't any of the service people able to tell me what you quoted here, i.e. that I need to contact Pentax and get the card from them despite the leaflet telling me that I should get it from the vendor? Maybe they were not clueless, but not helpful, either. And that led to the frustation, which is never a good thing to do to a returning customer, no matter how low-cost you are.

Without the help from this forum I would have been unable to resolve this.

If you like to double check my conversation, here's the ticket number: #6969-232835737-5728

Update:Just got another reply from B&H after I more clearly expressed my unhappyness with the situation. This time, I got a positive reply (that's the 5th reply, btw):

We will contact the manufacturer on you're behalf and request that they mail the warranty card to you.

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