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12-04-2011, 06:56 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
I had my K20 in for warranty repair at CRIS earlier this year. It took nearly 4 weeks as I remember. I actually drove down there and turned it in and also picked it up. Its (CRIS) relatively small - probably 5,000 square feet, clean and seemed to be well organized. They do warranty work for Canon, Nikon, Ricoh and Pentax, along with a couple others as I remember.

My repair was held for parts and that is the heart of my observation (from the outside looking in). If Pentax could stockpile adequate supplies of parts here to keep CRIS well stocked (especially for current models - under warranty), one would have to think that the parts hold wait times would disappear. The work flow would certainly reflect this and the repaired units would be returned much quicker.

That, is the fault of Pentax and for that I do wish that they would take positive action to correct this. It certainly would appear to be a straight forward approach. For each body model, they have to have a good set of statistics on what parts are in high demand, and these should be kept at adequate supplies. I can see that if a body needs to go back to Japan that it would take longer, however their current system certainly is showing some areas that some rather simple improvements to the process could certainly reduce the repair time considerably.

This could not cost any more that what it is currently costing (in parts and labor), and their customer service would certainly rise. It just seems to be such a simple fix.......

That's the key Pentax seems not to have enough parts for all the K5 repairs. This makes sense as its a new camera and the Quake, flooding, and high amount of warranty repairs for the K5 would hamper normal service that has never been a problem the last 3 years since CRIS has taken over Pentax repairs. Notice its only since the K5 came out the people speak of CRIS and repairs. Well CRIS has been the only repair center for over 3 years!

CRIS is also a service center for Sigma of USA. Every Time I have sent something to CRIS I use the online status check. It has for my 5 repairs with them taken only a day or two to be assigned a tech. Then you cross your fingers they have the parts to fix the problem. If they do have the parts you will see your camera in 5 to 15 business days plus shipping time. If not your at the mercy of Pentax who supplies CRIS with parts. Its Pentax that is holding up the repairs or perhaps the quake and floods. I had my front group replace by CRIS in my Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 lens. They of course did not have the front group in stock but had to order it from Sigma. They received the part in only a week or two. Until then my repair was on hold.

In dealing with a Pentax warranty repair here is the truth. Don't call Pentax they know nothing. Go to Pentax web site and find the link to check status of repairs. Use this link to track your warranty repair. When I call CRIS every time they have been polite. However I never ask how long the repair will be because I know the person on the phone does not know. I am sure the tech does not want to be disturbed a hundred times a day by people calling in and asking questions while he is doing delicate repair work. This alone would slow down all of are repairs! Use the online form to communicate with the tech in writing. The answer to "how long will my camera be in repair" will always be the longest amount of time needed. For example if no part are needed they probably will say up to 20 business days. If parts are needed they may say 8 weeks. See the problem is when they order a part from Pentax CRIS has no idea when Pentax will deliver the part; one week, two weeks, 8 weeks?

We have been using CRIS as Pentax only repair center for over three years!!! Its only since the K5 that people have complained. Up till then people thought highly of them. I can only assume its the Quake, Floods, and or high amount of K5 repairs.

Here is a copy of my last repair on my K20D. Note it took a total of four working days!!! Thats fast! This is also the form you should be using to communicate with the tech.



Last edited by jamesm007; 12-04-2011 at 07:18 AM. Reason: clarity
12-04-2011, 10:35 AM   #17
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I do agree that a large part of it is attributable to the K5, however my K20 today is still under warranty till next March, I believe. CRIS had to order parts for my K20 last March when it was in the shop, so I would expand your statement to include models that are under warranty, that should have parts carried in stock.

Pentax USA knows how many units and of what model are sold. They also know how many warranty cards are sold (they keep going out of stock at B&H, I read - and how does that happen?). In addition to the number of each model sold (body and lenses), they have MTBF (mean time between failure) statistics for each part, which are rolled up into each sub-assembly and each LRU - line replaceable unit - each replacement assembly. They have all of this information during the design, before they build any production units. Then there are additional statistics gathered on the actual failures that are compared against the expected statistics. Bottom line, they know what the repairs / failures are going to look like when they roll out a new model. Now, things happen - like the stains, front focusing with the tungsten light, etc., that can be factored in - in real time. Add to that the shipping times (in transit) for the parts, and you have a supply chain model, that Pentax Japan already has in place and watch on a daily (or at least a weekly basis). This supply chain model feeds both production and repair requirements. Based on sales in various regions, the spare depot level (CRIS) needs can be projected pretty accurately. What it comes down to is on their production line, where are they going to allocate the units to - new sales or repair. I do think that the stains issue threw a monkey wrench into the spares distribution early on. But, going back - they still had distribution and supply issues with the K20 (my unit - where I had to wait ~3 weeks for parts). Bottom line, Pentax USA needs to have adequate parts on hand to cover the shipping time (probably plus 1 week). So if shipping time is 3 weeks, they need 4 weeks of repair assemblies and parts on hand for all their various models (bodies and lenses).

Yes, I certainly understand that this parts supply represents (unused) capital on the shelf, and thus cost of money. But, in the end, this cost is managed against customer satisfaction, and it appears that customer satisfaction looses at least most of the time. It appears that there are two decisions areas - Pentax Japan and Pentax USA - 2 different profit centers. Pentax Japan allocating production across new product and repair/spares, and Pentax USA trying to effectively manage the amount of unused capital sitting on the shelf. The other aspect is the transit time cost - what is the cost of the 3 weeks on the slow boat from where ever vs. a box of 100 K5 guts / sensors on a JAL 747 with next day delivery (with customs management thrown in).

In talking with a in town (Phoenix) camera repair center (not CRIS) - I am told that Pentax subs its sub-assembly manufacturing to Samsung and Manshuita. Neither of which are small. The manufacturing capacity is certainly there - even considering the earthquake. The K5 has spotlight this problem, however - I believe that its been a problem on the ragged edge, and tipped by the K5 problems that have essentially pushed the repair and warranty work system off its balancing point. The after market support and logistics (sparing) system needs some attention.

12-04-2011, 12:08 PM   #18
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I do agree that a large part of it is attributable to the K5, however my K20 today is still under warranty till next March, I believe. CRIS had to order parts for my K20 last March when it was in the shop, so I would expand your statement to include models that are under warranty, that should have parts carried in stock.

I can't because my K20D broke twice this year and both times they had the parts. The last time was just a couple months ago when CRIS was dealing with a lot of K5 issues yet my repair only took 4 working days. The spring to latch the SD card door tight broke. But CRIS had another spring in stock! The problem now versus the past is an unusually high amount of warranty repair on the K5 and the amount of people complaining of CRIS and the K5.

Also many companies have used CRIS for years and CRIS has A+ rating by the BBB, that's not easy to achieve in the repair business. They are considered one of the best and are certainly respected. CRIS can only get info from Pentax. So if I own CRIS I ask Pentax how many failures should we expect this year. Pentax says ###, but it turns out to be 10 times that. Problems that are not easy to de-bug, and parts that are hard to get from Pentax for whatever reason.

Yes you can say they know MTBF, but this is not a factor in stocking parts for warranty. Anything can happen. Many of the parts are off the shelf parts (look in the service manuals) that are out of Pentax control. Also with the K5 and K20D the model prior to them, had most of the same parts; so Pentax should have had a good idea of what parts will fail and when (that's the scary part). Did we ever have Lens Release buttons falling off the K7 to this degree, no. Could Pentax predict it, of course not because the parts are put together in other countries by low paid workers. Fact is something is different this year that have a lot of folks upset at CRIS and Pentax. The Quake and Floods can be a factor or just Pentax could not predict even with tons of knowledge the amount of issues the K5 was going to have. Perhaps this last production run with Hoya in control was made as fast and cheap as can be. Hoya could farm out parts to the cheapest supplier because they would not eat the repair costs as they knew they were selling Pentax. I would hope not but when you see things like folks having lens release buttons falling out it makes you go Hmmm.

You can't expand the statement because when the K20D and K200D was released CRIS became the only repair center for that model and all prior models. Then the Km, K-x, K7 were released. Still nothing but praise for CRIS. Suddenly the K5 is having a lot of people screaming mad, why? Its either the Quake, Floods and or K5 poor QC, and or Hoya did not stock parts for the K5.

Again look at the date of my service with the K20D. It was sent back to me this past Oct 4; CRIS received it Sept 28 (2011), in all four working days to repair it. My K20D is under extended warranty until the end of Feb 2012. But the main point is there was no delay in having my K20D serviced just two months ago.


Again my point is most folks always praised CRIS until the K5 or(!) this year. So other than a couple outliers like yourself I can't expand the year to any other time period. Hope that makes sense. But I do understand what you are saying fully.

Last edited by jamesm007; 12-04-2011 at 12:14 PM.
12-04-2011, 09:53 PM   #19
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The bottom line is that if parts were available (forward deployed to the depot level), the overall turn around time for the units would substantially decrease.

Any consumer manufacturing company knows their system/unit/product statistics and if its not a disposable item, especially where warranty repair is concerned, does know what to expect (within bounds) - even for unexpected events (unexpected events can be estimated). When the statistics meet or exceed the bounds, then there is something wrong and needs attention. All of this is factored into the warranty logistics and sparing system, along with what the warranty system is currently experiencing in real time (so that adjustments can be made). The delays experienced show that there is room for improvement.

The lens release button is a good example. The sudden off nominal experience of having them start to fall off on the K5, would indicate that a change in the manufacturing process was probably made either intentionally or unintentionally (an assembler taking a short cut). Things like this happen, and the feedback to the assembly line should take care of the corrective action. However, based on the number of units produced could provide what the exposure to this would be, along with the best repair method, and if parts are necessary, address the pre-positioning of parts as necessary. It would be stupid to wait three weeks for a new button to arrive for each unit sent in for repair.



12-05-2011, 02:03 PM   #20
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Customer service

Well, I just got a call and they said they are mailing my K5 out and I will have it tomorrow. If this is right and they were correct in what they said then CRIS had it for only 3-4 business days so the rest of the 6-7 weeks it has been gone it was at Pentax waiting for something, probably to do with the hold because it was warenty work as was mentioned. Well I am looking forrward to getting it back, we will see if it is tomorrow.
12-05-2011, 02:27 PM   #21
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This is terrible. Sorry about that.
12-05-2011, 03:25 PM   #22
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Why in the world is there a hold for warranty work?
12-06-2011, 06:08 PM   #23
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I have to say that CRIS did exactly as they said they would, the K5 arrived today. They repaired the auto focus and something with the mirror assembly. Said the also did a firmware up date, I had just done that a few weeks before sending it in though. The auto focus is far faster than it was I don't know how long the problem was going on that would probably have to do with the camera not firing at times. Of corse they cleaned and checked out everything as well, feels like a new camera. I have no idea about the warenty hold, that is just what a phone rep said to me and could or would not explain that one to me.

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