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View Poll Results: How would you rate PENTAX Customer Service?
Excellent 421.05%
Good 421.05%
Average 421.05%
Poor 736.84%
Voters: 19. You may not vote on this poll

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06-02-2011, 04:15 PM   #1
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DO not buy an AF360FGZ Flash Unit

Pentax's support team provides the poorest customer service that I have ever received from a Camera company. I have attempted to use Pentax gear on a pro photo shoot, and had failures twice with their AF360FGZ flash unit.

The first time it malfunctioned, I sent the AF360FGZ flash in for a warranty repair -- It took over 3 weeks to get it back...then it failed on its first time out.

I asked for a replacement unit instead of a second warranty repair, and Pentax refuses to replace this defectively manufactured unit. I purchased the flash new and used it 3 times -- It failed on 2 of those 3 times. I am now in the process of taking Pentax to small claims court. I just want my money back at this point. I won't wait a few more weeks for a SECOND repair to a BRAND NEW Unit. PENTAX, THIS is why you are losing customers and market share!!!!!!!

PENTAX -- It is completely out of line to expect someone to wait on you for two Warranty repairs to a Brand NEW AF360FGZ flash unit.

This post is just a warning to those considering this flash unit, or PENTAX as a brand choice in general.


Last edited by threedogmoon; 06-02-2011 at 04:20 PM.
06-02-2011, 04:36 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by threedogmoon Quote
This post is just a warning to those considering this flash unit, or PENTAX as a brand choice in general.
Dear threedogmoon,
I'm sorry to hear about your troubles with that flash model and Pentax USA service, but I can't help noting that that's a bit weird idea to advise quit using pentax gear on pentaxforums.com (34,818 members total, 1298 online right now).

Sincerely,
Zig
06-02-2011, 04:50 PM   #3
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True Zig, I loved the results I got with my gear till this incident. So I agree, it is weird to say that here. However, I have recently been finding myself in a position to take on more photography jobs. In that light, I work with a partner and I have seen how Canon handles her customer service issues. It is a completely different level of professionalism. I purchased my flash brand new. It died during a wedding job at the reception. That was the second time I used it. Sent it back for warranty repair. Pentax shipped it to some third party repair shop in Arizona called C.R.I.S. Camera Services. Took them three weeks to send it back to me. When I received it, it worked. Took it out for an outdoor portrait shoot (a paid job), and halfway through it died again.

Contacted Pentax, and they refuse to replace the unit. The want me to wait another 3 weeks while CRIS Camera Services repairs a flash I have barely used and purchased brand new. This is out of line. The product is defective. Pentax has no respect or care for a customer's time.

So based on this I am considering selling off all my Pentax gear and in fact defecting to Canon.

A good photographer can get excellent results with any equipment you put in their hands. So because I am taking on more work now, I need a company that understands professional service.
06-02-2011, 04:52 PM   #4
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Pentax flashes = worst in the business IMO build quality wise. Metz ftw....

06-02-2011, 05:00 PM   #5
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My sympathies: if my livelihood depended on my camera equipment, I probably would not use Pentax. I don't think that is the market they are after. [Pink cameras etc...]
However, that is not the boat I am in. For my specific needs though, Pentax is great: small camera, small lenses, amateur sports, dances and portraits.
06-02-2011, 05:05 PM   #6
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Good luck elsewhere.
06-02-2011, 05:06 PM   #7
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Those were my main uses too until recently! So I guess its time to up the investment money-wise, and make the move. I was honestly hoping to keep the Pentax as a backup and vacation camera, but now after experiencing their customer service for a second time I am motivated to jump ship altogether. Will always love my first Pentax DSLR though, despite the company that made it. Thanks for not getting on me for my post guys, I kind of expected a punch in the gut (verbally).
06-02-2011, 05:33 PM   #8
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To advise quitting Pentax on one person's experience.......I think not.
There are many out there who would advise differently.
I am not playing down your adverse run of luck, but I think that it would take much, much more to have a lot of users just walk away, and have to pay a LARGE amount more to set up in Canikon or whatever.

Hope you find your niche out there, that will really work for you.

06-02-2011, 06:20 PM   #9
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Mainly at this point, I think its good to point out my experience to those who may find this post that are on the fence over which brand to go with. From the reaction here, my experience, and things I've read all over the web, it seems like there is no way that Pentax can compete as professional brand for DSLR's, accessories, lenses, or customer service.

So I don't want to change anyone's mind at this forum and turn them into Canon people or anything, I just want to make sure that those which may become Pentax's new customers have a chance to read something like this before they make their choice. And, while it costs more to join the Canon or Nikon club, there may be some benefits to it that are worth the extra money.
06-02-2011, 06:33 PM   #10
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I think the shortcomings of existing Pentax system have been discussed in great length in different forums, just that some are trying too hard to believe what it is not.
06-02-2011, 06:44 PM   #11
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Pentax 360 is a crappy flash. I have an sb28 and a Metz 50 af -1 and are much better units. If I could do it again I would have bought the Metz 48 instead.
06-02-2011, 06:57 PM - 2 Likes   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by boosted03gti Quote
Pentax 360 is a crappy flash
QuoteOriginally posted by threedogmoon Quote
THIS is why you are losing customers and market share!!!!!!!
This is the kind of flagrant noisemaking that doesn't help anyone.
One bad experience does not indicate a systematic failure of the brand.
What of the number of users, including myself, who have invested heavily in Pentax gear and have not had a single problem with the gear or the customer service of local Pentax representatives?
06-02-2011, 07:01 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
This is the kind of flagrant noisemaking that doesn't help anyone.
One bad experience does not indicate a systematic failure of the brand.
What of the number of users, including myself, who have invested heavily in Pentax gear and have not had a single problem with the gear or the customer service of local Pentax representatives?
I couldn't say it better myself...
06-02-2011, 07:28 PM   #14
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threedogmoon,

I wish I could tell you some successful stories from my background and experience on dealing with Pentax flashes or Pentax Customer Service, but I've not dealt with any of them so far. But let me share some concepts with you:

- everybody fails, some more and some less often. You can google for 1d Mark III failure and will find astonishing stories on the 1st page (just in case: I'm referring to the one about AF performance). What can be cooler then 1sMkIII?
- if you need A-level customer support you need to pay for it. Leica S2 goes for $23K and S2-P (that includes pro-oriented support level) goes for $29K. I'm not sure how it goes on the east coast (my middle of nowhere is in 8 hours away from you, to the east across the ocean), but I suspect that should I need a real pro-oriented support for my gear I'd use extended 3rd party warranty from the shop - yep, I pay extra, but I always get the replacement in no time and it's they who deal with fix-ups and repairs. Though I think it's hard to find a shop offering such support level for K-x body or AF360 flash, they tend to work with upper level
- a real pro (i.e. a dude who makes money by doing something, in this case - by means of photo gear) always backs him- or herself up: you need the secondary body, backup lens set, 2nd (or even the 3rd - if it gonna be rainy shooting) flash and a dozen of CF cards (most premium-level bodies use these ones) and batteries



- professional (i.e.: paid) photography can be made in different ways: there's action photography (like shooting sport events and such), landscaping, macro work, portraiture, wedding and on, and on. And although Pentax is offering DA* (pro-oriented) lenses and its K-5 flagmanship goes with 7fps, 1/8000 shutter, magnesium and sealed body, 100% viewfinder and other pro-oriented yummies - I think they gave up the most popular segments: action-oriented. If you feel that you gonna shoot and cover lots of sport event or weddings then you'd probably look for something else.

Sincerely,
Zig

P.S.
The next week I'm planning to do a post here that shows why I went Pentax and why I'm still with it. It will be a picture and thrown in the 'Lens' forum section.

Last edited by Siegfried; 06-02-2011 at 07:57 PM.
06-02-2011, 07:52 PM   #15
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Is it actually "Pentax" you are dealing with or a Pentax authorised agent, there is a big difference. If your not getting satifaction from the dealer, contact Pentax themself.


I've had a 360 for years, never had an issue, but, your copy is obviously a dud, and should be exchanged for a complete new unit. I understand you getting peeved with Pentax because of this, when faced with poor service, its a shame it makes you loose faith in a Product line, but we all make our choices based on our experiences, so for you it has not gone well, just as for others its a dream ride. And as we are all obviously passionate about our Pentax gear, its not surprising some get annoyed at people tarring everything with the same brush. Rest asured tho, for all other brands, you will find exaclty the same stories and hassles, its a modern day reality and why there is a "warrenty" on new goods, there should be more "Lemon Laws" out there though to protect against obviously completely flawed manufactured goods.
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