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05-04-2016, 07:43 AM   #1
George in California
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Ricoh says no to USA servicing under warranty for Pentax purchased in Europe

Hi, Pentaxians.

I've been thinking about buying Pentax gear in Germany. I spend a lot of time there and have a friend who is very familiar with Pentax SLRs and lenses, and better yet there are dealers near him who stock a wide variety of Pentax gear. I'm a strong believer in hands-on testing since ergonomics can make or break a camera experience.

Where I live in California, dealers have told me that they stopped carrying Pentax some time ago because the company was hard to work with and support was difficult to get.

After finding confusing and conflicting warranty information on Ricoh's US website, I sent Ricoh Imaging a message on FB on April 27, 2016. My simple question: "Would Pentax USA provide the same warranty service for my camera once I bring it home?"

On May 2, 2016, they responded: "No, the warranty would be covered in Europe only."

This isn't a show-stopper but it's certainly not encouraging me to buy a Pentax system even though the gear appears to be wonderful. Sending a camera from California to Germany to have it serviced would be a long, expensive process that I'd rather not do.

Just thought I'd let everyone know what I found out. Maybe if you knew somebody in Precision Camera Repair or in Ricoh you could work around this policy, or maybe the person who responded to my FB message is wrong. I know, chances of needing a warranty repair are low, but the hassle factor of having to send a camera to Europe from the USA for repairs is pretty high.

05-04-2016, 09:32 AM   #2
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This is not surprising at all. I think this is the policy of pretty much every company in the world. Not limited to Ricoh and not limited to cameras.
This didn't stop me from buying cameras and lenses in Japan and bringing them back to Germany or buying electronics in the US.
You just have to aware of the pros and cons.
05-04-2016, 11:52 AM   #3
George in California
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Not every manufacturer refuses warranty service out-of-country

Hi, Volley.

Thanks for the quick reply. I understand why regional camera distributors don't want to work on gray goods, but refusing to work on a legitimate purchase from an authorized dealer in another country seems like bad business over all. When a traveler's camera fails on a long overseas trip, getting it fixed under warranty would generate a lot of good will (and vice versa if it just becomes a dead weight to carry home to repair).

I haven't checked with Canon or Nikon, but I did contact Fuji because I've been thinking about buying their X-T1 or the upcoming X-T2 as a travel camera. I called the US Fuji service center last week to ask about service in case I bought one of their systems overseas. I was told that if I have proof of purchase from any authorized dealer anywhere in the world, the US team would be perfectly happy to fix my camera or lenses for free under warranty.

Anyhow, this is all just FYI if you're an international traveler. I don't expect that posting this information here will change any corporate policies.
05-04-2016, 12:15 PM   #4
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You should read this, you need to call and get the international warranty
International repairs - RICOH IMAGING - European Hub Site

05-04-2016, 12:50 PM - 2 Likes   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by First Poster Quote
After finding confusing and conflicting warranty information on Ricoh's US website, I sent Ricoh Imaging a message on FB on April 27, 2016. My simple question: "Would Pentax USA provide the same warranty service for my camera once I bring it home?" On May 2, 2016, they responded: "No, the warranty would be covered in Europe only." This isn't a show-stopper but it's certainly not encouraging me to buy a Pentax system even though the gear appears to be wonderful. Sending a camera from California to Germany to have it serviced would be a long, expensive process that I'd rather not do.
This isn't correct. As long as you purchased from an authorized European dealer, you will be able to obtain warranty service in the US at a charge of $50 per claim, for the duration of the original warranty. You must retain the original receipt/proof of purchase.

Ricoh reps need to get their facts straight!

Adam
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05-05-2016, 12:21 PM   #6
George in California
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More about that international warranty

Hi, all.

After trying a few of the places listed on the European Hub, I then called Ricoh's Tech Support. I was told in no uncertain terms:

1. The European pages are several years out of date and full of incorrect information.

2. The only place in the USA that Ricoh authorizes for warranty work on Pentax cameras and lenses is Precision Camera Repair in Connecticut.

3. The decision to completely eliminate international warranties was made by Ricoh's worldwide corporate offices over a year ago.

So... looks as if the rep who answered my query on FaceBook was in fact telling me the real story, sad though it is.
05-05-2016, 01:00 PM   #7
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Check with Square Trade or similar warranty service. They will simply pay to have it repaired or replace it - they typically only care that you add the protection within the first 30 days of purchase.
05-05-2016, 01:07 PM   #8
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This is distressing because Adam seemed to have been given his information rather recently. Maybe he can check. My K-1 has a US warranty but all of us may want to buy abroad sometime.

05-05-2016, 02:00 PM   #9
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I honestly think it is stupid the way these companies deal with an increasingly mobile society. The fiefdoms of geography are relatively meaningless to a product - they aren't manufactured differently why treat them so? Ideally they would simply transfer the payment for service from the original country of purchase to fill the gaps when a product needed service. This is not a Pentax specific issue but it could be a selling point if played correctly.
05-05-2016, 06:02 PM   #10
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Ricoh USA's warranty policies are not unique to Ricoh nor to the U.S.. Quite simply, warranty service through the regional distributor is limited to product that they sold through their network of authorized dealers. After all, the distributor is footing the bill.* (Anything else within the distributor's borders is considered "gray market". If you buy a camera in Europe, your remedy is through that distributor, though it is likely they will honor only for cameras located in Europe.

All that being said, Ricoh Imaging will honor your camera warranty, but you must take responsibility for shipping and any funny business that might happen as the package crosses international borders. The International Warranty card authorizing service worldwide is no more, but that does not mean the camera is not warrantied outside the country/region where it was purchased.


Steve

* There is the assumption that regional distributors are branches of the main company. Often enough, that is the case, though many times, it is done as a franchise with licensing rights for name, logo, etc.. In almost all cases, the distributors are fairly autonomous and have considerable latitude in regards to sales, marketing, and customer service. The distributor is bears the weight of post-sale customer service and is understandably not keen on servicing product imported through a parallel channel.

Last edited by stevebrot; 05-05-2016 at 06:07 PM.
05-05-2016, 06:17 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by First Poster Quote
1. The European pages are several years out of date and full of incorrect information.
This is true, though I had to chuckle a little. Ricoh Imaging, U.S. has no room to point fingers! Their Web site is far from complete and until recently had almost nothing in the support section. Things are a little better now, though they still don't have downloads for manuals/firmware/software that were present on previous versions of the site. They also have zero information regarding warranty policy.


Steve
05-05-2016, 07:39 PM   #12
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Precision has a bad wrap (for good reason imo). I'd be happier buying a camera say in Canada if I have to ship it to Canada for repair services. Europe might be costly to ship.. but still cheaper than 50 USD per shipping.

Beyond that.. I'd likely go 3rd party warranty if I could and skip Pentax/Precision when possible.
05-06-2016, 07:43 PM   #13
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Nikon is the same...
My neighbor moved from Switzerland, his Nikon camera conked out and they would not repair it under warranty in the U.S. I am sure this maybe different for professionals, but for an amateur like him, they did not honor the European warranty. This was a few years ago and things may have changed.
05-06-2016, 08:24 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Steve

* There is the assumption that regional distributors are branches of the main company. Often enough, that is the case, though many times, it is done as a franchise with licensing rights for name, logo, etc.. In almost all cases, the distributors are fairly autonomous and have considerable latitude in regards to sales, marketing, and customer service. The distributor is bears the weight of post-sale customer service and is understandably not keen on servicing product imported through a parallel channel.
A Warranty has a cost. Not just the actual expense of honoring the warranty and paying for the repair, but an actual earnings reserve taken for every item sold in a region - that is a large earnings reserve. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles vary by region, so the cost of the reserve varies by region.

Ricoh's wholly-owned Distribution companies, such as RICOH Imaging Corp, N.A. are separate companies with individual profit / loss businesses and operations. They are in no way whatsoever related to each other and are in fact separate from Ricoh Imaging Company, Ltd., the parent company. Because they are separate companies there is not a simple, legal, accepted method to transfer money from RICOH Europe's Reserve to Ricoh North America's current expense line.

Additionally, consumer protection laws vary so greatly between say Europe and North America that there is a potential lawsuit if Ricoh America fails to fulfill Germany's consumer law and instead applies America's consumer law to a claim.

The only clear easy answer is to refuse to service foreign-purchased goods; to require goods be serviced in the region in which it was purchased and reserved for under the regions consumer protection laws.

Blame the politicians and the lawyers, not the companies.
05-06-2016, 08:55 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by mee Quote
I'd be happier buying a camera say in Canada if I have to ship it to Canada for repair services.
Good luck with that one. Ricoh/Pentax Canada will only honor warranty claims for cameras purchased from an authorized Canadian dealer and only if the item is sent to them from within Canada. They have no interest in shipping across borders or having incoming stuff stuck in a customs warehouse somewhere.


Steve
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