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10-15-2014, 11:08 AM   #1
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My ongoing experience with Precision Camera

Updating my original post so people who find this later don't have to read the whole thing:

I've tested the camera more and Precision Camera did an acceptable job repairing my lens. They either had parts in stock or ordered parts very quickly. Under 4 week turnaround counting shipping.

The lack of communication from Precision is a concern. I'm not alone when I say Precision does not answer the phone and doesn't send email despite having a form that lets you enter an email address for status updates. I hope Precision and Ricoh can fix that soon.

Regardless, I'd rather have the proper repair that I did receive, than a slow botched repair with good communication.


and here's my original post:

(For those who don't know, Precision Camera is the subcontractor who handles Ricoh USA warranty service. They took over for the prior subcontractor CRIS in August.)

This is a bit of a rant, but any constructive advice for contacting Precision Camera is appreciated.

I dropped off my lens in September while near Precision Camera's office on other business. I previously entered my information into Precision's website so they already had all the details in their computer system. The receptionist wouldn't accept that; she handed me a new form where I had to handwrite everything that was already in the system.

Their online repair status page still offers no details on my repair beyond confirming they have my lens. Have they started repair work? Are they waiting for parts? Will it be in the queue for another month due to backlogged technicians? The automated phone option to speak to a person rings forever. I even tried to use the phone option to pay a bill, hoping they'd prioritize income over answering questions, but that also rings forever.

I had low expectations for Precision based on feedback from other PF members. I still don't know whether Precision will fix the lens or return it claiming it's "working to specifications". The real fault is with Ricoh USA. This is what happens when you sub work out with insufficient oversight.



Last edited by DeadJohn; 11-03-2014 at 11:59 AM.
10-15-2014, 12:12 PM   #2
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Doesn't exactly inspire... I know in the past for me, with other companies, I could always get through on teh phone if I selected an option that involved them potentially getting something from me (like opening an account). Then I would sound off about not being able to to talk to a human, and they would transfer me to a human. Means to an end. Sounds like your options are limited here, in this case.
10-15-2014, 12:27 PM   #3
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Is there any other better option for repairs outside the warranty?
10-15-2014, 12:29 PM   #4
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I sent in a camera last month to precision and they fixed it in five days and had it back to me under warranty. So, I can't say too much negative about them. Their web site leaves a lot to be desired. You can't find out anything about what they are doing to your camera until it is ready to ship back to you.

10-15-2014, 02:40 PM   #5
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I sent my K-30 to CRIS back on 15 July and finally got it back (fixed) last Monday (6 Oct). Between that time a lot happened. When Pentax and CRIS decided to part ways I don't think CRIS did anything but pack stuff up, then shipped everything to Precision starting 1 August, including the Pentax repair equipment. I don't thibnk precision was ready to fix anything before mid to late August and then they had a tremendous backload. I talked to someone at Precision once (directed their by Ricoh) and was told they were logging cameras and lenses into their system, that was probably in August and I was never able to contact them again. During all of this time I checked the CRIS and then Precision websites daily. I called Ricoh several times, they were always nice, but rarely helpful until I talked to Paul on 9/10 and he "escalated" the case to corporate. On 9/12 it was miraculously "Received" at Precision - meaning they logged it into the system, on the 15th it was listed as "In Repair" On 24 Sept the webpage was updated to "Delay - Repair is on hold waiting for parts - parts ordered", then on 2 October it showed up at "out of repair) they shipped it that day, and I had it the 6th.

I think Ricoh is trying had to get this under control, but they underestimated how long the turnover would take and didn't expect CRIS to stop working on things. I don't know that they stopped working on Pentax equipment, that iust my speculation since my camera was received there and just sat, and I was told all the cameras were packed into boxes and put on pallets, and there were several pallets. Unfortunately, I can only think this switchover was poorly planned and executed. Hopefully Precision will catch up soon and be a good resource.

The good news, from what I can tell the repair was completed correctly. The mirror was briefly sticking, especially when using Continuous Shooting.

Here's the summary that they put on the invoice:
Explanation of Repairs
A COMPLETE REPAIR AND RETURN ALL FUNCTIONS TO FACTORY SPECS.
AUTO FOCUS TEST, CHECK, RECALIBRA'IION AND REALIGNMENT
FIRMWARE DOWNLOAD: CORRECTIONS AND ADJUSTMENTS; ADDRESS VALUES MEASURED AND ADJUSTED
COMPLETE CLEANING (INTERNAL-EXTERNAL) AND OPTICAL SYSTEM
Description of Parts Used
DIAPHMGM CONTROL BLOCK

This was an extended warranty repair and there was no charge. On the newer extended warranties I see that you must pay for return shipping.

Thread on repairs:
Repairs
10-15-2014, 11:58 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
I sent my K-30 to CRIS back on 15 July and finally got it back (fixed) last Monday (6 Oct). Between that time a lot happened. When Pentax and CRIS decided to part ways I don't think CRIS did anything but pack stuff up, then shipped everything to Precision starting 1 August, including the Pentax repair equipment. I don't thibnk precision was ready to fix anything before mid to late August and then they had a tremendous backload.
That's too bad it took so long. I would guess CRIS wasn't given any motivation by Ricoh to do anything differently; it's hard to imagine them starting work on anything that wasn't already on their workbench. Anything shipped back from them would still be under their reputation, but Precision and Ricoh really have to take responsibility for anything that happened after that.
10-16-2014, 09:34 AM   #7
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My experience

Sent K-5II brick to Chris on June 15, 2014. It bricked while attempting to install firmware, no idea why because I followed all the Pentax instructions to the last tiny detail.

CHRIS quoted around $300 for new circuitboard. I contacted Petax, and they agreed to furnish a free circuit board, and I would pay for labor, lowering cost to around $150. Nothing happened, and finally CHRIS sent all the cameras to Precision Camera around late August or early September.

September 17 Precision Camera acknowledged receipt and entered my K-5II into their data system, showing 9/17/14 as date received.

October 16 (today) UPS delivered the totally repaired camera with no charges at all. Precision also installed new firmware.

Their notation was: "A COMPLETE REPAIR AND RETURN ALL FUNCTIONS TO FACTORY SPECS. CLEANED IMAGE SENSOR. AUTO FOCUS TEST, CHECK RECALIBRATION AND REALIGNMENT. FIRMWARE DOWNLOAD, CORRECTIONS AND ADJUSTMENTS; ADDRESS VALUES MEASURED AND ADJUSTED COMPLETE CLEANING (INTERNAL-EXTERNAL) AND OPTICAL SYSTEM. REPLACED MAIN PCB."

Of course I do not like having my camera gone from mid-June to mid-October. However, that is not the fault of Precision Camera, but was caused by the change from CHRIS to Precision. I have no idea why all charges were waived, but suspect that Pentax decided to honor the camera as a covered warranty repair contrary to what they have stated regarding failed firmware updates.

I could never get Precision on the phone, but with their internal tracking system I really did not need to talk with them. So, I am rating Precision Camera as a 9 out of 10. Great repair, good but not great communication.

10-17-2014, 06:18 PM   #8
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They just fixed my Optio RZ18 under warranty and did an excellent job. I didnt really communicate with them since it wasnt a critical situation for me but they did a great job with the repair, the lens now feels very firm and works well.
10-17-2014, 07:54 PM   #9
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Bumping this because of the importance of the issue. It's bad enough that the warranty is so ungenerous. Unreliable service can kill a brand very dead!
10-19-2014, 10:25 AM   #10
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I worked in the field of supply chain management for a number of years and must say that Ricoh's decision to subcontract this work out is a mistake. Quality will suffer unless the prime company takes the time to fully train the subcontractor about its expectations and processes. Oversight of this subcontractor is essential by Ricoh to make sure customers' needs are being met. Most of the time, the prime company will not adequately do what I have described above. The customer is the loser, just as we have seen in this case.
10-19-2014, 04:24 PM   #11
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How does Precision do return shipping? Their neglect to answer the phone or reply to emails means there's a risk of my camera being repaired and shipped back while I'm out of town for a week. I hope they ship USPS so it gets held with the rest of my mail. If Precisions ships UPS or FedEx, it either gets left at my door and stolen/rained on/etc over such a long period, or the shipper holds it for my signature and ships it back when I can't sign for it.
10-23-2014, 05:56 AM   #12
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Surprise! The 16-50 I sent for repair was sitting at my front door today.

The good: Precision took 3 weeks, plus shipping. That's a decent turnaround time considering they are still learning.

The bad: The lack of communication. They don't answer the phone and neglected to send update emails. I suspect they fixed one problem (intermittent SDM) but not another (optical issue due to barrel wobble); I won't know until I exercise the lens more.

The ugly: This one reflects on Pentax Ricoh not Precision. My 16-50 is less than a year old and the SDM needed repair.
10-23-2014, 07:23 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
Surprise! The 16-50 I sent for repair was sitting at my front door today.

The good: Precision took 3 weeks, plus shipping. That's a decent turnaround time considering they are still learning.

The bad: The lack of communication. They don't answer the phone and neglected to send update emails. I suspect they fixed one problem (intermittent SDM) but not another (optical issue due to barrel wobble); I won't know until I exercise the lens more.

The ugly: This one reflects on Pentax Ricoh not Precision. My 16-50 is less than a year old and the SDM needed repair.
My guess is the camera companies have figured this all out. The odds of customers getting good equipment and not needing any repairs is quite good. The effect of the unlucky ones leaving the brand is offset by the unlucky ones from other brands ditching their brand and coming to Pentax. As long as the biggest factor in sales continues to be purchase price/feature competitiveness that will continue to be true.

I simply can't imagine a market where anything but purchase price/features affects the average consumer.

Last edited by normhead; 10-23-2014 at 08:18 AM.
10-25-2014, 06:56 PM   #14
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Precision repairs

I sent my 50-135mm lens ( was having some focusing problems with the upper and lower ranges. After 2 months they sent my lens back as unrepairable- corrosion. They returned lens without bottom portion, no caps, or cover. Lens was intact and in working order when sent to them. Destroyed when returned. I hope Pentax stands behind their repairs. Anyone else have issues Precision?
10-26-2014, 06:26 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by DJHeadlee Quote
I sent my 50-135mm lens ( was having some focusing problems with the upper and lower ranges. After 2 months they sent my lens back as unrepairable- corrosion. They returned lens without bottom portion, no caps, or cover. Lens was intact and in working order when sent to them. Destroyed when returned. I hope Pentax stands behind their repairs. Anyone else have issues Precision?
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