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02-22-2016, 09:26 AM   #1
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Precision Camera K-3 Repair

I recently sent my 6 month old K-3 to Precision Camera , when the camera refused to power on. So far so good, results remain to be seen. From their website I was easily able to see that it was received by them on Feb 12, 2016 , parts were ordered , and received, and it is now in Repair Status. Today I called with questions, and was immediately speaking to a Customer Service Agent. She was able to tell me what was the problem with the camera. I was told the Flash Circuit (turns the camera's low voltage into high voltage, I was told) and the Main Circuit were being replaced. I am not a technical person, but I understand the Main Circuit to be the Motherboard . Which appears to be very major repair, particularly in a new camera with less then 5000 shutter count.
I am very unhappy that this could happen in what I feel is still a new camera, and I want to write or call Ricoh. I believe they should send me a new camera and sell this one as refurbished, as that is essentially what my camera becomes after this repair. No longer new . And I'll always be thinking of it as defective and expecting more problems in the future.
Has anyone had this type of problem under warranty? Am I out of line thinking Ricoh should replace the camera?
Has anyone had a good or bad experience dealing with Ricoh, and did you do it by phone, or letter, and any suggestions as to who to contact would be appreciated.

I will report back on the progress of my experience with Precision Camera. So far, I have been pleasantly surprised , especially after reading all the terrible reviews posted. I had no problem contacting a real person who gave me answers, but of course am still waiting to see if they follow through with a timely and good repair.

02-22-2016, 09:43 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Sorry your K3 failed, but every company that makes things has issues, be it with electronic or mechanical components, and to expect a replacement after using it for 5,000 shots is, to me, unrealistic. If (sadly, a big IF with Precision it seems) the repair is done properly, you are essentially getting a new camera. I don't think you have any cause to expect/request a new camera from Ricoh as they are honoring their warranty by having it repaired. Now, had the failure occurred in the first few days of ownership, then yes, I would expect the retailer to exchange the body for a new one.

I'm glad that Precision has been available, both on the web and on the phone to talk with you - maybe they are getting better. Good luck with the repair, and getting your camera back promptly.
02-22-2016, 09:55 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Sounds similar to what happened with my K-3. When I got it back from repair the actuation count was (to the best of my recollection) around 30 (not the 5K+ previous) and the manufacture date was a year or more more recent. For all intents and purposes, it is a new camera, but with the same exterior and serial number.
02-22-2016, 10:09 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by maryjo Quote
Am I out of line thinking Ricoh should replace the camera?
Sorry your k-3 had an issue. But I think you are quite unjustified in asking for a 'new' camera. They are repairing it under warranty and it seems in amazingly quick time. My k-5 spent almost 4 months in the repair shop so it seems Precision is getting better.

Had it died in the first few days or even weeks I would have returned it to the retailer as defective, but after 6 months and 5,000 shots? No, that is warranty repair. The k-3 has been very trouble free by all reports without a lot of long term issues but any product will have a failure rate. Just your bad luck. Hopefully Precision will do a good repair and all will be well.

02-22-2016, 10:18 AM - 1 Like   #5
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I dont defend Ricoh or Precision Camera, but, ┐how a 6 month "old", 5k actuations camera is a "new" camera?, for me, once anything is out of the package is "used" because i cant verify is actually new, just open for inspection or actually was used... besides if you put them on sale i hardly believe you can sell it as a new camera, but anyway, any minor fail at the main board is cheaper to replace all the motherboard, i do think i prefer this rather than they try to fix original problem, check your shutter count when you camera arrives to see the shutter count is the same (maybe some more shots if they tested it) or less if they replaced for a new one, if everything is good just carry on, but if you believe you deserve a new body, go ahead, and tell us in what ends this issue.
02-22-2016, 10:43 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by maryjo Quote
Am I out of line thinking Ricoh should replace the camera?
Yes, because manufacturers have the right to repair your item when it fails. Only if a repair is not possible, or several repairs do not work out, do they have to provide a replacement.
02-22-2016, 11:22 AM - 1 Like   #7
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I had a rear lcd replacement done on my K-5IIS while it was covered by my extended warranty. It was sent, received, repaired, and back to me within approximately seven days. I was fully informed of status on the internet, was able to talk to a customer service agent immediately when I called, the lcd replacement was completed, and the warranty covered the repair fully. They even cleaned my camera for free. This was all done by Precision Camera and Repair in coordination with Pentax. I am happy with the camera and the prompt service I received. It was serviced correctly, thus I do not require a replacement at this time.
02-22-2016, 11:24 AM - 1 Like   #8
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Consider this hypothetical: I bought a car, drove it 5,000 miles over a six month period, when through no fault of mine the crankshaft failed, rendering the engine useless. Under warranty, after 10 days the dealer was in the process of completing installation of a brand new (not rebuilt) engine and small additional parts that had also failed.

I demanded they give me a brand new car instead.

Am I out of line thinking I deserve a brand new car?

02-22-2016, 11:38 AM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by maryjo Quote
I am very unhappy that this could happen in what I feel is still a new camera, and I want to write or call Ricoh.
Hi maryjo and welcome to the Pentax Forums!

I understand your disappointment, but cameras are like any other mass-manufactured item and a certain number will make it through quality control checks with a fault that only surfaces through use. Digital cameras overall have failure or serious fault rates about half that of personal computers, tablet computers, and smart phones and rates comparable to that of flat screen TVs. According to Consumer Reports' most recent survey, the rates for serious fault or failure of interchangeable lens cameras sort out as follows:
Panasonic: 4%
Canon: 5%
Sony: 7%
Pentax/Ricoh: 7%
Nikon: 8%
Olympus: 8%
CR cautions that differences of less than five percentage points are insignificant. Data for brands such as Fuji and Leica were not included due to inadequate data. FWIW, the Pentax numbers used to be below 5% before the K-3II debacle where the initial batch released to dealers suffered a serious fault.

Yes, the numbers are rather discouraging with one out of 20 boxes labeled "Canon" and greater that one in 13 labeled "Nikon" going out the door requiring service or replacement. Given the industry dominance of those two brands, those rates represents a considerable number of cameras and dissatisfied customers. I personally think the numbers are unacceptable industry-wide, but that is just my opinion.

As for repair vs. replace:
  • Fault, failure, or defect within the first month or so of purchase may usually allow for no-cost replacement by most reputable sellers
  • Problems after the first month are dealt with by the distributor or maker according to the terms of the warranty
  • Warranty terms usually allow for either repair or replacement at the discretion of the distributor or maker
  • Replacement is usually not offered unless repair is more expensive than the cost to replace
As for your camera being essentially used and "refurbished", yes that is true. Before the repair, it was used and non-functional and before it failed, it was simply used. Sorry about the bluntness, but in many ways you are fortunate that it failed so soon and within the warranty period. All that being said, it sounds like you are being well-cared for by the folk at Precision and it is my hope that your camera will be trouble-free for the remainder of its time with you.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 02-22-2016 at 11:52 AM.
02-22-2016, 11:47 AM - 1 Like   #10
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Precision Camera and Repair warranties their repair. If a problem occurred after repair within either that warranty or the Pentax warranty, the repair is covered. If the user considers the problem as recurring at that point, and wants to confide with Pentax customer service due to loss of confidence in the camera body, the user has the right to tell Pentax customer service about the recurrence and ask if replacing the body is an option. Obviously the user will not be ignored if a recurring problem has been diagnosed, the camera is under warranty, and the user is telling the truth.

Last edited by C_Jones; 02-22-2016 at 02:05 PM.
02-22-2016, 12:53 PM - 1 Like   #11
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That's great info Steve. Like you said, all electronics fail at some rate, and someone is going to be the unfortunate one to have an early failure. Sounds like Ricoh is addressing this specific case appropriately. I guess the other thing to keep in mind with cameras is they're basically computers these days, but not ones that are kept indoors, in a somewhat controlled environment. They're outdoors, in the elements, dust, opened and closed constantly while swapping lenses, basically put at much greater risk than your typical desktop. The fact that the failure rate is half that of computers makes me really wonder about QC in that industry (admittedly your numbers include tablets and smartphones which are out in the elements, but should be generally better sealed than a DSLR).
02-22-2016, 02:32 PM - 2 Likes   #12
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Original Poster
thanks for the feedback on my K-3

Thanks, all of you who took the time to reply with feedback on my thoughts regarding my warranty repair. After reading all the posts, I do agree that it is unrealistic to expect a new camera as a replacement if I have no further problems once it is repaired. I guess I hadn't looked at it quite that way. Also, in my experience, fortunately I have never had any large purchase item fail so quickly , I guess I've just been lucky till now. And I guess I was lucky that it happened within the first year so that at least it is covered.
So , I'll let it go and hope for the best from Precision , and will keep you posted on the progress , like how long it takes them to get it back to me, and how well it is repaired.
It's really helpful to have this forum to look for solutions to problems and all kinds of helpful ideas from such knowledgeable people.
Thanks again, all!
02-22-2016, 04:36 PM - 1 Like   #13
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maryjo,

I can understand your concern, and you are right, after the repair process you will be able to use it firsthand to see how it performs. Also, since you are within the warranty period, Pentax will have record of this which you can reference in case you do have a similar/associated dysfunction or related problem. So you are doing what you can in the way of steps. I hope everything works out well for you.

Best regards.
02-22-2016, 06:22 PM - 3 Likes   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by maryjo Quote
Thanks, all of you who took the time to reply with feedback on my thoughts regarding my warranty repair. After reading all the posts, I do agree that it is unrealistic to expect a new camera as a replacement if I have no further problems once it is repaired. I guess I hadn't looked at it quite that way. Also, in my experience, fortunately I have never had any large purchase item fail so quickly , I guess I've just been lucky till now. And I guess I was lucky that it happened within the first year so that at least it is covered.
So , I'll let it go and hope for the best from Precision , and will keep you posted on the progress , like how long it takes them to get it back to me, and how well it is repaired.
It's really helpful to have this forum to look for solutions to problems and all kinds of helpful ideas from such knowledgeable people.
Thanks again, all!
Not gonna lie, I was expecting a little less of a comprehensive attitude from you after reading your first post and the replies thereafter. Your good spirit and capacity to reasons when offered good arguments made this thread not the entertainment I was hoping for initially (who doesn't like a little flame war once in a while ), but at least, it seems the Pentax community has seen the birth of a valuable member. Welcome to Pentaxforums!
02-22-2016, 06:35 PM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by maryjo Quote
So , I'll let it go and hope for the best from Precision , and will keep you posted on the progress , like how long it takes them to get it back to me, and how well it is repaired.
Please do. I'm interested in knowing how your experience (time, communication, and actual repair) is met with Precision.
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