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03-28-2016, 12:52 PM   #1
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Long repair times from Precision Camera

Hi all,

My K-50 aperture control failed less than 6 months after I purchased my camera so I talked to Ricoh and they said I had to send it to Precision Camera for warranty repair. I did that and waited for a few weeks until they sent me a notice saying the part needed is backordered and won't be available for a few more weeks. I contacted Ricoh saying this is unacceptable and would like one of these resolutions since the camera was found to be defective due to poor workmanship:

1 - Repair and return the camera to me within 30 days of receipt
2 - Send me a loaner camera until the camera is repaired
3 - Send me a replacement body
4 - Refund me the price I paid

Ricoh has not responded to my email after yet another week, I'm tempted to take the next steps in escalating this. My options are: file a complaint with my credit card company and see if they'll do a chargeback, file a complaint with the BBB, file a complaint with the local consumer protection agency, or file a small claims lawsuit.

What do you guys think would be the best thing to do? I think it's wrong for a 6 month old camera to take 2 months+ for repairs under warranty. I'm patiently waiting for it to be repaired, but I am not going to wait indefinitely or be jerked around. Has anyone had this problem before and taken any steps to let Ricoh this is unacceptable?

03-28-2016, 01:11 PM   #2
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Repair times with Precision vary from reasonable (2 to 3 weeks) to 6 months or more. Lots of threads here if you search about Precision, most not good.

As to your options, good luck with that, the warranty says repair, no place does it say repair quickly, or offer a loaner or refund. Do post back and let us know how you make out.
03-28-2016, 01:11 PM   #3
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Many other people have had bad experiences with Precision Camera-- you can search for other threads on this forum. Off the top of my head, though, it doesn't seem unreasonable to have to wait a few weeks for backordered parts; I don't know what caused the initial delay. I don't think you're likely to get any of the resolutions you're asking for, and I don't think they're really reasonable. Your best options are probably either waiting for the camera to get fixed or working with your credit card company.
03-28-2016, 01:14 PM - 1 Like   #4
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I am sorry to hear about the trouble you're having dealing with Precision Camera. This is not the first time I have heard about issues with warranty repair.

I have recently sent in a K-50 for the exact same issue and had called to ask how long the repair would be. They sent me an email saying the estimated date of arrival for the parts is April 15th. I hope that helps.

03-28-2016, 01:34 PM   #5
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  1. Communications from Precision are notoriously poor
  2. If you are waiting for parts there's nothing to do but wait for the parts to come in. That's what happens when you deal with products produced overseas with the manufacturing base spread out through 3 or 5 countries. For the relatively low MSRP for Pentax bodies Ricoh is not going to ship parts overnight.
  3. Loaners are only available for the 645d/z under the Advantage Silver/Platinum programs
  4. Ricoh warranty will replace solely at their discretion. Refunds are not covered under RIcoh's warranty. From other posts it looks like Ricoh will sometimes replace equipment after 2 or 3 or more unsuccessful repair attempts have been made for the same problem. This is pretty much the same as "Lemon Laws" enacted by many States.
  5. Escalate away. Since the equipment is still under warranty and hasn't been found to be unrepariable it is just going to be between Precision and the CC company or Precision and the BBB. By the time the BBB acts the parts will probably have come in.
03-28-2016, 02:13 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by ohmic314 Quote
I contacted Ricoh saying this is unacceptable and would like one of these resolutions since the camera was found to be defective due to poor workmanship:

1 - Repair and return the camera to me within 30 days of receipt
2 - Send me a loaner camera until the camera is repaired
3 - Send me a replacement body
4 - Refund me the price I paid
Well, you are not going to get any of these. Having to wait for a long time is naturally inconvenient, but that the camera went defective due to poor workmanship is the single reason why they repair it under warranty - it does not qualify you to make up resolutions. No manufacturer gives out loaners for entry level bodies, and they do not have to send you a replacement or refund you if they are going to repair it.
03-28-2016, 02:21 PM   #7
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Thanks for the feedback. I try to stay reasonable in my expectations and was ok with having a camera break within 6 months of purchase. It's hopefully rare, but it happens. In the event the item is broken, it should be repaired in a reasonable time. Is 1 month reasonable? 2 months? 6 years? I also think it's not a good idea for consumers to just sit back and let companies just screw them over with slow repairs and non-communication. So we need to speak out against that, even if it means poor reviews on websites, talking to consumer protection agencies, etc. Otherwise, the company will think nothing is wrong and continue giving poor service.

If anyone has any tips on how to be the most vocal and make sure we're heard, I'd love to hear it. Otherwise, I'll try to find my own path and let you guys know what happens.
03-28-2016, 02:31 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by ohmic314 Quote
Hi all,

My K-50 aperture control failed less than 6 months after I purchased my camera so I talked to Ricoh and they said I had to send it to Precision Camera for warranty repair. I did that and waited for a few weeks until they sent me a notice saying the part needed is backordered and won't be available for a few more weeks. I contacted Ricoh saying this is unacceptable and would like one of these resolutions since the camera was found to be defective due to poor workmanship:

1 - Repair and return the camera to me within 30 days of receipt
2 - Send me a loaner camera until the camera is repaired
3 - Send me a replacement body
4 - Refund me the price I paid

Ricoh has not responded to my email after yet another week, I'm tempted to take the next steps in escalating this. My options are: file a complaint with my credit card company and see if they'll do a chargeback, file a complaint with the BBB, file a complaint with the local consumer protection agency, or file a small claims lawsuit.

What do you guys think would be the best thing to do? I think it's wrong for a 6 month old camera to take 2 months+ for repairs under warranty. I'm patiently waiting for it to be repaired, but I am not going to wait indefinitely or be jerked around. Has anyone had this problem before and taken any steps to let Ricoh this is unacceptable?
Frankly you are not asking so much though others of weaker character may disagree. You just want your camera back in a reasonable period of time. waiting for months is not reasonable. If Ricoh cannot supply parts they should replace this camera. My advice is to contact Ricoh again be very firm with them that this is not acceptable and they need to get involved to help you and inform them if they can't or won't help you, get your credit card company involved. Also find out the boss of whoever you are talking to and keep escalating until you get satisfaction. Also tell them that the members of Pentax Forums are anxiously waiting to hear how this works out.

03-28-2016, 02:37 PM - 1 Like   #9
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Ricoh can't not be aware of it at this point, given the sheer number of bad experiences and the fact that they even sent me a survey after my own Precision repair experience.

I don't think your particular repair experience is unreasonable yet, BTW (few weeks to look at it, then a few weeks for parts). These things happen. On the other hand, with my camera repair, Precision sat on it for two months waiting for payment authorization without bothering to contact me because they lost the copies of the warranty materials I sent them. That was not great.

Anyway, whatever you do, don't be a jerk.
03-28-2016, 03:41 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ohmic314 Quote
If anyone has any tips on how to be the most vocal and make sure we're heard, I'd love to hear it.
You have nothing to be 'vocal' about. Yet. A couple weeks for shipping and then initial inspection and evaluation is reasonable. Waiting for parts? Nothing precision or anyone else can do until the parts become available. What was the date you mailed the camera to Precision?

If you want to be 'vocal' contact Ricoh direct, the 800 number is on your paperwork. Email also sometimes works but calling seems to be better.

If you want or need fast turnaround for repairs some brands have programs that allow for loaners and fast service, but that is an extra cost program. And you might also have to prove you are a professional photographer, not sure about that.

Pentax does have a 'pro' repair service for the 645z but not for any other camera at this time.

Personally I think your expectations are completely unrealistic. I am no fan of Precision and have said so both here and to Ricoh directly but in this case I do not think you have a complaint. Yet.
03-28-2016, 04:07 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
You have nothing to be 'vocal' about. Yet. A couple weeks for shipping and then initial inspection and evaluation is reasonable. Waiting for parts? Nothing precision or anyone else can do until the parts become available. What was the date you mailed the camera to Precision?

If you want to be 'vocal' contact Ricoh direct, the 800 number is on your paperwork. Email also sometimes works but calling seems to be better.
The camera has been received by Precision for 3 weeks. It took them one or two days to determine the camera was broken and needed parts, at which point they "ordered the parts". It took 2 weeks after that for them to determine the part was backordered. I completely understand they cannot do repairs until they receive the camera. Once they have the camera in hand, that is when the clock starts. As for "nothing Precision or anyone else can do", there is plenty they can do. How about they send parts with a faster shipping courier? How about keeping better stock of what parts were used for repairs and order new ones before they run out?

I did contact Ricoh several times. The first time was in order to get information about where to send the camera for repairs. Ricoh advised me repair times would be in 3-5 days as it is a very common camera and they always have parts for a common camera in stock. They only have long repair times when someone sends a unique camera that they would not normally carry the parts needed for repair. I contacted Ricoh again after learning it would take 2 months for repair, and they said I had to send a request via their Web Form as they cannot forward a complaint to corporate via phone or email. Ricoh corporate has been unresponsive for more than a week.
03-28-2016, 04:17 PM   #12
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When we busted a 21 ltd. a few years ago here in Canada, some parts had to come from Japan. You have to give these things time.
03-28-2016, 04:37 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ohmic314 Quote
How about they send parts with a faster shipping courier? How about keeping better stock of what parts were used for repairs and order new ones before they run out?
Both very good ideas.

Good luck with your repair.
03-28-2016, 04:42 PM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by ohmic314 Quote
Thanks for the feedback. I try to stay reasonable in my expectations and was ok with having a camera break within 6 months of purchase. It's hopefully rare, but it happens. In the event the item is broken, it should be repaired in a reasonable time. Is 1 month reasonable? 2 months? 6 years? I also think it's not a good idea for consumers to just sit back and let companies just screw them over with slow repairs and non-communication. So we need to speak out against that, even if it means poor reviews on websites, talking to consumer protection agencies, etc. Otherwise, the company will think nothing is wrong and continue giving poor service.

If anyone has any tips on how to be the most vocal and make sure we're heard, I'd love to hear it. Otherwise, I'll try to find my own path and let you guys know what happens.
In any case, it's good that you posted about your experience here. Ricoh reads the forum quite a bit and I hope we'll be heard at the end of the day

Hope your parts manage to come in soon.

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03-28-2016, 05:16 PM - 1 Like   #15
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Update 1

Just to update some of you on the progress.

I contacted my local consumer protection agency and they say they can't do too much except contact the manufacturer with the complaint. However, they still want us to files these complaints because it builds up a case. If they see it happening a lot, they'll file a class action lawsuit with the attorney general.

I also contacted the Better Business Bureau and like with the consumer protection agency, they have no legal ability to do anything. But they were happy to take my complaint and forwarded it to Ricoh in a few hours. I'm not sure if it went out via mail or email, but it's on its way to corporate. If Ricoh doesn't reply, then they get a ding in their BBB rating, but I don't think that does much to deter consumers or encourage them to do better.

I contacted my credit card and they told me I have a legitimate claim and I can file a chargeback. The only issue is that I can't use their online form and need to call the claim in because the original date of purchase was more than 90 days ago. In any case, they can and will help. This would be the fastest way for me to get a refund so I can purchase a new camera and get to shooting photos. I'm reluctant to go this route as I'm afraid it will take the money from the retailer and not impact Ricoh at all. I will wait a few days before going this route.

If I do not file a chargeback, then I may file a small claims lawsuit. I realize it will take a long time and I'm likely to get the camera back by then, but at least it will be hit by their corporate lawyers and force them to take a serious look at the situation.
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