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12-10-2017, 12:32 AM   #16
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That's a story of an extremely poor customer service set-up. I've read similar cases related to Ricoh/Pentax and the level of customer service is not the reason I buy Pentax products. I've had one such episode of uncontrolled shutter firing on my K3 but it has never repeated so I consider myself lucky. It's a problem that has been reported across many Pentax models for some years and I'm not sure if it's due to a software or hardware glitch but I suspect the former.

Personally I think you should not have accepted anything less than a new replacement camera. Even if there were humidity damage in the camera, after them having possession of it for so long there's absolutely no way they could prove that it happened while you had the camera, and probably not that it was responsible for the strange behaviour.

Cyprus is a member of the EU and due to that you have a legal minimum of two years guarantee. I would write them a letter reminding them of their legal obligations and detailing (with dates and prints of e-mails or other correspondence where possible) the extremely poor service you've received from the beginning. Look into government bodies for consumer rights and mention that you will be sending your case to them if you are not satisfactorily compensated for the faulty camera and poor service.

12-10-2017, 01:01 AM - 1 Like   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
When I read this, my thoughts went immediately to products such as Pelican equipment cases. Despite their marketing and sterling reputation, the warranty terms are not particularly generous. The covers for personal electronics in particular are explicit that they resist dust/moisture with no redress to the consumer should they fail.


Steve
When you wrote this it reminded me of Duracell, they have a guarantee on their batteries that if under warrantee life of the battery they leak and destroy the electronics they will clean or repair that item.
We had one of our levels where a Duracell battery leaked and they paid for the cleaning of the equipment.
12-10-2017, 01:20 AM   #18
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First of all,
Thank you all for taking the time to answer this.

About corporates and guarantees now, the fact that many of them use fraudulent marketing tactics
is not an excuse for the rest to do so as well. I know that others do it but the thing is that they should
stop doing it as well.

As for Ricoh Japan maybe I will give one more try but I wouldn't hope much. I reached them the first time
and they just passed my mail to Ricoh Europe who were probably more worried about finishing this for their
dealer than their customer.

I bet that if I hadn't said anything by now they wouldn't have answered even by now. The fact that they loaned
me the demo so I could keep working was great from them.
The fact that they more or less said "you have the demo you should be happy," well... that's bad customer service.
Even more if they tried to cover a mistake (if there was one).

Last edited by c_kamb; 12-10-2017 at 04:11 AM.
12-10-2017, 09:28 AM   #19
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Shitty experience!

I wonder why they offered you the demo if they thought you had damaged the camera through moisture yourself. It's a bit half-assed.

Some thoughts about possible redress:

On the balance of probabilities, if there was water damage, I would say it's more likely that it happened during the 10 months it was in your care, rather than in the four month period while it was in their care before they discovered it. After all, they are a professional camera company... they have a procedure for ensuring moisture doesn't come into their cameras during shipping and storage. You are a consumer (this is just an objective view, don't take it personally).

However:
If you can take them to a small claims tribunal (depending on the jurisdiction /laws in Cyprus),I would argue that it is possible that the camera was damaged while in their care. The main reason why this may be convincing is because the issue was not noticed when the camera was first examined by them, and because it was in their care for such a lengthy period.

Small claims tribunals sometimes favour consumers, and if you can take a case then there is also a chance that they would just give you a camera to avoid the hassle and the inconvenience.

They would need a declaration or documentation from the technician who first examined it in Athens, and didn't notice the issue. This technician (or their documentation) would need to show that in 3 months they didn't examine the area where humidity was, and make a declaration about why they did not uncover this, e.g. they don't always check there; perhaps the technicians in Athens were not particularly skilled; or another reason such as perhaps the signs of corrosion take some time to appear.

However: If it is normal procedure for them to look at this area, one can assume they did so, and then you can ask why this wasn't noticed then. Likely the technician can't remember the case, but if it is normal procedure to look for water corrosion, one can infer that it was not there when they initially checked it.

They would need to prove that the damage was already there but not noticed by them, which may be difficult to prove and is also an admission of incompetence of Ricoh's local service partner.

Other possible testimony they might provide: documentation from the examiners in France, proving that 1. water/humidity was present, and perhaps an indication of their belief about where this came from, and the time period for exposure; 2. whether humidity/corrosion likely caused the underlying issue that you took your camera in to be serviced.

They should also describe how the camera was looked after while it was in their care (e.g. how was it shipped, where was it stored), and why they believe it is unlikely that the camera sustained water damage during that time (including the trip from the dealer in Cyprus to Greece), to argue against your claim that the damage occurred while it was in their care.

For your actual options, it's a question of where the camera was sold, where the warranty is valid, and the local consumer laws in that jurisdiction. It's probably your local dealer who you would have to take to small claims court/appropriate tribunal.

As people say above, you should document all your interactions, emails etc, essentially prepare your case, and send that to Ricoh in Europe and in Japan. Tell them that you are preparing to take them to tribunal over this issue. They may offer to replace it, avoiding bad PR, and the hassle of going to a court/tribunal.

Regardless, it's terrible, terrible customer service.

12-10-2017, 10:56 AM   #20
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Suppose you live in the part of Cyprus that is e member of the EU.
Than you can point at EU consumer protection that says the supplier of defective goods under guarantee must be given two opportunities to repair defective items.
Repair must be carried carried out within reasonable time.

The camera was too long with repair centers in Athens and Paris.
If any damage due to moist exists Pentax Greece should have reported that immediately.
Even if there is damage due to moist present now it can not be lead back to you as the person causing the damage.
The camera was too long time in Greece.

Drop Pentax a line pointing out EU consumer protection and mention you have been extremely patient.
Demand a new camera which Pentax is obliged to supply according to EU regulation.

Initial cost for a body is about 100 euro. Apparently saving 100 euro is more important to well paid after sales managers than keeping customers happy. That Pentax is obliged to compensate a buyer under EU law makes it even more of a disgrace.

Keep my fingers crossed you will get your new camera quickly.


Paul
12-10-2017, 11:08 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dericali Quote
Small claims tribunals sometimes favour consumers, and if you can take a case then there is also a chance that they would just give you a camera to avoid the hassle and the inconvenience.
Here in the U.S. a small claim against a corporation is more likely to result in a no-show by the company with the magistrate awarding depreciated value plus court fees. Alternatively, the court may simply consider the offer of the loaner as just compensation (used camera for used camera). Cameras here are amortized on a three year schedule and with two years post-purchase already having elapsed (the loaner counts as useful ownership) it would be wiser to accept the loaner, sell it, and apply the money to a similar model Nikon or Canon product with similar seal performance and warranty terms.

FWIW, marketing claims regarding the seals are only important if the camera had been splashed and the OP specifically stated it had not. In other words, it is a "red herring" in American slang. Conventional wisdom on this side of the Atlantic is that purchase of "drop/splash/theft" protection for portable electronic devices and other items where warranty conditions are unfavorable is something to be considered. Such insurance usually replaces with a minimum of discussion.

Sorry if I sound unsympathetic, but experience with similar complaints/rants on this site have made me a little jaundiced. To be fair, there are other threads on this site where Ricoh Imaging, Europe has been called out for extreme slowness in regards to warranty claims. In this case, the initial response by the store and their agent in Greece appears to have been admirable with things getting slow once the camera went to France. The flash point appears to have been when the warranty was deemed voided several months ago with current expediency being determined by the warranty expiration. It is highly unlikely that Ricoh will be "embarrassed" into replacing a two-year old camera with new, but there may be some value to be had by invoking outrage in a handful of people on the Web. At present, it appears the claim with consumer protection has yet to be resolved, so perhaps that filing will be fruitful.

As I noted above, I do hope that the OP receives a solution they are happy with and also hope that they feel inclined to take part and contribute to the positive benefits of this forum.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 12-10-2017 at 11:54 AM.
12-10-2017, 11:45 AM   #22
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I am not familiar with US laws regarding consumer protection
The VW emission scandal results in a mass claim against VW. That claim has more chance in court because it concerns many buyers of VW cars.

EU legislation is quite explicit. Two unsuccesfull repair attempts are all you need as consumer to claim a new camera.
Any court will rule in favouir of the buyer of defective goods.

The moist damage claim also comes up with mobile phones.
It is often an excuse not to carry out repairs that are covered with warranty.

I give the buyer of tyhis K3 95% chance Pentax will decide to replace the defective camera with a new one.
They know thwey will loose this case in court.
Subsequently they are aware their poor attitude will foind ist way to other users through internet.
It will cost them a fortune in advertising to correct the damage.


Paul
12-10-2017, 12:33 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Here in the U.S. a small claim against a corporation is more likely to result in a no-show by the company with the magistrate awarding depreciated value plus court fees. Alternatively, the court may simply consider the offer of the loaner as just compensation (used camera for used camera). Cameras here are amortized on a three year schedule and with two years post-purchase already having elapsed (the loaner counts as useful ownership) it would be wiser to accept the loaner, sell it, and apply the money to a similar model Nikon or Canon product with similar seal performance and warranty terms.

FWIW, marketing claims regarding the seals are only important if the camera had been splashed and the OP specifically stated it had not. In other words, it is a "red herring" in American slang. Conventional wisdom on this side of the Atlantic is that purchase of "drop/splash/theft" protection for portable electronic devices and other items where warranty conditions are unfavorable is something to be considered. Such insurance usually replaces with a minimum of discussion.

Sorry if I sound unsympathetic, but experience with similar complaints/rants on this site have made me a little jaundiced. To be fair, there are other threads on this site where Ricoh Imaging, Europe has been called out for extreme slowness in regards to warranty claims. In this case, the initial response by the store and their agent in Greece appears to have been admirable with things getting slow once the camera went to France. The flash point appears to have been when the warranty was deemed voided several months ago with current expediency being determined by the warranty expiration. It is highly unlikely that Ricoh will be "embarrassed" into replacing a two-year old camera with new, but there may be some value to be had by invoking outrage in a handful of people on the Web. At present, it appears the claim with consumer protection has yet to be resolved, so perhaps that filing will be fruitful.

As I noted above, I do hope that the OP receives a solution they are happy with and also hope that they feel inclined to take part and contribute to the positive benefits of this forum.


Steve
EU rules are likely much friendlier to consumers than US. Warranty period is two years.

I agree that the dealer model *could* have been a decent recompense. However the OP makes a subjective claim about the quality of the loaner camera that is hard to substantiate. A tribunal adjudicator might also find that Ricoh made a fair offer of the loaner camera which was turned down.

I think that the degree of weather proofing claimed in marketing is basically irrelevant as well, because the moisture could have entered at any time, e.g. without a lens on, without a WR lens on, by complete submersion etc.

However, what is significant is four months to make a diagnosis, of a problem that possibly wasn't there when they received the camera (because if it was there, why didn't they see it initially?).... this is such a slow effort that in my opinion it leaves Ricoh open to a claim that the camera could have been damaged in their care.

Ultimately, if the buyer *really believes* that it was damaged in their care he may be a compelling witness, and want to follow through. If they know actually that they did get the camera wet frequently, with a misguided understanding of the degree of weather proofing that the camera has, then perhaps they should be more careful next time.

Likely the best option would have been to keep the loaner camera, and send it to them for a proper cleaning etc. But that option may have passed.

12-10-2017, 02:18 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dericali Quote
Other possible testimony they might provide: documentation from the examiners in France, proving that 1. water/humidity was present, and perhaps an indication of their belief about where this came from, and the time period for exposure; 2. whether humidity/corrosion likely caused the underlying issue that you took your camera in to be serviced.
I think that this line of defence would be essential for Ricoh Imaging. Their refusal to repair the camera should not be accepted on the basis of their claim that the camera shows sign of 'humidity' or moisture damage. Even if moisture damage (I assume corrosion) is actually present, Ricoh Imaging need to show evidence that the indicated moisture damage is/was the most probable cause of the original fault. The complainant could rightfully claim that Ricoh Imaging has not demonstrated defensible evidence of the probable failure modes of the camera model that relate the said moisture damage to the issue. Demand to see their Failure Mode, Effects and Criticality Analysis for this camera (Failure mode, effects, and criticality analysis - Wikipedia).

For comparison, if this issue occurred to a camera owner in Canada, the Ricoh Imaging North America warranty provisions state:

"3. This warranty does not cover finishes or batteries, nor does it cover damages resulting from accident, misuse, abuse, dirt, water, battery leakage, tampering, servicing performed or attempted by unauthorized service agencies."

It does not state that any internal water damage is cause for the warranty to be nullified.


- Craig

Last edited by c.a.m; 12-10-2017 at 03:43 PM. Reason: Clarification of the last part.
12-10-2017, 02:52 PM   #25
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Despite all of this, good Companies, that care about customer satisfaction, always give the consumer the benefit of the doubt in warranty claims. Pentax does make a big deal about their weather sealing as a benefit of purchasing their cameras. In this case, they come back and claim that moisture got in the camera, only after having the camera for months and sending it to another country? (and back again) Give me a break!

And...the K3's have had lots of complaints about shutter issues just like the OP has reported. It's not like this is an issue they have never seen before.

What Companies like Ricoh don't realize is they may be saving a few bucks by refusing to resolve the OP's warranty issue, but the marketing damage this causes by publicly displaying their idiotic, pathetic and totally irresponsible customer service will cost them thousands, if not millions in the long run. For all their time, shipping costs and dealing with this camera, it has already cost them more than the cost of replacing the camera. What a bunch of idiots.

Come on Ricoh! Do the right thing here and resolve this warranty problem.

Like I stated before, if they refuse, then take them to court. That's what it is there for. You have acted as a reasonable consumer, have been more than patient and have a very strong case. IMO there is no way Ricoh can prove that you caused a moisture issue in this camera. If there was a moisture issue with the camera, it could have easily been caused by their irresponsible care and the length of time they have had the camera.

I believe any reasonable judge would side with you on this one.

If you win, take your money and buy another vendor's platform.
12-10-2017, 05:57 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fluegel Quote
I am not familiar with US laws regarding consumer protection
The VW emission scandal results in a mass claim against VW. That claim has more chance in court because it concerns many buyers of VW cars.

EU legislation is quite explicit. Two unsuccesfull repair attempts are all you need as consumer to claim a new camera.
Any court will rule in favouir of the buyer of defective goods.

The moist damage claim also comes up with mobile phones.
It is often an excuse not to carry out repairs that are covered with warranty.

I give the buyer of tyhis K3 95% chance Pentax will decide to replace the defective camera with a new one.
They know thwey will loose this case in court.
Subsequently they are aware their poor attitude will foind ist way to other users through internet.
It will cost them a fortune in advertising to correct the damage.


Paul
I wonder if this is why Pentax prices are higher in the EU than in the US. Maybe they charge more because they know they will have to replace items more than in the US.

Weather sealing really seems like a gimmick, you have no way of testing it really and if something does happen and they claim water damage their is no way of proving how it happened. This is why I also buy lens coats for all my gear and have them insured. I pay $100 a year per $10,000 of coverage and itís money well spent.
12-10-2017, 06:45 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by KiloHotelphoto Quote
Weather sealing really seems like a gimmick, you have no way of testing it really
It's not a gimmick. I have been with groups of 20 photographers, all with DSLRs. Going from hot and humid rainforests and then in and out of areas of cold air by waterfalls or caverns, nearly all entry level Canon and Nikon cameras stop working (temporarily) and condensation builds inside their lens elements. The Pentax and higher end Nikons and Canons keep working and those with WR lenses and often non-WR primes won't have any issues with internal condensation.

However, the degree of weather sealing varies between models (and age and if the camera had been serviced previously with seals not correctly replaced) and moisture can still enter if the lens, memory card, or battery is changed.

If I'm indoors, I wouldn't care....until I stepped outside of the air conditioning with my camera into summer heat and humidity or winter cold and dry. Of course the reverse can happen too.
12-11-2017, 12:22 AM   #28
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c_kamb,

Please keep us informed about new deveopments.

Stay with Pentax, the bodies are userfriendly and with the exception from the K3 quite well built.
Many alternatives for the K3.

Paul
12-11-2017, 01:02 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by KiloHotelphoto Quote
I wonder if this is why Pentax prices are higher in the EU than in the US. Maybe they charge more because they know they will have to replace items more than in the US.
I think taxes are a big part of the difference. All items have 20 % added for VAT, which you can deduct if you are buying the camera as a business operator.
12-11-2017, 03:14 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dericali Quote
Shitty experience!

I wonder why they offered you the demo if they thought you had damaged the camera through moisture yourself. It's a bit half-assed.

Some thoughts about possible redress:

On the balance of probabilities, if there was water damage, I would say it's more likely that it happened during the 10 months it was in your care, rather than in the four month period while it was in their care before they discovered it. After all, they are a professional camera company... they have a procedure for ensuring moisture doesn't come into their cameras during shipping and storage. You are a consumer (this is just an objective view, don't take it personally).
I don't take anything personally. I'm open to all arguments, especially valid ones.

The demo offer looked more like a "we sh%it in our nest but won't admit" solution to me.

Now, even if the damage happened on my possession shouldn't they still test the camera for defects like faulty sealing?
As for their professionalism, their demo was obviously mistreated and had lots of dust (mirror area and on the focusing screen
plus hot shoe cover and sync socket plug missing).
The worst part is that when they returned my camera, it had debris on the focusing screen too!
Which was not there when I gave it to them (i never blow air through the mount for this exact reason and sensor self-cleaning
worked so well I never had to clean the sensor anyway for the time I had it).

If I will go legal the only way according to the law is me to sue the dealer who sold me the body (Egalaxy) and of course my claim
won't be just a camera body. It will be about legal expenses and loss of my time among others.
About the body getting humidity I also have the Pentax aftersales "It's not likely" in writing. Not likely is not
a denial from their part.

Last edited by c_kamb; 12-11-2017 at 04:15 AM.
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