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09-22-2010, 09:24 PM   #1
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Pentax repair time: acceptable for Pros?

Unfortunately, I have needed two repairs this year. A warranty repair on the Da 40mm lens, and an accident repair on the K20D. Both have endured parts back orders of more than 5 weeks. Currently, I am scrambling to come up with a K20D or K7 for a wedding on October 1st, while awaiting the part for my K20D. My question, is this normal? Acceptable? Can a professional photographer rely on Pentax to keep his/her equipment viable?

Frustrated in Austin, TX.,
Michael

09-22-2010, 09:36 PM   #2
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I recently just read in another thread [and I reposted in a separate thread] a post by PentaxForums user, Hinman, speaking on this issue. Here's what he had to say:

QuoteQuote:
In warranty period, you are VERY much on your own! In my case, my parts were back-ordered from Japan which carry NO ETA. A typical repair in warranty takes 6 to 8 weeks. And if parts are back-ordered, God helps you for that 1-2 months of waiting with NO ETA given.

Read more at: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-news-rumors/115144-very-disappoint...#ixzz10K75c9YF
09-22-2010, 09:43 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by skyoftexas Quote
Can a professional photographer rely on Pentax to keep his/her equipment viable?

Frustrated in Austin, TX.,
Michael
umm NO
09-22-2010, 10:10 PM - 1 Like   #4
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This is the main reason that I am partially leaving Pentax. I am closer than I think at the exit door. When you see my DA* and F* lens in marketplace, that is as close as I can get to partially exit Pentax digital but I will try to hang onto one digital body with some beloved primes.

When I called close to 3 weeks into the waiting for my white dead K-x which was dead after 9 months of amazing service in its SD memory card reader, I was told the parts was back-ordered from Japan. I asked the Pentax service rep who is responsible for stocking parts of most current Pentax bodies as in K-x and K7. The rep said 'CRIS' and I then asked what does Pentax USA do in terms of stocking parts -- the rep hints to "Nothing!" It is CRIS handling everything. Why don't Pentax USA not stocking parts for K-x and K7 and the answers go in circle.

The normal repair usually takes 4 to 6 weeks. And that assumes that the parts are in Pentax USA or in CRIS. If parts are not in CRIS or Pentax USA, you are pretty much ON your own and you can scream at nobody but wait with NO ETA given. I would expect a minimal 8 weeks to 12 weeks and the service rep laughed and assured me that would not be bad as I thought in 2+ months and Pentax USA is overlooking CRIS on the repair. I want to scream as this company really doesn't treat the camera as a professional tool. When they started with doggy and color coded limited lens, you should join me in selling all of your gear and head for the exit door. But seriously, for anyone who wants to buy a non-black K-r or K-x, you have to think twice or better to call up Pentax USA if they keep color body parts in stock for warranty repairs.

That is my story! I am not calling Pentax service rep to speed up my repair as I like to be treated just like everyone else. If I have to call them every other day and demand a speedy recovery, my FA limited lens will be in marketplace to completely leave Pentax.

So to all of you who are serious in using your Pentax gear, do me and yourself a favor, buy up a good and reliable uesed K10D/K20D/K200D as a backup body for about $300 and that is YOUR BEST WARRANTY. The 1 yr warranty service from Pentax USA is a JOKE to me.

That is my miserable story, please take it with a jar of salt as I am no longer a blogger who recommends Pentax products.

Hin


Last edited by hinman; 09-23-2010 at 06:09 AM.
09-22-2010, 10:40 PM   #5
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I wouldn't shoot professionally with Pentax (or, to be honest, any other system) without owning at least one backup body and having some overlap in frequently used lenses. I don't consider an indefinite wait to be reasonable, however even next day service and free loaner gear isn't going to help you if your equipment fails on site during a shoot.

Note that Canon and Nikon's respective professional service divisions have minimum equipment ownership standards and require proof that you work full time as a photographer, amongst other qualifications:

Nikon Pro - About NPS

Canon U.S.A. : FAQs

I take it you aren't a member of Pentax's professional service program (of which I know very little, as I don't even know if it is offered in Canada)?

PENTAX News and Press Releases - Official PENTAX Imaging Web Site
09-22-2010, 10:45 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
This is the main reason that I am partially leaving Pentax. I am closer than I think at the exit door. When you see my DA* and F* lens in marketplace, that is as close as I can get to partially exit Pentax digital but I will try to hang onto one digital body with some beloved primes.

When I called close to 3 weeks into the waiting for my white dead K-x which was dead after 9 months of amazing service in its SD memory card reader, I was told the parts was back-ordered from Japan. I asked the Pentax service rep who is responsible for stocking parts of most current Pentax bodies as in K-x and K7. The rep said 'CRIS' and I then asked what does Pentax USA do in terms of stocking parts -- the rep hints to "Nothing!" It is CRIS handling everything. Why don't Pentax USA not stocking parts for K-x and K7 and the answers go in circle.

The normal repair usually takes 4 to 6 weeks. And that assumes that the parts are in Pentax USA or in CRIS. If parts are not in CRIS or Pentax USA, you are pretty much ON your own and you can scream at nobody but wait with NO ETA given. I would expect a minimal 8 weeks to 12 weeks and the service rep laughed and assured me that would not be bad as in 2+ months and Pentax USA is overlooking CRIS on the repair. I wantto scream as this company really doesn't treat the camera as a profession. When they started with doggy and color coded limited lens, you should join me in selling all of your gear and head for the exit door.

That is my story! I am not calling Pentax service rep to speed up my repair as I like to be treated just like everyone else. If I have to call them every other day and demand a speedy recovery, my FA limited lens will be in marketplace to completely leave Pentax.

So to all of you who are serious in using your Pentax gear, do me and yourself a favor, buy up a good and reliable K10D/K20D/K200D for about $300 and that is YOUR BEST WARRANTY. The 1 yr warranty service in Pentax is a JOKE to me.

That is my miserable story, please take it with a jar of salt as I am no longer a blogger for the Pentax products.

Hin
Sorry to hear that you are leaving Pentax....

Your informative and enthusiastic write-ups on Pentax helped convince me to go for Pentax when shopping for a dSLR in the first place, way back in 2007.....
I've been very happy with the equipment and service support where I live, and I'll probably go for the K-5 next.....

Sorry to hear about your unpleasant experience.
09-23-2010, 12:28 AM   #7
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Indeed a sobering tale, Hin.
And Peter Zack's another pro to get some stories about Pentax servicing.
Not all that rosy.
I agree - get a quality model and take care of it if you don't want to replace it anytime soon...
Pentax service is not known for their swiftness or reliability.
09-23-2010, 12:48 AM   #8
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Same worldwide I guess.
It sees that penax holds all spare part in Japan until the are needed and only then ship the away... By ship... which takes a few weeks.
Now I know from my brother who weork in CCTV that they send things like sensors by sea rather than by air because of higher radiation levels up in the sky (yeah know, people with cameras travel a lot so sensors can stand a bit of radiation but the fact is that they need to do as much as possible to prevent dead pixels at delivery and shipping instead of flying is one of those things they have to do) but that does not say anything for other parts and more reason to have a stock off spares at the regiona repair centres..
that would save a few weeks time....

By the way, Pentax is not alone. It also depends on country... And persnal relationships.

I know some horrible stories of Canon service in Holland as well. You only seem to get good service if you are the kind of shooter who get cameras for free anyways.

09-23-2010, 01:12 AM   #9
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Yeah Pentax is not alone in bad service, i know of a guy who sent his canon 5dmk2 and a legacy lens in to get calibrated by canon, and they actually lost his lens and it was very hard for him to get the issue of the situation sorted out.
09-23-2010, 01:46 AM   #10
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Pentax offers professional repair services with guaranteed quick turnaround for those who qualify (50% of more income from photography defines someone as a professional). It's a well kept secret but it is available, just not for the average weekend hacker. Otherwise CRIS does a good job on warranty repairs, by most accounts.
09-23-2010, 02:03 AM   #11
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I submitted my K10 with grip Sep 1....paid for repair Sep 9, will update when I get it back.

I agree though, I heard CRIS is unsat.
09-23-2010, 03:40 AM   #12
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Just recently I had a K20 repair with CIRS, that required the replacement of both the main circuit card and sensor. I physically dropped it off and picked it up, and took 12 days since the parts needed to be "ordered". Now, I don't know if that involved a shipment from Japan or not. I do know that the K20 is out of production, thus the spares that were manufactured may have been pre-positioned to some extent.

This may be a bit different for models currently in production as there may be "competition" to supply the manufacturing line vs the repair line. I have no real idea what they actually do, however it does appear that there may be a difference between the two types of models (current and EOL).

In the case of CRIS, I would think that they would at least attempt to keep a minimum number of parts in inventory in stock, in order to reduce the repair times. In terms of having the parts be transported by "ship" (the slow boat from China?), I can only say that for logistics purposes, that creates a need to keep larger inventories on hand as transportation time increases.

09-23-2010, 05:31 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by baldeagle21b Quote
Pentax offers professional repair services with guaranteed quick turnaround for those who qualify (50% of more income from photography defines someone as a professional). It's a well kept secret but it is available, just not for the average weekend hacker. Otherwise CRIS does a good job on warranty repairs, by most accounts.
I think that is more an initiative of regional or local Pentax branches.
09-23-2010, 05:42 AM   #14
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just for informational use.... cris repair services record with the bbb
and contact / owner info.....
C.R.I.S. Camera Services Review - PHOTOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT REPAIR in Chandler, AZ - BBB Reliability Report - BBB serving Central, Northern and Western Arizona

fwiw..... regardless whether one is a pro or amateur... we should all expect prompt, courteous and professional service from both the manufacturer and support services... anything less will lead many down the path hinman is considering.. and that ain't right....
09-23-2010, 05:48 AM   #15
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No down time for equipment is acceptable when you earn your living from your equipment, nor is failing your customer.

That's why all "Pros" using any of the camera brands, will have multiple/duplicate bodies & lenses and then even a few spares on top of that, to allow for when these occasions arise, note I say when, not if. Failure is not an option on my watch.
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