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09-05-2011, 03:19 PM   #1
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Extended warranty, one free cleaning service

Hi all,

I got the Pentax 2 year extended warranty for my K-r. It is supposed to include one free cleaning service, I believe. I figure as the warranty nears expiration (hopefully nothing has gone wrong to that point!), I would like to take advantage of the free cleaning service.

Has anyone else done this? What exactly do they do? Do you send it to CRIS like you would any other warranty service or is there any way to get this done locally? Typically, how long would this take? (Whoa, that's a lot of questions.)

I like to plan ahead. Thanks!

09-05-2011, 04:45 PM   #2
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Is your sensor covered with dust? If not, I wouldn't bother. The transaction will probably take several weeks from start to finish, and who knows what they might break while they're at it

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09-05-2011, 04:49 PM   #3
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LOL, thanks Adam. So, is that the consensus? If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Seemed like a good idea, but maybe it's best to leave well enough alone.
09-05-2011, 06:59 PM   #4
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You should call the company offering the extended warranty and find out. Extended warranties are not warranties, but service contracts. I'd be surprised if they would use the same channels as the regular warranty, so you will probably have to send your camera to a place the extended warranty provider recommends.

My opinion is that extended warranties are a waste of money. You are betting that the equipment you are purchasing will fail after the manufacturer's warranty has ended, but before the extended one ends - that is a pretty tough bet to win. Better save your money and use it for something useful. YMMV, of course.

09-06-2011, 07:36 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
You should call the company offering the extended warranty and find out. Extended warranties are not warranties, but service contracts. I'd be surprised if they would use the same channels as the regular warranty, so you will probably have to send your camera to a place the extended warranty provider recommends.

My opinion is that extended warranties are a waste of money. You are betting that the equipment you are purchasing will fail after the manufacturer's warranty has ended, but before the extended one ends - that is a pretty tough bet to win. Better save your money and use it for something useful. YMMV, of course.
That has always been my point of view, but I changed it after buying my K5 and saw the number of diverse issues people were reporting. $20 two year extended coverage on a large ticket item like a camera body is very reasonable, IMHO, especially when you consider it includes a free cleaning.
09-06-2011, 07:52 AM   #6
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Thanks for the input, all!

The warranty is from Pentax, Laurentiu. Normally, I am with you and don't mess with extended warranties. But in this case for $20, I thought the peace of mind was well worth the price of a couple lunches out. Tom, we are on the same page. If you get your free cleaning before it's time for mine, please let me know how it goes!
09-06-2011, 09:27 AM   #7
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That 'cleaning' may also include a refresh to factory spec including any fixes we don't know about here. It's been reported here that sometimes, not always, over time depending on actual use, these cameras may need recalibration of things like AF, metering, etc. $20 for the extended Pentax warranty is a bargain in my mind. If it's just a Sensor clean, I wouldn't bother sending it in but I doubt that's all it is. No, I've never had the service, never kept a camera long enough to require it.

Back in the original days of the K10d, the AF was notoriously off in the initial run of stock (new camera, new problems, etc). Many reported after sending the camera for other things, their AF suddenly dramatically improved. Later production runs of the camera were also better for AF.

Getting the camera refreshed and updated after a couple years isn't the worse idea in the world.

09-06-2011, 11:00 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by loco Quote
The warranty is from Pentax
I didn't know Pentax had this option. At $20 it is worth it even if you won't use it. If you plan to sell it, you could try the cleaning so you can say the camera you're selling has just been cleaned by Pentax

09-06-2011, 11:03 AM   #9
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That's a great thought, JeffJS! That would be a pretty cool deal. I really hope someone who has had this free service done will chime in and share their experience.

Laurentiu, good idea!
09-07-2011, 04:41 AM - 1 Like   #10
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If your speaking of the Pentax extended warranty in the USA its a free check-up not just a cleaning as Jeff JS has said.
CRIS will check AF and all factory specs and tune-up the camera. This is very important.

Put another way. Your camera is brought back to new condition or better, because you never know what they may find and its all covered under the warranty!

Here is a copy of my post on another thread to save me some typing.

For those in the USA:

The Pentax extended two year warranty so you have a total of 3 years seems to be a secret. The warranty retail price is $100 (or was) during the K20D days and was given free by Samsung and Pentax (sometimes by Pentax) for buying their top of the line dSLRs (K20D, GX20). I bought my K20D long ago over two years ago but still have a warranty and free tune up to use until late February 2012. This warranty is almost hidden by B&H; they push their more expensive warranties first! Although they sell the Pentax two year factory warranty (total 3 years) for $20. Call Pentax they may give you the warranty for free on the K-5. That warranty is all you need; you don't need a mack warranty or any other unless it covers you dropping the camera! There seems to be a game played with Pentax warranties, a shame really as it makes folks think the warranty cost too much. And the warranty is a must have on any dSLR these days. Three years is a long time if your a dSLR enthusiasts and use your camera a lot. Odds are something will need to be adjusted. You would be surprised at how many mechanical adjustments there is that requires special test gear to do. This and cleaning parts inside the camera is a must! In fact something most don't read is in the owners manual Pentax says send in the camera every year or two for a check-up to keep high performance. And that advice is not a joke!

I just had warranty service done to my K20D a few months ago for a rear edial that was acting up a bit when I turned it to the left (turning right was fine?). At nearly 50,000 pics this means that dial has been turned over 200,000 times and I don't fault Pentax QC for the failure of it, or see it as a black mark against Pentax. Because I turn that dial almost daily; I am a very heavy user! During the warranty process C.R.I.S Cameras of Arizona under contract with Pentax brings the whole dSLR up to factory spec CRIS does this for every Pentax warranty repair or during the free check-up. So I had some cleaning and parts replaced. Also my auto focus was off and had to be tuned. That was news to me as I had no AF problem. But alas I did. Now my kit DA18-55mm WR performs much better, good enough just to leave on the K20D as a daily lens. I also own the Sigma 17-70mm but just keep the kit lens on. All my lens could now (after tuning) be set to AF tuning "0" - except the DA55-300mm (it needs +5 for perfection). Now whats funny is that lens needed no corrections in fine tuning before. So go figure from day one the auto-focus of my K20D was never really perfect. It was good enough and I could tune it to be perfect with all but one lens the kit lens. So I use to just use the Sigma lens the most.

Here is the real payoff. Come winter 2012 around the end of February when my warranty is about to expire I will send in my K20D for its free check up during the two year extended warranty period. This will insure that from that point on all is OK with my K20D. And again this would cost a decent chunk of change or really makes the extended warranty almost free (if you paid for it). Because it would cost you to have it checked up!

Anyone buying a dSLR for enthusiast use and who plans on keeping it awhile needs to buy the warranty, it really is a must have!

My main point is, that one simple repair of my rear edial being replaced, the bottom cover and seals replaced, the aperture unit was cleaned, and auto focus tuned would have cost a nice chunk of change (over $300).

And thats for a dSLR thats over two years old and has 50,000 pics on it. However my K20D looks like new and performs better than new now, and thats with 50,000 shutter activations; and I still have almost 6 months of warranty. Three years of warranty is a long time.

So yes, send your camera to CRIS. They will bring it back to factory spec and you will be happy with the work! It takes a few weeks. But if your at the end of the warranty its worth it. If you have time on the warranty then don't use the free check-up. If you have a problem just send it in under warranty repair. Being a K-r you must have a lot of time. Remember its a total of three years full warranty service, plus a free check-up during the two year extended time! Again for $20 or even $99 its a must have. You can buy it even if you already bought your camera. Call Pentax to see how long you have (for others).

Last edited by jamesm007; 09-07-2011 at 05:09 AM.
09-07-2011, 06:26 AM   #11
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Jamesm007,
Wow, thanks for the really helpful post! Sounds like a great deal and something to not let go to waste since I have the warranty already! I'll put it on my calendar for late winter of 2013!
09-07-2011, 07:45 AM   #12
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I did this with my K10D. it took a couple of weeks to turn it around. I was probably out for a month. Came back with new AF firmware version (not the general firmware installed by users) in addition to a thorough CLA. Wonderful.

I have stubborn dust (Rocket Blower Resistant) on my K-5 sensor so I am contemplating doing this cleaning sooner than later. I'd be interested in knowing current experiences with this service as well.

woof!
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