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02-21-2015, 09:39 PM   #1
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Precision Camera Warranty Work

No complaints here.

I purchased a K-3 in January of last year it is my first decent camera since a Canon AE-1 I purchased in Japan back in the 70's. Steep learning curve but I have spent many years in digital document imaging capture, workflow and computers, and discovered that it was back focusing on all lenses which required +3 fine adjustment and with the pentax 1.4TC another +4 for a total of +7.

I've read a lot of examples of bad service by Precision Camera since they took over repairs for Pentax but when my warranty was almost ready to expire decided to take a chance and send it in. They wanted a CC number and if it wasn't covered by warranty they were going to charge me $320 to fix it. Took a chance and they did fix it under warranty, turn around was less than 3 weeks and about a week of that was shipping. The DA* 300 with 1.4tc now focuses spot on and is more times than not rock solid and fast focusing. World of difference from before and I am now very pleased with my choice to go with Pentax.

Communication from Precision was nil and when I tried to check the status the web page at Precision Camera said no phone number found when I punched it in. But all in all I am very pleased with the end results. There are quite a few posts about the DA* 300 not locking in on focus and low keeper rate. I have another K-3 I purchased not long ago and while it does not require any fine focus adjustment settings it does not lock in much of the time with the DA* 300- but the newly repaired camera does. I think the newer K-3 is going to make to make the trip to Precision also and wish I would have purchased the extended warranty from B&H when I purchased it, and will in the future.

02-22-2015, 04:11 AM   #2
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My K-30 has been gone a month now (a month in their hands)for warranty repair,after no email reply or answer of the phone by precision i contacted Ricoh/Pentax and got an email reply that my camera was repaired but wasn't being shipped because they were waiting for payment.After a phone call to Ricoh/Pentax precision calls me back and says i didn't send a copy of the receipt showing it was under warranty so i agreed to scan and email a copy and they tell me it will take several days after they get the email to straighten it out.What?All the required info was provided to precision including a copy of the receipt showing it was under warranty plus the web form was completed and selected warranty repair.They haven't repaired my camera at all,just lying to me and Ricoh to buy some time until they get around to it.My initial inquiry was just to check the status of the repair,if they would have just said hey we are really busy and just got started on it and it will be done soon i would have been fine with that.There is no way Precision Camera would repair anything i'm paying for.NO WAY!
02-22-2015, 10:48 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by bschriver11 Quote
My K-30 has been gone a month now (a month in their hands)for warranty repair,after no email reply or answer of the phone by precision i contacted Ricoh/Pentax and got an email reply that my camera was repaired but wasn't being shipped because they were waiting for payment.After a phone call to Ricoh/Pentax precision calls me back and says i didn't send a copy of the receipt showing it was under warranty so i agreed to scan and email a copy and they tell me it will take several days after they get the email to straighten it out.What?All the required info was provided to precision including a copy of the receipt showing it was under warranty plus the web form was completed and selected warranty repair.They haven't repaired my camera at all,just lying to me and Ricoh to buy some time until they get around to it.My initial inquiry was just to check the status of the repair,if they would have just said hey we are really busy and just got started on it and it will be done soon i would have been fine with that.There is no way Precision Camera would repair anything i'm paying for.NO WAY!
Interesting...I have found that they are readily available by phone. Just this last Friday (Feb 20), I took delivery of my friend's K-50 sent to them for warranty repair on Jan 20 with the camera received by them about five days later. The K-50 had the all too common faulty aperture control block problem. Like you, I did the full online form process and like you, there was some confusion getting authorization from Ricoh/Pentax for the repair. Here are a set of bullet points that might provide some insight as to where to place the blame and what blame to assign.
  • A week or so after USPS tracking confirmed the camera was delivered, I checked Precision's Web site to determine the status. Work on my friend's camera was stalled and the status page had a "red flag" message indicating I should call for details
  • I called the toll-free number and ended up in some sort of voice mail loop. The next day, I called and got the "not business hours" message.
  • Precision was completely shut down a couple of weeks back due to the severe weather conditions in the NE United States. A no travel rule was in affect for almost a week and the employees were not able to get to work even to answer the phones.
  • There was a backlog of work associated with the weather-related shutdown
  • On my first phone call that got through after the blizzard passed, Precision indicated that work was delayed pending confirmation from Ricoh/Pentax regarding warranty status.
  • I followed up several days later and had them resend the request to Ricoh/Pentax. I also contacted Ricoh/Pentax support and informed them of the unanswered warranty status request. The support guy punted and said that was not their responsibility and that corporate handled that stuff. Ricoh/Pentax support has no mechanism to open a support ticket or to broker customer satisfaction of the warranty process.
  • I talked to Precision the next day and had them resend the warranty request again. The representative I talked to seemed frustrated as well that we could not get the work authorization.
  • The next day the Web status changed to "received" with no red flag and the next day after that to "in repair" and a few days after that to "finished" and "shipped"
  • At no point were there status e-mails from Precision nor did they make the promised telephone calls to update me on the progress of attaining the work authorization from Ricoh/Pentax.
  • The repaired camera was received about five days later via UPS. It was very well packed and the enclosed paperwork detailed the repair that was done.
It is apparent that there were some very valid reasons why Precision delayed the repair (no work authorization, weather-related shutdown) and also quite a bit of process breakdown. My analysis?
  • Precision should have automated status e-mails for routine repair and should have additional e-mails and telephone calls should there be a payment issue. Cameras should not be queued in receiving for weeks at a time with the potential of being lost and/or damaged.
  • Ricoh/Pentax should have a support ticket mechanism to allow for coordinating service with Precision. In fact, they should have a ticket mechanism for general support purposes so that that there is an event trail establishing what steps were done to resolve an issue prior to sending an item for repair. This is industry standard and a best practice and a feature of all proper CRM systems. Every call should generate a ticket and all product faults should record dates, serial numbers, etc. for quality assurance purposes, if nothing else.
  • More on the above point...Ricoh/Pentax should be able coordinate warranty repair and should have the ability to initiate work orders to Precision for covered cameras and lenses. After all, the warranty contract is between Ricoh and its customer. Doing so would be an advantage to Ricoh/Pentax in helping establish Precision's compliance with their contractual obligations.
  • It was inexcusable for Ricoh/Pentax to not respond to warranty authorization requests in a timely manner
  • It was inexcusable for Precision to not expedite their process to resolve the payment authorization problems and bring both the customer and Ricoh/Pentax into the loop
  • On the balance, both Precision and Ricoh/Pentax representatives were courteous and helpful and the repairs were completed in a timely manner once payment was authorized
Was this a good experience? I would say not. Was this a horror story? I would also say not. Is there room for improvement? Absolutely! Where do I place the larger burden of blame? I place it on Ricoh/Pentax for not being able to properly handle warranty issues through their support staff and for not being responsive to payment authorization from their repair vendor. The warranty is offered by Ricoh/Pentax, not a third-party vendor. Customer support should be able to authorized warranty work and initiate warranty service through Precision. The customer should be able to simply ship the camera/lens to Precision with a reference number indicating covered warranty service Ricoh/Pentax-supplied work order and be done with it.

'Nuff said...


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 02-22-2015 at 05:53 PM. Reason: For clarity...
02-22-2015, 04:38 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The customer should be able to simply ship the camera/lens to Precision with a reference number indicating covered warranty service and be done with it.
That used to be the case with CRIS for warranty repairs, at least from experience. I sent my 18-135 for focusing issues along with the K5 so they can calibrate them together. Both were still under warranty. I simply boxed and shipped them with their original receipt and online form detailing about the problem I was having. No reference number or upfront CC required. I didn't get any receive confirmation, emails, phone call - not even text messages from CRIS. The only thing I have was USPS tracking number. Five days later my equipment just showed up on my front porch! Paperwork shows both the body and lens where calibrated individually to factory specs, then calibrated together as a pair, all under warranty. Same experience with the DA 35/2.4 under warranty. It just showed up on my front porch five days after sending it in. Paperwork shows detailed repairs done under warranty. Curious why Ricoh/Pentax moved from CRIS to Precision?

02-24-2015, 09:41 PM   #5
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update

Last week Precision camera said the repair was completed and were awaiting payment for my warranty repair from me,said they didn't know it was a warranty repair so i sent a copy of my receipt and get an email back that the warranty repair was approved and they will repair it at no cost to me?Now i'm confused?Last week it was already repaired waiting payment but this week it is awaiting repair?Like i said before they just lie to buy some more time because they haven't touched it in the month it's been in their hands.If anyone at Ricoh/Pentax has any sense at all they will get rid of precision camera as fast as possible or i'll get rid of Ricoh/Pentax.I hold Ricoh responsible for all of this since they chose this company to do the warranty work.If Ricoh cares about it's customers they will not allow this to continue or they won't have them anymore.
03-19-2015, 11:22 AM   #6
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I sent my 16-50 lens off to Precision Camera for repairs in early December. There was some mix up about my credit card and they left me a voice mail about it. I tried for 2 weeks to get someone on the phone to straighten it out. After finally getting the credit card info straightened out the week between Christmas and New Year's, given the 10-20 working days quoted on the Precision Camera web site, I figured that I would have my lens by the end of January.

January comes and goes, and with February almost over, I start calling again trying to get an update. After navigating their useless and confusing voice mail again it took about a week to get hold of someone. I just wanted to get the status of my repair, but they needed to investigate. They said they would get back to me. They never did.

After trying almost daily to get in touch with anyone at Precision Camera, I tried their email 'contact us' page. I told them that I wanted my lens back, whether it was repaired or not. Of course, I got no response.

This week my lens has been at Precision Camera for 3 months!!! I was tired of getting no where with Precision Camera, so I tried my luck with Pentax support. It couldn't hurt, and at this point I was getting ready to write my lens off as stolen by Precision Camera. And, since I used PC at Pentax's recommendation as a repair facility, they seemed somewhat responsible for this mess. After a couple of days I got an email from Pentax saying they had contacted PC and that my lens had been shipped out to me UPS that day. Of course, there was no notification or tracking number from PC, so I'll believe it when I see it. I also wonder if they actually did repair the lens. I guess I'll find out when and if it arrives on my doorstep.

The thing I find really troubling about this repair experience is that Precision Camera is the Pentax authorized repair facility. Their customer service is non-existent. I have zero confidence and trust in Precision Camera, yet that's where I'm supposed to go fo service after the sale. I've been lusting after the new 70-200 2.8 lens and really wanting the new full frame camera, but I really have to question spending any more money on Pentax gear. It's not the cost of the equipment. It's Precision Camera that's holding me back.

Avoid Precison Camera at all costs. They're not really interested in helping and don't care about you.
03-19-2015, 12:56 PM   #7
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Blame for bad service ultimately lies with Ricoh/Pentax USA. When we buy our cameras and lenses Precision makes no obligations to us. It's Ricoh's responsibility to fix defective gear and Ricoh's decision to outsource the work to Precision. As long as Ricoh forces us to use a single repair facility we are stuck: use Precision, or change camera brands.
03-20-2015, 12:27 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by bschriver11 Quote
I hold Ricoh responsible for all of this since they chose this company to do the warranty work.If Ricoh cares about it's customers they will not allow this to continue or they won't have them anymore.
I agree. Ricoh should broker warranty repairs with all such being tracked with a customer service ticket on their end. I sent a K-50 to Precision for warranty repair and it took several attempts to get payment authorization from Ricoh/Pentax. Ricoh/Pentax should track such things for no other reason than to provide feedback into their QA loop.


Steve

03-20-2015, 02:57 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I agree. Ricoh should broker warranty repairs with all such being tracked with a customer service ticket on their end. I sent a K-50 to Precision for warranty repair and it took several attempts to get payment authorization from Ricoh/Pentax. Ricoh/Pentax should track such things for no other reason than to provide feedback into their QA loop.


Steve
I also agree with this. Kind of hard to do continuous improvement in CS, or any CS improvement, if you don't even have a base line which it is apparent they do not. Just because they outsource does not release Ricoh\Pentax from the ultimate responsibility to the customer to provide satisfaction IMO.
03-26-2015, 06:32 AM   #10
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I sent a DA 40 limited that needed service to Precision Camera Repair. I had dropped it and it wouldn't focus. They diagnosed the problem quickly and I approved the repair charge. That was December 16th. Ever since then it shows "waiting for parts" on their web site. I had trouble getting through to anyone on the phone and e mailed them several times with no reply. Finally I e mailed Ricoh who got back with me in a couple of days and said that it was just really slow getting parts there from the Philippines or something like that. I guess at least I know now, but four months seems excessively long to wait for parts, even if they were sent by tramp steamer.
03-26-2015, 08:45 AM   #11
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Outside of the major camera repair/service facilities for Nikon, Canon, Sony, I wonder how many privately run operations there are in the U.S. and Canada that are competent and properly equipped to field evaluation and repair of modern digital cameras. Does Ricoh really have much choice who they designate? Do other major camera manufacturers run their own facilities, or do they, like Ricoh, rely on contracts with independent repair companies?
03-26-2015, 08:51 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by tennjed Quote
Outside of the major camera repair/service facilities for Nikon, Canon, Sony, I wonder how many privately run operations there are in the U.S. and Canada that are competent and properly equipped to field evaluation and repair of modern digital cameras. Does Ricoh really have much choice who they designate? Do other major camera manufacturers run their own facilities, or do they, like Ricoh, rely on contracts with independent repair companies?
I think to me the biggest issue is the support that Ricoh offers to the company (CRIS or Precision) that they choose to contract with. When I first purchased Pentax gear, all of the repair work was done through Pentax themselves and the service was impeccable. Since that time, they contracted with CRIS and then with Precision. But I don't really think it is Precision's fault if they can't get parts in a timely fashion from Ricoh.
03-26-2015, 11:58 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I think to me the biggest issue is the support that Ricoh offers to the company (CRIS or Precision) that they choose to contract with. When I first purchased Pentax gear, all of the repair work was done through Pentax themselves and the service was impeccable. Since that time, they contracted with CRIS and then with Precision. But I don't really think it is Precision's fault if they can't get parts in a timely fashion from Ricoh.
I just went through the floppy mirror issue on my new K3. I called Ricoh, recieved a shipping label from them, dropped the box off with UPS last Thursday. Today, exactly one week later, I get it back. Assuming they did fix it, I have to say that I have nothing to complain about in this. Evidently, when Ricoh gets directly involved, they have the capacity to make things happen. I guess the big question is: What does it take to get Ricoh interested in your warranty issue?

I guess I should back up. It did not start well. Initially, I tried to get the warranty service started by calling the direct number (listed on the Ricoh NA web page) to the service center- Precision?- and, for two days, was unable to get an answer...Not even an answering machine. Next, after combing through the RIcoh NA web page again, I came across another number for Ricoh customer service. They answered immediately, listened to my story, admitted they new of the problem, and sent me the shipping label.

I have to wonder how many warranty work problems could be solved if Ricoh would just simply remove the direct phone number for Precision from their web page and direct all service calls to the Ricoh customer service. I mean, what if I had been lucky enough to get an answer when I initially called Precision????? How much of a headache would I have been in for in trying to get this done without the assistance/direction of Ricoh.
03-26-2015, 12:12 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by tennjed Quote
I just went through the floppy mirror issue on my new K3. I called Ricoh, recieved a shipping label from them, dropped the box off with UPS last Thursday. Today, exactly one week later, I get it back. Assuming they did fix it, I have to say that I have nothing to complain about in this. Evidently, when Ricoh gets directly involved, they have the capacity to make things happen. I guess the big question is: What does it take to get Ricoh interested in your warranty issue?

I guess I should back up. It did not start well. Initially, I tried to get the warranty service started by calling the direct number (listed on the Ricoh NA web page) to the service center- Precision?- and, for two days, was unable to get an answer...Not even an answering machine. Next, after combing through the RIcoh NA web page again, I came across another number for Ricoh customer service. They answered immediately, listened to my story, admitted they new of the problem, and sent me the shipping label.

I have to wonder how many warranty work problems could be solved if Ricoh would just simply remove the direct phone number for Precision from their web page and direct all service calls to the Ricoh customer service. I mean, what if I had been lucky enough to get an answer when I initially called Precision????? How much of a headache would I have been in for in trying to get this done without the assistance/direction of Ricoh.
I think precision does quick work as long as there is no hardware involved. My understanding with the mirror flap issue is that it doesn't require any new hardware. On the other hand, if there is a particular part that is needed, apparently it won't be shipped quickly at all./
03-26-2015, 12:16 PM   #15
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It seems that the processing structure is not standardized. In other words, lacking modern controls. The process should be data based (assign tracking, communicate via email, everything viewable 24/7, including history). Requiring telephone contact to facilitate the process isn't the way successful business operates anymore.
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