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11-12-2015, 06:14 AM   #151
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeffryscott Quote
The biggest shame is it was such a lovely lens.
It still is, IMO - the pictures you showed us prove it's capable of wonderful things if wielded correctly. Remember the FA-series soft portrait lenses? They too were soft wide open and sharp stopped down. Felix culpa; you might have yourself a keeper there.

11-12-2015, 07:21 AM   #152
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I think this is everyone's biggest nightmare. I know I don't insure items under a thousand dollars.. figuring "I'll just put it one the credit card." But in reality, if I dropped my 60-250, I probably wouldn't be able to replace it for a while. And like my 70-210 so much, I'd be tempted to go for a Tammy 70-200 2.8 instead. I don't have a lot of ƒ2.8 glass, nothing past the Tamron 90.
11-12-2015, 07:41 AM   #153
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeffryscott Quote
Precision didn't tell me anything, or charge me anything, there was just one line on the invoice "Returned unrepaired, BER." Joe was able to talk with them and they apparently told him the number of parts necessary to fix it was too many and the cost was too high. Precision offers flat rate repair pricing, so I don't think the customer has a choice, I think the BER is for Precision, not the customer.

I also think, and have no direct knowledge, that like many things, components are replaced in whole. It seems as though one element is out of alignment, and instead of fixing one element, the whole lens grouping must be replaced. As someone previously mentioned, these things are becoming consumable items, not durable goods that can and should be repairable.

All in all, a very frustrating experience. And my homeowners insurance won't do anything because I dropped it, so it is wear and tear. Huh? I'm going to add a full inland marine policy so this doesn't happen again. I thought I was covered with the rider, but apparently not for this type of damage.

The biggest shame is it was such a lovely lens.
Was the lens under or out of warranty?

I've been told recently by Precision (yes finally got a response in email!) the online estimate is a base amount and that if the repair cannot be made at that price, they would contact me in order to raise the cost. So the cost to repair can go up but not down. But they would at least give me the option to repair at any cost.

I find this in opposition to what you experienced. If the parts are available, and they should be for a lens still in production, they should be able to repair it.. at the very least should have given you a call or email and stated the situation and given you an opportunity to accept or deny the new cost of repair.

That is why I think Joe mishandled this situation by siding with Precision.. which it reads as if he did.. because they should have explained specifically the cost of repair and given you an option to accept or deny it.

Instead he seems to just accept whatever Precision told him and relayed it to you... no fight for the customer.

It is pretty disheartening to me that so many are going through negative situations with Precision. I decided to look around to see if it is just us but Panasonic also uses Precision and they have an abundance of horror stories as a result. Nikon has MANY repair facilities in the USA (I think 4 - take your pick) with Precision being one and I found forum posts where users were saying to avoid Precision use one of the others.

Yet we are stuck with Precision. There is no out. We're between a rock and a hard place here in the USA with respect to Pentax repair.

IMO this should be one of Adam's top 3 pressing matters to discuss and keep discussing bluntly at those Ricoh Imaging interviews.. the poor sales and support network in North America. We can't let them sweep it under the rug.. or handle this on a continual per customer basis.. otherwise nothing changes.
11-12-2015, 08:22 AM   #154
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It would have been nice to find out what the lens would cost to fix, but that doesn't even seem to be an option. The flat rate repair was 306, the cost of the lens used, to me, was $825. Replacing it would be about 800 for another used one. If I could fix it for even $500, I would be ahead. Unfortunately, because Precision appears to be the only place in the USA that has the capability of getting replacement parts and having the proprietary software to align lens, there is no choice.

The lens was out of warranty, but even if it had been in warranty, since I dropped it, impact damage would not covered.

Hopefully Joe from Ricoh monitors these boards and is aware of the reputation that Precision has.

QuoteOriginally posted by mee Quote
Was the lens under or out of warranty?

I've been told recently by Precision (yes finally got a response in email!) the online estimate is a base amount and that if the repair cannot be made at that price, they would contact me in order to raise the cost. So the cost to repair can go up but not down. But they would at least give me the option to repair at any cost.

I find this in opposition to what you experienced. If the parts are available, and they should be for a lens still in production, they should be able to repair it.. at the very least should have given you a call or email and stated the situation and given you an opportunity to accept or deny the new cost of repair.

That is why I think Joe mishandled this situation by siding with Precision.. which it reads as if he did.. because they should have explained specifically the cost of repair and given you an option to accept or deny it.

Instead he seems to just accept whatever Precision told him and relayed it to you... no fight for the customer.

It is pretty disheartening to me that so many are going through negative situations with Precision. I decided to look around to see if it is just us but Panasonic also uses Precision and they have an abundance of horror stories as a result. Nikon has MANY repair facilities in the USA (I think 4 - take your pick) with Precision being one and I found forum posts where users were saying to avoid Precision use one of the others.

Yet we are stuck with Precision. There is no out. We're between a rock and a hard place here in the USA with respect to Pentax repair.

IMO this should be one of Adam's top 3 pressing matters to discuss and keep discussing bluntly at those Ricoh Imaging interviews.. the poor sales and support network in North America. We can't let them sweep it under the rug.. or handle this on a continual per customer basis.. otherwise nothing changes.


---------- Post added 11-12-15 at 08:25 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
It still is, IMO - the pictures you showed us prove it's capable of wonderful things if wielded correctly. Remember the FA-series soft portrait lenses? They too were soft wide open and sharp stopped down. Felix culpa; you might have yourself a keeper there.
I am trying some things out in that regard ... I think with flowers and faces, it could become a signature look! Also just nature up close it could be cool. May as well try to make lemonade out of the lemon it has become.

11-12-2015, 08:28 AM   #155
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OK now we are getting crazy....
There is no way you can make a lens so tough it can not possibly be broken.

Camera insurance at least from my broker is prohibitively expensive, over 10% of the cost of the lens. If your lens lasts for 10 years (and I have many lenses well over 10 years old) you could just save the lens and buy a new lens of equal value. But if that's what it costs to insure it.. why would Pentax take on that cost?) People talk about this like it wouldn't cost Pentax money... that would be double the cost of the lens. Is that what you want, double the cost of the lens with full replacement warranty for 10 years no matter what? The issue then for me is, if you don't break the lens, if you are really careful with your equipment, you've been forced to pay that cost and you get nothing for it.

Don't get me wrong, I've dropped lenses, I've dropped my 60-250 twice. Once it was even stiff for a couple of days, but loosened up with use. But, there is absolutely no excuse for dropping a lens. And as a former photography teacher, I used to hand out cameras and then walk around the room, talking about the perils of how each student had put the camera down on the desk. Then every time they went in and out the door there was another lecture, until they were doing it right. And if I caught my colleague's students on school property mishandling a camera, there was another lecture, right there, in front of the friends they'd brought along to act as models. As much as I feel for the OP , this was user error. Not every user error can be corrected. A deer jumped in front of me a few years ago, insurance gave me a lump sum and declined to fix the car... I'm sure everyone is familiar with the concept.

You can put this as what's wrong with Pentax... I tend to think it's more a matter of unreasonable customer expectations. People make these assertions of what Pentax should do as if there would be no cost. Well personally I don't want to pay the cost. I'd like to have my $1200 Canadian lens remain $1,200 and do my best to baby it into a long life. But I know what I'm like, I know it's a gamble. I really don't want Pentax adding any services that will add to the price... it's expensive enough as it is.

I know everyone wants Pentax to add these things at no cost to them, the feeling seems to be, these lenses are so expensive, Pentax should be able to cut into their bottom line and cover the extra cost of a more comprehensive repair system. The store I buy from offers no questions asked insurance that will last for 3 years and will replace the lens if it's too badly damaged to repair, no fault, for about 20% the cost of the lens. The service is available... if you're a klutz, it might be worth your while.

I'm willing to be sympathetic up to a point, but at some point you have to just replace the lens. Would you really pay more than the cost of a new lens for a repaired lens? I wouldn't. I'd pay the $25 to have to broken lens shipped back to me, buy a new one and and have a party slowly taking apart the old one, for the useful parts and knowledge to be gained. At some point, you have to cut your losses and move on. Up to this point I won't buy a lens I can't replace with a credit card purchase. With the new FF body and more expensive lenses coming out it's kind of a quandary. Everything is over $2000 which is the point at which I start to insure stuff. But, the insurance on these items will be over $300 for no fault replacement if broken. That will add a lot to the cost. My solution to this point tis to live within my means and keep my spending cap at $1500 for new equipment. All the new stuff then is by definition beyond my comfort level. I take my equipment hiking in wilderness. I could slip and fall and land on anything.

You have to be prepared for what happens when something breaks, when you purchase, there needs to be a plan. I always consider insurance type issues before I purchase. "What happens if I fall and smash this tomorrow?" it's never happened to me, but it seriously needs to be part of the plan. Having dealt with students damaging cameras inadvertently for 15 years, it's not likely I'm going to forget how easily it can happen.

Last edited by normhead; 11-12-2015 at 08:33 AM.
11-12-2015, 08:28 AM   #156
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But that should NOT have happened, jeffryscott. They should have given you an option to repair it at whatever astronomical price it would take. That is what their support has told me in email last week. Here are their exact words:

QuoteQuote:
The amounts you see online is a base rate given by the manufacturer that includes parts, labor and return shipping. The cost may increase if we need to order an excessive amount of parts, but you will be contacted for your approval first.
And I've already directed Ricoh Imaging North America upper management to this thread. Whether they read it or not is another question. Whether they take action as a result of reading it is yet another.

---------- Post added 11-12-15 at 09:34 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
OK now we are getting crazy....
There is no way you can make a lens so tough it can not possibly be broken.

Camera insurance at least from my broker is prohibitively expensive, over 10% of the cost of the lens. If your lens lasts for 10 years (and I have many lenses well over 10 years old) you could just save the lens and buy a new lens of equal value. But if that's what it costs to insure it.. why would Pentax take on that cost?) People talk about this like it wouldn't cost Pentax money... that would be double the cost of the lens. Is that what you want, double the cost of the lens with full replacement warranty for 10 years no matter what? The issue then for me is, if you don't break the lens, if you are really careful with your equipment, you've been forced to pay that cost and you get nothing for it.

Don't get me wrong, I've dropped lenses, I've dropped my 60-250 twice. Once it was even stiff for a couple of days, but loosened up with use. But, there is absolutely no excuse for dropping a lens. And as a former photography teacher, I used to hand out cameras and then walk around the room, talking about the perils of how each student had put the camera down on the desk. Then every time they went in and out the door there was another lecture, until they were doing it right. And if I bought my colleagues students on school property mishandling a camera, there was another lecture, right there, in front of the friends they'd brought along to act as models. As much as I feel for the OP , this was user error. Not every user error can be corrected. A deer jumped in front of me a few years ago, insurance gave me a lump sum and declined to fix the car... I'm sure everyone is familiar with the concept.

You can put this as what's wrong with Pentax... I tend to think it's more a matter of unreasonable customer expectations. People make these assertions of what Pentax should do as if there would be no cost. Well personally I don't want to pay the cost. I'd like to have my $1200 Canadian lens remain $1,200 and do my best to baby it into a long life. But I know what I'm like, I know it's a gamble. I really don't want Pentax adding any services that will add to the price... it's expensive enough as it is.

I know everyone wants Pentax to add these things at no cost to them, the feeling seems to be, these lenses are so expensive, Pentax should be able to cut into their bottom line and cover the extra cost of a more comprehensive repair system. The store I buy from offers no questions asked insurance that will last for 3 years and will replace the lens if it's too badly damaged to repair, no fault, for about 20% the cost of the lens. The service is available... if you're a klutz, it might be worth your while.

I'm willing to be sympathetic up to a point, but at some point you have to just replace the lens. Would you really pay more than the cost of a new lens for a repaired lens? Wouldn't. I'd pay the $25 to have to broken lens shipped back to me, buy a new one and and have a party slowly taking apart the old one, for the useful parts and knowledge to be gained. At some point, you have to cut your losses and move on. Up to this point I won't buy a lens I can't replace with a credit card purchase. With he FF body and more expensive lenses coming out it's kind of a quandary. Everything is over $2000 which is the point at which I start to insure stuff. But, the insurance on these items will be over $300 for no fault replacement if broken. That will add a lot to the cost. My solution to this point tis to live within my means and keep my spending cap at $1500 for new equipment. All the new stuff then is by definition beyond my comfort level. I take my equipment hiking in wilderness. I could slip and fall and land on anything.

You have to be prepared for what happens when something breaks, when you purchase, there needs to be a plan. I always consider insurance type issues before I purchase. "What happens if I fall and smash this tomorrow?" it's never happened to me, but it seriously needs to be part of the plan. Having dealt with students damaging cameras inadvertently for 15 years, it's not likely I'm going to forget how easily it can happen.
I think you completely misread. He isn't demanding for this lens to be repaired within the confines of the base rate. Rather, he is put off that they simply shipped it back to him without any detail as to why and also they didn't even put it back together properly -- look at the cockeyed lens hood. The fact that they returned it without communicating with him as to if he wanted it repaired at extra cost is also against their own policy. He didn't even get a chance to have it repaired. The lens is made of parts. Parts that are still being produced. It should be repairable.... even if the cost is atrocious.

It reads, to me, more like they saw it would take a lot of work, and parts would have to be ordered and they didn't want to fool with it so they just shipped it back (further damaged) and said 'too bad so sad.' They didn't even detail the issues with the lens as to understand WHY it will cost more to repair than to buy another. (which is odd in itself -- how can a lens cost more to buy new than repair in the current visible condition?) That isn't good support.

Last edited by mee; 11-12-2015 at 08:35 AM.
11-12-2015, 08:40 AM   #157
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Because you are willing to pay to have the lens repaired, even if it's more than the cost of a new one?

What about the concept of investigating the cost of repairing the lens, up to the point where it's more than the cost of a new one, and not going beyond that point? WHo's going to pay for the technicians time as he adds up the parts for a repair that because of the extent of the damage, shouldn't be attempted?

I agree, that if you're willing to just hand them your credit card and pay for their time, they should tell you whatever you want to know... if it's a service they are paying for on their dime, they have right to limit service to reasonable limits. Going over the cost of a new lens is un-necessary. Challenging a technician on whether a lens is repairable is probably pointless.

But if you want the full estimate, phone them and offer to pay for it. I'm sure they'll take you money.

Last edited by normhead; 11-12-2015 at 09:36 AM.
11-12-2015, 09:24 AM   #158
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QuoteOriginally posted by mee Quote
They didn't even detail the issues with the lens as to understand WHY it will cost more to repair than to buy another.
Because the labour rate for the repair technician in the U.S. is probably 10 times that of the assembly line worker at the factory in Vietnam or the Philippines.


Last edited by pete-tarmigan; 11-12-2015 at 09:34 AM.
11-12-2015, 09:38 AM   #159
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QuoteOriginally posted by pete-tarmigan Quote
Because the labour rate for the repair technician in the U.S. is probably 10 times that of the assembly line worker at the factory in Vietnam or the Philippines.
And the factory worker doesn't have take it apart and do a diagnosis before putting it together. The hard part in finding a good technician is not being able to assemble a lens, it's in deciding what needs to be done to repair a broken lens.
11-12-2015, 10:03 AM   #160
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I'm not, nor have I ever, demanded the lens be fixed at any cost. I did send it in for repair in good faith. It was at Precision for nearly one month, I received it back with no explanation other than the cryptic BER. Had I been an average consumer, I doubt that I would have easily figured out what BER stands for.

My frustration lies in the fact that a high end lens like this broke from a fairly innocuous fall. I've seen much worse with no ill effects. I've readily acknowledged my fault and have chalked it up to just bad luck.

I'm sorry some don't think there is ever an excuse for dropping a lens, but accidents do and will happen. I don't need or want a lecture about how that should never happen, and I don't believe my expectations, as a customer, to receive more than BER are unfounded.

But the fact the lens came back in worse shape than it went out is not acceptable, regardless of the repairability of the equipment.

The horror stories of Precision seem to be rampant, and that could cost Pentax in the long run. Bad service is bad service.
11-12-2015, 10:18 AM   #161
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My reaction to dropping a lens is "oh sh!t" accompanied by a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that lasts for a couple of days. Followed by " I hope someone can fix this." But that is tempered by the time I took a lens in to be repaired and repair was impossible. So I know it happens. It doesn't matter whether I think the drop is innocuous or major, all the matters is what damage was done to the lens.
11-12-2015, 10:50 AM   #162
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The materials and components in the lens have various sheer, stress and fracture points and planes. The lens striking from a fall from the same distance on a different part of the lens or angle could have had vastly different results. Strike a nail straight on the head and it goes in. Strike it off angle it bends.

However the bottom line is Precision is a disaster. They definitely do worse with lenses than they do with bodies. Just pulling figures out of the air (or my rear-end) I'd say 3-4 out five times a lens repair has problems. Perhaps 1-2 of 5 times there are problems with body repair work.
11-12-2015, 12:19 PM   #163
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As a Canadian resident, I really don't have a 'dog in the fight' concerning Precision. Should one of my Pentax items require repair, I hope that the Canadian repair outfit (Sun) does a decent job and keeps me informed.

However, I've followed on PF the many instances of Precision's apparently poor - no, dismal - customer service. Geez, even their own repair 'terms and conditions' (on their website) are heavy-handed, odd, and contain at least one discrepancy (concerning the time allowed for abandoned products).

While experiences with Precision may be frustrating and annoying, letters of complaint sent to Ricoh may be the only way to bring the dismal customer service to their attention, in hope of prompting improvements. They need to be hit in their pocketbooks - demanding Ricoh's attention will occupy the time of their small staff; agressively pursuing replacement articles in cases of seriously-delayed repairs may cost them more; and, for those who decide to abandon the Pentax line because of the lack of an effective repair service, choosing other brands will lose them customers. Ricoh needs to be made aware.

In a situation of equipment still under warranty and needing to be sent back to Precision so they can repair their 'repairs', I'd send it instead to Ricoh US head office. The gear was bought from Ricoh and the warranty agreement is with Ricoh; let them sort out the mess with Precision. Basically: "I'm returning this item to you for proper repair. The outfit you selected to supply your repair service is clearly incapable. I look forward to receiving the repaired item in a timely fashion."

Craig
11-12-2015, 01:42 PM   #164
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I have a rider policy with my insurance for replacement value for my camera equipment. This covers stolen, fire, simply lost, damaged, including dropping; for $33 a year. This gives me peace of mind.
11-12-2015, 02:32 PM   #165
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From my own experience with Precision, I realize repair business is a tricky business - if the business is not honest, situation can be very frustrating. They can:
1. pretend having done repair but actually didn't;
2. pretend some damages are pre-exisitng even though they caused them;
3. pretend to promise on fixing it but actually don't do anything;
4. pretend issues are not fixable but actually that's mostly because they have made it worse;

With this kind of business, how can you prove the camera/lens wasn't like what they said when sending in, even though you know it wasn't?

Unless manufacturers get rid of partnership with this kind of business, no one, including CC issuer and BBB, can make things right.

I have decided not to deal with Precision any more, at any cost.
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