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09-17-2015, 02:17 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Disgusted with Pentax/Ricoh and Precision Camera Repair

So back in June, I damaged my Pentax 12-24 lens such that it wouldn't zoom anymore. Contacted Ricoh and then sent it in to Precision Camera Repair for the repair. This was in June. They quickly diagnosed what part I needed, ordered it, but of course it was on backorder and it took Pentax/Ricoh months to ship them the part. The part finally arrived in late August, and I thought certainly I'd get the lens back shortly thereafter. However, I just found out on Monday that Precision was returning my lens to me UNREPAIRED. It's now mid-September and I just got it back and sure enough, it's as broken as ever. Precision told me the part needed was no longer available. That made no sense and so I just spoke with Ricoh and they said that when Precision tried to put the ordered part on to the lens, only then did they realize that the rail was bent and apparently, Pentax has discontinued the 12-24mm lens and no longer has parts such as the rail. So good luck friends if your 12-24 ever breaks! The Ricoh guy apologized but offered nothing to make me feel better. I said it was pathetic that it took them months to realize the rail was damaged, that they no longer have parts, and that nothing else could be done. I requested a replacement lens since this one is now largely useless, but he said they can't help me with a replacement or discount or anything because they only do business with third parties, not with individual customers. I requested to speak with Corporate because they're the ones making all the decisions and he said my only course of action was to send them a letter with my request in the mail. I said that sounds like a dead-end and that I'll never hear back from them, and he didn't offer much to make me think otherwise.

I'm really discouraged right now about Pentax and starting to think I should just move on to Canon/Nikon or anybody who is more professional, responsive, able to repair cameras/lenses in a timely fashion (this isn't my first disappointment with Pentax in terms of repair time), and who even seems to care about keeping their customers happy.

And my most heavily used lens is now useless to me.

09-17-2015, 02:31 PM   #2
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Pity about the un-pleasant experience. Seems a poor reflection on Pentax USA. Surely they must keep some lens parts inventory somewhere within Pentax USA. And Pentax Japan certainly should keep lens parts in stock, which Precision or Ricoh could overnight freight into the USA.

What about trying another repairer? I've read good things about the KEH repair service here. Maybe they have the parts and can do the repair.
09-17-2015, 02:34 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by gazelle01 Quote
So back in June, I damaged my Pentax 12-24 lens such that it wouldn't zoom anymore. Contacted Ricoh and then sent it in to Precision Camera Repair for the repair. This was in June. They quickly diagnosed what part I needed, ordered it, but of course it was on backorder and it took Pentax/Ricoh months to ship them the part. The part finally arrived in late August, and I thought certainly I'd get the lens back shortly thereafter. However, I just found out on Monday that Precision was returning my lens to me UNREPAIRED. It's now mid-September and I just got it back and sure enough, it's as broken as ever. Precision told me the part needed was no longer available. That made no sense and so I just spoke with Ricoh and they said that when Precision tried to put the ordered part on to the lens, only then did they realize that the rail was bent and apparently, Pentax has discontinued the 12-24mm lens and no longer has parts such as the rail. So good luck friends if your 12-24 ever breaks! The Ricoh guy apologized but offered nothing to make me feel better. I said it was pathetic that it took them months to realize the rail was damaged, that they no longer have parts, and that nothing else could be done. I requested a replacement lens since this one is now largely useless, but he said they can't help me with a replacement or discount or anything because they only do business with third parties, not with individual customers. I requested to speak with Corporate because they're the ones making all the decisions and he said my only course of action was to send them a letter with my request in the mail. I said that sounds like a dead-end and that I'll never hear back from them, and he didn't offer much to make me think otherwise.

I'm really discouraged right now about Pentax and starting to think I should just move on to Canon/Nikon or anybody who is more professional, responsive, able to repair cameras/lenses in a timely fashion (this isn't my first disappointment with Pentax in terms of repair time), and who even seems to care about keeping their customers happy.

And my most heavily used lens is now useless to me.
I think it's important that US Pentax reps see stories such as these. The fact that the one and only authorized service center in the US can't even fix a lens that's currently available new is unacceptable, IMO.

Adam
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09-17-2015, 02:39 PM   #4
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Gonna be their downfall. There is a reason people return again and again to LL Bean despite the 50 percent more price.

09-17-2015, 03:00 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by condor27596 Quote
Gonna be their downfall.
Nah, they already fell down. They are a very minor player in the US, and their primary business is in Japan. But if they want to change that, especially in the pro sector which seems to be their goal, they are going to have to take service seriously.
09-17-2015, 03:04 PM   #6
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Not carrying parts for current inventory products sounds like nonsense to me. Surely there is some consumer protection body in the US which has an interest in such things.
09-17-2015, 03:06 PM   #7
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Sometimes I like to leave reviews on the Canikon forums...
09-17-2015, 03:07 PM   #8
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Today, all manufactures use CNC machines. This means that only molded plastic, and sheet metal parts, cannot be immediately made. Any part that can be made on the CNC machine, can be made almost immediately with very little effort. Unless that rail was made out of a stamped metal or molded plastic, they should have been able to make it in that time frame. and even if it was molded plastic, these days the 3-D printer can make it, It just takes longer.

In fact, there was at least 1 manufacturer that will provide a part for any item they made regardless of how old it was. Honda motorcycle used to advertise that it would make any part for any motorcycle that it ever made, But I have never actually tested it.

09-17-2015, 03:14 PM   #9
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Not Honda cars. Only 10 years. I actually ran out of parts on my Honda. Even the seatbelts which were guaranteed for life they canceled that. Yes I had seatbelt fail at year 12 I could not get out.
09-17-2015, 04:05 PM   #10
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Might as well get used to poor Ricoh/Pentax support.I have a K-30 that has been to Precision camera twice this year for the same repair,under warranty,and it still isn't fixed!! So Pentax wants me to ship it back a third time for repair,it's been at Precision camera for 5 months out of this year already and for some unknown reason Pentax thinks another 2-3 months is acceptable service?It is obvious that the intent here is to do whatever it takes to make sure the warranty runs out while not replacing the defective camera. I thought Precision camera was a bad company to deal with but they aren't even in the same league as Pentax!! Bye Bye Ricoh/Pentax
09-17-2015, 05:02 PM   #11
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My 2 cents: the price of new bodies is getting so low now that repairing them is beginning to not make sense. Just a month ago I dropped my K3 with a 300mm f/4.5 and it sheared off the mounting flange on the body. So I sent it to Precision for their $300 repair minimum. Happy to report that all is now well. But I can purchase a used K3 for $500 these days. And a K3 II is not much more. I bit the bullet anyway thinking that I can get another 12 months out of this repair before needing to replace it with a K3 mk3.

The fact is, cameras are now a "commodity" -- there is going to be a shakeout. In the end, you will replace your DSLR with no more thought than replacing your point and shoot. Repair is secondary in the commodity market. Think about your dishwasher or refrigerator or auto for that matter. After a certain number of years/months it no longer pays to repair it. Go figure.

Michael
09-17-2015, 05:08 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by MJSfoto1956 Quote
My 2 cents: the price of new bodies is getting so low now that repairing them is beginning to not make sense. Just a month ago I dropped my K3 with a 300mm f/4.5 and it sheared off the mounting flange on the body. So I sent it to Precision for their $300 repair minimum. Happy to report that all is now well. But I can purchase a used K3 for $500 these days. And a K3 II is not much more. I bit the bullet anyway thinking that I can get another 12 months out of this repair before needing to replace it with a K3 mk3.

The fact is, cameras are now a "commodity" -- there is going to be a shakeout. In the end, you will replace your DSLR with no more thought than replacing your point and shoot. Repair is secondary in the commodity market. Think about your dishwasher or refrigerator or auto for that matter. After a certain number of years/months it no longer pays to repair it. Go figure.

Michael
Yeah, but warranty repairs should be fast and easy. If they are going to have a major delay on something under warranty, they should immediately exchange you a working copy of the body or lens and then they can sell off the other one as a refurb when they fix it. Otherwise, that's not really a warranty.
09-17-2015, 05:08 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by bschriver11 Quote
Might as well get used to poor Ricoh/Pentax support.I have a K-30 that has been to Precision camera twice this year for the same repair,under warranty,and it still isn't fixed!! So Pentax wants me to ship it back a third time for repair,it's been at Precision camera for 5 months out of this year already and for some unknown reason Pentax thinks another 2-3 months is acceptable service?It is obvious that the intent here is to do whatever it takes to make sure the warranty runs out while not replacing the defective camera. I thought Precision camera was a bad company to deal with but they aren't even in the same league as Pentax!! Bye Bye Ricoh/Pentax
As I understand it,Technically, Here in the US, If it is an ongoing problem during the warranty period, the warranty will not run out. The manufacturer is required to repair or replace the defective item if that item was sent in for the same problem. Also they are required to replace an item, if the item is sent in for the same repair, After a certain number of attempts, Fails to repair it. It's part of the lemon law. Although we normally think of the lemon law as applying to cars, I believe it applies to all products. Check your local statutes and the US statute to confirm this.
09-17-2015, 05:18 PM   #14
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what do you mean, clearly the camera has been repaired per this bureaucratic excel spreadsheet.
09-17-2015, 06:04 PM   #15
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My latest lens repair is going back to Precision for the third time.
But this time it has gone up the chain to some sort of Professional Services division.
Maybe it is just BS. (In my heart I am sure it is, but have to give them a try -- what choice do I have, eh? :-( )
The latest person at Precision was either truly concerned about the problem of paying employees to do nothing, or she was very good at acting that way. Sadly, prior customer service reps at Precision did not even hide the fact that they did not give a damn. So I'm definitely going up the chain of acting, if nothing else.

Joe Virgil at Ricoh is the guy you want to talk to and probably will, if you have a service complaint in the US.
I am not sure how to read him. He does not have the "bedside manner" that makes one feel like he cares, but I believe he does. (I hope he does).
Regardless of his apparent lack of empathy, within 20 minutes of my last call with him I got a call from precision. So at least he is following through in some manner and having them contact me about resolving the issue.

If you have not spoken with Joe Virgil about your problem I would definitely contact Ricoh again and make sure it gets his attention.
Ricoh needs to hear about these problems.


At some point Ricoh is paying Precision to do a job. Precision is paying its employees to do their job.
If Precision has to keep re-doing repairs for free and if Precision creates a financial impact on Ricoh, something will eventually have to be done about it.
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