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11-15-2009, 10:11 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
You all are right -- cars repairs cost much less as a factor of a car's worth than electronics repairs. The fact still remains that cameras are consumer electronics, very different from the last forever cameras of old. They are in the same category as CD Players, i pods, etc That is to say, when they break you are far better off buying new than trying to replair the old. Sad but true.
Not true. I have a 10 year old Arcam Integrated Amp. Last year it developed an inconvenient infra red remote receiving issue. I traced the problem to a decoder chip on the main board. Guess what? Phoned Arcam and they shipped me a new decoder chip for peanuts ($10 I think). It would have cost me well over $1000 to replace that amp for same quality. Luckily Arcam makes it a point to hold decent inventory of parts at reasonable prices. Unlike Pentax.

If you can buy a brand new laptop for <$400 then I would think a replacement main board for a Pentax should be a fraction of that.

Pentax just can't be bothered with properly supporting servicing, parts and repair. They're priority is shifting new products as far as I'm concerned. Shame really.

12-11-2009, 05:38 AM   #17
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Original Poster
Follow Up : CRIS repair experience

As promised, I'm following up on my K10D repair experience. To remind everyone: At first, I sent the camera to CRIS and had to initiate all contact myself (they never acknowledged receipt, gave me work order number, etc. until I called them). The camera had the main PCB replaced and was given a thorough cleaning, yet when I received the camera the AF still couldn't lock. This was the status after my initial post.

After contacting CRIS, they were quite apologetic. They emailed a prepaid UPS shipping label, so I repacked the camera and shipped it with a note on how to reproduce the problem. It seemed pretty simple - I tried 4 different lenses (two DA18-55's, a DA 55-300, and a 3rd party 28-90) with two different batteries and different SD cards, and could not focus on anything. After two weeks, no word from CRIS, so I called them. The customer service rep said she had a note from the technician, saying to call me (they why didn't they?). Later that day the tech called me and said he could not reproduce the problem - he received focus confirmation in every test he performed. After some back and forth, we decided to just return the camera to me to see what happened.

The camera arrived on Wednesday. I unpacked it and tried again - this time it worked. I brought it along last night to my daughter's HS Chorus concert, and AF worked as well as could be expected in a difficult lighting environment.

So, what went wrong? I suppose user error could have been a problem when I received the camera the first time - I did try to use the AF indoors in late afternoon, and it's possible the batteries were low (although I keep one in the charger), but I tried 4 lenses and even two users (my wife confirmed the problem with AF). I'm doubting a dirty or bad contact since they had just cleaned the camera. But apparently when the camera arrived in AZ for the second time, it began working. Maybe the PCB "settled" a bit in shipping?

At any rate, I now have a working K10D. As for rating CRIS, I have to rate the experience a qualified success. On the downside, out-of-warranty repairs are expensive, can be slow (original repair had to wait weeks for a shipment of parts), and they are quite bad with communication. On the up side, whenever I called I was always able to speak to someone fairly quickly, the reps were always pleasant and helpful, they were quite receptive when I was not satisfied the first time and (bottom line) my camera is working again.
12-11-2009, 08:10 AM   #18
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I would bet that the tech got it back. ''it did not work'', it was a simple fix and he fixed it and then ''there was nothing wrong it, the customer is nutz'', thus saving face in front of his supervisors...My guess.
12-11-2009, 08:50 AM   #19
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If someone from CRIS is reading....

My experience with CRIS was amicable, but as xxDave mentioned, you are basically responsible for initiating communication. That said, all the reps I had contact with were friendly and responsive. Repairs on my K7 (replacement of SR block and sensor) were successful. I had to prod them for status updates, as apparently they didn't have this part on hand (odd, since it's sort of a weak link on the K7). Otherwise, the camera was returned in my original packaging and well documented as to what I had sent originally and what they returned. I was fortunate as my unit was under warranty.

If I were to rate them on a scale of 1 to 10 it would be an 8:
5 for communication
10 for quality of repair
7 for speed of repair

If CRIS had a better system to keep the user informed in a timely manner I'd have been happier with the whole process. Overall, I'm just glad to have the camera back in service.


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