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11-12-2009, 06:13 PM   #1
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CRIS Repair experience

I just thought I'd log my current adventure with CRIS, the Pentax USA Authorized service agent.

In September, the auto-focus on my 18 month old K10D decided it no longer wanted to work. I contacted Pentax, and was instructed to send the unit to CRIS in Chandler, AZ. On October 5 I sent my camera via US Mail First Class, insured.

After a week and a half, of hearing nothing from them, I called CRIS and was told they received the camera, and was given a work order number and an estimate to clean the camera, replace the main circuit board, and return the camera to factory specs, The price was within $10 of purchasing a refurbished unit from Best Buy, but since I knew the history of my camera (no rough usage or problems of any kind until this AF issue), I decided to authorize the repair.

I called a week later to inquire about the camera, since CRIS had never contacted me. I was told that they were waiting on a shipment of parts from Pentax, Japan. Since then I had been calling weekly for a status report about my camera repair. This week I was told it had been repaired and shipped, a mere six weeks after I sent it to them.

The camera arrived today. Apparently it had been cleaned well (viewfinder was nice and clear), and restored to the factory settings. However, after trying with 4 different AF lenses, two memory cards, and two batteries, the auto-focus problem is still there. I called CRIS to report the issue, and was told they would be emailing me a prepaid return shipping label tonight. I'm still waiting for it.

As others have asked about Pentax US service in the past, I thought I'd pass this along. I'll follow up as the situation develops. I'm still hoping for a positive resolution, however I'm disappointed to have to go without my camera for so long.

TL;DR - Sent camera to CRIS. All contact originated from my end (never received written estimate, email, or phone call). Camera returned 6 weeks later - original issue never repaired or apparently tested.

11-12-2009, 06:23 PM   #2
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That really sucks man, I've heard tons of stories where lenses and cameras came back from the repair center from months of waiting, only to find out that the problem is still there. I hope I never have to turn in anything for repairs at all, hope everything resolves well with you this time. Good luck man best wishes.
11-13-2009, 05:26 AM   #3
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I sent my DA 16-50 to CRIS when the SDM failed on it. They told me the same thing, that parts were being shipped to them from Pentax. It took about 4 weeks (it was under warranty), but they got it back to me and it is in good shape, works perfectly. So, my experience wasn't bad, but I can imagine it would be frustrating to get the camera "fixed," out of warranty and then have it come back in the same shape with regard to the problem.
11-13-2009, 08:47 AM   #4
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CRIS Repair estimates are extortionate. They wanted over $350 to fix a failed firmware flashing for my ist DS. If it's outside the warranty I wouldn't waste the postage shipping for a repair quote. Took over 3 weeks to get the camera turned around with no repair.

Slow service IMHO. Go elsewhere outside warranty.

11-13-2009, 01:30 PM   #5
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Wrong foot?

Didn't Ned tell us that CRIS was selected to improve communication between Pentax, repair center, and customers?

Doesn't one expect that a single, national repair center would stock most parts?

Isn't economy of scale one reason to create just one repair center?

Ned ???

GJL
11-13-2009, 10:26 PM   #6
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K10D in shop since July

After 2-1/2 years of flawless service my K10 mirror mechanism failed.

I contacted Colorado repair facility and was told 4-6 weeks turn around. So instead it was sent to Precision Camera in CT after they said only a few days. A week later it was sent to Pentax in CO.

Six weeks later it was sent back to CT for testing then returned to me.

After a couple uses it seemed the auto focus was not working properly. The camera thought it was right on, but images were blurry. With faster lenses it became worse. Comparing photos from before and after I saw tack sharp images before service, poorly focused images after.

Playing with my Sigma 30 F/1.4 I found that to get it to focus on infinity I needed to set the focusing ring on 12'. Other test showed significant back-focusing.

I sent it back to Precision Camera in CT in the beginning of Oct and as of Nov 14 it still isn't back.

Half the summer and all fall without a camera. I've had it. So angry with service I'm thinking of selling everything Pentax and making the switch to a Nikon. What sort of service is this?
11-14-2009, 06:14 AM   #7
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You know, I hate car analogies, but there are times that things start failing on your car and you just know that it is time to let it go. You don't know what the next thing is going to be -- the transmission, the fuel pump, but something is going to go out that is going to be expensive. Unfortunately, consumer electronics are not the sort of thing that it is worth sinking money into. Unlike the cameras of the past, these cameras will not last forever -- eventually things go on them and it is best saving the money and getting something new. Anyway, that's how I feel about electronics in general (I feel differently about my lenses, but that's a different story).
11-14-2009, 07:34 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
You know, I hate car analogies, but there are times that things start failing on your car and you just know that it is time to let it go. You don't know what the next thing is going to be -- the transmission, the fuel pump, but something is going to go out that is going to be expensive. Unfortunately, consumer electronics are not the sort of thing that it is worth sinking money into. Unlike the cameras of the past, these cameras will not last forever -- eventually things go on them and it is best saving the money and getting something new. Anyway, that's how I feel about electronics in general (I feel differently about my lenses, but that's a different story).
My vehicle is on its second fuel pump..(Cost me $90 to change it) Next oil change is at 300,000 miles.. I dont have a car payment and have spent maybe $150 in parts this entire year. Your analogy doesnt work.

I would not however spend $280 on a camera, then another $200 to fix it..

11-14-2009, 08:21 AM   #9
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The car analogy doesn't quite work in regards to a camera. A $90 fuel pump is a minor repair compared to replacement with a likely $300 a month payment (maybe more). I usually run my vehicles well over 200,000 miles and base my repair vs. replacement decision more on the rust condition. I drive a 70 mile round trip just going to work every day. If the car is a lemon, it isn't going to make it anywhere near that and I will turn it over quite quickly. Also, many car issues give you some warning well ahead of time before the part fails so you can plan ahead and decide. If I got a camera repair estimate for somewhere near 3/4 the price of replacement I probably wouldn't repair. In the case of the OP, I would have bought the refurbished camera from Best Buy and kept the old body for my manual lenses.
11-14-2009, 08:42 AM   #10
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A car and a camera are different things and don't go well together when in comparison to this. The fact is the K10D costs like 500 dollars and they wanted 200 to fix it, that'll be like asking for 8,000 to fix a 22,000 car and then you receive it back broken. Not only that, but it took like half the year just to get it fixed whilst it would be faster for the car. It's kind of sad that these things do happen and I hope Pentax do get better at this. With all these horror stories, it almost seems as if they're sending it back to Vietnam to the factory to have them replace the parts as if they know anything at all.
11-14-2009, 02:08 PM   #11
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If Pentax simply sold replacement parts at reasonable prices then that would go along way to pleasing the customer when repairs arise.

I can keep my 17 year old Honda running like a champ with very low maintenance cost simply because the spare parts can be had from numerous places at cut throat prices.
11-15-2009, 12:46 AM   #12
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When the shutter release button failed on my K10D and the CRIS estimate was $360.00 to repair it, I bought a second K20D for $595.00 with a three year warranty..What Pentax did was like the Porsche dealers telling you to take you car to the repair station on the corner to fix it...Stupid, plain and simple.
11-15-2009, 04:42 AM   #13
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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.
11-15-2009, 08:02 AM   #14
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I had to get my K10D repaired about a year ago, back when it was still Pentax at Colorado doing the repairs. My experience was not great. I paid extra for expedited service, but when the camera came back it hadn't been fixed correctly. It took me over 1 week to get Pentax to pay for the return shipping to them; then they took their sweet time fixing it, although this time they did get it right and the camera arrived in perfect working condition.

In the end, a 2 week turn-around became a 7 week agony. I had to buy a K100Ds in the interim so I could keep shooting because Pentax didn't want to send me a loaner camera, even though it was they who had screwed up. The reason: I wasn't a pro.
11-15-2009, 08:21 AM   #15
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Both my repairs were good

I had my original K10D repaired at the factory under warranty for the mirror-box misalignment and it came back working better than it ever had.

I recently also had a warranty repair done on a Sigma 17-70 (focus adjustment and cleaning) by CRIS's Chandler facility and they also did an excellent job. Not really speedy, since I suspect they are pretty busy these days, but great results.

Mike

Last edited by Stringmike; 11-15-2009 at 08:21 AM. Reason: typo
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