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09-14-2018, 07:27 PM - 3 Likes   #1
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Can't recommend Eric any longer

Many people come here looking for recommendations on a repair facility for classic Pentax cameras. Historically, Eric Hendrickson has been the number one recommended guy, and I have even recommended him in the past but now, it seems that he is possibly losing his touch and I will not be recommending him in the future.

Of nine bodies that I have sent to him over 2 years, I have had problems with 4 of them. One was returned as unrepairable. It was not, in fact, unrepairable. Eric simply chose not to repair it. I'm sure that he has his reasons but if he is as good as the rave reviews say he is, I would have expected an effort to repair it. Another was returned as unrepairable without any consultation before the return. He didn't have parts on hand so he returned it immediately without any communication to me beforehand. I happened to have the parts on hand for the repair so I ended up shipping it back to him and he repaired it. I had to eat the shipping on it because he returned it before contacting me.

The third and fourth, a KM and KX, were CLAd with the usual shutter speed calibration indicated on the invoice. When I got them back, NEITHER of the shutters were working properly. I returned both and he returned them back to me, supposedly in working condition. The KM has proven to be reliable, but the KX has a serious shutter issue. Having over 20 cameras in my collection, I did not get to using the KX far a few months after the warranty repair so when I discovered the problem, it was out of warranty. I contacted Eric and he would not honor the repair. He told me that I could send it in though. I would have had to PAY AGAIN for shipping AND a repair that was supposed to have been done TWICE already. I'm glad I didn't just bow down to this "god" of Pentax repair, because when I questioned him on it, he replied that he had annotated on his copy of my invoice when he performed the warranty repair that it had a serious shutter failure and was not repairable.

I challenged him on this. He never notified me that the warranty repair could not be performed, and returned the camera to me in an assumed repaired condition. When he told me that he had deemed it as unrepairable under warranty, I asked him why then, at the time he discovered the unrepairable problem, did he not issue at least a partial refund, under warranty, for the initial repair. He has chosen to ignore my dissatisfaction as a customer and has not yet replied to my last email on this subject.

I know that there are many of his fans here who worship him and would never entertain the possibility that he is not perfect, so I fully expect the flames to begin. That's fine. I just want any potential future customers to know that he's NOT above poor mechanical service or customer service, for that matter.

09-14-2018, 07:44 PM   #2
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No flames, just some current US alternatives for a CLA and foam replacements for a really nice MX?
09-14-2018, 07:51 PM   #3
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I have no recommendations, as I have only used Eric's services up to this point. There are others in these forums and others, who have used other facilities. There's a guy on a Pentax Facebook page who seems to be very happy with this place, but I've not personally used them. Garry's Camera Repair
09-14-2018, 08:00 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by lukulele Quote
No flames, just some current US alternatives for a CLA and foam replacements for a really nice MX?
Garry's Camera Repair seems popular in the Vintage Camera Collectors Facebook group

Garry's Camera Repair

The MX isn't in their repair list but someone posted one just back from Garry's with a CLA a few days ago in the PENTAX 35mm Film Cameras - Discussions Buy & Sell Facebook group...

Vermont Camera Works is another possibility. I'm thinking about sending my Topcon to them...Or maybe even driving there...It's only 4 1/2 hours one way

Vermont Camera Works Repairs

09-14-2018, 08:22 PM   #5
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I've sent Eric cameras before. Since he said he has a backlog until November or so, I started looking for an alternative repair shop recently. Searching on this forum, I came across
Professional Camera Repair - Houston, Texas, Sensor Cleaning, Digital Camera Repair, Film Camera Repair, Medium and Large Format Camera Repairs , they are based in Houston.

I bought a Pentax SV on eBay that came with slow 1/500th and 1/1000th shutter speeds. Sent it to them for a CLA. I haven't shot a roll with the SV yet, but the shutter speeds definitely sound distinguishable now. Their repair price was reasonable too.

My $0.02.
09-14-2018, 10:19 PM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by ctrout Quote
I know that there are many of his fans here who worship him and would never entertain the possibility that he is not perfect, so I fully expect the flames to begin. That's fine. I just want any potential future customers to know that he's NOT above poor mechanical service or customer service, for that matter.
Coming from someone who has worked on countless electro-mechanical items - but only a handful of cameras to date, nobody is perfect when it comes to working on older equipment and neither are the customers.
09-14-2018, 10:46 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
Coming from someone who has worked on countless electro-mechanical items - but only a handful of cameras to date, nobody is perfect when it comes to working on older equipment and neither are the customers.
I think this sentiment goes without saying. What ctrout seems to be saying is above and beyond that sentiment.
09-14-2018, 11:47 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
Coming from someone who has worked on countless electro-mechanical items - but only a handful of cameras to date, nobody is perfect when it comes to working on older equipment and neither are the customers.
Having been a weapons system mechanic in the USAF for 21 years, I have worked on far more complex electro-mechanical systems than most people (F105 Thunderchief, F4 Phantom, F16 Falcon, A10 Thundrebolt, F15-E Strike Eagle). The difference is that if I made a mistake, people could die, and the widows and orphans that my mistake would leave behind would not accept the excuse of "nobody's perfect." Since these cameras aren't life or death, I don't expect perfection, but I do expect good customer service and a business that stands behind their work.

09-15-2018, 05:41 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by lukulele Quote
No flames, just some current US alternatives for a CLA and foam replacements for a really nice MX?
I go to Advance Camera near Portland, Oregon. They have a Pentax specialist.
09-15-2018, 07:07 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by murrelet Quote
I go to Advance Camera near Portland, Oregon. They have a Pentax specialist.
The website...

Repair | Advance Camera
09-15-2018, 07:08 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wild Mark Quote
I think this sentiment goes without saying. What ctrout seems to be saying is above and beyond that sentiment.
It was a balanced response pointing out that there are two sides to this one-sided story as he is clearly disparaging someone not defending himself here as well as those who clearly have had a more positive result. From my own experience, there are those who expect a lifetime warranty even though subsequent failures have nothing to do with the repair. Generally because they are not technical but there are those who are just . . .
09-15-2018, 07:18 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
It was a balanced response pointing out that there are two sides to this one-sided story as he is clearly disparaging someone not defending himself here as well as those who clearly have had a more positive result. From my own experience, there are those who expect a lifetime warranty even though subsequent failures have nothing to do with the repair. Generally because they are not technical but there are those who are just . . .
I did not expect a lifetime warranty, and Eric admitted in his email that the camera was unrepairable while it had been under warranty. This was not a "subsequent failure." It was the failure that the camera was originally sent in for, which was not repaired the first time, nor the second time under warranty. When Eric admitted that he was unable to repair the problem while it was still under warranty, he should have issued a refund, not returned the camera with no information to the customer that the problem had not been corrected.
09-15-2018, 07:19 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ctrout Quote
Having been a weapons system mechanic in the USAF for 21 years, I have worked on far more complex electro-mechanical systems than most people (F105 Thunderchief, F4 Phantom, F16 Falcon, A10 Thundrebolt, F15-E Strike Eagle). The difference is that if I made a mistake, people could die, and the widows and orphans that my mistake would leave behind would not accept the excuse of "nobody's perfect." Since these cameras aren't life or death, I don't expect perfection, but I do expect good customer service and a business that stands behind their work.
I was also in the USAF working in PMEL - repair and calibration. I learned a great amount during my stint and have continued to use this knowledge to date.

I don't know your interaction with Eric - but unlike your unsuccessful experience with him, he overhauled my original AP replacing shutter curtains and all and it continues to work like a fine watch to date.

Instead of disparaging him and undermining those of us who have had good results, perhaps you should conduct a survey to see how many success stories are out there compared to unsuccessful one.
09-15-2018, 07:22 AM   #14
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I have used The Camera Clinic in ND. They did a decent job for me.I recently sent them my old Nikon EM for a CLA, it came back quickly and functioning as it should.

Camera Clinic USA - Professional Camera and Lens Repair Services
09-15-2018, 07:42 AM   #15
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Garry did nice work on my Nikon FE, reasonably priced as well.
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