Rant: Pentax Canada service sucks!

Started Dec 1, 2010 | Discussions
alcc Forum Member • Posts: 52
Rant: Pentax Canada service sucks!

I bought a DA15 from Adorama that had de-centering and an awful back-focus problem. I have to max out the in-camera micro-focus to +10+9 to achieve correct focus! Being in Canada at the time, I contacted Pentax Canada. The service rep said send it in with proof of warranty. So I sent it in with a copy of the Adorama receipt. Got an acknowkedge they received it. Then not a pip-squeak from them for 3 weeks! Nada.

Emailed them today, only to be told $50 charge for international service if I can provide an international warranty card, if not $150. What? (a) I have never seen a warranty card with any of my Pentax lenses, only a serial number card. (b) why the $50 charge? They say I need to contact Pentax USA and get them to send me a warranty card. Even then, since I did not purchase in Canada, they will charge $50. I asked why they didn't tell me that up front? I could just as easily have sent it to Pentax USA for service, presumably for free. They said that's the way it is. So I said, fine, send it back to me. They said, not so fast, I still have to pay $25 "estimate" charge. What, my lens held hostage for $25?

The service rep was unpleasant to boot!

I spoke with his manager, who agreed to waive the need for me to round up a warranty card from Pentax USA. But still insisted on charging me $50 for "international warranty service." I agreed to pay it just to get the thing back. But not a happy camper. First chance I get, I am getting out of Pentax. Don't need this. My friend takes his Canon stuff in for prompt and free tuneups etc.

Thanks a lot, Pentax, for a bad lens to begin with and such crappy service and service attitude.

awaldram
awaldram Forum Pro • Posts: 13,271
Re: Rant: Pentax Canada service sucks!

Sounds wrong to me how can it be warranty if you have to pay for it.

Speak to Pentax USA and ask for a refund of the $50 it sounds more like a scam than business.

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MightyMike Forum Pro • Posts: 40,519
Re: Rant: Pentax Canada service sucks!

I can't and won't speak for their attitude but maybe this is a lesson learned...

Don't buy stuff online that may not have a warranty card and then go to another country to have it serviced.

I bought my Sigma 24mm F1.8 online (US), i don't expect to get free or cheap warranty service from their service center in Canada even though i know them well, same goes for Pentax, however all my Pentax lenses currently were bought in Canada and only 1 of them is new and should have a warranty.
--
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Kikool Contributing Member • Posts: 601
Re: Rant: Pentax Canada service sucks!

Sorry to read that story...

Well, I got a warranty card + warranty conditions (plus s/n card) for every piece of Pentax equipment I've bought so far. The last year I even got a 1 year international warranty with my K-7 right in the box. All bought online in Switzerland.

Maybe you should get in touch with Pentax USA and let them know about your story.

Hope it will be a happy end.

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OP alcc Forum Member • Posts: 52
Re: Rant: Pentax Canada service sucks!

I did call Pentax USA. They said nothing they can do re Pentax Canada. However, it is good to hear that they would fix any Pentax gear that is under warranty period for free, regardless of where it's purchased. He suggested I contact Pentx Japan, which I will do. It's not the money, but the principle of the thang.

Dale108
Dale108 Veteran Member • Posts: 8,473
Re: Rant: Pentax Canada service sucks!

You should have dealt with Pentax USA as each warranty deals with the country of origin where you bought it. My experience with Pentax Canada has been good.

Dale
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OP alcc Forum Member • Posts: 52
Re: Rant: Pentax Canada service sucks!

Not so re Pentax USA. I called them. They said they honor warranty service no matter where product is purchased.

If Pentax Canada does not honor gear purchased elsewhere, they should state it upfront to me. Also the nerve to charge me $25 "estimate" fee to get my lens back? A lens that's under warranty? Not only that. It's a manufacturing defect for crying out loud.

(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 6,759
Re: Rant: Pentax Canada service sucks!

alcc wrote:

Not so re Pentax USA. I called them. They said they honor warranty service no matter where product is purchased.

If Pentax Canada does not honor gear purchased elsewhere, they should state it upfront to me. Also the nerve to charge me $25 "estimate" fee to get my lens back? A lens that's under warranty? Not only that. It's a manufacturing defect for crying out loud.

http://www.pentaxcanada.ca/support/general/warranty_information.php

The answer is here, not that I agree with them, but they are trying to protect their local sales which is small to begin with due to limited population. I think, but uncertain, Nikon implements a harsher rules worldwide and some regional service centres won't repair grey market products at all. Canon USA/Canada is under the same roof so their warranty is honored even if purchased across the border. Pentax Canada is operated under HOYA, but Pentax USA is not from what I understand.

The best way to tackle this is to test the lens asap if purchased from the US. Seek for an exchange through the dealer asap if needed. It's a risk that should be factored imho. In the worse case, send the product to Pentax USA for repair might actually cost less than sending within Canada (thanks to the questionable Canada Post pricing).
--
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OP alcc Forum Member • Posts: 52
Re: Rant: Pentax Canada service sucks!

Fine, I acknowledge I did not dig thur their website for warranty disclaimers. But I did indicate on my very 1st inquiry that I purchased from Adorama, and I included a copy of the receipt with my lens and they acknowledge they got it. To say nothing to me for 3 week until I asked for update and then tell me it's either $50 or $150 to repair a manufacturing defect. And $25 just to get my lens back?

Maybe such service/attotude is acceptable to you. Not in my book. No offense meant. I have no doubt some of you got good service from them.

tigrebleu Senior Member • Posts: 2,060
About that...

Being a part-time photographer and photo speciality store manager, I know first hand that Pentax Canada's service got worse over the last 2 years.

Repairs take longer and we have to argue with Pentax Canada longer to get them to repair cameras that are deffective but still under warranty (they often claim the cameras have "extensive signs of use", like small scratches on the LCD and the body in order to avoid repairing the cameras).

The service was excellent prior to 2009, but it slowly degraded since then. That's the main reason why I'm dumping Pentax for another brand soon: I'm tired of having to fight for minimum service (and being a store manager, I have contacts with the Pentax sales rep. to help me deal with these issues — I can only imagine what it will be when I won't work in a store anymore, which will happen soon). I cannot say that I never experienced such issues with Canon, Nikon or Olympus, but this occurs way more often with Pentax Canada.

In fact, the service started to get worse by the time Pentax Canada raised the price of many of their lenses by an average of 50%, almost 100% in some cases. The prices did drop a bit since then, but it was scarry at first. This could have been an executive decision to make more profits: charge more for the lenses, refuse to repair cameras and lenses as much as possible , LOL. Despair LOL.

If true, this is a bad decision, as I am now much less interested in recommending Pentax to my clients, fearing that they could get a bad service if the camera has an issue with AF, IQ, flash, etc. That means less sales for Pentax. I now recommend Nikon and Canon more often then Pentax when it comes to DSLRs, while before that, Nikon and Pentax were both my top recommendations, thanks to a better quality/price ratio.

Canon lenses and cameras are a bit more expensive and have the least interesting warranty in Canada (1 year instead of 2 for Pentax and 2 years on bodies and 5 years on lenses for Nikon), and warranty is a major issue most of our customers. But since the service is better at Canon, the Pentax Canada warranty looses much of its appeal and clients do care about that.

Now for the fees, I can understand why Pentax Canada could charge a little extra for the paperwork they need to fill out to make sure the informations regarding the repairs made under the international warranty will be properly transmitted to the other Pentax corporation from which the item was bought (Pentax USA, Europe, Japan, etc.) The lack of an international warranty card could also be worth a small fee (say 10$-20$) to pay for the time spent verifying the serial number and warranty status with another Pentax corp.

But 150$ is way too much for that, IMHO. Both reasons involved, I feel anywhere between 20$ and 40$ would be an acceptable and fair fee, I believe. Of course, it's never fun to pay for a repair while the camera is still under warranty.

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(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 6,759
I think you take all these too personal

alcc wrote:

Fine, I acknowledge I did not dig thur their website for warranty disclaimers. But I did indicate on my very 1st inquiry that I purchased from Adorama, and I included a copy of the receipt with my lens and they acknowledge they got it. To say nothing to me for 3 week until I asked for update and then tell me it's either $50 or $150 to repair a manufacturing defect. And $25 just to get my lens back?

Maybe such service/attotude is acceptable to you. Not in my book. No offense meant. I have no doubt some of you got good service from them.

I said I didn't agree with their policy, and I had my share of frustration with Pentax Canada too, but I don't shout at others. I would imagine the $25 was to cover the shipping cost back to you. Again, not that I agree with this, but we are not living in a perfect world, and not every employee are born to please. We are not living in a perfect world, but I am certain you are smart enough to figure out.
--
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tigrebleu Senior Member • Posts: 2,060
Canon, Nikon, Pentax service and Canada Post.

wlachan wrote:

I think, but uncertain, Nikon implements a harsher rules worldwide and some regional service centres won't repair grey market products at all.

You are right. The warranty of a product bought from Nikon Canada through one of its resellers will only be honored in Canada, nowhere else. Gray market is often a no-go in Canada: they can call the warranty void and you'll have to repair this stuff at your own expense. Make sure you buy it from an authorized Nikon reseller.

Way tougher than with Pentax Canada, but if you have bought from an authorized dealer, you will get good service.

Canon USA/Canada is under the same roof so their warranty is honored even if purchased across the border. Pentax Canada is operated under HOYA, but Pentax USA is not from what I understand.

True again. Canon Canada and Canon USA are both part of the same group, which is called Canon North America if I recall correctly. Repairing an item that's got a manufacturing defect and that is under the Canon USA/Canada warranty can be done for free in almost any authorized Canon repair center in North America (excluding Puerto Rico, maybe).

The best way to tackle this is to test the lens asap if purchased from the US. Seek for an exchange through the dealer asap if needed. It's a risk that should be factored imho. In the worse case, send the product to Pentax USA for repair might actually cost less than sending within Canada (thanks to the questionable Canada Post pricing).

Agreed too! Canada Post pricing is quite high and sending the lens to the USA will probably be cheaper (it might also be faster! :O) than sending it from within Canada.

And on top of that, your package might get lost with Canada Post, like it did happened to me three times during the last two years. Our postal service is not perfect. But then, we have universal health care services. But they're not perfect either, lol.

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djezraj Contributing Member • Posts: 749
Re: Rant: Pentax Canada service sucks!

Im sorry to be a party pooper but unfortunately this is very common. USA purchased goods typically do not have equivalent warranty in Canada especially independently represented companies. What I mean is for example Apple has international warranty regardless of country a smaller company like Pentax Canada may actually run as an independent just like Roland Canada or yamaha canada Music.

So in these cases warranty is not international. This can be for many reasons mainly cross border shopping.

You may have made only one mistake and that is not contacting Aorama first or not disclosing that the lens was a USA purchase first to Pentax canada. If you did then they should have said something before you sent it in.

Saying that $50.00 bucks is way better than the full charge both Yamaha and Roland would charge USA Customers in Canada

Im not saying id does not suck that this happened to you but rather that is is normal policy and $50.00 is not as bad as an outright NO!

If there was international service Pentax Canada would not exist as they would lose too many sales to US distribution.

Sorry to here of our misfortune

Cheers
Roger
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MightyMike Forum Pro • Posts: 40,519
Re: About that...

Sounds like Pentax was doing anything to bring in a little more coin, I wonder if Hoya put them up to it, something like "Prove you can bring in more profit and we'll keep you around". I don't doubt you're experiences and I think $300 to repair a 50-135s failing SDM is pricey, a couple of my friends have had to have this done. However my own experience with Pentax service is quite good, I've been in on a few occasions. Perhaps its that their office is only 20 minutes from my house and meeting in person is more pleasant. I also know one of the service techs as we have talked extensively at a local camera show over the years.

Perhaps i'll send this post off to the service department for their consideration
--
Mike from Canada

'I like to think so far outside the box that it would require a telephoto lens just to see the box!' ~ 'My Quote :)'

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OP alcc Forum Member • Posts: 52
Re: I think you take all these too personal

I didn't know I was shouting. Was I? If I was, my apologies. And yes, thanks, I am smart enough to realize the world is not perfect.

Look, this is not a big deal. Just frustrated that I waited 3 week with zero response, only to be told all this when I inquired.

Yes, I did include my US receipt with the lens. No, the $25 is not return postage. It is their "estimate" charge that I have to pay just to get my lens back, even tho' they accept the fact the lens and the back focus defect is covered. As I said, it's the principle, not the money. I paid them the $50 and chalked it up to experience. Or if you prefer, an imperfect world.

emem
emem Veteran Member • Posts: 4,424
Surely it's time they (manufacturers) got with the programme ..

Companies are very quick to take advantage of globalisation for their own benefit but writhe in agony when their customers do. It's time we knocked this notion of "grey imports" on the head. What bulldust. Is the lens a genuine Pentax (or Nikon or Canon) lens? If it is and within the warranty period - and the serial number doesn't show it's been stolen - then Pentax's representative in whatever country should fix the darn thing under warranty. Full stop - end of story. They can kick and scream all they like but it will have to happen some day. Perhaps the import/retail structures around the world need to be changed. They certainly do here in Australia. Why should I be expected to pay as much as 60% or 70% more than people in the US for exactly the same product? Someone is conning us and ripping us off big time. Am I pi$$ed off about it? You bet I am.

I'd suggest you boycott Pentax Canada in future - and tell them that's your intention.

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Glen from Canada Regular Member • Posts: 361
Re: Different Experience with Pentax Canada repairs

I recently sent my DA17-70 to Pentax Canada for repairs. According to their web site they have different locations in Canada but most complex repairs must go to the Mississauga shop.

The bad part:

They were really bad at communication. after a couple of weeks I e-mailed them for an update and received no reply. I tried again a day or two later and still no reply. Finally I phoned them and was told, yes it had been received, but they were busier than usual so rather than 2 or 3 weeks I should expect 3 or 4 weeks. I told them my warranty will expire in a few more weeks and they thought it already had expired but not to worry they would fix it anyway. For some reason they read the date in the American way of month-day-year rather than International and Canadian of day month year. That was strange but so was the fact that it didn't seem to bother them.

The good part:

Literally the next day after I spoke to that guy about my lens and he said they would fix it but it could take a couple more weeks, the lens arrived from Canada Post at my door. That is weird or what! Didn't he know the lens was in the mail already and was fixed? On the bright side, they received it and fixed it (even though they supposedly thought the warrant had expired) and returned it in two weeks and a few days. I didn't have a warranty card. I did have the serial number card which I included a copy of when I sent it to them.

So I had a better experience with them but those poor communication skills make me think that if there was a problem, it would make them hard to deal with. They did a nice job on the lens though so I can't complain.
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LKeithR Veteran Member • Posts: 4,090
Re: Surely it's time they (manufacturers) got with the programme ..

emem wrote:

Companies are very quick to take advantage of globalisation for their own benefit but writhe in agony when their customers do. It's time we knocked this notion of "grey imports" on the head. What bulldust. Is the lens a genuine Pentax (or Nikon or Canon) lens? If it is and within the warranty period - and the serial number doesn't show it's been stolen - then Pentax's representative in whatever country should fix the darn thing under warranty. Full stop - end of story. They can kick and scream all they like but it will have to happen some day...

This would certainly solve a lot of the problems surrounding warranty issues. People are more mobile today than ever so having true "international" warranties for "genuine" products only makes sense.

As others have said, warranty issues like this are not confined to cameras but happen with many products bought out of country. With the Canadian dollar as high as it is now a lot of us are slipping down to the States to take advantage of lower prices for Christmas shopping. In a few months time when the gadgets and toys they've purchased begin to have problems and failures a lot of people are going to discover that they have no warranty coverage uless they return to the States...

And just for the record, when I sent my failed 50-135 to Pentax Canada for warranty repair the communication was great and the repair was performed promptly--much faster than I expected. No problems at all...

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Tom47 Junior Member • Posts: 49
Re: Rant: Pentax Canada service sucks!

Sorry to hear of your problem. Something has happened at Pentax Canada. Although I'm in the US, I live about a 2 hour drive from the Mississauga headquarters. In the past, I could take a lens there and talk to the technicians. A few years later, access was denied and I had to wait with the receptionist while my lens was examined. In any case, they would ship the repaired item to me in the US. Now I can't send an item there unless I use a Canadian address for return shipment.

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Gazooma Senior Member • Posts: 2,159
Re: Surely it's time they (manufacturers) got with the programme ..

I can understand both sides of this "grey"import issue. Let me point out the other side of the story.

One reason there are less shops now is caused by this. People go to these shops and fondle the cameras in nicely lit air-conditioned shops and ask questions of smiling sales assistant, test the cameras, and then buy from the cheapest internet shop that can sells cheap as they do not provide any service and source their goods from grey sources. Sure, we all want the cheapest prices but also all the protection. Many would have a play with new toys and return them, and not having to face the salesman's questions. The internet shops will just re-sell the returned goods with whatever problem to the next buyer, while the shop has to think twice for fear or causing customer relationship problem, as buyers at the shop expect problem free purchases more and may not come back after paying a "service" premium.

Just like petrol stations, sooner or later, you don't get greeted at the pumps, your windscreen wiped, or your oil level checked these days, and the car filled up and money paid all while you sit inside all the time. The younger ones don't know this, I think.

Yes, we need better ways of handling this internationalised market, but I am not just blaming everything on the retailers, the service desks, or other middle men. Cameras are precision equipment and photographers are perfectionists supposedly, and those who do care would try to have a properly sourced camera bought from a source with a proper relationship albeit more expensive, because they are aware of such potential issues.

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