Precision Camera Disappoints Another User

Started 3 months ago | Discussions
JerseySailor Regular Member • Posts: 464
Precision Camera Disappoints Another User
6

Over the years that I've been on DPReview, I've read post after post of users dissatisfied with Precision Camera's service of Sony products. This week was my turn.

I had a problem with my SEL200600G lens, and called Sony to arrange service. Sony said my only option was to send it to Precision Camera. They also sent specific shipping instructions that specified "Use bubble wrap and a minimum of 2" to 3" of packing material all around the item".

OK - I did, and made sure the box I used was over 6" longer than the lens, so I had the required 3" of bubble wrap cushion on each end. Then came Precision's return - in a small sub-standard box!

The box they used was far too small to meet Sony's stated shipping requirements, and the lens wouldn't even fit in the box, until it was turned to go from one corner to the opposite corner, since it was too long to fit the box directly. They packed a 13" long lens in a square box, 12 1/4" on a side. That left way less than 1/2" of bubble wrap at each end of the lens, instead of the 2" to 3" that Sony called for. Thankfully, FedEx was gentle, and the lens survived Precision Camera's stupidity.

When is Sony going to fix the ongoing problems at Precision Camera - or replace them as the authorized US service agent?

The lens, and the box used by Precision Camera is shown here:

The PC supplied box was far too small for the SEL200600G lens. What were they thinking in shipping that lens in that small box?

 JerseySailor's gear list:JerseySailor's gear list
Sony a6500 Sony a7R IV Sony FE 200-600 F5.6-6.3 Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Sony FE 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G OSS +5 more
The Mad Kiwi Contributing Member • Posts: 986
Re: Precision Camera Disappoints Another User
3

Send feedback to Sony.

If you don’t let them know, nothing ever changes.

The service centre they use here in Brisbane Australia are luckily excellent.

 The Mad Kiwi's gear list:The Mad Kiwi's gear list
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OP JerseySailor Regular Member • Posts: 464
Re: Precision Camera Disappoints Another User

The Mad Kiwi wrote:

Send feedback to Sony.

If you don’t let them know, nothing ever changes.

The service centre they use here in Brisbane Australia are luckily excellent.

Hi Kiwi,

I'd love to send feedback to Sony on this  - do you know how to do that?

Sony seems to hide communication channels, and force any repair issues to the local country's repair contractor (like  Precision Camera here in the US) - and then wipe their hands of responsibility.

If I had a way to get this up to Sony directly, yes, I'd be glad to do that. Do any forum members know how to send this up?

 JerseySailor's gear list:JerseySailor's gear list
Sony a6500 Sony a7R IV Sony FE 200-600 F5.6-6.3 Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Sony FE 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G OSS +5 more
DenverSteve Contributing Member • Posts: 573
Re: Precision Camera Disappoints Another User
9

I've purchased $1000 lenses that arrived in a bubble envelope with no interior padding. As long as there's no damage, I don't worry. I ship $1000 - $2000 lenses when I sell them and have never allowed for 6" additional for padding, and never had a problem. To do so would almost double the dimensional size and cost double to ship. Then customer's would complain about the shipping charges. As for companies, you are correct, they don't want to have anything to do with distribution and/or repair - that's why they have repair centers.

As to lodging a complaint, I own and run a few companies/businesses and if someone called and said, "I received a shipment from you that didn't have as much padding as I would like." Someone would ask, "was there a problem or damage with the shipment?". If the caller said "no". We would say - "great enjoy your X." That would be that. No loss, no problem. Sony doesn't care (and I don't think they should) if Precision Camera ships something to a client that gets shattered. That's an issue between the shipper, shipping merchant and the customer. Glad your lens was fine.

-- hide signature --

It's just my educated opinion. Don't get bent out of shape.
Steve

 DenverSteve's gear list:DenverSteve's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V Sony RX10 IV Sony a7R II Sony a6500 Sony a7R IV +8 more
AZheaven Senior Member • Posts: 1,689
Re: Precision Camera Disappoints Another User
2

I was in charge of shipping boat parts at a boat company in FL for 4 years. Everyone who packed the parts packed them to survive just about anything short of a steam roller running over the box.

For 27 years I worked at FedEx Express as a driver. I was appalled at how some companies, mainly Amazon, packed expensive items. LensRental, B & H, and I would assume Adorama also did the best. On a side note where I buy most of my gear from, Woodland Hills Camera and Telescope, they also pack their packages great.

The point is this. Packaging expensive gear correctly the first time eliminates many things. Like refunds, damage claims, etc. Thanks to the OP for bringing this up since my camera is at Precision Camera for repair. I'll be on the lookout for how they ship it back to me.

PAntunes Contributing Member • Posts: 807
Re: Precision Camera Disappoints Another User
8

So they fixed the lens? You had no problem with the repair, no problem with communication or price, no problem with the time you had to wait, etc? 
You're disappointed because you didn't like the way they packaged your lens? A lens that arrived in perfect condition?
I had Tamron telling me a massively misaligned lens was "within specs", and samyang, on a paid repair, sending me a lens that would miss focus every 7 out of 10 photos as a repaired item. 
That's what I call disappointing. The way they wrap the lenses? That's a small footnote.

Steve W Veteran Member • Posts: 5,324
Re: Precision Camera Disappoints Another User

AZheaven wrote:

I was in charge of shipping boat parts at a boat company in FL for 4 years. Everyone who packed the parts packed them to survive just about anything short of a steam roller running over the box.

For 27 years I worked at FedEx Express as a driver. I was appalled at how some companies, mainly Amazon, packed expensive items. LensRental, B & H, and I would assume Adorama also did the best. On a side note where I buy most of my gear from, Woodland Hills Camera and Telescope, they also pack their packages great.

Don't assume B&H always does a great job. I've had several less than optimum packaging of new Canon L or Sony GM lenses. The saving grace is that Canon's own package design is great. Sony pretty good as well. The problems mostly occur when original seller packaging is not used which happens a lot for a repair.

The point is this. Packaging expensive gear correctly the first time eliminates many things. Like refunds, damage claims, etc. Thanks to the OP for bringing this up since my camera is at Precision Camera for repair. I'll be on the lookout for how they ship it back to me.

-- hide signature --

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe! - Words to live by. Albert Einstein

 Steve W's gear list:Steve W's gear list
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DenverSteve Contributing Member • Posts: 573
Re: Precision Camera Disappoints Another User
1

PAntunes wrote:

So they fixed the lens? You had no problem with the repair, no problem with communication or price, no problem with the time you had to wait, etc?
You're disappointed because you didn't like the way they packaged your lens? A lens that arrived in perfect condition?

You see it everywhere. Just look at on-line reviews on Amazon and elsewhere. You see people leaving 1-star reviews because a package was late or poorly packed, or they didn't get their hotel room when they arrived - 3 hours early, or even if someone doesn't return an email or other slight annoyance.  The review has nothing to do with the service or product.  That's why I never go by how many 1-star or 3-star reviews are left  without actually reading them to see if they are valid.

-- hide signature --

It's just my educated opinion. Don't get bent out of shape.
Steve

 DenverSteve's gear list:DenverSteve's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V Sony RX10 IV Sony a7R II Sony a6500 Sony a7R IV +8 more
MILC man Senior Member • Posts: 4,605
Re: Precision Camera Disappoints Another User

i agree that you should file a complaint with sony, but maybe also call up precision and gripe to them.

i'm guessing that sony has a facebook page? might be worth a shot.

the official sony support forum: Cameras & Camcorders (sony.com)

AZheaven Senior Member • Posts: 1,689
Re: Precision Camera Disappoints Another User
2

PAntunes wrote:

So they fixed the lens? You had no problem with the repair, no problem with communication or price, no problem with the time you had to wait, etc?
You're disappointed because you didn't like the way they packaged your lens? A lens that arrived in perfect condition?
I had Tamron telling me a massively misaligned lens was "within specs", and samyang, on a paid repair, sending me a lens that would miss focus every 7 out of 10 photos as a repaired item.
That's what I call disappointing. The way they wrap the lenses? That's a small footnote.

If Precision Camera has a packing guideline then they should follow their own rules when returning gear that has been fixed. It's not a "do as I say not as I do" rule. It should work both ways. When I get my camera back from repair I'll report on how they returned it.

PAntunes Contributing Member • Posts: 807
Re: Precision Camera Disappoints Another User

AZheaven wrote:

PAntunes wrote:

So they fixed the lens? You had no problem with the repair, no problem with communication or price, no problem with the time you had to wait, etc?
You're disappointed because you didn't like the way they packaged your lens? A lens that arrived in perfect condition?
I had Tamron telling me a massively misaligned lens was "within specs", and samyang, on a paid repair, sending me a lens that would miss focus every 7 out of 10 photos as a repaired item.
That's what I call disappointing. The way they wrap the lenses? That's a small footnote.

If Precision Camera has a packing guideline then they should follow their own rules when returning gear that has been fixed. It's not a "do as I say not as I do" rule. It should work both ways. When I get my camera back from repair I'll report on how they returned it.

It’s a rule on how to send to them. Not on how they’ll send to you.

AZheaven Senior Member • Posts: 1,689
Re: Precision Camera Disappoints Another User
1

PAntunes wrote:

AZheaven wrote:

PAntunes wrote:

So they fixed the lens? You had no problem with the repair, no problem with communication or price, no problem with the time you had to wait, etc?
You're disappointed because you didn't like the way they packaged your lens? A lens that arrived in perfect condition?
I had Tamron telling me a massively misaligned lens was "within specs", and samyang, on a paid repair, sending me a lens that would miss focus every 7 out of 10 photos as a repaired item.
That's what I call disappointing. The way they wrap the lenses? That's a small footnote.

If Precision Camera has a packing guideline then they should follow their own rules when returning gear that has been fixed. It's not a "do as I say not as I do" rule. It should work both ways. When I get my camera back from repair I'll report on how they returned it.

It’s a rule on how to send to them. Not on how they’ll send to you.

That is called a double standard. They should return the gear, YOUR precious and expensive gear that one has paid with ones hard earned money, not Precisions money mind you the same way you sent it to them. I don't even know why you would think along the lines you do.

OP JerseySailor Regular Member • Posts: 464
An Interesting Update (Was: Precision Camera Disappoints Another User)
8

JerseySailor wrote:

The PC supplied box was far too small for the SEL200600G lens. What were they thinking in shipping that lens in that small box?

After posting my original article, and sending copies to both Sony and Precision Camera (PC), I received an interesting phone call this afternoon from a senior executive at PC to discuss the problem.

She said that it was totally inappropriate for the shipping department to pack that expensive lens (or even an inexpensive one) in such a shoddy manner. She said normal procedures called for the lens to be packaged in an inner box, that then went into an outside shipping box - but someone decided to ignore that. She said that PC was taking strong steps to ensure it would never happen again.

I was most impressed that PC would reach out to me regarding this, and announce changes. She said the company changed ownership in the past year or so. She acknowledged the prior negative experiences that Sony owners had with PC in the past, but said that since the new owners took over, PC has worked to address past complaints, and live up to their promises.

Just the fact that she would spend the time to reach out to talk to me about the shipping problem was a most promising sign. Here's hoping that Sony service in the US will be getting better then in the past.

 JerseySailor's gear list:JerseySailor's gear list
Sony a6500 Sony a7R IV Sony FE 200-600 F5.6-6.3 Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Sony FE 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G OSS +5 more
AZheaven Senior Member • Posts: 1,689
Re: An Interesting Update (Was: Precision Camera Disappoints Another User)

JerseySailor wrote:

JerseySailor wrote:

The PC supplied box was far too small for the SEL200600G lens. What were they thinking in shipping that lens in that small box?

After posting my original article, and sending copies to both Sony and Precision Camera (PC), I received an interesting phone call this afternoon from a senior executive at PC to discuss the problem.

She said that it was totally inappropriate for the shipping department to pack that expensive lens (or even an inexpensive one) in such a shoddy manner. She said normal procedures called for the lens to be packaged in an inner box, that then went into an outside shipping box - but someone decided to ignore that. She said that PC was taking strong steps to ensure it would never happen again.

I was most impressed that PC would reach out to me regarding this, and announce changes. She said the company changed ownership in the past year or so. She acknowledged the prior negative experiences that Sony owners had with PC in the past, but said that since the new owners took over, PC has worked to address past complaints, and live up to their promises.

Just the fact that she would spend the time to reach out to talk to me about the shipping problem was a most promising sign. Here's hoping that Sony service in the US will be getting better then in the past.

Great that they reached out to you!!

I sent my camera in overnight and they have had it since Jan. 8. On the 15th we received an estimate of repair costs. But the problem was that they did not get into detail on what they were doing. So we requested that info since we needed it for the Insurance claim. PC got back to us yesterday, the 20th! Now after that phone call, I realized they didn't put in the repair estimate what the very first issue was, which, as required by PC be written on a piece of paper. The battery was draining faster than normal. 100% down to 30% after 100-150 photos. They apparently ignored the first issue entirely. Now we are waiting for an updated estimate on what the camera was sent in for in the first place!

Almazar80 Senior Member • Posts: 1,565
Re: An Interesting Update (Was: Precision Camera Disappoints Another User)
1

Not an excuse for Precision, for they have made mistakes with stuff I sent over in the past, but I am not sure that they are fully staffed at this point.  There are probably restrictions on the number of people that can be on site, how long they can work, etc.  At least responsible companies would try to put the health of their workers as a priority.  I am more willing to cut slack at this time, but if they are, as they say, attempting to make things better, then that is a good sign.  I am just saying that the pandemic has probably affected them as much as other companies.  I do hope you get your equipment fixed as quickly as possible.

OP JerseySailor Regular Member • Posts: 464
Re: An Interesting Update (Was: Precision Camera Disappoints Another User)
1

Almazar80 wrote:

Not an excuse for Precision, for they have made mistakes with stuff I sent over in the past, but I am not sure that they are fully staffed at this point. There are probably restrictions on the number of people that can be on site, how long they can work, etc. At least responsible companies would try to put the health of their workers as a priority. I am more willing to cut slack at this time, but if they are, as they say, attempting to make things better, then that is a good sign. I am just saying that the pandemic has probably affected them as much as other companies. I do hope you get your equipment fixed as quickly as possible.

When their exec called me, that was a subject that she brought up. The techies doing the repairs have to be on site to be able to use the tools and test instruments. She said the admin staff all started working from home,  freeing up their office space, and the techies started using their offices in order to implement social distancing, while still having access to the tools and test gear.

 JerseySailor's gear list:JerseySailor's gear list
Sony a6500 Sony a7R IV Sony FE 200-600 F5.6-6.3 Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Sony FE 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G OSS +5 more
AZheaven Senior Member • Posts: 1,689
Re: An Interesting Update (Was: Precision Camera Disappoints Another User)

Almazar80 wrote:

Not an excuse for Precision, for they have made mistakes with stuff I sent over in the past, but I am not sure that they are fully staffed at this point. There are probably restrictions on the number of people that can be on site, how long they can work, etc. At least responsible companies would try to put the health of their workers as a priority. I am more willing to cut slack at this time, but if they are, as they say, attempting to make things better, then that is a good sign. I am just saying that the pandemic has probably affected them as much as other companies. I do hope you get your equipment fixed as quickly as possible.

From what I understand only the techs are working at the business. All others are working from home. That's understandable. The Customer Service reps are great and helpful. But it takes 3 days to get an answer from a tech. And that comes about because they are not detailed as to what the repairs will do. "Replace Mecha Device". Huh? What's that?! Take ones car to the mechanic and say there is a knocking sound somewhere. The mechanic comes back with your bill saying "problem fixed"! What problem?!

AlephNull Senior Member • Posts: 2,422
Re: Precision Camera Disappoints Another User
1

Steve W wrote:

AZheaven wrote:

I was in charge of shipping boat parts at a boat company in FL for 4 years. Everyone who packed the parts packed them to survive just about anything short of a steam roller running over the box.

For 27 years I worked at FedEx Express as a driver. I was appalled at how some companies, mainly Amazon, packed expensive items. LensRental, B & H, and I would assume Adorama also did the best. On a side note where I buy most of my gear from, Woodland Hills Camera and Telescope, they also pack their packages great.

Don't assume B&H always does a great job. I've had several less than optimum packaging of new Canon L or Sony GM lenses. The saving grace is that Canon's own package design is great. Sony pretty good as well. The problems mostly occur when original seller packaging is not used which happens a lot for a repair.

The point is this. Packaging expensive gear correctly the first time eliminates many things. Like refunds, damage claims, etc. Thanks to the OP for bringing this up since my camera is at Precision Camera for repair. I'll be on the lookout for how they ship it back to me.

Yes, the original packaging for lenses is often very good. Would not be surprised if places like B&H and Adorama know that, and count on it. I just hope they don't count on too much.

Amazon sent me a Nikon 85mm f/1.4 G lens (in its original packaging) in a box way too large, with a single air pillow that did nothing to protect it. The lens box rattled around in that box freely. The Nikon packaging did its best to protect the lens, but the inner clamshell was smashed by how much it had to withstand. That was the first and last lens I ever bought from Amazon.

KEH, on the other hand, packed a secondhand lens well enough to survive international shipping that crushed two corners of the box, even without the original packaging.

 AlephNull's gear list:AlephNull's gear list
Sony a7R III Sony a7R IV Sony a1 Sony FE 85mm F1.4 GM Sony FE 100mm F2.8 GM +4 more
AZheaven Senior Member • Posts: 1,689
Re: Precision Camera Disappoints Another User

AlephNull wrote:

Steve W wrote:

AZheaven wrote:

I was in charge of shipping boat parts at a boat company in FL for 4 years. Everyone who packed the parts packed them to survive just about anything short of a steam roller running over the box.

For 27 years I worked at FedEx Express as a driver. I was appalled at how some companies, mainly Amazon, packed expensive items. LensRental, B & H, and I would assume Adorama also did the best. On a side note where I buy most of my gear from, Woodland Hills Camera and Telescope, they also pack their packages great.

Don't assume B&H always does a great job. I've had several less than optimum packaging of new Canon L or Sony GM lenses. The saving grace is that Canon's own package design is great. Sony pretty good as well. The problems mostly occur when original seller packaging is not used which happens a lot for a repair.

The point is this. Packaging expensive gear correctly the first time eliminates many things. Like refunds, damage claims, etc. Thanks to the OP for bringing this up since my camera is at Precision Camera for repair. I'll be on the lookout for how they ship it back to me.

Yes, the original packaging for lenses is often very good. Would not be surprised if places like B&H and Adorama know that, and count on it. I just hope they don't count on too much.

Amazon sent me a Nikon 85mm f/1.4 G lens (in its original packaging) in a box way too large, with a single air pillow that did nothing to protect it. The lens box rattled around in that box freely. The Nikon packaging did its best to protect the lens, but the inner clamshell was smashed by how much it had to withstand. That was the first and last lens I ever bought from Amazon.

KEH, on the other hand, packed a secondhand lens well enough to survive international shipping that crushed two corners of the box, even without the original packaging.

I cringe even ordering anything non breakable from Amazon!

But Precision Camera had the camera in a plastic bag, surrounded by bubble wrap in a sealed box, surrounded by bubble wrap and placed in another box. Kudos to them. Sometimes B & H as an after thought puts bubble wrap in the box either before or after placing something I ordered to ship. Like a battery I received last year. Battery on the bottom of the box, a sheet of bubble wrap on top.

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