If you have visited this blog page often, you should note that it is not my style of blog post with negative tone. But I feel obligated to report what happens to my Pentax K-x White that was sent to CRIS for repair under service warranty.
Here is the recap of rough time-line on what happens to my K-x in repair service with CRIS and Pentax USA.
- 8/21/2010 -- broken at 9 months of beautiful service
- 8/31/2010 -- shipped out to CRIS with USPS priority
- 9/2/2010 -- arrival in CRIS
- 9/8/2010 -- parts back ordered from Japan
- 10/1/2010 -- parts arrived in CRIS, repair started
- ETA unknown in each call
- 10/11/2010 -- repaired camera arrived at my home from CRIS
I call Pentax Service today and see if I can extend my warranty through Adorama recent extended +2 year warranty for $29 but that won't work with Pentax as it needs to be purchased within 90 days from initial purchase.
When I talked to different service representatives, I was confused on who is responsible in stocking parts between Pentax USA and CRIS. As far as I can tell, Pentax USA pretty much relies on CRIS and the history of repairs. And it is my assumption that K-x may not be stocked as heavily as K7 or previous cameras with longer history of repairs.
Summary of Pentax Customer Service:
- From what I have gathered, CRIS seems reasonable in repair as long as parts are in CRIS or available in Pentax USA. A usual repair in warranty will take about 4 to 6 weeks. The most problems happen when parts are not stocked properly in USA.
- There is no email or any courtesy call and you are pretty much left in the dark.
- Absolutely no ETA is given when you approach Pentax Customer Service. A ballpark figure was given for 4 to 6 weeks assuming the parts are available.
- If parts are not in CRIS or Pentax USA, it will take about 4 weeks to order from Japan to US. The 4 to 6 weeks repair cycle may become 8 to 10 weeks
- I have talked to 5 different representatives and I only feel encouraged by two of the five reps that I have talked to. In general, I don't really get a sense that the customer service is helping me with my problems. It is problem reporting instead of customer care.
- If one is serious into buying a non-black color cameras as in Pentax K-x or Pentax K-r, I will caution to think again if you are not living in Japan. Parts ordering from Japan to US are done likely by ship. In my encounter of parts order in CRIS, it took 4 weeks to order parts from Pentax Japan.
- If you want to think of a 2nd Pentax body as a backup or traveling body, think again not on K-x but rather a used copy of K10D, K20D or even a K7 as they are more durable to last longer and more dependable as a 2nd body
- No extended warranty will help you if you bought the camera used, Pentax service will only service the owner under the invoice. If you have to buy a used camera, make sure you get buy-in with the seller for the remaining warranty usage in case something totally breaks in the warranty period
- Your best warranty will be doing your due diligence in getting a good used digital body as in Pentax K10D or Pentax K20D that can go between $300 to $450.