Pentax Customer Service

Memory Card Error on Pentax K-x
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 about once a week and I am calm and as polite as I can be in each calls. If any of you are interested to know which Service rep to avoid, please PM me as I talked to 5 different reps and there is at least one rep to avoid. And in each of steps, I was not given any ETA on the repair. The back-order of parts from Japan to US is likely by ship as it took close to a month to ship from Japan to 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.



RiceHigh said...

Hin, does it mean that your K-x is still seating at CRIS but nobody knows or would tell you the expected arrival of the parts and thus nor the expected completion date of the repair?

Anyway, I feel really lucky for my case, in contrary. As my Navy Blue K-x is just working, I was decisive enough not let them hold my body. They should order the replacement required at the same time so that I can still use my K-x when needed in the meantime. :-)

Nevertheless, Hin, just don't give up, I guess they can sort out the problem for you eventually. But of course, as you've reported, such "customer service", in fact which is non-existent, actually sucks! >:-\

Anonymous said...

Wow i know the major of your photos posted here were taken with the Kx, this post shows how much you actually like the Kx and in my eyes is a testament of it's worth in the Pentax line up but on the other hand shows how much Pentax outside of Japan needs to improve especially since they're trying to improve their image. I'm still saying Ned should send you a Kr and make you one of the official testers in North America of Pentax photographic equipment, you take good images that the general masses will take, you post well written observations and i believe you're a very detailed person hence your paying "job". Hope it all works out for you, i saw how many lenses you put in the Buy and Sell in the Pentax forums, it must have been a tough decision to lose those lenses.

Hin Man said...

RH, thanks for the visit and comment. The good news from my last call to Pentax Customer Service was that the parts had arrived on 10/1/2010 and CRIS was not in repairing mode. I would expect my K-x perhaps in another 1 to 2 weeks' time. The rep said they would try to expedite the repair service with a faster ship back to me. I would be nice to get it back as I am planning to sell most of my Pentax gear for a change. I will keep a K20D with a small set of primes as in 15,35,43,77. All zooms and my copy of F* 300mm f/4.5 from Kerrick James will be out in PF marketplace. I have closed 4 sale threads with 2 closed already. I will have 2 more to go in selling my K-x along with the rest of Pentax zooms in 10-17, 50-135, 300, 1.7x TC and others

@Peter, thanks for the visit and support. I never plan to leave Pentax and I am still staying with Pentax with one single body. Likely to upgrade to K7 or K5 when I recoup my energy and rational logic. At this moment, I just want to change to another system and Nikon D7000 is my 1st choice, followed by Pentax K5. But all depends on real user unbiased reports. Thanks for the visit and support.

Hin Man said...

A typo and correction to RH -- CRIS is now in repairing mode for my K-x and I expect reasonable and timely fix to my K-x problems in not able to read any SD and SDHC memory cards.

LaRee Brownell said...

I'm very sorry to hear of your trouble with repair on your k-x. I am just getting ready to send mine in because of something that has been stuck on the sensor (it came new that way). At the same time I need to send in my 12-24 because it will not auto focus. At first I thought it was just something strange between the k10d and the 12-24, but now the lens won't auto focus on any of my Pentax (*st ds, k10d, k20d & k-x). I can only hope that my repair service goes better than yours has. I've been hesitant to send the camera and lens in because I don't want to be without it for who knows how long.

Hin Man said...

@LaRee, I am sorry to hear about your problem. If something is stuck on the sensor, it is very likely that CRIS will be able to address your problem quickly. I hope it is not something major as replacing the sensor completely on your K-x. You can visit my Pentax K-x Memory Card Error to see my steps to call Pentax Service number and CRIS postal address for reference.

In terms of your 12-24, that is more serious problems and you odd to call and send it in. I hope your lens is within 12 months warranty; otherwise, it will be quite expensive to address.

I am half-way in leaving Pentax. Not entirely leaving, I am thinking of keep primes with Pentax and zooms with Nikon. It is weird but I have sold 1/2 of my Pentax gear. When K-x comes back, it will be sold also.

Jarda said...

Hi, I feel sorry for you little K-x. My experience with Pentax service and support is quite different.
But for me it's not important whether the guy behind the counter or on the phone is polite and caring. Important is that he gets the job done well. I can imagine if I called the service here in Prague often to ask what is the status of my camera they would not like me :-)
But I have confidence in them as they so far tuned or repaired all the Pentax gear I brought to them very well and at reasonable prices (or in warranty).
Which is not the case with Nikon service here. My friends with Nikons keep complaining...

Hin Man said...

@Jarda, thank you for the visit and comment. I also have confidence that CRIS will fix it within reasonable time. The frustration that I have is on the month long parts ordering and shipping between CRIS and Pentax Japan. Parts are not stocked properly in Pentax USA at the expense of customer long waiting for repair. And poor customer service with a non-caring attitude adds to the frustration. It is important that Pentax consumers have the right expectations with Pentax Customer Service; otherwise, one will be disappointed like me.

robin said...

I really feel for you, Hin. This is the era of buy, use and throw away. Any repairs at all should be seen as a blessing from the gods. It is not usual for anyone anywhere to have a good experience with the repair of electronic devices.

Therefore I second your advice: the best thing to do is to have a backup unit on hand and simply forget about insurance, warranties and repair. Then, if they happen at all, you can see it as a blessing. Sad, though, innit?

Rebekah said...

Great blog! I've read a few posts here today, and wanted to leave at least one comment. I'll be back!

RiceHigh said...

@ Peter: Hin has no chance to be the "official tester" for Pentax now, no way! It is just all because his loyalty to Pentax has already been voided, in the eyes of those conservative Pentax officials! :-)

Helen Oster said...


Can you please email me directly regarding the warranty issue?

I don't know if there is anything I can do to help, but I'd like to try:

Helen Oster
Adorama Camera Customer Service Ambassador

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