View Full Version : Mr B. Marco's warranty claim

11-07-2005, 12:26 PM
Quote from Mrbmarco (transferred as new topic)

Last March I bought the istds kit on line from J&R. I bought it from them because I have bought electronics from them for over 20 years. I loved this camera--The images were breathtaking. I was so happy, all my old pentax lenses worked perfectly. In June, I set up the tripod and started to take close ups of flowers on the patio. The pictures were the best yet, all of a sudden the camera started to act up, all the lights, bell and whistles started to go on and off. I shut the camera off, and the problem continued. I took out the batteries, put them back in and the problem continued. I shipped the camera back to Pentax in Colorado since it was still under warranty. After 6 weeks in September the camera came back still broke. Pentax said they found either water or motor oil in the camera, when they opened it up. It could not be fixed, the warranty was void. I was floored, I never opened the camera. I called several times with no luck. The camera still looks brand new. Do I have to pay out another 600.00 for a new body?? Any suggestions??

11-07-2005, 12:27 PM
Mr. B. Marco,

I would suggest that all manufacturers see devices that they presume have been abused. It would seem absurd for every manufacturer to replace every failing device regardless of the ascertained cause of the defect. I present this because I don't think one service issue demonstrates failure on the part of an entire company, and I suspect such a tangent will result in this conversation if not addressed ahead of time. In your case however, your description seems to indicate a valid concern.

I am confident that you will get your camera replaced if you choose an appropriate channel. I would start by contacting the RMA department and insisting that the camera be repaired and the warranty reinstated. Work up the chain until you reach the supervisor, then the supervisor above him or her, and so forth, to the top; it appears it will be necessary. Note that you should be demanding expidited service, as you have already been without your camera for an extended period.

If you cannot get to a supervisor, or cannot obtain satisfaction from one, return the defective part to the service depot with a letter detailing how insulted you are at this abuse (yes, abuse) and detail your expectations in writing. One expectation should be contact via telephone to advise you that the camera will be repared promptly and at no charge. I would also ensure that your letter include what actions will be taken if the phonecall is not recieved by a specific date. You might choose to give them an 'easy out' by suggesting that it was a failure on the part of a servicing technician, but that it must be resolved immediately. Courier the camera and make sure delivery confirmation is obtained.

If you have no commitment from Pentax at this point, I would then contact the store you bought it from and tell them you will be insisting on a replacement if Pentax does not resolve the concern. Be bold, but be certain your appproach envokes empathy and not anger. Make sure they know fault lies either with them or the manufacturer, and that Pentax is denying responsibility. Ask who in their company will help expidite your concern. Give your prior RMA number to the dealer so they can follow up on your problem. Most will do this instead of risking a significant loss ($600 is enough to warrant a phonecall to a rep, as is lost of a 20yr client).

If you have not been contacted by Pentax within a few days of delivery confirmation, I would contact the store and insist on your replacement. When that doesn't work (and it won't; you are dealing with an on-line retailer), insist that you be put in contact with the region's Pentax representative. Explain your issue to him (or her) and be clear that you will stop at nothing until your warranty is honored. Make sure the crux of your message is how appauled you are at the insult you have recieved and the harm they have caused you. Your message should parallel your letter. And remember, this individual has the power to solve (or at least expidite) your concern, even if he or she says otherwise.

I suspect this approach will resolve your problem, and quickly. I have used it in the past on two occasions, and have had success both times. My issues were an unreliable car and an intermittant projection television. In the case of the television, I did make it to the end of the described process.

11-13-2005, 08:42 AM

Thanks for the information. I will get my information together before I make another call. I remember leaving a voice mail to some supervisor-- The supervisor left me a voice mail stating two different technicians looked at the camera. They also said the camera was tampered with. I will get names and numbers.
Here is some of the text of the letter I received with the returned camera.

"Your equipment was found to have extensive damage to internal electrical and mechanical components from the penetration of a liquid or sticky substance. The cost of repair would equal or exceed the cost of a new Pentax product."

Now that I look at this Packing Slip more closely, there is nothing on it that says the warranty is void. That information was told over the phone.

I will call back customer service this week and start the process.

11-15-2005, 07:08 AM
Called Pentax Monday November 14th. Finally spoke to the supervisor of Customer Service a Mr Phil Kerswill. He told me the same bull I've heard before. They found liquid in the camera, and I said I did not abuse the camera. So, it's me against Pentax. We just kept arguing back and forth. He told me there are no regional offices, only the office in Colorado.
Finally I asked for the name of his boss, and he told me he reports to the president, Jim Kast. I told him I was going to write him a letter with a cc to Popular Photography. He told me in a few words that the letter would be given to him, so why bother. Is there some one I can write to in Japan???
I really examined the camera last night. I took off the plastic white cover where the lens goes. I looked at the mirror and all around. It looks brand new. I did not see any damage what so ever. I would'nt even know how to open up the back, with the screen and all. Since this body is no good, I wonder if I should have an expert look at the camera??? Who's a well known expert who has a column??

11-17-2005, 07:08 PM
I really examined the camera last night. I took off the plastic white cover where the lens goes. I looked at the mirror and all around. It looks brand new. I did not see any damage what so ever. I would'nt even know how to open up the back, with the screen and all. Since this body is no good, I wonder if I should have an expert look at the camera??? Who's a well known expert who has a column??

The problem is you left out the word "independent" when you asked about an expert. I'm afraid they all take advertising dollars from the manufacturers. Maybe someone in the tech industry. What you need is someone with unimpeachable credentials to open the camera. Of course, they might say you cleaned it.

How about your state's attorney general?

11-19-2005, 05:50 PM
Your problem is more challenging than any I have faced thus far, but I still think it can be solved. I would suggest you write your letter to the president, but perhaps consider changing your message. I would write to complain about abuse you have received from the support department, particularly Mr. Kerswill. Detail how your only request is that the warranty you were given in writing be honored. Explain that Mr. Kerswell has violated your rights (warantee gives you these), argued with you, and advised you that writing the president will solve nothing. Explain the wrongs done to you, and hope for the best.

You might also write the Human resources, public relations, and marketing departments. Support and marketing rarely work together in an organization. While Mr. Kerswell may think that the paultry savings of not repairing your camera are a huge benefit to the company, the marketing devision is unlikely to concur. Other organizations to consider are the BBB and assorted public advocates for consumer rights.

In short, show them you mean business. You might even write a letter to a Colorado newspaper editor. The letter probably won't get printed, but it will probably land in the hands of someone in Pentax's PR department. And if it does get printed you'll be sending a strong message. A few flyers containing the words "Pentax won't back my warantee... will they back yours" comes to mind. Print 20 and mail them all to Pentax in seperate envelopes, along with a request that they not force you to extremes. In every case, stress the fact you want only to be treated fairly, as Pentax's warrantee stated you would be.

Best of luck to you. I feel for you in your situation and must admit that the supervisor's approach makes me a little uneasy.

11-19-2005, 05:54 PM
If you are still getting nowhere, a letter to each person on the Pentax Board of Directors is certain to get you some attention.

11-24-2005, 03:37 PM
Thanks for the advice--
Here's the response I received from Popular Photography.

"The warranty repair problem you are having with your Pentax *istD is certainly an unusual case. Assuming both you and Pentax are telling the truth, and that you never lent the camera to someone who may have inadvertently damaged it, the first thing we would do is take it up with the dealer who sold you the camera. If they have a repair deparment or a repair company they work with, they may be able to determine the actual cause of the problem and show it to you, or to intercede with Pentax on your behalf. You could, as you suggest, bring it to a Pentax authorized camera repair shop on your own, but it would cost money to have the camera disassembled and evaluated, and you'd still have to pay to get it fixed if the problem was determined to have been caused by "abuse" rather than due to a manufacturing defect. Best of luck"

Going to see the relatives down in Orange County for Thanksgiving Dinner.
I was gonna bring the ZX-L, but forget it.