Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Pentax Quality and Warranty Crises II - Hinman is Leaving Pentax! :-o :-(

As previous reported and talked about (here and here), Hinman's and my K-xes both suffer from some kinds of serious to minor quality issues respectively. Hin was just more unlucky with a dead camera just after a few months of use. And, the detached SR red logo plate and faded silver rim look rather terrible to me, indeed.

Hinman, being the top Alexa ranked Pentax Blogger for a long time actually, has now decided to leave Pentax! He has yet sold off several of his beloved DA Limited lenses already, all just because of the poor warranty services and after-sales support (if any!) by Pentax (Imaging, the USA) - but NOT because of he doesn't like his Limiteds. In contrast, I can feel that he loves his limited lenses much!

He has left two messages today at my Blog (here and here) about his frustration and disappointment, quoted:-

"My dead Pentax K-x white is in CRIS since 9/2/2010 and nothing has been done on the camera for 18 days after arrival as there is NO parts available from CRIS and NONE is stocked in Pentax USA. It has been back ordered from Japan with NO ETA.

I AM LEAVING PENTAX partially at the moment. And I will leave PENTAX digital for good. That IS IT for me. RH, please spread the words for Hin that he has decided to leave PENTAX.

By the way, that chrome strip is normal wear and I won't sweat little thing on Pentax for that inconvenience but a dead camera is a dead camera in my case. I expect NOTHING from Pentax."

"I have sold my DA limited lens on 21/40/70 and 50. Next will come with DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 and then my F* 300. When you see the F* 300 in marketplace of PF, you will know that I completely OUT of Pentax digital

I will keep my FA limited in 43/77 for my Pentax film work along with Pentax 645N. But my Pentax digital LIFE is no more. Even if they come out with magic in K5, I don't give a damn!"

When compared to Hin's case, I feel far more fortunate that my K-x is still well and fully working. The aesthetic "damage" of that crispy shiny Navy Blue paint is minor in comparison but even though, I don't think Pentax could and should escape from the warranty/defects liability neither even for such "minor" things.

The Pentax local service centre dared to ask me to pay for Pentax' own quality and design issues, which is the most RIDICULOUS thing on Earth. The worst is, very similar to Hin's case, they told me that they had to back-order that piece of plastic cover for the RTF and the Time for Delivery was actually unknown! It just seems that all Pentax' service centres don't keep spare parts. And the stock level of everything is just zero! Oh, everything has to order from the Pentax HQs for each repair?? From a minor piece of plastic parts to the memory card module?! Well, I still remember that the service centre commented that, "Yours is in Blue colour, then.. (we have to special order)"!?

I am sure my broken painting is a quality plus design issue, as I have already had two different Navy Blue K-x units which have suffered from the same! As for the Red/White/Black ones, my observation and guess is that the materials used are different and the problem may not arise.

No matter how, I feel for Hin and actually I feel really sad for Pentax/Hoya to have such a loyal long-time customer plus an important contributor to the brand in internet gone and lost him, whom should be a very valuable asset to the brand and company, really.

For me, I am now looking at the K-5, which gives me no big surprise but more disappointments actually. I might buy one eventually, maybe a Silver version when it would come out later. By that time, my K-x would be sold.

I still remember that last time my special Silver version of my *ist DS got killed at Pentax Japan during a "re-calibration" for AF adjustment - the whole AF module was misaligned, optics inside eyepiece broken, mirror position was shifted. In that case, no one was responsible to give me a replacement unit of the same edition nor a newer model since they just couldn't make it.

Do a company be responsible to all the damages and customer's loss owing to their own faults and incompetence? They just chose to ignore me after all these happenings! >:-( The local agent was "kind" enough to give me an old black colour *demo* unit with obvious used signs, though - but my beloved Silver DS died! (And that they still required me to return the death body to them anyway! :-( That was just an completely unfair "one to one" replacement!)

As the older Pentaxians would know, I wrote a complaint letter to the CEO of Pentax Corporation (when it was not swallowed by Hoya yet) and sent by registered mail with full name of attention, yet my letter was disregarded like rubbish.

All these cases are just ridiculous and unforgivable. "Normal" people like Hin would choose just to leave and move on. But as for me, with a rather stupid blinded brand loyalty in heart, just chose to stay and continue to buy new stuff (and continue struggling when unfortunate things continue to happen!)! Stupid ME!! >:-|

Update (9-20): Hinman has replied to my this post, it would be useful to quote his latest report and comments here:-

"I will eventually leave Pentax. At this moment, I will slowly disappear from Pentax but I will come often to say Hi. Until I see the trend that Pentax do listen to its customers on SDM, pTTL (p for pathetic), CRISis service with Pentax USA properly stocking up parts for its failures, I won't be back.

When I called Pentax service, I ask whos is responsible in stocking up for broken Pentax gear under warranty, Pentax rep says it is CRIS responsibility. Then I ask why Pentax USA don't stock up K-x broken parts, the answer goes in circle and I can only imagine how stupid I have been in believing this company."

Last Stories:-

K-x' Durability/Production Quality is Just a Joke!

The Quality and Warranty Crises (Re: K-x and Pentax)

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