Thursday, December 02, 2010

Pentax Service Sucks Everywhere in the World!

Last time, we had Hinman's story on his repair experience for his white K-x, which triggered him to sell all his DA Limited/DA* lenses and his repaired K-x body eventually (although which was got fully repaired at last, after a lengthy period of time and prolonged fighting/negotiation with CRIS, the repair service contractor of the Pentax Imaging in US - Yes, Pentax outsourced all the repair services). Just note that Hinman lives at California of the States.

Today, I've seen this report from a Canadian Pentax user at the DPR, in which a rather unpleasant experience is reported by the user for what he has been treated by the Pentax Canada. While the service of Pentax Canada does suck for what it is told, we should note that the main culprit and the source of all problems is yet the poor and inferior QC at the Pentax lens factory at Vietnam, for all those kinds of optical mis-alignments of his new DA 15 Limited lens as found.

Recently, I have a similar experience with my local Pentax service. My second copy of the DA 16-45 lens has infinity focus collimation problem so that it hits the far end boundary of the focus scale for very far-away infinity objects with good contrast on a clear bright day so that the AF cannot be completed, when it is zoomed to 16mm. I mounted the same lens on my NEX, it was very obvious that the focus could be sharper (and hence the image resolves better), than what it could on my K-x. So the problem was confirmed and I took my lens to Pentax and asking for an infinity focus calibration, which is just a really simple technical task originally. But then the "Customer Service" (CS) guy at the frontdesk of the Pentax Service Centre has argued with me more than an hour. Before that, I have left the centre for several hours to give them some time for checking and "study". After their half-day study, they insisted that I should leave also the body for them to make a "software calibration" for my body in order to "cure" the problem, which is the "necessary" and the "right solution" to "my problem", told those CS guys repeatedly.

Indeed, I can feel that now the local Pentax service centre in HK has setup a strong policy for not letting the customers/users to be in contact with the service technician who actually is the one carries out the repair and has the technical knowledge, in contrast to what could be done in the past, which is really rather ridiculous afterall. They now employed a new team of untrained layman "CS" guys who knew nothing about the technical problems at all but just knew and have been taught for how to play with the customers and refused to provide the proper service till the end of the day and try to avoid their original liability of warranty as far as possible! I am really pissed off! >:-|

Let me talk back my DA lens repair case.. I refused their proposition firmly and insisted that they should check and calibrate my lens for proper working according to the factory standard for my lens *alone* and to ensure its proper working. Originally, I intended to leave my body for their calibration but I insisted that they should not change the software settings of my K-x body, which I could only get my unit *very luckily* from one body out of three at the shops and only after exchange for waiting for one month (during which I discovered and tried the Debug Mode for the K-x), which finally worked well with my Pentax AF fast primes without any mis-focus issues. So, IF I let them hacked my body, I just scared that even those things which worked originally with my K-x body would be messed up, very probably.

A few days later, a service engineer, whom I knew him for many years personally, phoned me back and told me that he could find exactly the problem I described for what his tested with his own body at workshop, with both real-world target on a bright day as well as his infinity object simulator (an optical test instrument) and he had already made the necessary adjustment for me, as he knew well what was the problem and the cause and most importantly, the cure, which is the same as what I suggested for what was required to adjust. In fact, I have the same channel with him and our communication was smooth and without any problem. He finally told me in the phone that I could collect back my calibrated lens at anytime and I asked if I could contact me directly now and he said that now I couldn't, and he hinted about the (changed) company policy. Nevertheless, he told me that he was still available at anytime during office hours normally and I might be able to contact him indirectly just in case if there was still any problem found with my calibrated lens. In fact, that guy is very helpful and Pentax should feel lucky for having such a responsible staff whom always bears good customer service and customer service skills as well. Indeed, he has always been polite and friendly everytime I met and discussed things with him. He is the true asset of Pentax, but who treasured and cared? :-o

But rather unfortunately, he (and other knowledgeable Pentax service engineers as well) is now isolated and is not allowed to be in contact with the clients. Instead, a gang of unhelpful and useless "Customer Service" guys with zero knowledge are there for doing some other (evil) tasks. That is, they are employed to play long with the clients till the end of the world and they are highly suspicious for for aiming to minimize the labour costs for repair borne by their company as far as possible! Damn! Is that just because now the service department of Pentax now knows well that if they didn't do that and made such a new arrangement, they could be bankrupted just because nowadays the Pentax products manufactured are just too problematic owing to the poor and significantly dropped production quality?!

The story of mine continues, another CS guy phoned me only after another several working days later in another week after my conversation with that service engineer. How efficient they really are for carrying out their tasks! I then asked if the service engineer would be available on several specific times I suggested and the response was negative. I then exchanged emails with his boss, the service centre supervisor in charge and the responses are all ridiculous. The i/c, who is the highest ranked officer of them whom I could contact (the "manager" hid!), either responded that the "service technician" would be busy with his tasks or that he would be off (I think that he was lying). And the most ridiculous thing that is he obviously always does not respect his colleague as everytime I wrote "service engineer Mr. X", he needed to write back in all his response that he was a "technician" and it is quite obvious and clear that that indeed a very good engineer and staff of Pentax is being looked down by that service centre CS in-charge whom was just called a "supervisor" afterall in his official name-card. But another thing that made me upset is that the good service engineer guy has never received the minimum respect that he should receive, from his frontdesk colleague. Too bad it really is! >:-(

Finally, I then asked in my last email to that CS i/c that I just needed to have the support by an *engineer* just in case at the time when I come to collect my lens, instead of yet arguing with his CS staff again if I could "see the engineer" for another half-an-hour, there was no response since then after that. Is that reasonable enough? How should I be treated / cheated like that??

During these months, regarding my really unpleasant experiences for my last two repair cases for my K-x and the DA lens, both of which are still under warranty, I have emailed at least four emails to four different public well known email addresses of Hoya (Japan) at the same time to their principal and guys at the HQs, for complains and some kind suggestions of mine to them. I wrote in good manners and tried to write in either concisely or in details but I got completely ignored and there was no response of any for not even with any reply email with one sentence or just in one word! In fact, for the basic PR 101, I think what they just needed to do is to write somethings such as "Thank you for your email, we would check and follow up your case" for complains and "Thank you for your email, we would consider your suggestions", then this could be the end of the cases (even they never ever look back my cases and suggestions!). But then they won't even bother to ever respond! Shxt!!

Afterall, the irresponsible and arrogant attitude of the Hoya HQs really sucks and I believe they are the worst company on Earth in providing "customer service" and "after sales support", which is virtually non-existent! On top of the poor product QC and manufacturing quality of their products, together with this ridiculously poor and inferior service quality of them, this company and brand is just hopeless. I will not buy into any of their products further unless the price level of their latest gear come down to a more reasonable level plus that their products' performance and QC become better again (which is just a dream, frankly) - I don't even dare to mention about the improved service quality of theirs which is just not applicable actually. After all, why we Pentax users needed to and deserved for all such troubles - we are the ones who paid and we are consumers who support the company and the brand for long!

I know some people would still argue that my requirements and expectations are set too high and I am a picky and troublesome person. What I could tell is I found the service quality of both Canon and Sony are far better by the same "picky" and "high" standards of mine and the number of times for requiring servicing of my Canon, Sony products are minimal. Do note that I have a Canon system with 1 body and 6 lenses and 1 flash and other accessories, which are more than my purchases for Pentax gear and items in the same period. Besides, as I told last time in another previous post, the locations and opening hours of them are rather convenient for the Pentax service centre than Canon, Sony and Nikon's! So?

Nikon HK HQs is near my home, Canon and Sony are near my working places where I can easily access after work and their servicing hours are staggered, e.g. from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., not like that nine to five arrangement of that of Pentax, which is plain stupid. Honestly to tell, I am seriously considering to build a new Nikon system, maybe starting from a D7000 kit. I yet found that the in-camera images from the D7000 is a bit soft to my like, although it is not as ridiculously soft as those from the K-5. Maybe I would buy a 60D, which I like for its per pixel sharpness but less so for its colour rendition. In the meantime, my K-x serves me well for stationary objects and on bright environment and I can use all of my great old Pentax glass. But if I just want more resolution and for other "faster" applications, it won't do the job. I have been eager to buy the new K-5 and the new DA 18-135. But my wife and all my photographic friends have humbly advised me to move on! And I knew that Hoya is just not serious enough to make some new Pentax primes, which was the main reason for me to go with Pentax for decades in the 80s and 90s (also in the early millenniums anyway). In fact, I use my NEX more these days, but it's just a P&S and handy HD Cam to me, no serious job outdoor indeed, as the LCD monitor is still hard to see. Moreover, CDAF does not track moving objects, no matter how fast it is (which the NEX' is really fast), but neither does the K-x actually for its phase-matching AF, of which its C-AF is just a joke! It's worse than the AF-S of my K-m for shooting moving objects, just believe it or not!


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

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

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

FA 31 Limited: Assembled in Vietnam Vs Made in Japan - Case Studies

FA Limiteds: Made in Japan Vs Assembled in Vietnam (Continued)

Made ("Assembled") In Vietnam

Where are the Pentax DSLRs and Lenses Made?


Ten Reasons for Thinking Twice before Decided on a K-5..

Related Posts

Creative Commons License
RiceHigh's Pentax Blog by RiceHigh is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.