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Old Dec 22, 2003, 4:31 AM   #1
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Default Pentax Warrantee Problem? - I want to hear your story!

Recently, my Optio S malfunctioned in the middle of a session. It was not dropped, banged, or otherwise abused. I shut it off to conserve battery life and the lens got stuck during retraction. I sent it in for a warrantee repair and was told after FOUR weeks that it had sustained "impact damage" and therefore was not covered under warrantee. When I pointed out that I have four witnesses to the fact that the camera simply stopped working while I was holding it, Pentax agreed to fix it at about half the quoted price. (By the way, Pentax received my camera on September 23 and I have just been informed that I can expect my camera to be shipped back to me in February.)

I feel ripped off and I feel as though I've been treated like a scammer.

I did a cursory Google using keywords: "Pentax Warrantee Problem" and instantly found a bunch of stories EXACTLY like mine, that is, the camera malfunctioned; it was sent in for warrantee repairs; the owner was informed that the camera had sustained water damage or impact damage or whatever, which in each case the owners emphatically denied (implying of course that the owners are liars who are trying to get free undeserved repairs); and the repair cost in each case was exorbitant.

I suspect that something is rotten in the state of Pentax. Or maybe I'm totally off base. But I would like to hear from you if you have a story similar to mine. If, as I suspect, there's hanky-panky going on, I would like to write to the Colorado Attorney General's office and inform him that I have a collection of stories just like mine. Or if you have a better suggestion how to deal with this, please let me know.
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Old Dec 23, 2003, 11:24 PM   #2
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Default Same problem, lens just stops 3/4 of the way in

I had the same problem with my Optio 550, posted on the following link. I am still waiting for Pentax to return the camera. It has been 3 weeks since I told them not to fix it for the $320, just send it back. My last Pentax, for sure!


http://www.stevesforums.com/phpBB2/v...ic.php?t=17343
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Old Apr 27, 2004, 8:37 PM   #3
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Default Optio S Warranty Problem

I had a similar problem with an Optio s. Check out the list of places in your state where you can file complaints. Many states have attorney generals with consumer protection sites.
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Old May 26, 2004, 9:29 PM   #4
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I suspect all camera manufacturers of these small digital cameras are careful to inspect incoming cameras for signs of impact since such is most likely to be the cause of problems.Dropping is certainly a problem of the user and not the manufacturer. The only waythe service groupwould be able to tell would be if the external case showed some damage. Thus they may have seen something that made them suspicious. Otherwise they probaly regularly recieve dropped items that the owners say were not dropped. Just a reflection of lack of honesty these days. Since these tiny electromechanical devices are more liable to be damaged by dropping impact than items like walkman radios etc, they could include internal devices which would indicate if sufficient impact had occurred. Doubt if any do though.

I've rigged my S4i custom case with a small diameter bunji cord that I attach to pockets. It will not reach the ground if dropped from my belt. It's too easy to drop such small devices sooner or later. A lot more expensive than dropping a walkman.
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Old Mar 24, 2005, 4:58 PM   #5
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Stale thread but ironic update. Now 11 months after I bought the S4i, now my lens too is stuck out. After powering on it beeps 3 times then powers off. When it failed I had been using it on a tripod but forgot to turn it off. Then when I returned the camera lens had not retracted though power was off. Suspected some kind of electronic failure. The case may actually be damaged though I am suspicious of the Pentax customer service. Then again it could actually be damaged maybe due my frequent tripod mounting which over time may have torqued the little case. However am suspicious it is really some kind of design weakness. May be a sensor interlock checks if the lens is extended during power on. If so it may be inhibited fromretracting the lens due to crummy softwareeven though there is nothing mechanically wrong from doing so. I've been an ET and electronic test engineer for 3 decades and have seen a lot of sloppy code which gets past beta production. Then when things fail a lot of companies will try pointing fingers elsewhere until really legally cornered.

And after sending it in for warrantee repair, Pentax is claiming impact or crushing damage. Per my above thread I have only been religiously using the camera attached to the bunji and pocket loop or on a tripod. Thus it has never had a significant impact ever beyond flopping against my body, dropping a few inches onto a couch or my lap. Pentax noticed a mark on the camera they claimed was impact damage. Actually that was on the tripod socket side which I related was scratching due to cfrequent tripod mounting. They just gave me a $167 estimate to replace the case and perform a bunch of subsequent mechanical lens alignments. I declined of course since a year old 4mp camera isn't worth near that much and good realignmentdoubtful. Reading others similar problems here makes me more suspicious. In any case it is likely many small digital cameras are dropped by users so manufacturers are likely to be overly suspicious too.
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Old Apr 5, 2005, 1:04 PM   #6
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Hi

We received our Pentax 4SI as a present in August, Took it on a trip in October and it too stopped working all of a sudden. We switch to our spare battery and we were able to get it retracted, but it stopped again, several shots later.

Story, returned the camera the last week of October, and they did the warranty work and returned it to me after Christmas. They sent it ground delivery from Colorado to Maryland on December 20th and basically called me a liar when I said it did not arrive in time for Christmas. Okay, so far, no camera for half of my vacation, thanksgiving, and Christmas.

On January 22nd, Used the camera, took 3 pictures and the same darn thing happened again. I called back and was told to return under the rush redo label, overnight delivery, that they would reimburse me the postage and would have it back to me by 2/4 because I was leaving on another trip for three weeks. Guess what, they sent to me again ground transportation on 2/3, needless to say it did not get here before I left. I was mad!!! They tried to imply that because I sent it two day delivery instead of overnight that it was my fault!! I pointed out to them that had they shipped overnight, I would have had it in time for my trip.

When we returned, the camera was at home, and we had two messages on our phone to call the service department. They apologized for me not getting my camera in time and offered to upgrade us to the 5.0 SI for no cost. We returned the camera, along with now two post office receipts for 25.00+ (they never paid me the first one) and that was 3/11. We have yet to get our original camera back or a new one. I would be more than willing to file a joint complaint against this company. They come up with one excuse after another, and I still have no camera.

Sharon Long










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Old Apr 6, 2005, 7:59 PM   #7
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I've also had a terrible experience with Pentax - loved my s4i until it stopped working during a cross-country road trip in December. Flash would no longer fire. Didn't have the box/receipt with me until I got back over the holidays, only to find that Pentax was closed for 2 WEEKS during the holidays - there was no number I could call. That's pretty terrible to not have any customer service over the holidays, especially when people may be receiving these cameras as gifts...

Nevertheless I patiently waited only to be told to send the camera back (at my expense). I included a detailed description of the failure symptom, waited 4-5 weeks, and finally got the camera back, only to find all they had done was cleaned and oiled the lens barrel. The flash would still not fire; I suspsect they never even read my letter.

When I called back, I demanded they send me a new camera immediately. The response was "we can't send you a new camera unless we have the defective one." Well, they HAD it, but they DIDN'T DO ANYTHING WITH IT! Morons. So I sent it back (at least this time they sent me a pre-paid packing slip). I included a second letter, including more technical detail about the failure mode (I'm an electrical engineer). Again waited 4 weeks, finally called them back and they sent it to me a week later. They replaced the entire circuit board and flash module this time. Never sent me a check for the initial shipping like I requested. Total time without camera = 3.5 months.

My company ships millions of electronic products every quarter; there are bound to be some defects. When there are, the customer ships it in, we send him/her a NEW product, then we get the defective system into the lab with an ENGINEER for failure analysis. Pentax sits on it for 4 weeks, puts some grease on it, and ships it back to you. That's not how a consumer electronics company should do business, especially in a market with so much good competition.

I'd love to join in on a complaint, or help head something up. Please also note the following Amazon reviews about similar problems:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/cus...=ATVPDKIKX0DER
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Old Jun 9, 2005, 12:53 PM   #8
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I had3 problems with my S4i, always at the worst times. I do have to say that Pentax Customer Service has been okay to me. I bought the camera in April 2004. Around Sept 2004, it just stopped working. I was at a charity event,took it outof the case to snap a few photos, but it wouldn't operate. When I pressed the power button, I got 2-3 beeps, a sound like the lens was trying to open, then the camera just powered off. Then it started working again, at least for a while. A month later I took it on a short weekendholiday. Of course it stopped working there. Sent back to Pentax for repair. Got it back about 2 months later, repaired. 6 months later was going on another short holiday. Took the camera out of the closetto confirm it still worked, and again was disappointed. When powered up, the lens opened, autofocus failed, lens closed, and camera powered off. Had to buy another digital camera (this time a Canon) for that trip. Sent the camera back to Pentax, as my cust. svc. rep told me it would be repaired under the 1 year warranty dating from time of first repair. I just received it back a week ago. Hope it continues to work.
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Old Jun 17, 2005, 10:42 AM   #9
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I've never in my life experienced anything like the nightmare that is Pentax 'Service'. I think my story tops all of them:
I went to Europe on August 21, 2005 for 4 months. Somewhere around August 27, my Optio S4i just shut off during the middle of taking pictures at the Colosseum in Rome. Perfect timing. I didn't know what to do because from that point on I would turn it on and it would shut itself right off. I charged the camera but that didn't help. After a few days I gave it another shot and it turned on! However, this time it was acting like I was in the Bermuda Triangle and started changing modes and zooming in and out all by itself. It was the strangest thing I'd seen. I set it on the table and it was zooming in & out, and changing to different modes without anyone touching it. Clearly there was a problem. I sent the camera back home and had my father contact Pentax. "Customer Service" said it would take 6-8 weeks. Seeing as how I didn't care to lose that much time in Europe with no camera, I asked that he get it repaired at a local Camera Repair shop. They 'repaired' it for $100 and sent it back to Italy (shipping was $80). Sure enough, the camera hadn't been touched and still was doing the same things. So I had to send it back to the States again - $80. This time I made sure to have him send it into Pentax with a detailed letter about how the repair company screwed us and we would like it fixed under warrantee and to send it back to our home address. Well wouldn't you know it, they sent it to the repair store despite my specific words to "not send it to Photo Camera Repair" but rather to our home. Well somehow this company "lost" my camera, and I was left with nothing. So after countless emails and phone arguments blaming Pentax for sending it to the one place I asked them not to send it to....the repair store happened to find an Optio S4i. My father went to pick it up and he mailed it back to me - $80. Surprise! This is a different camera, as evidenced by the change in SN on the camera. Oh! And what do you know, this one is ALSO broken! December came and I returned to America, determined to tear someone at Pentax a new bottom.
I sent in the damaged Optio S4i (that wasn't even mine) to have it repaired because I had two very important events coming in the next few weeks - 1) My college graduation, and 2) My best friend's wedding. At this point I just wanted a working camera. They said it would cost me $87 because the camera I sent in wasn't under warrantee! Funny, if they had returned MY camera to MY address none of this would be happening; however, they refuse to take any responsibility for any of this and don't want anything to do with helping me to resolve their mistake. Well finally the camera just shows up one day and I'm excited to have it just in time for my graduation. I thought that they
just hit the breaking point and fixed it out of realization that they've been bending over their consumers and wanted to be a company that owns up to its mistakes....but no. It was STILL BROKEN. So how many pictures did I get at my Graduation?? ZERO. Here's about where I wanted to thank Pentax for their continued support throughout our relationship. It's really nice that they will pass the buck and refuse to just spend one hour to fix my camera after all the bullshit I've endured so that I can simply capture my own graduation for memories. Needless to say, I didn't get any pics of my best friend's wedding either. After calling to express how disgusted I am with their way of doing business they "granted" me a 50% discount on the repair....and the $87 quote went down to $63 (do the math...doesn't quite make it a 50% discount does it?) + the $32 for 2-day shipping. I'm now leaving for Vegas in 5 days and have been waiting for this repair to finish and hopefully the camera will find its way to my doorstep in time. If not, I will be purchasing a Louisville Slugger baseball bat and a plane ticket to Golden, Colorado.
Total Time without a camera - 9 months, 27 days
Total Cost of trying to get a working camera in my hands - $455

The most insulting part is that only after this much time of them acting like they've never seen anything like this did I find these posts online about hundreds of people who had the same situation. Pentax sets the standard for the liars and thieves of the corporate world.
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