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Wednesday 4 June 2003

We live in a mad mad Pentax world .. [houmous]

Hi all. I would like to introduce you to the world of Pentax - whose internal mission statement I sure you will find is ....Customers? F&*k em!
Having purchased a Pentax Optio 330 a month or so earlier I set off for Cape Town loaded with flash cards and expectations of some excellent piccies - this was one of the most beautiful places in the world right?
Unfortunately my Pentax had other ideas - 2 days into holiday it stops working.
I return to UK with 6 piccies and promptly return it to Pentax under warranty. I receive a swift reply. My camera failed because of sand in it and therefore my warranty is void. Furthermore it is 'not financially feasible to repair it'. In short therefore I have effortlessly transformed my prized digital camera into a piece of junk.
I'm not happy and also know something that Pentax don't. Five years ago I was very silly with using a camera on the beach which led to its early demise. Since then I have been ultra careful with cameras on the beach and didn't actually use this one at all where there was sand.
I ring 'customer services'. After some discussion the woman tells me she will personally inspect the camera. She rings back to say it was 'full of sand'. Now I start to have trouble staying calm. I politely tell her that is not correct explaining how careful I am now with cameras and that I was not using it to build castles with. I can start to tell she is feeling uncomfortable but she stands her ground and insists it is unrepairable. She does however now offer me a special arrangement designed to help people in my situation i.e. the effortlessly converting a digital camera to a lump of metal situation, by offering me 30% off list price on a new camera. I stupidly thank her and end the call.
10 minutes later I ring back. I explain that I have ascertained list prices of their cameras and the 30% off they are offering equals virtually to the pound the price I can buy their cameras almost anywhere. I feel the tension on the other end of the line and momentarily go off into a semi fantasy imagining this woman explaining to her equally appalling husband in their nice Martin Parr style neo Georgian house somewhere near Chelmsford about this awful man she had on the phone today...
Anyway I start by clarifying the purpose of Pentax offering 30% off to customers 'in my position'. Its to help me right? Its to put me in a better position than someone off the street wanting to buy a Pentax? Yes that's right sir. Ok this is good - well unfortunately its not achieving that, so surely all you have to do, having agreed the objective, is to increase the discount - say 50%. No sir 30% is the best we can do. But that's not achieving anything! You haven't done anything to help me!
There is a silence. You will have to write in if you aren't happy and say what you just said sir. Why! I'm telling you! Why do I have to write in! The reason is because you want to go home and its just a delaying tactic!
I then tell her that I subscribe to a number of camera MB's and feel I would be letting my colleagues down if I didn't post my experience re my broken camera. This provokes an instant reaction involving veiled threats about what they will do if I post 'slanderous'!!! comments regarding Pentax on the web.
Di then comes into the Houmous den at this point and tells me she can hear me yelling from the other end of the house and I will give myself a heart attack if I'm not careful - she suggests I tell the woman to stick the camera up her arse. In a moment of rare decorum I ask the woman to return camera to me.
I receive camera - take to local repairer who fixes it no problem for £150. Lets say he took £50 labour and paid 100% mark up on the bit (shutter mech). This means f&*king Pentax could have fixed it for a £50 part.
I was already to buy the new slimline Pentax Optio S (I love anything I can always carry with me - which is why I put up with the appalling functionality of the Palm m515 but that's another story ) but they can definitely stick that up their........
Finally a quick comparison - I accidentally threw my Creative Zen across the gym last month - oops! Creative had the right to tell me to sod off but no - they collected it from my house and gave me a no quibble replacement - I immediately went out and bought a MuVo as well.


  1. You really should print that off & send it to them. Victorinox are similar to creative. Offered to repair my knife (lent to someone who fux0red the sissors). What did I do? bought one for my brothers birthday. Customer service works. When will they learn?

  2. Houmous dear boy, do post a link to the appropriate camera model which has been the cause of all your consternation!

  3. I'm still confused. Was it or was it not full of sand? The 'shutter mech' was broken right but what does a digital camera need a shutter mech for exactly? Or do you mean the lens slider/cover? Mysterious!

  4. hehe right, firstly the model is this one
    secondly re lurks comment its the cover over the lens that opens when you switch it on. Sand? There was maybe a few grains in there at most probably from where the camera had been in my pocket......