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Friday, 7 April 2017

My Pentax 300 f4: the ongoing saga!

As many of you will recall, I bought a 300 prime and 1.4 converter from Wex Photographic at the end of August last year: within six weeks one of the tiny retaining lugs on the tripod mount had fractured in normal use. I was out at Holkham with Brian and Norman at the time and they would be happy to confirm that no rough use or dropping was involved...

Although it took four weeks, Wex had the item 'repaired' by Ricoh (in fact, it's a one second job, as you'll see below!) and, giving Ricoh and Wex the benefit of the doubt, I even bought a new camera from them (a Pentax K3) a few weeks ago. In total, Linda and I have bought several thousand pounds worth of camera equipment in the past twelve months. The lens was eventually returned to me in November...

You'll remember that I was in hospital with pneumonia after Christmas and recuperating at home for several weeks after that. After just a very few outings, I was in the Brecks with Brian and Norman a fortnight ago when exactly the same little lug broke away. Needless to say, I wasn't delighted! The next day I took the lens back to Wex, who accepted the item as a warranty repair without comment. A few days later I was e-mailed to say that, in the opinion of their service department, the damage had been caused by my dropping the lens. Astonishing! There is / was not a single mark on either lens or camera and both breakages occurred in front of witnesses! Because the damage was 'my fault' I was invited to pay nearly £190 for the repair!

Of course I phoned Wex ASAP and 'discussed' the situation: I was passed from one sales person to another with no resolution and, during several more phone calls, I was no nearer getting the lens repaired under warranty. Finally today (three days later than agreed) Wex phoned to say they'd reviewed the situation and that I'd still be asked for the £190. I should say: in the interim I had found that the broken item (see photo!) is obtainable online for £20: I'd ordered a couple which should arrive from China tomorrow (post free!) In case you think £190 is reasonable, I'll explain that the 'repair' in question involves removing the mount from its plastic bag, sliding it onto the ring and tightening the screw!

Five minutes after my conversation (during which I clarified the principle of customer care / service ) a manager phoned to say that Wex will now bear the cost of the repair as '...a sign of goodwill.'

Of course, the real problem is a poor piece of design by Ricoh / Pentax: but wouldn't you have thought that Wex might have resolved the issue more quickly and with greater customer consideration before allowing the situation to reach the acrimonious level it did? All they need to have done was  replace the broken mount with one from a stock lens and order a replacement: I'd've even paid £20 for it!

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