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Panasonic Lumix LX5 Warranty Nightmare!

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by design, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. design

    design New to Mu-43

    Nov 15, 2010
    First off, I love my Lumix LX5. It’s small, fast and has produced great shots over the past year.

    When the card/battery door failed to open automatically, I called Panasonic on Nov. 28, 2011 and inquired about warranty coverage (the camera was under a year old). It appeared that the spring was no longer functioning. It was a small detail, but I’m very careful about my equipment and I like everything in proper working order. I was told to send it in and they would have their technician review it, determine if it was covered under their warranty and contact me within 7-10 business days.

    UPS confirmed that Panasonic received it at their repair facility in McAllen TX on Dec. 2, 2011. After a week and a half, I called them and was told that they would call me once a technician got a chance to look at the camera.

    I waited until mid December and began calling them again. Each call was met with same flat message...‘we’ll call you when we get around to looking at your camera’.

    Finally on Jan. 3rd, 2012, 32 days after they received my camera, I got a voicemail stating that from Panasonic determined that my camera’s card/battery door failed to open due to “physical damage”; that it wasn’t covered by the warranty and the repair for this minor adjustment would be $275.

    Remember this is a camera that was lightly used and, with the exception of the failed card/battery door, is in perfect working condition. If I was selling this camera, it would be listed as in like-new condition...no dings, wear marks, etc.

    I called back and asked Marko, the CSR how Panasonic could determine that the failure was caused by me when the camera was in pristine condition, never dropped and showed no signs of wear.

    He was very polite and put me on hold to speak to the tech who wrote up the estimate.
    He told me that the tech found a very slight “cosmetic mark” on the bottom of the camera body and assigned an Inspection Code of “ABUSED”. In addition to being upset by the result of this analysis, I was more concerned that my pristine camera now had a new mark on it after it arrived within the Panasonic facility.

    The representative admitted that this “mark” could not possibly have caused any malfunction. When I asked about the door repair, he said that the tech just adjusted it and it works fine. So this was the repair that Panasonic originally tried to charge me $275 on a camera that cost $400.

    My camera arrived on January 20th, 7 weeks from when it was received at Panasonic.
    I examined it with a magnifying glass and found an infinitesimal wear spot too small to notice without the glass.

    I’m an experienced photographer and I understand how important good equipment maintenance service is to the brand in today’s competitive market. I’ve had excellent warranty and repair service on my Nikons and Leica and they both were extremely prompt and professional.

    My impression of the Panasonic Customer Experience Group is that you operate under a dishonest model to avoid as many legitimate warranty repairs as possible at the expense of the customer. How else do I react to an estimate of $275 for an adjustment that was done within the time of a quick phone conversation. If that isn’t intentional, then the repair department in McAllen Texas is grossly incompetent.

    This is the 4th Panasonic camera that I’ve owned over several years. This experience makes it very hard for me to consider buying another Panasonic product.
  2. woof

    woof Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 18, 2011
    The present.
    Sorry for your trouble. This is a nightmare. I own an LX-5. Had I read this prior to purchasing it, I would not have done so.

    I am now a bit concerned about using it at all. I routinely rest the bottom on objects to steady it.

    This is not the first such post I have seen about Panasonic warranty. I have considered the GX-1. That is off the table. Thanks for the info.
  3. Jorge Ledesma

    Jorge Ledesma Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 27, 2011
    Thanks for sharing, this quite an amazing story but at the same time I'm not surprised.
  4. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    You experience is not uncommon with Panasonic. Anyone who has dealt with their online store has similar frustrations.
  5. robertro

    robertro Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 22, 2010
    This is really incredible.

    My only experiences photo equipment repair have been with Olympus and Sigma. Both were outside of warranty period. On my E-1, Olympus repair was polite and rapid, they replaced a circuit board and calibrated the body, and charged a total of $0 ! On the Sigma zoom, Sigma repair was polite and very rapid, and charged a fair price for an aperture repair and recalibration - $280.
  6. darrenleow

    darrenleow Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 30, 2011
    I had a similar problem with the battery door sticking when I tried to open it. I emailed Panasonic about the problem while the camera was under warranty, and here is part of their reply:

    "Thank you for your inquiry. We regret hearing that your product is not operating properly.. Based on the information you have provided, we recommend the product be sent to our CustomerServiceCenter in McAllenTexas. In accordance with the warranty, the product will be replaced with a reconditioned model. "

    They later corrected their reply and said it would be repaired, but I decided that I would rather live with the problem than trust them with a repair.. Good call, based on your account. Eventually the problem seemed to fix itself, so I'm happy now. :smile:

    Thanks for sharing.. I might stick with the Olympus side of the M4/3 camp in light of it. Doesn't sound like an isolated incident but a petty and uncooperative customer "service" attitude
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