Panasonic repair nightmare

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by pana-animalartist, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. pana-animalartist

    pana-animalartist Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 17, 2011
    Northeast USA
    Hi all

    I haven't been around for a while, but would appreciate any thoughts you all might have on this problem. I dropped my GH2 in April. My 14-140 lens was on it. After it was dropped, I got a message stating " This Battery cannot be used". Battery was fine before dropping. Two other batteries delivered same message. Went to the Panny site and filled out a repair form along with credit card info to pay for repair- $287.50. Sent the camera to panasonic , insured (cost $50.00). Got notice from USPS that it was received on June 14. Then nothing from Panasonic. After several emails, I was given a non-toll-free # to call. Was put on hold for 20 minutes, then told they had no payment info. Explained that I had sent info via web site. Told that wasn't working. Gave info again. Silence. 2 more calls, was told the same thing- awaiting payment. Finally got that info processed. Charge card says Pana has processed the fee. Called again and was told I'd be contacted within 48 hours....a week ago. Still nothing from them. I've spent $20.00 in phone calls. Wrote to their service dept. again. No answer.

    I've since heard that Panasonic service is horrific- I am afraid I'll never see my camera and lens again. Or I'll get horrible refurbished replacements. I doubt the lens was harmed- I just thought it might as well go to be checked.

    AAAARGH!!!! :horse:

    Anyone had dealings like this? I'm at my wit's end. There doesn't seem to be any way to reach anyone "higher up", and it appears , from my web research, that it would do no good anyway.

    Thanks for any assistance/sympathy/advice.......

    Cynthia Crawford
  2. Chris5107

    Chris5107 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    Sorry to hear about that. I have only sympathy and no advice. Panasonic is a big company and when checking on service there seems to always be horror stories because happy customers are usually not happy enough to talk about it but pissed customers like to vent.

    Most likely you will get the camera back in great condition but I agree that so far they are treating you poorly. Good luck.
  3. Pennington

    Pennington Mu-43 Regular

    Afraid my experience, while not that bad, wasn't a whole lot better. I sent my 100-300mm in because it wouldn't focus properly (always slightly out of focus). Same as you, I got no response and when I followed up, I was told that it was "all in spec."

    When I demanded that they evaluate it again and not send it back until it was fixed, I was promised that an engineer would call. Big surprise, I never got any call and a week or so later they shipped it back, still not working right.

    This is one area where I worry about m4:3 - Canon/Nikon may abuse your wallet when you need service, but in my experience you always get it in the end and they at least care (mostly). My own experiences with both Oly & Panasonic show that neither has a dedicated camera service department staffed with knowledgeable folks - and they don't seem to care at all.
  4. pana-animalartist

    pana-animalartist Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 17, 2011
    Northeast USA
    That's scary. So you never got your lens fixed? Can a non-Panny repairperson possibly fix it?

    I just want my camera and lens bck!
  5. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    Companies like Panasonic tend to respond well to public humiliation. "Like" them on Facebook, then post about your troubles on their forum, and on your wall.

    If you don't have one, get a twitter account, and tweet about your issue. Big companies today have people on staff who do nothing but respond to social media posts about their products.
  6. Just Jim

    Just Jim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 20, 2011
    I agree with Meyer... be a squeaky wheel. Call Zacks in Warwick RI, he may be able to do it. And if he can't, he'll likely tell you who can.
  7. Al.

    Al. Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 3, 2010
    Hull, East Yorkshire, UK
    here in the UK I have had no problem, I got water ingress in my rear screen of my GX1 and it fogged up, sent it to Panasonic and they repaired it free of charge. I know it was under warranty but was my fault I got it wet
  8. Gerald

    Gerald Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 20, 2011
    I have multiple very good experiences with Panasonic service too. So keep your hopes up and try different ways into the big machine which the company is.

    I must say I always buy in a real store in town. So I can walk back into the store, leave my broken equipment and get a receipt. Service is one of the main reasons I like buying in a good store, not through the web. My previous issues were handles well by the vendor and Panasonic.
  9. pana-animalartist

    pana-animalartist Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 17, 2011
    Northeast USA
    Panasonic service-NOT

    Who-what is Zacks in R.I.?
  10. Just Jim

    Just Jim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 20, 2011
    Zacks is a camera repair shop in Rhode Island. Very capable, but small shop. He does quite well with lenses. Can do some digital, not sure about m4/3 stuff though.. . Also very honest and forthcoming when they can't do something, and will direct you where you can get good repair work done.
  11. ampl465a

    ampl465a Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 20, 2012
    My experience is the same!!!

    Panasonic service in Texas is a disgrace. Have not been able to get any info for 2 months. I am convinced Inwont see my camera again.
  12. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    It's sad to think that for some these cameras/lenses are disposable... Though in some ways I've already decided this could be the case.

    If I was to damage a lens I'd be 'out' more money (if Panasonic couldn't or wouldn't fix it) because I'm mostly using the expensive Panasonic lenses. If I damaged a camera body I'd be out relatively little and I've purchased extra GX1 bodies (when they were $200) with this exact scenario in mind.

    I don't like that we live a throw away world, but since it seems most repair costs will be more than $200, if one of my GX1s is dropped/ damaged I'll likely keep it for parts and use another spare body.

    Good luck with your repairs folks.
  13. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Are there any other third party repair shops with good reputations that we should also keep in mind as an alternative to Panasonic (and Olympus)?

  14. pana-animalartist

    pana-animalartist Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 17, 2011
    Northeast USA
    Have you called them repeatedly as I have , (at your own expense)? I just wish I hadn't sent my lens 0it probably wasn't damaged.
    If you do a web search for Pana service complaints, you'll see plenty....and wish you hadn't maybe. They just don't care, I guess.

    Let me know if you get your camera back. Maybe you'll get mine! :eek:
  15. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Have you tried complaining on their facebook page? Being loud is often the only way to get attention in this situation.

    I'm also thinking a front-page post on m4/3 a la 'name-and-shame' would be helpful.
  16. pana-animalartist

    pana-animalartist Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 17, 2011
    Northeast USA
    OK< here's what I wrote on the Pana Facebook page:

    Panasonic customer service??

    I sent a GH2 camera and 14-140 lens to Panasonic to be serviced in June, along with payment info for a hefty $287.50 prepayment, just to look at the thing. Cost me $50.00 to send everything insured-they asked to have all the accessories included. I noted the camera arrived on June 14, but did not hear from them. Called the non-toll-free number, and they couldn't find the camera. After several calls and 20 minute holds, they found the camera, but not payment info. Gave payment info. Still no communication. Called again. "Oh, we have not received payment info". Gave 3 times in all. Now my credit card shows a charge....2 weeks ago. Was promised someone would contact me within 24 hours. Nothing but $20.00 in phone bills. Yes, there is a toll-free number. They try to call service but can never get through either. sometimes after 20-30 minute holds, the phone simply goes dead.

    I have read many other horror stories about PANA customer dis-service. This needs to be make known!
  17. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
  18. pana-animalartist

    pana-animalartist Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 17, 2011
    Northeast USA
    Yeah. You know-if people go in there and just "like" my comment, or say something,, it will stay at the top of the page. Otherwise, it will disappear pretty fast.
  19. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    I'd be happy to, but I don't use social media.
  20. Thinh Ly

    Thinh Ly Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 26, 2012
    Washington D.C.
    There's a Lumix Facebook page too, if you want to post there as well.
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