Panasonic repair part struggles.

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Uberkul, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. Uberkul

    Uberkul Mu-43 Rookie

    24
    Aug 15, 2012
    Wilseyville, CA
    Brad
    My new-to-me GX1 hit the floor the other day (camera straps are the devils work!), the battery door broke and hinge pin bent. I sent it off to the repair facility in TX who wanted 287.50 flat fee to repair :eek:. That's just too expensive for a second hand camera so I'm having them send it back unrepaired. :frown:
    Does anyone have a source for repair parts in the US, with diagrams if possible? Google search and forum search turned up nothing other than a repair manual I can purchase. Panasonic has parts lists available for purchase on line but no diagram to indicate what part goes where. Panasonic customer service parts department could not tell me if the battery door hinge pin is included with the door ($13.71). The research department has to investigate this and get back with me in 24-48 business hours. The door is back ordered 2-3 weeks.:dash2:
     
  2. Uberkul

    Uberkul Mu-43 Rookie

    24
    Aug 15, 2012
    Wilseyville, CA
    Brad
    Just a quick update that might help someone else in the future. If you are handy you can order repair parts directly at the repair parts website. Parts are listed by name and part number but no illistrations are included so verify the part at the time of order. It may need to go to the "research department" if they cannot readily identify your needs. The parts and accessories telephone number is 800-833-9626 where you can order parts as well. My $287.50 repair estimate is now down to $22.16 including shipping. :2thumbs:
     
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  3. Uberkul

    Uberkul Mu-43 Rookie

    24
    Aug 15, 2012
    Wilseyville, CA
    Brad
    Another update.

    Trying to stay positive here but Panasonic is going to have to step up in the customer care department if it has any hope of trying to capture the enthusiast market. :frown:

    Received a form letter yesterday (10/29/12) indicating my camera was received for repair and that $287.50 would be required. It also read that if they received no response within 15 working days the unit would be returned unrepaired. This is after I told them on the phone to send the unit back to me unrepaired on 10/25/12.

    Called today (10/30/12) to see if the unit had been shipped back to me as requested over the phone. The response was "I'm sorry sir but our systems are down, can you please call back in a couple of days?" A couple days? I could understand that if they were on the east coast and having to deal with the storm Sandy, but Texas?:rolleyes:

    OK, I'm a little upset so track down the telephone number to customer service and get connected with Rennar, a customer service executive who gets both barrels. He cannot explain the repair pricing, the systems being down or connect me with someone in charge down at the repair facility. He will try to contact the manager at that facility and get my camera on it's way back home. I cannot get Rennar to understand that 287.50 is too much for a battery door repair when the door cost is $13.71.

    The lesson I'm getting from all this is that unless you have a GH3 it is not cost effective to repair a Lumix camera out of warranty through Panasonic. If someone here has other experiences with repair please share, good or bad.
     
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  4. BAXTING

    BAXTING Mu-43 Top Veteran

    806
    Aug 5, 2012
    Los Angeles SFV, CA
    Bradley
    I recently sent in my GX-1 after it suddenly started acting weird. It was still under the one year MFR's warranty. I sent it in on Oct 1st. I waited about a week and tried to check online, but had no luck so I called in. The rep said they had received my camera and it was being assigned to a technician, the tech would contact me within 48 hrs. I waited another week and called in again. They told me it had already been fixed and shipped back out to me and supplied me with a UPS tracking number. I got it two days later and it was like new! They replaced the circuit board and a couple other bits. It was all covered under warranty and I was surprised to have it back in my hand within 3 weeks.

    I've read nothing but horror stories about the repair facility. I even bought a second body because I didn't expect to get it back anytime soon. Their communication wasn't great, but I received excellent service as far as my repair was concerned. I am very pleased with the outcome.

    I hope it works out well for you.
     
  5. ChipThome

    ChipThome Mu-43 Regular

    29
    Jul 8, 2011
    If you would have contacted Panasonic and asked for a quote to replace the sensor and circuit board, the estimate would have been $287.50. Panasonic flat rates all repairs and does so by model.

    I tried to get someone to quote me to replace the front element in a 14-140 and no one could find the part. I refused to send it to Panasonic because as Baxting states, I too have heard nothing but horror stories about out of warranty Panasonic repairs. I have also heard horror stories of in warranty being denied as well. Those like Baxting who have had a good experience are the exception more than they are the rule.

    I wish you well in your adventure.
     
  6. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Several years ago I attended a seminar for improving customer satisfaction. One of the first points that was stressed was that an unhappy customer would usually tell 6-8 people about their experience. A satisfied customer, only perhaps one person. I've seen just as many positive comments about their service. Having once worked in a service center, I can tell you that products show up all the time where the damage was customer inflicted. In those cases, the warranty was denied, and justifiably so. Do a search for horrible service about any company and you can find as many as you want.
     
  7. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Panasonic's is based out of New Jersey. If they operate like most companies, their business is done over centralized servers. While the building is in TX, it's likely that the East Coast's problems effected the entire company's daily activity.
     
  8. Uberkul

    Uberkul Mu-43 Rookie

    24
    Aug 15, 2012
    Wilseyville, CA
    Brad
    Update

    Thanks to all those who gave comments or feedback on this thread.:bravo-009:

    I did receive the camera back last Thursday 11/1/12. Nothing had been done to the camera as discussed with the repair facility. I secretly hoped they would throw a little love my way and knock out the work.:rolleyes: Waiting on the back ordered battery door to come in now. I know I'm just a guy with a camera but if I made my living with this stuff and ran into this complete lack of concern and responsibility I'd be jumping up and down on someones desk! Pros moving over to 4/3rds won't stand for the current level of customer service. Maybe that's what needs to happen, a few big names jumping on someone's desk (metaphor for big blog post) to get a meaningful response from customer service.

    My wife lost my little Nikon P6000 about a week prior to this happening and being down to one D-40 DSLR with one lense had me in a panic. :eek: When I got the camera back I was able to bend the hinge pin straight enough for the door to operate and it's back in use. I use it daily for real estate management shots after selling my Nikon D-300 and Sigma 10-20mm.

    I'll be picking up a used G5 shortly to use as a primary body with the GX1 as a back-up and moto/travel body. If I keep the purchase price of any one component in this system under $500.00 (excluding lenses) then get some decent use out of it I can consider it disposable and not sweat the warranty issues if it fails or breaks. Also researched using one of the third party repair services like Precision Camera or the recently out of the repair business of DarnToothySam.com neither of which list any GX or G1-5 repair parts available. So I'm guessing Panasonic is keeping repairs of the top guns in-house? Need to call to check on that tomorrow.

    I really love the idea and results of the m4/3rds system. Had I not dropped the camera and experienced this I would probably be a committed evangelist for all things Lumix. I did pick up the camera and keep on shooting after all.:2thumbs:
     
  9. Uberkul

    Uberkul Mu-43 Rookie

    24
    Aug 15, 2012
    Wilseyville, CA
    Brad
    Just got off the phone with Precision Camera who gave me a very quick answer of $200.95 as a flat basic repair charge on the GX1. This included parts but she could not tell me how much in parts was allocated before additional parts costs were to kick in. I also asked about the G5 as an item they repair, she did not have it listed but it would be looked at and an estimate provided before any cost incurred.

    Still a little pricey but I feel more comfortable investing in Panasonic as a primary camera system now that I know there is someone out there I can speak to, seems competent and has the customers interest in mind.
     
  10. Uberkul

    Uberkul Mu-43 Rookie

    24
    Aug 15, 2012
    Wilseyville, CA
    Brad
    Update #2 for 11/5/12... good news, I think?

    Just received a call from Panasonic repair letting me know that a battery door would be considered a "minor repair" and covered for $50.00 to include a prepaid UPS shipping label. Funny that wasn't mentioned while they had the camera the first time? Of course if it falls outside of "minor" the original $287.50 would apply. I bit, even though I have the replacement door on back order it's worth it to me to follow this through. If nothing else to see how Panasonic treats this repair and hopefully restore my faith in their system.

    If you guys are bored with this ongoing saga just let me know, I'll post a conclusion when it's all done. I had no idea this thread would turn into my own little quest for righteousness. :redface:
     
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  11. BAXTING

    BAXTING Mu-43 Top Veteran

    806
    Aug 5, 2012
    Los Angeles SFV, CA
    Bradley
    Keep us updated :smile:
     
  12. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    I think I'll switch to a sketchpad.
     
  13. runner girl

    runner girl Mu-43 Regular

    192
    Nov 26, 2011
    They outsource these repairs to a company in TX. My bad experiences with them show that your treatment is their norm. I don't think I'll ever buy another Panasonic camera.
     
  14. ChipThome

    ChipThome Mu-43 Regular

    29
    Jul 8, 2011
    You can be assured someone from Panny was reading this thread. You had the camera back and for whatever reason, out of the blue they called you ??? Highly unlikely that on their own, they noticed they screwed up and decided to make it right by you.

    I'm happy you are seeing some resolve to this situation. :smile:
     
  15. wreckless

    wreckless Mu-43 Regular

    102
    Jan 15, 2011
    Michigan
    Mike
    please keep updating. and never stop the end for righteousness!
     
  16. Uberkul

    Uberkul Mu-43 Rookie

    24
    Aug 15, 2012
    Wilseyville, CA
    Brad
    As much as I would like to think it was the forum it was probably the email and phone call complaints to customer service. I even wrote a little blog post but no one reads it.[click bait :wink:]
    The little GX1 is all packed up for another trip to the Texas camera hospital and racking up some frequent flyer miles. I may be jumping the gun but this newfound consideration from Panasonic has convinced me to move forward on another body (DMC-G5 if anyone is selling). Might even buy new for the warranty and to have the body for an upcoming Death Valley trip. Not a fan-boy yet but moving out of the Panasonic 'hater' column.

    Let's hope I'm done gaining valuable knowledge regarding the in's and out's of camera repair. I just know when it comes back this time it's going to sparkle like a disco ball!:rofl:
    Texas does seem to be the center of the USA camera repair universe?
     
  17. lstzephyr

    lstzephyr Mu-43 Regular

    54
    May 20, 2011
    Interesting. Keep us updated. You almost had me giving up on panasonic for a second there.

    I can tell you that my sigma lens stopped working one day so I sent it to repair through the local store that I hadn't bought it from. I paid 10 bucks to ship it to Sigma and within a couple weeks it was back and works perfectly. It was covered under warranty. I was happy.
     
  18. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    If I remember correctly, Panasonic was in the works in making a more focused camera repair and pro service facility. So far their camera repairs are lumped together with the rest of their electronics. Olympus is a lot easier to deal with repair issues from my experience. With Panasonic, it feels a lot more complex!
     
  19. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 Top Veteran

    McAllen TX

    Umm, no
    Their repair facility is in TX.
     
  20. runner girl

    runner girl Mu-43 Regular

    192
    Nov 26, 2011
    The times (many) that I talked to them on the phone they indicated that they "were not Panasonic" but a repair facility. If they are really Panasonic corporate then they were not telling me the truth.