The bad part of the story is that — although the basic problems were unavoidable — the overall experience was eminently solvable with just the slightest bit of customer awareness and contact. Over the three and a half months my camera was gone, No one from Pentax/Ricoh contacted me. Not to tell me they had received the camera. Not to tell me it was delayed. Not to tell me they were replacing it. Not to tell me the tracking number when they sent it back. All of these things I had to find out by calling them, repeatedly.
But to make a bad story worse, I wrote to the company (see below) suggesting they would do well to keep customers (who may already be annoyed that their new equipment doesn't work) informed of basic status information, via emails, phone calls, or post cards.
That was three weeks ago. Today a representative of Ricoh called me (a first!) to explain to me:
- I had written to the wrong person. Their executive VP doesn't handle issues like this. (Well, duh! But since their website doesn't provide any information on who to contact, I had no choice.)
- Once again, he explained why the repair of my camera had been delayed. (Something I had been told, many times on the phone when I called to ask where my camera was.)
- Their repair department was in another state entirely. (How does that matter?) And that it was very small and the staff did not have time to be corresponding with customers.
Well, if they are going to "file" my letter and do nothing about it, I guess I will too. So I am filing my letter here, online, as a cautionary tale for any other customers who might unfortunately ever need support from Ricoh/Pentax. Better yet, someone considering purchasing any of their equipment might also want to consider their customer service history and attitude before making a decision about what brand to buy.