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Author Topic: Panasonic: buyer beware  (Read 1307 times)
bdosserman
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« on: May 23, 2014, 09:55:48 AM »
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Hi,
   I've been a happy GH2 owner for the past couple of years, and have occasionally posted favorable comments on it. However, I just had a terrible experience with Panasonic service, and wanted to warn others as the issues seem to be systemic. First, the very short version: the camera broke, and was awaiting parts for some two months. They kept telling me 7-10 business days, and it kept not happening. They said their policy is not to replace with refurbished unless they can't repair at all, regardless of how long it takes. Combined with poor communication slowing things down and the time to order a new camera, I was camera-less for about 3 months.
   Now, the longer version:
   In mid January, my camera died during a shoot (was eventually diagnosed as a bad shutter, after around 6000 exposures). OK, fine, it was out of warranty, so I got in touch with Panasonic to find out how to send in for repairs. The experience was immediately shockingly bad: in order to place a repair order online, it asked for a credit card number on a non-secure web page (haven't seen this in absolutely ages). I emailed asking for alternate method, and they said to call their number. Tried calling, and had more than one experience being on hold for 20-30 minutes and then disconnected without talking to anyone. When I eventually got through, I was told just to mail it in, they'd contact me later for billing info. Don't know why they couldn't have told me that over email and saved me the hour-plus over several days of trying to get through to their phone number, but this was consistent: I could never get any useful information over email, was always told to call. So, after this process had delayed things by about a week, I shipped the camera in for repair. It arrived on 2/6, and they called to authorize payment, and even said that the problem had been diagnosed and it looked like they didn't need to order parts. Turned out they did need to order them, and they were a bit slow to place the order, and then one of the parts just wasn't coming, and wasn't coming... finally, 2 months after they had received the camera, it still hadn't arrived, and they gave up on claiming it would be 7-10 days, so I just canceled the repair and bought an EM-5 instead. The one positive thing I can say about the service was that they didn't try to charge me for shipping it back.
   Anyhow, again, I don't have any complaints about the camera itself, and in some ways like it better than the EM-5. But not having a camera to use with my telephoto lens for 3 months was a big loss for me, and I hope to help others avoid similar experiences. (Of course, I'm also hoping that Olympus service, if needed, is more competent)
   Meanwhile, I now have a broken GH2 and 3 batteries which I have no use for. Any suggestions on what to do with them?

Best,

Brian
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GLJ
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« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2014, 05:54:36 AM »
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Since service and repair quality seems to vary from country to country, it would be really helpful if you give some information as to where this happened.

G.
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bdosserman
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« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2014, 05:58:07 PM »
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Since service and repair quality seems to vary from country to country, it would be really helpful if you give some information as to where this happened.

Argh! Can't believe I forgot that -- this was in the US.

Brian
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xpatUSA
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« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2014, 07:22:27 PM »
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As a USA resident, I wish I hadn't read this post. I have a GH1 which, touch wood, is a splendid camera but what if . . ?

cheers,
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best regards,

Ted
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