Mamiya 6 -Issues with repair shop- Your advice

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by delphine, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. delphine

    delphine Member

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    I would appreciate your advice with regards what is going on with the repair of my mamiya 6 and my handling of the situation with the repair shop, as I am feeling let down.

    Facts:

    I left a mamiya 6 rangefinder for repair as the rangefinder focusing was out. The issue would have arisen after the camera would had been knocked (though not by myself) as I noticed a ding on the edge the lens' filter.
    There were no other issues with the camera which functioned well, actually I did not notice the focusing issue immediately as I took a couple of long distance focusing shots, which turned out to be just find. Film spacing and crancking alright.

    I dropped the camera for repair in a well known repair shop in soho (London). The camera was inspected in front of me by what seemed to be the shop manager, and a technician, and a quotation made for addressing the focusing, and also strenghtening the lens' filtration so that I can screw a filter on the lens. No other issues other than the focusing, and the ding to the lens filter were detected. The quotation was printed accordingly.

    A couple of weeks later, I received a phone call from the engineer doing the repair to the camera (offsite engineer). He had called to indicate that the spacer inside the camera needed to be replaced. I asked how much it would be, he indicated that it would be done at no extra cost, and he was ordering the part, so I gave my ok to this additional repair. He called again to say that the bellow were not retracting properly, I said that this was news to me, that whilst I was not in the habit of not retracting the lens, as far as I was aware, this was not an issue before. Also the lens had been retracted in front of me during the camera inspection at the shop with no issues. I asked how much the repair would be, the answer was that it would be a big repair at a prohibitive cost, however, the engineer pointed out that the lens and bellows were in working condition and could be kept as is, without retracting them. To this I said that I was fine with it, because I was not in the habit of retracting the lens anyway and this did not constitute a essential feature to me.

    Roughly two months after the camera was initially dropped for repair, I was called in to pick up the camera and I was told that it was repaired. At the shop, I noticed immediately that the lens/bellow was not locking either inside the body or in the position for shooting. I was rather upset and asked for explanation. To this I was told that I was aware of the situation and presented with the quotation (similar to mine) upon which the mention had been added that the customer was aware of the bellow mal function. Suddenly it felt like a huge stretch of my words which were taken out of context, and insisted that this mention had been added subsequently and was not present on the original quotation. The staff had to agree and reproduced the original quotation without the cryptic sentence. I asked how the camera's focusing could had been repaired if the lens was not locking into position. No answer was given. They said that they were taking the camera back and sending it out to the engineer again. I asked then, what would be the outcome in the eventuality that the camera could not be repaired, the answer was that I would be refunded. Rather ticked off at that point, I asked clarification as to what kind of refund we were talking about, and it was clear that we were talking about the price of the repair only. I was told to give it 10 days for the repair.

    10 days are now gone, and I gave them a call today. The status was that they don't know, they contacted the engineer , and they will be able to advise further mid next week. Also, the mention that I was aware of the bellow malfunctioning was repeated to me… which ticked me off and I admit having lost it on the telephone.

    What's next?

    I am getting a bad vib out all this. I can't imagine the repair of the focusing being done on a broken bellow mechanism with the lens not locking. And yet the voucher indicated that the repair was done. My words are being stretched out of their context. Is the retractation mechanism of the bellow something that can be repaired? What type of appeal/recourse would I get in case of dispute?
    I am not feeling like I can trust the repair shop, and therefore, I would appreciate your opinion/feel on my story, so that I am better prepared when I speak to them next.

    Thank you

    Best

    Delphine
     
  2. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Geez. I'd find another repair shop....
     
  3. david b

    david b Member

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    Are they a Mamiya authorized repair center? If not, find one.
     
  4. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    Did you get a written quote/order with those instructions on them? It's really easy to get into pissing contests about who said what etc. I know 20/20 vision is always the case inhindsight right, but with so many items 'needing' addressing it sounds like a typical trip to Quik fit to get a new exhaust and you end up with an exhaust, tires, brakes, and an alignment and your exhaust is still leaking.

    I'd ask to speak to the manager and just talk through the list of issues as they happened and say that this has to be resolved. Your camera is not operational as it stands, and the main work you went in for could not have been done with the way the lens fails to lock when retracted or extended. They are giving you the runaround. Get them to refund you dough, or fix it.... Then as David says, find an authorised mamiya repair location.
     
  5. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    here in the states, there are places like the better business bureau. the bbb works as a middleman
    between a shop and dissatisfied customer ... ( like mediation )
    it is free, and often times very helpful.
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    If it had gone to the official repairers/importers then I'd not be surprised at all.

    They have done 2-3 repairs for me and none have been up to standard. One was a Tamron17mm lens that cartwheeled into a canal with me & my racing bike :D it was fine after surprisingly but I had the diaphragm replaced as it had traces of rust, when it came back it was unusable due to flare. The next was a Mamiya 645S with flash synch problems and slight vignetting on one edge of the frame. it came back with the same faults, the third was their attempt to put right. Despite being taken in person to the company it came back with a chipped pentaprism and the same shutter fault.

    There are superb repair shops in the UK, I've used them, but others ( just a few) are terrible. I know now who I'd trust. One company actually charged way under the quote, Leitz, and what fantastic service too.

    I hope you get it sorted out Delphine

    Ian
     
  7. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Ask for a refund and take it directly to Mamiya. I only know the Mamiya center in Munic, Germany, but they did a great job for me. By the way, they have only one person left who can repair this camera, but the good news is that he is training his replacement. Let me know if you need the address. They may at least be able to suggest a UK location to you.
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Johnsons Photopia in the UK are the Mamiya importer/repairer and terrible. That's who did my Tamron & Mamiya repairs. I won't ever take anything there again.

    If you can't trust the official repairers then they have a major problem.

    Ian
     
  9. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    OK, good info. Then ship it to Munich, they did a fantastic job on mine.
     
  10. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Delphine, this won't help you but you might want to tell others especially those in the London area who the repairer is. It certainly doesn't sound like a place to trust. There have been a number of threads on repairers. Newton and Ellis in Liverpool stand out as one who does a good job.

    You might also want to look up Ed Troszka if you get no success with the outcome of your present predicament. A guy called Ivor Matanle uses him a lot. Ivor writes articles on classic cameras for AP magazines. However I don't know whether either specialises in Mamiya

    pentaxuser
     
  11. RH Designs

    RH Designs Advertiser Advertiser

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    Sorry to hear of your bad experience Delphine. You could try your local Citizens' Advice Bureau for advice on the legal situation and how to proceed with negotiations. http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/
     
  12. delphine

    delphine Member

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    May be, though it is worth keeping in mind that a final outcome has not yet been reached, and that whilst yes I am being disappointed by the service rendered, it is not yet a dispute.
    Who knows, may be I am lucky, they give me a call mid next week as they said they would, and tell me the bellow is repaired, and they apologise for the inconvenience !

    In my usual way of pre-empting the various outcomes/options, I am still debating the worse one to me, that is that that the retracting mechanism cannot be repaired, and I am refunded for a repair that never took place and end up out of my pocket with an out of function Mamiya 6 body, which as we know would cost me a lot to replace. And was I not to take the replacement option, I would then be left with 3 lenses which would have lost most of their value thereof.

    Ralph - would you be so kind as to give me the contact details of the Mamiya centre in Munich, as I would like to give them a call to get a gut feel as to the repairability.

    I thank you all for your advice & support, very helpful and appreciated, as always.