This is my experience with Epson cutomer service. Sorry it's a little long whinded but wanted to include as much relevant detail as possible.
A little background:
I purchased an R-D1 from a fellow RFF'er back in November. I had a chance to inspect it before purchase and he kindly agreed to send it back to Epson to fix the common RF patch alignment issue. They sent him a new one in a new box as typical and it too had a slight misalignment that I was willing to live with so long as he agreed to help me get it fixed through the extended warranty should any issues arise. Basically, I received a new camera as if I had just bought it from the store at a discount with an extended warranty. I started using it and was immediately blown away by the feel of the photographs I was getting in B&W mode with my Leica glass. Soon after I noticed that there was a backlash in the RF mechanism that was affecting my focus accuracy depending on which direction the barrel was being turned to acheive focus. I aligned the RF patch and decided to live with the backlash until I could stand it no longer - besides, I did not want to give up my new toy, ahem, tool so soon
It got worse and worse until eventually, the patch alignment shifted eveytime I fired the shutter. It also made a resonating clanking sound that seemed a little excessive to me but, coming from an M7 and not having anything to compare it to, I figured that it was "normal". I strarted to not enjoy using it as much b/c I had to re-orient myself as to which way to turn the barrel eveytime I used it and thus used it less and less...vicious cycle. It would also not focus to infinity, the lens would focus but the RF patch was far from alignment due to the backlash. Finally, I could live with it no longer and, on a whim, decided to contact Epson even though it was out of manufacturer warranty. Figured this would be the quickest way to get it fixed, even if I had to pay, as I figured that they would just replace it again and did not know what the aftermarket warranty would do.
I called Epson and spoke with a very pleasant young lady who told me that there was nothing she could do but suggested that I contact Epson customer relations to see if anything else could be done. I agreed and she immediately transfered me to another very pleaseant young lady. I explained the problem to her as well and also how it had existed since day one but was hesitant to return it for fear that it would be gone too long and b/c I thought that I could live with it. I also explained that the camera was technically less than a year old (6 month) even though the original unit was purchased 18 months ago. She saw my point and took it to her manager who agreed to let me return the camera for service. They gave me a local Epson rep contact information and said that they would fax them the necessary documents. The documents were not there and after another phone call everything was in order. My camera was waiting shipment and repair/replacement. This was all less than a month ago - maybe 3 weeks. I called every week to track progress and the folks were very helpful and knew who I was b/c there was only one camera that they were tracking. I called yesterday and they called me back to tell me that it had arrived...oh glorious day!! I went to pick it up not knowing what to expect and then very nice young lady at the repair facility said "they sent you a refurbished unit". My eyes lit up, my mind raced, could they have sent me one that has been taken through all of the paces by the Epson service department QA/QC? It was in a plain box that had only the camera and body cap. I opened the bo while still in the parking lot and had my first dissapointment. This was clearly not my camera. I am very meticulous about my belongings and while I had sent them a mint R-D1, I received a user R-D1. Actually, I am probably being over critical. The only evidence of use is from a small indention in the badge located on the bottom of the camera. Nonetheless, it's there and I know that it's there. The second dissapointment came when I brought the viewfinder up to my eye. It's not what you think, the RF patch is aligned perfectly, but the camera is emmitting an odor that is, well...interesting. It smells like it belonged to a smoker. Again, I am probably being over critical as I have a very sensitive nose...everyone tells me so. With that out of the way, I should say that the camera performs flawlessly. I did not know how the image "snaps" into focus when everything is working right. Even after adjusting the patch myself it did not look this good. This must be what those of you who got a perfect unit have been talking about. It looks almost 3 dimensional and sorta pops out at you when the images line up properly in the RF patch. Also the Patch stays aligned after firing the shutter which much quieter than the last one - a pleasant surprise! The backlash is far reduced although there is some there. There by design I presume as it does not seem to be excessive.
So all in all I'd say that, that despite the two issues mentioned above, my experience with Epson customer service far exceeded my expectations - especially when you consider that it was "out of warranty". I know that this topic has been discussed here at length with a mixed bag of Epson service sentiments. This is probably a case where your "mileage may vary" or Epson has figured out a better system for addressing these problems. After examining my camera a bit more, it seems that they either "changed out" the RF mechanism or removed it from the camera for repair/adjustment. I am glad to see that Epson is servicing units rather than just pulling another one off of the shelf which is a hit or miss proposition at best. It is also smart to have refurbished units to minimize the turnaround even though I got a sample that was less than perfect. I still have another 18 months left on my extended warranty. Not sure how they'll go about fixing it if I have any more problems. For now, I am going to enjoy the camera - I have lots of catching up to do (pictures to take). I also have a new (to me) 50mm Cron that I also purchased from another RFF'er to play with. For those of you who are thinking of buying an R-D1 but heistate b/c of the Epson customer service - I hope this gives you the nudge (nugget of hope) you need. Despite everything, I do not regret my purchase. There were times when I started questioning it but always got pulled to the dark side after taking a few snaps.
Thanks for listening to my camera ramblings - no one else will