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Garmin Tech Support humor


ArtMan
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At least I have to think someone there has a sense of humor.

 

I recently upgraded from a basic yellow etrex, and I plan to sell my trusty old unit. It's basically in good shape, but the rubber band has become loose. It's not flopping off; it stays in place thanks to gravity or inertia or whatever. But it is loose, and before I sell it I want to get it as close to original condition as possible.

 

So I emailed Garmin, asking "What's the best way to reattach it?"

 

I expected they would tell me to use brand-x glue or brand-y double-sided tape. Instead, here's the reply I got in its entirety:

 

Thank you for contacting Garmin. I will be happy to help you with this. The

best way to fix the unit would be to send it in for repair. I can have your

unit overhauled for the flat rate charge of $59.00. ...

 

The flat rate repair price of $59 is, perhaps coincidentally, about what these units sell for on ebay.

 

Note that the unit is totally functional. The loose rubber band may (or may not, I don't know) affect the waterproofness, but otherwise it has no impact on the performance of the GPSr.

 

Do our friends at Garmin really expect me to spend $59 for this?

 

-ArtMan-

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I think it's probably more along the line of 'if we start suggesting home remedies somebody is going to complain we steered them wrong when they super glue the unit to a table top".

 

I've asked a question via there email and after not getting a response for a few days I called in and got and answer. A few days later I got a response to my email that was a completely different answer. It was pretty much a 'by the book' one.

 

Call in and talk to a real person who might not just give you the standard company response.

Edited by BlueDeuce
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The rubber on my Vista came loose the same way. It is VERY common. I tried different glues, and finally found that Loctite Xtreme does the trick. It doesn't melt the rubber and can be removed if need be.

 

Can you help with this product... a stock # or something? I've searched high and low for a product called "Loctite Xtreme" and can't seem to find it. The rubber band on my VistaCx is bothering me...

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For my eTrex, just the adhesive dissolved from exposure to heat, then dirt, but the clear plastic band on the inside, and the rubber itself was OK. I removed the adhesive carefully by applying a degreaser, then reattached the rubber using a hardware store grade 3M double sided Scotch Tape.

 

I did this back in August 17, 2005. It's still holding up. :laughing:

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In a follow-up message, a Garmin tech wrote —

 

If the unit is coming apart it will need to be repaired to ensure the unit

maintains its' IPX 7 waterproof rating.

 

Garmin is an ISO 9000 company and according to regulations units must be

completely overhauled if brought in for repair. If you would like I am

willing to bring the unit in at half price ($30.00 U.S.D.). This price

includes the labor of highly trained technicians to work on the unit, parts,

and shipping back to you.

 

If you have any additional questions please feel free to contact our product

support team at the phone numbers listed below or reply to this email.

 

I'll still probably try a DIY remedy, but I do appreciate the explanation that the rubber band is part of the unit's waterproofing.

 

Not sure I'll try Loctite Xtreme, though, as it sound a little more permanent than one might desire for this application. I wish my dad, a chemical engineer who specialized in adhesives, were still around. He would know what to do.

 

-ArtMan-

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I think it's probably more along the line of 'if we start suggesting home remedies somebody is going to complain we steered them wrong when they super glue the unit to a table top".

 

Not just complain, but demand a new (or upgraded) unit for their "pain and suffering". Doing tech support is a *constant* reminder that no good deed goes unpunished.

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The rubber on my Vista came loose the same way. It is VERY common. I tried different glues, and finally found that Loctite Xtreme does the trick. It doesn't melt the rubber and can be removed if need be.

 

Can you help with this product... a stock # or something? I've searched high and low for a product called "Loctite Xtreme" and can't seem to find it. The rubber band on my VistaCx is bothering me...

 

The part no. on the tube I have is 06875. Here is a link:

 

http://www.loctiteproducts.com/products/de...43&plID=710

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Garmin is an ISO 9000 company and according to regulations units must be

completely overhauled if brought in for repair.

What is that all about?

Wikipedia Entry, ISO 9000

 

For people who have been exposed to this process before, this sentence in the entry sums it up well:

 

ISO 9000 does not guarantee the quality of end products and services; rather, it certifies that consistent business processes are being applied.
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Garmin is an ISO 9000 company and according to regulations units must be

completely overhauled if brought in for repair.

What is that all about?

Wikipedia Entry, ISO 9000

 

For people who have been exposed to this process before, this sentence in the entry sums it up well:

 

ISO 9000 does not guarantee the quality of end products and services; rather, it certifies that consistent business processes are being applied.

 

I've worked at two different companies that got their ISO Cert. In layman's terms it's:

 

Do what you say. Say what you do.

 

All processes and paperwork are documented, and employeess are required to follow (and tested on), proper procedures. The certs are good for aprox 3-6 mo. (I don't remember now) and to keep them the companies are audited internally every few months, and by an outside aditor twice a year. In the real world the ISO certs are not worth much except bragging rights when you're a vendor trying to atract new buisness. "I'm XYZ Company & we're ISO900X certified."

 

So to bring all this on topic...Garmin is suppose to follow its own documented procedures.

 

Tenevda

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G'day

 

At least you got a response from Garmin. I had to point out to the local distributor in the end that they are subject to Australian law and that I can return my GPS76Cx if it does not function as reasonably expected given what it is sold for as per the Trade Practices Act.

 

The local customer service improved after that discussion. Garmin on the other hand has never responded.

 

Andrew

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G'day

 

At least you got a response from Garmin. I had to point out to the local distributor in the end that they are subject to Australian law and that I can return my GPS76Cx if it does not function as reasonably expected given what it is sold for as per the Trade Practices Act.

 

The local customer service improved after that discussion. Garmin on the other hand has never responded.

 

Andrew

 

Garmin handles it's consumer products much like it handles its Avionic products which are also subject to extensive FAA regulations in addition to ISO 9000. Their service is very professional but like everything from rattlesnakes to puppy dogs, approach is everything. I don't know if you already had a beef with Garmin when you contacted them, but if you contacted me by telling me that Austrailian Law said I HAD to do something I would probably avoid you as well.

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It seems that the rubber on all the Etrex units has that trouble and sure wish they had solved that problem long ago. I too had my rubber come off and emailed them about it. In their return email they quoted me a price of $125.00 to repair it and needless to say I didn't go that route. Heck I only paid a little over $200.00 for it originaly over 3 years ago on Ebay for my Vista. The product that I found to work fairly well was an automotive black RTV silicone # 270 and can be bought at most automotive retail stores. Less than 4 dollars I believe. Give that a try before spending that amount on it unless of course it is still under warranty.

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I don't know if you already had a beef with Garmin when you contacted them, but if you contacted me by telling me that Austrailian Law said I HAD to do something I would probably avoid you as well.

 

mmmm maybe my problem was that their poor comphrehension skills like yours? :huh:

 

If you read what I actually wrote, you will note that I said "in the end" I had to remind the "local distributor" that they are required to comply with Australian law.

 

Pretty pathetic in my view that one has to resort to seeking compliance with the law to get customer support. All the standards in the world mean nothing if that is the outcome ... their customer service in my case is not up to ISO 9000 as still awaiting a response. So it means squat if they don't actually comply with it.

 

Oh, BTW if the distributor hadn't provided the required customer support I would now own a Magellan ... really simple as that ....

 

Andrew

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Interesting stroies ... but I HAD quite the opposite experience. I had this problem on my Vista C after about 6 months of use and I emailed them asking if it was a known issue with the unit. They said it wasn't (but we all now know that it's quite common) ... however the tech support person simply gave me an RMA number and had me return it to them where they promptly replaced the unit at no charge (except for shipping from my home).

 

So, fo those of you with relatively new units (like the Vista Cx person), I'd ask about getting this fixed under warranty first.

 

After they repaired my unit, I had no probles whatsoever with it since.

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I don't know if you already had a beef with Garmin when you contacted them, but if you contacted me by telling me that Austrailian Law said I HAD to do something I would probably avoid you as well.

 

mmmm maybe my problem was that their poor comphrehension skills like yours? :P

 

Andrew

 

Escuse me while I roll over and have a good laugh. :blink::o:o:(:P:P

 

Oh my now I feel so much better :P

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I don't know if you already had a beef with Garmin when you contacted them, but if you contacted me by telling me that Austrailian Law said I HAD to do something I would probably avoid you as well.

 

mmmm maybe my problem was that their poor comphrehension skills like yours? :P

 

Andrew

 

Escuse me while I roll over and have a good laugh. :blink::o:o:(:P:P

 

Oh my now I feel so much better :P

I think you should quit with the little game and pay better attention.

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