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Garmin customer service - a great outcome


jsarche
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I recently had a really good experience with Garmin's customer service, and wanted to make sure to give them a plug here.

 

I have a Colorado 400t that I've used with no real problems for two or three years -- until recently. About two weeks ago, the USB port on the device broke. The black plastic thing in the center of the port was moving around like a loose tooth, and it was next to impossible to keep it in place long enough to connect to my computer. To make it connect, I'd have to hold the cable and the GPSr very tightly and not move while walking my wife or one of my sons through the steps to get done what I needed to get done. And I could forget about trying to hook it up to my car as a power source -- the cable just moved around too much and it would constantly lose power.

 

So, with the knowledge this is a discontinued device, and the fear that it would likely cost a bunch of money to fix, or even more to replace, I called Garmin to check out my options. Granted, I was on hold for about 20 minutes. But when the representative got on the line with me, he made everything really easy. To my great surprise, he told me he'd put me in for a free replacement device (refurbished, but I'm OK with that for something like this), and make sure the Garmin maps that I had bought and installed on my GPS would switch over to the replacement unit. Then he told me it would take 10-to-14 days. No biggie, I thought -- I can use my smartphone to cache if I really wanted to.

 

Well, using the smartphone was not nearly as easy as using the GPS. It was fussy, inaccurate, and kind of a pain, to tell the truth. (It's a Droid Incredible running the Groundspeak app.) I'd used it for some urban caching in the past, and it was OK, but this past weekend, I went up into the mountains, and it was not nearly as easy to use as a dedicated GPS receiver. I was out of cell range for quite a while, and that made things even worse when I realized I'd forgotten to include one particular cache in the GPX file I loaded into the phone for offline use.

 

Anyway, I put my GPS into the mail last Tuesday. The replacement arrived yesterday -- six days later. And it looks and acts like a brand-new device. And the City Navigator maps I'd bought previously were easily reassigned to the new device, and even updated for me. Everything seems to be working great. Where I'd expected to have to spend at the very least $50, and expected to have to wait at the very least two weeks, I got the new device, with updated maps, in six days at no cost except for shipping the broken one to Garmin.

 

I know Garmin's customer service gets a lot of criticism, but to be honest, this isn't the first good experience I've had. I will definitely recommend Garmin to anybody who asks me, and I will definitely stick with Garmin products.

 

Sorry for the length and wordiness, but I wanted to tell the story. For the record, I have no connection to Garmin whatsoever except as a customer.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

Jon

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I recently had a really good experience with Garmin's customer service, and wanted to make sure to give them a plug here.

 

I have a Colorado 400t that I've used with no real problems for two or three years -- until recently. About two weeks ago, the USB port on the device broke. The black plastic thing in the center of the port was moving around like a loose tooth, and it was next to impossible to keep it in place long enough to connect to my computer. To make it connect, I'd have to hold the cable and the GPSr very tightly and not move while walking my wife or one of my sons through the steps to get done what I needed to get done. And I could forget about trying to hook it up to my car as a power source -- the cable just moved around too much and it would constantly lose power.

 

So, with the knowledge this is a discontinued device, and the fear that it would likely cost a bunch of money to fix, or even more to replace, I called Garmin to check out my options. Granted, I was on hold for about 20 minutes. But when the representative got on the line with me, he made everything really easy. To my great surprise, he told me he'd put me in for a free replacement device (refurbished, but I'm OK with that for something like this), and make sure the Garmin maps that I had bought and installed on my GPS would switch over to the replacement unit. Then he told me it would take 10-to-14 days. No biggie, I thought -- I can use my smartphone to cache if I really wanted to.

 

Well, using the smartphone was not nearly as easy as using the GPS. It was fussy, inaccurate, and kind of a pain, to tell the truth. (It's a Droid Incredible running the Groundspeak app.) I'd used it for some urban caching in the past, and it was OK, but this past weekend, I went up into the mountains, and it was not nearly as easy to use as a dedicated GPS receiver. I was out of cell range for quite a while, and that made things even worse when I realized I'd forgotten to include one particular cache in the GPX file I loaded into the phone for offline use.

 

Anyway, I put my GPS into the mail last Tuesday. The replacement arrived yesterday -- six days later. And it looks and acts like a brand-new device. And the City Navigator maps I'd bought previously were easily reassigned to the new device, and even updated for me. Everything seems to be working great. Where I'd expected to have to spend at the very least $50, and expected to have to wait at the very least two weeks, I got the new device, with updated maps, in six days at no cost except for shipping the broken one to Garmin.

 

I know Garmin's customer service gets a lot of criticism, but to be honest, this isn't the first good experience I've had. I will definitely recommend Garmin to anybody who asks me, and I will definitely stick with Garmin products.

 

Sorry for the length and wordiness, but I wanted to tell the story. For the record, I have no connection to Garmin whatsoever except as a customer.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

Jon

 

You are lucky indded. Just to put the other side of the story in the UK I was quoted £170 to repair a cracked screen on my Orgeon 550 (18 months old). All they have is a fixed swap policy that seems to cost 50% of the device recommended price. A load of rubbish. I got it replaced by an independent person for much less.

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From what I've heard in the forum here, owners of the eTrex line, are no-longer given the parts to repair the loose weather seal (the back rubber around the outside) and the double-sided tape (which apparently they need to cut with a CAD/CAM cutter machine.) Rather, the owners of these devices are instructed to return the device for service, and apparently given as you above, a replacement/refurbished. A few years back, I was actually shipped the replacement part for a Legend that the rubber piece had actually split (from "O" (closed) to "C" (open) fashion.).. The drawback is, the double-sided tape is both heat & moisture sensitive, which causes the separation from the device in the 1st place, (and usually starts right at the point where the data connector flap is pulled from the device, to access the data connector.) Yet, I also have a Garmin Quest, and for some reason, this separation of the weather seal never happens. (and I've left the quest on the dash, in the middle of summer!) It can't be because the case is metal, compared to the eTrex line, which is plastic... Very odd. And, it costs more to ship the device back, than them simply shipping the rubber & tape. (though, I imagine the CAD/CAM cutting of the tape, which is similar to how decals are cut for custom lettering/etc for cars, is pretty expensive.) The Legend, is still pretty well, but it's slowly separating from the end near the lanyard. It doesn't make sense needing to replace the whole device, for a simple replacement seal.

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It doesn't make sense needing to replace the whole device, for a simple replacement seal.

Based upon the experiences of quite a few users here, it makes even less sense to replace one band with another whose tape uses the same poor adhesive material - but that seems to be what Garmin has been supplying. So it's probably just as well if they've quit shipping them, pushing users to opt for a more permanent solution. We've got threads galore on that topic, BTW.

 

http://forums.Ground...howtopic=161271

 

http://forums.Ground...howtopic=255457

 

http://forums.Ground...howtopic=262498

 

http://forums.Ground...howtopic=244272

 

http://forums.Ground...howtopic=186871

 

http://forums.Ground...howtopic=248759

 

http://forums.Ground...howtopic=103053

 

http://forums.Ground...howtopic=202846

 

http://forums.Ground...howtopic=254398

Edited by ecanderson
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