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Incredible (good!) customer service from Garmin and TVNAV!

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Hey guys/gals...

Just thought I'd share this info as a public service.


I decided to send my Garmin GPS V in to Garmin for service to repair broken power/PC connector prong and loose antenna, and also to see about replacing the screen lens, which I'd scratched up during various caching falls and flops. ;-)


I couldn't readily lay my hands on my purchase receipt while I was still at home in Miss., but I was sure it had been over a year since I'd bought it, so I figured the $150 "complete factory overhaul" price they wanted was still better than $420 for a new GPS V. I called Garmin and got an RMA going, and sent in my unit from here in Calif., where I'm stationed on a 3-week work assignment.


While the unit was in transit to Garmin, I realized I was having the "caching DT's" (think about it if you're not sure what that means), and decided to buy another unit, an Etrex Vista. I called my preferred vendor, TVNAV, to make the order.


While I was at it with TVNAV, I asked them to look up my previous GPS V order. Turned out it was less than a year old (guess it seemed longer with all the caching I've been doing!). Since I'm in L.A. and unable to look in my files at home right now, I asked them to fax me a copy of that original purchase receipt.


The fax arrived promptly from TVNAV. I then got back with Garmin customer service and asked them if I could fax the receipt over and if they could see if my repairs could be handled under warranty. I told them if they determined it was wear-and-tear I'd be glad to pay the $150, as I was going to do so anyway. The customer service agent actually physically went over to the repair department for me (while I was on hold), tracked down my unit, and had them hold the repair until the faxed receipt was in hand.


I faxed over my receipt, the customer service agent then Emailed me acknowledging receipt and indicating that he'd personally brought the receipt over to accompany my unit, and we'd go from there. I figured I'd call Garmin back a few days later and check on the status.


Well, my wife called me up yesterday from home in Biloxi and told me a package from Garmin arrived, with the repaired unit fixed under warranty at no charge. Let me be clear: All this back-and-forth between me and Garmin happened on Thursday, and by the very next Monday I had my unit back, overnited with a no charge repair! Holy crap! (in a good way)


Oh, and by the way, my new Etrex Vista arrived from TVNAV at my work location here in L.A. promptly, on 2-day shipping. I broke it in this past weekend for a few hours of caching when I didn't have to work. It's great! I miss the turn-by-turn directions I get from my GPS V, but except for that the Vista has everything I need (including the ability to use and upload the same street-level-detail maps as my GPS V (from the MapSource City Select software) without having to buy another software license (you can use the s/w with up to 2 units).


I know some people get pretty religious about the Garmin vs. Magellan argument, so let's be clear: This is certainly not an anti-Magellan post (I don't have experience with Magellan to be able to judge them)...it's a PRO-Garmin and pro-TVNAV post. Take it for whatever you think it's worth.


-Dave R. in Biloxi

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I also have dealt with TV nav and they were the cheapest on the mapsource software I could find,they were very helpfull and their service was prompt. actually I have a thread here on this forum page extolling their virtues. I'd gladly recomend them and use them again if needed.


I've never really dealt with Garmin except their mapping people and it was a so so experience,but in all fairness the problem I had with them was lack of certain bluesource maps ,they recommended "fishing hotspots" maps of the lake(lake of the woods on the min/can border)to me...but that stuff is a freakin joke compared to real nav charts ,which is what blue charts are.

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Yeah, and I've read some of the other threads about apparent shortcomings with Garmin's mapping software compared to Magellan's and others, so I'm sure you have a point on that.


My story was specifically meant to be about the truly excellent service I got from their customer service / tech support department, and then their repair department (as to their promptness and in honoring their warranty when they could easily not have). The whole situation required about 4 different calls over a 3-day period, on which I got 4 different techs, and in every case it was the best support I've ever gotten from any company.


-Dave R. in Biloxi

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