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Old 04-03-2009, 02:57 PM   #1
Mike in Atlanta OP
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Garmin, I'm done!

Sorta a rant


My Zumo 550 started acting up about a month or so ago. Touch screen started developing a mind of its own. It would stop responding, buttons would activate/push themselves etc which caused all kinds of issues when trying to listen to music etc. Week later the GXM30 XM ant is no longer visible to the Zumo in either the bike mount or car mount.

Unit is 2 years old so out of warranty. Call Garmin and hear what I expected, "send it back for flat rate repair of $150" GXM is a seperate repair at $75 or $100, cant remember. Being as nice as possible, commenting on how great it is, bummed it broke, 3rd new unit etc didnt help matters. Nor did I expect it would.

Ok, cant bitch about a unit failing outside of warranty but it still just bothers me, both pieces were quite expensive and should last longer than 2 years.

Ok, so 3 new Garmin units in 4 years. 2610, 2730 and Zumo 550. Both 2610 and 2730 failed under warranty requiring a replacement. Zumo had its warranty issues, both cradles failed which they replaced after I paid for them and they reimbursed me when they recieved the defective cradles.

Sorry, great customer service or not, that is just not going to cut it given what these units cost. Plus, I cant say customer service has been great, sure they have been nice but great customer service would be doing things that didnt leave me without a GPS for weeks at a time, covering something past a warranty time frame etc. BTW, I own a business that depends on customer relations and I do whatever it takes to leave a happy customer as it pays in the end. Granted some I want to kill with a tooth pick, lol.

One of the few other expensive mobile electronic devices I use, the V1 radar unit, does truly offer great service. Bought the unit in 97, around 03 or so I sent it back for repair. They were supposed to call about cost and instead just sent the unit back repaired. Samething with several friends who have sent in V1's for repair.

And I know there are those of you who have never experienced a problem yada yada yada, yah for you. I just know more who have than have not, Garmin can do better and/or wish there was a alternative for motorcycle use.
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Old 04-03-2009, 03:18 PM   #2
TomTom63
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Hey Mike, they finally pisst you off good, didn't they...
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Old 04-03-2009, 05:07 PM   #3
Mike in Atlanta OP
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haha, yea Thomas you could say that. It is just frustrating that the most trouble free GPS I have owned was a ancient GPS V bought 2nd hand. It really bugs me about the Zumo given how little use I have actually gotten out of it. Havent used it in a vehicle in quite some time and sitting on the bike it might get used twice a month over the winter.
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:42 PM   #4
rjudge
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Garmin has started to piss me off too. Their policy change in regards to map upgrades on multiple GPSs reminds me of Microsoft's policys. We all know how much everyone loves Microsoft.

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Old 04-04-2009, 05:08 AM   #5
9Dave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjudge
Garmin has started to piss me off too. Their policy change in regards to map upgrades on multiple GPSs reminds me of Microsoft's policys. We all know how much everyone loves Microsoft.

RJ
Do a search and find the thread where the change in licensing policy was discussed. It was about a year ago. While some of it is certainly Garmin's choices - they don't own the data. They pay to provide it, and then charge for it.

I'd bet they did a study and found a really small percentage of their population uses multiple GPS's (like the ADV community) and they could keep the prices down on their other units if they changed licensing to one unit. My guess, but I'd bet I'm not far off the mark.

Not saying I like it - but that's the way it is and I deal with it.
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Old 04-04-2009, 05:48 AM   #6
fratermus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike in Atlanta
I just know more who have than have not, Garmin can do better and/or wish there was a alternative for motorcycle use.
I have a few disjointed thoughts on the matter: * to misquote (Churchill?), Garmin is the worst GPS manufacturer in the world, except for all the others. * the V1 likely has a *massive* profit margin compared to gpsr units. V1 is Nordstom's. Garmin is Target. * Sounds like there is room for improvement in the market, money to be made from a service-forward fellow.
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Old 04-04-2009, 06:35 PM   #7
Mike in Atlanta OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fratermus
I have a few disjointed thoughts on the matter: * to misquote (Churchill?), Garmin is the worst GPS manufacturer in the world, except for all the others. * the V1 likely has a *massive* profit margin compared to gpsr units. V1 is Nordstom's. Garmin is Target. * Sounds like there is room for improvement in the market, money to be made from a service-forward fellow.

Room for improvement? only a blind fool would say there's not, sadly I dont have the resources or knowledge to offer something better. But I do have the ability to offer my complaints and dis satisfaction
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Old 04-04-2009, 09:35 PM   #8
RichardU
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike in Atlanta
Touch screen started developing a mind of its own. It would stop responding, buttons would activate/push themselves etc
I just had the exact same thing happen with my 2-year old Zumo. They told me the flat repair was $200, but that they would let me have it for $100. Sent it in, within about five days I had a new (reconditioned) unit. The new unit came with 2009 maps. I called and pointed out that the maps on my computer were 2008, so they are sending me the 2009 disk (free).

FWIW, the new unit runs faster.

I'm not happy that our Garmins break (I went through three Quest units) but I am happy that they are fairly generous with repairs out of warranty.
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Old 04-04-2009, 10:45 PM   #9
Mike in Atlanta OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardU
I just had the exact same thing happen with my 2-year old Zumo. They told me the flat repair was $200, but that they would let me have it for $100. Sent it in, within about five days I had a new (reconditioned) unit. The new unit came with 2009 maps. I called and pointed out that the maps on my computer were 2008, so they are sending me the 2009 disk (free).

FWIW, the new unit runs faster.

I'm not happy that our Garmins break (I went through three Quest units) but I am happy that they are fairly generous with repairs out of warranty.

This is something else that bothers with Garmin. It seems random luck determines what you pay, if anything for something out of warranty. The rate on the website for a Zumo repair is $150, which they quoted me. I know of 2 people who managed to get their out of warranty Garmins repaired free of charge, a handful at a extremely reduced rate etc. I have been told to call back until I get a operator that offers a better deal but I dont understand how that will work when they log the call and they would see I called before etc.

I also find it odd that ALL 3 units failed at a rare time when I actually needed them for navigation. 99% of the time I am using a GPS, I know the general area I am riding and dont need it for navigation but just as a convience for the map etc. Plan a trip to a unknown area and its money in the bank that mofo is going to go tits up.
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Old 04-05-2009, 07:00 AM   #10
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Mike,

I hear you, my experiences with Garmin have been similar. The multiple week waiting period is especially annoying. A company with good customer service would send you a refurb unit with a prepaid package for return of the broken unit, so you wouldn't have to be without a GPS receiver while they attempt to fix their broken merchandise. I guess they can't do that because their reliability is so bad and the market is very price sensitive. I say attempt, because once you get into the "refurb loop," it's unlikely you'll get a unit you'll be happy with long term. I finally ended up with one that is fully functioning except for a significantly dimmer screen. I can't really read it in sunlight, kind of a problem on a bike in Florida.

I think the best way to go with nav systems is to buy as cheap as possible, and chuck them in the trash can when they screw up. On the Garmin side, a sub $200 2610 is probably a good way to go, new stock (if that's possible anymore, may need to move up a generation or two now). The maps alone would cost, what, $75-100?
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Old 04-05-2009, 09:13 AM   #11
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fratermus nailed it...

Quote:
Garmin is the worst GPS manufacturer in the world, except for all the others.
I'm sure there are a lot of us that would jump ship if some other contender was actually in the same league.
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Old 04-06-2009, 08:24 AM   #12
spidennis
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had anyone gone for the extended service agreements that I've seen? does this even work ?

I got bought a 478 and hadn't gotten it yet ......
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Old 04-07-2009, 03:37 PM   #13
F650Dakar_Norway
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Thumbs down

I'm also more than disappointed that my two 2610's only did 2 years of service before #1 decided to shed its usb port & #2 decided to delaminate its touch screen after 2 years. It seems that Garmin may have a hardware quality problem.

FWIW I now have a brand new Zumo 550 - and seriuosly doubt it will stand the next 2 years before it fails. My all-year ride is through rain, slete, snow and salted winter roads in temperatures ranging from -15 to +30 degrees centigrade.

These things are obviously not designed to last in true all-weather conditions.
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F650Dakar_Norway screwed with this post 04-09-2009 at 03:11 PM
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Old 04-07-2009, 03:54 PM   #14
spidennis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F650Dakar_Norway
I'm also more than disappointed that my two 2610's only did 2 years of service before #1 decided to shed its usb port & #2 decided to delaminate its touch screen after 2 years. It seems that Garmin may have a hardware quality problem.
would you like to donate your dead 2610 units to the new project I'm starting? I'm trying to determine exactly what's the nature of the screen failures and if there's a work around or possible fix. Maybe I'll create a 2610 bone yard for parts? anyway, my 2610 has the "flicker of death" screen like many here ....
see my post about this subject here:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=450402

sorry for the detour, now back to the established road way ......
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