Garmin Customer "Support" experiences

Discussion in 'Australia' started by The Bigfella, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. The Bigfella

    The Bigfella Big Adventurer

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    Yes... I know there's a separate tech section, but this is Australia-specific.

    I bought a Garmin Montana 650 for my Cape York - Asia trip.

    It lasted one and a half days on Cape York before the screen went out of registration and the unit was unusable.

    It took some to and froing, but Garmin Australia eventually sent me a replacement unit.

    I encountered the usual battery connection problems which I'd initially thought were related to the plug I had on the unit... but thanks to this website, I discovered that an earplug inserted between the cover and the battery would stop it turning itself off all the time.

    After five months use, the second unit went bad. Same issue, but not as bad as the first unit. Almost impossible to enter an address because the screen had an area where the registration was out.

    I rang Garmin, late last year and was told that they only warrant replacement units for 3 months.... but their customer support woman agreed that there was a case to be made for this unit to be replaced if faulty and she'd recommend that to her boss.

    I sent the unit in after the Christmas break but didn't get any receipt advice back... so I rang them today.

    "Oh yes, there's a note here, its been tested and needs to be replaced".

    Garmin Australia want me to pay for the replacement.

    Anyone else had any "support" of this nature from Garmin?

    I'd appreciate any war stories wrt Garmin.
    #1
  2. B1

    B1 Carbon-based bipedal

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    on the plus side, the power socket was on working intermittently and they replaced my garmin with a new unit with 8 months of the one year warranty gone.

    on the down side, i've emailed their tech section twice over the past few years on different issues and never got an answer which seems to be pretty common from what others have said around here.
    #2
  3. boulder

    boulder jersey boy

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    140
    Location:
    sydney berowra waters
    I bought a Garmin 60 and have bounced it around Australia for over 50,000 k;s and it has never missed a beat.
    So when I was looking for a GPS for the 990 a Garmin 650 was the unit of choice after such good service from the 60.
    I did 8500k's and the unit was only three weeks old when the screen failed just as yours did,I sent it back to Garmin and like you they sent me a replacement unit with three months warrant. This unit lasted four months and it as failed just like the first unit and they tell me that I have to pay to replace it. I sent them a copy of one of there adverts stating this was there most rugged built Motorcycle unit on the market and asked why it only lasted four months and did they think this was good value at about $185.50 a month and have not had a reply!! :ddog:ddog
    #3
  4. B1

    B1 Carbon-based bipedal

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    i wonder if you'd have a case worth taking to consumer affairs? you'd think the year's warranty should apply to the entire unit, including any repairs. if they won't play ball, and these screens are a known issue, it could be worth finding every garmin 650 thread and put a post up explaining what happened. and send all the links to garmin. :D

    i was unhappy with the service/warranty on a certain aftermarket bike part and when emails didn't resolve it, i did a blog on the issue, then posted in relevant forums about the problem with links to the blog. it starts to rank high in google searches quite quickly then, and it was amazing how fast this mob resolved the issue when they realised a lot of people were reading the blog. all sorted and revised the blog to say they had solved the prob in the end.
    #4
  5. GMess

    GMess Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Brisbane Inner North-west
    Have never ever had a problem with my old Map60 apart from needed a piece of cardboard in the battery compartment to stop it cutting out. however want to upgrade so started getting prices on a Montana this morning. I'll raise this with each dealer I call from now. Wonder if that will get a message back to Garmin?
    #5
  6. Hardhead

    Hardhead Long timer

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    I had issues with Garmin support a few years ago when i had a quest. The screen went just over a year after I got it. Paid the $99 for a refurbed unit but i couldn't get the maps I purchased re registered. About 4 months later the new unit died. Same issue. Out of warranty of course. Paid another $99 for another refirbed unit which only lasted about 4 months. Still couldn't get the maps to work. I eventually threw it away.
    #6
  7. fallingoff

    fallingoff Banned

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    and i was ready to dropkick my tomtom rider
    bad customer support too.
    i was going to look at a garmin
    oh well paper maps are cheap.

    cheers

    good luck with it
    #7
  8. prestonpaul

    prestonpaul What?

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    Location:
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    You need an old Zumo 550, mines been going strong for years. course now I've said that it will crap itself tomorrow.
    Garmin's tech service was crap when I had issues with a map update purchased on line, but customer service was great when I rang them asking for a refund when I worked out that on line map updates don't work on the 550.
    #8
  9. The Bigfella

    The Bigfella Big Adventurer

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    Location:
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    Geez, don't start me on how crappy their SE Asia map is. I can post photos of concentric circles it sent me on trying to get out of cities.

    I'll put a letter together to their CEO sometime over the next couple of days.
    #9
  10. Clancy

    Clancy Long timer

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    My experience has been a bit the same. When I had problems with my Zumo, they were incredibly helpful and I ended up getting a new one from them. Then when I had problems updating maps, again, the service could not have been better.
    #10
  11. Mattyvas

    Mattyvas Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Sydney
    I had a great outcome with my Zumo 550 a while back.
    I bought mine pre-loved from a friend for around $500 from memory, it came with lifetime map updates so when I did the first map update which also required a software update it all of a sudden didn't work properly.

    I could use it as normal but I couldn't send maps to it which made it kind of useless, before the map/software update it all worked fine. I got onto Zumo forums and Garmins CS, I dealt with the same person the whole time and he was excellent. I kept asking and saying all the way through why did this work before your map and software update and now it doesn't what is causing the problem the map or the software.

    After more than a few weeks we finally got to the conclusion that it was a map problem with the Garmin maps and my unit was replaced. They gave me the same story saying I had to pay $99 for a replacement which I was happy enough with if they could ensure it would be back to full working order.

    When I went to collect my machine I was told they were happy to replace it free of charge for me due to my patience with the matter. It also helped that I too started a thread on the Garmin Zumo forum firstly stating how crap things were, turning around into a positive thread.

    My advice would be to just keep at them in a very positive manner and it might well work out for you.

    cheers
    Matty...
    #11
  12. speedwobble2

    speedwobble2 Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Western Queensland
    I must say I have had excellent service from Garmin. One of my Gps's in one of my planes lost a couple of rows of pixels on the screen. It was over 4yrs old and well out of warranty and couldn't be fixed in Aus so it was sent back to the US. When it came back it was not my gps but a new model of the same gps with all my data and waypoints installed for a service fee of about $125 FANTASTIC!!! I have 2 2610's that are over 10yrs old and still going strong and one lives on my road bike permentally , an old map 12 which hasn't missed a beat and 62s with no issues yet. I have no complaints.
    #12
  13. wairau

    wairau south pacific itinerant

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    Vibration killed my Garmin Oregon on XT660 on a mount that I made.

    I sent it in with a letter explaining the torture I put it through, hoping they could fix it and send me the bill.

    Within the week they sent out a 2nd hand refirb replacement free of charge. Its still going strong today.

    There was a bit of fucking round getting their website to allow me to put the topo maps on the replacement unit but it worked out.
    #13
  14. rmhrc628

    rmhrc628 Long timer

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    Melbourne
    Anytime you strike resistance from a vendor for a product that ought to last longer, simply return the item and request either full refund or replacement - its your right for any product you buy in Australia. Section 75 of the tpa and I think 75a are on your side.

    Side note - I have had Garmin replace 3 310xt watches. Shite quality.
    #14
  15. GodSilla

    GodSilla I did that.

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    I've got 2 GPS60CSX units, both are dead reliable.
    The first one I purchased wouldn't turn on with the button, I had to use a pointy object to power it on and off, but I thought at the time it was just designed that way to avoid accidental activation/deactivation. Now the rubber button is torn, naturally.
    The second one turns on and off easily and is faultless.
    I did some research and it transpires that Garmin did a run of the GPS60 units that had this faulty switch action. I have contacted Garmin 3 times over this issue, and every time they just say I should have done it under warranty (reported the problem I never knew I had!) and then offer me a $199 refurb unit. I bought my second unit brand new for $299 for crying out loud.
    Their service, in my experience, in Australia is appalling, I suspect they employ Irish backpackers with a list of pre-prepared excuses and lies in front of them and tell them that the customers are there to be abused. I have rarely had such poor service, to the point I have been quoted service call numbers that were never raised. When a company employs people to lie to your face it is a bit rich. I have not purchased another Garmin unit based on this appalling level of service, and the refusal to back their products when they know there is a production defect from new.
    At least ALDI don't bitch about returns.

    GPS60? - great little unit.
    Garmin service? - ZERO.
    #15
  16. Oldfatbeerman

    Oldfatbeerman Enroute to a PUB

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2006
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    4,904
    Location:
    Lake Macquarie , NSW, Australia
    Well well , I have been recently looking at purchasing a Garmin C 62 series GPS as my Magellan XL is getting a bit long in the tooth and most of my ride buddies are using the garmin products so was thinking I'd be wise to be able to share mapping logs and routes with them , maybe I'll rethink this line of thought due to the issues raised by all the posters in this thread .


    Just for the record , I have been advised by a relative who works on repairing and fault finding on all electically operated computerised devices , to steer way clear of touch screen controled devices , there is only a few manufacturers world wide of touch screens and they are all suspect when it comes to reliability . I'll stick to seperate button operated devices for phones , Gps units and the like , because , they ( touch screen devices ) will always let you down when you most need them :cry , thanks to Mr murphy .
    #16
  17. TB650

    TB650 An average punter living the dream

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    850
    Location:
    Blue Mountains, Australia
    I own a fleet of GPSs that I use, loan and hire. I have 2 550's, a 220, 3 60CSXs, two 62s and two new Rino 650's. Garmin have always been great to deal with right from the day I had my first eTrex 10 or whatever it was that I broke, smashed and abused. The eTrex was 3 years old the last time we broke the screen and sent it to be repaired, they had no more parts for the discontinued unit so for 60 small they sent me the new model eTrex. They have replaced units out of warranty, free of charge out of warranty or offered a fair upgrade replacement, they have answered questions etc.

    For the record I have no affiliation with Garmin nor do I sell their products I pay retail or best deal for all GPS gear I own.

    TB
    #17
  18. james928

    james928 oohh sidestand!!

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Brisvegas
    I have an ETrex20, bought a couple of years ago. Been on the handle bar of my 525EXC for 1800km through Glasshouse Mountains. It been in mud bogs, bounced down hills and generally abused to the max. It works perfectly. I have thought about upgrading to a more fancy one, but this thing is bomb proof and no touch screen. I also run mupmap on my stinking iphone which works well.
    #18
  19. B1

    B1 Carbon-based bipedal

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    Location:
    Arse-trailer
    referring back to the original post...

    just to see what response i would get, i emailed garmin mentioning that i have been reading about problems with the screen on the Garmin Montana 650, and that there appears to be only a limited warranty on replacement screens and why was this so.

    to their credit, they actually responded (something they haven't bothered to do in the past) but just sent a standard response showing they hadn't even read the email. it was just a link to their list of outdoor gps units.

    and it came from a "no reply" email so i can't ask them to actually read the first email and respond to it!

    EDIT:
    and forgot to mention, if you do have an LCD screen go bad and / or the touch screen digitiser, consider getting a replacement screen from china via ebay.

    i had a screen on my garmin 1490t go bad after a stack (no fault of the gps) and thought i'd take a punt on the touch screen digitiser and LCD screen for $45 posted (can be bought separately), and $3 for the tools to take my gps apart. worked like a charm and no probs a year later.

    i thought it would be a lot dimmer but as far as i can make out these come from the chinese manufacturer that supplies the products to garmin... they appear and perform identically in every respect.
    #19
  20. PBee

    PBee .

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    10,636
    Location:
    Kersbrook
    Garmin support........now there's an oxymoron.

    Lots of probs with my 550, Digitizer changed twice under warranty (not without an argument) 3rd time it was just out of warranty & they said they would exchange it for $347.00 because it probably wouldn't take another screen change.

    660 has been good but the map upgrade bullshit is fucked.
    $159 USD for lifetime upgrade to Australian maps.
    But when you type in your address it goes straight to $189.00 AUD
    & we are talking about a download from the US server.

    When I talked to the Oz support line & questioned them about this the lovely Lass on the other end said "If you don't like it, buy another brand"
    & promptly hung up.

    & don't let me get started on trying to get a new password for firmware upgrades......:rolleyes
    #20