Garmin - A tale of woes!

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Big Matt and Shell
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Garmin - A tale of woes!

Post by Big Matt and Shell » 22 February 10 10:13 pm

I will preface this post by saying that I have raised these concerns with Garmin and received little feedback or commitment to change. I write this post as a warning to other Garmin users and to relieve a lot of frustration before I happen to bump into the Garmin rep at the mega event and go to town!

<rant>
In December 2008 I purchased a Garmin Oregon 300 series with Mapsource and Oz Topo. It was purchased as our Vista C was worn out and the accuracy was going. I could be up to 10 m out of accuracy from a GZ compared to a new Oregon, Vista HCx, or a 76c. We thought the Oregon would be the answer to our problems how wrong could we be?

After the first 3 months the unit stopped working. (See this post) Garmin did get the unit back and in under 2 weeks I had a new unit back. It took a bit of stuffing around to get the software changed to the new unit (couldn't this be done before the unit left?). But I thought that would be the end of it, a one off blip in the system.

Unfortunately it turns out that this was not a once off and this is where I started to get really frustrated. I was on a caching trip in Wagga when the unit gave up the ghost. It would still work as a GPS but wouldn't accept the power cable and would not connect to the computer. We continued to cache but on return I couldn't get the field notes off the unit. I did the logs the old fashioned way and then did a bit of DIY trying to fix the unit based on what I could find on the Oregon Wiki up to forcing a firmware change. On this I was a bit nervous so I rang Garmin after waiting on hold for longer than 20 minutes and they said to go with it as there was little else left to do. I did and the unit self disconnected half way through the process and the unit was then completely US. I was then forced to send it in.

I sent the unit via overnight priority and I have a signed POD that the unit arrived at Garmin at 9:45 Monday 8th Feb. In that package I included a cover sheet(s) that included all the things I had tried and my contact details. I waited until Thursday 11th to ring and follow up on the unit after not hearing from anyone. I again waited 28 minutes for my call to be answered and spoke with a person who very dismissively said that the unit only arrived yesterday, nothing had been done. I then informed him that the unit actually arrived 72 hours ago, he back-pedalled and said "oh well it was only booked in yesterday". When I asked what would happen with the unit I was told that nothing would be known until next Wednesday 17th and someone would be in contact then. A very short call for such a long wait. The frustration grows and the first lie.

I call on Thursday as I hadn't heard from any one on Wednesday and had to sit on hold again for 23 minutes. I was told the unit was repaired, the person I spoke with was unaware what the problem was and said that the unit had left Garmin Wednesday and should be here today. I was not at home so I expected to return home to an AAE (Australian Air Express) card saying they had missed me and I could collect it from Australia Post. No card when I got home and what was to be lie number 2.

On Friday morning around 10am I ring again to get the AAE tracking number as the parcel had not arrived and knowing that as we use AAE at work they deliver to my area early in the morning that the parcel was not coming today (Shell was at home waiting) I rang again and after 30 minutes waiting, I was cut off! (Steam) I rang back again and after 12 minuets I got through and spoke with a woman who confirmed the unit had left and gave me a consignment number. (Lie number three). I try AAE's website and they have no record of the con note. Faced with ringing Garmin again to sit on hold I ring AAE and sit on hold to them for about 12 minutes only to confirm what I thought, no record of the con note in their system.

I ring Garmin back again and speak with a man and explain the whole story, he tells me the reason that the person may have been just trying to satisfy me and wanted to help me out, I asked how by each person lying to me it was helping me and the additional time I had to spend following up and how dissatisfied I was. I didn't even get an apology. I then asked where my unit physically was. I was told it was waiting to be collected by AAE and would be shipped today. I then restrained myself suitably not to let fly with a torrent of abuse and thanked him and hung up.

The unit arrived today and it turns out that Garmin had replaced the unit with a new one (small smile). I only find this out because I insert the SD card with my maps on it and the unit tells me that it can not unlock them. I then get the pleasure to ring Garmin again. Another 15+ minutes (to be honest I was over timing it at 15 minutes) on hold and I get the unlock codes for Mapsource. I also notice at the same time that they have not noted the change in unit details on the service report and I get them to email me the change of details. I then email thar to JA-GPS and they email me back their unlock codes within 15 minutes. (One company knows how to provide good customer service)

I know that I now have a functioning GPS and that I should be happy but frankly the whole event has left a bad taste in my mouth and I'm not normally a person who speaks out about bad service but to me this is a whole new level. Garmin need to understand that over promising and under delivering only serves to upset people. How about actually ringing someone when you say you will? I would also suggest that when they receive a unit with Mapsource on it and they change it over that they send out the new key to the owner as part of the replacement process. This saves them ringing for the 50th time. Finally shortening their waiting time would go a long way to reducing the level of frustration of callers.

Thanks for listening. Anyone want to place a bet on how long this unit will last?
</rant>

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mtrax
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Re: Garmin - A tale of woes!

Post by mtrax » 23 February 10 7:37 am

thanks for the update, what is a big concern is the reliability of the Oregan, as I assume its H/W rather than firmware that has been the problem?

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Re: Garmin - A tale of woes!

Post by kennythe1st » 23 February 10 7:40 am

My Magellan experience is quite different. My eXplorist 210 locked up in December and I think it took just 2 or 3 days for Magellan distributor http://www.nextdestination.com.au to respond with the price ($110 which is their minimum).

But more importantly, handling the issue via my GPSr dealer was such a contrast to your experience.

I discussed my issue with GPSOZ http://www.gpsoz.com.au from whom I bought it. They quickly concluded there was nothing I could do and asked for it to be sent to them. Next day I had a call to say they were unable to remedy so would I like it sent to Next Destination to get a price? Yes please and 3 days later GPSOZ called to say Next Destimnation said it would be $110. I declined so it was sent back to me via GPSOZ and I bought a Garmin :shock: from them instead.

Time spent waiting on the phone to GPSOZ? Probably somewhere between 1 and 3 rings \:D/

:arrow: An interesting price note - if you send your Magellan direct to Next Destination (Perth), the minimum charge, even if it cannot be repaired, is $110. But if you send it via your dealer, you might avoid that charge as I did.

Kennythe1st

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Jardry
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Re: Garmin - A tale of woes!

Post by Jardry » 23 February 10 8:42 am

Big Matt and Shell wrote:Thanks for listening. Anyone want to place a bet on how long this unit will last?
Matt,

For what its worth I had a similar experience with my Nuvi310, which I was using with a RAM mount. It kept switching to data transfer mode when I was driving with the USB cable plugged in. Over a three month period I had 3 units replaced, each unit was either a new or refurbished unit as I had to unlock maps each time. Every phone call to Garmin took between 20 to 60 minutes to answer - they obviously do not care how long a customer should stay on hold!!

To cut the story short; after the third replacement started to exhibit the same problem, finally the Garmin rep asked where am I plugging the USB cable into. I said the only USB input on the Nuvi. He then said that's the problem! He explained I needed to use the original mount which connects to the rear of the Nuvi. Looks like I finally got a rep who actually knew how their product worked!!

I then checked the RAM mount and there was space for the Nuvi mount to fit inside the RAM mount. Ever since then the Nuvi has worked a charm.

It was much better service whilst GME were the distributors - at least GME had an office/service department in each capital city. Garmin has one office for the whole of Australasia.

Hope your Oregon has no further problems, particularly as I've just bought an Oregon 300 from JA.

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Big Matt and Shell
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Re: Garmin - A tale of woes!

Post by Big Matt and Shell » 23 February 10 9:47 am

mtrax wrote:thanks for the update, what is a big concern is the reliability of the Oregan, as I assume its H/W rather than firmware that has been the problem?
I can't tell you, I can't get an answer out of Garmin. ](*,)

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Hoojar
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Re: Garmin - A tale of woes!

Post by Hoojar » 23 February 10 9:53 am

Big Matt and Shell wrote:
mtrax wrote:thanks for the update, what is a big concern is the reliability of the Oregan, as I assume its H/W rather than firmware that has been the problem?
I can't tell you, I can't get an answer out of Garmin. ](*,)
It could be that the Oregon is not designed to work at such high altitudes Matt! Ours works just fine, about two foot lower than yours :wink:

Let's just hope that I have not jynxed us now! [-o<

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Re: Garmin - A tale of woes!

Post by solomonfamily » 23 February 10 11:44 am

Jardry wrote:
Big Matt and Shell wrote:Thanks for listening. Anyone want to place a bet on how long this unit will last?
Matt,

For what its worth I had a similar experience with my Nuvi310, which I was
.........
Watching this thread with interest.......
We have a Nuvi310 that we are just about to send for repair (keeps loosing signal) and we were told to replace it.... we thought this was poor. [We did buy a 1390 as a replacement too but that is another thread.....]

We also have a O300 which is fine at this stage.....

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pwags
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Re: Garmin - A tale of woes!

Post by pwags » 23 February 10 11:56 am

Amazing how a discussion like this can influence others.

I was about to take the plunge and buy an Oregon 300 (particularly with the new low price at JA-GPS) to replace my yellow Etrex H, but I now have doubts. I'll be watching this thread closely, hopefully to see some positive comments about the Oregon, and Garmin's service levels when things go wrong.

P.S. I wonder if the people at Garmin read these forums? Maybe they should consider engaging with their customers here online?

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Big Matt and Shell
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Re: Garmin - A tale of woes!

Post by Big Matt and Shell » 23 February 10 12:40 pm

pwags wrote:Maybe they should consider engaging with their customers here online?
If I was them I wouldn't engage here, online but at the moment I would be happy for any engagement! I'm still confused that after proving that I was lied to by a number of people that an apology was still too difficult.

I don't want people to get the wrong idea, when my unit is working I am very happy with my Oregon. I will continue to recommend it to people but that recommendation with be prefaced with a very big warning about the lack of after sales care and the fact that I am now on my third unit.

Please do understand though that I have given the unit a lot of use and it has been to some extreme places but if they only have a 9 month life at high duty cycles then they need to warn people. I just think people need to be aware of what they may come across if they need to return the unit. Reading back through the posts, I'm not the only person receiving this level of service.

If Garmin do read these threads I'm sure if this unit packs it in there will be a big picture of me on the wall not to get a replacement unit after the 90 days replacement warranty....

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McPhan
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Re: Garmin - A tale of woes!

Post by McPhan » 23 February 10 1:30 pm

I think maybe your units are overheating Matt!

With my old yellow e-trex I experienced a very similar story to yours and had to persist just to replace the rubber trim. Originally told it would cost $180 - which was $50 more than I paid for the unit.

I persevered and eventually they sent new trim, glue etc at no cost. Debatable if the frustration was worth it, as the glue gave way again within a couple of months.

Agree whole heartededly with the over promise and under deliver verdict.

(edited for spelling)

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Re: Garmin - A tale of woes!

Post by solomonfamily » 23 February 10 3:17 pm

pwags wrote:Amazing how a discussion like this can influence others.

I was about to take the plunge and buy an Oregon 300 (particularly with the new low price at JA-GPS) to replace my yellow Etrex H, but I now have doubts. I'll be watching this thread closely, hopefully to see some positive comments about the Oregon, and Garmin's service levels when things go wrong.

P.S. I wonder if the people at Garmin read these forums? Maybe they should consider engaging with their customers here online?
Very happy with my O300, I had to get a screen protector for the screen which I scratched but other than that... happy to talk with you about it.....

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oldfella
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Re: Garmin - A tale of woes!

Post by oldfella » 23 February 10 6:17 pm

I have been using my Oregon 300 for over twelve months and had no problems with it the maps or using it with GSAK.

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Re: Garmin - A tale of woes!

Post by SecretSquirrel-BJC » 23 February 10 7:37 pm

Ditto to what the oldfella said, touch wood (touching head)

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Re: Garmin - A tale of woes!

Post by blossom* » 23 February 10 7:45 pm

solomonfamily wrote: Very happy with my O300, I had to get a screen protector for the screen which I scratched but other than that... happy to talk with you about it.....
Screen protector? That sounds like a good idea but where did you get it? ANd what's it like? Does it amke the screen a bit harder to read at all? I haven't seen that sort of thing in the normal "Accessories" section to date.

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Re: Garmin - A tale of woes!

Post by Cheesy pigs » 23 February 10 7:54 pm

if you cant buy a real one for the garmin, cut down an ipon screen protector. They dont make it hard to read the screen at all.

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