Previously I haven’t been particularly impressed with Garmin‘s customer service having never received any reply to questions I have submitted via their website however, on this latest occasion I have cause to be very pleased with them. I leant my Forerunner 305 to my brother in-law for the South Downs Marathon last weekend. Everything was fine for the first 23 miles but then the watch just reverted to the Garmin splash screen. On getting home, I was unable to download the watch and before long it was totally unresponsive unless connected to the power. Even then, it was hit and miss as to whether any of the buttons actually functioned.
On the occasions when the buttons were working I managed a soft and then hard reset but this didn’t fix anything so last Monday I called Garmin’s European customer support. They gave me a product return code and, as they are based in a shiny new office on the outskirts of Southampton, I dropped the watch off with them on Tuesday. I heard nothing more until yesterday when a parcel arrived containing a brand new watch. This was excellent news for a number of reasons. First and foremost the watch was actually three months outside of its one year warranty so this is an incredible goodwill gesture on behalf of Garmin (although the cynic in me can’t help wondering if this is a known problem). Secondly, I sent them just the watch unit and received back a new boxed watch so I now have a spare chest strap and download block. Thirdly, wearing the watch adjacent to a plastic orienteering control description holder had led to abrasions on the soft buttons on the side of the watch. With a shiny new case I’ll take care not to make that mistake again.
One minor annoyance is that the Garmin Training Centre software associates a single watch with each user profile and, once created, doesn’t let you change this. This therefore meant creating a new profile for the watch with a different name; exporting all of the history, courses and workouts from the old profile and importing them into the new one; deleting the old profile and then renaming the new profile back to the old name. I can live with that though for a new watch (particularly as I mainly use SportTracks).