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Garmin & Nike – Customer Service Compared

Keine Kommentare | Beitrag vom 4.03.2013

I am using two different devices to track my workout – a Garmin 405 CX and a Nike Fuelband. I had issues with both of them recently. How the two companies handled those issues was very interesting and very eye opening.

I bought the Garmin 405 in May 2011. Until then I used a Polar watch, which was pretty much a stop watch. No GPS, no other fancy functions. It worked, but I never was very happy with it (if I decided to run a different course, I had to do some work on Jogmap to track my run) . I asked around what device I should get instead – a Nike watch or a Garmin.

Most friends recommended Nike, but I loved how the Garmin had so many more possibilities, even though I probably would never use them (and most of them I didn’t). Until now I was very happy with my Garmin 405 (even though it needed to be replaced in September 2011 due to a battery issue), and I really love the function of Garmin Connect.

But then the problems with the battery started (again) earlier this year. The battery went down from 100 to 75% within hours after charging; the device turned off while I was running, even though it seemingly still had 40 % battery life etc. And how could I have used up all my battery cycles in such a short time? It’s not that I am charging my Garmin all the time…

I got my Nike Fuelband for cheaper due to a promotion. I don’t think I would have spent $150 for a device that pretty much can only do two things: Track my steps and show me the time. But if you own a Fuelband, it’s a great incentive to walk a little more, so you can reach your daily goal (mine is 4000, which I easily reach on workdays or on days when I am running). For people who need a little “push” to become active, the device is perfect. But a couple of weeks ago, I lost one row of LEDs.

I contacted both customer services.

Here’s what happened.

The customer service at Nike:

I sent Nike an email explaining my problem. I received an answer within less than 24 hours, stating that I should update my software. If this doesn’t solve the problem, I could exchange my Fuelband either online or at a Nike Store. I sent another e-mail and received another response quickly.

Today I went to Niketown in Manhattan, where a representative told me why I lost the LEDs: I needed to be more careful when taking the Fuelband off. Essentially I had broken a connection, but Nike exchanged the Fuelband anyhow (I think they know that users are not aware of the problem, so they rather make customers happy than start an argument). Two minutes later I was done with the exchange – they didn’t even want my receipt or the original box.

This is what happened at Garmin:

24 hours after I sent an e-mail to Garmin, I received a response from Debbie, a customer service representative.  She told me that I should update the software and reset the device (done and done, no changes). Otherwise I could pay $89 to receive a Forerunner 410 as a replacement.

I was confused:  I should pay 40 % of the original purchase price because of a battery issue? With my old Polar watch I could go to a regular place that sell watches and buy a new battery for $15, but the battery in a Garmin 405 can not be replaced (please note: I didn’t expect to get the battery replaced for free).

I told Debbie that I found the response rather disappointing, and I also mentioned that I already had battery issues once before. That didn’t change anything: Her responses got snippier and snippier, the last e-mail I received only included a link to Garmin’s warranty (I never responded, but I was tempted to send her the link to my Amazon review). Admittedly, Garmin also called me (I assume because I CC:ed the CEO once), but I never had the time to call back.

Anyway: The only solution is – I either keep my watch until the battery is completely done, or I accept Garmin’s replacement policy and pay the $89. For now I keep my watch, but I have to charge it pretty much before every long run now. But I also don’t want to buy a new watch every few years…

Not a big surprise: A few days after my initial interaction with Nike, I received a survey through Medallia asking me how satisfied I was. Garmin? They never cared…

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A Little Update on Running

Keine Kommentare | Beitrag vom 4.03.2013
A week after the Central Park Half Marathon, two weeks before the NYC Half Marathon seems like the perfect time for a little update on my running, before the season is getting serious. Although - it should have been more serious than it is so far. (read more)

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Tribeca: “Mansome” – What makes a man a man?

Keine Kommentare | Beitrag vom 23.04.2012
As I enter the barbershop on 23rd Street, across the street from the Chelsea Clearview Cinema, I am beginning to feel some doubt: Should I get my no frills haircut here as usual, even though the barbers don't cut the hair the way I'd prefer it? Should I find a possible more expensive hair salon? Or should I cut the hair down to 9 mm myself? All these questions were fueled by "Mansome", Morgan Spurlock's highly entertaining (but also thought provoking) new documentary that had its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival and will be in the theaters in a few weeks. (read more)

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Tribeca: “Side by Side” – so what’s the future of filmmaking?

Keine Kommentare | Beitrag vom 23.04.2012
Ask nine experts and get ten answers. Ask a dozen filmmakers on the future of movies - and get even more opinions. If you intend to watch "Side By Side" to get an answer a better idea of what maybe ahead for filmmakers, you might leave the movie theater disappointed. But if you watch "Side By Side", part of the Spotlight series of the Tribeca Film Festival 2012, to hear a lot of interesting ideas, you will be well rewarded. (read more)

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Tribeca: “Xingu” – how three brothers protected the Indians in Brazil

Keine Kommentare | Beitrag vom 19.04.2012
Brazil might be the country with the most undiscovered tribes in the world - considering it's vast hinterland, it's not a surprise when a new discovery makes the news. Back in the Forties this was normal: Some Indian tribes in Brazil already worked for the white people, others still haven't seen a single white person. The three brothers Orlando, Claudio and Leonardo Villas-Boas changed that, and they also became some of the most important protectors of the people who lived in Brazil long before the advent of the Europeans. Cao Hamburger tells their story in "Xingu", which has its American premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. (read more)

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Tribeca: The strange, but fitting “Ballad of Genesis P. Orridge and Lady Jaye”

Keine Kommentare | Beitrag vom 29.04.2011
The marriage of Genesis P. Orridge and Lady Jaye might be one of the strangest in rock history. After their wedding the couple tried to become a "pandrogynous" being, two persons who are so similar to each other they might be one. The romance ended tragic - Lady Jaye died a few years ago because of a serious heart condition. "The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye" tell the story of the couple - an experimental art-movie which is perfect to portray the former member of Throbbing Gristle and head behind Psychic TV. (read more)

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Tribeca: “The Bleeding House” – don’t let strangers in, not even Christians

Keine Kommentare | Beitrag vom 29.04.2011
A family with a dark history, which should rather be left alone, a house far away from the next city, a person whose car broke down on the road and who needs a place to stay - this of course is the perfect setting for some chills and kills. And killings you will see a lot in "The Bleeding House" by Philipp Gelatt, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and which is on VOD right now. (read more)

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Tribeca: “Detachment” – a bleak look on today’s schools in the United States

Keine Kommentare | Beitrag vom 28.04.2011
Is this really the state of the education system in the United States? Children don't care, parents blame teachers for their own failures, and government officials care more about business than helping children, while teachers are burning down. Tony Kaye definitely paints a bleak picture of schools in his movie "Detachment" which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. (read more)

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Tribeca: “Beyond the Black Rainbow” is the most stunning movie at the festival (or the most boring)

Keine Kommentare | Beitrag vom 27.04.2011
Yes, I will try to explain what "Beyond The Black Rainbow" is about later in this review. But no - you definitely shouldn't read that paragraph in case you are still planning on seeing Panos Cosmatos' fascinating debut feature which has its international premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. Go and make sense and of the mess, the Greek-Italian-Canadian directors leaves behind, yourself! (read more)

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Tribeca: “Rabies / Kalevet” – these woods bring out the worst in you!

Keine Kommentare | Beitrag vom 27.04.2011
Something is wrong with these woods - something brings the worst out of people in here. We just don't know what it is. And maybe even the two directors of "Kalevet" (rabies), Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado, which is shown at the Tribeca Film Festival don't have a clue about "it". But it sure hurts! (read more)