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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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Tribeca: Ozzy Osbourne, the rock star. And the family man? Not so much

Keine Kommentare | Beitrag vom 26.04.2011
Considering the Ozzy Osbourne overkill in the media within the last decade, it would be no surprise if you give "God Bless Ozzy Osbourne" a pass. Especially if you know that Jack Osbourne, Ozzy's son, is the producer of this documentary which premiered on Sunday at the Tribeca Film Festival. What shall we expect? Another MTV soap opera? Think again - "God Bless Ozzy Osbourne" is a surprisingly open and extremely interesting movie about one of the greatest singers of heavy rock. (read more)

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Tribeca: “What an asshole I’ve been” – Ozzy about “God Bless Ozzy Osbourne”

Keine Kommentare | Beitrag vom 25.04.2011
The most revealing fact in "God Bless Ozzy Osbourne", the new documentary about the life of the metal-singer? "What an asshole I've been in the past", the 62 year old Brit said on Monday during a press conference at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. "God Bless Ozzy Osbourne" premiered here on Sunday night where Osbourne saw the documentary for the first time. (read more)

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Tribeca: “Klitschko” von Sebastian Dehnhardt ist kein K.O.-Sieg

Keine Kommentare | Beitrag vom 25.04.2011
Die Klitschko-Brüder sind mit Sicherheit nicht die größten Boxer aller Zeiten - sie gehören aber zu den (körperlich) größten und dominieren auch deswegen die Schwergewichtsszene seit einigen Jahren. Vitali und Wladimir Klitschko sind dabei ein Phänomen: zwei Ukrainer, die in Deutschland so beliebt sind wie keine anderen Boxer. Die Dokumentation "Klitschko" von Sebastian Dehnhardt über die Brüder feierte am Sonntag beim Tribeca Film Festival ihre Weltpremiere. (read more)

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Tribeca: “Semper Fi” – one marine fights the system (the Department of Defense)

Keine Kommentare | Beitrag vom 24.04.2011
Jerry Ensminger is not your typical environmentalist. Nor does the patriotic ex-marine, who loves hunting, seem to be the kind of guy who fights for health insurance. But maybe it needs a stubborn person like him to fight the system - especially if the system is the Department of Defense. Rachel Libert and Tony Hardmon show Ensminger's struggle to uncover one of the worst cases of water contamination in the USA in their moving documentary "Semper Fi: Always Faithful". (read more)

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Tribeca: “The Journals of Musan” – a North Korean tries to find a life in the south

Keine Kommentare | Beitrag vom 24.04.2011
Back then before the wall came down, West Germany helped each East German who managed to run away from the "socialist" dictatorship with money. How much? I don't even remember anymore, but I remember that in the last year of the GDR West Germans weren't happy about how high the amount was. How does South Korea treat North Korean’s defectors? Not well - at least not in Park Jungbum's first feature "The Journals of Musan (Musan Il-Gi)" which is screening at the Tribeca Film Festival. (read more)

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Tribeca: Michael Collins’ “Give Up Tomorrow” about Paco Larrañaga and his grotesque trial

Keine Kommentare | Beitrag vom 23.04.2011
When Marijoy and Jacqueline Chiong went missing in the summer of 1997, a nightmare begun not just for their parents, but also for Paco Larrañaga. The 19-year-old clearly is innocent, but pretty soon finds himself accused of rape and murder. And if you think that he should be set free pretty soon - welcome to the Philippines. Pacos story is the subject of "Give up Tomorrow" by Michael Collins and Marty Syjuvco, probably one of the most impressive movies at the Tribeca Film Festival. (read more)

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Tribeca: “The Roadie” screwed up, he just doesn’t want to admit

Keine Kommentare | Beitrag vom 23.04.2011
After 26 years on the road with Blue Öyster Cult, Jimmy gets kicked out in the middle of nowhere. He must have screwed up pretty badly. Now the Roadie (which is also the title of Michael Cuesta's new feature, premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival) has to get his life together - Jimmy hasn't slept in his own bed for more than 20 years, he doesn't even know how to make coffee. Let's face it: Jimmy is pretty fucked. (read more)

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Tribeca: “The Trip” – Michael Winterbottom’s comedy shows Britain’s culinary highlights (yes, they exist!)

Keine Kommentare | Beitrag vom 22.04.2011
Michael Winterbottom is easily one of the best - if not the best - directors in Britain in the last two decades. He won the Berlinale with "In This World" and should have won a Golden Bear for "Road to Guantanamo". Winterbottom is a regular in Berlin as well as the Tribeca Film Festival, where he shows his new fake documentary/comedy "The Trip" - a journey through Britain's culinary highlights. Yes: They actually exist. (read more)

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Tribeca: “L’Assaut” – a grim, breathless action movie about a real terror attack

Keine Kommentare | Beitrag vom 22.04.2011
Christmas 1994: 4 Algerian extremists, members of the terror group GIA, hijack an Air France plane on its way from Algier to Paris. This attack has a similar meaning to France as the hijacking of the "Landshut", the Lufthansa plane, in 1977 for Germany. It could have turned into an attack not unlike 9/11 seven years before 9/11, but because of the happy-ending of the hijacking, the story is perfect for a thriller: "L'assaut", Julien Leclerq's second full-length feature, which is shown at the Tribeca Film Festival this year. (read more)

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Tribeca: “Sint” – Dick Maas shows the real Santa Claus, a bloodthirsty bishop

Keine Kommentare | Beitrag vom 21.04.2011
So you still think that Santa Claus is a nice man who appears every year and gives children chocolate and other gifts? Oh - you actually believe he doesn't exist at all? Well, think again. Dick Maas shows the real saint in "Sint", a violent, brutal bishop who might take your kid away. "Sint" will be shown at the Tribeca Film Festival this year. (read more)