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…


Tribeca Film Festival startet in New York mit Cameron Crowes Film über Elton John

Keine Kommentare | Beitrag vom 21.04.2011
Bereits jetzt dominiert „One World Trade Center“ New Yorks Downtown. In einigen Monaten soll das dunkel-funkelnde Gebäude am „Ground Zero“ das höchste Bauwerk Amerikas sein. Von hier sind es nur einige Minuten Fußweg bis zum Hauptquartier des Tribeca Film Festivals, untergebracht in einem alten Backsteingebäude. Doch so unterschiedlich die Architektur ist, so sehr sind Film Center und Skyscraper miteinander verbunden - immerhin startete das Festival als Reaktion auf den Anschlag des 11. September. Ab Mittwoch findet das Festival zum zehnten Mal statt. (read more)


Movie review: „Source Code“ with Jake Gyllenhaal – a „Groundhog Day“ with explosions

Keine Kommentare | Beitrag vom 1.04.2011
The source code of this website will reveal a lot of information you probably don't care about it - if you look at it, you will find out that it is based on Wordpress for example or that it uses Google Analytics to track you down. None of these information has anything to do with the movie "Source Code" with Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan and Vera Farmiga in the leading roles. But it also isn't really clear if "Source Code" is anything else than a very modern sounding title for a fairly classic Science Fiction flick. (read more)


„Time And Space At The Lower East Side“ by Brian Rose

Keine Kommentare | Beitrag vom 30.03.2011
I wanted to interview Brian Rose for quite a while already. Brian, who was Suzanne Vega's manager, is also an impressive photographer who has self-published several books - one of them about Berlin before 1989 and while the wall came down, a new one about the World Trade Center. Today, Brian Rose presented another book he self-published at the Midtown Library in Manhattan: "Time And Space At The Lower East Side". (read more)


More than a cat’s nine lifes: „Kill The Irishman“ with Ray Stevenson

Keine Kommentare | Beitrag vom 12.03.2011
How many mobster does it take to kill one Irishman? A lot - at least when the Irish man is called Danny Greene, who sees himself as a the descendent of a "Celtic Warrior". The (more than a cat's nine) life(s) of the Union guy and mobster from Cleveland is chronicled in the movie "Kill The Irish Man", fittingly released just before St. Patrick's Day. (read more)


5000 kilometer or 118.5 marathons – I did it!

Keine Kommentare | Beitrag vom 8.03.2011
I ran my 5,000th kilometer today. 5000 km - that means 118 marathons (and one half on top of it). It means that I spent 157 hours running just last year and another 154 hours in 2009, the two years in which I ran almost 1500 kilometers each. I actually already ran more than 5000 k; I just didn't count the first runs (I started keeping track almost four years ago). Did I ever think I would run that much? No way. (read more)


Ron Carter, Donald Harrison, Billy Cobham at the Blue Note Club

Keine Kommentare | Beitrag vom 6.03.2011
I've always been curious about visiting the Blue Note Club - the world's famous jazz club which we pass fairly regular in the West Village. Friday finally was the night to go: Ron Carter, the illustrious bass player who has recorded extensively with Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and on his own, played there together with Donald Harrison and Billy Cobham. The trio already had done a live album together at the Blue Note. And since Michele had been working with Ron Carter, we even enjoyed being on the list. (read more)


„Straight to Hell Returns“ – Alex Cox and Jim Jarmusch at the 92Y Tribeca

Keine Kommentare | Beitrag vom 4.03.2011
Alex Cox's "Straight To Hell" is surreal fun - a great movie with no real purpose, but awesome scene. The director recently polished up the movie (with Joe Strummer as one of the stars) and put it out as "Straight To Hell Returns". Alex Cox and Jim Jarmusch showed the movie at the 92Y Tribeca - here's what they had to say. (read more)


American customer service – fun with Ikea & Home Depot

Keine Kommentare | Beitrag vom 11.02.2011
We live in an apartment building, a high rise with a (partial) view of the Hudson River, a swimming pool and a gym on the 4th floor and a doorman who doesn't let anybody up to your apartment unless you tell him to. It sounds like luxury but it's actually not much more than Michele's dark apartment on the Hell's Angels block in the East Village. Craziness. (read more)


Interview mit „Tony“-Regisseur Gerard Johnson vor dem Fantasy Film Festival

Keine Kommentare | Beitrag vom 16.08.2010
"Tony" ist der erste Langfilm des jungen britischen Regisseurs Gerard Johnson. Ein Film über einen Serienmörder, in dem doch recht wenige Morde vorkommen. "Tony" ist mindestens genauso eine Sozialstudie über die ärmlichen Gegenden Londons. Der Film läuft im Wettbewerb des diesjährigen Fantasy Film Festivals. Aus diesem Anlass hier ein Interview. (read more)


Gruseln mit allen Sinnen Philip Glass, Michael Riesman und das Kronos Quartet stellen „Dracula“ in der Zitadelle vor

Keine Kommentare | Beitrag vom 16.07.2010
Welch ein passender Ort für "Dracula" mit Bela Lugosi von 1931! Die Filmvorführung mit Begleitmusik von Philip Glass und dem Kronos Quartet in der Zitadelle Spandau ist Höhepunkt beim diesjährigen "Citadel Music Festival". Eine Konzert-/Film-Kritik. (read more)