Because Customer Service Matters

When I have a great customer service experience, I’m always sure to go back and tell others about it. It doesn’t matter how small the service is, if it is pleasant, I’m going to talk about it. That’s why today I want to share something with you that happened a few weeks ago.

For the last two years, I have used a Garmin Forerunner 405 to track my mileage when I run. I’m not joking when I say I love this watch! It does everything I want a running/GPS watch to do and more. I really don’t use all of the features of the watch, but it definitely jam-packed!

When we returned home from our Christmas travels, I unpacked my Garmin to find it was dead. This, in itself, wasn’t a big deal, because as a rechargeable watch, that frequently happens when it gets packed in with a bunch of stuff (particularly when I forget to turn off the touch sensitive bezel). However, when I plugged it in, it read that it was 100% charged almost immediately. Several times of going on and off the charger didn’t yield any kind of change. The watch would register that it was 100% charged when I unplugged it and would go dead in a matter of minutes. I updated my software on my watch and hoped that would solve the problem. Unfortunately, it didn’t and the same thing happened several more times over the course of the next few days.

I went to the forums on Garmin running watches during this time and found a few more hints: start the watch’s timer when it reads fully charged and let the battery run down, then charge it again; do a manual hard reset of the watch; etc. Nothing worked. I also learned during this research that should my problem be a watch battery issue, I might as well buy a new watch, as the batteries on the particular model of Forerunner I use is not serviceable. Needless to say, I was bummed.

I set it aside for a few days to try to decide what to do. Finally, I decided to call Garmin’s Customer Service Line myself to see if they could give me any guidance with my problem.  The customer service rep I spoke to was immediately helpful.  Well, he was extremely helpful after he walked me through the same troubleshooting process I had completed on my own.  He explained that because my watch was going dead so quickly after taking it off the charger, it may not have completed the installation of the updated software.  He told me what I would need to do to check it, but I was unable to do so while we were on the phone because i was at work.

At this point, I feel like the customer service departments at many companies would have said something along the lines of, “if you’re still having trouble after you do that, call us back.”  Not my guy!  We talked about when the watch had been purchased and while it was determined that it was not still under warranty, I should not have been having the problems I was having with a watch that was less than 2 years old.  After a conversation with his supervisor, it was determined that they would only charge me half of the cost of the repair/replacement of the watch (about $40).  He set me up with a case number, collected all of my information, gave me all of the shipping info I needed, and sent me on my way.

A couple of days later, I finally managed to get to checking the software and it didn’t fix my problem, so off to the post office I went to send my watch for repair.  A few days later, I received a confirmation email from Garmin saying they had received my item, it was in the queue, and I could expect to hear something more about it in a week to 10 days.  One hour later, I received an email saying that my item had been replaced and was being shipped that afternoon (YES, 1 hour later!) Needless to say, I was thrilled.

I received my “new” (aka refurbished) watch within a few days and have already used it for several runs. It works like a champ!  Thanks Garmin!


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