As both a traveler and runner, there are electronics I use all the time that help the endeavors to be just a bit more enjoyable and productive. One of the bad things about having such devices is becoming so used to them that it may be hard to go without them, at first. That is simply a testimony to the effectiveness of the products (and also my dependence on them!).
Bose and Garmin – Warranty Success Stories
Recently, I had product failures with two of my electronic components with these two popular companies – Bose and Garmin. When I do have to contact a company about a failure of a product or service, I am as nice as possible but always feel like I may have to kick into negotiation mode at some point. This is a result of many companies kicking the fault of the failure to me when it is clearly a manufacturer issue. With these two manufacturers, I came away very pleased with the customer service.
My running watch is the Garmin Forerunner 920XT with heart rate monitor. The watch is fantastic and a great tool to help me with my training as well as allowing live tracking for family when I am in races or on long runs. The heart rate monitor, or HRM-Run, is an incredible tool for training. It is a fabric strap that goes on the chest and has a module attached. Unlike older models, this strap/module combo actually tracks some interesting metrics – things like ground contact time, vertical oscillation, as well as giving a VO2Max number, race predictor, and recovery advisor based on heart rate. It is not cheap if bought alone (if bought as part of the combo with the watch, it is an extra $50) at $100 for the strap/module.
The Problem and Fix
I had the strap for a year and a couple of days, or just a couple of days past the warranty expiration, when the module’s battery died. I went to replace it only find one of the screws stripped out and would not come out. I was really frustrated, especially after reading online that it was a common problem. I thought I might as well call Garmin to voice my displeasure at this failure (since I was outside the warranty), especially considering the battery in their older straps went for years, since it was obvious the screw-stripping was something common. When I called and spoke to a customer service rep, I told him the problem (and that I was outside the warranty) and he immediately apologized for it and asked where he could send a new one. Not only that, but when I asked where I should send the old one, he told me to just keep it for parts or throw it out and to keep the strap so I would have two. The new strap/module came less than a week later – no charge for anything! Definitely made me feel quite good about Garmin’s customer service, even if the product may not have been as long-lasting as I would have preferred.
If you have a similar problem, here is the website with warranty and repair information. I cannot promise that my experience will be standard by all. I do think that Garmin recognizes that the screw-stripping is a problem on their end and they just readily replace the modules as a result. But, I still had a fantastic experience with them on it.
Another piece of gear that I have actually is not just used for running and traveling but as an accessory for my phone everyday. It is my Bose MIE2i earbuds. I have used the Bose QuietComfort 20i before and loved them, but since I wanted something for day-to-day use that did not isolate all the sound from around me, I went with the MIE2i. I got a great deal on them last fall and they have worked very well for me.
The Problem and Fix
Recently, the microphone began to have problems in that people could not hear me on the phone. I love these because they let me make/take phone calls while on a run and the microphone had always worked very well. I figured it was moisture from sweat (which is a great reason not to buy a used pair!) and just accepted it. However, the other day, they really became an outright annoyance. When plugged into my iPhone, it would call up Siri, start Voice Control, scrub through the audio tracks – basically performing like there was a short in the cable. When plugged into other devices, it did the same thing. Really disappointing! I pulled out my old, trusty Phillips hook-earphones (clearance for $4.99) and used those. But, I had gotten very used the incredible fit of the Bose earbuds and immediately missed them.
So, I jumped on the Bose website to check it out. I found (on this page) that the warranty was for a year and I could input the serial number to find if I was eligible for a replacement. Sure, enough, I was. But, not only was I eligible for a replacement, I was also eligible to pay a small fee to upgrade to better earphones – including the QuietComfort 20i (although with only a $50 discount)! The one that was interesting was the upgrade for $20 to the SIE, or SoundSport, earphones. These cost $149 brand new so only $20 to upgrade was pretty good (again, I had actually bought the MIE2i for much less than retail in the first place). To continue, I had to chat or call. I decided to call.
After a few minutes on the phone, the warranty replacement was pushed through, order taken, and mailing label sent. Again, I was quite pleased with the response and assistance from Bose and their customer service department. Not only was my old set of earphones to be replaced, but I was able to upgrade to the model that was actually made to endure moisture/perspiration. The model I originally had was not made for that and, even after telling the rep that it was most likely due to my running, he still said “no problem!” He said I could go with the same ones at no charge and if they failed again, get another replacement. But, since it is inconvenient for me to get things sent often, I opted to pay the extra for the sport pair.
It often seems like we only hear/say when things are not working out right for us. I thought I would share these warrant success stories and hope that it may help you if you are considering new equipment or having problems with equipment from one of those companies right now.