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Disappointed with Garmin Radar

Old 06-19-2009, 03:35 PM
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M L
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Default Disappointed with Garmin Radar

I purchased a Garmin Bundle a little over one year ago with the Garmin HD 18 radar. Last week it gave me an error one message. I called Garmin today and they said if it was purchased over one year ago it would cost over $500 to fix it because it was out of warranty.

Has anyone else had this problem? Is there an easier fix?

I have heard so many great things about Garmin service but >$500 to fix a unit a little more than one year old with less than 75 hours on it seems absolutely ridiculous.
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Old 06-19-2009, 03:49 PM
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If the actual repair is unknown, how can a repair price of over $500 be ridiculous? We don't know what they are having to do to fix it. They could be spending over 500 bucks in parts and doing the labor for free, for all that we know.

If Garmin is willing to fix it, why is their service being doubted? That is what service is, isn't it? It breaks, it is out of warranty, so the manufacturer fixes it at the customers expense. If it fails in warranty then it is at their expense. Seems pretty clear to me.
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Old 06-19-2009, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by jethro1 View Post
If the actual repair is unknown, how can a repair price of over $500 be ridiculous? We don't know what they are having to do to fix it. They could be spending over 500 bucks in parts and doing the labor for free, for all that we know.

If Garmin is willing to fix it, why is their service being doubted? That is what service is, isn't it? It breaks, it is out of warranty, so the manufacturer fixes it at the customers expense. If it fails in warranty then it is at their expense. Seems pretty clear to me.
Because if it's an internal fuse or a simple connection, $500.00 is indeed ridiculous. If they are actually spending over $500.00 in parts, which I seriously doubt, they should explain that to the customer, maybe he would be a little more satisfied with that explanation.

If they want this customer in the future, you better do your best to take care of him now. You don't have to give away the store to keep your customers satisfied.
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Old 06-19-2009, 04:42 PM
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I had a 76CSx handheld and one of the battery contacts was broken. They wanted a flat fee of (as I remember) $150.00 for the repair. I called their service dept and reasonably argued that a few minutes and a no doubt inexpensive battery clip was all that was needed. I told him if he'd send me the contact, I'd replace it.

The service guy said send it in and they'd fix it for $15.00. Another happy customer. I have to say it likely depends on who you talk to for this type of treatment.

By the way, in your case, they'll probably send you a refurbished unit in place of yours and not repair and return your unit.
 
Old 06-19-2009, 05:04 PM
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The guy on the phone said this error type means the radar is not spinning. I hardly doubt they do not know exactly what the fault is. The cost of the entire radar is a little over $1000 brand ass new. So $500 to fix a $1000 product with very little use is ridiculous and must not be much of a product in the first place. So I hope Garmin will reconsider this flat fee of >$500 or I assuredly will not be buying Garmin again and will encourage others to buy other products.
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Old 06-19-2009, 05:06 PM
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I agree it is all dependent on who you talk to. I would call back and hopefully you will get someone else that will give you better assistance. Also have you tried to emailing their support
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Old 06-19-2009, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by M L View Post
I purchased a Garmin Bundle a little over one year ago with the Garmin HD 18 radar. Last week it gave me an error one message. I called Garmin today and they said if it was purchased over one year ago it would cost over $500 to fix it because it was out of warranty.

Has anyone else had this problem? Is there an easier fix?

I have heard so many great things about Garmin service but >$500 to fix a unit a little more than one year old with less than 75 hours on it seems absolutely ridiculous.
Don't blame you. Unless you smashed it going under a bridge, I'd be pissed.
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Old 06-19-2009, 05:55 PM
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Only normal use. And 75 hours is being generous on the amount of use.
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Old 06-19-2009, 06:18 PM
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Raymarine wanted $300 flat rate to fix a 4 inch depth sounder that cost me $400 new 2 years previous. Could have been just a loose wire. Anyway i threw the unit in the garbage and bought a garmin. I am glad the automotive industry doesn't charge us flat fees like this. $3000 for a check engine light!!!
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Old 06-20-2009, 10:20 AM
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They are pretty much all flat-rating their out of warranty repairs. I have often thought that a staggered flat rate might be the way for them to go. Like with your $1000 radar with one year warranty, say $125 in first year out of warranty, $300 in second year and one-half, and $500 after....or something like that.
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Old 06-20-2009, 10:39 AM
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The one year warranty is why they can afford to sell the unit for $1000. If they offered a 2 year warranty, they would have to charge more. It's just the way the math works in product management analysis.

Yeah, it sucks to have a failure just outside of warranty. You probably want to escalate the discussion to a higher level decision bot though, just to see if they will cut you some slack. They probably have some discretion.

One thing you might be able to do is get them to send you a 24hd in place of your 18 hd for the $500. That's a stretch, but they might be willing to do it. Just claim that you don't want to be spending $500 a year on a bad design and you want a different unit.

Who knows, crazier things have happened.
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Old 06-20-2009, 11:19 AM
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Flat rate warranties are a some you win, some you loose type of affair. Sure they make money if itís nothing more than a broken wire, but they loose money if the have to replace the complete drive assembly.

Since itís out of warranty there is no reason why you canít take it to a local repair house. Most repair houses offer flat rate diagnosis plus parts.
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Old 06-20-2009, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by seahunter View Post
Flat rate warranties are a some you win, some you loose type of affair. Sure they make money if it’s nothing more than a broken wire, but they loose money if the have to replace the complete drive assembly.

Since it’s out of warranty there is no reason why you can’t take it to a local repair house. Most repair houses offer flat rate diagnosis plus parts.
Years ago I was a bench technician for an Avionics company, and we had schematics and service manuals for a lot of the equipment we worked on, but not all. But even without tech docs, I would troubleshoot and repair at the component level. Today, that would be impossible to do, with SMT (surface mount technology), major circuits in one tiny microchip, etc. And getting those needed tech docs, and proprietary components from any manufacturer is just about impossible.

They are in control, so they will do the repair or replace. In many cases, they don't even repair their own products, they will just replace an entire board, sub-assembly, or even the whole unit that was returned. It's cheaper, and quicker. So I believe their flat-rate repair charges are based on their cost to replace, worse-case scenerio.
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Old 06-20-2009, 08:42 PM
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So Capt Will I guess you are saying there's no need for anyone but Garmin to come look at this unit?
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Old 06-20-2009, 10:03 PM
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Well.... if it's out of warranty and would cost $500 to have some one peek at it and you have a code that says radar (ant.) not spinning , you might as well open up the radome and see if there is just a broken belt or broken plastic gear or loose or corroded contact. Those are all easy to fix , even replacing the motor is not likely a big deal if your diagnosing determines it is at fault. However, 1st I'd check for blown radome fuse if any at the back of the display ( check manual? http://www8.garmin.com/manuals/2023_...structions.pdf -it says there is an inline fuse in the red + wire of the power cord to the radome, presumably toward the power supply end), check to confirm any external switch on the radome is in the on position ( my old Ratheon has this, don't believe yours does?), and remove and install the display unit to radome connectors a few times to see if you are a better wiz at fixing your set than you thought you were. If any of that works , pay yourself $500 boatbucks and buy yourself a realllly gooood dinner or put it as down payment on more marine electronics or pump a few gallons of gas in August. Good luck.
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Old 06-21-2009, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by CaptWill View Post
Years ago I was a bench technician for an Avionics company, and we had schematics and service manuals for a lot of the equipment we worked on, but not all. But even without tech docs, I would troubleshoot and repair at the component level. Today, that would be impossible to do, with SMT (surface mount technology), major circuits in one tiny microchip, etc. And getting those needed tech docs, and proprietary components from any manufacturer is just about impossible.

They are in control, so they will do the repair or replace. In many cases, they don't even repair their own products, they will just replace an entire board, sub-assembly, or even the whole unit that was returned. It's cheaper, and quicker. So I believe their flat-rate repair charges are based on their cost to replace, worse-case scenerio.

Iím a Product Manager for one of the largest OEM electronics
manufacturers in the world. All to familiar with factory warranty costs and procedures.


You care correct, the factory is not in the repair business. Ninty-five percent of our factory warretny work is done by RBE becouse of time constraints imposed by the customer. But you pay dearly for that "timely" service.

Find yourself a good Marine electronics repair house or take it to your local Service center. They should have the parts and knowledge to make the repair locally, usually at a reduced cost if time isn't an issue.

Iíve never torn down a dome but I would imagine that the number of ďnon-serviceableĒ parts are minimal. Canít see sending the dome off to Garmin and pay $500 to find out that there was corrosion on a ribbon cable connector or that a resistor is blown.
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Old 06-21-2009, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by M L View Post
So Capt Will I guess you are saying there's no need for anyone but Garmin to come look at this unit?
No, that is not what I'm saying. My comments were about component-level troubleshooting; e.g. finding an integrated-circuit that is bad, or a capacitor that failed, etc. That type of work requires schematics, service manuals showing test points, for checking signal levels, waveforms, etc. That is the type of diagnostics and repairs that a local electronics shop will probably NOT be able to do, without the service manuals and item-specific training. In other words, the local guy isn't going to know that this particular IC is bad (and why), and even if he did, he wouldn't be able to get a new one. So it become board-replacement, or unit replacement, or the local shop will just send it back to the manuf himself.

If the problem is a bad cable/connector, a broken drive belt, bad switch, etc. then yes, a local shop, or even a knowledgeable friend can help.
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Old 06-22-2009, 01:02 PM
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A radar array not spinning means the enitre magnatron (read: entire UNIT less the $14 plastic dome cover) needs replaced. $500 is probably a bargain.

FYI: My just over 1 year old $34k Ford F-150 Supercrew trucks head blew, for no reason. I have a 35k miles warrant on it, but the truck had 37k miles. Aka, out of warrantly, and aka, $3,800 for a new head out of Birdmans pocket.

So??? Does stuff break and fail before AND after the warranty? Yep.
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Old 06-22-2009, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Birdman View Post
A radar array not spinning means the enitre magnatron needs replaced.
No it does not. Where do you come up with these "facts"?
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Old 06-22-2009, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Birdman View Post
A radar array not spinning means the enitre magnatron (read: entire UNIT less the $14 plastic dome cover) needs replaced. $500 is probably a bargain.

FYI: My just over 1 year old $34k Ford F-150 Supercrew trucks head blew, for no reason. I have a 35k miles warrant on it, but the truck had 37k miles. Aka, out of warrantly, and aka, $3,800 for a new head out of Birdmans pocket.

So??? Does stuff break and fail before AND after the warranty? Yep.
Bird,

Yeah, but you HAD to be pissed off when it happened... no?

(I know I would be!)
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