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Lowrance and customer service

Old 02-15-2012, 11:19 AM
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Unhappy Lowrance and customer service

IMO customer service should be judged by how a company handles it's customers when issues arise that are considered to be "in the gray areas" so to speak. this is MY experience with Lowrance: in '07 my kids bought me a Lowrance lms 522c for Fathers Day. it's been a really good product and if i had any questions Lowrance was quick to assist. later last summer i noticed a tiny line in the top right corner of the screen. by early winter i figured out it was actually a crack in the screen. it's mounted on the dash of my Formula 34pc and i use it for the gps and depth, i don't fish. a couple of weeks ago i show it to one of my dockmates who just bought a new hds7. he suggests i give Lowrance a call because they have an upgrade program that i might be eligible for. so i call them and sure enough they tell me the screen is no longer a replaceable/servicable item but that i can get a nice discount if i upgrade to an hds5 or 7. all they need is the serial number to make sure of the age of the unit. so the next time i'm at the boat i get the number off the unit and give them another call. my call is answered promptly and directed to customer service. a nice woman politely tells me that cosmetic damages such as a cracked screen aren't covered under the program. she says screens can easily be damged by fishing lures (i don't fish) or even kicked (i guess she meant if it was mounted on the floor of maybe a bass boatt) and i agree with her that damage such as that shouldn't be covered. however, seeing that my unit is mounted on the dash and i don't fish (not to mention that a repair is no longer an option), i ask her if it is possible that the screen could be defective. after all, all i can see is a line with no indication of any kind of impact or a chip or anything like that. i ask her if i remove the trim ring and take a look at the edge of the screen (behind the trim ring) perhaps that may shed a little more light on the situation. she tells me that would have to be determined by their service center and that if it ended up not being defective it would cost me shipping to and from the service center. then she asks if i have receipt. i tell her no, my kids bought it for me as a gift for Fathers Day. so she checks the serial number and since i don't have a receipt she'll have to go by the shipping date which was January of '07 which is no good for me either because i've missed January by 14 days i'm not gonna bad mouth the customer service since they have always been prompt and helpful, and the woman even sent an e-mail to her supervisor while i was on the phone. i asked her why when i called the first time they told me one thing and now i'm getting a different response. she appologized for the misunderstanding but said there was nothing more she could do. it just SEEMS like this was a good opportunity for stellar customer service to shine but IMO it didn't quite get there . i am currently still looking for a replacement unit and i certainly won't mark Lowrance off my list BUT there are several competitors' products out there that will definitely get my consideration too. i recently purchased a Standard Horizon vhf and i'm happy with the product as well as the customer service. i didn't realize for 3 months that it was supposed to come with a cover. i was gonna buy one and ended up calling them for a part number. i told them my issue and they said it was supposed to come with a cover so they sent one to me at no charge. i thought that was stellar customer service. they didn't even ask for a receipt!! just my shipping address so they could get it to me and now let the search continue............
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Old 02-15-2012, 01:30 PM
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I usually don't respond to post like this but since I took the time to read it and think about it I figure I had nothing to loose so he we go. First, I am sorry that you are having problems with your unit and I fully understand because it is human nature to expect our things to last forever. Sadly, that is just not the case. Sooner or later everything breaks especially in the marine environment. Second, I know you had your hopes up and were expecting to get a new unit at a discount price but then had customer service bust the bubble which has you a bit upset. Trust me, I fully understand!

Now, I want you to put yourself in the position of the manufacturer, be it Lowrance, Simrad, Garmin, Raymarine, or anyone else. Your unit is five years old which I feel is a pretty decent service life for marine electronics. As a matter of fact, most people like to stay up to date with current technology and replace there gear before they ever own it five years. Marine electronics are subjected to moisture, humidity, heat, cold, direct sun light, and constant pounding from boating. Honestly, it is pretty amazing that the stuff last as long as it does. Seriously, if the shoe were on the other foot and it was your company, what would you do? You have to understand that you are not the only person they had to say no to! I bet they get hundreds of calls a month from customers just like you and if they made it a poilcy to give away equipment at say, 10% profit, they would not be in business very long. I think the Lowrance warranty and exchange program is a pretty good deal, and if you had your receipt you might have gotten them to work with you. Sadly, you don't have a receipt and they have to go by the ship date. Most companies do this, at least the ones I have done business with.

Again, I am sorry for yout troubles. Maybe you could sleep on it and in the morning when you feel better give one of our forum vendors a call and order you something new!
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Old 02-15-2012, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by TN Formula View Post
IMO customer service should be judged by how a company handles it's customers when issues arise that are considered to be "in the gray areas" so to speak. this is MY experience with Lowrance: in '07 my kids bought me a Lowrance lms 522c for Fathers Day. it's been a really good product and if i had any questions Lowrance was quick to assist. later last summer i noticed a tiny line in the top right corner of the screen. by early winter i figured out it was actually a crack in the screen. it's mounted on the dash of my Formula 34pc and i use it for the gps and depth, i don't fish. a couple of weeks ago i show it to one of my dockmates who just bought a new hds7. he suggests i give Lowrance a call because they have an upgrade program that i might be eligible for. so i call them and sure enough they tell me the screen is no longer a replaceable/servicable item but that i can get a nice discount if i upgrade to an hds5 or 7. all they need is the serial number to make sure of the age of the unit. so the next time i'm at the boat i get the number off the unit and give them another call. my call is answered promptly and directed to customer service. a nice woman politely tells me that cosmetic damages such as a cracked screen aren't covered under the program. she says screens can easily be damged by fishing lures (i don't fish) or even kicked (i guess she meant if it was mounted on the floor of maybe a bass boatt) and i agree with her that damage such as that shouldn't be covered. however, seeing that my unit is mounted on the dash and i don't fish (not to mention that a repair is no longer an option), i ask her if it is possible that the screen could be defective. after all, all i can see is a line with no indication of any kind of impact or a chip or anything like that. i ask her if i remove the trim ring and take a look at the edge of the screen (behind the trim ring) perhaps that may shed a little more light on the situation. she tells me that would have to be determined by their service center and that if it ended up not being defective it would cost me shipping to and from the service center. then she asks if i have receipt. i tell her no, my kids bought it for me as a gift for Fathers Day. so she checks the serial number and since i don't have a receipt she'll have to go by the shipping date which was January of '07 which is no good for me either because i've missed January by 14 days i'm not gonna bad mouth the customer service since they have always been prompt and helpful, and the woman even sent an e-mail to her supervisor while i was on the phone. i asked her why when i called the first time they told me one thing and now i'm getting a different response. she appologized for the misunderstanding but said there was nothing more she could do. it just SEEMS like this was a good opportunity for stellar customer service to shine but IMO it didn't quite get there . i am currently still looking for a replacement unit and i certainly won't mark Lowrance off my list BUT there are several competitors' products out there that will definitely get my consideration too. i recently purchased a Standard Horizon vhf and i'm happy with the product as well as the customer service. i didn't realize for 3 months that it was supposed to come with a cover. i was gonna buy one and ended up calling them for a part number. i told them my issue and they said it was supposed to come with a cover so they sent one to me at no charge. i thought that was stellar customer service. they didn't even ask for a receipt!! just my shipping address so they could get it to me and now let the search continue............
If you spent as much time adding paragraphs to your post as you did emoticons, it might actually be readable.
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Old 02-15-2012, 03:27 PM
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Interesting. When I had trouble with a Lowrance LMS334i, Lowrance sent me an LMS527c as a replacement. When it arrived, I noticed a small, short line on the screen, which turned out to be a crack that propagated all the way across the screen over the next 24 hours- WHILE THE UNIT WAS SITTING IN A BOX INSIDE MY HOUSE. To Lowrance's credit, I had a replacement within 72 hours, which didn't work at all, then another replacement 72 hours later. I still have the third one 3 years later.

So, yes, faulty construction does cause Lowrance screens to crack. Maybe that's the case with yours, maybe not.
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Old 02-15-2012, 05:17 PM
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Send it in and see what happens. Price point and features will be hard to find in any Competitors products.

You got 5 years on it. Buy a new one and keep the receipt this time. enjoy the new HDS Gen 2 Fast!
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:07 PM
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Default In my experience with Lowrance,

they only have "customer no service".
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:39 PM
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I think you should be elated that your unit lasted as long as it did. I had the Eagle Seacharter sister to your unit several years ago, I kid you not, in 6 months, I had 3 different head units from Lowrance before I finally got one that lasted more than one trip. If you want a good, easy to use, reliable unit, get a Garmin. I'm pulling a 546s w/P66 High Perf. Ducer (limited edition that was made with the M260 ceramic element), you can "trade in" your unit for mine for $550 if you want to.

If you want to buy new, there are many great deals to be had out there. You mentioned Standard Horizon - their chartplotters are very economical and perform well and yes, customer service is stellar and replacement parts are easy to obtain. Good luck...
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by TN Formula View Post
IMO customer service should be judged by how a company handles it's customers when issues arise that are considered to be "in the gray areas" so to speak. this is MY experience with Lowrance: in '07 my kids bought me a Lowrance lms 522c for Fathers Day:.........


You don't even fish.....it lasted 5 good years and most important ..it was a gift from your children to express their love for you.
Count your blessings here.

If someone even TRIED to help me with an issue concerning a 5 YEAR OLD FISH FINDER ....I would be skipping and smiling for a week!

P.S. Go fishing.....great stress reliever...unless one gets skunked!

Last edited by semperfifishing; 02-16-2012 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 02-16-2012, 06:29 AM
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Lorance here in australia have been great I had trouble with my hds 10 and my dealer sent the unit away and they sent me a new one ,I was stoked as no one has done that for me before ,most shops don't want to deal with problembs,
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:35 PM
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points are well noted. first, i'll leave off the emoticons, i guess they just kinda made me feel better. second, five years in a harsh marine environment will take it's toll on equipment and especially electronics i agree. but in all fairness, it's hard for me to say "harsh marine environment" in my case. i'm on a river in southeast tennessee in a covered slip and i have a mooring cover that stays on the cockpit whenever the boat isn't being used. i'm quite sure there are tons of people that are infinitely harder on their stuff. third, as i said i don't fish so as a depth finder and gps it serves its purpose well. there really isn't a need to keep up with the latest and greatest electronics in my situation. fourth, i still believe Lowrance makes a really good product, they have good customer service and their trade in program is great too. my point was that in my particular situation they MAY have been able to do more and if i were in there shoes i think i would have tried, considering that i was expressing interest in another of their products. aren't repeat customers one of the best assetts a company can have?

thanks for everyone's input and suggestions. i've gotta decide if i want to use this one till it dies (which could be a while, who knows?) or start shopping for a new one. i've done a little research and i think i'll probably go with a Lowrance HDS7 or a S/H CPF390. both have what i need and are reasonably priced plus i may look into adding radar in a year or so and they would both be compatible. and don't worry, i'll definitely try to give a THT vendor my business when the time comes
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