Ali downloaded the firmware update for her Garmin 450 and tried to install it. The 450 locked up during the install and refused to re-start. Being the nice person she is, she sent an e-mail to their on-line tech support service asking for help. Tired of waiting for them to respond to their e-mail tech help line, she called and sat through the endless hold waiting for help. The phone tech tried three things over the phone; failed with all of them; them said the unit had to be returned. He graciously promised service within 7-10 days of receiving the unit. The day after the phone call, the nearly useless e-mail tech support response arrived. It suggested trying step 2 of what the phone tech tried. Beyond that, there were no suggestions of what to do if the unit wasn't fixed or a number to call since she had tried to do this through e-mail. There was basically nothing but useless, lousy customer service.
I've got to hand it to Garmin. Their customer service behavior was so poor that they finally irritated one of the most patient people I know. After a couple of days she sent an e-mail voicing her unhappiness. The jerks responded with a pat on the head, no offer of better service than the promised 7-10 days, and most likely two lost customers. After 7,000+ finds and six Garmins we are wondering if we should go to a different brand. It wouldn't be so bad if this weren't the second Garmin she has purchased to fail while nearly new. A few years ago, we were in Niagara Falls to spend a few fun days caching with a friend. At the start of that trip her few-month old 60CsX barfed and died. If my work schedule had gone okay, we would have been caching in Europe with friends this week while Garmin had her Oregon.
She bought the 450 to replace her old PDA. Palm units are dinosaurs and both our PDA's have constant issues. She really wanted the new Garmin 62s, and I was going to get that for her and use the Oregon as a replacement for my PDA. Now she has flat out said NO to buying the 62s. It's a little stupid on Garmin's part to abuse two long-time customers (we bought our first Garmin in 2002). Garmin has this problem. They know they have this problem. They just don't care.