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Warranty procedure with Garmin, here's how it works

How to process a Garmin warranty

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One of the questions that has always been asked before I buy a device is how the warranty works with a certain manufacturer, or what my opinion of the manufacturers' (in this case Garmin) warranty is. Unfortunately this is something I don't have a good grasp on, because even though I'm also a consumer exactly like you, my usage is somewhat different.

I buy the devices that I use for my training or for testing. I always indicate this in all the tests, but it is not superfluous to remember it. And I do it in normal stores, so normal guarantees apply. However, I combine the use of those devices with all the ones that are sent for testing, so at the moment of truth a watch that I bought 2 years ago does not mean that it has 2 years of use.

What do I mean by that? Well, in my case, for a device to fail "due to wear and tear" I would need more time than any of you, simply because my use is not as intensive with that one device as yours may be.

It's like asking a motor journalist about the reliability of all the cars he's used. With each car he tests he accumulates a few thousand kilometres and quickly moves on to the next, so there's no time to see any breakdowns except in very specific cases.

There is also the fact that the percentage of products with problems is low - not that there are no defective devices (anyone working in the world will know that everything fails, regardless of the brand), but it is very unusual.

Proper warranty management is very important for a brand. Or it should be. Failures may not be common, but they exist now and will always exist. Easy and correct management wins the trust of users, who are likely to trust that brand again even if they have had a product fail. However, poor management will cause that person to leave the brand forever: not only does he or she have a failing device, but the brand is not responsible.

As for the failures of the products about what I write here, normally I can comment by comments from readers or what is seen on the Internet, but in this case I can talk about a case in first person, because a few months ago I had a problem with the clock I used as my main one until that moment, the Garmin Forerunner 935.

It had already become a "test" watch, as it had been replaced by the Garmin Forerunner 945I was going to keep using it, but not as a newspaper watch. In fact, I think the problem I had was precisely because I abandoned my wrist and became part of the desk.

The failure of the Garmin FR935

I bought my Garmin Forerunner 935 on 5 May 2017, a few days after it officially arrived in the shops. It was the triathlon pack, including the sensors HRM-TRI, HRM-Swim and the Quick ReleaseSince then more than two years of intermittent but frequent use.

He has gone through months of intensive use when the pace of analysis of other products stopped and he had to train for some races, along with other months when he only used it at opportune moments to make GPS or sensor comparisons. He has even survived a bike accident that left him somewhat battered and scratched.

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Garmin Forerunner 935 warranty

But as I said before, the problem didn't come until it stopped being my usual clock and started staying on top of the desk.

What happened to it? The resin covering the optical pulse sensor fractured.

Garmin Forerunner 935 warranty

Garmin Forerunner 935 warranty

This has been a more or less common bug. Not only with the FR935, but also with many other models such as the Fenix. Taking a look at the Garmin support forums you can see similar problems from other users (for example here, here or here).

In my particular case I think my problem came after having left the clock for so long on the glass desk. With every notification received on the phone the clock vibrated, running over the table. Again and again and again... And it constantly chimed on the glass surface precisely with that part of the sensor that was in contact with the table.

Although the problem may have been produced by that reason it is something that should not happen. And the fact that it has happened on so many other models is proof that mine was not an isolated failure. At which point I decided it was time to "pull the warranty".

Warranty procedure with Garmin

I processed the warranty as a private user, at no time did I contact through the website's email account or identify myself as the person behind this page. For Garmin's technical service I was just another buyer, nothing more... and nothing less.

Once I saw the problem in the clock and knew that it would affect any tests I might want to do on the optical sensors I proceeded to look for the purchase invoice, exactly as any other user would do in this case.

After taking out the invoice, the surprise arrived... the two-year warranty had expired less than two months ago. Chascazo, I was left without poder do the paperwork... Even so and reviewing the different cases in the forums of Garmin I decided to send an email to support on July 29, 2019 (I remember that the date of purchase was May 5, 2017). The "no" I already had.

Processing Garmin Warranty

Garmin Support contacted me on July 30th asking for all the details. About my indication that it was a recurrent bug they answered that they don't have it registered as such but... it seems that they are going to process it.

Processing Garmin Warranty

I had "let it slip" in the first email that the warranty had run out, but now I had to provide the purchase invoice. Could it be that they hadn't read it correctly? Well, I proceed to fill out the entire form and attach the invoice. and let the sun rise over Antequera.

One day later, July 31st, I receive a new mail with an RMA number and instructions to proceed with the procedure. It seems that everything is going well, even though I am sending a watch with more than two years of invoice. So I proceed to contact Seur to request the collection at due time (for my part the only thing I had to put was the packaging).

Processing Garmin Warranty

The next day Seur comes to pick up the package, taking my "old" FR935. With its sensor cracked and its edge scratched by the fall on a bike. We are already on August 1st, Thursday, so the watch would arrive on Friday 2nd at its destination.

August 9, 8 days after Seur's collection, and I have the carrier back at the door. He brings me a package with Garmin as sender. Inside is a watch in a bubble bag.

Garmin Forerunner 935 warranty

Here it was, a brand new watch in appearance.

Garmin Forerunner 935 warranty

And with an immaculate optical sensor, without the cracks of the one I had sent.

Garmin Forerunner 935 warranty

In short

The summary of all this? Well, "my client self" (not "my blogger self") bought a watch from Garmin that has suffered damage that disables one of its functions. After contacting Garmin and requesting a warranty more than two years after his purchase, he has obtained a satisfactory response and an exchange for a "refurbished" unit (what in my world we call "a Furby").

What would be my opinion as a customer of the Garmin warranty? That it answers. And in that situation Garmin would be building customer loyalty.

We may think that a guarantee procedure is an expense for a manufacturer. Repairing - or replacing as in this case - a product always has a cost, there is no doubt about that. However, I believe that a guarantee procedure is an opportunity for that manufacturer. An opportunity to build customer loyalty, to ensure that the next purchase that customer will make does not consider another brand.

And it is not something new, there are many other examples like Apple, Google, Amazon... All of them apply a "customer-centric" strategy. However, there are other manufacturers where processing a warranty can be hell, cases like Samsung or Canyon...

How much does it cost to have this kind of support? I don't know how much it costs Garmin, I'm sure it's not cheap, but it's another form of promotion, just like Garmin is promoted at races or in TV and print ads. But what I'm sure of is that the return on investment is higher for well-managed support than for TV ads.

And at this point and since my experience is limited... What was your experience with the warranty process? What brand did you buy that you needed warranty on and it answered correctly? I'm sure it's of interest to the rest of the users to know this information first hand. So if you don't mind, use the comments below and tell us. Thanks for reading!

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32 Comments

  1. I bought more than two years ago the Garmin Fenix chronos titanium watch with the Titanium strap. The same has broken on several occasions, the links came out of the pins, I changed the chain, then the closure of the other chain opened constantly, I also changed it and now after two years of warranty the Titanium chain that has the inner part of the silicone links are broken. I already to Garmin Spain and they tell me that there are no spare parts for these links and the answer they give me is that I would have to buy a new one worth about 300 euros, and speaking of the rear sensor seems like the rear glass of my watch Garmin Fénix chronos titanium chronos had cracked without having hit any blow with this I say goodbye.

    1. I would recommend you to go to a watch shop. The armis is quite standard and I'm sure they can fix it for you safely and for a good price.

  2. I just sent a vivoactive 3 to Garmin a week before the two-year purchase date, because the battery only lasted one day. The process is the same as the article.

    In one week I have a seemingly new watch. I had read that the garmin guarantee worked beautifully.

    A 10 to Garmin Service

  3. My experience, also with Garmin, is just the opposite. I got stuck with a Garmin Fénix 3 shortly after the end of the warranty. The buttons did not respond to any touch, and no matter the restarts and resets indicated on the technical service page and indicated to me from support. The watch was impeccably maintained, and the failure was due to a problem in the software of the device, nothing attributable to the user. And it is very easy to find many cases on the Internet of people to whom the same thing has happened. However, the response from the technical service was that I had to send it back and pay a kind of "one-off price" of more than 120€ for them to send me a reconditioned watch.

    I'm glad your experience has been good, but for me to have a sudden software failure (Garmin's full responsibility), repeated to quite a few users, and shortly after the end of the warranty period means that the only alternative is to pay more than $120 seems to be teasing customers.

    1. When I say that certain actions are not an expense, but an investment... messages like yours reinforce me in the idea.

  4. GOOD, I HAVE A FORERUNER 235 WHICH 6 MONTHS AFTER ITS PURCHASE FAILED ME A LOT IN THE REGISTRATION OF THE PULSATIONS ON THE WRIST, IT WAS FLAT AT 73, NEITHER WENT UP OR DOWN FROM THAT. I WENT TO THE CORTE INGLES (PLACE OF PURCHASE) AND THEY MANAGED EVERYTHING, THEY SENT THE WATCH TO GARMIN. AFTER 10 DAYS +- THEY SENT ME A BRAND NEW ONE, NOT RECONDITIONED. ALL IN ALL, GOOD EXPERIENCE WITH THE WARRANTY. NOT LONG AGO I BOUGHT ANOTHER GARMIN FENIX 5, THEY WON A CUSTOMER!

  5. Hi. I have a Fenix 5 with 1 year old but I already resorted 2 times to the SAT of Garmin: the first time for the connector contacts and the second time for GPS failures. In both cases the response has been very good: they replaced the unit sent to me with a "Furby".

  6. My experience is similar to yours, but I wasn't as lucky. Garmin 820, the screen part is almost invisible, and I find out that it is a garmin failure in some models, I spent almost two months on the warranty, I went 11 months without using it because of a broken hip. I start to process the warranty by mail, explaining my story from the beginning. And when it seems that they have taken over at no cost to me, they tell me that I have to pay for a screen change of 120 ?. Well nothing... I said goodbye with a lot of politeness, it fucked me up, but they have lost a garmin customer

    1. The halo of some screens is another clear example of a repeated and known failure... In these cases Garmin should offer extended warranty because they are perfectly aware of the failure in question.

  7. The same thing happened to my Forerunner 935 that I bought new at cashconvertes with nine months of use, I did not have it abandoned and I wore it daily, cashconvertes refused to repair it claiming that it was an improper use, finally I processed it directly with garmin and the experience has been great, they took care of the warranty and replaced it with a brand new one. A 10 for garmin.

  8. Unfortunately, not all prestigious brands work the same way. My recent history is quite different, to the point that I have to go to the consumer's office to file a complaint, which they say will not solve much for me.
    Six years ago I bought a Specialized road bike frame, a top-of-the-line frame with a PvP value of £3000 where the price includes a lifetime warranty, provided no external factors such as falls, bumps or accidents are involved.
    The case is that the frame has been broken by pedaling on it and after processing the warranty according to the conditions set by the house, (registered invoice and sending the frame through an official distributor where I bought it) the answer has been, the denial of the warranty and the return of the broken frame.
    As you say in the article, they have lost a customer, a customer who, by the way, has not been the only one who has bought a bike of this brand and, unfortunately, will not buy it again.
    Conclusion before buying a valuable item, take a good look at how the after-sales warranty works and if you read bad reviews, better buy another brand.
    As a plus in this issue, I also have to say that I had a Suunto scope 2s that I had to manage the warranty because the buttons were attacking and I didn't have any problem. They resent it to me fixed in record time and without any cost.
    Salu2

  9. My first experience was 10: I had a Vivoactive HR that had worked without problems until after a year and a half, the screen suddenly "died" in the pool. I contact after-sales, I attach photos and Amazon invoice; in the first instance they indicate me the factory reset procedure, I insist that it doesn't matter if I reset and recharge or not, the screen is dead. They process RMA procedure, I send the device, and they tell me that since my model is already discontinued, they send me a new Vivoactive3 instead. Chapeau! Cum laude, customer won.
    Second experience: simultaneously I acquired a Fenix 5, initial performance... like a cannon, in smart watch mode 10-12 days battery life, in outdoor sport mode 9 hours of mountain hiking with everything activated (BT, FC, GPS, navigation track Wikiloc) leave the battery at a 87%=> more than satisfactory.
    At 6-8 the battery life starts to become erratic, as soon lasts 8 days as 3 in normal use conditions (smartwatch, 1/2 weekly spinning sessions, 1 run 8-10k...), one of the 4 pins shows symptoms of oxidation despite having protected the device connector against dust/sweat with silicone plug from the first moment, cleaning with alcohol according to the support page; only some software update (12.30) partially and temporarily solves the problem. At 1 year and 3 months of life, the battery is literally "baby" (1% per hour in smartwatch use, in sport mode we don't even talk... Saturday at 16:00 100%, 10k run (GPS) at 19:00, 45 min spinning (no GPS) on Monday=> battery level on Monday 21:30 36%. Fed up with the issue, I contact the SAT, I expose the data and claim repair or replacement under warranty, response: uninstall apps IQ store (I only carry Wikiloc and a watchface), factory reset, synchronize to update version (already has the latest) and test duration leaving GPS activity niciada without autopause next to a window with BT and sensors off.... It seems to me a simple maneuver to gain time, and / or take me for a fool ... the device is designed to last as promised with everything on, to reach the maximum duration without poder use their performance I buy a Casio of 84 in the Chinese bazaar.
    I will test so that they do not claim that I have not followed their instructions, but since it will remain the same in the normal use for which it is designed, I will insist on replacement with threat of claim at Amazon and Consumer. I will update with your response

  10. My experience with Garmin has also been good. Last year my 735XT started behaving crazy with the activity start/stop button, it was impossible to use it because it started and stopped activities as many times as it felt like during a workout. It was still under warranty, it was a little over a year and a half old. In a few days, Garmin told me that the watch could not be repaired and they were going to replace it but they did not have it in stock and I had to wait a few more days for more units to arrive from the UK. The total time from when I sent the first email until I received a new 735XT (in a sealed box and everything) was 18 days.

  11. I sent them an edge 820 on Monday and on Friday I had another one. Also with the pulse strap it started to fail and they sent me another one. I am a garmin regular for all this, my devices are a forerunern, edge 510 and 820, vector 3 and fenix. I think at the moment there is no brand that beats it.

  12. Well, I'm outraged. I woke up one day and my Garmin Fenix 5 sapphire stopped working after 2 years and 5 days and they didn't accept my warranty. For FIVE days. I know that even if it's 1 day late, they can already deny me the warranty, but I don't understand why with some people they make exceptions and with others not.

  13. Well, I have a bad experience with Polar.. and it was such an outrage that after many years using Polar I switched to Garmin.. now I'm happy to read your post.

  14. My experience with Garmin is very good, although bittersweet. It took 4 weeks but they sent me a new one. I had it for 18 months and with a guarantee. In their defense they didn't have any stock.

  15. Same case. Two years and two months to date.
    I will try it too.
    Let's keep our fingers crossed.

  16. I purchased a brand new garmin forerunner 735xt and it turned out to be defective. After a short trial period I reported it to Garmin Technical Service, they told me that I had to send it back to them and they sent me back a reconditioned one!!!!! The deal of the century!!!! I find myself fighting with them and they don't seem to see reason. I have to find out how to continue, if with a consumer complaint or how else.

    1. I completely agree with you and I find myself in the same situation, which is the following: you buy a fenix 5X shappire NEW (with the money they cost), after 5 months the GPS fails because it is defective, and Garmin sends you a REFURBISHED one.
      In the event of a factory failure, they will exchange your NEW watch for a SECOND HAND one (let's drop the euphemism "reconditioned", please).

      Totally outraged. I will never buy Garmin again. And I will study if it can be reported. Laura, did you follow the case or did you give it up as impossible?

      Honestly, I do NOT RECOMMEND Garmin to anyone: it is a lottery (with the difference that the lottery does not cost 600€).

  17. Got a Fénix 5Xand after 5 months the barometer sensor failed... Called garmin support and told me to send it back to warranty (I had to pay shipping costs)... After one week I got a furby 5S woman watch with metal band... I was not happy with this... I called and they said it was a mistake and had to ship it back (pay again) and because of the mistake they will send me a 5X Plus and 2 extra watch bands... Now I was happy... Got my furby 5X Plus and extra bands... And in one week baro sensor fails again... I am calling them on Monday and ask for a refund and will get a Suunto... I don't want another Fénix 5 I guess they had a bad batch of baro sensors...

  18. In my case the problem was with a forerunner 245 which presented a problem in one of its buttons, the receipt of the change was fast, but the delivery was very slow and without much information (sometimes the lack of that extra mail that gives you information of the process, frustrates, especially after 2 weeks). On the third week it arrived and apparently everything was ok.
    Question: How do you know if it is reconditioned or new?

  19. My experience deals with garmin warranty deals with 2 devices:+

    A forerunner 610 that was replaced 6 or 7 times in 2 years... (after the last replacement I sold it before the end of the warranty).

    And now I'm already on my second fenix5s with the same problem and almost out of warranty I'm wondering what to do with it when I get it....

    I have had a 920xt, or a fenix 3 that never gave problems, as well as a montana an edge 500 and 520.

    The one that comes out bado..... and the refurbished ones according to my experience break sooner or later...

  20. My case is a bit strange. I had a fr645 and after 4 months of normal use and without ever getting it wet, 3 of the 4 strap attachments break. Researching in the garmin forums, I see that it happens to many more people. I proceeded to file a warranty claim. They tell me that it does not run within the same and offer me a reacted one for 115€. I refuse to pay and tell them to send me my watch (I'll fix it as I can...).
    After a week, I receive the shipment and inside there is another refurby watch (replacement) and in the note it says that it is still property of Garmin until I make the payment. There I have it in the drawer unused until I see what happens with mine and this one!
    Too many models with defects... My negative experience, Garmin never again!

  21. Hi, after reading your experience, here is mine, which is very different:

    On July 10, 2020 I purchased a Garmin Fenix 5S plus. On August 22, during a bike ride and when consulting the watch; stripes, overlapping numbers make the screen unreadable. Contact with the technical service and sent the watch by Seur. Twice I have complained to the technical service; the first time they tell me that in 48h they receive stock and they change the device. The second time I contact them, today September 21st, they tell me that there is no stock until October 21st.

    My opinion about Garmin's after-sales service leaves much to be desired. I have been without a watch for a month now and still have at least another month to wait. As a Garmin user (previously a 735xt) I expected more efficiency from a high end device. Very disappointed.

  22. To me with less than 2 years old, fr630 that gives absurd instantaneous speed, they ask me 100€ plus VAT plus shipping and I get a second hand one. Because I bought it in China, so ????
    You have either had potra or you have been told to put this on. Regrettable after-sales service

  23. My experience with Garmin's SAT is lousy.
    It is not true that from the After Sales department of Garmin Iberia try to offer the best possible support. When you are under warranty they have no choice but then if they can they leave you stranded forcing you to have to buy other equipment. Maybe this is their marketing tool for poder to keep selling model after model. "No scheduled support" I would call it. They are dismissive of repairs to their products. I bought a GARMIN Forerunner 305 for fitness activities in the natural environment and although it initially had problems, it was repaired correctly (warranty) and I was satisfied but when the "Mode" button broke down I asked them to repair it out of warranty and they claimed that since some time had passed since the last manufacture, they were not legally obliged to have technical service for the product and that they were not responsible for it. This left their image as a prestigious brand quite damaged. Even so, I had to discard the device, because without that key it was useless, I continued betting on GARMIN and I bought a GARMIN Fénix-2 because I wanted poder to put tracks, essential for my hobby and my work. Now the story repeats itself: I bought it in 2015 and I have broken the outer glass (nothing more than changing a measly glass) and they answer me the following:

    "in compliance with consumer protection legislation, Garmin holds repair parts for the next 5 years after the product has been discontinued. In this case, the product has been discontinued for more than 5 years, so we have no way to repair it. Considering this situation, we would like you to stay with us and that is why we have considered offering you a discount of 15% (applicable on purchases made through our website). http://www.garmin.es ) so that you can replace your damaged product."

    That is, they come to tell me to throw away the watch, which is fine but now has no protection, and go through the cash register to get a new one. And be careful, just because you buy a Garmin watch does not mean that it has not already been discontinued, because they are continually releasing models and discontinuing others, even if they continue to have them on sale long after.

    UNPRESENTABLE

    WE HAVE BEEN WARNED

  24. Well, lucky you guys!!! I'm pretty disgusted with garmin myself, to be honest. I have a fenix 6s solar that I got in August 2020 that I only use when I go for a walk. I have already sent it twice to be fixed and from one day to the next it turns off as if it had run out of battery but just charged. The last story they tell me is something very technical about the IQ applications that I download when the only thing I have downloaded is a cover where it puts the time and steps data, and it was from the garmin app. A shame, I have not even downloaded music or a thousand things k is supposed k can do with the watch. I have spent a lot of money for a watch that is going really bad. They do not put solution, only that they have restarted it and it's fine, that it is a thing of the IQ that I have downloaded and I have not downloaded anything. A great helplessness, I bought it because it was supposed to be very good but with me they have not complied. My son's sprinfield watch works better and it's a bitch!

  25. Vicent 11/06/21
    Good morning, I have a Garmin Vivoactive Music, less than two years old, it worked perfectly and a couple of months ago had a small scratch or crack in the screen, but suddenly from one day to another it stops charging I send it for repair and they send it back to me unrepaired claiming that it has a damage caused by accidents. The problem was not the crack in the screen but that it stopped working, as well as the activity button did not work either. In my case a zero to the technical assistance, they excuse themselves in a scratch that can be a blow or not to even try to repair it. Anyway I will start the process of complaint through the OCU, but that if, much to my regret, and that was weighing moving to Fenix I will never buy Garmin, as I will not hesitate to tell my bad experience in forums where necessary.
    It seems that in the past they solved problems but now, as you can see, this is not the case.
    What a pity

  26. 11/06/21
    Vivoactive under warranty, stops working, the activity button does not work, and they proceed to return it to me without repair on the grounds that it has a small crack in the dial and it is an accident, when the repair is not to change the dial, but to make the activity button work. I try to get them to reconsider their opinion, I even send them the link to this page so they can see that feedback is important, but no, I have no choice but to go to the OCU and never again spend more Garmin.
    What a pity

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