After a glorious long run of 15 miles Saturday morning, I happily checked my paces on my watch, reading the splits out to my running partners to demonstrate how well we hit our negative splits. We noted how impressed we were that my Garmin lasted all 15 miles, despite rudely beeping at me to say it had a low battery just before mile 11.
In case no one has noticed in my race reports, training logs and weekly updates, I am quite obsessed with details and numbers. I
like need to know paces and distances and I am more than slightly OCD about hearing that final mile beep before I allow a run to be complete. There is no stopping at 19.98 miles on a 20-miler…I must see 2-0 on the watch. I will run in circles around my car if I have to. And, OH, (insert sarcasm) for goodness sake! I could never merely estimate a run’s distance and just go run with only the time as a metric! That would be the end of the world (at least in my data-freak mind).
Okay, okay, you get the point. I am completely obsessed, dependent and addicted to my Garmin405 and all the glorious data it provides. So one can imagine my horror, when this happened:
Fortunately Monday was a cross-training day so that gave me an extra 24 hours to resolve the situation.
First, I called Garmin and after pressing a few buttons indicating that I wanted to talk about product issues on sporting products, I was on hold for a very short amount of time before a very nice, young gentleman name Nick came on the phone. He asked what the problem was and got the serial number then walked me through a few trouble shooting techniques before deciding that my watch was a goner. He promptly gave me an address, a return number and told me to send my little 405 right back to him and he would be happy to send me another (refurbished) one.
You see, what is so impressive about this is that my original Garmin 405 was purchased in February of 2009. That is nearly 3 years ago! AND, when I had the watch slightly over a year (in June 2010), I called Garmin to tell them that the start/stop button was sticking and would randomly shut my watch off & on right in the middle of the run. At that point, they shipped me a new-to-me watch as well!
Now some might say that the watch shouldn’t have these problems in the first place. But working for a manufacturing company, I know very well that products break. That is all there is to it. And warranties run out, but goodwill goes a LONG way toward making a customer a loyal one. Customer service issues are some of the best opportunities to make customers happy. And today, Garmin made me happy. And next time my watch actually dies and it is time to replace it, you can bet I will be buying another Garmin.
P.S. Since I am Garmin-less for a week (or so), my next step after the phone call was to text a friend and con her into joining me for my tempo run at 5:30 a.m. this morning and bringing her Garmin. Then after the run, I beat her up and stole the watch from her to keep until my new-to-me Garmin 405 arrives. Errr, or she let me borrow it ;).