Monday, July 14, 2008
103 Minutes With Garmin Customer Service
...in which I use lots of expletives in my imagination:
Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out.
11:08 a.m. EDT/9:08 Central Time
I pick up the phone to call Garmin to ask about my issue with my 405 malfunctioning when it gets sweaty, a watch I have owned for about 30 days.
Thank you for calling Garmin International. The current wait time to speak with a product support specialist is thirty minutes. We suggest you call back at another time. The best time to call is in the morning. [Like 9:08?]
Speaker phone plays "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" for 30 minutes. [Rainbow, my ass.]
11:38 a.m. EDT/9:38 Central Time
Him: Thank you for calling Garmin. How can I help you?
Me: I'm having some trouble with my 405 malfunctioning when I sweat. The bezel won't respond to my touch when the watch gets sweaty.
Him: Now, see, what the problem is, is the water from your sweat is affecting the watch.
Me: Uh, yeah. This is a problem. It's a sports watch that doesn't work when it gets sweaty.
Him: Now, if you dry it off, does it start working again?
Me: Uh, I can't dry it off in the middle of a run because I'm sweaty.
Him: Now, see, I'm asking you, if you give it some time to dry, does it work again?
Me: Um, well, yes, several hours later, but it's a problem if it stops responding in the middle of a race.
Him [getting exasperated with me]: I understand that. Now, see the problem is that your watch has a touch-sensitive bezel, so the sweat is touching it and making it change screens.
Me [trying to stay calm]: That's not really the problem. The sweat is getting in the watch and causing it to freeze on certain screens and it won't respond when I touch it.
Him: Hold please.
..."Some Enchanted Evening" [my ass]...
Him: Now what I can tell you to do is to wear a sweat band, a white one so the heat won't be as bad, under the watch so it won't get wet.
Me: But how do I know the sweat hasn't affected the mechanisms in the watch?
Him: Well, it hasn't.
Me [trying to maintain a sense of humor]: Is this a problem that other people have called about?
Him: Now, I can't say if other people have called about this. It may be something that was not foreseen in development and that they will address in the next model of the watch.
Me: Is it an issue that Garmin is addressing?
Him: Now I didn't say that. You're trying to get me to say something I'm not saying.
Me: I'm just trying to know if this is a problem with my watch or the 405 in general.
Him: I just told you that it's something that's being addressed. People have called to address this issue.
Me: [Oh. My. God.]
Now if I find the watch still has trouble when I use the sweat band, is there a way to send it back?
Him: It's something that would be corrected for the next model of the watch. It's not something that we can do anything for at this time.
Me: [You f---ing mother f---er,] can I please speak with someone else?
Him: Please hold.
...30 minutes later...
12:15 p.m. EDT
Him #2: This is Garmin International.
Me: I just spoke with the most ineffective customer service rep about my Forerunner 405, so I have to apologize if I sound angry. I'm having some trouble with my 405 malfunctioning when I sweat. The bezel won't respond to my touch when the watch gets sweaty.
Him: I'm sorry you had trouble before. He was in the Outdoor division, and I'm in Automotive, so I don't really know why he was like that. But since I'm in automotive, I can't really help you with your watch, so I'd have to transfer you back to Outdoor.
Me: [long pause] He put me on hold to talk to someone in Automotive? Can you direct me to talk with someone directly instead of waiting for half an hour? I've been on hold for over an hour now and spoken with someone who won't help me and someone who can't help me.
Him: There's really no way I can move you up in line. I can just transfer the call back to Outdoor.
Me: [Oh. My. F---ing. God.] Okay. [Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe, out.]
Thank you for calling Garmin International. The current wait time to speak with a product support specialist is 30 to 35 minutes.
...30 minutes later...
Him #3: Thank you for calling Garmin. How may I help you?
Me: [trembling with more hostility than I may have ever felt before, I review the previous 90 minutes of high blood pressure and the farce that is known as product support. Note: this would be a good time to go for a run to PR out of pissedoffedness*, but I can't because my watch malfunctions and I'm on the f---ing phone about it.]
Him: I'm so sorry about your earlier experience. I don't know why he would send you to Automotive. Did you get his name?
Me: [meekly] No, I don't know if he said it.
Him: A lot of people have called about the sweating issue, and 9 times out of 10, the problem is fixed by locking the bezel when you're running so the moisture doesn't affect the watch. So try that.
Me: [weary from battle] Okay. Thanks. You've redeemed the other guy. I appreciate it. I have a blog about running with a lot of readers [so what if I "enhanced" this claim?]. I was so appalled at the customer service and would write about it, but you've been helpful [so what if I'm blogging about it anyway? I was on the phone for 103 minutes]
Him: I just want to apologize again. I've talked to several other reps and they all say that locking the bezel will take care of the problem. I'm really sorry about the other guy you talked to. Is there anything else I can help you with?
Me: Short of some beta-blockers, I think that's it.
Lock your bezel.
Pop a Xanax before phoning Garmin.
Commence completely dysfunctional marriage to my watch.
*Yes, I know, but it has a better ring than sticktoitiveness, n'est pas?