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  • Writer's picturebalzaccom

Garmin: Lost and Found

Since my work as a volunteer in the Desolation Wilderness, I decided it was time for me to get an emergency communications device--you know, one of those little electronic boxes that connects you to Search and Rescue if you really do need help.

After hours of research, I finally decided to buy a Garmin Inreach mini2. Great device, based on all the feedback and reviews.

And then I tried to register mine on the website. Apparently there's an issue. When I filled out the form correctly I got this message: "The user object contains invalid values."

And in checking Garmin's own Q&A, they are aware of the problem, because lots of people have reported it, and they don't have a fix--at least not one that's simple and effective. Their engineers say "they are working on this issue."

Makes you wonder exactly how well their system works, if they can't figure this stuff out...

The good news is that I bought the thing through REI, so I should be able to return it if Garmin can't get me up and running.

I tried to send Garmin an email with a problem, they promised to get back to you in three to five days, unless they're really busy.

These folks are selling an emergency device.

Finally, I was able to speak to Garmin's customer service department. Very nice guy, very efficient. And he told me they are aware of this issue, and it is a top priority with them. But he has no timeline for when it will be fixed, and based on their own troubleshooting message boards, it's been going on for at least three weeks.

He told me there is nothing he can do. He suggested that I try a different email (!) or a different browser. I tried two different emails, and both Chrome and Edge, and none of the combinations work.

What a mess! You'd think that they would tell people about this, rather than just continuing to sell these devices as if there is no problem.

I returned it to REI, no questions asked...although I explained the situation. They said they were passing the information along upstairs...

Meanwhile, I bought a Zoleo, which seems to work just fine.

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