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  • Writer's picturebalzaccom

Garmin Problems

Because I'm doing a bunch of volunteer work in Desolation Wilderness this summer, the USFS has suggested it's a good idea for me to carry some kind of emergency communications device, just in case someone comes to me and asks for help.

OK, so I checked out the alternatives and decided on a Garmin Inreach. Mini2. $400 plus the activation and service charges. So no cheap.

Then I went to register and activate the device. 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 their Q&A, they are aware of the problem, because lots of people have reported it, and don't have a fix--at least not one that's simple and effective. Their engineers say "they are working on this issue." But it's been some time now, and no solution. 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. Oh, and when you send Garmin an email with a problem, they promise to get back to you in three to five days, unless they're really busy. These folks are selling an emergency device.

UPDATE: well, I jumped the line and called their customer service this morning. Within twenty minute I got a call back from a 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.

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