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When Next Day Air Isn’t

I returned my Garmin, you remember the one that became a brick without warning? I talked about it here. Well, I had hoped that I would have either a replacement or my repaired unit back in time for my July 4th travels. My email conversations with the CSRs (that’s Customer Service Representatives for those who don’t know) were quite encouraging. They showed empathy for my need and appeared to do everything that they could to resolve this issue to my satisfaction.

Shakespeare said, “Expectation is the root of all heartache.”

On July 26th, I was told that my return order had been “expedited … to next day-air using UPS”. My return was finalized and shipped on July 1 which would have it at my door on July 2, the day before I was planning to leave on my holiday weekend trip. You can probably figure out what’s coming next. Yep, you got it– and I didn’t.

I frantically emailed the CSR looking for a tracking number. A second CSR chimed in the email chain and the tracking number I was given was not valid at either UPS’s or FedEx’s web site. Where was my Garmin?

I hope it didn't go to London!Well, come to find out, it didn’t ship via UPS. It shipped via DHL. Apparently, not Next Day Air. DHL then tendered the order to USPS — the United States Postal Service. Not to harp on the USPS too much, but have you ever had anything go through there with any urgency?

So, my continued communications with Garmin encountered a third CSR who explained that they could not guarantee Next Day Air shipments especially during a holiday weekend which may delay shipments. Um, what? When did my return change from Next Day Air to standard ground shipping through the DHL/USPS tandem? My return shipped on 7/1 which would have arrived well before the weekend had it gone Next Day Air as I was led to believe it had.

I purchased this unit mainly because of the Garmin name. I have really enjoyed using my nuvi — I even gave it a name — and have made travel plans that the use of this GPS would make easier. The defect of the unit was not my fault; rather it was an issue automatically sent over the air from Garmin. I returned the unit on my own dime and used UPS so that I would have a dependable tracking number as well as the assurance of a high probability of delivery based on the UPS name. In my opinion, the least Garmin could do for my inconvenience would be to return my unit (or replace it) by Next Day Air especially since I had expressed my need to have it for the weekend. Where the breakdown occurred, I can’t say.

I can say that based on this particular incident, I will be more hesitant in the future to recommend this product to my friends. I had thought that a company with such a large stake in their market would be more appreciative of their customers, especially in this current economic situation.

Sadly, this doesn’t appear to be the case.

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