A couple of months ago I was out caching and my GPS started acting up.  I was getting lines across the screen.  There was conversation amongst myself and the cachers I was with that perhaps the Colorado 300 needed a firmware upgrade.  Luckily Northern Penguin had his laptop with him and by chance he had the latest GPSr firmware on the laptop.  While standing in a parking lot at 2200 we flashed my Colorado.  No joy.   It was not a software problem as I had hoped.

I knew I was going to have to send the unit in for warranty repair but I was hesitant.  It would take too long, it would be too much of a hassle, it would be an all around pain in the ass.   I was wrong on all counts.

I contacted Garmin support to start the return process.  I was informed that as a Canadian I had to send the unit to the Canadian repair depot.  This would save me having to ship cross-border, twice.  The Canadian repair company is Raytech Electronics.  The Raytech site was very easy to use and within minutes I had received authorization to ship the unit back for repair.  Their system even prepared the shipping label for me.   It cost me about $9 to ship the unit to Quebec.

About a week after sending the unit in I received an email stating the unit was being returned to me.  I was it afraid it was going to take upwards of 6 weeks and here I was getting my GPSr back within two weeks.  My unit was toast so I was sent a replacement Colorado.  The noted didn’t say for sure but I think it was a refurbished unit.  I didn’t mind as it was better than having no GPSr at all.  The total cost to me for the replacement was $9, the cost of postage, one-way.

The support people at Garmin provided even more help to me today.  The one downside to getting a replacement unit is that I would have to reload the unit with my information, including my maps.  Installing the maps was going to be a problem.  I’d somehow managed to render my original disk unreadable.  I could not install the maps without the disk.  I called Garmin software support to see what they could do.

I’d already been in touch with Garmin on this issue once before.  At that time I was told too bad, so sad but you’ll have to buy a new installation.  That communication was done over email and I had the feeling that email support was outsourced.   Today I actually spoke to Michael in Kansas.  It took us a while but he figured out that I could buy replacement media to solve my problem.  I immediately placed the order with Michael, it wasn’t Garmin’s fault I buggered up the disk.  For $15 plus shipping I was going to get a replacement disk.  I had to send proof that I actually owned the original disk.  The was a bit of a nuisance but manageable.

I recommend you reach out to Garmin support as soon as you have a problem.   I’m very happy to have my GPSr fixed and a replacement disk ordered all for less than $35.   That sure beats shelling out another $500 just to replace what I already owned.  Thank you Garmin Support!


I have been writing the cachemania blog since 2008. I'm interested in the development of geocaching and the many ways that people play the game.

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