Garmin 305 – A Customer Service Review

It started a bit more than a year ago. I made the jump tot he big time. I purchased a Garmin 305. I have never used never mind purchased a heart rate monitor. But a GPS just sounded so cool that I finally broke down. All with the urging of club members.

I was enamored with all the data. It even confirmed that heart rate was indeed unrelated to pace. That was almost worth the purchase alone. It supported all the research I had read. Nice.

The GPS function never failed even on trails in in small canyons here in the SW – Arizona. I finally was able to accurately determine my trail runs and those runs on the roads that I just knew had a “short” mile in them. It was great to know that “mile” from my house down to the corner that I had estimated at about .95 was indeed within hundredths of my estimation at .94 miles. Nice. I found it to be very accurate with paces and distances other than the instant pace (fluctuated a bit too much).

After about 9 months of use the problems started. The charge wouldn’t hold. Within just a couple months it was down to a 15 minute run or so. I worked with the tech call center. I downloaded firmware. No change. I worked with the store who referred me to Garmin. No help. I gave up and packed it in a box. I was actually quite sad. If you’ve read my blogs you know I like data. Besides I also have to admit, it was motivational to see these numbers. Anyway, it resided on a shelf for 4-5 months until this past January.

I attended the Rock’n’Roll Arizona marathon expo. There I met with representatives from the Garmin corporation at their booth. A regional rep and a guy from the national office in Olathe, KS – Jeff Johnson and Karsten Hagen. It was actually an afterthought. I just figured  – OK, I’ll share my experience. I didnt’ whine. I just stated the facts. These guys were genuine and showed an interest in my situation… especially because two other club members had encountered similar issues. And both of them bought them at the same store. They assured me that they would make it right.

After a week or two exchanging emails and trying some different fixes we quickly realized it was to no avail. The unit no longer held any charge whatsoever.

Lo and behold, they requested my mailing address and the next thing I know I have a new 305. It runs like a charm.

By the way, Jim (one of the other club members) also had his replaced late last fall.

Their responsiveness was impressive. Sometimes, I do understand it is a matter of talking to the right people. However, I have to simply take my hat off to Jeff and Karsten who were true to their word. THAT, is something I respect. It wasn’t just a sales pitch or a “let’s pacify this guy” kind of thing. They were sincere. And that was evident by the results.

As a result, I have since purchased a 205 for my son so he doesn’t borrow mine all the time.

By way of this post I want to publicly thank the wonderful customer service and belief in their product.


Four and a half shoe rating on customer service! (The half shoe off is that I wish it was solved by local people first.)


About Dean Hebert

I’m a mental game coach, author and speaker. I work with individual athletes, parents, coaches, and teams on sports performance enhancement. Beyond my academic post-graduate work in sports psychology - the psychology behind athlete performance – I am a certified Mental Games Coaching Professional (MGCP) and certified hypnotherapist. I’ve authored several books and hundreds of articles. “Coach, I didn’t run because…” (2008) is a seriously light-hearted look at making excuses not to workout and how to overcome them. “Focus for Fitness” (2009) and “Screw the Goals Give me the Donut” (2010) are two of my eBooks on mental game approaches for the everyday athlete. I wrote these because I believe that everyone can benefit from the powerful mental techniques that the world’s best athletes use. I have been cited in Runners World, Best Health magazine (CN), SWEAT Magazine, and the Washington Examiner amongst many other publications. I have been a featured mental games coach in Runner’s World and for the internationally acclaimed trail running resource - I also regularly appear on sports and fitness talk shows such as LTKFitness, Runnersroundtable and for more than three years I have co-hosted a weekly video series with Coach Joe English for I specialize in mental toughness training. My clients include tennis, synchronized swimming, golf, race-kart, soccer, motocross, volleyball, MMA, cycling (road, off-road, time-trialist), running, duathlon and triathlon, basketball, football and baseball athletes. I have coached world-class athletes and athletes internationally. I have a passion for working with youth athletes and helping them apply mental game skills and techniques to all areas of life. Most importantly, my aim is to have people enjoy sports and life to their fullest through peak performances.
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3 Responses to Garmin 305 – A Customer Service Review

  1. Arizona Pat says:

    I love my garmin 305. Haven’t had any problems. I would have been heartbroken if I would have had similar problems. I’m really glad to hear about the great customer service.

    Do you download your data to You can now download directly from your garmin. It’s awesome.

  2. Rob Nichols says:

    I have observed that heat kills batteries. Anything with a rechargeable battery (cell phones, bluetooth, Forerunner etc) that I have left in my car during the warm weather ends up dying and will not hold a charge. I make sure that I never leave them there.

  3. Dean Hebert says:

    Pa – I agree… it really was killer not having it. My son was really pissed. He’s a data junkie even though he’s a sporadic runner.

    I do not download my data to any of the online services. Several of my runners do however. I just use the software that comes with it and since I live near my computer and have it with me almost all the time… it works for me. I haven’t been sold on any special benefits to duplicate what I currently do. Though I admit, I’m still vaguely interested and check sites out from time to time.

    Rob – good advice. I’ll follow that for sure. That is fair warning too everyone down here in the sunny SW.

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